Detroit Adventure


My friend Claudia, who is originally from England, wanted to take a trip to Detroit. On Saturday, I volunteered to be her “guide.”

Our first stop was the city’s famed Eastern Market. We took a guided walking tour of the neighborhood with Preservation Wayne, a group that offers a number of tours of the city.



Shopping at the market was followed by lunch at A Taste of Ethiopia.

After lunch, I wanted to show Claudia (who spent several years living in Mexico) the Motor City’s most famous work of art, Diego Rivera’s Detroit Industry Murals at the Detroit Institute of Arts.

The pictures do not do it justice.




From the beauty of fine art, we went on to what is probably the embodiment of the worst neglect, blight, and decay in the city- the abandoned Michigan Central Station.



I was kind of surprised -though maybe I shouldn’t have been- to see we weren’t the only “tourists” there. Over the course of about 45 minutes, we encountered about eight to 10 other people, just looking at the building, taking photographs, and marveling in its former glory. One man there was carrying a well-worn, dog-eared book filled with historical photos of the station being constructed and in its heyday. Another person said she wanted to make sure she saw it, in case the building is torn down, as city council recently voted to do.

We also spoke to a homeless man who stayed there sometimes. His advice to would be adventure-seekers looking to venture within? Bring a flashlight, he said, and a “thumper,” a big stick in case you encounter trouble. He said he thought it was pretty spooky inside.

We ended  our day with dinner in Mexicantown (Mexicantown Restarant and pastries from La Gloria Bakery), followed by a quick visit to the Heidelberg Project, to end on a somewhat positive note.

So Detroiters, how did I do? Did I get an appropriate balance of the beauty and the blight? I know we didn”t hit Motown and some other major landmarks. What should I show Claudia on our next trip?



Filed under Art, The Big Urban Photography Project, U.S. Auto Industry

2 responses to “Detroit Adventure

  1. Frank

    If you wanted to see some real blight disguised as beauty, you should have stopped by the Motor City Casino on Saturday night.

  2. Pingback: GLUEspace » Blog Archive » Thursday Rust Wire News Round-up

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