Yesterday myself and Django were on Concord Street on the eastern side of the Packard Plant for some photography of the building's exterior.
There is 24/7 security on-site now, but only one guard at any given time. The guard is friendly enough, un-armed and keeps a close eye on things. He won't allow access to the inside of the plant (stick to the main streets) and says he phones the Sheriff if anyone is found inside.
Anyway, I was shooting some pix on Concord while Django sat in his pick-up truck. The next thing I hear is Django saying "Get in the car!". I looked around and saw some youths in hoodies walking towards me. (Hoodies in summertime?)
I picked up my camera bag, walked over to the pick-up and threw the bag into the back of the truck. Then I went back for my tripod. As I walked towards the car with it, I noticed one youth running straight towards me. I threw the tripod into the truck and dived into the back of the truck, lying on top of my equipment.
By this stage the youth had reached the truck and was holding what appeared to be a Glock pistol. He was standing at the passenger window and yelled "Give it up!".
Django was in the driver's seat unaware that the kid had a gun. I could see it plainly. The next thing I heard was the screech of our tires on the road and we got out of there.
As the car edged forward, the youth was now beside the flatbed, with me lying in it. I could've easily been shot. Luckily the youth didn't fire, or maybe he only had a replica or unloaded pistol.
I asked Django whether we should report the matter to Police. He seemed to think there was little point, but we saw the Packard security guard driving by and pulled up beside him. He phoned police and three or four squad cars arrived in quick time.
We did our best to give a description of the thugs. The police went cruising around to look for them but I don't know what they found, if anything.
According to the police no crime was committed because the thieves got nothing from me and "seeing someone with a gun" is not a crime.
We made it out safely, but a guy brandishing a pistol within inches of us is "not a crime"?
I just ran across a June 2014 issue of Metro (the trade magazine for rail and bus transit). They have an article about the amount of streetcar/subway projects going on in the US and Canada. Right now there are about $99 billion in funded projects in some phase of design or construction.
Sounds like another solid idea from the new mayor.
I like the approach of targeting different neighborhoods on a rotating basis, rather than a scatter-shot approach of a few houses all over. And concentrating on areas that have a realistic possibility of being stabilized and turned around. Restricting this to owner-occupants, offering forgivable loans, and marketing a number of properties in a small area at once could make these deals quite attractive. I hope it succeeds.
Mayor Duggan is doing a lot more than paying lip-service to helping neighborhoods.
When will it ever end? The roll call of new eateries is getting difficult to keep track of as seen in this Freep.com Article. I've only made it to two on the list - Ottava Via and La Feria - loved the first - the second was so so but they had just opened and I hear they have improved greatly.
Any reviews or thoughts? BTW the Freep use of term downtown is rather broad. Here is the roll call.
Wright & Co., 1500 Woodward: in the stately old Wright Kay building in the heart of downtown at Woodward and John R.
Antietam, 1428 Gratiot: This meticulously restored Art Deco spot in the Eastern Market district opened softly last week.
Taqo Detroit, 22 W. Adams: Opened July 1, this three-level, 5,000-square-foot restaurant features a big Mexican menu.
Downtown Louie’s Lounge, 30 Clifford: A hidden gem just west of Woodward and south of Grand Circus Park
Ottava Via, 1400 Michigan: Set in an atmospheric old bank… Patio with fireplace in back.
Two James Spirits, 2445 Michigan: first licensed distillery in Detroit since Prohibition… doesn't serve food yet..
La Feria, 4130 Cass: charming tapas place near Wayne
Craft Work, 8047 Agnes: Set in the artfully renovated former Harlequin Café in historic West Village
The Grille Midtown, 3919 Woodward: New building next to restored theater
On the way
Top of the Pontch, 2 Washington Blvd.: contemporary fine-dining menu should be a match for the sweeping view and impressive room.
Selden Standard, 3921 Second near Honest? Johns
Guns + Butter, 1301 Broadway
Republic, 1942 Grand River: Set in the castle-like GAR Building at Grand River and Cass.
Gold Cash Gold, Wabash and Michigan: Thanks to a two-year rehab involving Corktown’s Cooley family, a onetime pawnshop with “Gold Cash Gold” emblazoned on its side
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