I spent much of the day around Detroit seeing a lot of the southwest side, downtown, and some of the warehouse district between the River and E. Jefferson. I thought I'd share some of my sightings here:
Over near MCS, on the lot between the Mercury Bar and old hotel along 14th Street, someone has laid down quite the nice looking arc of concrete. What's going on here? DDOT bus loop? (LOL)
I noticed that a demolition crew was out clearing out the charred remains of the torched commercial structure kitty corner from St. Hedwig Church on Junction north of West Detroit this morning. That little neighborhood is struggling, but it's great they finally took this dangerous eyesore down. Better for the church, the adjacent St. Hedwig florist, and the drive down Junction.
It was fun cruising the length of Junction from Michigan Ave. down to Fort W. It's one of my favorite streets to cruise in the city. A great mix of active storefronts, occupied homes, industrial structures and some neglect, and old streetlights. Plenty of those bishop style ones from the first couple decades of the 20th Century with the occasional pineapple streetlight thrown in at a prominent corner for good measure, and some modern styles as well. Some of the oldies seem to be in really good shape while others are past their last leg. The history is fascinating.
I had to buy some paint today and stopped at Sonnenberg's "Trusted Hardware" right at the corner of Junction and Toledo. I've never been there before, but I most certainly will go back. Lots of variety and services offered, off-street parking, and really helpful and friendly staff working. I'd definitely recommend them if you're in that part of the city and have a need for something hardware store related.
I have to say, Holy Redeemer Church's campus looks great at the corner of Vernor and Junction. They seem to be doing a great job keeping their facilities up and are a really community beacon for the southwest neighborhood. The sanctuary is beautiful and quite historic. If you're not in the mood to go to church......Duly's Coney Island is right across the street and delicious. I patronized the Detroit News paper box in front of Duly's by purchasing a paper today.....it was before 12 noon and I got the last one in the box. You'd think they'd stock it with a few more copies if they all disappear before noon!
My trip across the city included a few small, no-thanks-needed good-Samaritan things to improve the streetscapes I traveled. Close the lid on a bus stop trash can here, screw the cap on a fire hydrant that had fallen off there. Most people might not notice the little things in a city with problems as large as Detroit's, but I like to help out in my own small way It was nice to see a city worker working diligently to pick up trash at Clark Park, too.
I succeeded in getting a parking ticket during lunch outside the Subway at Grand Circus Park. A prime example of how you shouldn't follow the other sheep....the side along the park was full of cars, so I joined them despite the "No Standing" signs.....25 minutes later and my car was the only one left in the herd and it had a nice $30 ticket on it. Can I please direct exactly what I want my $30 to go to???
The city has replaced all the streetlight heads on E. Larned from 375 eastward. The old lamp posts remain with their pointed finials and graceful curved iron supports, but they all have modern light assemblies on them now. The old acorn fixtures were so classic, but I suppose the main point is that they actually work, right? On that subject, it was really depressing to drive down Woodward after dark tonight between Jefferson and Campus Martius and see that most of the streetlights along Woodward were dark. The festival in Hart Plaza plus all the pedestrian traffic from it being Friday night really must not have appreciated the near-darkness along the sidewalks down there. You'd think they'd get their act together and flip the switch so the busiest part of the city foot-traffic-wise wasn't in the dark.
Finally, I drove down past the old Franklin Furniture Building on my way to the Stroh River Place. The building is complete and looks great with it's new sign. The city has installed brand new sidewalks and curbs along Franklin and other streets in that district, and is in the process of repaving several of the streets. I was a bit sad to see the old pavement on Franklin go, bad as it was, because it still contained visible segments of rail from the old days of the Detroit Terminal RR and DSR trolley line which ran down there. No longer. The building looks great and it's just really good to see the overall investment in that area....both public and private. Just please don't tear up the historic bricks portions of Woodbridge, thank you very much!
Sorry for the rambling, but I hope you found something of interest in this edition of Rocko's "sightings around the city."