Alfie and I bumped into Ronnie on our walk along the riverfront this morning. He gave us a lesson in basic Detroit fishing. This is Ronnie pulling a sheepshead out of the water. I thought it was rather an impressive catch, but our new friend seemed quite blasé about it.
“Walleyes are what people look to catch and eat,” he told us. “I’m going to put this one back in the water.”
Across the water, in case you were wondering, is Canada.
I met this charming man – Dale – on my way back from doing my grocery shopping in Eastern Market this afternoon. I was carrying two large bags full of fruit and veg and Dale wondered whether I might want to hop on for a ride home.
The offer was rather tempting, but having just a few more steps to go, I declined and took a photo instead.
I strolled into Busy Bee Hardware Store round the corner from my new house today and was greeted by a sea of Detroit gentlemen. This particular one is Richard. Richard’s grandfather bought the store in 1918 when he returned from World War I. Richard told me he was “third generation hardware.” He wondered what my story was, and when I told him I had just moved from New York, Richard informed me that didn’t seem quite right.
“Doesn’t fit you,” he said. “You’re too homey for New York.”
I am not entirely sure why (and indeed I am not sure he was right), but I do believe that was a compliment. We agreed I would give Detroit my best shot.
I had a delicious coffee and almond croissant at Great Lakes Coffee in Midtown Detroit this morning. I took this photo while I waited for my new friend Bryan to arrive. I feel like I am going to say this many, many times over the next few months, so let this mark the first time:
New Yorkers, eat your hearts out.
I had the great pleasure of interviewing Stephen yesterday for a story I am writing on Occupy Wall Street’s second anniversary this coming Tuesday.
Stephen is 52 and has been living in the Detroit area most of his life. He is a freelance computer programmer and systems integrator who has been active with Occupy Detroit since its first meeting on October 10, 2011.
Stephen lost his job in 2004 and his house in 2006. His was “a story of riches to rags,” he told me with a smile.
Big Mike and Blue Cindy
This here is my new ride: Blue Cindy. A complete cliche for a name, but then again the man who sold her to me (to her left) is called Big Mike, so I thought I could indulge.
I have a giant, intimidating lock to go with her. Big Mike suggested the lock could also be used in self-defense against my boyfriend, if needed. Hopefully not.
Big Mike’s favorite color is purple. He’s been living in Detroit since he was 18 and sees no reason to leave. He assured me the bike stealing scene is not as big here in Detroit as it is in London or New York. “There are bigger things to steal. Like cars. Chryslers are the easiest cars to steal. Anyone can do it. Look it up on YouTube.”
Needless to say, I did. He was quite right.