Alfie and I walked to the heart of downtown Detroit last night. We read in the Detroit Free Press that the Christmas lights had been turned on the night before. The scene we were met with did not disappoint.
Antoine, pictured here, was busy preparing the ice for the 6pm opening of the rink. If you squint your eyes and look in the background to the right, you can see an excited crowd of skaters waiting for Antoine’s OK signal.
You can find Efay playing an assortment of percussions most Saturdays around the Eastern Market area. I managed to get this photo as he was rushing across the car park on a break.
Efay was warm and direct but slightly shier than his hat might suggest…
We heard Kelsie before we saw her. Endless enthusiastic screams were being produced to encourage runners in Detroit’s edition of the Mustache Dache, a 5K race which has its runners -male and female- wear mustaches as they compete.
By the time we turned the corner and saw her, Alfie and I were ready to put our sneakers on and join the race.
Kelsie’s friends were standing nearby. They were giggling: a mixture of embarrassment and awe.
Dimitrio wasn’t able to give me much insight into his life because Dimitrio does not speak English.
We kept it simple, smiled a lot at each other, and exchanged names.
Megan was standing outside her letter press studio Salt and Cedar in Eastern Market when Alfie and I walked by. We had just been buying some beer round the corner (local microbrew Bell’s Brown Beer to be exact – which is heavenly – but that’s a story for another day) and Megan invited both of us inside to have a look.
Megan says she and her husband have lived and taught (as professors) around the country, but have found no place more vibrant and artistically inspiring than Detroit.
“We’re escaping the winter to Georgia,” she told me later. No place is perfect I suppose.
Shanad did a brilliant job of politely chatting to me while balancing on his red ladder and giving the Butcher’s Inn a new coat of paint.
Shanad works at the Chrysler plant, but paints in his spare time. A good way to earn some extra cash. He said he wasn’t convinced white and green were the best colors for this facade, but he was following orders.
Rumor has it if you go to the Butcher’s Inn at 7am, you will find it filled with butchers having pints after completing a day’s work. Their own version of happy hour.
Erin dragged her dad Brad into Detroit last weekend. She wanted to check out the small shop scene around the city. “We’re just cruising, Dad,” she would enthusiastically shout out to try and keep her father’s walking momentum up.
Erin is currently living between New York and LA, but she thinks now might be the right time to move back to her native Michigan. She wants to open a vintage store in Detroit and fill it with delicious sounding things.
Brad lives out in Livonia, but actually worked in downtown Detroit at Blue Cross/Blue Shield over the course of three decades.