not all those who wander are lost

So I set off on an incredibly stupid journey the other day. Last Thursday I was home and had no car, but decided to head downtown anyway. I live in the Grosse Pointe area which is just northeast of Detroit. I had to hoof it a few miles down 8 Mile Road to Gratiot to get to the first bus stop.

Further along 8 Mile, I notice that for some reason on this stretch the 8 Mile Road signs have shamrocks…..Hmmm. No idea why.

After considerable effort I capture a bus ride and cruise the long stretch down Gratiot. I figured because I was new to the detroit bus scene I just wasnt hip to “how to catch a bus”. Hmmmmm…..

Well I took the route down to Gratiot where it crosses I-75 at Eastern Market and I got out. I think thats St. Josephs (?) in the back. Its a German Catholic Church, and it overlooks the St. Aubin rail ditch.

Here is a map of the first leg of the journey.

I headed around the corner and towards Eastern Market.

Just gotta laugh at this sign every time….‘he said “nuts” …

HERE IS THE MAP for where I started out from Eastern Market.

I bought an outrageous $2 bottle of soda at the corner store in Eastern Market and I was on my way. I walked along the service drive over to the crosswalk that goes over I-75 heading into downtown.

Here I stopped for a photo – but somebody else decoded it was a great place to shit. Just one of many I encountered on this day.

View looking downtown from the bridge.

I made my way through Brush Park past the really nasty looking BATF offices on Brush. The bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms is a left over from ancient american history – they were originally a huge “vice squad” known now as the “Untouchables” responsible for enforcing Prohibition. In later years they have struggled to keep existing even though they have no real purpose other than sucking up tax dollars.

These days BATF is a glorified bomb squad.

After heading through Brush Park I stopped at the Motown Office buiding on Woodward for a few minutes and some refreshments. I walked around in there for awhile, and then headed back out towards the Cass Corridor.

A little north of the Motown Building (Donovan Building) is two abandoned skyscrapers called “HarborLight”. This was or may still one day be turned into homeless shelters of some facility – now its just a hulking junkie hangout.

I popped in to say hello – but this place is to nasty even for me. I hightailed it on my way after some quick shots of the lobby interiors.

Hey – anyone lose a blue car ? I found it !

On the left is the creepy Eddystone Hotel building. This is Harborlight Center.

Walking up Cass Avenue I am greeted with familiar sites sounds and stenches. This poor little guy isnt playing possum – he is flatlined…Sorry little white dude, but you are in a better place now anyway.

Ahhhh….This brings me past our favorite neighborhood “Chinatown”. I didnt need pet food, so I kept on walking.

Somebody fropm a nearby neighborhood group took me to task for my comments about “Chinatown” in an earlier post. They challenged me to come back and check out what its all really about before I judge.

Well, Im sorry…it still resembles a crazyass shithole.

I headed back to Woodward from Cass and passed this amusing old Michigan Bell Telephone sign. They had to break up Bell Telephone because it was a bad monopoly. Boy that really helped us all out, now didnt it ?


10 Responses to The Odyssey part I

  • I’ve never been to Detroit, but it sadly looks like a lot of Minneapolis/St. Paul, especially the first-ring southern suburbs. That’s the part of town you either don’t go through unless you live there, lock your doors when you go through by mistake after getting lost, or bypass by taking the freeway at all costs.

    Unfortunately, it’s an epidemic of sorts – the surrounding areas, no matter how affluent they seem, begin to look more bedraggled every day until the entire section of the city is in ruin. About this time, people like the aforementioned in your replies petition the city/county government to turn the old battered buildings into something more “attractive.” As if crack whores and pimps need a fancier-looking home they can rip apart and make look like shit…

    I’d say to burn it all, including the trash living there, THEN build up something nicer-looking, but that would just prove I’m off my anti-depressants ;-)

    Good photographym, though – despite the pathetic subject matter!! Quite impressive.

  • That broken down building on Brush doesn’t house the ATF it’s our “state of the art” DPD Crime Lab. A looooong way from CSI huh?

    ATF gave us the bomb squad truck and I don’t have a clue as to why they haven’t changed the wording on it. Probably because we can’t afford it.

  • the shamrocks on the 8 mile rd. signs are in Eastpointe…all of their street signs have shamrocks…and i think East Detroit high school teams are the shamrocks…why? i couldn’t tell you.

  • Howdy Mark – make sure to check out in my links menu, my Maple brother AIWs site.

    Yeah, rustbelt or not, Detroit is the first city of this magnitude to collapse like this. We are the urban furture.

    I thought Pittsburgh was beautiful when I was there. It was back in the early 90’s to see Pink Floyd at Three Rivers Stadium on Memorial Day. Full moon over the open stadium – front row, tripping my face off. That was a good time !

    I heard the Eddystone area was going to become a large homeless facility ala Harborlight. Lofts lofts lofts. That sounds more likely.

    I hear they are tearing down lofts to build lofts….LOL

  • I love the pics. I live in Canada now but I’m originally from Pittsburgh and used to live in Erie, so I know how sad it is when these rustbelt cities bottom out. I see on the website that the Eddystone Hotel will be remodeled into condo lofts. I have no idea if this is someone’s pipe dream or whether it will become reality.

  • Hahahah !

    I thought maybe he just couldnt handle his shit.

  • that poor possum died of a broken heart

  • Thanks DMel – the day I did that was actually last Thursday, I had to work Saturday. Please keep me posted on the next outing !

  • just brilliant. friggin’ brilliant tours.

  • Ha! I’ve been riding MARTA here in the Dirty South for the last six months. I live intown, so catching a bus isn’t a huge hassle, but I feel your pain. I’ll be getting some wheels in the next few weeks and I’m certainly looking forward to it.