There is a rapture on the lonely shore;
There is society, where none intrudes.
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more...

-Lord Byron

Definition of Walkabout :

a short period of wandering as an occasional interruption of regular work
Showing posts with label Detroit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Detroit. Show all posts

14 December 2014

Belle Isle

A Friday in September in the Motor City, and the three of us had no idea what to do. I wanted to head downtown, and so with no complaints from my brother or his wife, we hit the Interstate....

As the GM towers loomed before us, my first views of Detroit were not at all what I had envisioned, which further entrenched my notion about how our country's media can manipulate anything.

The Detroit river is a effervescent aqua blue, shimmering under the Ambassador bridge that connects Detroit to Windsor, Canada.

We decide to park at the riverfront and start our exploration. Any trepidation of being unsafe quickly vanishes under the glorious September sun. We find a local outfit that rents bikes to ride along the riverfront. We decide to upgrade to the sleek black Detroit City bikes, then ask which way we should go.

"If you have a few hours, I'd recommend Belle Isle."
Picture courtesy of visitdetroit.net

We thanked him, and happily started biking along the river. After a few minutes, we had to venture off the river trail and go through what appeared to be an industrial section of town. The sound of construction machinery hard at work was ringing in my ears as I took in the colorful graffiti on the buildings.



The bridge to Belle Isle is before me. I stop to wait for the others to catch up, letting my own muscles rest for a moment. It's been far too long since I've rode a bike.
The park itself is full of grand views of downtown Detroit and Windsor, historic buildings scattered throughout the island, and plenty of bike trails through thickly wooded forests.


It's Detroit like I never imagined, positively upbeat and full of beauty.



*****

23 September 2014

Motor City

After the Emancipation Proclamation of Jan. 1st, 1863 slowly opened the doors of freedom, I was intrigued with the history of Detroit and the folks that fled the South to work and live in this area after the Civil War.

Folks that helped build our USA automobile industry, and changed music forever with the Motown sound.
I wanted to see the city that was bankrupted from our economic disaster, and the decay left behind from the debacle.

I wanted to see survivalism.
All I heard were the words " Don't go downtown", " make sure you carry a piece", " be careful, my friend"...

I found all this frustrating and inaccurate. Detroit was beautiful. The architecture in decay were pieces of art immortalized, only waiting for someone to love them and bring them back to life.
The people friendly and helpful. Whether eating historic BBQ or walking the streets where the White Stripes wailed the blues into the early hours, Detroit had it all.....
one only had to get over the easily portrayed stereotypes and open their eyes to the beauty all around.