Sunday, December 14, 2008


a long stressful weekend in the d. worries invaded everyones brains as we were hit with a blow from the senate on thursday night. i retreated to my favorite things, good friends. this is how we kept smiles on our mugs.
throwin paint off of buildings
threw things out of windows.
lil puperoni
my friends new pup
the ice got the best of us
the ice got the best of us
mr. norton of child bite
mr. zach norton of child bite bundled up

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


from atop the wurlitzer, summer 2008
a sleeping city

blogging about detroit has been pretty exhausting lately. i'm watching my friends, family, and co-workers lives crumple around me and doing my best to hold mine together. I think i may know solutions but they will take time and i feel insensitive for offering them.

On this cold rainy day the need for change has never seemed so apparent. I was confronted head on with several victims (who happen to be very dear friends) of the economic crisis and had to bear witness of their tears. I was left speechless, i have no words to comfort them, for all the hope inside of me i cannot see a clear path to a brighter future. I can only offer hugs and support.

One of them pleaded with me to show the dirt, the gritty side.... to earn support in washington for the bailouts. So here is a small laundry list of not so positive experiences i've personally had whilst living and loving here in Detroit.

-Mugged, spring 08
-car broken into, 3 times
-house attempted break-in, once
-bike stolen, once
-witnessed homeless folks using intravenous drugs, a few times
-human defecation on the street, once
-witnessed persons having sexual intercourse on the street, once
-violently confronted by homeless, a few times
-threatened violence, a few times
-witnessed auto theft and other crimes, alot of times (stopped a few)
-arson fires, a few
-death, no confirmed number
-threatened by wild dogs, several times
-witnessed violence against bicycle rider, once

oh gosh this list is depressing, It's also true.
here is my grittiest story. one that resonated with me for awhile.

On a warm friday evening i found myself at Demongos, the local watering hole, some friends informed me the wurlitzer building (an abandoned building i had been itching to explore) was wide open. So after a few cranberry vodkas i agreed to adventure into the night. When i turned the corner down an alley to climb through the open door i saw a man relieving himself, number two. For some reason stumbling upon another human being shitting in an alley is one of the most disturbing experiences of my life. These streets bleed.

A friend and I were mugged by a group of 13-17 year old kids, the cops never came.

thats all for now.

taken inside the wurlitzer
from the past

Monday, December 8, 2008


I've been arguing for days about the validity of saving detroit. I have read a few articles that have come out in the past few days about the destitute situation we live in. They came from resources as wide as the new york times and a publication by the College for Creative Studies. I am sick so i will keep this short. Right now our way of life hangs in a balance, the basis of our (Detroit's) economy hinges on the decisions of a few law makers in washington, and the effects can and will be catastrophic. It is for this reason we are currently under extreme scrutiny; are we worth bailing out.

The lives of hundreads of thousands of people are at stake here. Not only in the Detroit Metropolitan area but across they globe. I have felt the atmosphere clinching up from my boss, my dad, my friends. Everyone is bracing for something horrible, something right before a holiday meant for rejoycing and spending. However, regardless of what happens we will walk away or stand up, hurt or not, life will still go on and we will make do. But the reasons you should care surround you. Your friends, family, anyone who has ever been touched by Detroit should care. If you've ever danced to our music, driven or rode in our cars, had your life saved by the research someone's family member made with automotive innovations, stopped at a stoplight. You should care. The world will not function the same without detroit. It cannot, economies do not collapse and leave the ones surrounding unscathed.

sickness is consuming me good night and good luck.

winter swing

Sunday, December 7, 2008

saving detroit

the birds
the birds, taken on belle isle dec. 5 2008

There was an article published in 2005 titled "Reality vs. Perceptions: An Analysis of Crime and Safety in Downtown Detroit" It was prepared by The Michigan Metropolitan Information Center, and WSU. You can download your own copy, just google the above information.

The first line of the article in capital letters reads CRIME IN DOWNTOWN DETROIT IS MUCH LOWER THEN NATIONAL STATE AND METRO AVERAGES. To be exact the crime rate in downtown detroit is 26% below the national average. By now it should even be safer, from 2001 to 2004 the crime rate had dropped 22%.

The study also took into consideration the fluxation in population during the auto show and various other special events, estimating Detroit welcomes over 19 million visitors per year, and during those times the crime rate is still under 12/100,000 people.

I write about this because this weekend i was confronted with alot of ignorant negativity about Detroit. People aren't educated enough and their lack of understanding perpetuates the misconceptions that plague this city. This article is the perfect example of the reality of life here vs. the way people perceive Detroit to be. At what point will people let go of aged stero-types and aknoledge the peope here making a difference.

if i can change one persons opinion of detroit i have made a difference. if that person changes anothers, and then anothers it grows outwarldy, then i will have made an impact. i am one person but i am not the only that feels this way. thats the start, and by holding onto to old misconceptions and sterotypes, you are part of the problem. hopefully some of my work writings and efforts will have taught you otherwise. we have a long way to go but hope is here. it is in every lit window, storefront, on every corner and in our hearts. the rest of the world will wake up to that. i, and many other people believe in the power of the people in this city.

My friend Kevin also took on the same topic, though a little more poetic then mine. please read his blog Detroit Lives!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

up all night

sleep comes in waves. for most of us here in the d. New york never sleeps but Detroit never stops if you know where to go. Pretty sure Tyler (of the misinformants) and Brandon (belle isle academy) hadn't slept a wink when i took this photograph of them at a day party at the old miami. Brandon was screaming at tyler for me not to take this photograph. I could make an entire entry about this boy and his love for vamilla scented garbage bags. for now this is enough.
tyler and brandon
Detroit in the winter is an interesting place. It slows down people hibernate. People pack the bars huddling drinking Whikey for warmth. Motor City Brew was packed tonight for art Wednesdays. Big Whigs from the Dam, and GPAC, and CCS all attended Matt Hanna's opening. Reminds me of the song "hooray" by minus the bear.

its cold and snow's actually on the ground of this no-snow town.
and instead of cars, street's trafficing in sleds.
men become boys again.
and there's a war on the corner with no guaranteed winner.
its just a snow fall of snow balls, evidence of the winter.

And i can feel my hands again.
we're almost home.

it's 2 pm and our snow is falling still as our good city lay still.
and our friends are packed around some no smoking bar
warming on alcohol.
we step into the silence, yeah, AND we step slowly and quiet.

All boys come on and girls join up
just don't grow old.
All boys come on and girls join up
we're almost home

This is all we want:
Time to be with us,
a home to lift the cold.

Still cold, the snow's turning into rain and melting away and
All these days slip by us
so let's keep them.

All boys come on and girls join up
just don't grow old.
All boys come on and girls join up
we're almost home

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Nain Rouge

A ghost that haunts detroit. The Nain Rouge, apparently is a dwarf that appears coincidently with horrible things that happen in the D. Since Detroit was founded this little bugger has appeared before the catropshoic Detroit fire that destroyed most of the city, prompting Father Richard to coin Detroits motto "spearmus meliora resurget cineribus", we hope for better days, it shall rise from the ashes. as well as before the riots on 12th street in 1967. i hope i don't run into him. read further.

Apparently Detroit Beer Companies "rouge beer" is named after the creature.

"The Nain Rouge, French for "red dwarf" or "red gnome" is a mythical creature that originated in Normandy, France[1], as a type of lutin.
In the United States, it haunts Detroit, Michigan, United States and feared by its residents as "the harbinger of doom." (Skinner 1896) Its appearance is said to presage terrible events for the city. The Nain Rouge appears as a small child-like creature with red or black fur boots. It is also said to have "blazing red eyes and rotten teeth." (Skinner 1896)"
-stolen from the ever so trusty wikipedia

this is the only rouge i've seen in the city. it tried to kick my bum. this little jerk lives at Crow Manor, a collective located on trumbull just past grand river.
oh hai

Monday, December 1, 2008

i'm tired of blogging. it's making me question the things i really value in life. so, out of continued habit. and nothing better to do then, well, sleep or smoke cigarettes, neither of which i am particularly fond of. i'll return to something that seriously inspired me.

"every man, woman and child is creative. It is Impossible to wake up without inventing and re-inventing the world."

"creativity is a reason to continue with vigor in daily lives, Hope.

Pier Giorgo Di Cicco
poet laureate of toronto

When i was at the Creative CIties Summit a few months ago, i was sitting on top of the Detroit Chamber of commerce. Listening to violins and drinking wine, i snuck away to phone my dad and tell him i was 5 feet away from the poet laureate of toronto. The next evening at another wine drinking event (intellectuals are wino's) he sat down next to me, and began to tell me how much he loved detroit, how he could taste it. I think i blogged about this before.... i just thought it was noteworthy again.. it meant alot to me.

hopefully tomorrow i'll feel better about all of this. maybe it's the rain that has consumed the city. my skin is itching and my insides are aching to shoot. but with the darkness setting in well before i can escape my job, and freezing raindrops.. i am in a funk. i don't even know what to do in the winter. for the past 6ish years every weekend i shoot my bum off. and work on the flicks all week. ugh.


Sunday, November 30, 2008


crazy holiday weeeekend. friends were in town from alabama.... we celebrated. much.
view the rest at

lots and lots of music and rowdying. and not back to your regularly scheduled programing.

i watched fordireifesake and the weakend and wafflehouse play thier last/reunion shows.
went to americas best party. funk night at the russell industrial center...
the weakends last show
the weakends last show
also saw kids perform at the cave space
cave space

i think i need a break from blogging. or inspiration or something.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


happy tanksgiving <--- not a typo. I'm stuffed i hope you are too. internet connection will be working again at my home tomorrow. so i'll be back up and running. giving you the sickest weekend preview known to history.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Blank Artists

Another day another dollar. I was sent something very awesome today, it made my cheeks hurt from smiling. check it out. By Aj Manoulian!
So in funnier news this blog for the past few months has been brought to you by the Blank Artists House and, well Chad from Proper Modulation. My nieghboors two doors down. The entire Merek block seemed to be stealing internet from them and upon the now locked connection... well, this blog is dedicated to them. For their generous service.

The talented troop of Dj's and party promoters have been movin' the whole world, keeping it real calling detroit thier home.

Credit: Rob Huebel
chad, proper mod. i heard he is really cool.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

thrown across tables

Thurday- whiskey appreciation at the woodbridge pub
friday- Scrummage benifit, rooftops, and late night bankle action.
saturday- Tricks skids competiton and crashing a vivios benifit
sunday- DIA, people watching, Cranksgiving, alley catting and cass collectiving

time for the montage.
rock out
matt and klurbin

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the stoop

Previously in the blog i have reveled about the quiet of my new nieghboorhood (the other end of Woodbridge) but the other evening on my balcony, i kinda missed the action of the old house.

pictured here---->
my little home on the prarie

It's located right on Trumbull, almost at Grand River, I lived there for a year with 3 friends.

One night my roommate and I were sitting on our stoop; the best stoop ever, drinking before a bike ride and a woman coming out of our neighbors house (the same front door as ours) got into her car. Immediately after pulling out of her spot another car going 45mph on Trumbull side swiped her, sending the two auto's into a third parked across the street. Everyone in the area ran out of their apartments screaming, while Vince and I sat perplexed to have seen such a thing. I grabbed some of the younger kids to calm them down. We called the cops, and they arrested the woman from my house for a DUI. All in a good Friday evening, sitting on the stoop.

car accident

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


empty spaces
i"m too overwhelmed with thoughts right now. this image is of the empty lots in the MOTOR city. on the eve of a major automotive bailout. one has to wonder, where our country would stand if we had invested in alternative fuel sources, public and alternative transportation, and also fell out of our love for constant sprawl. Life would be much different.

Monday, November 17, 2008


another night where i have a few too many things to talk about. Luckily one thing stands above the rest... We now have another thing to be proud of our very own FUNK NIGHT was voted the Number One Party in America by paper magazine!!!!!!!

The boys just got home from the ceremony in New York and i am lucky enough to be sitting next to the statue they won. OH BITCH MUNNY!!!!!!

The cute little disco ball clad character summarizes almost a decade of dirty detroit partyin', that apparently won the heart of a nation! The hardy event started by Scott Craig has changed locations several times, but took on a life of it's own at CAID (the Contemporary Art Institure of Detroit, formally the Detroit Contemporary). Since then it has changed venues and thanks to the tireless promotions, sick tunes, and good venue selections the crowd has followed. This impartial photographer has taken notice and made it my favorite night out of the month for as long as i can remember.

Funk night follows in the strong tradition of the Untitled Parties which received national recognition from Rolling Stone as one of the best parties in America. It is a prime example of the fact that we like to party.

The next one will be the last friday of the month at the russell industrial center. better not miss out.

Here is video i shot three years ago at caid... not the best quality... but you can see the crowd.

caid funk night

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Vincent York with his Guvvy.. The rest of these will be on detroit metromix.

Not much to say today. my sleep tank stays perpetually empty about now. I'm not complaining. i've spent my waking hours in some wonderful situations lately. i hope for them to continue.. even if that means i never sleep more then 3 hours a night, ever again.
Tonight i sat with some very awesome characters at the local watering hole Motor City Brewery. There is a new Record Label on the block, woodbridge records, run partily out of the Grey Shack on Merek and Comonwealth, They've signed The Summer Pledge, Noman, and I. Crime. Pushing on through and making things happen several of the woodbridge gang discussed establishing a record store across from the Woodbridge Pub with partial Emergence ( label owner Mike Medow.

People changing the shape of the world one street corner at a time.

Other then that i covered the Guvvy awards. The governors awards in arts and culture, i hung out with Devin Scallion, and watched as Lois Teicher won a life time achievement award.

the snow is beautiful.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

the white room

The skyscrapper that houses the White Room Recording Studio located at Grand River and Griswald is almost completly abandoned except for the 3rd floor where i am curently sitting in this room ------>
control room of the recording studio.

Once through the frosty glass door you hop on an old school elevator and walk into a few beautiful rooms filled with music equipment. The rest of the floors are filled with odds and ends from when artists used to squat. I am here listening to my friends band, The Summer Pledge, complete the recordings they've been working on for the past few months. This recording studio, where kid rock once brought in jacuzzis to track one of his albums (for better or worse), is bieng sold. My friend Andrew Davis and his friend chris are trying to save it, I am told they are in the vision process, and thats about all i can publish on the internets.
i will live here someday, this will be my view
turn a corner and see this

I spent the greater part of today overwhelmed and baffled by the world. The world moves fast always, and i often feel like i need to step on the brakes... but today felt different. Lately i've been feeling this crushing feeling of an impending crisis. but i know it's not only me. We are living in volitle and uncertian times. Who knows what tragedies or victories are coming our way. Yesterday I learned that my bosses husband was forced into early retirement because GM cut 3,500 more employees, my friend Angela was violently mugged and beaten blocks from my house, a friends mom had surgery to fight a brain tumor, my friend Aj lost his 2 year internship just as he graduated, and after all of those aweful things.... my friend Jasmine and Andrew are having a baby. They have created something that trumps all the bad in the world, new life, new possabality, a reason for us to keep fighting. Right now the entire world is holding it's breath, no one is confident in which steps will move us forward, but daily on our streets in our homes and in our hearts life does not wait, it cannot. Regardless of our finicial situation, what part of the world is at war, what city buildings are crumbling under thier own wieght, the sun still sets and it also rises.  we have to keep the flame of hope alive.

I've been trying to write an article about Detroit and the many ways i can see our future. My thoughts are supported by years of research. I can't get over the feeling of being overwhelmed. life in general is not helping.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

detroit city on the move

dreaming of summer.
This is my old neighbor Alex, Camilles sister. In this photograph she was 3 years old. One day i was fixing lunch in my kitchen and they started spraying my with a hose through the open windows. Alex is the baby of her family, i think at one point there were 7 people living in the flat above me. The little girls loved to come into my room and touch anything they could reach and would often cry when i would explain i had grown-up things to do. I have to admit it was fun playing with them in the summer. helping them ride bikes, picking veggies in our garden, and plying in the mud.

"you are about to witness the very exciting story about a city and it's people.
it will be an adventure that will open new sights in familiar sourroundings.
it is a story of a city seeking new horizons in a resolute contest with great challenges.
that city is detroit, home of nearly [one million] people back in 1701 long before this land become a nation, caddiliac planted the colors of france on detroits shore, and thus began a rich and inspiring history which has brought detroit to its finnest hour, the today of which we are apart. yes detroit is enjoying it's finest hour, there is a rennisance, a rebirth in this city, there is a newness in detroit. i am honored to be serving as [photographer] at this most eventful and productive period in detroits history and i am honored to be a participant in the detroit story."

"This public domain film narrated by then-mayor Jerome P. Cavanaugh was made in 1965 to promote Detroit. The city faced many urban problems and its population was in decline. These difficulties were amplified by the 1967 riots, which are seen by many as one of the most significant events which led the city into a forty year decline. Since the mid 50s, the population has dropped by half and the infrastructure has been destroyed or has decayed due to abuse and neglect"

Sunday, November 9, 2008

in this cold city my home is a burning ember.

the first snowflakes, on my balcony last night.
in this cold city my home is a burning ember.

So blogger was down lat night and i was unable to publish my normal weekend wrap up. which is wierd. so now i am plugged up like a hose with too much preasure.... i have ideas ready to burst from my seems.

There are a million things that i would love to put out to the world everyday and it's hard to decide which ones are worth anything.

First i have to include a correction and appology.. then i'm going to include photographs.. they can tell a story.

ATTN: the Funk night at russell was NOT put on by CAID. It was produced by Mike Mackool, Fank, Nicole, and Ernie. They throw killer events. Anything with thier name on it will be hoppin' and right now they are working Slow Jams Monday at the woodbridge pub, which seems to be gaining Momentum. Monday nights drink special is $5 beer and a shot. Who could go wrong?

I spent the later part of my saturday, and early sunday at one of there events... well Mikes last night as Fourth Horizon. Ghostly recording artist Michna played the motor city movie house at the russell. i dont think anyone could leave the dance floor.


i spent thursday enjoying the last warm day of the year.
my cousin and pushed all the leaves in an empty lot of a house they just demolshed into a pile... upon jumping into them she pulled out a large chunk or brunette hair. needless that was the end of that.
last nice day
we went and climbed trees instead
saturday i found myself at a jewish synagogue... the one on state and griswald.
Oren and Courtney organized the event where Benny Stoofy, the misinformants and a few others played. i sat under a sign that read no smoking on the sabbath drinking a beer, and as usual pondering the irony of life... sometimes. which makes me laugh uncontrollably.
bands at the synagouge
i left early but i heard the dance floor was packed till the wee hours. around 5 am.
Later that night i found myslef inside of a building i have always wanted to adventure in. I was let in and asked not to link the photographs... so here one is. i can only tell you it was a fulfilling experience.
night lights
Sunday i was awoken by my best friend and kidnapped to Detroit One Coney Island on woodward. I almost burst my kidneys from laughing so hard at our afternoon breakfast.
I spent the rest of the gloomy afternoon adventuring around some of my favorite spots. Blowing the clocks off of dandylions, and exploring an old friend, the Globe Trading Company. I took a photograph there on a sunny day once after talking to a homeless man who inhabits the space for awhile. This photograph has garnered me some notoriety, it is not online and i would like to keep it that way, but it is of the light streaming in and the man (Oscar, i'm pretty sure is his name) reading a book. About the time i took that photograph, 3 years ago, is when they first announced this historic building was going to be turned into luxury lofts. The Globe was one of the first steal structures in Michigan, and Henry Ford was an intern there. They built boats once upon a time.. and if you need more information i have the complete application to make it a historical site. I could go on for hours.
Anyways, 3 years later the sign is still on the outside advertising the lofts... but the inside has not changed and oscar still lives there.
In this photograph there is a tiny white light in the center. that is Oscars reading light. you can view it better on my flickr.
the globe trading company
i was there untill the sun completly set.
chunky grain
Around the block from the gobe is one of my very favorite spots in the city. i spent an entire summer there. i still go back to get away, but the meaning has changed. the people have faded away. construction on the riverwalk has altered the landscape. But on this cold gloomy day, it felt like Montauk from the scenes in eternal sunshine of the spotless mind.

call me a hopeless romantic.. then i sipped hot chocolate as it snowed.

i need to figure a better way to upload photographs. these small ones are silly. see them larger on my flickr. www.