Friday, October 17, 2008

i took this picture 10 minutes ago.

So I guess Thursdays are going to be my day of repose. I must break from my baby blog. By Thursday evening i am usually bursting at the seams from my long work week and spend the whole night causing trouble, rebel rousing, stiring the pot, whatever you may call it, it's where i often get the best stories. Thursday nights in Detroit are too good to spend blogging. So this is the friday morn, tired at work wrap up.

Last night i attended a lecture at MOCAD (museum of contemporary art Detroit), the artist was Jamil Shabazz who famously documented the early 80's hip-hop scene in new york.

His old work is amazing, and raw. The body is held together by the way he approached his subjects and had them pose for candid portraits. This method separated him from his contemporaries, like Nan Goldin, photographing complete strangers made his work fresh and interesting.
However most of the work he showed at the lecture was over the past 6 months, and he needs to progress. The same method is not translating well in this time period. His ideas are strong, he wants to show hope, love and beauty, but there is an obvious loss of the raw grit, which seems often to be more true. It seems to document a time period you must show all facets of life in order to do it justice. For all the bad in life there is good and vice versa. I could babble on this for hours.

After the lecture Kieth, Eric, Nicole and i went for a bike ride. There was no agenda so we headed towards the water. With nothing to do, we pointed our compass in the direction of alcohol, and began our search. I heard the Motor Lounge at the book caddy is now open to the public, but it was not adventurous enough. It was beer o'clock somewhere in this town and we were going to find it. A quick detour took us through Capital Park, the bus terminal (for the time being), and after an obviously intoxicated man on a bike almost took us all out, i looked back to see him flat on his back on the pavement. Capital park bodegas do not sell booze, by the way. We hopped down Grand River towards one of the only Liquor stores i know in the CBD (central business district), well the only one open late. The Greektown booze spot, over priced but very convenient, located between the golden fleece and the funny greek souvenir store. My bike bag got heavier it now contained the following things:

ok, so i have all the supplies for an adventure. what next? find a place to enjoy the gems i carry 'round. A ride down the riverwalk proved in vain, there was a hockey game and it was crawling with people, Which reminds me, Happy Birthday Dad and Karen <--they were at the game.

We rode the opposite direction towards belle isle. There is a series of state parks along the way. The landscape is punctuated like this: riverwalk-carosoul-big nothingness-teenage sex hill (another story)-marina-parks with the lighthouse-chene park-rattlesnake club-hidden river ride.... etc. etc. till you get to africa and then belle isle. So, when your looking for a low key place to chill and drink a 40, what is better then a big lighthouse across the street from border patrol? Nothing really. So we camped up under a huge willow tree, and shivered while telling amusing stories and debating weather the splashing in the water was geese or otter. Which in retrospect, there are no otter in Michigan. Wtf nicole? Cracked Skulls, alien dogs and broken stripper poles later, we finished our beverages, hypothermia had begun to set in and we could no longer hear each other over the chattering of our teeth.

The cold sweat that went along with the chilly night was a comforting feeling as we cut through traffic up to oslo. Located on the corner of woodward and john r oslo is the hip sushi joint in the city. It has a long tradition of housing some of the best electronic parties in the past few years. I've seen Moby, Richie Hawtin, Troy pierce, Matthew Dear, Ryan Elliot... the list goes on, in the basement. The sound system was specially fitted by a company named Burst, to be sure you get loud clear sounds, and the dark interesting decor adds to the atmosphere. Anyways, this night it was not very busy, except in the basement there was a wedding going on. As i walked down the stairs they were carrying Grandma out. When she wasn't on the dance floor, the disco clad bride was behind the bar sharing her life story. One member of our party nearly clubed her and ran away with the dress, but this blog does not condone that, at least not on her wedding day. After crashing a wedding, and getting our dance on, it was time to put the pedal to the pavement.

We rolled past the abandoned davids on woodward,
david whitney

david broderick

Hotel Eddystone

and harbor lights

up through the cass corridor, danced past the old miami where frankie banks was rocking the dance floor.

and ended at our final destination. Cass Cafe. Dollar Black Label night and Shay sh sh Shaynes Birthday Party. By the time we got there the b-day boy had been whisked away to the restaurant Slows, took over a table and joined in with the roar of the other thursday night revelers. Time flies, we shared stories, tattoos, debated who was going to have a worse day at work the next morn, and where we could get the best mexican food considering our location and the increasingly late hour. Edmundos, in mexican town is the right answer. However for these tuckered little ladies Doritios would have to suffice.

I brought my bike into the gas station picked out our delicacies and plopped them down near the register. For some reason the clerk asked me if i spoke french, (this actually happens often, because i speak in a joke accent. at the wrong times), so i replied je n'parle pas francois, well, Com si come ca, meaning kinda. i havn't since high school. He said "J'mappele Alex" (my name is alex), and i said "J'mappele Vanessa" "Je suis en petit poulet" (i am a little chicken.) We laughed.. then i added pointing at my bike. "Tu vais un Pormenade un Velo" which kinda means do you want to join me on a bike ride? I was joking and we laughed, he said something i couldn't understand and told me he was from france, and told me if i gave him my number we could speak french all the time. i laughed paid for the chips, told him i want to learn espanol and ran out the door. laughing because i got hit on, the result of in broken french asking a guy on a bike ride. I laughed myself to sleep. the end.

If your looking for something to do this weekend

Friday night.
Detroit Summer is having an office warming party at the new space, the 555 gallery, invincible and others will be playing, starts at 9
Dj Mehdi- from ed banger records (justices record label) at the magic stick. Presented by paxahau and fourth horizon

Saturday all day
Eastern Market octoberfest 1-5 (i've heard)
Magic Stick -against me
C-pop Gallery- funky dance party (goes till 4am)
crow manor- kozmo and stretches' going away. (small gathering)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


Introducing Camile. She and her sister will appear a few more times down the line. I used to live below them when i lived at my trumbull house. I went all winter without talking to them until one summer day, i was cooking in my kitchen with all the windows open, and i could hear them playing. I went out into the garden to get some veggies and a game of water tag ensued. Though the family above me was very nice, about 8 people in all, the girls had very little supervision, and i often found myself an authority figure... but i loved to goof around with these lovely lades.

This story.

One day i ran out of my house and into my car, i was running late (like usual) and camile wanted to play. I fought through her sticky fingers, made it next to my car, and through her pleas promised to play with her later. She looked down, looked up at me and said
"your toenails are blue?"
I looked down, looked at her and said
"well i guess so."
Hopped in my car and sped away. I had "important" adult things to do.

When i got home that afternoon Camille and Alex greeted me at my car door and to my surprise thier hands, feet, and nails were covered in blue nail polish. It was a very flattering gesture, and this photograph was taken right as i opened my car door.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Shawn from toronto told me tonight, that i need to proudly represent my space on the tubes. so hooray. i am too tired to feign excitement, but i am.

These awe inspiring days are exhausting, the people speaking on stage, and the people i am meeting irl (proud blog term) are all amazing. The poet Laureate of Toronto Pier Giorgio Di Cicco told me today, he feels home in Detroit you can taste it. He also asked me if i knew people were exploring the abandoned buildings, i told him i knew a thing or two.

During Piers opening comments he said

"Creativity is a way of life. It Commands alligence and the love of the creative person. It is tireless"

Also Notable Richard Flordia today was speaking about how the Finacial Crisis will be solved by the creative class.
100 years ago 50% of the population worked in agriculture
50 years ago 50% in manufacturing

because we have concured distance and are outsourcing manufacturing

today 45% of the population works in the creative fields.

with the world banks freezing large sums of money,

"when you can't move millions of dollars at the blink of an eye, the only thing left lies in human biengs."

"It's not the machines that make our factories great. It is the knowledge and intellegince of the people who work there."

tonight ended at the woodbridge pub with the realizaion that cameras do not last forever. and i am exhausted. i promise i will make a longer one. soon.

btw.. debate watching party tomorrow night at the woodbridge pub. come one, come all.

sitting in the sun on the riverwalk

The end of the night. i felt like this.

Monday, October 13, 2008

compassion before passion

in the morn, hanging with Governor Granholm
sometimes i feel very lucky. I dont understand how i end up where i do sometimes. I listened to the poet laureate from Toronto today say,
"Compassion before Passion"
"a city is where ones destiny is discovered through other people, enjoy yourself by enjoying others."
and that
"creativity creates a reason to continue with vigor in our daily lives, Hope"
-Pier Giorgio Di Cicco

then i went to lunch at Eph Mcnallys, came back to Bill Strickland bringing me and the entire crowd to tears, by his gracious and humble attitude. The man who has won more awards then i could ever name off, and feeds welfare moms, and poor children gourmet meals, while teaching self sufficiency and dignity, said

"People are a function of the little things"
"you don't have to be rich to look at the sun"
"All poor people don't have is money, which is a curable condition."
"Treat people like Poor people, they will behave like poor people. Treat people like World Class citizens, thats what you'll get."

He encouraged us to keep moving, to find our place, and make this world the place we wan to live.

Soon after i found myself on the 19th floor of the Detroit Chamber of Commerce, hiding in a dark room overlooking the city, sipping a glass of wine, wondering how i got here and what it all means.

I could write forever about today, how i was moved over and over, the new facts i learned, that i may start working for Model D!!! I could also add in my criticisms, but my eyes are burning. my body is tired. i must sign off. night loves.
lost in a sea of lights

Sunday, October 12, 2008

guilty pleasure super special sunday edition

Cause i fell fast into the land of dreams on thursday i thought i would give you a special sunday edtion. a fairly personal one.

I think people in Detroit forget how awesome it is to be here on a sunday. In the summer espcially, but when it gets cooler it just means it's time to pull out those great warm sweaters, and get to know someone a little bit better.

Tonight i rode down by the riverwalk, in front of the Renaissance Center and chomped on an apple. Sitting on the steps i watched the passers by. Couples, groups of young girls, a cute boy jogging by, and then loners like me, as well as a few homeless folk and security guards just seemed to exist in harmony, the giggles of the girls, the nice breeze, the quiet waves, and the hum of cars driving over the ambassador bridge comfort the heart. Then the lights of Windsor, and the bridge, and the towering gm headquarters help your mind wander. Sundays in detroit are made for long walks, or lonesome bike rides, reflecting upon everything, and indulging in guilty pleasures. Once i could take no more cute coupley action by the water i split to Camptius Martius where the fountain in the middle of this city, played a show for me. I could watch it for hours, mesmerized, listening to the popping sound, and footsteps surrounding me. On the way home i stepped into Cass cafe to see some familiar faces for a moment, then climbed the stairs to my apartment where my roommate made the cutest pie ever made... with little hearts on it.

I need to get my rest, tomorrow is a big day. I will be photographing the Creative Cities Summit, hanging out with Jennfer Granholm, Kenneth Cockrel Jr. (who is my nieghbor) and trying my best to represent a group i'm afraid may be under represented.

for sunday, here are a few guilty pleasure photographs.
the pie!

andres riding a bike on the riverwalk in front of the ren cen.

Hodge at the old Miami

a new personal project.. writing in binary on sidewalks. this reads i am real this is not.