Something about the cold. It makes everything more difficult...It makes warm places and people so much more inviting. Walking around Noel Night all of my joints felt stiff (could have been because of the layers or the heels on my boots) All it took was a little of Detroits magic to ease the chill force me to clasp my frigid fingers around my camera. After grabbing dinner (a delicious bbq veggie pizza) from Motor City Brewing Works i darted across the lot into two of my favorite stores, Urban Bureau and City Bird. I once walked in with a friend after a cold bike ride and he commented that a store like that is where you buy presents for a girl like me! It is so true. Both are filled to the brim with urban inspired and often locally made merchandise, from sleek home ware to kitschy cards. I purchased a wedding card from urban once that i liked so much i forced the couple to open it at thier reception (Disclaimer: a gallon of cheap vodka may have been involved in this decision). City Bird the newer of the two is owned by some of my friends, Andy and Emily Linn. Thier space is part gallery/vintage clothing store/boutique. I hope santa knows what items i have my eyes on... if not i will be making a trip back. As i ducked out of the crowded stores i was, to my amazement. bombarded by a marching band... like real live musicians complete with flag girls and high stepping drum majors! They played in front of Traffic Jam/Snug for about 10 minutes before i followed them (way better then an ipod on a walk) towards Wayne State where we unfortunately parted ways. We snagged some free coffee on the street, it was then i located the zillionaire bike crew who had just watched scientists doing experiments. I could spend years describing all the cool stuff i saw on noel night let me leave it at this, if you missed it this year, you will not next. I strolled through old time dance parties, The Museum of Anthropology (Corktown Workers Row House exhibit), Detroit Public Library, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Science Center, Scarab Club and back again to my cosy home in Woodbridge. However, the night was young with no end in sight. Music reverberated on my humble block people were spilling out of the now green shack on the corner as some punk band played, huddled around whisky drinks and shuffled shoulder to shoulder at the pub, and gyrated frantically to the bands playing at the scrummage house. Feeling like the only place in the world, my phone blew up until the wee hours of the morn about parties happening all the way on the south side of the neighborhood. If you have never experienced Detroit like this you have not experienced it at all. Not to mention the annual pancake breakfast i had attended that morning. In one of the more stunning victorian homes in central Woodbridge neighbors are treated to breakfast delights including steaming coffee and wonderful conversation about revitalization, hope, and recollecting memories. Each visitor writes their name and the number of years they have lived here. Connecting newbies to the quarter century club inviting discussion about tactics for surviving here (not that it is incredibly difficult, just trying at times). It is not until i write it all down like this, that i realize how busy i really have been. I spent wednesday in the suburbs doing a shoot with RMS studios and Vintage King, then later that night discussing other shoots with the incredibly talented Stylist Erica Dubroy. Thursday i met with a program director for the Michigan Womens Foundation to discuss our partnership on an upcoming project and spent the entire evening discussing the changing role and reality for women all over the world. I was sick as a dog on friday until i attended a committee meeting for said event, and then Pancake breakfast, Noel night, a shoot on sunday followed by vegan potluck dinner. Oh me oh my. Where does the time go. okie i need to finish this up so i can edit photos and try to alleviate this recent batch of insomnia. If this sounds like an advertisement for woodbridge i hope not. I've got sad songs stuck in my head and a bad taste in my mouth. sometimes it's better to think about good times then the harder ones.