Saturday, September 15, 2007
One Day in Detroit
How exciting. A chance to peruse local artisans' goods at the Russell Industrial Center People's Art Fair. It would only be ninth art fair of the season. Rah.
As we drove down I-75, following the line of expensive cars that normally depart from the highway somewhere around 8 mile, I thought we were in for another crafty-meets-snobby art linup. Little did I know that we were entering the twilight zones of art fairs.
We arrived at the megalithic Russell Industrial Center. Three buildings comprise the complex, each made up of service elevators, concrete, rusty doors and broken windows. Michael was in heaven. I just wanted to take another shower.Gradually, we made our way around the three dozen people throng of Detroiters shopping for baby-doll heads on sticks and glass pipes. We made our way into the buildings themselves. The true art fair had begun.

There were a lot of hallways and stairs and things that went bump and creak. There were also a lot of hippies smoking pot in dark corridors.

Several cars had been left in the bowels of the buildings. Behind this car is a long wall, on which is written "Beware of Dog". Around the corner of this wall is a door made out of plywood, and from here is where I heard growling and barking. We did indeed beware the dog, and turned our attention to the fourth floor hallway, where we found these:

It Reads "Benefit Plans and Agreements/UAW and Ford Motor Corporation"

Boxes of 'em.

The reading material was great. I guess Ford sought a different publisher this year, though. Ford has layed off about 30,000 workers in the past six years. A majority of those workers lived in the Detroit Metro.

Chapter: "Guaranteed Income Stream Benefit Program"

We went up to the roof, but I couldn't convince Michael to stick his leg over the edge. I did manage to get this picture. The sky was gloriously blue today; felt like the perfect Great Lakes weather for a Saturday. Beautiful.

But more fun was to be had by all. After I finished my ciagarette and chucked the butt down into the unsuspecting dreadlocks of one whacked-out goth chick, we bolted down the stairs and headed to the car. Time for a drive through lovely Detroit. We whirled and rolled throughout the city until we reached the eeriest, most desperate and sad place in all of Motown. The Packard Plant was built in 1907 and was made up of forty buildings, stretching down three blocks. It sits on Grand Boulevard in Detroit, which is as un-Grand as you could possibly imagine. We didn't drive through its many alley-ways, as we weren't in the Jeep. If we had fallen into one of the potholes, another car would've been left at the plant. We did see signs of life, though--firepits, garbage, pillows and blankets. And really, can you blame a vagrant for making his shelter here? It's better than the alternative:

As we drove away, through the dangers of forgotten Detroit, I felt true sadness in my heart. Not only had we stood in the place of mechanical history and science, but also on the ground where many of America's true workers had created these horrible and tragic machines--vehicles. To think of the linemen that worked in the Packard plant and their lives made me shiver--ghosts far outnumber citizens in Detroit.

But then, a sign. A sign that all things find their purpose, no matter how mistakenly. One day, all of this will be returned to the Earth, and just like that, man's achievements will be wiped clean after our departure, and something else will get a shot at doing everything much, much better.

Written by FRITZ
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Name: Fritz

Location: Detroit Rock City!
Where the weak are killed and eaten

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    What I Live By:
    We shall not cease from exploration And the end of all our exploring Will be to arrive where we started And know the place for the first time. Through the unknown, unremembered gate When the last of earth left to discover Is that which was the beginning; At the source of the longest river The voice of the hidden waterfall And the children in the apple-tree Not known, because not looked for But heard, half-heard, in the stillness Between two waves of the sea. Quick now, here, now, always— A condition of complete simplicity (Costing not less than everything) And all shall be well and All manner of thing shall be well When the tongues of flame are in-folded Into the crowned knot of fire And the fire and the rose are one. -T.S. Eliot "Little Gidding"

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