Tag Archives: Detroit

Whirlwind Tour de-Troit

Some friends of ours who are artists are considering a move to Detroit and made an impromptu trip up to see the city for the first time. Andrew and I went to school and lived downtown for a few years, but we haven’t spent much time downtown since we moved back here from Delaware 9 months ago. A little overwhelmed with the idea of giving a complete tour of the city on my own,  I called upon a friend who luckily had some time to help me take our visitor on a whirlwind tour of different artist communities in the city. I didn’t get as many photos to share as I would have liked, but we were moving fast.

This Hamtramck installation was done by some visiting artists. (The wood cutout over the window, not the burning.)

We drove passed the Power House Project, which has received quite a bit of press lately.

The Power House Project serves two primary goals:
[1] To develop a model home.
The house, as an architectural experiment, will work as a prototype example or model home for what is possible in the current atmosphere of cheap housing in the city. What does it take to create a truly affordable, secure, sustainable house for under $99,000?
[2] The house is a social art project. (info:phproject)

I had never known about this little block of Farnsworth Street before so was really excited to visit here. There is a vibrant community of people working to restore homes, make art and keep up a wonderful community garden.

I wish I would have put my fingers into the photo to give perspective on this tiny phone.

We quickly drove down Heidleberg Street.

The Heidelberg Project, bearing the name of the street on which it exists, was started in 1986 by Tyree Guyton.

…Guyton began by cleaning up vacant lots on Heidelberg and Elba Streets.  From the refuse they collected, Guyton began to transform the street into a massive art environment. (Heidleberg Project)

and through Brush Park

Homes were built in Brush Park beginning in the 1850s and peaking in the 1870s and 1880s; one of the last homes built was constructed in 1906 by architect Albert Kahn for his personal use. Kahn lived in this home until his death in 1942, after which it was obtained by the Detroit Urban League, which still uses it today.

During the 19th century, around 300 homes were built in Brush Park, including 70 Victorian mansions. However, the neighborhood began to decline in the late 19th and early 20th century, when the advent of streetcars and then automobiles allowed prosperous citizens to live further from downtown. Early residents moved out, notably to up-and-coming neighborhoods such as Indian Village and Boston-Edison, and the neighborhood became less fashionable. During the Great Depression, many of the old mansions were subdivided into apartments, and as demand for housing fell after World War II, the homes were abandoned and fell into disrepair. (wikipedia)

I had completely forgotten about Hamtramck Disney Land, but was so glad when we noticed it poking out of the alley behind Klinger Street.

A retired gentleman named Dmytro Szylak — who came to Hamtramck from the Ukraine right after WWII — created Hamtramck Disneyland. It took him from 1997 or so until 1999 to put it all up. Several of the displays are wired-up and move when he flicks a switch. He also has lights and music wired-up. It’s in the back of an unassuming house on Klinger St. right in the alley. It looks like a carnival for gnomes. [Lenaya Lynch, 04/26/2006] (Roadside America)

We made a stop at CCS and also drove through Russel Industrial, Boston Edison, New Center, North End, Eastern Market, Woodbridge, Corktown, Hubbard Farms, Mexicantown and East English Village. There are a handful of places we didn’t make it too in our short trip…next time!

It was great to tour Detroit and learn more about this city that I love so much. I’m thrilled to think such innovative thinkers and workers may be joining the dynamic community we have here.


Migrate & Dally

Migration opened last Friday. Here are a few shots  haphazardly taken during the reception. (I’m still mourning the loss of my DSLR, and making due with this point and shoot camera.)

We stopped by the Dally in the Alley on Saturday, which is always a fun end of summer event. This was Felix’ first Dally. He loved the music!

Dally History
What began as an inner city art fair in 1977 evolved into a performing arts festival when it was moved to its present alley and renamed in 1982 to “DALLY IN THE ALLEY”, the title of a medieval drinking song. Great musical talent, good beer and a remarkable string of fabulous September weather has indelibly marked the alley at Second and Forest in Detroit ’s Cass Corridor as the site of the best music festival in the Midwest .(more history on the Alley)

(poster designed by Mark Arminski.)


I’m pleased to have some of my work included in the upcoming group exhibition, Migration.

Opening Reception: Sept. 11, 6 – 9 PM.

Migration will be on exhibit from 9/11 to 10/17.
Work Detroit is open Tue – Sat, 11am – 4pm.

There will be a migratory performance entitled ‘No Fixed Address’ on 10/02, from 8 – 10pm


Migration manifests in many ways: changes to a neighborhood’s demographics, personal identity, contested borders, or movement in a lifetime or a week. These changes bring about conflicts (and resolutions) of space, economies, labor and industry, and race and ethnicity, to name a few. This exhibition brings together a wide range of creative work inspired by these issues.

Artist List:
Susan Aaron-Taylor
Gabriella Boros
Jacklyn Brickman
Terrence Campagna
Christopher Cannon
Daniel Farnum
Dave Fischer
Sadko Hadzihasanovic
Richard Haley
Andy Mattern
Robert Mirek
Erik Olson
David Edward Parker
Lisa Poszywak
Kelly Salchow MacArthur
Patrick Wise
Matthew Zivich

Curated by:
Michael Borowski
Urmila Venkatesh

Special thanks to Stephen Schudlich and the Work: Detroit staff.

Click here for the Facebook event page/invitation.


Last week we met up with some friends to walk the Detroit River downtown.

Felix on the big map.

The Detroit River

It was too chilly to play in the fountains, but they were fun to watch.

Enjoying Dodge Fountain by Isamu Noguchi

Happy at Hart Plaza


What do you do when you have a lot of beer left in the post-party keg? Why, you fill up all of your glass jars and share it with friends of course!

As I was finishing some of the party left overs today, I realized that I didn’t write much about the food aspect of  Felix’ party. I wanted to mention a few things we had though, because it is important to us to support our local businesses as much as we can and I thought it would be nice to spread the love.

The above mentioned beer was the crowd pleasing Ghetto Blaster from Motor City Brewing Works. There was a giant salad made with lettuce from my parents garden and like I mentioned Monday, my sister made the fabulous cakes.

We made pulled pork for our main entree using lots of pork from John Henry’s. We have been buying meat and eggs from their booth at our farmers market each week, but for this order they delivered it right to our home! Talk about customer service! The pulled pork was piled onto delicious fresh baked rolls from La Gloria Bakery in Mexican Town (Southwest Detroit). (Oh, and we had some vegetarian BBQ too, made from lentils.)

Sassy Jones is the sauce that flavored our BBQ. Although not local to us, my Uncle from Arkansas brought it as a gift on his last visit up here. The label is way too fun not to share.

It’s good on lentils too…