The Free Press ran a picture of the new mayor’s new house, and as soon as I saw it I knew exactly where it was, without even reading the story. That almost never happens; this city is still largely unknown to me, which is one reason I drive through it whenever possible.
In this case I knew it from the other direction. I took a rowing clinic a couple summers ago, and we rowed on the canals behind the Shore Pointe subdivision, a little slice of buppie heaven built on a landfill peninsula on the Detroit River. Afterward, I tried to drive back there to see the front side of the houses I’d admired from the back, but no dice, it was gated. Not surprisingly, the site has history to burn:
Bing’s subdivision sits on the site of the former Gar Wood mansion, legendary home of the famous race-boat driver that four decades ago became a communal residence for young people and, later, as it decayed, a biker hangout and party place.
This is what the rowing-clinic instructor said, too. A big abandoned house right on the river, barely bothered with by the police? What biker could resist?
It is just down a canal from the Lawrence Fisher home, which the Fisher family donated to the Hare Krishna movement.
I think this is not quite true; I seem to recall a hop-skip-jump between the Fishers and the Hare Krishnas that involved two scions of the industry, a Ford and a Reuther, both of whom were HKs, probably disappointing their parents terribly. The Detroit Women’s Rowing Association boathouse is on the grounds of this place, in a new building the Hare Krishnas used as a preschool. They’re still there, and have a big free vegetarian meal every Sunday. We took a tour of the mansion after we came off the water. There were several wax figures of the head H.K., whose name I won’t even attempt to find. It was startling to walk into an empty room and find him there:
A couple stopped by after their wedding, to take pictures:
I wonder if they’re still married.
On my way back out to Jefferson after being turned away by the gate, I passed the customary boarded-up squalor. It’s never far away in Detroit. But of course, that’s what makes the place so interesting, that one day you can be riding your bike down a crummy street and all of a sudden come across a bunch of people in saffron robes and shaved heads, feeding their flock of peacocks. Hi, neighbor!
My next thought was wondering if I could write a short story about a crime in the neighborhood, where the bad guys make their getaway by water. One of these days when I stop wasting my time on my stupid blog, maybe.
So, a little bloggage:
My patience with Sarah Palin and her sense of entitlement
grows fades by the minute. Am I the only one who not only didn’t think CHILD RAPE over the Letterman joke, but barely noticed the offense? Granted, I am old and grizzled and a subscriber to premium cable, but it really didn’t seem beyond the pale for late-night monologue humor. And now he has apologized again. I’m still waiting for an apology from Governor Sensitivity and her real-America cracks, her silent witness to the “kill him” shouts from her audiences, etc. I think I’ll be waiting a while.
Oh, and look: Other party members are real sensitive, too. Caught red-handed, the excuse is still, “I sent it to the wrong mailing list.”
OK, that’s it for now. I’m off to the gym. The other day I was idly scratching my arm and came across a lump below my shoulder. It was a tricep! How the hell did that happen? I better try to keep things going.