On Monday, I took a bike ride with a friend on Belle Isle, the former city park, now a state park, negotiated as part of the city’s financial distress a while back. It being a holiday, it was a busy day, but not crazy-busy. Most of the bottleneck was at the gate, but there were fewer parking places, too, because of the Detroit Grand Prix in two weeks — they’ve been setting up the concrete barriers, barbed-wire fences and sponsor banners for a while now.
By the time we came off the island, the road coming in was blocked. Park’s full, find something else to do. But walk- and bike-ons are not limited, so people were parking on the road outside and walking half a mile or so across the bridge, then wherever the party they were seeking was.
I watched them walk by, overwhelmingly young black women dressed in the current style – waist-length braid extensions and those insane false eyelashes that look like fuzzy caterpillars. I thought about how much I despise that stupid grand prix, which squats on the island like an unwanted guest not just for three days in June, but for weeks before and after, uglying the place up and constricting park capacity. We give up so much in the name of tourism dollars, I wonder why we bother.
It was an OK after-ride, though – we got a couple beers each from the party store and sat by the sidewalk and drank them. The lady at the party store put four brown paper bags into the six-pack carton without even being asked. This town cracks me up.
And so the summer begins.
Hope your weekend was good. We cooked a little. Alan is painting the dining room, and it looks great. Let’s see what the season holds, for all of us.
Well, this isn’t great news:
…in a striking intervention, more than 100 scholars of democracy have signed a new public statement of principles that seeks to make the stakes unambiguously, jarringly clear: On the line is nothing less than the future of our democracy itself.
“Our entire democracy is now at risk,” the scholars write in the statement, which I obtained before its release. “History will judge what we do at this moment.”
And these scholars underscore the crucial point: Our democracy’s long-term viability might depend on whether Democrats reform or kill the filibuster to pass sweeping voting rights protections.
The “I” here is Greg Sargent. I have no faith we can fix this.
In other news, you might recall a story I posted last spring, by a contributor to Deadline Detroit, about a cafe owner in a little town in Myanmar who is obsessed with Eminem. It’s a great story, but bad news: The writer, Danny Fenster, was arrested by government troops last week in Yangon, on his way out of the country to visit his family in Detroit. He hasn’t been heard from since. His family is very worried, obviously. If this sort of thing concerns you, you’re welcome to call your representatives. The hashtag is #BringDannyHome.
OK, then. Into the rest of the week.