6427 Miles: A Tour of America by Car

By Gerard Forgnone

Day 19

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Detroit, Michigan

Nita lives in Grosse Pointe Woods, a well-run suburban community of Detroit.  Detroit city proper is not run well, and ran out of money.  Nita took me around Detroit to see what's left.

This is a typical street about 5 miles from downtown Detroit.  There are few people living in this area, because there are no services and no jobs.  The blocks are beginning to revert to nature.  As far as I'm concerned, reverting to nature would probably be a good idea, then these plots can become farms again, like they were in the 1800's.

Trash is very common.  There is nobody there to enforce the littering laws, and no witnesses.

Below is a photo of a better street.  The houses here belonged to the wealthy, and were better taken care of over the years, and therefore are still in good enough condition to sell.  Many are, nonetheless, still empty, and can be purchased rather cheaply.

Houses like this are available for very little money, often just back taxes.

Here we are near downtown Detroit, along the Detroit River.  Behind us is the General Motors Renaissance Center.  Here's where you'll see some amount of nice property, where the city of Detroit is trying to turn things around.  Across the river is Windsor, Ontario, Canada.  We are actually NORTH of Canada at this point!

Inside the GM Renaissance Center skyscraper.

We're leaving the GM Renaissance Center on a free elevated tram.  While this is a safer, warmer way to get around town, it hurt the small businesses on the ground level...office workers would no longer visit local restaurants and shops, and this hurt downtown.

The old and abandoned next to the newer and refurbished.

We left downtown and headed back into the former living areas of Detroit.  This group of houses has been made into Pop Art.

This is the old, long-abandoned Packard factory.  Very scary here!  I wouldn't want to wander here at night!

Nita found an estate sale near her home, and I found this hand-painted cutout of what looks like Lady Bird Johnson.  I never in a million years would have imagined that the former First Lady had a rack like this!  I think someone was having a fantasy!

SCORE!  Vintage liquid cleaner wax!  I had a little bit of this stuff left at home, and scored these two nearly full bottles.  Oh, the minor joys of life!

Back at Nita's house.  This is the view from her driveway...very pleasant, clean, and quiet!

Tomorrow, south to Ohio.

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