Friday, September 27, 2013

Free Range Friday ~ Life is Beautiful, Say It Out Loud

If the city of Detroit has shown me anything, it is that despite the clumsy wheels politicians and corporations spin, despite the consequences that are, this minute, being reaped - "Freeze on pensions" "Judge rejects request to delay bankruptcy" - there is also this strong fighting spirit, with other headlines - "$500,000 to revive music, arts, sports at DPS (Detroit Public Schools)" "3M in aid intended to make city safer, clean up blight". In other words, I'm not hearing the cry of "Uncle!".

Sure, there are those who have left, out of need, desperation or disgust or just plain old better pastures, but there are plenty staying. Right now, this city is the focus of a lot of high beam searchlights looking for what happens next to a major urban center before, during and after bankruptcy, the bottom of a long slide down due to so many factors, obvious and obscure, that untangling the mess will be neither fast nor simple.

No, I haven't a clue what this means but I like the line 'the city sweet city like broken reason'

We walked wide avenues almost empty of people in the middle of the day, streets that should have been thriving with life. It was a very strange feeling and I kept expecting doors to open and people to flood out, on their way to meetings or lunches or scoring a fix. Instead, we met Linda. No, not that Linda.

While looking for a parking spot, we'd heard jazz coming from this little park. Karen said she saw the people playing and we both wanted to go back and see what was happening. By the time we got there, the musicians were gone, but there were groups of people playing cards and willing to talk with us about the musicians. We got swooped up by Linda instead. "I want to talk to you girls, a minute, you want to take my picture?" She was close to literally dragging us away, the eyes of everyone there on us, they knew Linda. So did we. "I just need some lunch, could you help me out with that? There's a soul food place, I can get lunch there, but I don't want these people to see me getting money from you. I have a daughter down here too, she needs to eat."

I was laughing, she was GOOD! I didn't have any singles but Karen spared a few. Not quite enough for Linda who figured she only needed two more to get lunch. Oops. Then she asked again if we wanted a picture. Hell yes I did! She posed here on the wall and we all bid each other good bye. I really, really wanted to go back and talk to the other guys about the music, but her intensity pretty much put the kabosh on that plan. As we walked away, a postman asked Linda how she was doing. Not in a passing sort of way; he stopped and listened to her answer, really listened, even though I have no doubt he knew exactly what he would hear. I bet he knows her daughter too. It was beautiful.

"all i ever needed"
One of the things I found interesting in the graffiti that was everywhere was that there really wasn't much of anything crude in any of it. I'm sure there is some, but it wasn't obvious to me.

This was WAY up high on the Wurlitzer building, which has a mermaid motif as well...see the waves?
What? No food part for free range Friday? Of course there is a food part, just part though.

This was a stealth photo of the people next to us.
This (I'm guessing) father and son were eating the most Greek of Greek lunches. Their table was covered with appetizers - olives, bread toasted and seasoned, caviar spread, smoked fish and soup. The vodka bottle contains the house olive oil, that was drizzled over most everything. They were tolerant of our (ok, my out loud) curiousity but not enough for me to ask if I could take a photo. The two women in back who came in loudly ordered something that got flambeed a few feet from us. From the menu, I'm guessing it was the flaming cheese. We were happy with what we got (gyros, can't get 'em at home) but I could go back there pretty easily. It's been there a long time and I think it will be there when and if I return. Greektown, I want more of you.

Have a feed your focus Friday. Do something festive.

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