Day 1 – Road Trip, East Coast: Part 1 of 2: Detroit

The first day was slow, but picked up quickly. It is hard to imagine how long a full day actually is.

I woke up around 5 or 6. Started packing and took a shower. Loaded up on bagels (3), a pastry and a half, raisin brand cereal, decent coffee with sugar creme and my pick of sugar and sugar substitutes, a slice of wheat bread, and a cup of orange juice.

I made my calls to my people and began my day in route to Detroit. The airport is 20 or so miles away from Detroit proper, so I started my navigation to Dearborn, Michigan. Dearborn is home to the Ford Motor company. I wasn’t noticing the vehicles much, but they were mostly American cars and trucks. I drove through the headquarters of Ford, went through Ford land, saw the barricade wall that the test track occupied, and continued my drive through the R&D part of the property.

Right when I was about to exit and make my way to Detroit, I noticed a car show of mainly Ford vehicles, here and there of other American cars, and 1, I couldn’t believe it, Foreign car, a first gen RX-7 (which was nicely placed in the back of the event). I didn’t talk to much people. I gawked at a couple of the cars, took many photos, and was on my way.

I wanted to see the destruction the economy had done to Detroit, which the media had portrayed. I drove on the freeway and noticed Rosa Parks boulevard. I know it is wrong for saying, but it is kind of true most of the time, but if a street is named after a civil rights leader (i.e. Martin Luther King), it is usually fucked up. I knew I had to get off and see what it was all about. I think I have a knack of finding the rough parts of towns, it is something I have lived with growing up in Houston and getting a custom with my surroundings. Besides, a street named after a civil rights person is bound to be an easy target for not a lot of up keep (it’s wrong for saying that, but it’s true).

The neighborhood looked like something I’ve seen in Houston, nothing really surprising, until I saw abandon house after another. I took a couple of pictures at this high school or middle school, that looked desolate, but actually had cars in the parking lot. If I was a kid and I knew I was to attend that school in the fall, I would make a boat and travel to the other side of the river (Canada should be a little better).

The whole neighborhood depicted of abandonment and boarded up houses. I saw a couple of people around and most of the time took pictures from the car. It was like I was in a war zone and didn’t want to expose myself to the surroundings.

I kept driving through the neighborhood and began to get familar with downtown Detroit. I wanted so badly to ditch the car and walk around, but was frighten of all the warnings from friends and family, who stated to protect myself as much as possible and hide everything in sight.

However, I was able to get out of the vehicle and talk to somebody. This guy was in his mid to late 30’s, he was getting fishing equipment from his car. I kindly asked him if he had a couple of minutes to answer some questions, about his current situation and how the economy was effecting him. He looked at me strange, but nonetheless opened up quickly. He told me that he is effected, but has his kids and wife, and is happy because of that. He also mentioned that the factory workers are taking the fast food jobs, which is leaving the 16 and 17 year olds without a job. He continued to say that the people of Detroit are super nice and love to show people from out of town a good time.

Link to the photos: East Coast Road Trip

4 responses to “Day 1 – Road Trip, East Coast: Part 1 of 2: Detroit”

  1. Oke this is awesome you are becoming quite the storyteller. I like how you incorporated the pictures in the post as well to further illustrate what you are talking about. Good work you really are putting together a protfolio there. Did you take any video? Can’t wait to see the rest of the posts on your recent journey kudos. I’m gonna show this to a few folks.

  2. Kinda like the noble south job we got in the 5th ward. abandoned homes, some burned and used for heating in winter time. your pics looked upscale. Also decay of detroit started in the 80s. Ive seen some pics of abandoned factories, blocks. Interesting.

  3. ekill–real interesing homie…u puttin that camera to good use, cant wait to read about the rest of the trip…

  4. Ben: Thanks for the encouragement. I still a ways to go. The pictures are taking a little longer to edit (1400). I did some video, too. I’ll post those soon.

    Nev: I’ve heard that the poverty of Detroit started way before the economic let-down, I need to check out noble south, I wonder if it is still that way.

    Robb: Yeah, the camera has helped me out. I like what it can do. I will get better at it. The rest of it is pretty interesting. I have more things to talk about. Let me know what you think. We can have some beer and talk about this very issue.

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