Detroit BikeBlog

        July 3rd, Extramural Candidate

Hazen Pingree took a short ride in a long car back in the year 1901. That would sadly make him almost overqualified to hold public office in Detroit.

2009 Detroit fireworks
Brave @ Pingree

        June 28th, The Downtown Valet

Come on down, have yourself a time and leave your car overnight to the tender cares of our downtown valet. Likely this car isn't even in the same street it was parked in - just dropped off in the dirt lot by Chene Park for a bit of tender loving theft. A police officer drove past the lot, but was too busy talking into her mobile phone (an offence in the city) to stop and look.

2009 Detroit fireworks
Looks like they spooked before taking the last wheel

        June 24th, Fireworks

Annual fireworks festival - a very hot, very humid evening. Great to see so many people along the new stretch of the riverwalk.

2009 Detroit fireworks
Many people watching from behind the Omni hotel

2009 Detroit fireworks
First shot from clo_detroit

        June 23rd, Harbortown Update

According to their website, harbortown will be closed for some days yet.

        June 21st, MexicanTown

We spent the morning exploring the latest developments around mexicantown. The gateway project which has been a huge PITA for people in the area looks to be approaching completion. Whether or not the Bridge Company will be allowed to build a second span remains in doubt. It seems the project impacts a public park and permission has not been given by the city for this (which supports the alternate plan of a second bridge further down river). My own experience was that one morning when taking pictures in the park next to the Bridge, an Ambassador security guard ordered us to stop taking pictures near the bridge. This is a bridge that regularly has tour boats go under it full of people taking pictures ... needless to say they seemed to have decided back then that the park was effectively theirs and not a public space.

Other than that, the bakeries in mexicantown were great, the food stores clean and well stocked and it was good to see the murals being kept bright with fresh paint.

2009 Detroit gateway project
The huge gateway project reaches completion

2009 Detroit mexican town mural
Mexicantown mural (click to zoom), more on the art page

        June 20th, Detroit River Days

Pro-am dog jumping. Dog jumping a sport? Wow.

2009 Detroit river days ultimate air dogs
Go Lassie!

        June 20th, Harbortown

One thing that erks about living downtown is the dearth of decent food markets - ones that sell good food at reasonable prices. It's all too tempting I guess to head for Royal Oak or the Points. Zacharos on Woodward tried to buck the trend but seriously mistimed their opening and market niche. So there are a few places left, mostly small family markets, University foods, Honeybee over on Bagley and until this weekend Harbortown on Jefferson at about Mount Elliot.

We arrived this afternoon at Htown to find a boarded up front window and signs of fire. It seems their deli had a fire and the store then suffered water damage from the fire fighting. On the bright side there were at least six clean-up and fire-damage repair trucks parked around back busily putting things to right. Here's to a rapid re-opening to Harbortown - since the closure of the last Farmer Jack's a little further along Jefferson the store has been the one we rely on daily - other stores on Jefferson I've tried only to find the food on the shelves 6-9 months past its sell by date.

        June 14th, Watching the Wings Go...

Don Cherry, may his pink suits smell of fish guts for years to come, jinxed us for game 7. Well, not competely true, in the end the Wings didn't really need a jinx. They looked tired towards the end, their passing was not what it has been and the Penguins were younger and with fewer injuries. End of a long season - congrats to Pittsburgh - thanks to the Wings for another great season, Western Conf champs, now time to move on.

So the Redbull air race was almost in town. Officially in Windsor the course didn't seem to have moved and inch from last year. The only difference was the absence of much of the razzmatazz. That and the commentary over the speaker system which came across from Windsor at times strangely 'last year we were in Detroit, this year we are so happy to be here in Canada, in beautiful Windsor' ... yo, folks, the commentary is coming to both sides of the river! Jeez. Anyway shots below and some vid from Clo here (try VLC or Quicktime to view this if you have problems)


2009 Detroit redbull air race
Saturday was overcast but Sunday Beautiful with
many choosing to cruise to Harbor Park & stay overnight in advance of the race

2009 Detroit redbull air race
As usual things kicked off with some serious military hardware (F18)
although this year it was the RCAF rather than the USAF and things were a bit quieter.

2009 Detroit redbull air race
Despite rumors the course was flipped or shifted it looked unchanged sitting between the RenCen and Casino Windsor (sic)
the only evident difference the new wildlife park being constructed between Rivard and Harbor Park

2009 Detroit redbull air race
The race planes arrive
at this point he's really upside down and looking up at the ground

2009 Detroit redbull air race
Ozzy, Canadian, Brit, American ... a good mix

2009 Detroit redbull air race
Fast and maneuverable the pilots flip them and hit 12g's in the air

2009 Detroit redbull air race
With everyone in the air, time for the pilots to make the race course

2009 Detroit redbull air race
In through the start/end gate and through the twisting circuit in the fastest time (video here)

2009 Detroit redbull air race
Watched by one heck of a traffic jam on the river

2009 Detroit redbull air race
Tight turns

2009 Detroit redbull air race
Past the pylons without hitting them like this

2009 Detroit redbull air race
As pilot after pilot races the course, smoke builds making it hard to spot the planes

2009 Detroit redbull air race
Unless you get up really close

2009 Detroit redbull air race
All in all a great weekend after the tension of Friday night
a Brit won but didn't manage to take the championship lead from team Abu Dhabi

2009 Detroit redbull air race
The only remaining issue at the end of the day was clearing the river.
More photos from last year's event here

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A Detroit Diary


  Detroit Books (Winter)

      [1] The Guardian Building:
            Cathedral of Finance

      [2] American City

      [3] Motoons

Short reviews on the book page.

Flickr: Exposure Detroit

 The Archive


StreetArt Gallery
(Updated July 2009)