Detroit Photo Diary

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The Association of Alternative Newsmedia held its annual convention in Detroit last week. A very strange city, indeed, and one with a downtown that makes downtown Memphis look like Paris. There are lots of architectural masterworks, most of which are empty shells. There is no retail to speak of, very few restaurants, maybe one or two coffee shops, if you know where to look.

There is magnificent public art — statuary, fountains — and lovely landscaping, with fresh plantings, flowers, ornamental trees, and a nice downtown ballpark. But there are few people on the sidewalks — a fact that is magnified at night. Three large casinos appear to some draw folks in, but a look around inside shows that penny slots are the dominant game of choice. A city that was once home to 2.5 million people now has a population of 700,000. And boy, are they spread out. I'll write more in my column this week, but here are a few photos I took ...

Interior of the fabulous Guardian  office building.
  • Interior of the fabulous Guardian office building.
Guardian building lobby
  • Guardian building lobby
Joe Louis fist statue. Note knockout victim underneath.
  • Joe Louis fist statue. Note knockout victim underneath.
Art dedicated to labor movement.
  • Art dedicated to labor movement.
The "People Mover," which moves very few people a very short distance around downtown for 75 cents.
  • The "People Mover," which moves very few people a very short distance around downtown for 75 cents.
Statue for the Underground Railroad
  • Statue for the Underground Railroad
Not sure. Maybe an ode to spaceships?
  • Not sure. Maybe an ode to spaceships?
A fine dining option. I went with "edible."
  • A fine dining option. I went with "edible."
A street entertainer whose specialty was walking very slowly.
  • A street entertainer whose specialty was walking very slowly.
An inadvertent street entertainer, perhaps just in from Jersey Shore.
  • An inadvertent street entertainer, perhaps just in from Jersey Shore.
Greektown, a block of restaurants next to the Greektown casino.
  • Greektown, a block of restaurants next to the Greektown casino.

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