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Christmas in Detroit.


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Nice shots, Ramcharger. I'll post mine sometime tommorrow...I had a great time tonight. It was nice to see people out & enjoying themselves.

Unfortunately my car got broken into across from the Kales Building & a bunch of stuff was stolen. So far the DPD has been less than cooperative. What a way to end such a fun night....

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Yeah, it was tough taking photos with all the people. I was glad to see so many people too.

I think they got my second camera, my broken tripod (it was held together w/duct tape), my tripod case, my backpack (with nothing in it, fortunately), a really ratty pair of shoes that I use for urban exploration, & a couple flashlights. The car in front of mine & the car behind mine were also broken into...there may have been more broken-into cars, but I was too pissed off to go looking at the others down the street. And of course now my window is broken, which means a bill I definitely can't afford. Not to mention the massive mess I have to clean up...my entire car is full of random papers that used to be in the glove box, and glass is all over everything. I wish I owned a shop vac so I could suck up all the broken glass that covers every surface, but alas, I am a broke college student.

Granted, it was totally stupid of me to leave so much stuff in my car. It was all under the seats and in the very back under a blanket, but I guess looking in the window & not being able to see anything wasn't enough to deter these guys. I'm surprised they left the CD changer I had.

Now that I'm thinking about it, it seems like I see an awful lot of cars with duct tape and plastic near the Kales. Something tells me this is a common occurance in that area. I need to start paying to park in a secure area, I guess. Since I've got a friend who lives in the Kales it seems stupid to pay to park in a garage far away, but in the past two months I've had my license plate stolen, and now this.

Needless to say, it's crap like this that makes me apprehensive about moving to the city. I know too many people who've gotten their cars stolen & who've gotten their cars broken into. Five people I know have had their cars broken into, and three others have had their car stolen in Detroit.

This one incident is not going to stop me from going downtown. One person can only put up with so much crap though. Where does it end?

Ok....so much for the Christmas thread...although it is a much needed discussion of some of the problems that run rampant here in the city.

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Man, I'm sorry to hear what happened, Allan. I guess I wish I would have stayed now to have helped you pick up.

I know how frustrated you are though. I'm two for two. A break in once a year for the two years I've been here. Right out in the public eye, too!

Anyway, I don't have nastalgic memories of Detroit and I wish I did. That is why I want to be present now, so that in 50 years, I can say I was at the firsts for a lot of things in the rebirth of Detroit. I guess in a way car thiefs and thugs can kiss gentrification arse...in order to put a stop to such idiotic occurrances.

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Don't worry about it Michi. I didn't clean anything up until this morning. I was rather disgusted about the whole thing, so I chilled out at Monica's place for a while, made a few phone calls, etc.

The crook used an awl to pop out the glass in the window (they left it inside the car). He went crazy for about 30 seconds, leaving with whatever they could find - he took some pretty crazy stuff, while leaving some other valuables behind. He did this to several cars on the street.

According to the officer who wrote my report, incidents like this are on the rise downtown due to the closing of the homeless shelters and fewer officers on the streets. The DPD nolonger does special patrols all over downtown during big events like the tree lighting or sports games downtown either, which hasn't helped the situation.

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According to the officer who wrote my report, incidents like this are on the rise downtown due to the closing of the homeless shelters and fewer officers on the streets. The DPD nolonger does special patrols all over downtown during big events like the tree lighting or sports games downtown either, which hasn't helped the situation.

Something about that just doesn't sound, and that's underexaggerating it (of course).

Sorry to hear about you and your stuff Allan. Hope you get it back. :)

Great pics, BTW! I love Christmas photos!

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Thanks, Ironchapman. The chances of getting my things back are slim to none. Nobody will ever be caught...I came to terms with that right away. We're most likely talking about someone who doesn't have home...who wanders from place to place, doing anything to survive. This time of year is especially hard on the bums, since it is so incredibly cold. It was in the 20s & very windy yesterday.

The good thing is that the only thing that really mattered was the camera. And even that didn't really matter all that much - it was actually my friend's spare camera that he never uses. I need to buy a new backpack, but my old one was pretty worn anyway.

More than anything this is just a huge inconvenience. I figure that even though I will spend $300 getting a new window that I'll still come out ahead. If I were to park in a garage each time I went downtown over the past year I would've paid well over $300.

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Man Allan, that really sucks about what happened. Although it's good nothing too valuable was stolen, it's too bad about the broken glass. I have to say, I've never wanted to park over by Kales because the area behind it is pretty shady. When you turn 21, you may want to consider parking in the ramps again since you won't have to pay.

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Yeah. Like I said though, when you figure out what I've spent, I'll still come out ahead in the long run. A lot of people do park in that area, especially since Centaur is open now too. That little strip between the Detroit Building & the Kales is just dead though. The two new bars that will open up in the Cliff Bells Building will change that though. Imagine if a bar or restaurant opened up in the Detroit Building too...we'd have a really cool district going.

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Yea, but Illitch owns the Detroit Building..... <_<
True, but I think you will see activity on that building sooner than you think. ;)

I'm willing to bet that we'll see a new hockey arena going up between Cass, Park, Montcalm, and Elizabeth in the next few years. This explains why the Ilitches were so opposed to the Iodent Building renovation - it falls within the area the new arena will go in. Now that it's been redeveloped they'll have to work around it. When the stadium goes up they will need more parking. However, taking down the Detroit Building for parking would only be enough space for like 20 cars. The space between the Detroit Building & Fox Theater needs to remain open so that they can pull semi trucks in there to unload things, so they can't just combine that space with that area for a bigger lot. Paying an attendant for a lot with 20 cars in it doesn't make much sense...at least not when you can pay that same attendant to work at a lot that has 200 cars. Given that that is the case, it only makes sense to expand their entertainment empire to the ground floor of the Detroit Building. The building is in very good condition. The lobby is totally original, including the ceiling. No smashed marble either. :)


Put a new roof on it, fix the windows, repair the plumbing, put in new electrical systems & you have a nice solid space for two new restaurants/bars right across the street from the Red Wing's stadium. Put some lofts on the upper floors and you've created some pricey lofts in a thriving entertainment district.

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Do you guys know if there are ANY buildings in Illitch-land (Foxtown) that are NOT owned by him? I'm thinking specifically of anything like the Iodent Building. In other words, buildings that could be rehabbed by proactive developers instead of torn down for his stupid arena. (I'm pro-arena...anti-location). ;)

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There are a lot of privately owned parking lots. Privately owned buildings...not so much. There are two small apartment buildings and a few vacant one story buildings along Cass, but that's it.

As far as the Charlevoix & Park Avenue Buildings, they were put in the state-recognized Park Avenue Historic District in 1996 to keep them from being demolished for the baseball stadium when it was supposed to go west of Woodward. They wanted to take the Charlevoix for the stadium, though the Park Avenue would've been saved.

Speaking of the Park Avenue & Charlevoix, I spoke with the owner for about an hour and a half a couple weeks ago about his plans for the buildings. Work is ongoing inside the Park Avenue to finish the ground floor for Super Bowl (which explains the hammering, sawing, and lights on that I've seen for the past several months). He has a lot of work to get done in a very short time. The upper floors of the Park Avenue will be true lofts - basically you'll be renting an open space with a kitchen & bathroom. He mentioned tapping into the WSU student market. He wants to keep the space affordable, since there are so many luxury units going in.

The Charlevoix will be redone too, although I'm under the impression that nothing will happen until the Park Avenue is done.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately, I missed the parade this year. The weather was too bad and I had a 22 lb. turkey and all the fixings to prepare. I did, however, make it to Noel Night yesterday in the University/Cultural Center. As always it was a great time. Here are some of the pictures from last night.

The Scarab Club


Interior shots of the Scarab Club




The Detroit Institute Of Arts


The Ice Scraper Challenge in front of the DIA



The Kresge Court in the DIA


The Rackham Symphony Choir Madrigal Singers performing in the Kresge Court


The St. Paul Chancel Choir Bell Group performing in front of the Detroit Historical Museum


The main branch of the Detroit Public Library


The Library Ladies entertain.


The Library's Christmas tree


The interior of The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul


Beautiful music from the choir balcony


The Live Nativity in front of Saint Pauls




Some Christmas lights on the campus of Wayne State University


The Michigan State University DisChords on stage in the middle of Woodward Ave.


Right on cue, as the Salvation Army Band took the stage for the annual sing-along, it began to snow.



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All this snow really got me in the mood for viewing Christmas lights so I took a drive through the Wayne County Lightfest along Edward Hines Drive. Here's a few of the pictures I took last night.



















I think it would be a great idea to put some displays like this downtown. Maybe in Cadillac Square Park or Hart Plaza or even along the Riverwalk.

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  • 2 weeks later...


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