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2file112, photo by ansonredford

This stunning photo of the Detroit skyline was taken back in February and is the latest cover on the Michigan in Pictures Facebook.

View it bigger and see more in Donald’s Detroit slideshow.

Tons more Detroit photos on Michigan in Pictures.

Flowermagheddeon: Flower Day May 21, 2017 at Eastern Market

Flower Day at Eastern Market, photo by Eastern Market Corporation

Gardeners who would like to visit Detroit, please allow me to suggest one of the coolest places to go next weekend: Eastern Market’s annual Flower Day on Sunday, May 22 2017:

Flower Day takes place every year on the Sunday after Mother’s Day and has been a time-honored tradition of Eastern Market since 1967. Growers offer a wide variety of flowers at a great value so we recommend you come early for the best selection!

This special day is made possible through our partnership with the Metropolitan Detroit Flower Growers Association. MDFGA members arrive every year from Michigan, Ontario, and neighboring states. They share 15 acres of the heartiest varieties of flowers for this region and they’re ready to share the best strategies of how to help their flora thrive.

We also offer free convenient parcel pickups so you can explore the market throughout the day without being attached to your flats of flowers.

They direct you to their Facebook event for updates. View the photo bigger on Facebook and see lots more in Eastern Market’s 50th Annual Flower Day gallery.

PS: Thanks Brad Bennett for Flowermagheddeon – perfect word!!

PPS: As always, there will be all kinds of food & farm products there too!!

Temple Beth El by architect Minoru Yamasaki

Temple Beth El, Study #01, photo by Brian Day

Temple Beth El was established in 1850 as the first Jewish congregation in the state of Michigan. Their history page notes that there were just 60 Jews out of a population of 21,000 at that time.

The Michigan Notable Book Michigan Modern’s page on Temple Beth El says in part:

Temple Beth El is located in Bloomfield Township, Michigan, on a low rise adjacent to Telegraph Road, a wide and heavily traveled thoroughfare. Mature spruce and pine trees are present around the base of the structure to shield the worshippers from outside distractions. The unmistakable design of the sanctuary incorporates a tent-like form to recall the “Tent of Meeting” referenced in the Bible and the earliest places of worship used by the Jewish people. The cast-in-place concrete structure consists of two pairs of closely placed sloped columns, or tent poles, supporting curved ridge beams at the top of the structure and tied together by elliptical ring beams at the structure’s base. Below the ring beam is a transparent curtain wall of clear glazing that gives the illusion, from the exterior and interior that the tent-form roof is hovering above the open sanctuary space. Between the ridge beams is a transparent skylight that provides natural light into the sanctuary and further emphasizes the “lightness” of the structure. Catenary steel cables suspended between the ridge and ring beams support the gentle curve of the lead-coated copper roof which soars some seventy feet above grade.

The administrative offices, social halls and religious school are located in a one-story wing that extends north from the main entrance to the sanctuary on the building’s west elevation. The Temple Beth El comprises approximately 112,500 square feet, and can accommodate up to eighteen hundred worshippers.

Read on for more!

View the photo bigger on Facebook where there are other photos in his Metro Detroit Modern Architecture Study and see more of Brian’s photography at brianday.org.

May the 4th be with you!

Jedis From Tiger Stadium, photo by Sean Doerr

Happy May the 4th aka Star Wars Day everyone!

View the photo from the 2007 Detroit St Patrick’s Day parade background big and see more in Sean’s St Patrick’s Day ’07 slideshow.

Thomas Jefferson & Good Government

Detail: Hand and Globe, “Spirit of Detroit”–Detroit MI, photo by pinehurst19475

The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.
-Thomas Jefferson

Happy 274th birthday to the principle author of our Constitution, Thomas Jefferson.

As we head into a recess where we all have a chance to speak with our elected officials, my personal hope is that many voices will be raised in support of this Jeffersonian ideal of good government that seeks to uplift and preserve our health and well-being, particularly in regards to our preserving & expanding access to health care, rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, and ensuring that efforts to protect the Great Lakes aren’t defunded. You may want something different, so you probably should show up and share your thoughts as well! ;)

View the photo background bigtacular and see more in pinehurst19475’s massive Statues & Sculpture slideshow.

PS: This is the detail of the hand on the Spirit of Detroit by noted sculptor Marshall Fredericks and you can click that link for much more!

Ecorse, Little Venice of the West End

Morning, Ecorse, MI, March, 2017, photo by Norm Powell

It’s always cool to discover new websites about Michigan, and my search for more on the history of Ecorse led me to Mr. Cosbey’s History of Ecorse at the website Along the Detroit River. It was written by  Ecorse High School history teacher John Howard Cosbey and is very comprehensive – here’s a slice:

The River Aux Ecorces appears in history as early as 1763 as the retreat of Pontiac and allied chiefs in the famous plot to rid the mid-west of the encroaching white settlers. It was known also as a favorite burying ground of the Indian tribes in the locality.

It appears, however, on the evidence of birth records and of the statements of sworn witnesses in court that the first white settlements at the River Aux Ecorces were made during the period between 1784 and 1797, probably about 1785.

…The Detroit Free Press for July 2, 1905, tells of the “Little Venice of the West End”:

“All along the river shores from Fort Wayne to the Village of Ecorse, some hardier folks of Detroit who like to keep cool cheaply have boat houses in which they live during the summer. “The Little Venice of the West End,” they call it, and it is truly a colony of resorters distinct in itself.

“The rich may go to Grosse Point, to the mountains or to the sea shore, those of limited means, such as skilled mechanics, clerks, and other small salaried men with families may easily afford to rent a cottage built out upon the piers of Ecorse’s “Little Venice.” There they may have the air and the cool of the river, in fact, all of the real luxuries of a more exclusive colony, and at much less cost.

“Every day the resorters of Ecorse, who have business in the city, travel back and forth on the trolley. And every evening fish, boat and bathe with the women and children before the very doors of their summer homes.”

View Norm’s photo bigger and see more in his slideshow.

Automotive Old Guard Leading the Race to the Future

Autonomous Fusion Hybrid research vehicle in Dearborn, courtesy Ford Motor Co

While Uber, Tesla & Google are getting most of the ink, WIRED magazine’s article Detroit Is Stomping Silicon Valley in the Self-Driving Car Race says:

IF YOU’RE BETTING on Silicon Valley stars like Google, Tesla, and Uber to free you from your horrorshow commute with autonomous driving technology, don’t. That’s the key takeaway from a new report that finds Ford—yes, the Detroit-based, 113-year-old giant—is winning the race to build the self-driving car, with General Motors running a close second. Renault-Nissan, Daimler, and Volkswagen round out the top five. Meanwhile, Waymo—aka Google’s driverless car effort—sits in sixth place, with Tesla in twelfth. Uber languishes in sixteenth, behind Honda and barely ahead of startup Nutonomy and China’s Baidu.

That may sound all kinds of wrong to anyone who has seen Uber, Waymo, and Tesla flaunt their tech, and regards Detroit’s old guard as ill-prepared for the robotic future. But it’s the state of the race according to Navigant Research, whose newly released “leaderboard” report ranks these players not just on their ability to make a car drive itself, but on their ability to bring that car to the mass market.

Ford and GM both score in the low to mid 80s on the technology front; it’s their old-school skills that float them to first and second place. They’ve each spent more than a century developing, testing, producing, marketing, distributing, and selling cars. Plus, each has made strategic moves to bolster weak points. Ford just dumped a billion dollars into an artificial intelligence outfit. It acquired ride-sharing service Chariot and invested in Velodyne, a company producing lidar, the laser scanning tech many argue is necessary for self-driving cars. GM scooped up self-driving expertise via a startup called Cruise, and partnered with Lyft to put the eventual result on the road.

Lots more in a great article from WIRED!

View the photo of an autonomous Ford Fusion hybrid bigger on Ford’s website.

More cars & autos on Michigan in Pictures.