The Meek Shall Inherit The Earth by Derek Farr
The Detroit Free Press had a recent feature on a new digital map of the city of Detroit’s murals:
Detroit’s office of Arts, Culture & Entrepreneurship (Detroit ACE) announced Wednesday it is partnering with CANVS, an art technology company, to identify all the outdoor art on city walls.
ACE Director Rochelle Riley announced the initiative during a news conference in front of Chroma, a co-working office space in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood. The CANVS collaboration, which involves an iPhone application and an online map, is part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s “Blight to Beauty” campaign promoting public art.
Riley declared the upcoming season “the summer of Detroit murals,” and said ACE will begin enlisting “mural hunters,” an army of supporters who will help enter murals into the registry.
To better connect residents to murals, CANVS will create a digital map on the ACE webpage that will allow users to create tours of similar murals, or find murals they have seen, but do not remember where.
Lorren Cargill, co-founder of the startup, said one of his company’s missions is to better connect community to art. “When art becomes more accessible, it allows people to better connect with the city,” he said.
You can learn more about the Mural map and other efforts through Detroit ACE and head over to CANVS to get the app and sign up to be a mural hunter.
Derek took this shot somewhere in Detroit back in March. Where exactly? I don’t know but I’ll find it with this app someday!! See more in his massive Detroit gallery on Flickr.
More murals on Michigan in Pictures.
River Otter by Ashleigh Mowers
Great Lakes Now has an excellent feature on the return of river otters to the Detroit River that says (in part):
On the cool morning of April 25, doctoral student Eric Ste Marie from the University of Windsor’s department of integrative biology went out for a walk with his partner along the Detroit River prior to an anticipated long day in his lab. Much to his surprise, he saw an animal pop its head out of the water. It was too big to be a mink and, as it dove, he noticed that it did not have a flat beaver tail. Ste Marie ran out to the end of a pier beneath the Ambassador Bridge to get a closer look to check, and there it was: a river otter.
River otters were quite common in southeast Michigan, including the Detroit River, up through the arrival of European explorers and fur traders,” said Gearld P. Wykes, a historian from the Monroe County Museum System. “During the fur trade era, they were much sought after for their fur, along with beaver. Based on historical records, river otters were likely extirpated from the Detroit River in the early 1900s.”
In 1986, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources reintroduced river otters into high water quality rivers and streams in eastern Ohio. The river otters thrived. As their population grew, they began to move westward – what scientists call expanding their range. By the early 2000s, they had found a home in western Ohio, particularly near Cedar Point and Ottawa National Wildlife Refuge, just east of Toledo.
…Biologists studying the Detroit River and resource managers have been excited about the possible range expansion of river otters into the Detroit River. There have been a few anecdotal reports from citizens, but no photographic or videographic proof until Ste Marie was greeted with that ecological surprise on the morning of April 25.
…River otters are considered an indicator species, and their return to the Detroit River after an absence of more than 100 years is a hopeful sign of improving watershed conditions.
Ashleigh took this back in 2016 in Detroit at the Detroit Zoo. Hopefully she gets a shot of them in the wild! See more in her Detroit gallery on Flickr & for sure check out her Go See Do Photography website for more great pics!
More about River otters on Michigan in Pictures.
And Let Me Be Who I Am by Derek Farr
“Let me be who I am, and let me kick out the jams”
The Detroit Metro Times recently shared that $5 million could net you Detroit’s historic Grande Ballroom:
The abandoned Grande Ballroom is up for sale for a hefty $5,000,000, according to a listing on Jim Shaffer and Associates Realtors that went online this week. The old-school music hall was a hub for classic and psychedelic rock bands in the 1960s until it closed in 1972. Since then, it has sat looming like a fading memory of a bygone era.
Back in the days of sex, drugs, and, rock ‘n’ roll, the ballroom hosted acts like Led Zepplin, Pink Floyd, Janis Joplin, and even John Coltrane and Sun Ra. MC5 became regulars on the stage and recorded its 1969 debut album Kick Out the Jams there, and in recent years a mural of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame-nominated band’s guitarist Wayne Kramer was painted on the side of the building.
You can read a lot more about the Grande Ballroom on this website & watch the awesome documentary Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom on the Detroit Public Television Facebook page!
Derek took this shot of the mural on the Grande a couple of years ago. See TONS more in his excellent Detroit gallery on Flickr.
Latest & Greatest by Detroit Tigers
The Detroit Tigers open the 2022 baseball season at 1:10 PM today in Comerica Park. Vintage Detroit shared a really great history of Opening Day in Detroit that has all kinds of great trivia including the fact that in their first game in the American League on April 25, 1901:
…the Tigers made an amazing comeback on Opening Day at Bennett Park at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull. Detroit trailed the visiting Brewers 13-4 entering the bottom of the ninth. It seemed like the Tigers would start their entry in the American League with a lopsided loss. But wait…the Tigers got a runner on, then another, then a walk, and another hit, and a passed ball, and a hit, and another, and another. You get the idea. The Tigers scored ten runs to steal the game 14-13. The fans were thrilled to see the walkoff victory (though it would be decades before that term existed). Amazingly, the rally from nine runs down remains the biggest ninth inning comeback in league history.
The Tigers shared this pic of phenom Spencer Torkleson and one of their all-time greats Miguel Cabrera yesterday in their first practice at home. See more on their Facebook & let’s go Tigers!!
3 Days until Tigers by Kevin Povenz
The Detroit Tigers open the 2022 Season vs the New York Yankees at 1:10 PM this Friday (April 8) at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit.
Couldn’t resist coming back for another pic from Kevin!! He shared this photo back in 2014. See more in his Fun/Interesting gallery on Flickr.
Tons more Tigers pics on Michigan in Pictures.
Eastern Market Flower Day by Eastern Market
Detroit’s Eastern Market shares that their popular Flower Day will return in 2022 on Suday, May 15th:
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.
More at Eastern Market. and also on their Eastern Market Flower Day Facebook event.
Eastern Market shared this pic back in 2020. Here’s a gallery from Flower Day 2019 on their Facebook page.
Northland Shopping Mall Southfield MI by William L Bird
The Detroit Historical Society’s Encyclopedia of Detroit tells the story of the Northland Shopping Center in Southfield, potentially the world’s first mall:
Northland Center, located in Southfield, Michigan was the world’s largest shopping center, and first regional shopping center, when it opened on March 22, 1954. For many, its construction heralded the beginning of the end for downtown Detroit’s shopping district, and the beginning of suburban shopping malls.
Designed by architect Victor Gruen and constructed at a cost of $25 million, Northland Center’s opening, widely publicized in the national media, was said to signal the future of shopping in postwar America. The Center had a Hudson’s department store as its anchor with, at time of opening, an additional 80 spaces for tenants, all surrounded by an 8,344-space parking lot. Northland Center also featured a bank, post office, auditoriums, artwork, fountains and extensive landscaping, design features that were soon incorporated by other developers across the country.
The artwork included six sculptures commissioned by Hudson’s, perhaps the most well-known being Marshall Fredericks’ Boy and the Bear. Among other commissioned works were Moby Dick by Joseph Anthony McDonnell, and Lily Saarinen’s water sculpture/fountain, Noah.
In 1975, Northland Center was enclosed as a mall, and a food court was added to the complex in 1991. Despite these additions, Northland suffered a natural decline as it aged. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, major tenants vacated their operations, as did several of the anchor stores. The volume of shoppers dropped from its peak of 18 million annually to half of that. The property had various owners until the last in 2014 who defaulted on his mortgage.
Read on for more.
William shared this photo from the Hiawatha Postcard Co of Ypsilanti. You can see more in his awesome Northland Shopping Mall gallery on Flickr.
Marche du Nain Rouge by Joel Williams
The Nain Rouge has been a harbinger of doom since the time of Detroit’s founding. Every spring, Detroiters celebrate liberation from the fearsome Red Dwarf of Detroit by holding a parade in the Cass Corridor to trick the Nain with their terrible French and costumes in the Mardi Gras-esque Marche du Nain Rouge!
The event is symbolic of a new beginning and speaking as someone who has been to a couple of these, it’s a heck of a lot of fun! Next Sunday, March 20, 2022 from 1-3 PM join thousands of revelers to celebrate and once again banish the fiendish imp intent on ruining Detroit! Tradition holds that a citizen of Detroit dresses up as Le Nain Rouge, temporarily embodying its spirit, wearing a mask to conceal identity. As Le Nain Rouge, this person accepts responsibility for leading people through the streets of Detroit to La Marche’s final destination.
Joel took this at the Marche back in 2017. You can see more in his Marche du Nain Rouge 2017 gallery on Flickr.
PS: Turns out I was there in 2017 as well so you can also check out my Flickr gallery!
Golden Rays over Canada by Craig Hensley
Craig got this supersweet drone shot of downtown Detroit last week. In his photo you can see Belle Isle, the sun shining on Canada across the Detroit River at the left, the Renaissance Center towers in the center, and the art deco Guardian Building in the foreground.
See more great shots in Craig’s Detroit gallery & view and purchase his work on his website.
Downtown Detroit Driver by marsha morningstar
WXYZ-ABC Detroit reports that Michigan ranks as the 8th worst state to drive in:
The study looked at all states to see which were the most driver-friendly, and compared them across 31 key metrics, ranging from rush-hour traffic congestion to road quality and average gas prices.
Michigan came in 43rd, just behind Missouri and ahead of Colorado.
The state ranked 20th in share of rush-hour congestion, 19th in traffic fatality rates and car theft rate, 26th in road quality and 39th in auto maintenance costs.
Marsha took this back in 2014 in downtown Detroit and would like you to help explain how this happens at a 25 mph speed limit. Head over to her Flickr for the latest!