Wednesday, June 24, 2015


I've been to quite a few cities in the States but rarely have I ventured to a city simply to visit the city. Almost all of my travels to cities have primarily been for reasons other than primarily visiting the city and nothing has ever popped up that has led me to Detroit. So I was excited to learn that Ross (my brother in law) and Danielle would be getting married in Detroit.  I know what most people know about Detroit which is not really that much other than Motown and cars and the economic stuff so I was curious to observe the city firsthand. We drove up on Friday and then Saturday morning I took the girls on a typical Daddy trek which began on a train and ended up on a walk along the Detroit River in a drizzling rain. The girls are great about these rather random excursions I take them on and simply soldier on, pose upon request for pictures and listen politely when I begin rambling on about this or that thing which we have ventured upon.

The old, traditional being renovated, kind of a theme going on in Detroit.

Hotel selfie in downtown Detroit with the Renaissance Center reaching skyward on the horizon.

Nice bike, cool building mural - the old, traditional with a new twist.

Great style on this downtown building.

The monorail transecting the scene - the parking lot leading the way to our breakfast spot where we enjoyed the great staff and food of the Ham Shoppe - good eats.

Super cool old building with fire escape and a bit of steam escaping from a subterranean vent to add some old school attitude to this vintage cityscape.

Emmerson thumbs up for Detroit.

The GM monolith rising from the Renaissance Center (better than Rising Phoenix Plaza ... ) - an impressive area on the Detroit River incorporating retail, business, residence and the power of GM. 

Arabic - one of the the largest Muslim communities in the US is just outside of Detroit. 

The girls pointing out some interesting contrasts - Joe Louis arena, a famous boxer, where the Detroit Redwings play, a hockey team, in Arabic. Love our world.

Detroit Murals

No secret that Detroit has fallen on some hard times but like the spirit that built the city in the first place, hard work and creative ingenuity, it is successfully reinventing itself without losing the iconic elements that make the city unique. One thing that is particularly striking and exemplifies the new melding with the old are the cool murals all over the city that have been designed to compliment the buildings/architecture which they adorn. Really neat and unexpected.

Simply, works.

Thank goodness I have Emmerson's memory close by whilst writing this ... a station on the People Mover (thank you Emmerson for that detail that drifted out of my drafty attic of a memory). Each station had a different theme - most if not all done in mosaics.

Another People Mover mosaic.

And two more.

Murals all over the place - an alley in the downtown area tastefully graffitied.

Girls dutifully posing - I told them to sit on the bench but it was raining out and the seat was wet so obliging improvisation was in order. Best daddy walk about models ever!


Parking garage mural - again, a really neat idea that Detroit has implemented - this space would have been otherwise a concrete wall in a parking garage - but now - a unique piece of cityscape.

Well done, Detroit!

Detroit Riverfront

The morning of the wedding, whilst (and yes, I am going to keep using this word until I tire of it) mommy was getting more beautiful for the nuptial ceremony, I dragged the girls out for a walk/ride about downtown Detroit. We used the People Mover, a monorail type of train that is elevated and rides around the downtown area. We got off at a few choice stations for some urban investigating. A steady drizzle set in but the girls soldiered on as they always do on daddy's random 'walks" - best random daddy walk girls ever!!

Sports fans they are not but they are culturally in tune enough to know that as Chicagoites, they are NOT supposed to like the Detroit Redwings.

They were excited by the idea that Canada was on the other side of the Detroit River. Visible in the back ground is Windsor, Canada - which apparently likes casino's.

Sisters and best friends.

Ada showing some love and daddy tearing up whilst writing this ... 

And then my new Iphone opted to go black and white ... 

Where it remained until Emmerson took control and got it back to color.

Quick, Emmerson, pose with those fish! No problem .... a cooler of green bass from the Detroit River. The fellow fishing was using crawfish and minnows and seemed to be doing quite well. 

With a river paddle boat.

Detroit Wedding

 Danielle's and Ross's wedding was responsible for our voyage to the Motor  City and I am glad they opted for this location as it opened up my eyes to a city I never would have ventured to unless I had something going on there. So thanks for that, Danielle and Ross.

Emmerson all lovelied up for the wedding. She and Ada were junior bridesmaids/flower girls/tender to the ring bearer. 

Emmerson's fancy bun.


Think she was excited??

Still in selfie mode from the Philippines - the land of the selfies!

And one more for the road - notice the girls critters lounging on the comfort devices in the background. 

And here's Ada!!

Presently, she has a lot of hair going - her goal is to grow it down to her waist and knowing Ada, she will persevere. So she had quite the bun!

In the lobby all gussied up ready to walk to the wedding venue for wedding party pictures. On the way, I snapped a few of the girls on the streets.

My favorite picture in a while ... says a lot about a lot. 

Lions stadium - da Bears!

Another favorite - just love how game the girls are for whatever. Walking around Detroit in wedding party attire.

And to wrap up the big three teams here in Detroit (unless you are a basketball fan - did not come across their stadium), Tigers field.

My first spot of the lovely bride.

My lovely ladies.

Me and my lady!

Emmerson was super excited about the cake. 


I forgot the name of this place and Emmerson my memory assistant is not around, but it is a cool, old style, urban downtown, country club. 

About to walk down the aisle.

Love this one.  Ada rather demure, Emmerson doing the double hand wave!

The grand table - not sure that's what its called but the wedding party table. 

On the dance floor - great reception - dance floor was rocking all night. I bailed with my little ones around 11 but the party moved to the basement bowling alley of the club for a few more hours of celebrating.

Emmerson showing her moves - Ada was hanging out with a gaggle of girls (who were slightly older) and was thus not as obliging to dancing with the old folks and getting photographed.