Friday, October 30, 2009

Coffee and The Dying City

I'm going to work a second job on Saturday so I took the day off work today. We were blessed with another beautiful day. There was a nice chill in the air. A fleece pullover kept me riding in comfort.

A quick stop for coffee. For coffee my choices are the Starbucks at Hulen and Bellaire, the Starbucks downtown, or the Starbucks on University. I chose the Starbucks on University. Notice a trend here.

This is Texas, and this is Cowtown. Hence the skulls.

Beard Progress Report: About what I expected. This is usually where I get disgusted and give up. I've decided to push on this time. Hopefully things will start filling in.

I don't know what led me to this, but a couple of weeks ago but I looked up home prices on a Detroit, Michigan realty site. The thought of buying a nice old home for $12,000 was really attractive to me. The idea of patrolling the edges of my property with an assault rifle to keep the thieving hordes away was not so attractive. I wonder what day to day life must really be like for the average citizen of Detroit. Are things really as bad as the media portrays?

Today my wife came across some photos from a blog post titled "Feral Houses" on the Sweet-Juniper blog. Amazing. How could this happen to a major U.S. city? You should take the time to browse through this blog. There are some amazing but heartbreaking photos of fantastic buildings going to waste.

Feral house

Abandoned zoo. This is from another post on the same blog.

From a post titled Four Rooms.

You can also check out this blog by a Detroit cyclist. Very interesting.


  1. If you decide to give up on the beard hang on to the mustache for a year and see how it develops. I have the same beard problem but I hung on to the mustache in 1968 and it just became me. I shaved it in 1969 and my wife wept real tears. That was the only time I did that. I threatened to do it again a year or so ago but my granddaughter nixed that. Said I wouldn't be a grandpa if I did. I tried the beard thing again in 1984 but all I ever really get is a goatee and I really can't stand them on me or anyone else. When I was growing up the Sheriff of Nottingham had a mustache and goatee and so did that trouble maker Bluto in Popeye. I didn't want to look like them.
    Thanks for the Links. I enjoyed each of them.

  2. the beard is starting to fill-out. give it time!!

    peace :)

  3. It's really sad to see Detroit in such a state. It's New Orleans all over again. My hope is that it will bounce back and become better than it was.

  4. Great blog,sac but great.Make that first pic into a haunted house,or maybe the other into a haunted Zoo that could be cool


  6. I do that too, get on realty sites and check the price of houses just for fun. It's amazing what is going on in some of our cities. I read somewhere on the web, that some cities up north, primarily, are considering bulldozing entire swaths of once thriving, but now deserted urban sprawl and allowing nature to reclaim the land. It's a great migration within the borders of our own country. In years to come, I wouldn't be too surprised, if the people who have left the lands of their familial roots, look homeward, purchasing the nature reclaimed lands for retirement homesteads.

  7. Having gotten into cycling songs lately, and seeing this post, I'm reminded of the Cashman & West "City Suite'" segment "A Friend Lies Dying." They meant it for NY. Let's hope Detroit turns out as well.

  8. I don't think it will end well for Detroit. Even before the market downturn, there were vast neighborhoods that had gone feral. We moved there in 1991 and, not having much money because I was just getting over a layoff, we decided to go to a museum in the city. We made a wrong turn when getting off the freeway and there blocks and blocks of empty houses that were certainly something special in their day (similar to the gray one with the round turret posted above). Now it's all being overgrown. It's just not pretty.

  9. Very sad about Detroit, though I can't help but find the abandoned places beautiful. That's the problem with aestheticizing disaster. They are thinking of closing one of the Boston zoos as well.

  10. I love this post in a hopeful way. Just like there are people here in SF that think no one in TX cycles...PFFTTTTTT
    Wish some of the coffee houses here had morre connections around the country, but they all seem to be hitting up the NYC and their east coast neighbors. Guess dunkin donuts just aint cuttin it ;-)