It’s hard to imagine that I’d be writing my 100th blog entry on bicycling across the City of Detroit! In the 4,000 plus miles of riding in the city over the past two years, I’ve met some remarkable people, stumbled upon some bizarre sights and have seen firsthand, the effects of poverty on this city. Because this is my 100th entry, I thought I’d highlight a few from the past that I think are worthy of revisiting.
About a year ago, I posted a blog entry on the top seven visited sites over the first 52 weeks of this blog (click here to read it). As I mentioned back then, seven had no relevance; it was just a number I randomly chose. To keep things consistent, I’ve selected an additional seven entries to feature. Narrowing close to 100 stories down to that number was a chore. After careful review, I feel the seven I’ve chosen represent a broad cross-section of what I’ve discovered on my bike rides across this great city.
Click on the bold headline above each photo and through the magic of the Internet, the story will appear on your screen. Take a read and let me know what you think.
This entry is a good example of the unusual, colorful characters that live in Detroit. This particular gentleman was rather boisterous and quite entertaining. Rather than complain about a blighted house on his street, he turned it into a positive by placing a clever, humorous sign among the rubble.
One of the sights I’m always amazed at is the abundance of open land in this city. There is something like 40 square miles of it and most have reverted back to prairies and woodlots. This eastside Detroit neighborhood of fields and grasslands reminded me of trip down a country road. The only thing missing were deer.
– Ice Cream Trucks –
In my mind, these colorful beauties that slowly cruise the neighborhood streets represent Detroit’s entrepreneurial spirit. The noisy vehicles are painted in eye-catching colors and blast ear-piercing music in an effort to sell their frozen goodies. I like the unique company names painted on them and especially admire the Mr. Obama Ice Cream truck with the first family’s smiling portrait.
Detroit is cultural hub of many ethnic groups. This entry showcases the vibrancy, cultural heritage and colorful traditions of the large Hispanic population that is centered in lively Southwest Detroit. Their annual parade is one of the best in the city and stretches for miles along Vernor Highway.
Despite Detroit’s urban blight and widespread poverty, there are many areas of the city that are stable and strong. The DMC is one of them. In the center of their enormous campus is a park like setting with a large concentration of some of the best outdoor art pieces I’ve seen on my two-wheel travels.
Detroit has a long history of building custom, flashy cars and that Motorcity tradition has worked its way down to bicycles. Pedaling throughout this city’s neighborhoods, I’ve seen many unique, custom one-of-a-kind bicycles. There are especially prominent in the environs of Southwest Detroit and along the City’s waterfront.
This entry showcases the variety of non-residential architecture that can be found along Fort Street. As Detroit grew out from the city center over the years, building styles changed and they reflect the era in which they were built. The range of architectural styles on Fort St. can also be found along many of the city’s other, once prosperous commercial streets. Many are in remarkably good shape.
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