Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Spirit of Detroit

After we got up and ready to go, we noticed the fridge was out. Bernie checked the propane and realized it was empty. When we went to return the RedBox movies, we saw that the screen had been shot the night before so we couldn’t return the movies.

Bernie went inside Walgreens to borrow the yellow pages to find a place to refill the propane. The clerk knew of a place and wrote down directions for us, that was very helpful and it saved us some time.

We went to find another RedBox and then the U-Haul place to get our propane filled. The guy who helped us, Billy, was very nice and had a lot of questions about our trip and our life on the road.

Next went to see the Heidelberg Project. This project was started by a man who was troubled by the effect of the Detroit riots on his neighborhood. With the help of his wife and grandfather, they cleaned up the vacant lots. Then using the found objects they collected, started transforming the area into a massive art environment.

Everything is decorated here, the houses, the trees, the streets and the sidewalks. We saw everything from stuffed animals hung all over a house, to a sculpture of doors piled high, to shoes stuffed inside a stove. This is truly a unique place. www.heidelberg.org

After that we went to Belle Isle Park, an island park in the Detroit River which is the largest island park in the US. We drove around the whole island looking for the beach. As we got closer we saw a big slide with a pool. It looked really fun so Bernie had to do it. Then she went into Lake Huron for a swim while Mar read her book on the sand.

Then we drove to Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit to see the Michigan Labor Legacy Landmark. This monument has two arches with a gap in between representing the labor movement. Hart Plaza had several other monuments, like an Underground Railroad memorial and a huge sculpture of a hanging arm with a fist.

We also saw the Spirit of Detroit across the street, a large bronze statue of a seated figure holding in one hand a sphere with rays symbolizing God, and on the other hand, a family group symbolizing all human relationships.

Then we went to check out Mexicantown. We saw several of their stores and had dinner at the Mexicantown Restaurant. We split the trio appetizer for dinner and Mar got one of their homemade tamales. The food was pretty good but the margarita was better. We stayed in their huge parking lot for the night. www.mexicantownrestaurant.com

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