Jan 31, 2016

Detroit Perseverance

House Fire
A house in the neighborhood became vacant. Not sure what happened but I believe the owner passed away. The property was kept up for awhile, but eventually it started to deteriorate. Occasionally, someone would take shelter there, but no one moved in permanently. It was a simple house that probably made someone happy to call it home. As you can see in the photo from Google Maps, it was in rough shape, but it was salvageable. Unfortunately, before that could happen someone burned it down.

House in Detroit
Image capture: Sep 2013 ©2016 Google

Rising Up
What will make Detroit's comeback complete? Will more development in downtown or in Midtown be the deciding factor? No, quite simply it will happen because of the people. Here's a photo from the fall of 2015 that shows the remains of the house fire. The message points out that when bad things happen, you need to persevere in order for things to get better.

art on a pillar Detroit
Message: we rise from the ashes

Without a doubt the story is sad. A nice house, probably had a nice family with a proud homeowner, but things happen and all doesn't continue on for the good. I think the artists (I know there were more than one because they signed their names in chalk on the sidewalk) were looking toward the future. And their message is one of hope. The Detroit city motto, Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus, which is Latin for We Hope For Better Things; It Shall Rise From the Ashes was perhaps a strong influence. I thought I had a more in focus photo, but I searched through the massive Detroit Video Daily archives, and all I could find was the one below.

The message (it's kind of hard to read):

                                         Detroit is not a cold dead place
                                         We rise from the ashes
                                         You are loved
                                         Forever and always

Click on the photo to enlarge
The People
So it will be people: the artists, the families, the workers, the everyday people getting through the tough times persevering and rising from ashes that will complete the Detroit comeback. When people have hope and love then all obstacles can be overcome. People that spread that message are the ones moving the city forward. The artists' message was only temporary because nothing in chalk can stay, yet the spirit of the words lives on.

artists' chalk message gone after the rain
After a heavy rain, the message was gone
What do you think will complete the comeback of Detroit? Leave a comment and let me know!

Jan 1, 2016

Happy New Year 2016!

Happy New Year to you! As in years past the video camera gets rolling on the first day of the new year and a video of the Detroit River is the subject. This year with a 26 degree temperature there was no fooling around scoping out a new site on Belle Isle to make the video. Pretty much drove over the bridge to our wonderful State Park, quickly parked and got the camera rolling.

Detroit River on Belle Isle
On Belle Isle the Detroit River
The Video
While this year's video didn't break any new ground, I felt that was a good thing because there is comfort in familiarity. However, you probably have noticed that during the past year there have been fewer posts to this blog, and that's not a comfortable thing for me. So let's look forward to 2016 and more posts from Detroit Video Daily. I hope the coming year is a great one for you!

Nov 15, 2015

Wind Sail Biking on Belle Isle

Lots of Cement
Although some people have been critical of the amount of cement that's on Belle Isle in Detroit, one man definitely takes advantage of it. On a brisk, windy November day as I began a ride around the island, I noticed this man bike sailing on the cemented area near the entrance to the park.

Man Bike Sailing on Belle Isle in Detroit
Wind Bike Sailing on Belle Isle

There was enough wind to keep him smooth sailing, or I guess smooth biking. As I continued on my journey the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon was playing a song.  So I made a quick audio recording and later combined it with the video footage of the man and his sail bike. And there you have it, another Detroit Video Daily video!

If anyone knows the music for the video please leave a comment and let me know!

May 24, 2015

Oh Snap! Turtles at the Belle Isle Aquarium

Belle Isle Aquarium
Closed for awhile but thankfully reopened back in 2012, the Belle Isle Aquarium in Detroit is a must visit attraction. Designed by Albert Kahn, the aquarium is architecturally beautiful which only adds to your enjoyment as you get drawn into the fascinating fish on display inside. The aquarium is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm. The cost is free, but DVD suggests that you make a donation to help with upkeep. Click on this link to read more about the aquarium.

Not only Fish
While I was there with my nine year old niece we watched a snapping turtle snap at one of the other turtles in the tank. I got the video rolling, but we didn't get to see a repeat performance of the snap. The narration on the video is from my niece. Besides the turtles there's also a tank with some poisonous frogs including an interesting blue one.


Detroit Belle Isle Aquarium fish
Just hanging out
Detroit Belle Isle Aquarium fish
Nice surroundings
Detroit Belle Isle Aquarium frog
Frog going after some fish
Detroit Belle Isle Aquarium fish
Unhappy looking fish
Detroit Belle Isle Aquarium fish
Detroit Belle Isle Aquarium fish
Two Fish
Detroit Belle Isle Aquarium colorful fish

Jan 1, 2015

Happy New Year 2015!

Annual Video
Detroit River Belle Isle South Fishing Pier
Belle Isle - South Fishing Pier
First a very happy New Year to all the Detroit Video Daily readers and video watchers. I appreciate all of the comments and kind words about this blog that I received in 2014. As many of you know the tradition has it that a video is shot of the Detroit River on the first day of the new year, and you'll be happy to know the tradition continues. However, in year's past the video has been shot near the Belle Isle bridge (MacArthur bridge for those that want to be formal.) This year needed a change.

South Fishing Pier
So this year I went out near the South Fishing Pier on Belle Isle and shot a quick minute long video. Quick because as in previous years, it was bone chilling cold. And there was a stiff wind to add to the frigid temperature.

Detroit River Belle Isle Ice 2015
Icy rocks at the foot of the Detroit River
I'm glad you asked why change the location? I decided that as Detroit has gone through a lot of changes this past year, DVD needed to make a change too. I think that new things need to be tried in 2015. Our city needs to continue to rebound from bankruptcy (and other problems), and part of growth is change. This year hopefully things will continue to get better in Detroit, and DVD will continue to bring to light some of the things that get overlooked by the mainstream media. Or just some things that I find interesting living in Detroit. Looking forward to a great 2015, and I hope you are too!

Detroit River Video 2015

Dec 13, 2014

Record Albums

Paramita Sound
A new creative space recently opened in the West Village neighborhood called Paramita Sound. It's a unique spot where you can buy a record album or bring your own disc to play and share with others. Mrs. DVD and I stopped by with our Red Hook coffees in hand on a Saturday evening, and we enjoyed flipping through the record album bin. That alone is worth a visit. Flipping through record albums, checking out the cover art and turning it over to check out song titles is a pleasure that can't be replicated with compact discs.

Paramita Sound Detroit MI
Records and more
A Social Spot
While there, we learned that on Thursdays they have a dj spinning records. Aiming for a social vibe there's also a "swap meet" on Sundays to exchange vinyl, equipment and tapes. The listening lounge in the back is another area to relax while at Paramita. Detroit Video Daily will definitely be on the look out for some of the future happenings at Paramita Sound!

Record albums Paramita Sound Detroit MI
Vinyl lives at Paramita Sound

Oct 18, 2014

Famous Fountain

James Scott Memorial Fountain
More commonly known as the Scott Fountain, it's a must see when you visit Belle Isle in Detroit. The video below was shot back in August, my apologies for just now publishing it. The fountain is only in operation from Memorial Day to Labor Day, so you'll have to wait to see it in action. One of the most striking features is the beautifully crafted marble. It is simply astounding. Hope you enjoy the video and the photos that follow!


Close up of the Scott Fountain on Belle Isle in Detroit
Close up
Detail Scott Fountain on Belle Isle in Detroit
Another close up
Lion from the Scott Fountain Belle Isle in Detroit
Beautifully carved lion

Turtles Scott Fountain Belle Isle in Detroit
Can't forget the turtles
Ren Cen from Belle Isle Scott Fountain
 Ren Cen in the background

Aug 2, 2014

Everyone Loves Flowers

Fresh Cut Flowers
I zipped past the sign on W. Forest over in Woodbridge on my way to Wayne State. Did it say flowers for sale? As I continued on to my class, I thought what a cool idea. Sell fresh flowers from your garden. I made a point to look for the sign again. The next time I passed by though I didn't see it, so I figured that it was a one time deal.

I couldn't have been more wrong. My class finished up at the end of June, but I recently had a reason to pass by the house again at the corner of W. Forest and Rosa Parks. And sure enough there was a sign. This time I stopped.

Simple Process
I discovered the place is called Fresh Cut Flower Farm, and you can read more about them at their website FreshCutDetroit.com. The gardner, Sarah, greeted me and explained that the flowers are around back on the side of the house. We walked over, and I was pleasantly surprised to find bouquets of fresh flowers lined up. However, they turned out to be flowers that were preordered. Bummer. But she did have $5 bouquets for sale, and that was exactly what I needed. Fresh flowers made simple. I purchased a couple of bouquets, and sure enough Mrs. DVD was surprised and happy with her gift.

Fresh Cut Flowers Detroit
Fresh Cut Flowers
If you're in the area stop by, but the stand is only open on Thursdays from 4 pm to 8 pm. According to their website they're open from May to October. Fresh Cut Detroit also offers other services such as wholesale and custom orders. Check out their website for more info. Beautiful flowers await you.

Fresh Cut Flowers in Detroit  
Bouquets of Fresh Flowers
Fresh Cut Flower Farm Detroit  
Fresh Cut Flower Farm

Jul 27, 2014

Detroit's Main Drag

Woodward Avenue
Woodward Ave. Detroit Downtown
Woodward Ave.
Stretching from Hart Plaza at the Detroit River northwards to Pontiac, Woodward Avenue is arguably Detroit's most famous thoroughfare. It's the dividing line between the eastside and the westside, and therefore it allows Detroiters to define themselves based upon where they reside in relation to Woodward. But let's not be divisive, instead let's take a spin up Woodward in downtown Detroit starting at the corner of Jefferson Ave.

The video has several edits in it due to the fact that we (Mrs. DVD was at the wheel) kept getting stopped at lights. However, I think it's a pretty good representation of downtown on a Saturday afternoon in late July. Side note, there was a Jimmy Buffet concert at Comerica Park, so you'll see some early concert goers heading down to the park.

Despite the nice weather there wasn't that many people downtown compared to other major cities. It seems that Woodward needs a place for people to sit outside, have a few drinks and listen to some live music. On second thought maybe that's what's missing, live music from street musicians or performers at outdoor cafes. Nonetheless, enjoy the drive up Woodward to Martin Luther King Blvd. where the video ends.

What's missing from Woodward Ave. in downtown Detroit? Post your comment below!

Jul 26, 2014

What the Heck Happened Here?!

Not sure what the heck happened here at the site of some pretty cool street art in Detroit. This creative rendition of a lion/tiger (a commenter on my Instagram account said it's a liger) was on a wall near the Honey Bee - La Colmena market in southwest Detroit. Other paintings of this cat can be seen in multiple locations in the city (watch for a future post here on DVD that will show you some of them.)

Street art of a tiger lion liger in Detroit
A cool cat
I was at the Honey Bee the other day, and here is what the wall looks like now.

missing street art in Detroit
Street art missing!
Theft? or Trashed?
Could someone have dismantled the street art and moved it to another location a la the Banksy? Or is it a case of the owner of the wall not liking street art and tearing it down? As we know not everyone appreciates street art, if you remember back to this unfortunate incident or this one or even this one.

So the question remains, what the heck happened here? (Outside of the obvious, the wall was torn down.) I guess my question is really, why did this happen?

Maybe you know the answer. If you do, please share and leave a comment. Otherwise this may remain a mystery! 

Jul 24, 2014

Detroit's 313 Birthday!

Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac
313 Birthday Celebration
Today Detroit celebrates 313 years since Antoine de La Mothe Cadillac founded Detroit in 1701. The settlement was named Detroit which is French for strait. The strait is the waterway we now call the Detroit River.

Why 313?
For those not from the Detroit area, the choice to celebrate the 313th year since the discovery of Detroit may appear strange. The number 313 though is significant for Detroiters because it's the area code for phone numbers originating from the city. In fact the area code 313 used to cover much of the surrounding areas including many suburbs. 313 still covers Detroit, but as time went on there was a need for more phone numbers, and other area codes were established for neighboring communities.

More Than Just a Number
However, 313 has taken on more than just an area code distinction. It's also used in a way to symbolize authenticity and being from Detroit proper, not just from the suburbs. In fact a few years ago a former co-worker of mine obtained her Google Voice phone number and she made a point of telling me that she got the 313 area code. The power of the 'D'!  ;)

Did you do anything to celebrate Detroit's birthday? Leave a comment and let me know!


Jul 13, 2014

The Detroit Style Slide Show

Slide Shows
Recently Detroit Video Daily got his feet wet and made a slide show about Detroit. However, the DVD slide show was just a drop in the bucket compared to the dive that Sharon Vander Kaay took.

Attentive readers of the DVD blog will remember Sharon's collaboration with the Bongo Man to create the song What I See in the D that was documented here. Take a look now at her awesome photos that make up a slide show about Detroit Style!

Compared to other cities, do you think Detroit has its own style? What was your favorite slide in the slide show? -- Leave a comment and let me know! 

Jul 10, 2014

Photo Slide Show of Detroit

Photos Meet Video
One of the nice things about writing, photographing and recording videos for this blog is that I find ways to reuse electronic media. What this means is that I can take photos from the Detroit Video Daily Instagram account and through the magic of the YouTube editor create a video photo slide show. And that's exactly what you'll find in the "video" below. Nothing fancy, just some simple photos and a rock n' roll soundtrack (kinda like Detroit on some days), and when all's said and done, there you have it... a slide show.


Some of the places I'm sure you recognize, although there might be a few new ones. What was your favorite photo? -- What place do I need to include in the next slide show? Leave a comment and let me know!

Jul 4, 2014

Goodbye to the Fleet Warehouse Building


Demolished Fleet Specialty Warehouse Detroit
Nothing but rubble remains
Recently in the Detroit Free Press there was a story about the demolition of a building on W. Fort Street. DVD recognized the Fleet Warehouse building right away. Or should I say former Fleet Warehouse building. In the name of progress the Moroun family demolished the building. The plans for the space? A parking lot. From the Freep's article, "the company intends to use the cleared site to expand its neighboring maintenance and vehicle repair facility. A bridge company representative later said that specific plans call for a parking lot." As I said in a previous post (see link below), it would be nice if the building were to be rehabbed, but that wasn't meant to be. To be fair not every building can be renovated and made profitable, but this one that was so close to downtown seemed like it had a shot. Oh well, progress.

A Look Back
Here's the link to DVD's post back in 2012 with information about the Fleet Specialty Warehouse building.

What do you think? Was it good to tear down this building?

Jul 2, 2014

Banksy in Detroit

The international graffiti artist known as Banksy at some point painted a boy on a wall in the abandoned Packard Plant. In 2010 a few guys from the 555 Gallery removed it and put it in their gallery. This of course caused a commotion in the art world regarding issues of ownership and viewing street art in the context of where it was created. The Metro Times had a story about this and even covered talk that Banksy himself didn't create the artwork. To see a photo of the Banksy in the Packard Plant surroundings click here. The artwork was in the news recently because the 555 Gallery is considering selling the piece to raise needed funds for the gallery.

Regardless of how you feel about the controversial piece of art, I have a couple of photos I snapped when I visited 555 that I want to share with you. My favorite is the second one. (And, yes that's Gordie Howe on the wall.)

Banksy painting in the 555 Gallery Detroit, Michigan
Banksy painting in the 555 Gallery

Banksy painting  555 Gallery Detroit, Michigan
Different perspective
Should the Banksy have been left in the Packard Plant? What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

Jun 22, 2014

Milliken State Park

Milliken State Park is a great park along the Detroit River.  I recently went there and snapped just a few photos. Here's a photo of the lighthouse and one of a statue called "Man in the City." There is so much more there, but the visit was short, so I'll definitely need to go back.

Lighthouse at Milliken State Park

Man in the City

Apr 14, 2014

The House

Over one hundred years ago someone was probably smiling with happiness as they entered their new
Abandoned house demolition in Detroit
The beginning of the end
home. One hundred and eleven years later they were probably looking down from the heavens with sadness. This past Saturday in the lower east side Islandview Village neighborhood the city demolished that very house built in 1903. The large duplex was abandoned and apparently had no hope of being rehabbed, so it was put on a list of vacant houses to be demolished. And after the bricks were stripped from the sides for recycling, a crew of two with one large piece of of machinery tore the house down.

Something To See
As I recorded the video a few people from the neighborhood gathered to watch the proceedings. A car with a couple of young kids stopped, and the kids were watching it come down while sitting up though the sun roof. A guy on his bike watched most of it, and other small groups watched from the street corners. Cars slowed as they passed, but most just zipped on by. The kids eventually got out and shot some of their own video from their parents' cell phone. They seemed to enjoy it the most, especially as the old wood and materials made loud crashing noises. They even gave out a small cheer when the last bit came falling down.

Happy or Sad?
While I was recording a woman came by and said, "It's sad. It's just so sad." She then commented that people were living there at least ten years ago. However, I'm sure many others in the neighborhood were happy to see this house come down. It will be one less place for crime to occur. I always say nothing good comes from an open and abandoned house. At least that's been my experience living in Detroit. But there is some sadness. Sad that it couldn't have been rehabbed and been a place for a couple of families to live. I remember two teenagers living there with their family in the early 2000's. And there used to be a good looking German Shepard that would stand guard on the small back porch. After that I don't remember anyone residing there on a regular basis.

The city will be tearing down a lot more houses now that federal funds have been secured. According to the city's website, "Detroit will receive $52.2 million of the total sum of Hardest Hit Funds from the United States Department of Treasury for demolition of residential structures in Michigan." So in many neighborhoods in the near future there will be more happiness and sadness as Detroit rebuilds itself. 

Is demolition the answer to Detroit's abandoned house problem? What do you think? Leave a comment and let me know.

Apr 6, 2014

Brush Street Drive - Detroit

Detroit Historic Neighborhood
Lots of space waiting to be developed along Brush Street in Brush Park. As you can see in today's video (though shot last summer) there are plenty of vacant lots. This of course is just one street that cuts through Brush Park, but from what I've heard much of this historic neighborhood has a lot of opportunity for growth.

Mar 12, 2014

Snow Day in Detroit

More Snow
Today was a snow day in Detroit. Schools throughout the city were closed.

Snow day in Detroit
Another pile of snow
At the time of this writing, this winter has had the second highest amount of snowfall ever recorded. Did I mention that it's March 12th?  Big sigh.

Jan 28, 2014

Still Cold.

The Weather
Dangerously cold temperatures and bone chilling wind chill factor continues to cover metro Detroit. As they say a pictures worth a thousand words, so check out the temperature this morning. 

Bear in mind 32 degrees is freezing!