Jan 1, 2023

Happy New Year 2023!

Detroit 2023 

Another year has ended, and we look forward to a new year with new beginnings. This year's video of the Detroit River has no narration after about two minutes into the video. Why? Well, this year I thought I'd let the video speak for itself. 😀  Happy New Year!!

View of the RenCen in Detroit from Belle Isle
View of downtown Detroit from Belle Isle

Freighter traveling on the Detroit River

Broken ice on the Detroit River

Jun 4, 2022

End Gun Violence March

Detroit, MI End Gun Violence March

2022 End Gun Violence March - Detroit

On June 4th, the Church of the Messiah in the Islandview neighborhood (lower eastside) of Detroit sponsored a march to end gun violence. The event started with a press conference with city and state officials. After the conference, community members marched through the streets to support an end to the senseless gun violence in our city and country.  The route was through the Islandview and West Village neighborhoods. 


Participants were encouraged to wear orange as a show of support for victims of gun violence. We need to find a way to stop the horrible gun violence in our country. Visit Everytown.org and take action.


Jan 1, 2022

Happy New Year 2022!

Detroit, MI New Year's Day

We've all been through some tough times due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but we hope for better days. Here's the annual Belle Isle Detroit River video. Sorry for the background noise of the wind. I purchased a microphone that was supposed to help reduce the annoying wind, but it decided to stop working. Ugh. 

Belle Isle 2022

This is how it goes sometimes with technology!  I hope you all have a wonderful 2022!

Jan 1, 2021

New Year's Day 2021

Detroit, Michigan - Belle Isle

The tradition continues! Detroit Video Daily is back on Belle Isle to shoot the annual Detroit River video on New Year's Day. This year's video has some footage from two freighters on the river. One thing that hasn't changed is it was cold!

Two Freighters

The timing of the video was right to watch two freighters on the Detroit River. The first boat was the Algoma Strongfield, and it appears in the video with the Ambassador Bridge in the background. Later I noticed the Kaministqua traveling down river. The boats pass each other, but it was in a spot where I couldn't get a good photo.

Both boats passing each other

Algoma Strongfield


Video of the Detroit River and the Two Ships

Dec 31, 2020

Sunset Point - Belle Isle, Detroit

New Year's Eve 2020

The year 2020 comes to a close! Here is a short video from Sunset Point on Belle Isle.

Sunset Point, Belle Isle, Detroit
This photo was taken a few days before New Year's Eve
Last Sunset of 2020
The last sunset of 2020 in Detroit 

Jan 1, 2020

New Year's Day 2020 in Detroit

Happy New Year!
Once again DVD is happy to welcome in the New Year with a video shot on Belle Isle in Detroit. A short video of  the Detroit River this year and some nice photos to go with it.

Ren Cen in the distance

McArthur Bridge aka Belle Isle Bridge

Windsor, Ontario, Canada in the distance

Aug 12, 2019

Tiger Baseball!

August 11, 2019

While the outcome of the game wasn't what we desired, it was still a nice time at Comerica Park in Detroit to watch the Detroit Tigers play baseball.  Final score was K.C. 10 and the Tigers 2.  Enjoy the video!

Jul 16, 2019

Lights for Liberty Protest and Vigil

Detroit Protest
On Friday July 12th after work, I participated in the Lights for Liberty march on E. Jefferson in Detroit. Regardless of what your politics are, we should all be appalled at the way this administration is treating immigrants and people seeking asylum. The separation of children from their parents and the conditions at the camps are horrific.

What You Can Do
There are many non-profits working to alleviate the problems at the border. Here are some links. If you are able, consider making a donation.

Learn More about Immigration Issues
One website that has a great deal of information about immigration issues is the Catholic Legal Immigration Network. They have a nice fact sheet on family separations that you can use to share the information with family, friends, and neighbors.

The Video

Jan 1, 2019

Happy New Year Detroit 2019!

Detroit River 2019
Well, even if I'm not updating this blog as frequently as before, one thing stayed consistent and that's the annual Detroit River video on New Year's day. Here are some photos and the video. Enjoy!

South Fishing Pier

Rocks in the Detroit River

Shoreline (RenCen in background)

S. Fishing Pier Belle Isle

Jan 1, 2018

New Year's Day 2018 in Detroit

New Year's Day 2018
Happy New Year!! Another year has passed and that means it's now time to share the annual Detroit
River video! This year the video was shot using an iPhone app called Clips. The Clips app allows you to add photos to the video clip, so you will see some still photos mixed in. It's a useful app for creating quick videos from your iPhone. And with the cold weather in Detroit it worked out quite well!

Located on the south side of Belle Isle
 Video of the Detroit River

Nov 25, 2017

Small Business Saturday: Fresh101 Midtown Detroit

Stop What You're Doing
fresh juices
Yes, stop whatever you're doing, and head over to Fresh101 in Midtown for an organic cold pressed juice! I just returned from visiting their new location at 4240 Cass Ave. (Note that the entrance is on the W. Canfield side of the building.) You will not be disappointed. The juice here is the real deal, fresh and flavorful. You'll also be happy to know that it's organic and super healthy.

Mrs. DVD and I, stopped in for a visit, and we were greeted warmly by the owners Denise and Monique. Monique explained their menu of different blended juices and smoothie bowls, while Denise shared info about some of the cool art work on the walls.  All of the juices sounded great, but I decided on the K.I.S.S juice (carrot, apple and ginger), and Mrs. DVD went with the Bella juice (orange, pineapple, grapefruit, turmeric and ginger.) Both drinks were simply delicious!

Small Business Saturday
There's a lot of great small businesses in Midtown, and Fresh101 is a fantastic place for you to stop and recharge as you are out shopping this holiday season. Even if your not much of a shopper, go and check out Fresh101. You'll definitely enjoy the healthy options they have!

Fresh101 Now Open :)

Apr 16, 2017

50 Years! Big Boy Closing in Detroit

The Last Day
The famous Big Boy statue on E. Jefferson Ave.
The Big Boy restaurant at the corner of E. Jefferson and E. Grand Blvd. is closing its doors at the end of the day after 50 years in operation. The restaurant will be demolished to make way for a new development in the neighborhood. You can read more about that at the Detroit News story about the closing.

Final Visit
I didn't really plan on visiting the Big Boy one last time before it closed, but something drew me there after church today (Happy Easter BTW!), and I'm glad I went. This restaurant has a history at the location, and even though I wasn't a regular customer, I'm sad to see it go. I hope that the new development is good for the neighborhood. The restaurant always seemed to have a steady stream of business. The last time I ate there I went to the breakfast buffet, and like most breakfast buffets, you can't go wrong!

50 Years at the foot of Belle Isle

Big Boy Classic
Since I was by myself, I decided to get an order to go. They were moderately busy with mostly an after church crowd stopping in. I looked briefly at the menu, but I already knew that the last meal for me from Big Boy would be the Big Boy Classic burger. It's the most famous item on the menu, and it just seemed fitting. :)

Simple but Delicious
I was not disappointed, and the Big Boy Classic burger was a nice lunch!  According to the news reports the company is helping the workers find jobs or work at another location. I wish the many long time workers there much success in their future.

The Big Boy Classic to go
Simple sign thanking the customers
What do you think? Did you enjoy going to the Big Boy on E. Jefferson? How do you feel about it closing? Leave a comment and let me know!

Jan 1, 2017

New Year's Day 2017

Sunny Day
Wishing you all a Happy New Year! The annual video of the Detroit River is complete, marking another year done for the Detroit Video Daily blog. It was a pleasant sunny day about 39 degrees. Looking forward to a wonderful 2017 in Detroit!

View of the Ren Cen

Belle Isle Bridge New Year's Day 2017

This year is just a short video to show the flow of water and the peacefulness of the river on the first day of the year. Enjoy.

Jul 11, 2016

Detroit Police Graduating Class

Troubled Times
Detroit Police Recruit Graduation 2016-C
Without a doubt we are experiencing troubled times as far as race relations in the United States. This past year, and as recently as this past week, we have seen video footage of a Black man named Alton Sterling, killed by police. And also the aftermath of another Black man, Philando Castile, who was killed by police, was posted live to Facebook by his girlfriend. As if that wasn't enough, five police officers were killed by a sniper in Dallas by a person seeking revenge for Blacks killed by white police officers. (Please note that all the links to the incidents above are from Wikipedia, and they are to provide background information, but because the events are still being investigated the information may change.)

Detroit Police Academy
With the recent racially charged events as a backdrop, I attended the graduation ceremony of my nephew, Kevin Sims Jr., from the Detroit Police Academy. Our entire family is extremely proud of his achievement. I won't go into his story that led him to become a police officer, but it was not an easy path. We are extremely proud of his ability to persist and accomplish his goal. At the ceremony, the Chief of Police, James Craig, did an excellent job in his address to the graduating class, and he also honored the officers in Dallas.

The Chosen Speaker
Each graduating class of cadets chooses one of their members to be the speaker at the ceremony. My nephew, Kevin, was chosen by his peers to deliver the speech. Besides the fact that I think he did an awesome job, I also want to post his speech to remind those that may not always think about it, but the vast majority of police officers are good honest people, and they are sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands and wives, essentially cherished family members. Congratulations Officer Sims! Your uncle loves you and is proud of you.

Watch the video below, and I'm sure you will agree with me that he did an wonderful job, and congratulations to all of the Detroit Police Recruit Training Class 2016-C!

Apr 5, 2016


Photo Follow-up
Just wanted to share an updated picture of 2126 Pierce, the renovated cinder block house from my recent post. I happened to be driving by earlier today, and thought I would snap a quick photo. I admit the shadow from the tree is a little distracting, but there wasn't much I could do about that. At any rate, you get a more recent photo and another look at an interesting home in Detroit.  :)

2126 Pierce cinder block mural covered house in Detroit
2126 Pierce Detroit

Apr 3, 2016

Artistic House Renovation

Note: DetroitVideoDaily visited this house in the fall of 2015. All information is correct from that time. I'm unsure if the plans are still in progress.

Most house renovation projects go unnoticed in Detroit, unless it happens to be a house made from cinder blocks. This particular house just east of Eastern Market off of St. Aubin street is no stranger to long time DVD fans as it showed up a while back in one of the Street Art Rolls. Mrs. DVD happened to be driving by it one day and promptly called me with the message, "ya gotta come see that house."  Coincidentally, we had driven by it the previous weekend, and it always sparks some discussion when we do. So I made my way over and was pleasantly surprised to meet with a man named Jason from 2126 Pierce who is renovating what will surely be an incredible bed and breakfast.

Apparently the house was originally built by some Cranbrook art students as a class project. Here is a link an article that has some details. I believe that someone lived there for awhile, but at some point it was unoccupied, and it fell into disrepair. I'm not sure if there were plans to build more of the cinder block houses, or if this was always meant to be just a one and done type of project. I do know that over time many graffiti artists would paint on the outside walls, and this would always catch my attention.

Air BnB
The plans are for the house to be an air bnb, and the renovations are striving to make that happen. The outside of the house now has a fantastic mural that was part of the Eastern Market's Murals in the Market festival. There is more information about the future of the house on the 2126 Pierce Facebook page.


Photos from fall 2015.

Mar 25, 2016

Not Your Ordinary Flagpole

Flagpole on Belle Isle in Detroit
Old Glory flying high
One of Detroit's most beautiful flagpoles is found at the intersection of The Stand and Vista Way. Where's that, you ask? Well, go across the Douglas MacArthur Bridge and circle around to the south side of Belle Isle, and you will find this awesome flagpole. The flagpole is a tribute to the Reverend Samuel Francis Smith. As you'll see in the video it is a memorial from the school kids in metro Detroit sponsored by the city's Rotary Club.

The magnificent structure was designed by none other than the famous Detroit architect Albert Kahn. According to the BelleIsleConservancy.org, the flagpole was designed by Kahn and sculpted by Samuel A. Cashwan.

Famous Song
Perhaps the most well known aspect of the Rev. Samuel Francis Smith's life is that he wrote the song America (My Country 'Tis of Thee). Before the Star Spangled Banner became the official national anthem for the United States, Smith's patriotic America, was commonly sung and served as a national song. Well, with that bit of information, it won't be hard to guess what the soundtrack to the video is. Side note: the soundtrack only has the first verse of the song, enjoy!


Mar 12, 2016

Tried and True for Photos

Belle Isle 
Simply one of the best places for shooting photos in Detroit is Belle Isle. A quick spin around the island can easily turn into an hour long visit, while stopping at various points to enjoy some great views. It's probably my favorite place to take photos. Here are couple from this evening's drive around the island...

Belle Isle Detroit trees and reflection
Trees on Belle Isle
View of the Renaissance Center from Belle Isle Detroit Ren Cen
View of the Renaissance Center from Belle Isle
What about you, what's your favorite place in Detroit to take photos? Leave a comment and let me know!

Feb 27, 2016

A Popular Video

A while back I received a message from a writer over at the Free Press asking if he could use one of
House almost gone
my videos in a story he was writing about environmental and health impacts from the demolition of buildings in Detroit. Since the content of this blog is copyright protected, I appreciated his asking. Of course though I was happy to let him use the video for the story.

I read the Free Press every day and didn't see the story, so I thought maybe I missed it, or it got killed. (I think that's the journalist lingo for when a story is abandoned :) But sure enough one day, there it was. Here's a link to the story on home demolitions and lead dust, an excellent piece by Keith Matheny.

But hey, wait, where's my video? Then I saw it. Just a snippet of the full video was used, and a GIF was created. Oh well, I was still happy that a part of my video made it into the story. Curiously enough the full length video is by far the most popular video on my YouTube channel, when one looks at page views. I guess people like to watch things get demolished. (I have to admit every time I watch it I get sucked in; there's some sort of mesmerizing effect.)

Once More
So I thought I would share the GIF and then the full length video for those fine DVD fans that may have missed the house demolition the first go around here on the blog. And for those that would like to read the original post, click here.

Full Length Video

Quite a few comments have been left on the YouTube page about demolishing buildings. What do you think, is the city doing the right thing with all the home demolitions? Could more be done to save these abandoned structures? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

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