Just outside the middle of downtown Detroit, in an old abandoned brick building just off of a main road, is the coolest antique store I’ve been to.
It was a cold November day, right before Thanksgiving. We were spending the day wandering around my old homeland before heading to dinner at my brother’s house. We decided to choose an antique store to go to, and it ended up being the best choice.
It was filled wall to wall with interesting items as most antique stores are, but the ceilings were also filled. With old lights, chandeliers, and even windows and chairs!
The store was called Detroit Antique and Props. Apparently they either currently, or at one time rented theater props out as well as selling antiques.
The whole store, but the attic in particular held furniture and building materials taken from all the abandoned and crumbling places that fill the city. Bathroom sinks of every color, industrial lights of every size; anything could be found in there.
There were lots of things we wanted, but all that came home with us were two small cameras, since not much else would fit in our small carry-ons that were already stuffed full with a weeks worth of winter clothes.
We often think about coming back to this interesting little place we stumbled upon.
During my trip to Michigan, I wanted to visit the cemeteries of my relatives. Luckily I unknowingly chose a hotel right in between two main cemeteries where my relatives laid. Unlike the the Southfield Cemetery, the Holy Sepulchre Catholic cemetery was massive and easy to get lost in.
It was an icy November day, and we wandered around the vast place, looking for our family members. My mom was relying on her memories of running around here when she was little. Her grandparents were caretakers of this place!
This unique group of trees caught our eye and we wandered over. It was the right area!
Someone had placed wreaths at the graves, we wondered who that could have been.
My great great grandfather, who came to Detroit from Austria and worked as a grave-digger in this cemetery.
I’ve always liked wandering around in cemeteries. There’s something really peaceful about them. It was even more special to visit a cemetery where my family members were buried. Most of them I’d never met, but had heard plenty of stories about. Others I have some vague memories of, so I was glad to get to visit their graves.
A frigid late November night in Detroit Michigan. We rode the People Mover
around and around, taking in the city sights as the sun set.
Hungry for food, we stepped off the train car at the Greektown exit and headed toward the faint glow of pink and blue.
Bright neon lights in the cold winter night, led us down the winding concrete stairs to the loud festive streets of Greektown.
The lights illuminated the walkway, some flickered and gave off a low hum of electricity. It felt a little like being in an alternate universe.
Another corner of Detroit, overflowing with character.
We sat in a Greek restaurant, devouring delicious food and reminiscing on the fun we had that day, wandering our homeland.
Heidelburg street, in East Detroit.
I had seen many pictures of this house and when I found out it was in Detroit, my homeland, I had to go.
I didn’t realize how big the Heidelberg project really was. It consumed the entire street.
The abandoned houses in the surrounding neighborhood stood intimidating against the cold grey winter sky. I’d seen rows of abandoned houses plenty of times before, but this was much larger than that. Many of the seemingly abandoned houses were not quite abandoned though. There were signs of life inside, even if the roof had fallen in.
It was one of many neighborhoods that got left behind. Forgotten as the rich parts of the city grew.
Tyree Guton started this project in 1986 when he returned from the army and found the neighborhood he grew up in, in shambles.
It was easy to see that this project brought a whole mix of different people to this neighborhood, who might have otherwise stayed far away.
It was a cold day, but as we walked around the sun began to come out and warm the street where people were working to rake up leaves, and as the artist continued to work on his never ending art project.