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You have found the detroitblog. This is about my wanderings and debaucheries in Detroit, as well as observations, news, commentary and ramblings about the city itself. I love Detroit, even the old Detroit of blight, waste and emptiness. Hockeytown. Motown. I grew up here, had my best times here. It's my town.


Tuesday, July 29, 2003

A regrettable lapse in posts, but it couldn't be helped. Besides, no point in posting when all that happens is me sitting around the house, high as a kite, doing nothing of value. The broken bone still hurts like hell, especially when I twist it during sleep and essentially refracture the damn thing. It's bad enough that I can't play hockey or exercise, but if I could get to a point where I don't have to wear a sling and can go out and do things again, that would be spectacular. Unfortunately, I seem to be nowhere near that right now.

Monday, July 21, 2003

sad

I miss listening to Marvin Gaye on drives through the ghetto. I miss the sixth beer on a drunken Friday night stupor downtown or in Hamtramck. I miss chicks. I even miss work, so bored am I here at home, alone. And I really miss hockey, which I can't play for months. Most of all, I miss the blissful ignorance of my body, that state one is in when one is healthy. You're never aware of the collarbone until it snaps and shoots pain through you. Obviously likewise with other body parts, a fact I'm more aware of every day.

I miss the time when people didn't dote on me and bring me items from the store, as well-intentioned family members and friends do. Their daily involvement is a constant reminder that I am an invalid. It kills me.

Bleakness

My summer is essentially over. I broke my collarbone duing a hockey game Thursday. I rode in the ambulance, in shock, to the hospital, where I again went into shock. They gave me two doses of morphine, which did little except knock me out. Now I'm out for weeks, my arm in a tight sling strapped to by waist. I am immobile.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Lost Weekend

Ugh. A wasted weekend. Nobody wanted to come out and play Friday night, so I wandered the city aimlessly. Went by Bookies. Nothing. Fifth Avenue. Nothing. Went to Royal Oak. Nothing. The only upside is that it led to the first hangover-free Saturday morning in months. The rest of the weekend was a bust as well. I played hockey Saturday night, and got into a fight. I kept getting illegally checked from behind, and finally got fed up with it and jumped on someone after he hit me with the force of a train. I pretty much spent the rest of the game in the penalty box. Sunday I wandered Belle Isle, taking experimental photos involving ultra close-ups of things. If I ever manage to upgrade this blog perhaps I can post some of them.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

Bottoms up

Grand opening night at two new bars last night. I went with C to the opening of Bookies on Washington. It was a typical, "unofficial" grand opening crowd - people lured in by contests, employees' 50-something-year-old parents, a few chicks, and lots and lots of sports guys. Apparently WDFN-1130 AM, the sports talk station, was doing some promotion, so a lot of sullen sports radio fans sat around waiting for something to happen. Also, a huge fault - rather than having Guiness on tap, they had Murphy's Irish Stout. "Same thing, right?" said the bartender. Phillistine!

Then it was off to another unofficial opening - Harry's on Clifford. For those who can't visualize the area, it's the epicenter of Cass Corridor, the old Cass Corridor, before it was the edge of "Midtown" and when it was really "junkie/whore town." They've got a huge bouncer stationed outside just to keep the derelicts from stumbling in and urinating on the tables.
This grand opening was the same as the other one - a table of 60-year-old drunk women, a table of gay white suburbanite guys, the bartender's friends, the owner's neighbor, etc. C had a few beers and made the utterly foolish bet ($100) that the Toronto Maple Leafs would have more wins this season than the Detroit Red Wings. That money is going to buy me a lot of Guiness and steaks. Well, it would in a world where that deadbeat actually pays me. But the thought is nice.

Update 2/2/04: Uh oh, what seemed like a sure bet has me a bit nervous. The two teams haven't been more than two points apart all year. I'm starting to think I could lose this bet by a single point. The worst part won't be the money (which will in itself be bad enough), the worst part will be the incessant gloating for months.

Update 6/15/04: Ha! $100 for me!

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Memories of Hasek

I just listened to the press conference where Dominik Hasek announced that he's returning to the Red Wings. I was listening while driving in my car because the reception on my AM radio isn't so good indoors. It reminded me of the day I listened to the press conference in which Hasek announced his retirement, just about a year ago. I was driving down sidestreets in Eastpointe. I was so mesmerized as I listened that I plowed into the side of a car driven by an elderly German immigrant as he went through an intersection. So now every time I hear Hasek talk, I unconsciously brace myself slightly for an impending impact.

Monday, July 07, 2003

Damn, it's hot, and it's barely 90 degrees. My core temperature plummets here at work, where the thermostat is set a refrigerator level, then everything else seems that much hotter when I go out. No escape at this point. Also, everyone at work has reacted in horror at the sight of my cut wrist - they probably think I tried to do myself in. I would think of a clever joke about suicide, but the last time I did that was at my birthday dinner, and that just caused people to leave the table to go cry in the bathroom. Once you strike out like that, that topic loses all humor potential.

Play with Fire

I drove to Ohio during the day of the Fourth, bought $50 worth of fireworks (any fireworks that do anything interesting are illegal in Michigan) and brought them to C's house for a spontaneous Fourth of July party. We began lighting bottle rockets and shooting them from his porch over I-75, aiming for the projects on the other side. The residents there had their own rockets, but didn't seem as willing as we were to start a fireworks war. Or else they were totally unaware of our feeble little pryo show. Theirs merely shot over the freeway, exploding harmlessly high in the air. How dull. At least ours occasionally took a sudden downward arc onto the freeway, giving us the thrill of running and hiding, only to come back and do it again. Repeat as necessary.

At one point I went to light a well-aimed bottle rocket, but the sparks shooting from the fuse lit a nearby pile of randomly aimed bottle rockets, and all hell broke loose. Everyone scattered like cockroaches. I ran to the edge of the porch, and leaned on the black iron railing, which suddenly collapsed, sending me cascading through a large shrub and sent me falling in a heap onto the ground. I got up and found that I had several deep cuts on my arms and knees (even though I wore pants, not shorts), and had gotten blood all over my clothes. This was before the night even began. So much for being dressed up and going out. At another point, the flames from the fuse of a bottle rocket shot directly onto my thumb, like an acetylene torch, and turned the skin a very painful white. I looked pretty haggard and deranged, particularly since the largest cut was across my wrist, making me look like a failed suicide attempt.

The night only got worse from there. The entire city was dead. Dead even by Detroit nightlife standards, which aren't very high. Bars were empty, streets deserted, sidewalks clear. Even the Secret Bar was closed. We pulled up to Bar Bar, and some bozo in there sees us peering in from the car and gives us an adamant middle finger. We chose not to inquire inside. We wound up at the Well, playing foosball drunk, then ate a lavish, drunken meal at Fishbones, then back to C's house, where we fired the remaining mortars and Roman candles at crack houses, drunkenly trying to antagonize.

Saturday night was more of the same. After a disastrous family dinner during which I inadvertantly managed to alienate and sadden everyone (during a dinner commemorating my birthday, no less), I went back to C's for more fireworks and drinking. We headed down to the Tastefest, second time I was there that day, and wandered aimlessly through the thick crowds. Realizing that this was leading nowhere, we went to the Bronx, played pool for a while under the watchful eye of a handful of Tastefest wander-ins, then Bar Bar, where nobody flipped us off this time but some local alcoholic mumbled nasty things under his breath to the bartender, then back home for more Guinness drinking, fireworks, beer sausage and gin rummy until 2 a.m.

Up early Sunday, sweating from the heat and my on-the-fritz air conditioner. I spent most of Sunday driving around Detroit, aimlessly. Remembered how beautiful some of the homes on Cadillac Boulevard are. At night, bored and with nobody to accompany me, I went all the way out to a Hazel Park Dairy Queen and got a cone of ice cream. Yum. However, like most food you buy from others, the portion was ridiculously large. It was like three huge scoops or something. I had to lop off a few scoops onto the pavement. Everything's geared for the fatties, I tell ya.

Thursday, July 03, 2003

The Red Wings signed Derian Hatcher for five years today. On the flip side, Sergei Fedorov says he definitely wants to leave Detroit. So all this mish mash adds up to us having a more defensive-oriented system, as opposed to the finesse-oriented puckhandling system we've been known for for all these years. In other words, the same boring shit we were subjected to in this year's playoffs, a bunch of 1-0 and 2-1 games.

Hatcher is good, but I don't like the noises Ken Holland is making about moving towards a more defensive system. Watching that trapcrap is like watching paint dry. Awful.
Fedorov is a prima donna and a baby. And a jerk. And one helluva player. I wish he'd stay.

Meanwhile, Colorado signed Paul Kariya and Teemu Selanne today. Goddamn them - just when you think they've weakened with the loss of Patrick Roy, Pierre Lacroix goes and pulls this crap. They pick up two star forwards, we lose one. Bad math so far. But Go Wings!

Summer weekday drinking

I Went to Vivio's in Eastern Market with a young lady. Restaurant closed but bar open. From there we went to the Secret Bar, which shall be secret no more once the thousands of Compuware employees flood the usually deserted streets of downtown. The secret bar is in the back of a diner, an all brick room with no ventilation, built 100 years ago, a place that nobody knows about with couches, fans, a TV, all the booze you can want and a great place to hide where nobody could ever possibly find you. It's still has the air of a blind pig. They give you free shots, free food. They know who you are when you walk in. You wind up paying $5 for seven drinks. Not many places like that anymore. Not for long. You can see the towering Compuware parking structure nearby. Won't be long before the robots from Farmington Hills wander in for an after-work booze-up and discover they like the place, put a bunch of old-time signs on the walls like a freakin' TGI Friday's.

The owner knows as much. He wants to tear up the diner part and make the place a not-so-secret bar, more of an actual bar that makes him and his family some income. Apparently he doesn't like making less money than he pays for electricity.

With a buzz on I drove her around Brush Park, looking at the latest mansions the city's gonna tear down to replace with those plastic siding replica apartments to sell to suburbanites for $200,000 for the privilege of living in a slum surrounded by prostitutes and junkies. Smart move. The per capita crime rate there, victim-wise, is roughly 1.5 out of 2. Hey, but yer in the city! Exciting, no?

Then to Honest John's.

So three pints of Guiness in two hours. Woke up in a sweat, never a good way to begin the day.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

And we're off!

And we're off ... again. I had already posted twice, then went to the "Template" section to screw around, and wrecked the whole damn blog. So I had to destroy it and begin anew. Ahh, how refreshing, a new start. And what a total pain in the ass. I've forgotten what I'd written before, but I'm sure it was damn witty and interesting. The launching of the blog has gotten off to a sputtering start.
I'm still at work, waiting to go home, meet Suzanne and go drink on a Wednesday night, probably in Royal Oak. I think she'd be freaked out by my usual Detroit haunts. I know I am.
The purpose of this Blog is ... I'm not sure. It started as a compromise between having a journal and chronicling events in Detroit, so I kind of combined the two, and now plan to post journal entries that have some connection to Detroit. I'll include links to places I mention, and of course there are links to various Detroit publications for those seeking factual, objective details about the city. But most of this will be a standard weblog.

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