The Fine Art of Deconstruction

It started out a little damp on the TDH this morning, but ended up breezy and unseasonably chilly for a Memorial Day weekend. (It seems to me we always used to be swimming by Memorial Day).

Detroit is cursed by failed attempts at renaissance-ing itself.  Here, in a microcosm, a demonstration of “we were that close to getting it right this time” Detroit.

First, a concavity in the road. This isn’t unusual, most cities have them.

missedconcavity

Depression in the road that needs fixing

As part of the City’s Department of Public Works, you dutifully note the need to fill the concavity and order up some cold patch asphalt to take care of the problem. Good so far.  But in only-in-Detroit style, the asphalt deliverers fail to spot the concavity that needs filling and put their asphalt load close to where it’s supposed to be.

asphaltbump

Asphalt delivery location

If only, if only, if only the deliverers of asphalt had dumped their product about twelve feet further south, everything would have worked out fine. But they didn’t. So now we have a concavity and asphalt on the sidewalk keeping each other company.

missedasphalt

Road Fix Fail

A piece of graffiti I saw further along the TDH today (on Second) seemed to summarize the issue quite nicely.  Quel coincidence, as they say in Paris.

flaw

My sentiments, exactly

Not all was woeful this morning.  Here’s a beautiful building facade – appropriately so, given that the building’s front was, in effect, an advertisement for the company’s products and services.

cornice&slate

Detroit Cornice And Slate 1897

Here’s the cool part. The facade is actually galvanized steel.  (It’s a Michigan Historic Site. I got this info from a sign on the building).  This technique evolved from New York’s cast iron structures, and was developed because of a lack of quarries in the Detroit area. It was also fast and inexpensive.

We seem to specialize in deconstruction these days. In fact, I think it’s fair we’ve raised the abandoned building to some kind of art form.  See?

finearts

Fine Arts (sic)

I also spotted a clever piece of typography.  The name of this bar is probably not, as you might think, an invitation to worship at the altar of alcohol. Its name derives from its proximity to the Masonic Temple. (Where I saw Elvis Costello and The Clash perform).  What I like is the T.

templebar

Come in, all ye faithful

That’s it for today. Remember to remember why we celebrate Memorial Day, and try to thank those who gave their lives so we can live ours.

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