Happy Fourth of July from The Tour De Hood

I hope you are having fun celebrating the Fourth of July today. I wish I could transmit aromas via the web, for all along the TDH route this morning, I could smell charcoal being ignited for afternoon and evening festivities. (For you non-Detroiters, we have a very weird fourth, as we sort of co-celebrate with our Canadian neighbors to the south, whose national holiday is on the first. The city’s official “big” fireworks display was last week. Today, it’s taken over by individuals and smaller municipalities. By the way, fireworks are “illegal” in Michigan, but that doesn’t stop Detroiters from blowing things up in impressive style.)

Here’s a big 4 to remind you of the date. (And inexpensive tire repair – a hallmark of American independence)

happy4thSuch a Deal

Much of “urban” Detroit is abandoned or on its way to being abandoned. As a consequence, you’re more likely to run into prairie-ish areas than you might imagine. 2 miles from the heart of downtown it looks like wheat is making a comeback.

prairieAmber Wave of Grain – right next to a major thoroughfare

Detroit being Detroit, though, this prairie-like setting is a block or two away from an abandoned factory. (Continental Aluminum).

continentalNot Continental Motors

Nearby, I rode past an interesting exhortation to the local populace:

becoolAll the kids are doing it

What interested me was the addition (you can barely make it out on the left side of the photo) of the remnants of Nancy Reagan’s personal war on drugs.

nancyreaganJust say no to crack

I didn’t pass any dealers – weed or crack, along the way, but it was kind of early, and maybe they were taking the day off to celebrate the 4th, too.

Yesterday, I posted an in-progress mural across the street from Cliff Bell’s. Chris Steve Coy finished the job, as you can see by the photo below.

finishedmuralHygienic Dress League Mural #2

Good news is that the Predator in drag has a man friend now.

terminatrixmateGas mask guy ‘n’ gal.

For those of you who didn’t click on the Chris Steve Coy link yesterday, here’s the Hygienic Dress League’s first mural. (It’s on Cass, not far from the murals shown above).

hygienicdressHygienic Dress League Mural One

Many more people used to go downtown for their entertainment than they do today. This sign, I am sure, used to point to much fun for many people. I have no idea what restaurant, club, bar, or lounge the sign originally lured people into – perhaps someone can weigh in with an opinion or historical fact.

entertainmentWelcome to (INSERT NAME OF ENTERTAINMENT VENUE HERE)

It still doesn’t feel like summer here. Grrrrrrr.  Maybe if the sun would come out for more than a few moments at a time it would heat up. But we’ve been living with semi-cloudy (semi-sunny for you optimists) weather for much too long to get any warmth momentum going.

4thskyLooking up on the 4th.

Finally, I spotted a unique pothole this morning. This photo doesn’t capture its peculiar qualities very well (sorry).  The best way I can characterize it is thusly:  It’s virtually horizontal.

horizontalpotholA non-vertical pothole

The potholes of Detroit continue to amaze in their variety.  I hope you all have a Fourth of July to remember.


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