Warren and Michigan Avenues: Meat City, Hair for Sale, Palindrome Fail, and more

What a glorious day on the Tour de Hood. Not only was the weather just spectacular, the sights to behold were equally inspiring.  After all, who wouldn’t be thrilled by a giant cow head (complete with its own reading light)?

cowBessie with a headlamp

On the way to East Warren Avenue, I passed an extraordinarily bad painting of President Obama.  The building on which he’s painted also poses a mystery. The establishment promises “Seeded” and “Seedless” Watermelons, and the neither-of-the-above “& more”. More what? Semi-seeded? Sorta-Seeded? Seems like seeded and seedless covers just about all the possibilities to me.

worst-painting-of-obamaPresident Obama, more or less

I know Mies Van Der Rohe famously said “Less is More”, but if I ever open a nightclub, I hope I can come up with a better name than this:

club-clubClub Club (Private Club Club)

You can spot a newcomer to Detroit by his or her non-Detroit-pronunciation of street names like Schoenherr (Shay-ner) and Goethe (Go-thee – soft th), and famously, Gratiot.  We pronounce it “Gra-shut” where the Gra rhymes with laugh. While on the way to Michigan Avenue, (on Gratiot) we passed a monumental misspelling. (And no, I’m not referring to the misplaced possessive). What’s most mind-blowing about this is that the sign painter could’ve checked the correct spelling just by, oh, looking at the street sign. Voila: Gratoit Tires and Service. (Maybe it rhymes with Detroit?)

GratoitNeed yoru cra fexid?

I am somewhat follically-challenged, so I was quite thrilled to find a shop that, oddly, sells hair. I’ll admit, I have never seen a hair shop before.

hair-sold-hereHow do they charge for it? By the inch? The pound?

I am also a fan of wordplay – puns, palindromes, crossword puzzles, etc., so imagine my pleasure at finding this tax preparation company which has the two ends of a palindrome, but forgot about the middle part.

xat-taxPalindrome Fail: Xat’s what I’m talking about

Once on Michigan Avenue proper, we passed the mighty Slow’s restaurant, one of my all-time favorite places to eat anywhere. It has only one problem – it’s too popular, and the wait to get seated can be excruciating, particularly when you are being assaulted by the tempting aroma of slowly barbequing pork.  I’ll bet you’ve never eaten across the street from a speedometer repair shop, either.

slowsEven the wait to eat is Slow

The sights on Michigan began to unveil themselves. We may call ourselves Motown, but what the heck, Meat City sounds good, too.

meat-cityWait until PETA hears about this

Across the street is another motorcycle – er, social club – no doubt populated by very friendly members.

highwaymenI wonder if there’s an initiation rite?

There was a decidedly non-pc vehicle for sale next door. I think it would be a great commuter car for Michigan winters.

non-pc-vehicleIngress and egress will be tough

Looking for some dubs for your whip? Rim City might be able to help you out – and perhaps can explain the whatever-that-thing-is on the roof is.

rim-cityJust down the road from Meat City

There are quite a few adult entertainment establishments on Michigan Avenue – (reasonably typical of Detroit’s major thoroughfares). Take your pick:

Club 4 Play

4-PlayHamburgers are only $4.00. With fries

Starvin’ Marvin’s – amazingly accurate use of the possessive, and so, perfect for grammar police stripper fans.

starvin-marvin'sExclusive? Oh yeah.

Next, a place that’s either an adult entertainment facility or a post-exercise hangout.  I’m betting on the former.

hard-bodyDouble extra-hot no foam latte with that lap dance, please

Finally, close to Dearborn, The Crazy Horse. (We left Michigan at Lonyo, so as to stay within the city limits.) Looks nice from here:


Talent agency, too

Perhaps because of its proximity to Dearborn, the Crazy Horse has a neon sign which I can only assume is Arabic.  Translation, anyone?

arabic-neonDoes this translate as “Adult Entertainment” or “Talent Agency”?

Naming streets for a big city must be an exhausting job.  So I guess I understand that the person responsible for this street simply ran out of gas one day, and gave up trying to be inventive:

JoeI live on Joe. Just Joe.

There’s an auto repair facility on the corner of Joe and Michigan, whose sign appears to have been painted by the same firm responsible for “Gratoit”.  Here, you can get your front end aliged.

aligmentI always wanted my wheels aliged

This sign was clearly not painted by the company whose sign you’ll see below.  I want to meet the fellow illustrated thereon, whom I’ve dubbed the King of Detroit.

King-of-DetroitI need a logo for the Tour De Hood – I may call this guy up

Yet another very narrowly-focused retail outlet. Not just socks. Sporting socks. American sporting socks.

american-sporting-socksLooks like you can buy them singly or in pairs

After the string of strip clubs, it was somewhat of a relief to find a church to keep things in balance. If you need deliverance from fire, now you know where to go. This is on West Warren – near Lonyo.

fire-and-deliveranceChurch-cum-Fire Station?

I’ve seen plenty of great store fronts here in the Paris of the Midwest. Mr. Fix It is simply a Masterpiece of retail art. So much so, I didn’t think one photo would do it justice.

Here’s one side (the one that faces Warren Ave.).

mr-fix-it-1Odd jobs

The front – one part of which I can’t quite figure out. Can you find it?

mr-fix-it-2aAn adventure in Auto care. (And other things, too!)

Here’s the part I can’t decipher:

mr-fix-it-3Guess the object next to the Bible. Please submit answers in the comment section

Side three. Not a wasted inch of space. And, perhaps, a way to help you keep your hubcaps in place.

mr-fix-it-4Peculiarly-shaped phone, no?

The United Sates is supposedly a class-free society, so I’m not sure how I feel about the regal claim made by the owner of this liquor store. (Maybe Elvis is still alive, and works here?)

king-of-warrenDetroit Royalty, with his subjects, alcohol and the lottery

Identifying the King of Warren will have to wait a while – in the meantime, I can tell you he’s probably not named Jason.  Here’s an awfully blunt piece of invective I spotted on the side of a truck.

jason-reichAm not responsible for the veracity of this statement.

All in all, a beautiful day in the Hood, including a live love song in front of the Avalon Bakery. (It’s a long story).

6 thoughts on “Warren and Michigan Avenues: Meat City, Hair for Sale, Palindrome Fail, and more

  1. It’s gotta be a muffler.
    Look at the line encircling the “Mr”
    Of course, why is the muffler spewing exhaust fumes on the Holy Bible? Don’t have a clue.

  2. Definitely a Bible-toting tire blowout. I love your blog, photos, humor and sense of the craziness and appreciation for Detroit’s urban beauty. Thank you for sharing so many images which most people pass by without a second blink or thought.

  3. I too think this is a muffler hovering near the bible.

    But what I really wanted to comment on about this area of the piece is the yellow drop shadow on the word “BLESSED”. The effect is well done on the B and L, but I think the yellow blends in a bit generously with the background for the remainder of the word.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s