The Legal Eagle and I are running out of long streets we haven’t ridden on – so we decided to cover some turf we’ve already seen, with the aim of seeing some sights we haven’t. Given that the Legal Eagle is a train nut (of the best kind, of course), we plotted a route to take us to the massive marshalling yards over by Kronk St. and Livernois. Here’s a map of our trail, if you’d like to follow along. It does, indeed, resemble a rectangle. Or Tennessee. Your pick.
Someone once said “Getting there is half the fun”. I tried to locate the source, but Google® returned over 10 million hits, and none leaped to the first page, so we’ll just accept is as an unattributed adage, ok? Good.
That turned out to be true for us, too.
We passed a number of interesting retail establishments – some of which are going concerns.
There’s a nice car wash/snack shop on Whittier, dig?
Open 7 days, but perhaps not on Sunday mornings
Aside from the grammatical irregularities, close by is this nicely named barber shop:
I don’t know the location of Clipper City #1
Another car wash was just down the road. It was open, and while it doesn’t have a snack shop associated with it, it does appear to be operating in the face of possible copyright infringement issues.
No name. None needed. We all know what this car wash is called
I didn’t know there was a Duke Ellington Conservatory in Detroit until the 12th of June. Now I do. My mighty photographic skillz chopped off the title of the school on the right hand side. It’s officially the Edward “Duke” Ellington Conservatory of Music and Art. (The word I chopped off). I snooped around a bit online, and note that it appears to have a number of fine reviews.
“Baby, shall we go out skippin?
Careful, amigo, you’re flippin’,
Speaks Latin, that satin doll.”
Back on Gratiot, the Legal Eagle spotted a building that used to be the terminus of an Interurban Rail company that ran trains from Port Huron to Detroit. It has stopped doing so, of course, run out of business by bus companies.
Yes, there used to be a train station on Gratiot
Over on the other side of the street are some rather more recognizably Gratiot-ish. The slightly non-executive Executive Car Sales, for example.
Hurry in. Selection is extremely limited
If you have a dirty dirigible, you may want to take it here for a little freshening. And they even promise same day service!
Yes, I know Zeppelins are rigid framed, and blimps aren’t. But I can spell. And Zeppelin has another “p” and an “e”
We have a dog. I like my dog. Dog Food Heaven sounds like a good place to get him his chow. But the animal under the store’s name doesn’t look much like any breed I’ve ever seen:
This pup barks with forked tongue
His kennel mates are a little more recognizable: Meet Fang:
And to his left, Butch (such an angel) and Pomegranate:
Better Made® is Motown’s own snack food. They make really good chips, if you’ve never visited our fair burg. I hadn’t known that there was a factory discount store for the little beauties:
Factory Outlet for your gullet’s inlet
Right before we left Gratiot for other sights, we cruised by this wonderfully-named restaurant:
Now I’ll try to find Tim’s Thorax
Ron’s Rib Cage has a sparse presence on the interwebs. I did find a site with two diametrically-opposed viewpoints. One full thumbs up. One thumbs down. Ever been there? Weigh in with your opinions, if you have.
After a soft right turn, we found ourselves on Harper, and we ran across another excellent second ghost sign. The Henkel’s Flour mill complex was on Atwater, and was also known as The Commercial Milling Company.
Two kinds of flour? Who knew?
We eventually arrived at our stated destination, the Livernois Yard, where freight cars are assembled together into a “consist”. Meanwhile, they’re kept in marshalling yards like this.
Squint, and you can see Detroit in the background
The Legal Eagle was in his element. (He’s a train buff).
I hear the train a rollin’, it’s comin’ ’round the bend – J. Cash
If you’ve got a hankering for a railroad spike, this is your Walmart. There are tons of them lying around, along with less-recognizable railroading detritus. The Legal Eagle scoffed at the goods on offer. He’s holding out for the golden spike.
On the way back, we cycled through “Mexican Town”. There actually seems to be some real, positive economic activity here. After sticking our heads in at a local outdoor bazaar on Vernor (there were a lot of used backpack leaf blowers for sale), we passed this fab mural closer to the commercial section of the area.
Fantastic Mural on the Side of the Hacienda Foods Building
One more stop before we routed ourselves homewards. We decided to pay a visit to the Corktown Youth Hostel, which I mentioned in last week’s post. If you haven’t seen a photo of it yet, here it is:
Now open for your lodging pleasure
Oh, and one other thing. There’ve been noises made that Matty Moroun is going to re-window his iconic Detroit building, the Michigan Central Station. Judging by the lack of windows and activity, I’m not holding my breath.
No activity noted.
That was it from a photo op perspective. We stopped for a delicious lunch at the Lafayette Coney Island, which, I have learned is six years shy of celebrating its 100th anniversary. It’s a splinter operation of the American Coney next door, and was opened after the Keros brothers got into an argument and split the original restaurant into two. (I had one with everything, a bowl of chili, and an order of fries). Seemed ok, as we’d ridden 30 miles at that point.