Today’s ride was a veritable photo-opportunity-fest. I accompanied my cousin Paul as he continued his epic quest to photograph every fire station in Detroit. (By the way, all the firefighters we’ve met are really nice – and happy to talk about their particular fire station.) Aside from his FS knowledge, Paul knows all sorts of cool history of Detroit. (Like identifying an abandoned building as a former Detroit Bank & Trust building from the “1849” on the facade – the year DB&T was incorporated).
Look at the wonderful Detroitest things I spotted today.
There was the tire-biting dog:
There was the hood’s most honest tire and rim shop:
No hot goods here
There was the graphic that pointed out the financial advantages of trading trash for cash at City Recycling. (I particularly like the way they used that protective grillwork as part of the art).
I-beams for ingots
There was the misspelled store name:
Verily, I shall name thee Varity
There was the legendary, but now shuttered Gospel Hands car wash:
They even used to get your car’s soul clean
I even saw a box of shotgun shells in a gas station’s restroom. (The restroom was not really for public use, as the guy behind the three-inch thick plexiglass had to let us into the inner sanctum of the station to use it).
I think “game load” means to maim, not kill, humans
I spent a fair amount of time on Livernois Avenue today. The avenue is named for the descendents of Paul Benoist dit Le Nivernais. It’s a long story, which I found summarized in an article in the Monterey County Herald, of all places.
Livernois Avenue’s pleasures and perils abound. There’s a strip club (of course):
“Adult Entertainment” is code for strip club, I think
An unremarkable name, particularly compared to the “Please Station” (see below), but its logo is a real charmer: (And the model has unusually long & thick hair, in addition to a booty to die for).
Possibly NSFW logo (though it is on a public thoroughfare)
In case you get too revved up over the entertainment at the Brass Key (they’re looking for waitresses, if you’re interested), a bit further up the road you’re reminded to keep things on the up and up:
Don’t be messing around
Near Livernois on McGraw, we stopped at “Double Deuce”, the Detroit Fire Department’s Ladder 22:
McGraw Street’s Finest
The fire station’s logo is the best part. It’s painted on a window on the second floor – and unfortunately, it’s partially blocked by a flagpole.
Ladder 22 Does Not Mess Around
We also met the “Lords of Livernois” – the firefighters of Engine 34. They have really cool T-shirts, but the firefighter we spoke to who was wearing one said they hadn’t printed any in a long time. Dang. Who wouldn’t want to be a Lord of Livernois?
I got a little depressed at the unfortunately-named “Last Chance Academy”. Here’s a photo, lest you think I’m making that up:
What happens after this?
My glass was only temporarily half-empty, as the fellows at the Detroit Fire Deparment Engine 42 have taken it upon themselves to rename the area “Pleasantville”. (It’s right next to the LC Academy)
Happy to be here
Then there was the reminder that no matter how dismal things are, they’re not always going to stay that way.
Things will get better. Some day.
That made me feel a little more cheerful.
But what made my day was riding by what I think has to be the best intersection in America. Who wouldn’t want to be able to give the pizza guy directions to this address?
All in all, a 38 mile TDH to remember. I hope tomorrow brings more unexpected gifts from the hood.
P.S.: Thanks to Paul for the tighter shot of the Double Deuces logo.