Avant le déluge, moi, monsieur arthur.

Short TDH today, I’m sorry to say.  I don’t like riding in the rain, much less thunderstorms.  Here’s what greeted me on Wunderground’s radar this morning.

radartwoColor = Bad Weather

Fortunately, I got a short ride in and got home before the big weather (and predicted thunderstorms) hit.

menacingcloudsNo tanning opportunities today

I have some advice for Dish Network or Direct TV. You have a lot of unused dishes you should probably collect.  I see them all over the TDH, and a largish number of them are on houses that are (or at least appear to be) completely uninhabited.  To wit:


dishtwoWorking Dishes. Unworking houses.

I am happy to report that one of my sinkholes now comes complete with its own body guard. The City of Detroit’s Water & Sewerage Department put up a couple of saw horses to protect it from vehicular traffic.


Sinkhole: Now with personal bodyguard

The City of Detroit’s concern for its citizens doesn’t seem to extend to protecting them from electric shock. Below, for example, is an unfortunately typical Detroit streetlight base. Seems to me it would be easy to electrocute yourself. On the other hand, if you’ve got the right Leatherman tool, this could also be seen as a source of free electricity.  If you’re not worried about frying yourself it might even be a way to hook up your computer AC adapter if you’re caught on the east side with a dead battery and have to finish a Powerpoint presentation.

freeelectricityRaw power. Detroit style.

Not all was bleak and cloudy on the TDH this morning. I think the people of Detroit have come to the conclusion that no outside agency at the local, regional, state or federal level is going to do anything to help improve the city, so we’ll have to take matters into our own hands.  The citizens of Shipherd Street have planted a community garden on an abandoned corner, and invite all to come visit.

gardenCome visit any time

A Detroit “Renaissance” has been attempted many times before. Perhaps it will come back, but at least for the nonce, it is still, as this local tagger seems to have put it, in its embryonic stage.

embryoRight to choose?

The rain is now coming down. I hope things let up enough to get in a spin tomorrow. Happy cycling, wherever you are.


Gold vs. God

No big discoveries on the TDH today. A great day out on the road, though it was a bit breezy headed downtown. (Plus half my back is seized up). That said, I did run by some points of interest.

First, the house that comes with its own graveyard (see prior post, please) is no more. I don’t know if they plan on pushing all the debris into the big hole – but maybe next week I’ll be able to report back to you if that turns out to be the case. Voila: The ex-house.

knockeddowonhouseNewly-dead house

The owners of said house had a clearly non-effective sign trying to keep the area tidy:

nodumpingCareful! Security Camera is watching!

A couple of weeks ago, I pointed out a couple of sinkholes. The lesser of the two appears to be destined for repair. (At least that’s what I think, judging by the paint. It could also be an alert to walkers, riders, and drivers).  If you’re on Kercheval, and you see it, you can tell your friends you saw one of the Tour De Hood landmarks. Gives you instant street cred.

fixsinkholeFamous sinkhole

I think Detroit has general issues with its sewage system. While I’m not a civil engineer, I believe most of the sinkholes and enormous potholes I see are because of busted sewer lines and/or water lines leaking into the ground and eroding support for the pavement.  On the opposite side of leaking is clogging, as demonstrated by this sewer, which by my lights is a seweren’t. (I had to put this picture in just so I could include that jeux de mots). Or, if you prefer, it’s a Storm Drain that Drain’t working.

sewern'tStorm Drain’t.

You’ll notice it’s lost its ability to actually drain water.  A bit further along I rode by the erstwhile “Peace in Heart Crusade Church of God”.  Looks like the neighbors prefer lucre to the promise of eternal happiness.

goldoneThere’s Gold in that there Hood.

I may be wrong, as I passed another building (a former restaurant supply shop) that is much more blinged out.

gold2Gold, Cutlery, Scales and Meat Hooks

You’ll notice on the upper left “MOCAD 3/29”.  MOCAD stands for Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit. So this Gold stuff may actually be some kind of conceptual art that I’m too much of a philistine to appreciate.

Until today, I hadn’t known there was a downtown Synagogue. Here it is, or was. I can’t really tell if it’s still in use for that purpose.

synagogueThe Downtown Synagogue – must be the only one

I love the door handle.

mogendavidMagen David

Right across the street is a new (to me – I don’t spend much of my time looking for, or frequenting, adult entertainment enterprises) place to spend some time and money.

erosGenerous drinks for fat white guys

Looks new to me. Maybe this is the result of the Stimulus Money Detroit is supposed to be receiving from the Federal Government. If anyone knows if this place has been around for a while, and I’m just ignorant, please weigh in.

That said, there’s one thing for sure. The Tour De Hood is always filled with interesting things.  This graffiti just about sums it up.wackshit

No kidding

Girls, please don’t hand your hair to each other + sinkholes!

I’m really glad everyone has given up trying to spell correctly. Otherwise, I’d never run across gems like the sign I passed this morning.


Leave that hair alone!

How does one pass tresses? Does this refer to human hair, or are wigs included? Can we pass clippings? Is there a maximum length of clip before it becomes a tress, and therefore not passable? Is there an NGO in charge of the no hair passing rule? Are there more precise instructions somewhere on the internets?

My regular readers know that I periodically show off Detroit’s bad ass potholes. Today, I encountered two “potholes” that really deserve their own category.


Here’s the first one I spotted today:


Sinkhole One

This one’s on Kercheval, near Fischer. It also serves as a sort of ad hoc recycling bin.


Sinkhole One – demonstration of depth

Since I don’t carry a yardstick with me, I used my leg for reference. About 1/4 to 1/2 of a mile farther along, I pulled up next to this beauty.


Sinkhole Two

There’s a good reason you can’t see how deep it is.  I put my foot into it, then calf, thigh, hip and never hit bottom.  The following photo isn’t the greatest, but you’ll have to cut me some slack, as I was in the middle of a road with my leg stuck in a hole, and didn’t want to get run over. Voila:  Sinkhole Two.


My foot never touched bottom.

An early entry, but clearly a contender for the TDH sinkhole of the year award.

Don’t get the wrong impression. Today was a lovely day in the Hood, and I enjoyed a wonderful cappuccino at the  Avalon Bakery, as is my wont. I also had a nice chat with the effervescent Joe Posch, who, since he shaved off his moustache and got a haircut, now looks like Matthew Fox, instead of Errol Flynn.