Sunday, February 17, 2013

2460 Miles East of Here

If I got into my car and headed 2460 miles due east, it would land me on Joy Road in Detroit Michigan. Why am I telling you this? Because I have just finished reading one hell of a moving book about Detroit. Written by a native son of Motor City it documents the rise and long, hard, sad and painful decline of what once was a hub of American innovation and opportunity. Detroit: An American Autopsy by Charlie LeDuff
is a story about corruption, prejudice, stupidity and decay on both a personal level and a national one. There's the big picture of how it all went so damn wrong and then there are the small pictures, of how life now is in a city, that really is, all but abandoned. I even found myself wondering, "Could it be that bad?" and then I did a little searching for pictures of Detroit, and yes, Virginia, it IS that bad, maybe even worse. For some of what I found, you can go here and here and here.  It's worth the time going to all three image sites. So, if you are looking for a good non fiction read that is thought provoking, current, smart, frightening and painfully honest, this is for you.

It's hard to top that as an opener, but since I'm here and writing, I'll update you on sewing.
A single blouse has made it from the sewing closet to clothing closet.

 I've been pretty caught up in the reading. I did manage to re-organize my patterns. I have tossed those that were a fail for one reason or another and also weeded out ones I just knew I was never going to make. I'll be offering those for free in the next post. I need to get pics. These are all clean unused patterns in a range of sizes. More later.

On the garden front, I e-mailed my extension service and I e-mailed two local large nurseries that grow their own natives and exotics and not a one of them has bothered to answer.  But wait, the questions are answered in spite of them! :)  What Grows Here? Mountain Gardening in Northern California by Carol L. Young . I am happy I had bought this book a few years ago and even happier I remembered doing so. It had a lot of the information I wanted and needed. She even included a list of fire resistant plants! Woohoo

Parting shot: Just the two of us.


  1. Ah, yes....the desire to get out and plant things! The last days of winter does that to us, doesn't it! The pups are just hanging out...that's a smart thing to do!

  2. The blouse is wonderful I really like the fabric choice! Stella and Sweet Robin - getting along perfectly (must not have a bone to argue over) ;-)

  3. I grew up about 90 miles from Detroit, and I can remember going to watch the Tigers play baseball there as a child. A few years ago I had thoughts of moving back and "saving" Detroit. There are so many beautiful old buildings there that just need some love. I have heard that there are some young artists moving in trying to rehab the city. I hope they succeed, it needs so much help! Anna

  4. Anna, Well, good luck to them. The problems run so dang deep. Fire fighters with no gear or trucks, police with no working vehicles, nightly fires, bodies just left because there are so few working ambulances and those that do roll, well, there are vast areas they simply
    won't drive to. And then of course the corruption. Millions of dollars funneled, from everything from police/fire to urban improvement. It's just pitiful.

    Thank you Martha, I do have a special fondness for that fabric myself! Oh, the duo argue regularly, but at the end of the day, there they are. Yin and Yang!

    LA, It will be months before I can get out there. May sounds about right, maybe early June.

  5. Love love love that blouse! Isn't it hard to read such an "in your face truthful book"? I just finished "Warmth of Other Suns" by Isabel Wilkerson ( about the migrations of blacks from the south to the north like Chicago and Detroit and New York and all that they encountered...just trading one set of rules and trouble for another for the sake of freedom and prosperity. All real people were followed and documented for 60 years or more. We wish we could change situations but individually we are so small. Your book sounds like very worthwhile reading!

  6. Gosh, the articles and images of Detroit were stunning, thanks for sharing. Think I'll read the book. Currently on a re-read of The Great Railway Bazaar. Very happy to curl up with coffee and go travelling with Theroux. Know you like this one as well.

  7. First, a little background on Charlie LeDuff. Perhaps the book is nonfiction, but the man has an agenda. His issues with making a story fit his agenda are documented on his wikipage.

    The local reaction to the fascination with ruin porn is pretty well summed up in this article

    Are there problems in Detroit? Most definitely...Big ones. It is likely that the ongoing standoff between the Detroit City Council and the Governor regarding the need for a city manager will come to a head before we turn the calendar page to March.

    Perhaps a balance to LeDuff's book might be Reimagining Detroit by Wayne State University Press

  8. Went to read the morning news after posting the above comment and saw this Free Press article, that contributes to the story.

  9. A good read makes the days of winter warm right up. I just finished 'Indigo' and traveled all through the Middle East on a very interesting journey looking for blue cloth. I have jet lag!
    Love theose snuggling pups. It's the thing here these days, as well.

  10. A Miami photographer ran a series of Detroit pictures about a year ago called "Detroit returns from the ashes" Here's a link:

    I found your blog through a posting you made on a Kenmore group. It's great when people sign their posts with a link to their own page or blog. Love following the links to explore and find new stuff.