Tag Archives: city

down the rabbit hole.

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walking through the city

i noticed

 a lot of people

 dressed differently

than the usual weekend attire

how fun to discover

that people from all over

of all ages and stages

had come to town to be part of

an ‘alice in wonderland’ immersive experience.

also fun to imagine them crossing paths with the families

who might be nervous

dropping off their child at the uni 

visiting our city for the first time.

“what kind of city is this?!”

“this wasn’t in the brochure.”

“do you think they’ll be safe here?”

and this was only day one.

“when I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened,

and now here I am in the middle of one!”

-lewis carroll, alice’s adventures in wonderland/through the looking-glass

finding dabls in detroit.

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i recently went with a group of colleagues/friends

to find the artist, dabls

working on his block in detroit

where we learned so much from him

an experience i’ll never forget

dabls’ installation-‘iron teaching rocks how to rust’ 

artist/storyteller dabls

uses materials as metaphors

to pass on his stories

of african and european art/cultures

open to everyone

he can be found working and sharing stories

on this abandoned block

that he has reclaimed

as his own and the community’s

most every day

dalbas mbad african bead museum

where each of his beads tells a story

dabls’ art has brought this house to life

 “Stories are able to help us to become more whole, to become Named.

And Naming is one of the impulses behind all art;

to give a name to the cosmos, we see despite all the chaos.”

-Madeleine L’Engle

The Kresge Foundation elected Dabls as “2022 Eminent Artist”

to recognize his accomplishments in the arts as well as his lifelong impact on Detroit’s culture.

to read his full story go to:

http://www.mbad.org/best-friends

or just stop by to see him.

push and pull.

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my favorite indignant complaint of the month

 straight from our local ‘next door’ site. 

“So half of ann arbor doors are PUSH. But the other half are all PULL. Can’t the CITY make up their minds about anything??? I’m drafting a letter to Governor Whitmer if you want to sign. We can not be expected to remember which is push or which is pull! I am just tired of this. Life is stressful and having to constantly push or, wait, PULL is nonsense at this point.”

“a man will be imprisoned in a room with a door that’s unlocked and opens inwards;

as long as it does not occur to him to pull rather than push.”

ludwig wittgenstein

art credit: gary larson, the far side

something to crow about.

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Crows help rid city streets of cigarette butts

A startup in the Swedish city of Södertälje, has recruited local crows to pick up discarded cigarette butts from the city’s streets and public spaces. In fact, there’s a movement afoot in places as varied as California and the Netherlands to ban the sale of filtered cigarettes to help tamp down on their prevalence in our environment.

According to the Keep Sweden Tidy Foundation, more than one billion cigarette butts are left on Sweden’s streets each year, which represents 62 percent of all litter. To clear the streets, Södertälje spends around 20m Swedish kronor (over $2,200,000), so the hope is that the birds can help cut these costs.

“They are wild birds taking part on a voluntary basis,” the founder of the Corvid Cleaning startup Christian Günther-Hanssen reveals. Each time the wild birds deposit a cigarette butt into a bespoke machine specially designed by Corvid Cleaning, they receive a little snack.

Günther-Hanssen estimates that, with the crows’ help, the city could save at least 75 percent of the costs associated with picking up cigarette butts in the city. For now, Södertälje is trialing the project before setting the operation in motion across the city, paying close attention to the health of the birds, considering the kind of waste they’re being rewarded to pick up.

Research suggests that New Caledonian crows, a member of the corvid family of birds, have the reasoning ability of a human seven-year-old, making them the best bird for the job. “They are easier to teach and there is also a higher chance of them learning from each other,” says Günther-Hanssen. “At the same time, there’s a lower risk of them mistakenly eating any rubbish.” Unfortunately, they have not yet been able to train humans not to throw their butts on the ground. 

“if men had wings and bore black feathers, few of them would be clever enough to be crows.”

-henry ward beecher

middle of the road.

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road plan haiku

this plan gives me pause

some things better on paper

may not go as planned.

 

 

“the middle of the road is where the white line is – and that’s the worst place to drive.”

-robert frost

detroit’s made another trip around the sun.

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detroit looks pretty good for being 320 years old

happy birthday.

 

“there are cities that get by on their good looks, offer climate and scenery, views of mountains or oceans, rockbound or with palm trees. and there are cities like detroit that have to work for a living.”

-*elmore leonard

 

*note – (elmore was a prolific american author/screenwriter who lived in the detroit area, where i grew up.

my father resembled elmore in his later years, was frequently mistaken for him,

and signed autographs upon request)

 

 

photo image: detroit river conservancy, detroit riverfront, michigan, usa

open society.

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 powerful messages found everywhere

 

“in an open society, no idea can be above scrutiny, just as no people should be beneath dignity.”

-maajid nawaz

 

grand trunk pub, detroit, michigan, usa -2020

coconut.

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 when walking downtown

this just sitting on a corner

no palm trees to be found

i wonder

if you are missing your coconut

did you leave it behind

 did you lose it

and not notice?

“in the garden of gentle sanity, may you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness.”

-chogyam trungpa