Thursday, June 11, 2009

Detroit and Other Notes

HOLA! I flew into Detroit last Friday evening and got back Tuesday morning. My sister graduated high school. I was so grateful from the brief respite from work and responsibilities and I love hanging with my siblings. The plane ride itself was inspiring. As we descended into Detroit, I looked out the window and it was just this grid of sparkling lights almost as far as the eye could see. When you fly at night, it's like everywhere is Christmas. The city lights were hypnotizing and for a few moments I felt suspended in time and unbelievably happy. I knew at that moment that I have to maintain and cultivate this feeling, and for me, the excitement of traveling, even from city to city just does something to me. Do you ever get these feelings? Or do I sound like I'm on acid? A little bit of both, you say? Very well then.

Anyhoo, I am always fascinated by different cities and the tapestry of the streets. I rode by the old house and neighborhood that I used to visit during my pre-teen and teenage years when my stepmother and father were married, and that my siblings grew up in. We used to ride bikes up and down the street, take a walk a few blocks down to the drugstore, everyone knew each other and all had kids around the same age, it was a very positive street for families. Now, the house is boarded up, various other houses on the street are either boarded up or in a terrible state of disarray. It was really sobering to see that. Driving down Detroit's streets, everything seems gray (partly due to the weather), many buildings are delapidated, there are more individually owned stores and fast-food restaurants than chains, etc. But it definitely has a unique character, as do many other cities. I didn't get to see the African-American museum, but I will surely see it next time. Stopped by the Motown museum, downtown, Riverfront, Detroit's Breakfast Club, and other small restaurants. It will definitely be interesting to see what happens to this city in the upcoming years. Census numbers have been under 1 million for several years. I know one of the people running for City Council and let's just say this person is certainly not what Detroit needs but I think voter will be able to see through this person easily.

BTW, my sister's graduation was so ghetto and cunty. The administrators need to be slapped for not having better control and decorum. The funny thing is, her school is actually one of the nicer schools in Detroit. The class treasurer made a speech where he basically started giving shout outs to individual students, called out students to come get their T-shirts, then straight up broke the law. As many know, it is illegal to have prayer in public schools. This mothafugga acknowledged that while they couldn't pray, they would have a "commemorative moment" instead and straight bust into a prayer thanking the Lord and thangs. The administrator (I think the principal) instructed him to do so in the introduction so she's just as bad if not worse. The graduation was not organized very well, with long pauses and awkward moments. One of the speakers I had to look around to see if it was a joke. To sum it up, he may have been retarded and/or blind, and spoke about completing a 4 year degree in a year and a half, then going on to get 2 Masters degres, and then completing a Bachelors of Social Work at one school and a Masters of Social Work at the same time. Yeah. Needless to say, my face was like this: -_- the whole time. There was an excellent keynote speaker though, a black man who is a professor of Comparative Literature. He gave great, applicable college curriculum advice and was proficient in many languages. I just reminded myself to look him up...think his name was Derek Collins or something. Then, the diplomas had the students' names on them which theoretically was nice, but in application, jammed up the whole procession of calling students names while they frantically tried to match diplomas tostudents. At the end, the students were heard chanting, "09, bitch!" while their loving and devoted family members looked on. SMH.

So anyways, I'm back. Welcome and hello to my new followers, regulars, and lurkers. I need to go through my archives but I think this month might be my blogiversary...been blogging for a year now hooraaayyy! I want to leave you with a video of Amel Larrieux performing live last Friday in New York at the Greene Space. Click here for the link. Amel comes out and gives a short interview at the 5:30 mark. Her songs are from the 12:00 mark to the 53:00 mark. The songs she sang (in order) are We Can Be New, For Real, Magic, Down, Gills and Tails, Have You, and I Like the Sunrise (she tears it down for this song). Check it out and tell a friend!

8 jewels of thought:

Muze said...


summed up all of detroit's ignance very nicely.

it's quite sad though, the amount of abandoned homes and buildings that used to be thriving, positive neighborhoods. very sad.

as our downtown gets prettier, the surrounding areas are falling apart.

that HS grad sounds outrageous. and yeah like you said, that's considered to be one of the nicer schools. i'm kind of surprised.

lmao at shouting out and doing a prayer in his speech. wow.

NEXT time you come i am going to meet you at the dang airport so i will be sure not to miss you. lmao.


InnyVinny said...

That made me feel better about my class holding up graduation because we kept doing the wave...eventually the audience joined in. LOL.

And this guy went up to sing 'Fortunate' by Maxwell and didn't know the words. HILARIOUS.

Chanel said...

wow you are just jettin all over the U.S. Envious

Vesper de Vil said...

Welcome back!

ChocolateOrchid said...

"09 Bitch"--- Are you serious??!! Wow. smh. Well, I'm happy you've been traveling so and had time w/your fam. Congrats to your sis!

InnyVinny...the wave??!!...
On the song: First of all, singing "Fortunate" as the graduation song of choice then messing it up. Hellahilarious!

Gem said...

Muze: Aw, I didn't mean to imply Detroit is a hellhole or anything! I love it's uniqueness. Yeah, going through the old neighborhood was really sad. The house we lived in was appraised at almost $300,000 now it's for sale for $37,000 no joke. I hear that the plan is to build up downtown, poor people will be forced to leave, then the city will be built back up with the wealthy people. And yes, you better be my personal taxi next time I come! LOL

InnyVinny: I can't tell you how weak in the knees I am after reading this. Fortunate...why lord? Why?

Chanel: Girl, I think I'm addicted to travel lol

Vesper: Thank you, dahling!

ChocolateOrchid: YES, I'm serious! I couldn't hear what they were saying until my brothr told me.

mrs. mary mack said...

I can't deal with this. PLEASE tell me that your sister wasn't shouting O9 Bitch!

Stew said...

that graduation sounds like something i could get down with. hell i LOVE to laugh and i am betting i would have been in tears the entire time.

i have not heard good things about Detroit lately, it has such a rich history, and it is sad to see it fall by the wayside like that. but you know that eventually they are going to build it up and put condos in the city so that only the wealthy can afford it. so it will bounce back, just not in a way that is positive for black folk

Blog Widget by LinkWithin