Monday, March 1, 2010

:: tradition. condition...

yesterday, i shared a few photos from my sunday afternoon spent in the city. it was such a gorgeously sunny day. if you kept your eye to the sky, and avoided all contact with the blackened snow, you could almost feel as though spring was coming. the day held a powerful excitement. i have so many thoughts and feelings behind these photos-- i wanted to expound on a few.

ahh...the kitchen at le petit zinc. a consistent place of happiness. and oh-so-goodness. it's quickly becoming tradition to spend a saturday or sunday afternoon in this fabulous cafe. while normally curled up at a little table with a cup of strong coffee, this weekend my friend and i were forced to take a counter seat, secondary to the sunday afternoon rush. i wasn't bothered by the new arrangement. quite to the contrary- i was ecstatic. i felt so connected to the kitchen being seated practically inside it. i observed the cooking techniques. inventoried the eastern market ingredients stacked on the shelves. made conversation with the waitress, and the group of friends at the other end of the counter. received my coffee literally seconds after the final drip hit my mug. i whisked my camera out and began snapping photos of the colors. and of the action. i love the kitchen. i love the people who make the food i eat. and it was a secret thrill to be able to photograph my food's preparation. to feel the energy of creation. it made me want to grab an apron + snood, and get to crepe making. this kitchen-- this cafe-- has provided me a ray of light in the city. a place where i can sit down with people from my community. talk about gardening. and hockey. and relationships. eat amazing food. and have only a 10 minute drive home. ahhh. tradition. tradition.

the rest of the afternoon was spent driving around the city. up and down the abandoned streets. thinking of what a fabulous place detroit used to be. wondering what we could do to make it magnificent once again. we crept through neighborhoods with once-immaculate homes. boarded. dilapidated. spotlighting perhaps one, maybe two, houses with tenants. trash accumulating. tricycles rusting in the yards. doors barred. a random teen or homeless man, strung out on their latest fix, sitting motionless on the broken porches. or in front of corner stores. to look past the carnage, one can see detroit in its glory. in its beauty. and it makes my heart ache. how does this happen? and can we fix it?

this spring/summer, i am embarking on an urban garden adventure. i am composting. building raised beds. and growing my own fruits and veggies in my backyard. once my thumb is a bit greener (perhaps by next summer), i want to start "squatting". find an old abandoned lot. clear it out. and plant like crazy. "but what if people take the crops?", i've been asked. LET THEM! i couldn't imagine being happier. my garden will be my gift to the city.

come. take. eat.

let detroit grow again.


  1. Outstanding writing here.

    *""while normally curled up at a little table with a cup of strong coffee, this weekend my friend and i were forced to take a counter seat, secondary to the sunday afternoon rush. ""*

    Really well done....and your descriptions are overflowing w/ contagious excitement and happiness. Just awesome. If you need help in yo Urban Garden....Let me know. I work hard and am also absolutely 100% down to use abandon space in Detroit to feed others and breed positivity and light.

    Around the block from le petit lay this little gem.....

    If you have never been .....

    Please do. Amazing.


    (sorry for my gigantic comment....this post thrilled me. )

  2. wow, that red door! fantastic shot! and i am enamored by your idea of guerilla gardening!

  3. I do believe Detroit will be great again and I think these Urban Gardens are a huge step in the right direction. Great post! Beautiful writing as always!! :)

  4. I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm from Mid-Michigan myself, my husband from Troy, but we both have roots in Detroit. It's so great to see your blog and your love for the city. Can't wait to read more.