Monday, August 29, 2011

Last day in Motor City

(A short post today so I can get my butt out the door and go paint!)

On Friday I tooled around on my bike looking for burnt-out houses to paint. Finding a burnt-out in Detroit house isn't exactly a 'Where's Waldo' experience; most blocks feature at least a couple house-shaped piles of charred lumber. The problem was choosing. Mirror, mirror, on the wall: who is the most depressingly scorched heap of rubble of them all...? I finally settled on a partially burnt-out house on the corner of Hale and Grandy Street. As I painted, a construction crew busily tore down another burnt-out house down the block. One of the workers, a stocky, muscular man with fair skin and a shaved head, walked over to inspect my painting. "I might look like just a big construction worker," he said as he approached, "but I actually really like art." He explained that there are 16,000 burnt-out houses in Detroit. (16,000!!) Burnt-out houses only become a priority for tear-down after they have been burnt three times (the fire department keeps track of the number of burnings). The house I was painting had only been burnt once.

I could paint these cremated echoes of homes for years and be happy. But, after a week in Detroit (thank you, Molly, for hosting me for so long!) I've finally pulled myself away. On Sunday I cycled from Detroit 74 miles south to Walbridge, Ohio (just south of Toledo). Today I'll paint in Toledo, and tomorrow I'll hop back on my bike.

Sunday's mileage: 74
Total trip mileage: 817

Below (from top to bottom)
Burnt-out house painting (6"x8")

Painting and house together (the boys walking on the street were very curious about my painting and visited me several times)

Another burnt-out house down the block

On my way to Toledo I rode down 'Easy Street'

Swimming break at Sterling State Beach

Flag house between La Salle and Erie, MI (thank you, house, for letting me know that I didn't somehow wander out of the U.S.)


1 comment:

  1. Love the painting! The pics are great. But how do we find Easy Street?