Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Dangerous Girl Goes Back to The D

I think sometimes people attribute my anger management problem to the fact that I'm from Detroit. That makes sense I guess; Detroit's an easy target. You can know nothing about it but still have some cursory understanding that it's a rough place. And it is...but it isn't. In a lot of ways it just got the short end of the stick for like 40 years.

But no, that's not why I'm such a psycho. Besides, to say I grew up in Detroit is like saying you grew up in Compton when you're really from the O.C. Er something. Whatever, L.A. sucks.

In 1967, race riots broke out in Detroit—as they had in a lot of major cities across the United States where there were high populations of blacks and whites living closely together. Detroit got the fuck burnt out of it during the riots and then in subsequent years, when the city was left to rot, because anyone who could, fled to the suburbs. The picture above is of the train station downtown Detroit. As you can see in the following photos, there are no windows left.

I'm not posting these photos to tell you what a bad place Detroit is. But I think sometimes people need to see the power of what can happen to a city's economy because of social breakdowns; because of neglect.

I think people think that they can continue to support their own privileged interests and ignore the larger picture of society. I think people believe that what happens to "other people" in "other places" simply will not ever affect them. Detroit is a victim of such neglect and stupidity and corruption.

If you forget that this is all the result of cumulative badness, though, there's something beautiful and eerie in the urban decay. Imagine the feeling you'd get walking through Melbourne and seeing major buildings, skyscrapers, empty and falling through. If you can separate the sadness, you can really see how people are what gives a building life, and how dead buildings make a city a ghost.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

I came back last week after spending three glorious weeks in the Northern Hemisphere. Holy shit was it awesome. We first stopped in Detroit to see all 5 billion of my family members, which was great. They're funny people. Weirdos, in fact. I also got to give husband a tour of The D: the original Dangerous Town. But I'll write more about that later, because I have to skip to Brooklyn before I expode.

We arrived in NYC after spending a week with my fam and I [figuratively] kissed the ground at LaGuardia baggage claim. Grabbing a cab, we made our way to Elizabeth Street--where our aunt and uncle have an apartment they generously lend to us when we're in town--and after settling in, set off to see the city and find our crazy ass friends.

There were some changes in our 'hood that made me pretty disgruntled--for instance, on the Bowery, a stretch I once avoided in my youth after a certain hour, there is now The Bowery Hotel, a swank poop of a place that was constructed and opened in the space of 13 months. Gross. Looking up, I noticed the Village Voice had an opinion about it too:

There were more things too, like a handful of sky-rise apartments going up on the Lower East Side, (which is now filled with bankers and Australians anyway so whatevs) and a Whole Foods that takes up an entire city block. It was probably built on top of junkie graves so you know some poltergeist shit's bound to go down at some point...

But don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say it was all rough n' shit when I lived there, but when you return to a place you've missed as long as I've missed New York, you get offended when things aren't exactly as you left them. And things weren't. Two close friends moved to separate places in Brooklyn. Other friends have moved away altogether. A few dyed their hair. One even had a baby and moved to Park Slope while I was gone. You guys: some of them stopped smoking weed. (Not the new mom.) (JK.)

But we rallied on. We forced everyone out of their borough burrows despite the cold, and good times ensued. After a few days, I was walking around with the ol' spring in my step, as one does in New York when she doesn't have to go to work or pay exorbitant rent or hate humanity. It was great. And then on New Year's Eve, it got even better. Below, a photo essay with captions.

Our bag o' booze.
Contents: Gin, mixers, beer, and Olde English. Participants: ecs, husband, and D-Mak (a stray Aussie we found who needed a party.)

D-Mak and ecs. D-Mak had already had about 11 gin and tonics.

At left: Rikky, our host and good friend whose reaction upon my entering the party was probably the most welcome I've ever felt: full knee-slide from across the room, arms raised in victory, shouting eeeee ceeeee essssssss!

Husband Ed and D-Mak. I like to think of this photo as foreshadowing; Ed is gesturing toward the fifth-storey window he will later barf out of. The barf did not land on anyone. (I love the word 'barf'.)

D-Mak and Andy (it's his fifth-storey bedroom window.)

Cokane's future husband and my current husband. For the record, I approve of Tom, if for no other reason than because he bought that Cornholio t-shirt off a bum for 50 cents.

I'm smiling because I may or may not be looking forward to something that is going to be handed to me to put in my mouth and smoked from someone I've never met in my life.

These facial expressions basically sum up the entire evening.

When you can no longer hold your own booze, a good spouse will help you out.

Malt liquor and red wine already warring on two sides of my head. I wonder why I barfed?

* * *
None of these photos really do the night any justice--there were also fireworks, a Designated Rage Zone where we moshed to Weezer, and 400 other people having an awesome time in Brooklyn. There's no place like home.

Happy new year to you and yours. More to come.
Love, Dangerous Girl and Ed.