Saturday, August 07, 2010

a morning Stroll

Freshly Painted Shed at Warren and Trumbull
I took a stroll this morning, at about 9:30am, in the neighborhood I am moving away from.  After two years in the wonderful Detroit neighborhood, Woodbridge, it is only starting to come across how amazing this place is.  For sure it has benefited from being adjacent to Wayne State University, although in a love hate relationship (WSU was about to rip through it in the '80s, but some professors stepped up to the plate and started buying homes, see the website on the building to the right).

As I walked around, I saw the old St. Dominic church accessory building being renovated by the new church plant that is going on by The Citadel Detroit (watch the video in the link).  They are creating something called "The Dream Center."  Can't wait to see what this will come to, but what I do know is that the lead pastor will be a speaker at this year's Christian Community Development Association national conference, so he must be doing some amazing stuff in Detroit.

As I continued my walk, two girls were out in their front lawn, one holding a book.  Just as I got to their lawn the older one, both had to have been between 11 and 14, reached out the book towards me and asked me if I wanted to buy it.  She said it was for a book sale she will be doing soon.  I asked her what it was all for.  She said that she needs to start saving for college and wants to have a yard sale so she can raise enough money to go to college.  How awesome is that?!  When I was that age, I was trying to be cool, I was playing sports, and I was not thinking about college.

New Murals
As I continued through Woodbridge, I noticed some newer paintings on a building the other day and wanted to see what they were.  When I got closer, I could see that a couple buildings had murals painted on them, not just the one, going down the back of the alley.  After taking a couple pictures a lady came down the alley just in my view as she past by the back of the building.  An older lady, she said out loud how nice the new murals are.  I told her they are amazing!  She then said that she guards them in a way, by sitting on her front porch across the street and makes sure that no one puts graffiti over them.  Of course she sat on that same porch over the summer months witnessing the creation of the murals and would not want anything done to these beautiful additions to the view out the front of her house.  She expressed how much she hopes nothing happens to them, and will indeed be watching, as she sat on her porch scratching off the lottery tickets she just purchased from the corner gas station.  The same gas station, according to her, that was the only uncooperative building down the whole back alley that would not allow the artists to paint the back of their building.  Sure enough when I strolled down it, they were the only one that resisted, even a funeral home allowed the painting of a mural.

Garden Next to Woodbridge Pub
My walk continued to the Woodbridge Pub, a fine establishment that opened just shortly after I moved into the neighborhood a couple years ago.  Now across the street from it is a small garden, with some vegetables.  A big piece of art was up against a building in the garden.  The sunflowers were so big and bright in the morning sun, they were begging for a photo shoot!

I went around a couple more streets and came back home only cause I was getting hungry from not eating breakfast.  I couldn't help but reflect on all this and realize one important thing: Woodbridge is going to be alright.  In fact, it already is.  But to try and convince other suburban folk that it is indeed alright, in fact better, is nothing short of a miracle.  Perhaps it is because it is too nice, too better, too simplistic and organic and all the other buzz words affiliated with organic.  But for the people that find out about a neighborhood like this one and actually come down to live in it for a while, whether mainly for college  or to live close to downtown and midtown, they have found a diamond in the rough.

I am glad that I spent two years here.  And as a result of not only my morning stroll but also the people and small conversations involved with it, I can't help but to boast the big boast, and say that not only is Woodbridge going to be alright, but Detroit is going to be alright too.  I hope those girls go to college, I hope that lady protects the murals, and I hope that Detroit continues to grow like the garden.  But most of all, my hope is that Jesus provides the hope.  The only Hope for all of us just trying to find our way around here, saving for college, standing guard, and growing.

for more pics, click on this link.

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