Michigan Renaissance Festival

I had an awesome time a few weeks ago at the Michigan Renaissance Festival. I went with two of my close female friends and we were at first a little disappointed that the men in our lives couldn’t show up. However, soon after we got there we were having fun drinking beer and wine and were very happy to have a girls day out.

There were tons of great food options to choose from. I had a baked sweet potato with butter, brown sugar, pecans and marshmallows on it and it was delicious. I also had the most amazing Chicken Quesadilla that I have ever had, and I eat them quite a bit since it is one of my favorite dishes.

This was my first time at the Renaissance Festival and to be honest the only reason that I went was because I thought it would be a great photo opportunity. However, soon after I got there I was so engrossed in everything that was going on that I nearly forgot and didn’t much feel like taking photos. It was amazing how most all of the structures were permanent structures that looked like a real village. It was not only like stepping back in time but also a lot like being in a fantasy world as well.

We saw pirates, wenches, a walking tree, a walking potted plant, wizards, strawberry shortcake, ferries, hand made carnival rides (made out of wood), jousting, horses, queen’s, and kings. There was even a live mermaid but the line was way to long for us to be able to see it in the time that was left.

I can see why this event is open for a whole month (which still doesn’t seem like enough time for me).

I hope you enjoy some of the images that I have captured below.

 

Rays of Hope

When everyone shines their individual lights on Detroit,

the collaboration of each light brightens up the city.

If it were only one light we would not be able to rise above the ashes.

Thank You to everyone who is striving and working together to make Detroit a better place.

 

Detroit Skyline

Detroit Skyline

2011 Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade

J and I had a change to get a private tour on Valentine’s Day at the Parade Company http://www.theparade.org/ We were really excited because we had went to the 2011 Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade for the first time a few months ago. J and I had a great time at our Tour of the Parade Company. Our tour guide was Rose and she is pictured in the slide show below. She was very patient (with two photographers running around taking pictures as she was telling us all about the floats and how they were made and who the sponsors were). The Michigan Thanksgiving Parade, now known as America’s Thanksgiving Parade®, was founded in 1924, and saved by Art Van in 1990.

J and I had the opportunity to watch The Thanksgiving Day Parade from my friends apartment and have an amazing breakfast that her and her husband served as well. It was the best of all worlds :D as we got to watch it from the third floor and got to go inside when we got cold.

To bad it was a very foggy and kind of drizzly day out though so I wished the images would have turned out better but it was still a fun and awesome day .

Please click on the image below to see a mixture of the floats in the actual parade and the images from our Valentine’s Day private tour

I also found out that you can schedule your own private tour with 10 or more people…so be sure to go to the website to sign up. You will not regret it: http://www.theparade.org/paradetours.php

Click on Image to View Slideshow

GO NOW

and tell everyone you love and care about how much they mean to you!!

Just heard news of a mother figure of mine from my childhood passed away. She was very supportive and touched my life and many others in many ways. I see people writing on her Facebook wall of how much she will be missed and how loved she is, but it is creepy. I am sorry but it is.

I will miss her a lot and I am sure a lot of people will. Please go and write/call/text/send a telegram, instant message, or a gene in a bottle to everyone you love now while they are still with us instead of after the fact!!

2012 Detroit Winter Blast

J and I went to dinner tonight at Texas De Brazil in Detroit for yet another free birthday dinner. If you want a free dinner for your birthday just sign up on their website. I had heard a lot of great things about the restaurant but have never experienced it yet for myself. The food was absolutely amazing!!! It is kind of a buffet but way better. You get your salad and fixing at the buffet (which I hate to even use the word buffet because of the negative connotations). This was like a buffet but on steroids. Everything was immaculate and fresh and they had every kind of dressing you could imagine, various fine cheeses, green beans, asparagus, mushrooms, and the most amazing garlic mashed potatoes that I have ever tasted. Then the Gaucho’s bring the meat around and cut it for you. You have a card to flip over when you don’t want anymore. We kept turning the card over as we had to let our stomach rest. J couldn’t tell the guys no when they asked him if he wanted more.

After dinner we had the most amazing dessert. I had the banana foster pie and J had the Brazillian cheesecake. I think we died and went to heaven. I quickly added 100,000 calories to www.myfitnesspal.com. I figured that should just about cover everything that I ate this evening. After dinner we had an evening stroll at the 2012 Motown Winter Blast if you have a chance to come down this weekend you really should. Where else can you find elephant ears, candy sand art, ice sculptures, live music, people dancing, beer, food from local restaurants, ice skating, marshmallow roasting, a hill for sledding, and ice skating shows all in one place? There is still time to come out they are open Saturday February 11th, 11am-11pm and Sunday February 12th, 11am-9pm You can find more info here: http://www.winterblast.com/Click on Image below to view 2012 Motown Winter Blast Images

Click on Image to View Slideshow

Click on Image to View Slideshow

 

Abandoned Packard Plant (Look on the Bright Side)

Please read this and consider the questions before viewing the slideshow. I also want to know your thoughts on this subject and what your answers to the questions are.

One reason that I don’t like shooting abandoned buildings is because it gives the city a bad name. However, it is still part of our history and I hope that somehow we can get rid of all the blight. There has been a lot of things that the City of Detroit has done wrong (esp when Kwame) was in office. However, now that Bing is in office things are really turning around for the good. I have noticed a lot of changes even in the past year since Quicken Loans has moved downtown. Bing is doing everything that he can to get rid of the blight, but it takes time. Quicken Loans is helping re-build the city by buying buildings and restoring them. Restoration is starting downtown though and the Packard plant is about 10 minute’s drive from downtown. I wanted to capture the buildings because it is fun to see them and explore them and also to have a piece of history on camera.

Hopefully one day this will be a spot for something magnificent, and I will carry a piece of history as to what it was. There are some areas though in Detroit that are bad, just like any major city. Detroit got hit hard when the automotive industry declined and a lot of people moved away and left behind vacant houses and buildings like this one. Most of the time furniture, papers, desks, old equipment, etc were all left in the buildings when they were evacuated.

Some neighborhoods in Detroit look like war zones and have been war zones for some time. The city is trying to help everyone that they can but they can only do so much on a limited and failing budget themselves. I do see Detroit as making a comeback though and slowly but surely we will rise again from the ashes. However, what you don’t see on the news is all of the neighborhoods that are using vacant land to build community gardens, and cultivate food but also friendships, and long lasting bonds.

These gardens help keep the area safe and also help neighbors look out for each other. However, the news always likes to show the bad side of things and not the good.  I love Detroit and I hate when people give it a bad name. It really isn’t as bad as the news portrays it out to be. It is funny how I post 100 awesome pictures of the city and these ruin photos are probably what you will remember most. Maybe seeing these photos will help us remember to take care of our city and our home and do everything that we can to make things better.

There are some awesome blogs about Detroit that I would love to share with you if you are so inclined to want to see the bright side of Detroit. Let’s all ban together and find ways to make Detroit an awesome city again like it once was.  These photos are part of Detroit’s past but they don’t have to be a part of Detroit’s Future.

Everyone can look at the past and learn from their mistakes and work towards a brighter tomorrow. There may be a part of us that we don’t like but it has made us who we are. Taggers love this spot, it is an amazing place to create.

 

Here are some questions that I want you to ask yourself while you are looking at these photos:

Do you see hope or despair?

Does this make you sad, or does it bring about all the possibilities of what can be done with this space?

Art lives here :) Why not make it a safe place for people to create art and a safe place for people to view art?

Detroit Artists need more space to create art…why not here?

The foundation is laid, All that is needed is hope, fresh eyes, and a new start.

If people love to create art, and people pay to see art, why not use that money to create a safe place?

It is a win/win. What can we do to make this happen?

Click on Image to View Slideshow

Click on Image to View Slideshow

These people saw something different at the Packard Plant…they saw a place to create art.

We do take for granted that we get to see the sun rise every day and everyone get’s to pray to their own God. We often forget these things that seem so small but really are astronomical.

Please read the blogs below to find other positive news stories about our amazing city.

My favorite Detroit Blogs/News:

http://www.detroitmoxie.com/
http://www.positivedetroit.net
http://www.thedetroithub.com/
http://www.detroityes.com/ to name a few

 

Check out these awesome pictures from the Packard Plant back in the day:

http://www.freep.com/article/20111114/NEWS01/111114013/Firefighters-battle-blaze-Packard-Plant?odyssey=nav%7Chead

 

Today I woke up to a Brand New Day!!

I have been missing in action on my blog for quite some time now. I have been very busy with work and also dating a special someone. My life over the past year has been very full and joyous. It has had a lot of ups and downs but has always meant growth.

I enjoy learning and growing every day. I have taken up photography as a hobby and am loving it. It brings me a lot of joy and happiness and also gives my significant other and I something that we can share doing together. I have always loved photography but didn’t own a camera that had lens that I could change out. So, after using my significant other’s old camera for a while I finally got my very own “new to me” Canon D50.

I am enjoying learning the art of photography every day and also meeting others in the photography profession.

On October 22, 2011 my significant other and I woke up to this beautiful and amazing sunrise. It reminded me how fragile life is but also how every day is a choice to make this day better than the last day.

The same things holds true for the City of Detroit. As I have been on my journey of exploring, learning, and growing…so has the city of Detroit been explored, taught, and is in the process of growing. Over the past year a lot of people and organizations such as TEDx, Ignite Detroit, Crain Communications, Compuware, Quicken Loans, Hatch Detroit, Detroit Design Festival, Open_Show, The Workroom, and many others have all played a role in bringing new hope to Detroit. I can see the difference shining through already. I can see the hope in everyone’s eyes that we WILL rise from the ashes, and that Detroit will be a great city once again.

I am so glad and feel so fortunate that I am here to be a part of it all.

 

 

 

Belle Isle Winter 2010

Belle Isle

I just discovered Belle Isle at the end of Winter of 2010. I would put Belle Isle on my list of the top things to do when you come and visit Detroit (especially when on a budget because even visiting the conservatory is free of charge).

When I took my boyfriend to Belle Isle we really didn’t know what to expect…I had heard about the ice tree that they form each winter by using a bunch of cut down pine trees and they cover them with water and it freezes over….it is truly an amazing sight to see (I apologize that you will have to wait until winter to see this beauty for yourself). However, J Singleton did take some pretty amazing pictures of the very large ice tree in the slide-show attached above (just click on the orchid to view). You can see that it was starting to melt already (as it was March 7, 2010) and we had already had some warm days.

After we saw the amazing ice tree we went over the the Conservatory (Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory) that I had heard a lot of good things about. We were not disappointed. The Conservatory had a lot of beautiful and stunning flowers (as you will also see in the slide-show). In doing research about the Conservatory I found out that Orchids are what saved the Conservatory back in the 1930′s. I also found out that the Conservatory is available for weddings from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily, including holidays.

The Scott Memorial Fountain is also something that you will have to stop and see while on the Island as well. The fountain is made of white marble and the whole fountain is 510 feet in diameter.

I also found out that Belle Isle has a water slide which is open the second week of June  through Labor Day and a full day pass is only $3.00. So I really can’t wait for the weather to warm up so that I can go on over and check it out.

There are tons of other things to do on Belle Isle also such as fishing, walking, biking, jogging, or just take a scenic drive. Also remember that Belle Isle is only five minutes from downtown so while you are in the area stop by and visit downtown as well. You can also make a day of it and visit one of the many restaurants in Detroit….(come back soon to see a restaurant section on this blog as well).

Photo Credits: J Singleton Photo http://jsingletonphoto.com/

Live to Give

Click Image above to view Slideshow

I wanted to give a special shout out and Thank You to the Live to Give Foundation (L2G) for the free ticket to the April 7, 2010 Red Wings game. L2G had received six free tickets to the game from Celebrities Against Autism and so L2G decided to have a twitter contest to give away the free tickets.

The contest was for people to twitter about how much they loved Michigan, and I won a bonus ticket because of my passion for Detroit in creating this blog. I had an amazing time at the game and I would have loved to have met the other winners but somehow our seats were separated. I was also unable to tweet from the game due to network failure at the game, so I thought I would share my photos here.

The game was amazing, there was a huge fight that broke out in the first period (which is always amazing) and the Red Wings also scored the first goal in the first period. However, it looked as though The Columbus Blue Jackets were going to win as they had two points and we only had the one going into the 3rd period. However, we ended up scoring two points back to back, then another point a few moments later…It was AWESOME!! The final score was 4 to 3 :)

I would encourage everyone to check out the L2G website and donate if possible. L2G has a huge heart for not only Detroit but for Michigan and all of the money that they collect in Michigan stays in Michigan. Kudos to L2G for making a difference in people’s lives!!

Detroit Chevy SXSW

For those of you who keep seeing me tweet and facebook about #DETChevySXSW may be tired of seeing me talk about it or wonder what all the fuss is about. You can go to there personal blog Team Detroit Chevy to find out more and also follow along with them on there adventure.

#DETChevySXSW is a group of four individuals whom are traveling across country to Austin, Texas for an interactive music and film festival. @balanon, @bchesnut, and @davemurr are all personal friends of mine from the twitter community and I hope to meet (@walkerau) very soon. This event is sponsored by Chevy and also Urbane Apartments.

So, why do I keep blogging, facebooking and tweeting this? The reason is they are competing with 8 other teems to see who can get the most publicity and also complete the following list of 50 things View List Here

I think that #DETChevySXSW should win because Detroit has the most spirit and positive thinking than any other city that I know. We all already know this but lets show everyone else in the country what we already know. Sure Detroit has seen some hard times, but when we stick together and work towards our goals then we can make a difference!!

If it wasn’t for the twitter community I would have never moved to Detroit because I would not have seen all of the positive things that the city has to offer and I also would not have seen how passionate everyone is to see positive change and results. So, please let’s help support #DETChevySXSW because they have supported me in so many areas of my life.

How can you help? I

f you are on Twitter use the hash tag often #DETChevySXSW you can even follow along to win prizes. If you are on Facebook follow this link and join Team Detroit SXSW and make comments also you too can win prizes. You can also see why I fell in love with these amazing people. Together we all can make a difference even if in small ways!! Let’s be the biggest Digital City in the US!!!!!

Photo Credit: Team Detroit Chevy The picture was taken with a cop for Mission #2

Team Chevy on Local Channel 7 News: http://youtu.be/omxy9bFJI38

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