Friday, December 18, 2009

Forgot about Boston - Part 6 (Detroit)

If you remember I had made plans with Nan and Lynn to meet everyone in Detroit. There was going to be 10 or 12 of us crowded into 2 hotel rooms for 3 days, this was going to be fun.

On the train to Harrisburg I met a girl who seemed to be flirting with me, I hate girls with no gaydar, she proceeded to tell me how she took the train to NYC for an audition with some sort of acting troupe, I didn't care. All I could think about was burning her uggs, but I figured the smell would choke everyone on the train. I managed to get my headphones on (signifying my complete disinterest in her) and proceeded to stare out the window for the next few hours, admiring the landscape of central PA. The clouds where thick and gray, and there was a haze in the air threatening a down pour at anytime. It kinda put me in a foul mood.

I arrived in Harrisburg feeling depressed and slightly worried because I had not heard from Lynn in awhile and she was supposed to meet me at the station. Something about the weather and seeing the cops at Central Station got me into a frame of mind that things where not going to go right. I hate it when I get into these moods.

Within seconds of getting my bag situated and settling down Lynn calls and lets me know she's on her way, this woman is amazingly reliable. We're off to Detroit, but first we have to stop to pick up Roland. The ride up to get Roland was interesting, if you know Lynn you know she can talk! I mean, you know how sometimes you get in those awkward silences? Well that never happens with Lynn, she is just a ball of conversation.

We go meet Roland at a truck stop somewhere in PA. He's gonna leave his car there for the weekend and ride the rest of way up with us. The only way I can describe Roland is a Dorky kid who looks likes he's a virgin and talks about sex almost incessantly. If you know anyone easily offended do not introduce them to Roland. What I'm trying to say is Roland is good people! The rest of the drive up was a pretty great time.

We arrive at the hotel in Detroit about 3am. Roland and I quickly find spots on the floor and attempt to fall asleep. Seconds later Lynn is screaming the hallway that she was promised a bed and if she can't sleep in a bed she's going back home. Roland get's involved because if she's going home he's gotta go too. After much arguing it's decided Lynn gets to sleep in a bed, crisis averted.

The next morning we all wake to our free continental breakfast, I'm introduced to everyone, damned if I remember everyone that was there though. It's decided we're going to hit an old police station first.

There was an old City Hall or something right across the street, but everyone was on the move to our next location. A church a few had already seen before that has been dubbed Saint Curvy. I'd really like to go back and shoot this church with a wide angle someday.

This is DJ Craig and me.

Craig's reputation had preceded him. The funny thing about Craig is he doesn't take pictures, but he is one of the the most photographed people on UER. I learned of Craig by the pictures of him climbing some insane shit, shit I want to climb, so naturally we hit it off on this trip.

Our next location was an old Hotel. Of all the places I got to see in Detroit this was my favorite.

There was so much to see here that I could spend a day shooting it and still not have gotten everything I wanted, but we wanted to see more before it was dark. We attempted to see Michigan Central Depot despite the protests of a few who say Homeland Security had been watching because of a tunnel to Canada. We got out of the car to poke around a bit but within seconds someone from the group was yelling for us to get back in the car and get outta there cause they just saw Homeland Security. We decided that this would not be a good time to try it. Next was a recently abandoned hospital, as we drove up though we noticed a bunch of people near the entrance. As we got closer they noticed us as well and started hurrying towards us on their ATV's. Craig got out of the car and decided to ask one of them if we could take a few pictures. He not so nicely told us to get the fuck off the property, I have a feeling they where scrappers. Our next stop it was decided would be a factory.....yes another long empty building with concrete pillars that taper at the top. The same place every city has, but it was getting late and we wanted to do something that guaranteed us entry.

Except for leaving the front door wide open, this location was serious about security, this is Razor wire, you don't want to get tangled up in that shit!

Luckily there was a water tower on the roof that needed to be climbed.

And a pretty cool power station.

The group retired to the hotel, Craig and I wanted to try some rooftops downtown. I borrowed Lynn's car and headed towards the heart of Detroit. Craig and I walked around a bit looking for roofs that might be easy. It wasn't long before we came upon The Lafayette Building, a legend of Detroit exploration. Sadly at this point it was fully under demo and everything inside was in the process of being gutted. We poked around a bit but eventually headed directly to the roof before calling it a night.

The next day Craig suggested we break off from the group and go do some draining. I've never done any draining and was quite excited to give it a try. Once again we borrowed Lynn's car and stopped at Walmart, I was not about to walk around in an unknown drain with my only pair of shoes. We got some cheap waders and made our way to what Craig called Red Run.

We followed a 12 foot round concrete pipe for about 2 miles, this was pretty boring because there was little to look at and the echoing of us sloshing through shin high water was starting to drive me nuts. Finally we arrive at some sort of juncture, the problem is the pipes get too small and neither of us are willing to crawl through based on what we've seen already. I take a single shot and we head back

We try to meet up with the main group but everyone is everywhere and when we finally track someone down they have moved on to the next spot. This made the rest of the day a little tricky. We managed to meet up with Nan and Lynn at an old theater with an Aztec theme.

Lynn takes her car back and I head out with Nan and Amy (Rana X) to find a church Nan was convinced she saw. After a great deal of hunting we find it, but it's pitch dark and impossible to shoot anything. Still we make our way in and explore as much as we can. I decide I am going to try to paint the church with my flash to try and get a shot out of the visit.

Back at the hotel everyone is pooped and ready to pass out. The next day everyone was making their plans to head back home. I had managed to purchase a bus ticket to Chicago. I said my farewells to everyone with the promise of seeing them all soon for a party affectionately called Chestfest. Amy gave me a ride to the station and I was on my way.

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