It is snowing like crazy – it’s the perfect day for Winterfest on The Hill, the neighborhood fair featuring ice sculptures, cookie decorating, a pro-am chili cook-off, Coney Islands, smores, face painting, and…wait for it…sled dogs!

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Alexander and Polen butchers in Grosse Pointe Woods

Alexander and Polen butcher's in Grosse Pointe Woods

The Detroit metro area is rife with Signs with Character.  I need to do a whole book, but here’s just a sampling.

Cadieux cafe, home of Belgian beer and featherbowling

Cadieux cafe, home of Belgian beer and featherbowling

I dont know what Mothers used to be.  Corner of Conant and Mt. Elliott in Hamtramck.

I don't know what Mother's used to be. Corner of Conant and Mt. Elliott in Hamtramck.

Former service station in Grosse Pointe Park

Former service station in Grosse Pointe Park

From top, Gideon, Nicki, Jim and Jim at Lafayette Coney Island in downtown Detroit

Where can you tromp through the snow, past a boarded-up building or two, downtown in a major American metropolis, and climb into your choice of early-morning, late-night, semi-dives serving the famed Coney Island?  New York?  No, Detroit, of course!

What is a Coney?  It’s a chili dog.  And a source of regional pride and oneupmanship.  And it’s hot and cheap and you can get it with fries.  While you’re at it, have a swig of local fave (and America’s Oldest Soft Drink), Vernor’s.Coney with everything and a cold can of Vernors

Did we mention this was the only time we let Nicki out of the trunk on our wee outing that day?  I hope the fries were worth it.

Man, this video just warms the cockles of my little heart.  Hustle on!

I ran my first Detroit race yesterday – the Grand Prix Shakedown 8k.  It took place on Belle Isle, the island park in the Detroit River and home to this weekend’s Indy and LeMans races.  Part of the course was indeed on the racetrack, which struck me as terribly narrow and dangerous (for cars, not for runners).  I brought my camera (though not on the race proper) hoping to catch some images for car-race-fan Matt, but couldn’t get back onto the track after the run to do it.  Besides, I was distracted by the free pizza, Miller Light, Faygo pop, Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, and bananas.  (My $25 race fee also netted me a long-sleeved tee, a terry wristband, a blue livestrong-style wristband and a schmancy neoprene water bottle.  This was a swag-filled event.)

It also had a strange dual nature – two guys with mics had seemingly diverse agendas for the evening.  One was trying to get people to the massage tent while he blasted dance music, while the other was trying to raffle off the random prizes.  The guy with the dance music won out, in my view, and besides, when was the last time you saw something like this at your last road race?

The folks in blue are the Stone Steppers, a Detroit running group with style.  Looks like they do some other steppin’ when they’re not running.  And they run pretty fast.  Alas, I had forgotten about the camera in Jim’s pocket, so missed the best dancing (including the Cupid Shuffle), but you get the flavor.  The guy in the lead (with the paper plate and pizza in his hand) is (I believe) Coach Mike Stone, the founder after whom the group is named.

The oh-so-neglected blog is given new life today with photos of our new place in lovely Grosse Pointe Farms, a mansion-filled, astonishingly-friendly suburb of Detroit!  Click on any picture to enlarge.  Enjoy!

Its our big blue house on our tree-lined street.  It begs for a porch swing.

It's our big blue house on our tree-lined street. It begs for a porch swing.

Inside, weve even managed to hang the pictures.  Not bad for less than a week, eh?

Inside, we've even managed to hang the pictures. Not bad for less than a week, eh?

Wont you join us for a beverage in our charming dining room?

Won't you join us for a beverage in our charming dining room?

Jim is making tea!

Jim is making tea!

And, yes, I managed to score a new bakers rack at Lowes, for those of you who care about such things.

And, yes, I managed to score a new baker's rack at Lowe's, for those of you who care about such things.

As we head upstairs, youll be watched over by friends from Chicago.

As we head upstairs, you'll be watched over by friends from Chicago.

This is our lovely roomy master bedroom.  Its around the corner from your slightly cramped, yet cozy, guest bedroom.

This is our lovely roomy master bedroom. It's around the corner from your slightly cramped, yet cozy, guest bedroom.

Staceys wee yoga corner.

Stacey's wee yoga corner.

Thanks for visiting!

Thanks for visiting!