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

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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.

The running photos did not end with the wearing of the winter hat, my friends.  I even upgraded from my phone to a wee gem of a camera that I can carry while running and take real pictures.  We’ve only just begun.  And, as is my wont, I coerced my friends into running with me and submitting to photographs as well.  I only hope Detroit brings as many running adventures!  (Click on any picture to enlarge.)

John and Michael live very near a forest preserve, and also very near Superdawg!  What better excuse for a nine-mile run followed by tasty junk food?
John and Michael live very near a forest preserve, and also very near Superdawg! What better excuse for a nine-mile run followed by tasty junk food?
Note our nifty team shirts.  I warned you I was wont to over organize.  These first appeared in April for the Ravenswood Run and have been rearing their ugly heads every since.  Perhaps I will create them annually?  Who can say?
Note our nifty team shirts. I warned you I was wont to overorganize. These first appeared in April for the Ravenswood Run and have been rearing their ugly heads every since. Perhaps I will create them annually? Who can say?
Bless his little pure beef heart.
Bless his little pure beef heart.
Stephen and I trained together for the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and discovered the joys (?) and benefits of the post-long-run ice bath.  Though if its early enough in the year, you can just wade in the lake instead.  Does he look cold to you?
Stephen and I trained together for the Chicago Distance Classic half marathon and discovered the joys (?) and benefits of the post-long-run ice bath. Though if it’s early enough in the year, you can just wade in the lake instead. Does he look cold to you?
Cool off those tootsies, do.
Cool off those tootsies, do.
This was after a twelve-mile run.  We actually swam after the 14-miler.  That combined with the massage of walking barefoot on the warm sand is really quite refreshing.
This was after a twelve-mile run. We actually swam after the 14-miler. That combined with the massage of walking barefoot on the warm sand is really quite refreshing.
00am is too early for him.
Most of Stephen’s and my training runs were early in the morning, to beat the heat and the 9-5 workday. Exactly one time we were accompanied by Jim. I think 6:00am is too early for him.
Stephens favorite training run, which we did once in the spring and once in summer, was a 10-mile jaunt that included Navy Pier.  On this trip, (John came, too) Stephen even ran into (almost literally) Carl Kassell.
Stephen’s favorite training run, which we did once in the spring and once in summer, was a 10-mile jaunt that included Navy Pier. On this trip, (John came, too) Stephen even ran into (almost literally) Carl Kassell.
00am on a Sunday.  Who knew?
At The Bean (okay, Cloud Gate) in Millenium Park. None too crowded at 8:00am on a Sunday. Who knew?
Chicago alley at nightSo, my friend Matt and I decided to get to know our new digital cameras a little better by giving ourselves some monthly assignments and sharing our photos. Our first assignment was called “Night.” No other parameters. So, here are a few images and thoughts.This is the alley behind my building. ISO 800, f9.0, 1/13. No color correction.Everything in the city at night on a long-ish exposure is just interminably orange. But with the alley, at any rate, it seems true to how it looks with my own eyes.
Golden Nugget ChicagoThe “greasy nugget” next door to my place. Taken on an appropriately sweltering night. The lump of gold on the top has running lights for that classic twinkling effect.ISO 100, f9, .4 sec
Golden Nugget window Chicago night
The latent spy in me comes out, peering at people in lighted windows. They peer back at the chick in the alley with the tripod.
Rooftop door nightChicago nightThe door to the rooftop deck on my building. ISO 800, f22, 8 sec.

A view from my rooftop. ISO 800, f25, 24 seconds. Such a long exposure had a few serious spots of noise – big red dots that I cleaned up in photoshop, but for the most part it came out like this. Color corrected a bit, to capture the blue/green of the condo light.

Lawrence Avenue Chicago nightAnother from the roof. This took me about a million tries, but pixels are cheap! ISO 800, f22, 4 sec.