Sunday, September 02, 2007

Grand Prix Detroit

My adrenalin kicked in when the first fast cars roared by. The sport of Steve McQueen, James Garner and Paul Newman -- in Detroit! The Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix 2007 wraps up today.

Aside from the cars and general excitement, much buzz revolves around Danica Patrick, woman driver in a traditionally man's sport. There are images of her everywhere on the Grand Prix grounds, and all kinds of Danica-related products. She even has a book -- Danica: Crossing the Line (2006).

Also, lots of Metro Detroit promotionals. In this case, two savvy models drawing attention to Cauley Ferrari, Maserati, and Chevy in West Bloomfield, complete with banner and website:

The weather has been cooperative for Labor Day weekend, so I've also been checking out the concurrent Detroit International Jazz Festival: "Music on all cylinders." Several stages, lots of options -- in downtown Detroit. It's all good! There are real signs of revival in center city. More on that soon, I suspect.

Today's Rune: Wholeness.

Birthdays: Liliʻuokalani, Queen of Hawaiʻi, Joseph Roth, Andreas Embirikos, Romare Bearden, Horace Silver (Horace Tavares Silva), Hal Ashby, Clifford Jordan, Rosalind Ashford (Martha & the Vandellas), Billy Preston, Keanu Reeves, Salma Hayek Jiménez, Lisa Snowden, Mandy Cho Man-Lei.


Johnny Yen said...

When I was a young kid in the Chicago Public School system, there was a standard set of prints that most of the schools had, including a Romare Bearden print-- one of his collages.

I'm eager to hear about the signs of rebirth in the Motor City. My kids and I were listening to some old Motown this weekend, and it made me think of what a tragedy the economic devastation Detroit has suffered, given it's cultural contributions-- music, murals, etc.

the walking man said...

I know all about the center city (Downtown) but there isn't anything to smack large about down here in the neighborhoods, same ghetto feel as there has been since '67.
Until they give up some of the bullshit rebuilding to the now less than 850,000 people living here fuck all that downtown horse shit staged for the foreigners north of 8 mile.

Hasn't done us any good where the real Detroit is.

Most of us can't even afford tickets to half the shit that goes on downtown, like a baseball game or a football game or a grand fucking prix when you factor in 25$ parking and ten dollar cokes, 4 dollar bottles of water. c'mon Erik quit thinking that there is rejuvenation, the people that run this city make the parts they see pretty for themselves and leave the rest of us to pay 300 bucks just to have our garbage picked up.


Erik Donald France said...

Thanks, y'all for the comments.

Mark, I disagree. More on why later -- but the Jazz Festival itself is completely free, with dozens of outdoor venues over four days. Anyone who can walk, take a bus, ride a bike, or drive a car can get there and all are welcome, not just "foreigners."

Charles Gramlich said...

I suspect it helps a great deal that Danika is attractive.

Erik Donald France said...

Even the "foreigner" Grand Prix event could be enjoyed for very little cash -- $5 parking, $5 shuttle. Less than two packs of smokes' outlay -- and I quit so have some extra jingle for just such occasions. Very fun.

Charles, you bet ;)

"At Belle Isle, [Danica] Patrick started 11th and was involved in two accidents from which she was able to restart without damage, eventually driving to the front and leading 9 laps of the race before falling back after having to pit. On the final lap, while Patrick was running in 5th, Buddy Rice, Scott Dixon and teammate Dario Franchitti were involved in an accident immediately in front of her. Patrick was able to avoid the wreck and finish in second place, a career-high in the IndyCar Series." -- Wikipedia update, 9/3/2007.

the walking man said...

Erik just out of curiosity in general what part of the city do you live in?

You didn't mention ticket cost either my BIL cost $125 for the two day time trials.

I just get the general feeling you live closer to WSU which has been going through a major rehab (gentrification) and not in one of the neighborhoods where you watched your neighbors and friends get evicted from their homes because of the burst bubble in the sub-prime mortage market and I am willing to bet that you lease or rent where your property hasn't lost a third of it's value in the last year and I am also willing to bet that you have a job in the most jobless city in the nation (16% now.)

I am not trying to be acrimonious about this but to be honest if what I have said is correct then you really don't have any idea whats going on south of eight mile north of The Fisher building, west of Rosa Parks Blvd, East of the incinerator. This is my Detroit not the cultural center.

Peace really I mean it Peace


Erik Donald France said...

Mark, I appreciate your correctives. I do rent and I do have two jobs so my perspective is indeed different although I'd hardly consider myself gentry. My apartment building is half empty because no new tenants (it's a 1928 building) and many friends and peers have sold their houses for a loss -- to your point about unemployment, they left for other parts of the country/world where things are booming. Some were laid off, some were anxious for job security.

On the other hand, in the cultural area, things are doing much better than when I moved here ten years ago.

The Grand Prix, which is coming back next year, offered a number of options. One could walk around the grounds outside the race area for free (or after $5 shuttle to Belle Isle, etc.) and there were a range of possibilities, depending on what someone wanted to do and see close up. I was able to get to where I wanted for photos, etc., but did not have access to the paddocks or main grandstands. I want people to know this in case they're interested next year that it does not have to cost an arm and a leg to get there.

Sidney said...

Looks like the festival was a lot of fun.

Ropinator said...

Danica Patrick looks good. I have sen her once in tv.

the walking man said...

Erik right now you could buy a house in my neighborhood (18 minutes from the cultural center depending on time of day)on a conventional 15 year mortgage for less then you pay in rent...same problem here is the vacancies but they were all repo's and evictions.



Pythia3 said...

Looks like you've been busy this past weekend too. I made it for Friday's qualifying races. (FREE Prix day - but the beer was 7 bucks a bottle- that's everywhere though - DTE included) I LOVE the sound of those engines. My adrenaline also kicked in with the first roar.
And yes, Danika's image was everywhere. You go girl!
(Hey, I think the model on the left is a friend of mine.)
I'm with you about the revival of Detroit. But, it also takes positive thoughts and people going out to the events to give it the adrenaline boost she needs.
My neighborhood is not the best (as I posted a few weeks back) but I live here with the knowledge that I can't meander carelessly about town as I did when I lived in Royal Oak. I know I must be a little more cautious. I do feel there is more of a positive energy in the air, partly due to people like me who move in here and show a little TLC and hope for the city.
I also understand where Mark is coming from, because the dirty truth does have to be exposed in a way that does not further harm our already fragile reputation.
We need some before and after parties in this town until there are only after parties to throw!
Like Henry Ford said, "Whether we think we can or think we can't, either way we are right." (And if I'm not mistaken, he was from Detroit...:))