Saturday, July 11, 2009

bus-plunge Scoops The longrooffan Again

Over here, the bus-plunge, a blogger I find to be rather humorous in addition to being one of my older brothers, did a blog on, via Google Street View, a house in Detroit covered with stuffed animals.

Incidentally, he and I have a similar sense of humor and often stumble upon stuff on these tubes around the same time. How he found his link to the Stuffed Animal House I don't know and experience tells me I will never know.

I found my link via a dude I have blogged about once before but I don't know on what post...wait, I just remembered, he provided the image of the tree in this blog. Anyway, he has a weekly, or so, email he sends out and, while usually they contain old postcards or photos, this time he included the below image with an always included description of the provided image.

Friday, June 10, 2009

A balmy watercolor sky casts a moody mid-morning glow over the corner of Mt. Elliott and Elba where an aging, abandoned home has been cleverly re purposed as a place to hang plenty of plushies.

When was the last time you saw a house studded with stuffed animals? I know, it’s SHOCKING! This is a small part of an entire neighborhood that over the last twenty or so years has evolved into an extensive folk art environment called the Heidelberg Project. It’s definitely the Fantasyland of Detroitland.

I had the privilege of touring Detroitland a couple of weeks ago. I was in town to do a retro slide show at the Henry Ford Museum, which is in NO uncertain terms like a giant treasure chest brimming with Americana artifacts of the highest order. Among the endless array of ultimate collectibles is the bus the Rosa Parks refused to move on, a 1952 Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile and the Dymaxiom House, a 1946 futuristic prototype dwelling that looks like a cross between an Airstream trailer and a flying saucer. The museum is all part of Fordland, where you will also find Ford EVERYTHING… Ford Freeway, Ford Road, Ford Hospital, Ford Schools, Ford offices, Ford Factories, Ford Homes, Ford Credit Union and the Ford-Wyoming Drive-in, the worlds largest drive-in theater. And yes, to stand before it is spellbinding.

No trip to Detroitland would be complete without visiting Hitsville USA aka the Motown Museum. Much to my surprise visitors get to go in the recording studio inside the old house where all the legendary hits were recorded including those of the Jackson 5.

From there it was off for a drive up and down Woodward Avenue, the “Main Street USA” of Detroitland. Among the sampler platter of empty store fronts and architectural leftovers from the city’s wealthier days was a super tasty little donut shop called Dutch Girl Donuts. Sidewalk passersby can watch the donuts being made in the window just as they have since the place opened 62 years ago. The raisin donut I gobbled down there was donut perfection like I’ve NEVER known.

Speaking of food, hot dogs and soft serve are in no uncertain terms what’s on the menu in
Detroitland. But it wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t mention the super savory Polish dinners I eagerly enjoyed two nights in a row in Hamtramck, “the Polish part of town.”

I was guided there to see Detroitland’s other Fantasyland folk art environment, called “Hamtramck Disneyland.” Seeing this massive sculptural assemblage of countless colorful handmade and found model airplanes, fans, rocking horses, soldiers, guns, missiles and more built atop a residential three car garage was thought provoking to say the least. I hear the whole thing lights up and pieces of it move when the 90-year old that created it feels like flipping the switch. Guess he didn’t the evening I was there. Oh well, maybe next time!

Then it was time for Downtown Detroitland where I discovered General Motors Headquarters, formerly known as the Renaissance Center, to be a Tomorrowland like no other I’ve ever experienced. To get to the utopian space age skyscrapers I boarded the futuristic 1980’s monorail that circles the heart of town. Ironically it’s called the People Mover. Moments after disembarking and stepping inside the cavernous uber-1970s sci-fi style GM corporate showroom I was enjoying the sights and smells of the full line of sparkling new GM cars and trucks on display. I felt like I was on another planet where everything was quite fine and GM wasn’t bankrupt.

Before I could snap myself back to reality I got back on the People Mover-Monorail bound for the next stop. Just steps away from the station I found myself standing before what has to be Detroitland’s ultimate architectural treasure, and the most colorful art deco skyscraper anywhere, the Guardian Building. It’s more like what I would call a skyscraping temple. Completed in 1929, inside and out the 44- story super structure is sampler platter of Native American, Aztec and Art Deco design details often highlighted with orange, yellow and turquoise tiles.

Then I walked around the corner and saw a sign atop a storefront that simply read: ART IS EVERYWHERE. I was stopped dead in my tracks because in Detroitland art is everywhere.

Here’s to the Stuffed Animal House, the other spellbinding attractions in Detroitland and YOU!

And it is knowing my brother Jim finds the same stuff humorous as do I that continues to let me

Celebrate Life.

1 comment:

Busplunge said...

The stars must have been aligned....or else the bud light Ed left in my back porch beer fridge inspired me to do some creative googling!



btw---I got the back porch finished except for some trim on the floor under the doors. It is great to sit out there and watch NASCAR on the big screen and drink Budweiser out of glass glasses!