The Old Ball Park!

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I was downloading some old photos from my Flickr website, and I came across this picture of the former Tiger Stadium on Michigan Avenue in Corktown, Detroit bordering between Downtown and Southwest Detroit, and the memories are still vivid in my mind today even though the actual park remains today with plans still in the air as to what to do with the field, but everything you see in the picture is no more with the exception of the fence on Michigan and Trumbull. Other than that, my stories to tell are minimal, at best, in comparison to the memories of my contemporaries, family, friends, coworkers, etc. I can count on one hand in my lifetime how many times I’ve been to Tiger Stadium. Though the occasions were few, I cherished each one whether the Tigers won or lost. I wasn’t a big baseball buff until after the fact. I began to appreciate it more when I was working for the School Board, and I’d watch games while I was working (I was supporting the team of the school I was working for at the time, that’s my story, and I’m stickin’ to it, jack!).

But one of the biggest memories that I had of “The Corner” as it has been eloquently known for decades, was that I’d go sightseeing after school, and ride the bus downtown as well as the People Mover. One afternoon, I was on the #34 Gratiot-Michigan bus, and Michigan Ave was crowded at Trumbull (it was a game that day). Rush hour had just ended, and another traffic jam ensued. So I utilized any opportunity to enjoy the atmosphere seeing that I was gonna be there awhile. The vendors were selling roasted peanuts for $.50, I saw the vendor, opened the window, and told him I’d like a bag. Long story short, that fifty cent bag was the best $.50 I’ve ever spent! Those peanuts were downright delicious. Eventually the traffic had cleared up and I was able to make it home. I knew then why little boys were so amped about “Peanuts and Cracker Jack”.

Can’t say I blame ‘em, especially me being a bigger kid myself. 15 at the time.

The late 1980s and early 1990s has seen some bleak times for the Tiger since winning their last World Series in 1984. That said, it had faced threats of the wrecking ball for many years, and with the building nearing its Centennial prior to being razed in 2008, it also required more maintenance than what it was worth. On September 27, 1999, The Detroit Tigers has played their final game at “The Corner” defeating the Kansas City Royals 8-2. A very bittersweet victory for the big cats. Two years prior to that time, the City of Detroit had already broken ground for Comerica Park in Detroit’s Necklace District one block east of Woodward, one block south of Fisher Freeway (formerly the central portion of Vernor Highway). On April 11, 2000, Comerica Park(COPA)-namesake of Comerica Bank-had opened to the public with the Tigers defeating the Seattle Mariners 5-2 that snowy afternoon. I have yet to see a game there, I will eventually. I have, however, frequented a pool hall/nightclub called “5th Avenue Billiards”. It was doing very well for a few years, but it was shut down. Rumor has it that the Illitch family wanted more money a month for it, they have plenty of it (but that’s just a rumor, that’s all)!

Tiger Stadium has had some uses during it nine-year dormant period. In 2006, it was announced that “The Corner” was facing the wrecking ball. On September 21, 2009, the very last of “The Corner” was knocked down, with the exception of some of the gates that I mentioned earlier. The baseball park still remains on “The Corner” of Michigan and Trumbull for well over 100 years now.

Click on any of the links below to read further into the past, present, and future of this iconic team. Obviously (due to a lack of time), I have left out-if not entirely omitted altogether many embellishments in this entry. More than likely they will do a much better job than I have.

Till next time,

Namaste.

Tiger Stadium (Detroit) | Comerica Park | MLB | 1999 Detroit Tigers Final Season Game | Comerica Park (WikiPedia)

Another Breakfast

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I made a change earlier today. Had my usual breakfast, and decided to have my meats separate from the omelette, that I made. Long story short, here’s how I hooked it up:

Pomegranate Pancakes:
1 cup of Multigrain Pancake mix
1 egg (I prefer brown)
A sprinkle of brown sugar and ground cinnamon
1/2 cup of milk
1 teaspoon of pomegranate seeds
Stir until ingredients become nice an thick
Makes about 2-3 cakes

Cheese omelette:
Two brown eggs
A splash of milk, beat with a whisk
Pour whipped eggs over a well greased skillet
Let sit until the eggs are halfway foamed
Add any cheese of your choice
Flip halfway, both sides, if you wish
You have a beautiful, fluffy, and delicious omelette.

Sausages:
Chop up polish sausage (I used beef), and boil
Strain
Add a few slices and you’re good to go!

Namaste.

House Cleaning

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Having been a professional cleaner for two decades, I have learned how to better maintain a house. Being a teenager at the time, I didn’t appreciate it, now that the big 4-0 is fast approaching, I’ve developed an abhorrence of filth and clutter in my house, esp. if I’m living by myself. So I took the liberty of doing some of my old-school janitorial duties and did some cleaning of my own since I have a rounded-off 20 years as stated earlier. I was hoping that my faithful steamer would be available for me, but it wasn’t so I had to go old-school and use a mop with some bleach and wood cleaner. Needless to say, I miss the convenience of using my steamer, but I was happy with the fact that I had a clean first floor! I just moved in after my grandmother’s passing, and the very least I can do is keep this place clean! And just like grandma, I, too, can’t stand a filthy house. Since September, I’ve been throwing out stuff left and right. I wouldn’t be surprised if this goes into the first third (first four months, that is) of 2015.

At my age, I’m just trying to life a much simpler life like the Bible suggests.

Namaste.

Mandarin Chicken with Jasmine Rice and Steamed Corn

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Dinner before my workout. With the exception of the corn, the chicken and the rice, everything came from Trader Joe’s. I normally use EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) for my skillet, likewise for the rice when I cook the rice in a pot. Due to the size of the pieces of bird, I added some slices of beef polish sausage to the skillet to enhance the flavor and add more protein to the mix. What I do first, is cook the bird until it’s fully cooked, then I add the polish sausage (already cooked), sometimes I’ll add shrimp (peeled for the most part) to the mix. After that, I’d add the Mandarin Sauce, pour it over the meat, and you’d see a beautiful, glistening glaze over the meat. Now most times, I’d have the rice on the plate first, and I’d have the veggies and bird mixed together and pour over the rice. But seeing that this is the only thing I’ve eaten today (not counting a banana), I just whipped the presentation like a school lunch.

And BTW, the steamed corn was microwaved.

What can I say, a brotha was friggin’ hungry!

Namaste.

Above Ground!

Day 349. Hangin' out downtown again.
As a photographer, I have seen many pictures of this overpass in the downtown area. I’ve even taken pictures of it. This but one of but a few of the skywalks that have throughout the city of Detroit, with this being the most traveled one. This particular one connects from the Millender Center to the GM Renaissance Center, both of which are located on East Jefferson. I have always been infatuated with the designs of these pedestrian bridges. And depending on location, they’re very convenient-esp. on rush hour.

After playing with various filters on this pic, I was very pleased with the outcome. Hopefully as 2015 emerges in less than two weeks, I’ll be doing more of these kinda shots. I’ll even say that this 365 is by far the best one I’ve done since the first two that I did on flickr.

Namaste.

Oh, Thank Heaven…

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I ventured downtown again. I was informed that there was a new 7-11 downtown that was being built. Little did I realize that it would come so soon. Again, I thought about my recently-departed friend, and I said to myself; “I wish Mary coulda been here to see all this”. But like any new venture in Detroit, I expected it to be crowded. The entrance was, but the rest of the store was immaculate to say the least. Prior to the recent resurgence of this iconic convenience store in Detroit this past year, the last Detroit location was on East Warren just a few blocks east of Cadieux Road where Finney High School (now East English Village Prepartory Academy) now stands. And this was in 2004.

I was wondering when we’d see another 7-11 in the city, we’ve gotten two this year, both of them in the downtown area. I wish them both great success!

Namaste.

R.I.P., Billy.

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Emmy-Award winning anchorman Bill Bonds has died Saturday afternoon at 4:15pm according to sources.  Very direct, old-school, in your face, and took no prisoners on any subjects.  A native of Detroit’s westside, he got his start at WXYZ in the mid to late 1960s, briefly worked for KABC-TV in Los Angeles and returned to WXYZ in 1971 when the station was taking off.  He was one of America’s top paid anchormen making over one million dollars a year.  My mother had told me stories about Bill Bonds (when he had hair), that she remembered when he got his break on WXYZ.   From 1971 to 1995 he was a staple for the Southfield station.

His no-nonsense approach to news as well as interviewing such icons as former running back of the Detroit Lions Barry Sanders, and Oprah Winfrey were very poignant, entertaining, and of course, direct.  Mr. Bonds was very colorful on camera as well as off-camera (YouTube search:  Bill Bonds).

He had some personal issues as well.  One of which was the 1967 riots that had taken place in the neighbourhood that he grew up in, his brushes with alcoholism, and his daughter being in a fatal auto accident that involved a drunk driver.  Through it all, he persevered well over his decades-long career.  He was very close friends with Coleman A. Young, whom he challenged to a boxing match (would’ve loved to have seen Billy without his “rug” on), and was emotional when the former mayor died in late 1997.  He covered various subjects in reference to the burning of Detroit, the death of John Lennon, and the 1984 World Series which was the Detroit Tigers last time as WS champs.  On occasion, he would step out of retirement and do commentaries.  One of which that stood out to me the most was the one that he did in 2008 commemorating the 60th Anniversary of WXYZ.  And still the sharp-witted, and in your face anchorman that he was, and he gave his two cents on the plight of America.  Now, as you know, I don’t involve myself in politics, but Bill had a way to get the listeners to “read between the lines”.   One thing that I will agree with that he said towards the end of the commentary:  “If you don’t change, if you don’t adjust, you go bye-bye”.  Truer word have never been spoken.

Who’s gonna fill Billy’s shoes after this void?  No one knows….

Like my mother before me, I, too, can say that I grew up watching Bill Bonds.  He truly was the voice of Detroit.

Rest In Peace, Billy!

Namaste.

Fort/Cass

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Having been out of the city since my grandmother’s passing, I try to stay abreast with the goings-on in the city as well as out. This night was no different. Thinking of a picture for my 365, I planned to go downtown for a brief adventure, just me and my iPhone. As I anticipate the finishing of the M1 Railway, I hopped on the People Mover. A 25-30 year old monorail that has dodged many bullets during Detroit’s down years. Before I go any further, I want to clear this one thing up: I said 25-30 because around ’84-’85, there were some concrete beams with a track over them. Coleman Young, our mayor at the time, and a few other influential people had a vision for the resurgence of Detroit. Long story short, a 3.5 mile monorail would transport folks from one side of downtown to the other, hence the name “People Mover”. And in 1987, it was opened to the public. And for many years it went counter-clockwise. In 2007, on its 20th anniversary, it now goes clockwise. And with the entertainment industry investing in Detroit, the People Mover is more popular now than it was decades ago.

Back to my original story. I rode the train for two trips (each trip is 15 minutes depending on how many people board the trains). And as I took pics of one particular stop that I don’t board often, but I thought why not. It didn’t occur to me until after I walked in the cold that I was parked across the Financial District Station. Like I said, I’ve been out of touch since I moved out of the city. Thankfully, I’m not too far from the border of it.

I boarded the Fort/Cass station on the northwest corner of Fort Street and Cass Avenue. Fort street being the namesake of Fort Ponchartrain du De’troit (now known as Detroit, Michigan), and Cass Ave being the namesake of Lewis Cass, the 22nd US Secretary of State, 2nd Territorial Governor of Michigan, US Ambassador to France, and US Senator. Like everything else in America, there’s a backstory to everything.

One final observation to share. This station, like the other stations that connect to the monorail downtown, is that even though art-deco is hard to come by these days, but like every other major American city, Detroit has its artists. This station has a very beautiful art-deco wall halfway between where you board the train and the street. (If I hadn’t pointed it out yet, the People Mover is an above ground monorail in downtown Detroit)
I have taken many pictures of this station including a picture of the train as it was approaching for my 365. Due to time and space constraints, I had to consolidate the pictures into a collage. That said, once you see the pictures, it might just change your tune about Detroit.

And as always, the pictures speak for themselves.

Namaste.

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Spicy Alaskan Roll w/ Vegetable Grilled Dumplings and Gekkeikan Sake!

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Sushi. Ain’t had it in years. Hot sake, same length of time. Vegetable Grilled Dumplings, I wanna say it’s my first time, but I’m not too sure.
I treated myself to some Spicy Alaskan Roll (Spicy Salmon in brown rice), and the other two mentioned. That said, everything was delicious, and the hot sake topped it! All this I bought at my local Kroger in the Grosse Pointes.

The spicy salmon had a orange sauce on it and it was raw fish in miniature rice rolls with hints of brown sugar, vinegar, and wasabi. Tasty! And the veggie dumplings? Well, let’s just say that they went before the rice rolls did, so that should tell ya something right there! And the Gekkeikan Sake, well, I poured some in a sautée pan and placed it over a pot with water in and cooked to a boil. I’ll take hot sake over cold any day!

Namaste.

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Wolverine Harley-Davidson

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I was in for another treat the other day. For the first time in several years, I visited the Harley-Davidson store in my former hometown of Clinton Township, Mi. Long story short, I sat on some of the bikes, and was given a tour of the entire facility. The lounge, the shop, the classroom for motorcycle course, even the garage for storage, everything! You had to be there to see it, that’s all I can tell ya!

But before I end this, let me say that learning how to ride a motorcycle is on my bucket list. I’m gonna be 40 in a few months, so I’m gonna jump ship and go for it. It’s funny, I thought about an old flame who would freak out at my mentioning motorcycles. Reasons being that some friends of ours who I found out years later were distant cousins who had died in accidents. Despite those unfortunate tragedies, I won’t let that stop me. I’ve been obsessed with Harleys since my teenage years, and would like to at least learn how to ride one.

One final thing that had me sold: They had a state of the art class that featured certified teachers, everything is in-house as far as classes are concerned, even the road test is in-house. Just gotta hit the Secretary of State for the road test, and if you pass, you get the endorsement. I’d say much more, but the pictures will tell you everything.

Namaste

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A wanderlusting visionary from Detroit. Suburban resident, businessman in the making, bodybuilder in the making, photographer, writer, designer, poet. Artistic, creative, critical, and analytical thinking person all in one. Cross-dominant (not to be confused to "Ambidextrous"), left-handed most times, twin (R.I.P. my bro), devout JW, I'm a loner until you get to know me a WHOLE lot better…

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