Monday, August 21, 2017

Crappy sidewalk repair


The City of Detroit tried to repair a broken sidewalk on Minock Street in Warrendale today. The problem is that they appeared to be rather lazy and used asphalt patch rather than concrete.

William Penrod, who lives on Minock and reported the problem, posted an epic rant in which he called out Mayor Mike Duggan over this.

More on this story as it develops.

Awesome shot of the solar eclipse



Father Jerry Pilus, pastor at Ss. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in Detroit's Warrendale neighborhood, took this amazing shot of the solar eclipse. This photo was taken at 2:28 p.m. from the church grounds.

Father Jerry posted this photo of the solar eclipse as seen from Detroit to the church's Facebook page. I'm happy to be able to embed it here.

For anyone who missed it, the next time that a total solar eclipse will be visible in the Detroit area won't be until April 8, 2024.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Flying over the Warrendale neighborhood in Detroit


One particular YouTube user flew a drone over much of the Warrendale neighborhood. The resulting video shows our section of Detroit from Ford Road north to Warren Avenue and from the Southfield Freeway east to Evergreen Road.

I have never seen the Warrendale neighborhood from this vantage point before. I have to admit that Detroit looks good from the air.

In fact, when I first saw what it looked like to fly over Detroit, I knew that I had to publish his video here so that everyone else in Detroit and beyond could see it.

And so I am.

Ladies and gentlemen, flying over the Warrendale neighborhood of Detroit is your Cool Warrendale Thing of the Week.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Review - "Forever and a Death"

Forever and a Death  by Donald E. Westlake (Hard Case Crime)
Cover painting for the novel by Paul Mann

Like so many great novels, there is a story behind Forever and a Death by Donald E. Westlake that rivals the suspense of the fictional prose itself.

Donald Westlake had long ago established himself as one of the grandmasters of the suspense novel. Newsweek proclaimed him to be, "one of the great writers of the 20th century" while the San Francisco Chronicle observed years ago that "Westlake's ability to construct an action story filled with unforeseen twists and quadruple-crosses is unparalleled."

It was with that as background that United Artists Studio in Hollywood commissioned Donald Westlake to write an original screenplay for an upcoming James Bond movie. What Westlake eventually produced for them was a thrilling tale of a businessman who seeks revenge against the entire island nation of Hong Kong.

Unfortunately, the studio was nervous about the political implications of his story. They stuck his screenplay on a shelf and largely forgot about it.

Not wanting to waste what he thought was an exceptionally good story, Westlake converted this tale into a novel with a protagonist other than James Bond. The result of that was this novel, Forever and a Death.

Unfortunately, Donald E. Westlake died on December 31, 2008, before this book could be published. After two decades of delay, this story is finally available for readers to savor - complete with an afterword by Jeff Kleeman, one of the producers who helped to connect Westlake with the James Bond project in the first place.

One of the things that impressed me about this novel is that, even though Westlake wrote it decades ago, time did not dull its heart-pounding edge. The reader will no doubt notice something that places it as having happened in the not too distant past - with its references to pay phones, fax machines, and other things that have largely disappeared from everyday life - but there is still a thrilling quality to Westlake's writing that is as timeless as ever.

The characters are vivid. The dialogue is sharp. The way police inspectors are skeptical at first but eventually swayed into action by the evidence of our villain's plot rings amazingly true.

James Bond illustration by Tumisu/Pixabay
I highly recommend Forever and a Death by Donald E. Westlake for any reader who enjoys James Bond stories, devours the original works of Tom Clancy, or simply loves a good thriller.

Forever and a Death by Donald E. Westlake is available from Amazon.com or from your local bookseller.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Loud explosions in Rouge Park today - don't worry

Bomb squad vehicle - Photo by Raymond Wamsgans/Flickr
The Detroit Police Department has announced that their bomb squad will perform training exercises in Rouge Park this afternoon. Residents and visitors are cautioned that they may hear loud explosions but there is no cause for alarm - it's only a training exercise.

According to a statement from the Detroit Police Department, these exercises will happen at the archery range in Rouge Park, which is near Joy Rd. and Spinoza Dr. This is expected to begin at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Residents and visitors are also asked to avoid the area around the Rouge Park archery range while this training exercise is happening.

All 5 endorsed candidates move on to November

The primary election was this past Tuesday across Detroit and the rest of Michigan. It narrowed the field from dozens of contenders to the top two candidates who will move on to the general election in November for the offices of mayor of Detroit, members of the city council, and city clerk.

This blog made a total of five endorsements for these important offices in Detroit. I am thrilled that all five candidates have made it past the primary and will move on to the general election, which is set for Tuesday, November 7.

Congratulations and best wishes, therefore, go out to:
  • Mike Duggan for Mayor of Detroit;
  • Gabe Leland for City Council (District 7);
  • Brenda Jones for City Council (at-large);
  • Janee Ayers for City Council (at-large); and
  • Garlin Gilchrist for City Clerk.
I wish each of these candidates the best of luck as we move forward the election season in Detroit.

The history behind the streets of Detroit


There's a lot of history in the streets of Detroit - so much so that we forget how our streets themselves came to be in the current location. Thankfully, though, a friend of mine came across this short documentary that was originally produced by Wayne State University about the historic streets of Detroit.

In this short video, entitled Detroit's Pattern of Growth, Robert J. Goodman, a professor of geography at Wayne State University, and Gordon W. Draper explain how Detroit's street design went from a collection of ancient trails developed by Native Americans into the cityscape that we know today.