Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Detroit Businesses Vandalized

Three weeks ago, I reported that vandals had smashed in a glass door at La Hacienda (18712 W. Warren Ave. - (313) 271-6677). I'm afraid that things have only gotten worse in the intervening weeks.

Someone also tried breaking into the restaraunt through their main window, which faces W. Warren Ave. There was a second sheet of hard plastic behind the glass that prevented entry into the building - just like what happened with their door.

Not to be content with smashing a window at just one business, someone also smashed the window at Warrendale Insurance (18648 W Warren Ave. - (313) 271-6601).

On behalf of the W.R.W.A.L.H.B.N (that's the "Warrendale Residents Who Actually Like Having Businesses in their Neighborhoods" - yeah, we need to work on that acronymn) I'd like to smack whoever is responsible for this.

I would also like to remind Detroit's Mayor Kwame M. Kilpatrick and the Detroit City Council that cutting police protection is really not a good idea.

Frosty Is Back

In a previous post, I reported that Frosty the Snowman had fallen down on his job at the Family Drugs (18611 W. Warren Avenue). Since then, I'm proud to say that Frosty is once again standing proud in Warrendale.

I'm glad to see that you're doing well, Frosty.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Christmas in Warrendale

Today was the Winter Soltice; the longest night of the year and the official beginning of winter. It only seemed appropriate to use this much darkness to check out some of the Christmas lights in Warrendale.
The displays ranged from very simple - a strand of lights around a living room window, for example - to downright amazing.
The majority of houses didn't have anything up at all. I'm not sure if that means that folks simply aren't in the holiday mood - or if they were just intimidated by the potential utility bill. Regardless, I loved those moments when there was a whole row of decorated houses.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Dumbfounded by Dumping

While I was out grabbing photos for my last couple of posts, I saw that one of my neighbors had left a large pile of rubbish out in front of their house. From the looks of it, it couldn't have been out for very long because there wasn't much snow on top of it - and it had just snowed recently. I snapped a quick photo of it, almost on a whim.

There's a city ordinance in Detroit that prohibits leaving trash like this out more than 24 hours before the next scheduled pick-up. However, that ordinance isn't enforced with anywhere near the kind of regularity that it should receive.

As I continued on my way, I started noticing more and more piles of trash throughout the neighborhood.

I wasn't really even looking for piles of trash in Warrendale, but I kept finding them. It seemed like once I noticed one - my eyes were opened to all of the other ones that were there.

Without really even trying, I photographed more than a dozen homes that had very large piles of trash in front of them - all in violation of the city ordinance. I even noticed one young woman who was carrying a large pile of debris out from her home and just casual dumped it in front of her home - like it meant nothing at all.

With this much dumping going on, I find it hard to believe that the City was even bothering to enforce its own ordinance in this area.

I know that there have been lots of budget cuts. I know also that these cuts have placed an additional burden on remaining city services. However, I can't accept that this means we should have to put up with so much dumping going on.

As I continued on, I thought about the damage that this dumping does to the community. It's a potential health and safety hazard for the children who play in the neighborhood. It's an eyesore. It damages property values. When one family moves out, it discourages others from moving in; creating abandoned homes and all of the problems that stem from that.

I also kept thinking about the fines that the city ordinance imposes on those who violate it.

If we were to take one or two of those recently laid-off police officers and assign them to ticket quality of life issues like this, the revenue from fines who more than enough to cover his or her salary. If my memory serves me correctly, the fine for dumping in Detroit is $500.

I found a dozen violators in Warrendale in under an hour. That's $6,000 in potential revenue in such a short time period.

Granted, if a police officer were doing this, there would be all kinds of paper work that he or she would have to process in order to levy such a fine. He or she would also have to appear in a court, if the violator contested the charge.

But even if a re-hired officer spent 2 or 3 days a week dealing with issues like this, it would generate more than enough in fines to cover his or her salary. More importantly, it would make the quality of life a lot better in Warrendale and the other Detroit neighborhoods.

As for the rest of that officer's week, he or she could then do convential police work. The kind of stuff that people expect when they call 9-1-1, but doesn't happen because we don't have enough police officers on the job.

It's a win-win for everyone involved.

Well, make that, it's a win-win for everyone except the folks who routinely break the law.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Stripping for Breast Cancer

The Toy Chest Bar (18728 Ford Rd.) is Warrendale's own strip club. A couple of weeks ago, they held a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society to support breast cancer research. Just a couple of days before the event, however, the American Cancer Society announced that they would not accept the funds because of the nature of their business.

Luckily, the folks at the Karmanos Cancer Center weren't so picky. They were happy to put their money to good use.

The fundraiser went on and the Toy Chest Bar even managed to get it's story on the news. WDIV-TV (Detroit's NBC affiliate on channel 4) covered the story on their 11 o'clock news.

It's always good when folks from Warrendale show up in the news in a positive light - even though the report said that they were in Dearborn. Oh, well - they are right on the border so I guess I can forgive them.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Eddy's Florist

I drove past Eddy's Florist (19202 W. Warren Avenue) yesterday and was impressed by how good the place looks. When they're open for business, the snowman stands outside - welcoming shoppers to the store.

They were closing for the day by the time I was able to circle back to snap this photo. Still, the place looks great and the business seems to be doing reasonably well.

Frosty Falls Down on the Job

For some reason, I find the concept of Frosty the Snow Man falling down on the job at Family Drugs (18611 W. Warren Avenue) kind of funny.

Maybe I'm just a first-rate sicko with an odd sense of humor.

Maybe it provides comfort for the times that I've fallen down on the job to know that I'm not alone.

Whatever it is, I couldn't resist snapping a picture and posting it here.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Let it snow

Warrendale, and the rest of southeastern Michigan, saw a decent amount of snow yesterday. According to the Official Warrendale Snow Meter, we got 5 1/2 inches of snow in the past 24 hours.

Of course, the really interesting part about this is that the City of Detroit has a policy of not plowing Detroit's residential streets unless there's at least 6 inches of snow on the groud. The fact that we only got 5 1/2 inches is a nasty combination. It means that we got enough of it to make travelling the side streets a mess, but not enough of it to bring the snow plows out.

Nothing but unplowed sidestreets as far as the eye can see.

Monday, December 05, 2005

My first fan

Dang! I've barely even started this blog and already I've got one person leaving a positive comment and linking his site to mine.

Thanks for the support, Dearborn Blog. You make for a great neighbor.

La Hacienda

La Hacienda is one of the best Mexican restaurants in Southeastern Michigan. Great food. Decent service. Moderate prices. They take credit cards. And, oh yeah - they have a full bar, which, for those who know me, is a very important consideration.

You really can't ask for much more than that.

Plus, as if all of that wasn't enough, they are located in the heart of Warrendale - on the north side of W. Warren Avenue (18712 W. Warren Ave., Detroit 48228 - (313) 271-6677). The place is also run by a family that truly cares about this community. I'm personally fond of their frajitas, but everything on their menu is exceptional.

Regretably, all is not well for La Hacienda. In case you didn't notice in the above photo, someone recently smashed the glass door to their restaurant. They were presumably trying to break-in. Luckily, the owners have a heavy sheet of plastic behind the glass. When someone smashes the glass, they still aren't able to gain entry to the building.

I talked with the owner. He is committed to staying in the Warrendale neighborhood, but stuff like this makes it a lot harder for him to do that.

All of this makes me want to take a couple of wacks at whoever it was that smashed their door. Unfortunately, I doubt I'll ever find out who the culprit is.

Friday, December 02, 2005


Okay - I just got home from the Detroit Graphic Design Expo (great party, by the way). I'm not quite ready to hit the sack so I started browsing on-line. Turns out Warrendale is one of the few Detroit neighborhoods to have an entry in Wikipedia.

Ain't we cool.

Coming soon

Okay - there were so many people on Detroit YES asking for a Warrendale based blog that I had to create this. The only problem is that I'm totally swamped with stuff for the Shop Detroit event that Detroit Synergy is doing tomorrow (I'm on their steering team) that I don't have the time do much with this.

However, I created the spot and promise to start posting after tomorrow.

Check back soon!