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A visual walk through a one week journey to former hometown and surrounding villages

Karin and I were in Germany for my mom's 90th birthday on January 14th. From a photography viewpoint, I took advantage of having some beautiful sunrises, a winter storm which is quite unusual these days, a few "lost places" I explored while roaming through the area - and the opportunity to photograph some fine people in action whom I've known for ages.

Eifel, Germany in January 2023

Detroit - The City of Churches, Dec. 10, 2022

Detroit - The City of Churches

In celebration of the 2022 Christmas season, “Detroit: The City of Churches,” premiered at a private showing on Dec. 10 at The Fillmore Theater in Detroit followed by its broadcast debut on Detroit Public Television and PBS on Dec. 12.

Detroit, at one time, had more churches per square mile than any other city in the country, serving a population from many nationalities of many faiths. The two-hour film, hosted by Chuck Gaidica and produced by Visionalist Entertainment Productions in Wixom, takes the audience on an in-depth look at Detroit’s history from the perspective of 17 of Detroit’s most beloved and iconic houses of worship.

As part of this story, the audience will gain a deeper understanding of the origin of stained glass, various architectural designs, the significance of church bells, the complexity of many of the city’s historic organs that drive daily services, Pewabic Pottery, and the history of Detroit’s Eastern Market.

The film also features an important story about the impact the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and the Felician Sisters had on so many congregations. “This will be such a special evening, bringing together seventeen churches of various faiths including Catholics, Lutherans, Protestants, Baptists, Methodists, Episcopalians, and Greek Orthodox, all under one roof to celebrate the city we love, the Motor City,” says Keith Famie, director and producer of the film and principal of Visionalist Entertainment Productions.

The film’s premiere took place at The Filmore Theater on Dec. 10.  A special closing of the evening’s celebration brought together several of the featured churches’ choirs on the candle lit stage to sing “Silent Night.”

The Nutcracker

Performance by VSB (Valentina's School of Ballet) at the BERMAN Center for the Performing Arts on Dec. 11, 2022

The Nutcracker

An American Castle in Rochester, MI

It's easy to understand why Meadow Brook Hall is often described as an American castle. The 110-room, 88,000-square-foot mansion was inspired by English country manor houses of the Tudor and Elizabethan periods.

It's the former residence of one of the automotive aristocracy’s most memorable women, Matilda Dodge Wilson (widow of auto pioneer John Dodge), her second husband Alfred G. Wilson and her children. Matilda and John Dodge had three children, Frances, Daniel and Anna Margaret. Matilda and Alfred Wilson adopted two children, Richard and Barbara.

Meadow Brook Hall exists as an indirect product of the achievements and good fortune of Matilda’s first husband, the automotive pioneer John F. Dodge. Co-founder of Dodge Brothers Motor Car Company, John Dodge quickly prospered in the early automotive industry. Upon his tragic death in 1920, Matilda became one of the world's wealthiest women. This fortune not only built one of America's finest residences and country estates, it also supported numerous Detroit charities and organizations, and made possible the founding of Oakland University.

The estate was designed and built by the Detroit architectural firm of Smith, Hinchman and Grylls between 1926 and 1929, at a cost of nearly $4 million, by elite craftsmen and materials impossible to reproduce today. The interior has 23 bedrooms, 25 bathrooms and three kitchens. The exterior is made of American materials such as sandstone, brick, wood and a clay-tiled roof, and features 39 uniquely designed chimneys.

Currently, the Hall welcomes visitors to their famous HOLIDAY WALK which transports visitors through the historic mansion decked in shimmering splendor, while WINTER WONDER LIGHTS transforms the estate at night into a breathtaking light show featuring music, seasonal treats and holiday magic.

All pictures were taken during a WINTER WONDER LIGHTS tour on December 4th.

Meadow Brook Hall, Dec 4, 2022

Kresge Administrative Building - Oct/Nov. 2022

S.S. Kresge Company - Kresge Administrative Building - The Block at Cass Park

Before discount stores, there were variety “dime stores,” called so because products sold for either a dime or a nickel. Kresge, founded in 1899, was a Detroit-born dime store where shoppers could find daily needs such as housewares, linens, clothing, school supplies, and toys.

Sebastian Spering Kresge began his dime store career as a partner of J.G. McCrory, owner of a dime store chain. The two opened stores in Detroit and Memphis. Kresge sold his interest in the Memphis store to open his own store, the S.S. Kresge store on Woodward Avenue between Grand River Avenue and State Street. Store #1 at that time was 2,000 square feet, employed 18 associates and carried 1,500 items, none costing more than ten cents.

Kresge partnered with his brother-in-law Charles J. Wilson for seven years, during which time they opened Kresge & Wilson stores in seven cities. Kresge incorporated the company in 1912 under his own name as the S.S. Kresge Company. By this time there were 85 stores valued at over $10 million. The era of “five and dimes” ended in 1917 when Kresge’s was forced to raise prices to fifteen cents, due to World War I inflation.

In 1921, the company opened “green front” stores that sold items ranging from 25 cents to $1.00 (traditional Kresge stores were known as “red front” stores.) The S.S. Kresge Company made notable contributions to Detroit architecture, specifically the Kresge Building (now the Kales Building) on Grand Circus Park, an Albert Kahn design that served as company headquarters from 1914-1930.

The Kales Building was completed in 1914 and housed the headquarters of the S.S. Kresge Company, between from the 9th through the 18th floor. The rest of the floors were leased out to doctors and dentists and the storefronts included a pharmacy.

The second headquarters, on Second Avenue at Cass Park, was world headquarters from 1930-1972 and was also a Kahn work, now owned by Wayne State University called the Kresge Adminitrative Building.

As one of America’s top three variety store chains, Kresge had 742 stores by its 40th anniversary in 1938, primarily in the Midwest and eastern U.S. The firm began a retail innovation in 1952 by converting their stores to a checkout operation, rather than one cashier behind each showcase. Most Kresge locations featured snack bars or luncheonettes.

In 1962 Harry B. Cunningham president of Kresge, opened the first Kmart discount store in Garden City, Michigan. Kmart stores expanded nationwide, eventually replacing Kresge stores, the last of which were sold to the McCrory Corporation by 1987. In 2004, the Kmart Holding Corporation bought out Sears, changing its name to Sears Holding Corporation in the process.

The Corporation runs both stores and has battled bankruptcy over the years. The Kresge Foundation was established by Sebastian Kresge “for the benefit of mankind” on the occasion of the company’s 25th anniversary in 1924. The foundation today continues that mission by awarding grants throughout the country to non-profits and arts organizations.

In 2014, 100,000 square feet of office space were opened up in this Art Deco masterpiece. That's when the building was re-branded as the "Block at Cass Park". Under its new configuration, the 250,000 square foot building is putting an emphasis on office space and openness. The building is owned by New Technology Development Limited Partnership. Wayne State is a member of that partnership and the managing partner.

The last image is a snapshot of the Kales Building during the Full Moon Eclipse in early November.

Long after the final curtain - The United Artists Theater, Detroit

The United Artists Theatre in Detroit was the third U.A. Theatre designed by C. Howard Crane. It was built in 1928, after the Los Angeles and Chicago United Artist Theatre’s. Crane, who started with the LA theater spent so much money that the plaster cast molds had to be re-used in Detroit and Chicago to amortize their cost. All three theaters were designed in the Spanish-Gothic style, and were very similar in many respects, but the Detroit UA also had some major differences.

First off, a thirteen story office tower was built on top of the theater, to allay initial fears that it could be a white elephant. Crane was faced with an irregular-shaped lot, but made the best of it, giving the UA a round lobby, with a domed ceiling, gilded Art-Deco inspired Indian princesses on the walls, between wall-length mirrors. A marble staircase led up to the mezzanine and balcony levels.

The 2,070-seat auditorium, which was said to be nearly acoustically perfect, was fantastically decorated, with Gothic plaster work, more gilding, metal-work, and brass light fixtures like something out of a Medieval cathedral.

The Detroit UA Theater was definitely more dramatic and breath-taking than either of the United Artist theaters Crane had previously done. Opening night on February 3, 1928 featured the Gloria Swanson hit “Sadie Thompson”, with the star herself on a phone hook-up addressing the full house and opening the curtains for the first time. Originally, the theater also had an in-house orchestra and the occasional stage show, but was really one of the city’s first major houses designed primarily for films. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 3 manual 17 ranks organ.

It also once featured reserved seating, such as when it hosted the Detroit premiere of “Gone With the Wind” in 1939. For several years in the 1940’s, it was acquired by United Detroit Theaters, but in 1950 was again run by United Artists. It became the first Detroit theatre to feature Cinemascope (with 1953’s “How to Marry a Millionaire”) and also the first to get 70mm, three years later, with “Oklahoma!”.

A major remodeling took place in the early-1960’s, which removed the 4-story marquee, and replaced it with the current, unattractive one. Also, the stately façade, with its arches and terra-cotta work, was lost under a covering of dark, featureless marble up to the office tower. Its lobby also received a similar facelift, covering up much of its spectacular décor and its dome was covered by a dropped ceiling.

However, the UA did have something of a revival during the early-1960’s, having long runs of such blockbusters as “The Sound of Music” and “Tora, Tora, Tora”. This turned out to be a short-lived revival, and by the end of the decade, the United Artists Theatre was screening adult fare. It closed in 1971. In 1972, it was renamed and reopened as the Downtown Theater, but closed in 1974, for good this time. 

Artifacts from the theater were auctioned off through DuMochelle Galleries on February 15, 1975; auctioned items included the lobby furniture, chandeliers, fountains, seats, and marble statues. The Detroit Symphony Orchestra began to use the theater as a recording studio in April 1978, but was forced to stop in 1983 due to the deterioration of the building. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places that same year. A number of plans, including demolishing the building to build a baseball stadium, were proposed over the years, but none came to fruition.

By the mid-1980’s even the United Artists Tower office building had closed, its tenants having moved to the suburbs. Since then, there had been plans to restore the United Artists Theater as a nightclub or movie theater, but every time these plans had fallen through.

In the meantime, the theater had unfortunately fallen into serious disrepair, its once stunning décor all but gone, and its exterior literally crumbling away (cars parked in front of the building were damaged in 1989 when some brickwork collapsed on the upper stories and fell to the ground).

In the late-1990’s, the theater was stripped of anything remotely salvageable, and continued to sit vacant in a state of near ruin.

In May 2017, it was announced that the office portion of the building would be turned into 148 residential units with retail on the first floor. The developer had already plans to demolish the theater because according to Gershman Mortgage, who was providing $34.5 million for the project, a dilapidated theater or a restored one put the financing in jeopardy.

Adam Hendin, a vice president at Gershman is quoted as saying “the theater building is dilapidated and not an attractive building to live next to” and “If the theater building gets renovated and becomes operational again, Gershman has concerns that this adjoining commercial, public use would disrupt the residential tenants and therefore make the project less attractive and less marketable as a going concern.” Wow.

Marcus Loew (1870 - 1927), American business magnate and a pioneer of the motion picture industry once said "People buy tickets to theaters, not movies." 

It is beyond all bearing that this grandest of all the “grand” theaters downtown started to be demolished in September 2022. Heartbreaking…

Check out Dan Austin's HistoricDetroit site for more information!

Here's a link to a youtube video displaying the United Artists Theater in Los Angeles, which is now part of the Ace Hotel complex.

United Artists Theater, Detroit (Sep-Nov 2022)

The Fisher Building, Detroit

About 95 years ago, ground was broken on the Fisher Building. Fred Fisher -- because he was the oldest brother -- turned the first spade.

The recipe for the Fisher called for more than 12,000 tons of steel; 350,000 cubic yards of concrete and marble; 1,800 bronze windows; 641 bronze elevator doors (inside and outside of the cars); 420 tons of bronze finishings; 46,000 square feet of concrete forms, 41,000 barrels of cement, 100,000 yards of sand and gravel and 1,275 miles of electrical and telephone wire and cable.

With more than 325,000 square feet of exterior marble, the Fisher is the largest marble-clad commercial building in the world.

Amazingly, Detroit's "Largest Art Object" opened a little more than a year after ground was broken.

The L-shaped Building was originally supposed to be a three-building complex and the largest commercial building in the world. There was to have been a taller, 60-story central tower flanked by the current 29-story Fisher Building on the right and an identical tower on the left.

This is why the tower of the Fisher Building is aligned to the far right instead of centered. The Great Depression, which hit the year after the building opened, shelved the grand plans to build the other two towers.

The mammoth arcade that stretches from Grand Boulevard to Lothrop, and Second to the west, was to bisect the entire length of the three-building complex that was to extend all the way to Third Avenue.

Most pictures were taken in October and November 2022. For more information please check:

The Fisher Building, Detroit

Terror on Tillson, Oct. 30, 2022

Terror on Tillson: A Michigan Halloween Experience

Year after year, visitors flock to a small neighborhood in Romeo to experience Terror on Tillson, one of Michigan's largest neighborhood-funded Halloween attractions! Here's a behind-the-scenes look at what goes into creating this undeniably unique All Hallow's Eve experience.

It's that time of the year again. A quaint street in the middle of the Historic Village of Romeo transforms from a street lined with majestic maple trees and historic homes, dating back to the late 1800’s, into a haunted habitat.

Once a typical Halloween, with a few scarecrows, some pumpkins and 350 trick-or-treaters, has now evolved into a Halloween Extravaganza! Trick-or-treat numbers have risen to about 2,000. Tens of thousands of visitors wander down the street during the last two weeks of October just to get a sight of all the hard work these neighbors put in to make this a memorable experience.

Terror on Tillson Street provides a safe, family oriented Halloween experience at zero cost to visitors. The elaborate displays will be mostly completed the weekend before October 31, although everyone decorates right up until Halloween. Trick or treating is only on October 31st from 6-8pm, but visitors are welcome to stop by and take a gander at the devilish displays beforehand.

Tillson Street is a little more than two blocks long. Most people decorate in some form or another, but it is not a requirement when you move onto the street (although many visitors think it is). Most of the time there are about 32 houses that do some type of display. This is a neighborhood that plays together, works together and watches out for each other.

Throughout each weekend in October, you will see many neighbors walking from house to house, as help is always needed for some props that are too hard to put up yourself. It is an ongoing preparation for the big finale on Halloween. The neighbors work at their own speed. As most Michiganders know, unpredictable weather always has a way of interfering with their setups! Most of them have “real” jobs, so they hope they have good weather on the weekends to accomplish everything that needs to happen. Some tweaking is always going on right up to the time trick-or-treaters start to arrive.


2022 Fall Colors in our neighborhood in Shelby Township

I think I've never seen colors as vibrant as this year, no matter where you look there's an abundance of spectacular yellows, oranges and reds. 

2022 Fall Colors

Owen & Taryn Hall Wedding, Oct. 8, 2022

No, I have no intention of becoming a wedding photographer.

Wedding photography is fast paced and full of challenges. From what I read, you are often working on your own or with a second shooter or an assistant. You have to work really fast to get the required shots and still deal with schedule changes, client requests and you need to make it look like you are doing it effortlessly.

In short, wedding photography is a high-stakes game with no do-overs - not for me lol.

However, shadowing the pros and just taking candid shots with some specialty and vintage lenses can be a lot of fun since you have all freedom to work your way "behind the scenes". With many thanks to my photo buddy Ed, I got the opportunity this past weekend to shoot the entire wedding of his son Owen and his beautiful bride Taryn at the Devil's Ridge Golf Club in Oxford, MI.

Incredible fun and good times!

Equipment used:

- Leica SL cameras

- vintage Leica Noctilux f1

- vintage Leica Summarex 85mm f1.5

- vintage Leica 35mm F/1.4 Summilux

- Sigma 135mm f/1.8

- Canon TS-E 50mm

All pictures taken with available light, no flash on or off camera, day and night scenes. 

Laredo Apartments Dexter-Linwood, Detroit.

Designed in the Art Deco/Moorish Revival style by Wiedmaier & Gay, built 1928-1929.

In 1953, Elmhurst Street in Detroit was at its apex. The city phone directory at the time was inches thick with phone numbers for residents on the block, mainly Jewish and working class. By 1958, however, the synagogue on Elmhurst closed its doors, and one by one the long-time residents sold their homes and moved out of their apartments.

According to a 2001 article in the Detroit News regarding Elmhurst Street, the reasons for the street’s white flight exodus are murky and many; fear of decreased property values and crime; prejudice; limited low-income housing in Detroit; freeways carving up the city; malls drawing residents away from the mom-and-pop neighborhood stores; and real estate agents tactics to name a few. Whatever the reasons, the ultimate result was the same. Today Elmhurst Street is lined with vacant lots and abandoned buildings. This Art Deco apartment building being one of many.

Laredo Apartments, Sep. 2022

Detroit Jazz Festival Sep. 2022

Detroit Jazz Festival

Tried to pick up the vibes at this year's Jazz Festival on Sunday before Labor Day. A few afternoon showers were part of the mix but overall a wonderful event and a must attend for Jazz music lovers. For over 40 years, the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation has celebrated Detroit’s rich history of jazz music by providing year-round concerts and educational programming, and of course, organizing the world’s largest free Jazz festival, featuring world-class talent, over Labor Day weekend. The four-day festival usually features dozens of local and global artists on multiple stages (four in 2022), and jazz fans say nothing comes close to the sights and sounds that Detroit offers.

Western Branch YMCA, Detroit

The Hubbard Farms Historic District, located in Southwest Detroit, is bounded by West Vernor Highway, West Grand Boulevard, West Lafayette Boulevard, and Clark Street. The district is located on land that was originally a village and burial ground of the local Potawatomi tribe. The area was also referred to as Springwells because of its natural springs.

In the mid-1800s, the district saw an increase in housing development due to the great number of manufacturing jobs in the area. One of the companies in this area was Hiawatha Tobacco Works, whose owner, Daniel Scotten, was one of the more notable residents live in the district. In 1885, the district became part of the City of Detroit. Much of the architecture in Hubbard Farms Historic District has a Victorian aesthetic due to the era of construction between the 1880s and World War I. However, there also are homes with Romanesque, Beaux Arts, and Colonial Revival designs. Hubbard Farms Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Sites on January 29, 1993.

Between 1910 and 1920 Detroit's population doubled to well over a million. As new communities began to develop and grow, so did the need for some form of organized recreation for the city's young boys and men. The creation of what became known as the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) grew out of concern by the city's church community as a desire to "promote religious, moral and social welfare of the young men of this city..." The YMCA saw as its objective the responsibility to improve the spiritual and intellectual conditions of the city's young.

By the early 1920's the population of the city's west side had grown to 178,000. The Western Branch of Detroit's YMCA opened in April, 1919 as the city's second community branch. Originally located in an office building at 532 Scotten Avenue, the Western "¥" became a focal point of the community. Soon the office on Scotten was no longer adequate. By the mid-1920's the YMCA Executive Board was soliciting donations for the construction of a new building, to be known as the Western Branch. This goal was accomplished through a generous gift from Mr. and Mrs. Edsel Ford of $750,000, providing for the complete cost of a new building.

On March 28, 1927 permit #26230 was issued to the architectural firm of Malcomson and Higginbotham for the construction of the YMCA Western Branch. The dedication was held on April 15, 1928. Malcomson and Higginbotham were a Detroit architectural firm known for their favored status with the Detroit Board of Education. The substantial four-story brown brick YMCA building has a Spanish Romanesque feel to its detailing.

The facade is basically arranged in three sections. Its two-story central projecting section is roofed with clay tiles; second story round- arched windows are paired; their shared impost block resembles a column capital and they share a brick column. A spandrel of masonrylozenge grille-work gracefully completes the lower portion of this window arrangement; masonry window surrounds are seen on the first story of the projecting section and the second story of the remainder of the front facade. Stone is utilized for the basement level, belt courses between the first and second story, window surrounds of second story of the outer sections, windows above the portals, and first story portals with tympanums above which are the words “YOUNG MENS CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION". "BOY'S ENTRANCE" and "MEN'S ENTRANCE” are over their respective doorways. Aluminum doors had replaced the original doors at some point.

The two outer sections of the front facade that project from the recessed mass of the building are also interestingly arranged, especially near the top. Masonry balconets project beneath the sets of three round-arched windows that are outlined in stone and have shields and colored tile in their tympanums at fifth-story level. Much of the same detail can be seen on the side elevations. A brick arcaded corbel table beneath the copper gutters of the central section completes the composition.

For several generations the western branch YMCA was a haven for people of all ages, where young people could learn how to swim, and seniors could take classes on a variety of subjects. It became especially important to the community as southwest Detroit began to slide into crime and poverty in the 1970’s. In the late 1980’s the western branch became the home of two very different programs – a daycare center for children, and a halfway house for non-violent criminals who had been released from prison.

The bizarre arrangement divided the building in half, with the two sides physically separated and under armed guard. The program lasted until 1999, when the inmates were moved to another building. With the loss of revenue from the halfway house, the building became too expensive to maintain, and was put up for sale in 2000 by the YMCA. Initially they planned on selling the building to Detroit Rescue Mission, a homeless shelter, who would then lease back the recreation part of the facility to the Y.

But community members objected to a shelter being located in their neighborhood and pushed the YMCA to accept another offer. Instead, the building sold in 2001 for $400,000 to a company owned by Dennis Kefallinos, a notorious slumlord who promptly reneged on promises to convert it into residences and a community center. The YMCA left a short time later, and within a year the building was open to trespass and occupied by vagrants.

Western Branch YMCA, Sep. 2022

Assumption Greek Orthodox Church Explore Aug. 20, 2022

Apostolic Way Church of God / Assumption Greek Orthodox Church

The Greek Orthodox population of Detroit has a long history in the city, starting in the early 1900’s and continuing to the 1920’s. After settling downtown in what became known as the Greektown neighborhood, the group moved east to the vicinity of Charlevoix and St. Jean, where they established a small Orthodox church and school in a former saloon.

Assumption Greek Orthodox Church was founded in 1930, moving several times as the congregation raised funds for a permanent structure. Construction on a new structure at Charlevoix and Fairview began in 1948, followed by a community center in 1957. Despite the continued growth of the Greek community on the east side, by the 1970’s it was on the move again, this time headed to the suburbs. A new church was built in St. Clair Shores in 1976, and the final service at Assumption was held on May 1st, 1977. Apostolic Way Church of God was founded around the same time as an offshoot of Clinton Street Greater Bethlehem Temple Church, buying the former Assumption campus in 1977.

The decline of the neighborhood, as well as damage caused by severe weather led to the abandonment of the main church structure. Starting in 2009 most of the copper was stripped from the dome, allowing water to penetrate deep into the building and causing substantial damage. A more comprehensive history of the church is available from the City of Detroit, which has designated the area as a historic district.

visit for more information

Woodward Dream Cruise

Did you know that the Woodward Dream Cruise actually started as a small fundraiser to raise money for a soccer field in Ferndale, Michigan?

In August 1995, Nelson House and a group of volunteers looked to relive and recreate the nostalgic heydays of the 50s and 60s, when youth, music and Motor City steel roamed Woodward Avenue, America’s first highway. That year, 250,000 people participated—nearly ten times the number expected. The rest, as they say, is history.

Today, the Woodward Dream Cruise is the world’s largest one-day automotive event, drawing 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars each year from around the globe—from as far away as New Zealand, Australia, Japan and the former Soviet Union. North American cruisers from California, Georgia, Canada and all points in between caravan to Metro Detroit to participate in what has become, for many, an annual rite of summer.

Ted’s, Totem Pole and The Varsity, Hollywood, Wigwam and Suzie Q’s, and, of course, Big Boy. These old-time drive-ins and restaurants that dotted Woodward Avenue were the places to see and be seen during an era remembered perhaps most famously by Hollywood in American Graffiti and Happy Days. These locations were the turnarounds, stopping points and social hangouts for the cruisers of the era.

Michigan’s first drive-in was located near Square Lake Road in Bloomfield Hills. Ted’s Drive Inn became a hangout and one of the avenue’s most popular destinations. It had begun in 1934 as a lunch wagon/trailer and was known for “the world’s largest hot dog,” priced at 35 cents.

The Totem Pole opened in Royal Oak in 1954 and featured a 16-foot totem pole hand carved by Ojibway Chief White Wolf of St. Ignace. The restaurant introduced the “Teletray,” a 2-way speaker through which customers could order the popular Big Chief Burger.

At these locales and others, roller-skating waitresses sporting white bobby socks and serving trays delivered hamburgers and milkshakes to duck-tailed greasers in leather and beauty queens sporting class rings and letter jackets. The real attractions, though, were the cars.Hot rods and muscle cars. Convertibles and hard tops. Oversized tires and custom-painted flames. These marvels of machinery were cool and hot; street machines that cruised Woodward emanating vintage rock and roll from the AM radio coupled with the rumble of a big block V8.

I purposely photographed the event only with one lens on both nights and only took close up photographs. Next year I might try and catch more of the overall vibes with larger scenes and more people involved.

 Check here for more information about the Woodward Dream Cruise history

Woodward Dream Cruise Aug 18+19, 2022

Frank H. Beard School Explore, Detroit Aug 14, 2022

Frank H. Beard School

The City of Detroit grew throughout the 18th and 19th centuries by annexing the villages and townships that surrounded. Most of what is known today as southwest Detroit was originally part of Springwells Township, which had its own school district. In 1886 the district built a four-room school named for US President James A. Garfield on the corner of Lafayette and Waterman. When the building became overcrowded it was replaced in 1896 with a modern two-story structure with 12 classrooms. Springwells School District was annexed to Detroit in 1906. Because Detroit already had a school named for Garfield, the building on Waterman was renamed for Frank H. Beard, who had served as a member of the school board for many years. Beard school was replaced with a new building in 2001 and converted into an early childhood center. The program closed in 2014, though the building continued to be used until 2016 when it was vacated.

The beautiful, historic building was destroyed by a fire during the early morning hours of July 27th.

Hudson Site, Detroit

Went to check out and photograph the former Hudson site construction on an early Saturday morning and got surprised by a monster mobile crane sitting in the middle of Woodward Avenue. This Liebherr Mobile Crane has a maximal lifting capacity of 900t and can carry its complete telescopic boom for driving on public roads. It's the largest one located in Michigan and the second largest in the country.

For those who don't know, the project consists of two buildings: a skyscraper with luxury residences and a luxury hotel, and an 11-story mid-rise with more than 550,000 square feet of office space, exhibition space and ground-floor retail.

After several iterations,i t is expected to be the second tallest building in the city, at 208.7 meters (685 ft) and to be completed in 2024.

As Detroit's decline in population, reputation and wealth continued, Hudson's downtown store closed Jan. 17, 1983 at this site, after more than 90 years of business.

Hudson's first building on the site opened in 1891 but was demolished in 1923 for a new structure. The new structure was the flagship store for the Hudson's chain. The building was demolished in a controlled demolition on October 24, 1998 (wish I was there :-) and at the time it was the tallest building ever imploded.

Former Hudson Site Detroit - Aug 5, 2022

 Watch the implosion of the former Hudson building here or the current status of the project here if you like.

Kohnshof Ferienwohnungen Eifel, Germany, July 2022

Kohnshof Ferienwohnungen Eifel, Germany

Ever thought about vacationing in the most western part of Germany?

The Eifel with its awe-inspiring nature is known for its incredible beauty, regardless of the season. Hike and bike along the rivers, through valleys, forests and the mountains of the Eifel and get in tune with nature, perhaps like never before. One important part of staying in a beautiful area though is your choice of accommodation.

Let me introduce this brand-new vacation home located in the village of Idenheim, Germany where modern luxury meets a combination of rural nature and domestic animal life. Its architecture features a contemporary, open space barn character with two luxury 3-bedroom apartments including two full baths and a separate, spacious wellness area where you can spoil yourself with sauna and whirlpool.

My sister-in-law Beate and her husband Thomas run this as a family business.

 Check here for more information about "The Kohnshof".

The Eifel region features so many beautiful places which are worth a visit. Some images added from different seasons.

 You can find more information about the Eifel region here and other places on the internet.

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