Monthly Archives: February 2010

Friday Foto, Week 2

In Detroit, everyone has a favorite burned out, blighted building. It’s what we do. We rally and protest for the right to choose and workers rights and civil rights. And for our buildings. Please, don’t mess with our buildings. We will stand in front of the wrecking ball and mourn the destruction like we’d mourn a lost friend.

The Michigan Central Station is one of these.

I love everything about the MCS. In one breath it evokes feelings of beauty and extreme sadness. Maybe even a little embarrassment.

Coming up to the battered and beaten MCS on a rather gray Detroit day.

Up close and personal with the thing. Not a window in the joint.

First off, the photos don’t do this giant any justice. Second, looking at the photos, you may wonder where the beauty lies?

The building once housed our region’s main train station and was built in 1913. Think Grand Central. Penn Station. Union Stations of the Chicago and D.C. variety. Except in Detroit, time went on and rail (and mass transit as a whole) just wasn’t needed like it is in other thriving metropoli. We just love our cars too damn much.

The building’s been empty since the ’80’s.

Now all that’s left is a shell of a former life. In many circles, the MCS is actually the stereotypical “favorite building” — it’s much cooler to love the more obscure, less-publicized buildings strewn throughout the city’s neighborhoods.

But I don’t care how cliche it is. I love it anyway. The MCS is a hulking shadow beckoning you home. It can be seen as you approach downtown from a couple freeways and is especially creepy at dusk, when you see the unlit monolith rising above the city. It’s the tallest building in the surrounding area, and is in the middle of a large, empty park — save for the homeless who take rest there — making it even more out of place and isolated. It’s the creepiness and the isolation that make it so beautiful.

So why put this photo in my series? I drive by this place weekly, so it’s definitely a part of my routine. Every time I head that way, I still look forward to seeing it. I don’t know why I’m drawn to it, but I am. Instead of considering it an eyesore, I show it off proudly to visiting friends and family. Of course, I constantly have to wave off their “typical Detroit” negative comments.

They just don’t understand it.

Don’t get me wrong, it is an embarrassment. It’s owned by an old, rich dude who doesn’t have much interest in making the city thrive. Or even making it pretty. It’d cost millions to renovate or demolish it. Millions he probably has, but oh well. There have been talks of a re-birth, but nothing ever comes of them.

So it sits, like a lot of Detroit. Waiting for its next move.

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Filed under Detroit, Friday Foto, glass half full, Hmm, love affair, Uncategorized

Not too much

Alternatively titled: Things I’m digging these days

One can never have too many/too much:

  • Peppermint hot cocoa. Especially this kind, bought here.
  • Black olives
  • Fancy cheese
  • Regular cheese
  • Netflix DVDs in the queue
  • Aches & pains from a good, hearty work out that remind you of that crazy headstand you did.
  • Hours in the day
  • Rose petals from fabulous bouquets, drying on my counter awaiting a sachet creation (someone tell me how to make a sachet!)
  • Good wine. Preferably red, but there isn’t one I’d kick out of my belly.
  • Honeybee guacamole and tortilla chips
  • Chocolate
  • Cheesecake
  • Dessert of any kind
  • Pasta

What am I missing?

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Filed under Detroit, foodie, glass half full, list mania

Overcoming the fear in yoga

On Friday, I went to my first yoga class in a few weeks. I also did a headstand for the first time, with the teacher firmly by my side for support.

It’s funny, because in the last class I went to, I felt incredibly disheartened in my practice — both in my struggle through basic poses and my inability to get arm balances like the headstands. After 6 years of practice, I’ve never been able to master these poses and it’s incredibly frustrating to watch others go into them so effortlessly.

I think a lot of it stems from fear. Fear of falling on my face, fear of breaking my neck. The latter is a fear I’ve always had; as a kid somersaults scared the crap out of me. But this fear is a major impediment to reaching the next level of my yoga.

After failing yet again at reaching the headstand in the last class, I reflected on my fears and made a commitmet to get over it. One of my resolutions for 2010 was going to be achieving a headstand.

And then I promptly forgot about it.

Until Friday. Yet again, I stumbled through most of the class, and then the instructor took us through headstand. I silently screamed at him, remembering the promise I’d made to myself and how quickly it’d left my priorities.

But Friday was different. The instructor set it up over three steps, helping us ease into it. After everyone else came out of the pose and took a child’s pose, I decided to try one more time. Knowing I probably couldn’t fully do it, but maybe I could at least get both feet off the ground for a split second.

Baby steps, right?

As I kicked around, the instructor came up behind me and guided both of my feet off the ground. Suddenly there I was, tightening my core, pressing into my arms, and freaking the f*ck out. I felt that at any moment I could fall, but I knew he was there and that between the two of us, I could stay balanced.

It was only a few seconds, but it was literally the best few seconds of my week. I came into my child’s pose and I’d be lying if I denied the few tears of joy that trickled out.

I can’t wait to try again — this time all by myself. I know what I need to work on and most importantly, I know that I can do it.

This really was just the kick in the pants I needed to boot my yoga apathy out the door.

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Filed under glass half full, Y is for Yoga