Sunday, June 26, 2011

Downtown Detroit, River Days and the Moose Lodge

We got to visit with some friends while in the area. Linda is working at Campingworld this summer so she joined us for a day downtown, as well as coming out to the Moose Lodge in the evenings. Joanne was here visiting her family, and she joined us on Saturday for River Days.

Just one of the many events along the new, redisigned riverfront in downtown Detroit.

The Rennaissance Complex, home of GM. It houses the Marriott Hotel, shops, restaurants and many businesses in addition to GM. There is even a GM auto showcase with several dozen cars inside.

This beautiful, old building is next door. But it is abandoned and for sale. How sad. We saw a lot of older buildings lying in ruin and boarded up, while only a few are being renovated. I don't think I have ever seen a town with so many boarded up buildings, both business, as well as residential.

They do have a fully automated light rail system, which goes around the downtown area for about 3 miles. Only 50 cents to ride.

It was elevated so you got a great view of the downtown area.

Guess who we're impersonating?

The Marinar's Church, built in the 1800s. Detroit is right on the river connecting Lake Huron and Lake Erie, making it an important port, especially when the country was first being explored and developed.

The Coast Guard had one of the ships open to tour down at River Days.

There were also a couple of Tall Ships. This one is the small one, only 65 feet long and can only sleep 13.

The sand castles were fun to look at.

The River Days Festival was up and down the waterfront park.

We took a river cruise. What was once the laboratory of Lilly Pharmacutecal, is now an upscale hotel.

The view of one of the older churches in downtown.

The Belle Isle Bridge connects the island of Belle Isle to the mainland. Belle Isle is a park and picnic area. Most of the area is closed back in the late 1800s and early 1900s boasted an aquarium, planetarium, zoo as well as a Yacht Club. Now only the yacht club and a small zoo remain along with the picnic area. Most buildings are closed and boarded up.

The National Square Dance Convention was going on downtown. We stopped by so Joanne could try and catch up with a friend who was there. We never found Joanne's friend, but did run into several people we knew, Orval and Jim M. They were having a good time.

Found at the side of the dance floor.

Outside of the YMCA in downtown Detroit.

The old abandoned Depot. It was in use until 1975, when the depot was relocated away from the downtown area. There is a move to try and save this building. It was designed by the same man who designed Grand Central Station in NYC.

This graffiti looks pretty good.

Each evening we would visit at the Moose, looking out on the Little Huron River.

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