old gm building
Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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points of origin
A week or so ago, I decided to take a little road trip.

Before setting out, I made a quick top at Campus Martius to see Detroit's Point of Origin. Unfortunately, since the skating rink is open, the area was covered with protective rubber mats. I was still able to find it anyway.


It got kind of mucked up under those mats...


Why did I first stop at this place? Oh, you'll see...

First stop was the site of the Battle of Fallen Timbers a few miles southwest of Toledo, Ohio.




An Indian warrior, General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, and a frontiersman.


The final battle of the Northwest Indian War was fought in this area on August 20, 1794 between American troops led by General "Mad Anthony" Wayne, and Native Americans of the Western Confederacy.


One of three bronze bas reliefs on the monument's granite base.



Matching markers commemorate casualties of both sides of the battle.


The United States' decisive victory led to the Treaty of Greenville the following year. Among the treaty's provisions was the relinquishment of all Indian claims to land surrounding Detroit, within six miles of the Detroit River from the River Raisin to Lake St. Clair. The British formally ceded control of Fort Detroit two years later according to the terms of the Jay Treaty.


The actual battlefield, where the war dead lie in unmarked graves.


My next stop was Defiance, Ohio, the former site of Fort Defiance, which played a role in the next cession of Indian land in Michigan.



The fort once stood at the confluence of the Auglaize and Maumee Rivers. On the north side of the Maumee River lies Pontiac Park, allegedly the birthplace of Chief Pontiac, but in reality nobody really knows where he was born.



In 1807, following negotiations between Governor of the Northwest Territory William Hull and leaders of the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandotte and Pottawatomie tribes, the Treaty of Detroit provided for the cession of most of southeast Michigan. The western boundary of the ceded land was a straight line beginning at Fort Defiance. This boundary, which coincided with the line of longitude 84º, 21', 53" west, would become the meridian of the survey of Michigan and northern Ohio. The division of all of Michigan into counties and townships--and the organization of our mile road system--all depended on this spot as one of the two crucial points of origin!




Not to be a Dwight Schrute, but technically this is a meridian, not a baseline...


The other point of origin is the one I had visited that morning in Detroit! The east-west baseline of the township system lies eight miles north of Campus Martius and coincides with none other than 8 Mile Road. What did YOU do on YOUR Saturday, losers??


By one o'clock I had arrived at my final destination: the Loving Cafe, an all-vegan restaurant located in Fort Wayne, Indiana.



It's run by the same cult that owned my favorite restaurant back in Arizona, The Supreme Master Ching-Hai International Association Vegetarian House. Literature on their leader is available in the restaurant, but thankfully they don't evangelize. And the food was great!

Oh yeah, this was my Fort Wayne tour guide, Shelby:



She's a straightedge vegetarian (possible future vegan?) who sometimes works as a curatorial assistant at the local art museum, which she also showed me.


Studies for Moods of Time by Paul Manship.



Bruno Surdo's Re-Emergence of Venus


Next door to the museum was THE UGLIEST FUCKING BUILDING I HAVE EVER SEEN.



What is WRONG with people?? Who approved of this?? What misanthropic sociopath decided to make a performing arts center look like a box with an alien monster death face devouring its patrons??

Here, wash your eyes by gazing upon the Allen County Courthouse, designed by Brentwood S. Tolan in 1897:


The birds made me think of Mary Poppins, but Shelby didn't get the reference.


I was very amused when we pulled into a parking space by the courthouse there just happened to be a Theravada Buddhist monk standing there.



Although the downtown had very few pedestrians, it was clean, well-kept, and had a lot of handsome commercial architecture.



Shelby also showed me around the city's historic Forest Park Boulevard, which reminded me a lot of our Boston Boulevard. Later we checked out her college, where she is majoring in metalsmithing. She showed me around the shop:


Melting metal is cool.


Before I headed back to Detroit, we returned to Loving Cafe for dinner, including vegan carrot cake for dessert. This cult needs to spread to Michigan!



Thank you, Shelby, for a fun Saturday!


(P.S. This isn't the farthest I've driven to go out on a date. That would be Niagara Falls in late May of 2004 to see a girl I met on MySpace. And we're still friends!)

The nose of the alien building, taken by itself, looks like a penis. I am genuinely impressed with the architect's ability to make a square, low, flat building look so fallic. Usually that is only reserved for the designers of sky scrapers...

So now I'm seeing it as a penis-nosed alien monster death face... At least it's a little bit more subtle than the pair of bulbous bushes planted on either side of the Fort Defiance flagpole.

Sorry to make it worse - I have a knack for pointing out penis shaped things. I actually made our GIS designer change about 2 dozen maps for a project because the study area outline she had was kind of phallic.* I might not have bothered if we didn't have a bunch of public meetings coming up. And you're right about the flag pole, I didn't notice that before.

*I can't believe I spelled that with an F last time. Shame on chrome for not putting red squiggles under it.

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