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Bartleby the Scrivener vegan27
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detroit and birmingham

Part I: Detroit

There is a vacant house in my neighborhood that has gone into tax foreclosure and is expected to appear on this fall's Wayne County tax foreclosure auction. It had had a car seat and tattered sofa on the porch for months or years, but Scott and I put them on the curb on the last bulk collection day. I spoke to the neighbor who lives in a perfectly maintained house next door to this property about securing it, since Scott and I noticed that the doors are unlocked when we threw the seat and sofa away.

On Saturday we went to secure the property. Upon walking into the upstairs living room, I was greeted by pile upon pile of dried, petrified dog shit.

The home was a monument to human and animal suffering. How did the last person to occupy this space stand it? Or were they so far gone that they didn't care? Among the piles of dog hair, dog shit, unopened mail and discarded clothes was a stash of porno, sex toys, and a calendar featuring Our Lady of Guadalupe. The house will have to be gutted for sure, but the roof and structure themselves seemed to be intact.

We secured two of the doors so that they couldn't be opened at all, and put a new deadbolt on the main door. While we were doing this, a man who lived nearby asked us what we were doing. He said he believed that a relative of his owned the house. We informed him that it had been foreclosed and that we were securing it to prevent it from being squatted in or scrapped. Then the guy looked nervous and told us he needed to get "some stuff" out of the house. I gave him my number, but he hasn't yet called to collect anything left behind in his dog poop masturbation chamber.

* * * * *

That night was the worst "noise night" I have ever had in my current house, due to a booming rap party at Cary's house that lasted until after 3am. (He lives in the John Mason House at 1705 Sixth, which he claims is the oldest brick residence in Detroit, even though the Moross House on Jefferson Avenue is definitely older.) I won't go into extreme detail what that was like for me since you already have an idea, but it involved earplugs, attempting to sleep in the unoccupied guest room, and blasting white noise on headphones, none of which worked.

I think the house is unlivable. I dislike--but I can tolerate--traffic noise, the sounds of the carwash, parade day, alley weeds, garbage that appears every time the wind blows, the constant threat of crime, vacant houses, and a dozen other inconveniences that come with city living. But I literally cannot tolerate booming party music at 3am.

As I was telling Kelly the other day, if you replace the word "smell" with "noise" in this clip (embedding disabled), it summarizes my feelings very closely.

Part II: Birmingham

On Sunday I drove up and visited Sarah in Birmingham. I learned that Amici's Pizza has a takeout location just a few blocks from her house on a side street. I called in an order and we just *walked* over to pick it up. Previously, I would reserve the drive up to their main location in Berkeley for special occasions. Afterward Sarah and I went to a place in downtown Birmingham that serves chocolate and vanilla soft serve ice cream. We enjoyed our ice cream in a park and then took a walk to oggle the immaculately maintained houses nearby.

(Image source.)

I'm not going to move to Birmingham--let's not go crazy here. I just don't think that Bagley Street is my forever home. People might complain that the people of Birmingham (or Bloomfield or Grosse Pointe) are snooty. Do you know who else is snooty? That one guy I met called every human being alive. Thinking you're better than other people is a universal human flaw. It sort of unites humankind, ironically. You're only annoyed when a rich person is snooty because you're envious of their wealth. If I move to a place where everyone thinks they're better than me, it may as well be quiet, clean, and have convenient vegan pizza and ice cream.

Maybe I should move to Birminham's nearby neighbor, Franklin. Shit, Detroit's MAYOR lives there, why can't I?? Or, I don't know, maybe that dog poop house is quieter somehow.

I know a gay couple who could be ready to move in by September.

Also, they could be ready one year from September with proper planning...

I don't want to ignore your message but I don't have a full reply either. But I have also been keenly aware that I've declared my house unfit to live in at the same time you and Matt are desperate for a house in this location. Any hasty move would not solve the original problem of me not having a better place to go to, and the three of us having too much combined stuff to cohabitate. Also, summer is basically half way over, and the cold season was pretty much quiet.

I understand these are changing contemplations, but if you *do* come up with any decisions, just know that we're currently running around putting bids in on places, and we could come up with any number of potential arrangements if you knew you'd want to move out in a year or so.


Waiiiit a minute... didn't you just have a Facebook status that asked what ever happened to the idea of noise pollution? I understand areas can get pretty rowdy.

Or do you just want me to buy your house when you move to Nashville? :)