Last Saturday there was a WSU archaeological dig in Roosevelt Park (where, if you don't know, there used to be houses). Scott and I checked it out since one of the people involved directly asked me to come. I don't think I looked as scholarly in real life as they might have imagined me.
On Sunday Sarah and I met my mom and an old family friend Debbie for an early lunch "up north" (by which I mean Hall Road). We went to one of those restaurants that is baffled by attempts to order something vegan, even though we avoided using that word. Sarah asked for cubed potatoes (which are in their skillets) with vegetables added, and nothing else. The server asked, "How would you like your eggs done?" -- "No eggs please, just cubed potatoes and vegetables only." The food came back covered in cheese. Sarah politely sent the food back and asked for just cubed potatoes and vegetables, please. The food came back without cheese, but this time with sausage added. What the hell is the matter with you people?
Immediately after lunch we drove down to a cemetery picnic Joe had planned at Elmwood. The cemetery was designed to be beautiful and park-like, and the caretakers encourage joggers, walkers, and picnickers in addition to your regular mourners and genealogists. We only brought dessert since we had just eaten, and it was a very pleasant autumn day.
That night I received an email from a Detroit tour guide asking if I would be interested in researching stories of "murder, mayhem, and mysticism" in Corktown. This person organizes normal tours in addition to true crime and ghost tours. I was nice and simply said "No thank you, I am not interested" rather than reply with snarky rhetorical questions. Crime is a part of history, but the context in which it's discussed is important. For a person to have lived their last moment on earth in fear and violent suffering is not something I feel should be used as "spooky" Halloween entertainment. And don't get me started on ghosts, which don't frigging exist.
Yesterday when I was walking Gander, some college students walked up to me as part of an assigned survey about Corktown. "How long have you lived in Corktown?"--"Just under ten years."--"Has Corktown changed in that time?"--"Yes."--"Would you say it has changed for the better or worse?" I thought for a few seconds and sincerely answered "both," but they did not ask me to elaborate even though I would have been prepared to. "What do you like about Corktown?"--"I've never lived anywhere else where I knew this many of my neighbors." That answer surprised them, so maybe my experience of the suburbs is not typical. "What makes Corktown different from all other neighborhoods in Detroit?" I had to think again, but finally went with, "The architecture and layout of the houses have been like this before cars or even streetcars. It was designed to be walkable, and it's probably the only surviving neighborhood in Detroit like that. There are other desirable neighborhoods in Detroit, but the houses tend to be bigger and farther apart. The style of the buildings in Corktown give it a unique feeling."
Today is the day that I officially sell my house and own the new one. I'm also having the sewer line snaked, because the Siberian elm roots seem to cause a blockage every year or so. It's right on schedule, unlike the plumbers. Has any plumber in history ever been on time for anything?