Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Vernors and Faded Ladies

My friend Kate takes pretty good pictures. I thought I might talk about a couple of my favorites.

I like this one because even though it is a photograph of a scene in Ann Arbor, it reminds me of my childhood in Detroit. I like that the paint is peeling and there is an element of "you cant go home again" in there. The ad is old and fading which is fitting because it was an ad for the original Vernors, the GOOD Vernors that no longer exists. Oh sure, you can go to the store and buy a pop that is called "Vernors" but it wasnt made on Woodward Ave in Detroit in a plant with a gnome on the sign and it wasnt aged in oak barrels and it has high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar. It just isnt the same. And in the same it is with so much of my childhood. I can drive to Detroit and walk the same streets but everything is different now and somehow, like Vernors, it isnt as good.

This one which is titled "Faded Ladies" is one that evokes very similar feelings in me. This one photo totally describes how I feel about Detroit these days. It was once a really wonderful place and now most of its charm comes from the whole faded glory kind of thing. And it is charming in an odd sort of way. This past weekend, while driving by the old Michigan Central Depot, I remarked that I thought they should clean it up but not restore it. It could be Detroit's Glorious Ruin, an idea inspired by the website The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit Sometimes I find it sad but sometimes I LOVE the grittiness of Detroit. And this photo of Kate's captures that feeling in me more than any other I have seen. I feel sad that Detroit has had such hard times but really, when I think about it...deep down, I love Detroit and I love saying that I am from Detroit (even though in all fairness, I havent actually lived in the city in 20 years). I love those faded ladies just as they are...a representation of what once was.

Detroit seems to have some life in it recently what with the Super Bowl and all of that. If I didnt work in Ann Arbor I would seriously consider moving back there. I really hope for good things for the city but I also hope it retains some of its "faded" charm too.

Oh yeah, Kate has those photos and others for sale at


Anonymous said...

great descriptions!

islandarts said...

I also Love Kate's photos, she's brilliant.
a few years ago hubby and I visited the town I grew up in, it was so different. Even though i was in the town, the town of my childhood still only lives in my memories.