I have a new favorite city and it is Detroit.

The haunting allure of rapidly rotting train stations, homes, factories, office buildings, theaters and streets strummed many chords in my dark aesthetic and filled my heart with equal parts loss and hope.

While columns crumble, windows break and walls fall, there is an undeniable rush of energy surging beneath the city’s cracked and splitting soul. Corktown is a tiny revolution of renovation with fantastic restaurants and small shops – all under the shadow of the skeletal remains of the grand turn-of-the-century Michigan Central (train) Station. The Eastern Market is a blast of energy with farmers and Africans and craftsmen and antiques dealers and artists hawking their products and wares. The Heidelberg Project (pictured in the next post) pokes creepy fun at neighborhood decay, turning an entire residential block into a humorous nightmare of domestic memorabilia, clothing and outright trash. Pocket hotspots of craftsmen’s shops, teahouses and yoga studios hide in renovated lofts, storefronts and basements. And while the city is screaming out for help as it tries to tread the dirty swamp of bankruptcy, the people are so kind, accommodating, warm and friendly that you would never surmise their city is teetering on the brink of financial and physical implosion.

It’s back to Seattle for us. Salutations to the beautiful crumbling Detroit, the welcoming Midwestern gentility, the educational institutions that are as beautiful as they are admirable, and the bucolic beauty of storybook farms nestled in the rolling hills and flatlands of Michigan and Ohio!

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