Friday/Shabbat – Day 120/121
Posted on 28th November 2012
I was intent on not letting any of today go to waste. Thus it was up as early as possible, despite the late night, in order to go into the city of Detroit and see all it had to offer.
First up was the ‘Black Friday’ sales at the local mall. Even arriving at 10AM people were still going a little mad and the place was packed. Every store was full of people queuing up for bargains that weren’t all the great and sometimes not even there. For me, this reflected one of my less favored sides of the US. The rampant and needless consumerism. Everything everywhere on the streets implies and impulse to ‘buy, buy, buy’ without bound.
However, despite all that, there was one product I couldn’t help but find mildly adorable: Lord of the Rings Lego!
Following that we drove to the Heidelberg project, an outdoor art installation designed to highlight the challenges that Detroit is facing, poverty and dilapidation amongst them. The project encompassed a number of houses, adorned tastefully in castaway items.
In between the houses, on the ‘sidewalk’ and on nature strips in the center, objects were nailed to trees and signs posted, with religious and eschatological themes.
Next stop was the newly reopened Detroit History museum that chronicled the life and times of the city. As today was its grand reopening, entry was free and we spent a good few hours in the many exhibits! Grace and her boyfriend met us there after lunch and I was glad to see them both after having gotten along so well with them the night before.
Amongst the things I learnt in the museum was that Detroit was once the capital of stoves, with a large stove manufacturing industry through the mid to late eighteen-hundreds.
Amongst the things I already knew was that Detroit was famous for its auto industry with a number of the world largest manufactures calling the city home. In fact, I was later privileged enough to visit the Ford Rouge manufacturing plant that takes raw materials and processes them, eventually producing a car. All at a single plant.
The tour of the Rouge factory that we later went to was fascinating but at the same time scared me a little.