Last week, I had an errand to run in Mt. Clemens. I completed my task ahead of schedule and took the opportunity to take a walk around town. Mt. Clemens is a fascinating place. Low-income and high-income housing exists on the same streets. National chains have not taken over the town. Factories still make things. There is a giant jail. I have all sorts of policy-related thoughts. Instead, here are a bunch of pictures from a pretty interesting place.
This is close to where my walk began. I could write all sorts of things about criminalization of poverty, nonviolent offenders, sentencing guidelines, the insane degree to which black men are imprisoned, but I will do that later. For now, here it is: a giant jail.
I have to wonder why this factory requires such a huge lawn. That said, I will not ruminate further on zoning ordinances that may or may not be responsible, and just be happy that 500 people still have jobs making paint.
I felt so… purely Michigan when I saw this. It was as if I were part of something that were timeless, and confined to two specific peninsulas.
If anyone is wondering why I included this, just zoom in and look at this guy! It is enough to make one want a mustache. On a serious note, I had been walking for approximately 15 minutes, and this was the second independent haircare facility that I saw. In the middle of a suburbia dominated by chain haircut joints and salons, it was an encouraging sight.
Precision Transmission Repair has been here for 32 years (Thanks, Google). It looks like business is still booming.
To reiterate: wow, what a cool house.
Downtown Mt. Clemens is a bit more crowded at night. It is enjoyable to walk around and essentially have it to yourself during the day.
This reminds me of a particularly (wonderfully, hilariously) cynical professor I had while studying for my undergrad in Urban Studies at Wayne State University. He always told a story in which he was hired as an urban design consultant by a small town in Pennsylvania. He designed a village square with a clock in it. The clock, in particular was well-received by the city fathers. He would say:
Consulting. That’s where the money is. Don’t worry. You all will do fine. You will get jobs. Build ’em a clock and send ’em a bill!
Ah, those heady days of dreams and idealism.
This car had spray paint all over it. What’s more, it appears that this was not an act of vandalism, but of art. What a fun time that must have been!
After a fun time, a fish sandwich with beer, and some much-needed exercise, it was time to go home. It is curious how a simple trip to the suburbs can seem like an adventure. In addition, it has occurred to me that I may not be as humorous or fun as I think I am in this post. Perhaps I should get back to policy and design?