There's nothing I enjoy more, and less, than prowling around the empty streets of Detroit. It was a prosperous place, once - or at least prosperous enough for decoration and embellishment. Take look at this one: was that a clock on the top floor? Did it glow at night? Did all the windows shine at 5 PM on a winter night?

Look through the passageway:

An empty area - a park? An open-air storage area? Parking lot?

It's available, you know.

If you use your imagination, you'll see the old building.

Beneath the facade, a two-story building and the low-slung one-story. But who's going to buy canvas from a place that's not up-to-date? So brick it up, nail down the siding, buy an overhanging roof from the guy who sells them and insists they're all the rage - he's got a book full of examples - and take a picture on reopening day with all the employees out front, smiling.

Did the letters start to fall before they closed for good?

Nature barges in, if you give it an opening:

That's a sign that the building between the two has been gone for a long, long time.

The facade has an interesting scar. Can you imagine why the different color brick extends up to the second floor? If I had to state a theory, I'd say there was a sign under the windows, and a hanging sign perpendicular to the building, and something about the way they were attached required this fix after they were removed.

Just waiting for fire or gravity to deliver the killing blow.

These streets are forlorn in a way small towns with withered downtowns are not. The small towns were never big. This was a big place, or at least part of a big place. It's not that nothing will fill this building again, it's that nothing will be built here again when this is gone.

I'd like to be wrong about that.

The bank is no longer accepting deposits, I suspect:

All around are weeds and empty places.

A few fragments of post-war modernization on the left: you could buy that thin beige faux-brick by the yard.


Enough. I can take no more! Wait, no, there's ten more next week. Okay, well, we'll see if it gets better or worse. I'll leave you with this. In the midst of the abandonment . . .

Two dishes talking to space.