Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Feral Houses, Hospital Mulberries

More of Detroit's feral houses, posted by Jim over at Sweet Juniper.

One story house overgrown
Accompanied by a bittersweet running text, including this bit:

What is a house, really? Isn't it simply raw materials brought together to shelter us from the elements, from the wind and the rain and the bugs? And because they bear those burdens for us, a house is in perpetual decline. Without maintenance, every house is always on its way to ruin. Every homeowner that's ever paid a roofer knows this. A feral house exposes its vulnerable material core: concrete, wood, brick, mortar. Every home, even yours, will one day be broken down to such brute matter.
Ripe and unripe mulberreries growing in a parking lot
Jim also took his young kids on a gleaning trip to pick mulberries in the parking lot of an abandoned hospital near downtown Detroit. He includes photos of what the hospital's interior looked like not long after it was abandoned. They made "Detroit Jam" from the results of their picking.

Yellow and black hand-painted Busy Bee Hardware sign on brick building
And another recent series of Sweet Juniper posts has described with loving detail and engaging photos the locally owned businesses that make Detroit unique, even as the national chains have deserted it. Honey Bee Market La Colmena is one place where Jim's family buys their groceries; R. Hirt Jr. Co. is another, mostly for fresh dairy goods; and Busy Bee Hardware meets their needs for anything from seeds to snow shovels.

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