Another whirlwind holiday weekend.
I won’t bore you with the autobiographical details, but I made my annual daredevil trip down McNichols Road in Detroit, which is also known as “Six Mile Road,” which runs two blocks south of notorious Eight Mile.
The thing is, Eight Mile is downright elegant compared to Six Mile. Lordy, lordy: Detroit in these outer reaches is apocalyptic. I swear, the only reason BLM didn’t burn down Detroit is because it still hasn’t recovered from the 1967 riots.
The burn is all on display along Six Mile, from hallmark Buddy’s Pizza in Hamtramck (where I ate lunch) to Menjo’s gay bar (where I posed . . . see pic) 2.5 miles down the road in Highland Park, until a neighborhood called “Palmer Woods” and the University of Detroit provides a slight reprieve from the armageddon.
Detroit, I have maintained for years, is a puzzle bomb: something very important is going to happen there. It might be great; it might be terrifying; but (I think) it will happen. Based on everything I see and read, here’s my list of big things that might happen:
*An economic revival not seen since Seoul in the 1960s, fueled by small shops who band together to take back the city one gritty block at a time (this is already happening by the way . . . just 98% of the city blocks left!)
*A three-part culture war among the Muslims of Hamtramck, the gays of Highland Park, and the Seven Mile Bloods.
*An agricultural boom fueled by miles of concrete jungle reclaimed by nature.
*A sin revival not seen since the rise of Vegas, with scores of strip joints, casinos, and marijuana retail operations leading the way.
*A complete desertion of the city, making it the first modern ghost city in America.
I really don’t know what to expect, but there’s odd energy there. You can feel it, a sense of logic-defying optimism, kind of like I had a logic-defying optimism going into the Michigan-Ohio State game (I told my associate, “My gut tells me UM is going to win, but my gut is an imbecile”).
Speaking of which
UM football. I haven’t written much about my alma mater’s football program because, well, I’ve been too embarrassed to, but wow. Saturday’s performance was a total performance. The players, the coaches, the fans: it all came together for a wire-to-wire nearly flawless performance by the Wolverines. The team had swagger; it punched OSU in the face as if UM had been the superior team for the past ten years.
I was exhilarated and dumbfounded at the same time.
We’ll see how things go against Iowa in the Big Ten Championship game this Saturday.
Jordan Peterson’s 12 Rules for Life. Another middle-aged man and I started a Catholic Book Club with a group of guys in our fifties and a group of guys in their twenties. The other guy wanted to use Peterson and I saw no reason not to. Truth is truth, after all, so if Peterson writes the truth, there will always be a Catholic point in each chapter, which I’ve dedicated myself to finding. The first chapter, for instance, drips with the reality that ours is a sacramental creation: spiritual and material, the two intertwined, each affecting the other.
I’m enjoying the book, but the Book Club more. We limit discussion to one hour. We don’t limit alcohol.
Tons of microgreens. I have really gotten into growing microgreens, which means I am now really into eating microgreens, dumping as much as half a pound into a blender and making smoothies. I think such a massive dose of blended microgreens gives me an energy boost that continues for hours.
I give the extras to my sons, one of whom said to me (completely unsolicited), “When I blend a huge dose of the greens, I kind of feel like I’ve had a cup of espresso.”
That’s exactly what I think I’m feeling. I’ve had the experience three times now over the past eight days.
(I mainly grow kale, broccoli, cabbage, and pac choi, with smaller swaths of kohlrabi and arugula.)
Eric Clapton’s recent cover of “Silent Night.” I liked it at first, but as I listened to it, I started to like it a lot.
I plan on checking out the rest of his Christmas songs from the 2018 album.