Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Flint's Cloudy Future

Flint Photos: South Saginaw Street

Flint Photos: Oriental Health Spa on South Saginaw Street

Monday, June 28, 2010

Flint River Kayaking

As a Flint kid in the seventies and eighties, you were taught to avoid the Flint River. And I have to admit I was a little nervous about kayaking on it. I was wondering if there was a way to do it without ever coming into contact with the actual river water. Was there any possibility the river might catch on fire? I knew this was totally irrational, but I checked with a few friends and confirmed that the river has a pretty bad reputation among Flint Expatriates who haven't been back in a while.

After a few hours on the River near Flushing yesterday, I now realize how beautiful the Flint River can be. I kayaked with Greg and Pam Palinsky, who spend a lot of time on the water, along with Rebecca Fedewa, executive director of the Flint River Watershed Coalition. There have been intense cleanup efforts over the years, and there's abundant wildlife along the banks. (Can you spot the deer in the photo below?) Bald Eagles have been spotted overhead. The fish population is varied and healthy. Last weekend, people were even canoeing in the river near downtown as part of an untraditional triathlon.

At the risk of getting too esoteric, it was a good lesson for me about how you hang on to stereotypes. And how fast things can change.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Settling into an Isetta 300

My friend Duane Gillis spotted a BMW Isetta 300 hiding out at the Sloan Auto Fair among all the American muscle cars and chrome-laden G.M. classics. The owner, who drove in from Flushing and said he once got the 300 up to 58 m.p.h., was offering free rides. How can you say no to that?

Flint Photos: Sloan Auto Fair

Friday, June 25, 2010

Flint Photos: Downtown from the Durant Hotel

A view of downtown from the 6th floor of the Durant Hotel. More Durant rehab photos coming soon.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Flint Photos: Dort Highway

Flint Photos: Pay Phone

An elusive public phone, complete with D.I.Y. instructions, on 2nd Street near Thompson.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Vistas of Flint

Expatriates who return to Flint can sometimes find the physical changes to the city a little startling. This is a photo from the Hurley Hospital parking lot near Fifth and Begole, which now offers an uninterrupted view of Atwood Stadium in the distance.

View Larger Map

A Google Map of the area as it looked not long ago, including the big red house on Fifth Avenue once owned by the Airgood family. (Note the same yellow fire hydrant in the first photo and the Google Map.)

And here's the view from Atwood looking back at Hurley.

An aging tree that used to be in backyard of a house that no longer exists on Begole Street.

The lights at Atwood Stadium.

A view of the Atwood Stadium field with the remnants of Chevy in the Hole in the background.

The Hurley Hospital Community Garden.

The Cricket Players of Flint

Every weekend, a group of Indian students from UM-Flint and Kettering gather at Mama Calvo Field near Whittier and Central to play cricket. (Standing, left to right) Sajjeev Jagannathan, Sandeep Teckchandani, Hussain Vohra and Naveen Kumar. (Kneeling, left to right) Bharath Waj and Chandra Katipally.

The Cricket Players of Flint from Dude! (ironic) Productions on Vimeo.