Monday, February 13, 2012

Rise and Shine Detroit -- National Geographic Traveler

Rise and Shine Detroit -- National Geographic Traveler

This article appeared today and I could not just read it and leave it... so please read the story that is hitting the March/April Nat Geo with the now famous Chris Roddy. I was recently in the city visiting with some fellow Board Members from my suburban community of Oxford and we walked right into the Guardian and there here was. Christopher in his full humble glory waiting for us to meeted and greeted. He charmed the ladies in our group with his well... charm... and then offered to give us a tour... that is before... his job called him to the attention of a elderly visitor who had collapsed and was in need of medical attention. This humble servant of Detroit made his way to world wide attention... if only for a brief glimpse (two seconds at second 39-40) ... from his short video appearance in last years Super Bowl smash hit commercial featuring Marshal Mathers attempt to lift Chrysler Corporation on his back to resurrect the brand rising up from the ashes of the complete collapse of bankruptcy.

Yes... I just revisited this blog from February 2011 and I am willing to admit that it still gives me the goose bumpy chills when I watch it on YouTube. Funny how a year has passed and now that Marshall Mathers message of "This is the Motor City and this is what we do...." has been attempted to be topped  with another super star... from a different era... in Clint Eastwood and the "It's Half-time..." ad. Again... I will admit that this was again a goose bump spot on commercial.

I was not sure what to expect when I heard that Clint Eastwood had been hired in to do the spot this year. In fact... I missed it completely due to some running around and transporting kids that occurred at my own household half time. I did see the Madonna show... missed the bird that got flipped and then missed the Chrysler spot. Thank goodness for YouTube as my son and I cued it up the next morning and... again... a strong message that I did not think was as powerful as the Marshall Mathers message... but then again... Marshall is from Detroit or now lives out in the extended suburbs not too far from my neighborhood.

I was taken back a bit by the storm of controversy that followed the next day and has just now started to settle down this week. It appears that there are all types of conspiracy theorists at work on the hidden messages and meanings of this ad. The most outrageous one I have heard has to do with the theory that this is somehow Chrysler paying back Obama for the bail out loans that occurred. The theory is that "half-time" represents the half way point in Obama's attempt for re election for the next 4 year term.... and that somehow Clint Eastwood is paying it forward to Obama in this ad.

I heard an interview with local Detroit radio host Paul Smith and Sergio Marchionne on WJR Radio the Monday following the Super Bowl. Later that morning the dissection began taking place of the interview and some of the further conspiracies that were quite laughable. Marchionne is the head of Chrysler... who is now joined with Fiat... and this leads into the European influences on the entire ad campaign.

One thing I learned later that day... it appears that the NFL forced Chrysler to remove the ad since they had apparently violated some type of agreement and used a term that was either trademarked or propitiatory in the use of the words.... "Half Time". First Boise State threatens our local high school stating they have the rights to the words... "Blue Turf" and now the NFL says they own "Half Time"? Very soon we will not be able to say a word without infringing upon someones ownership rights to the words!

I will finish with one of my favorite catchy little toons that I think summarizes the entire Spirit of Detroit.... Sammy Davis Jr... we miss you!

"Hello Detroit" ... is a song that Sammy Davis Junior wrote about the D back in the day when he apparently felt pretty good about his experiences here in the Motor City. I don't know the story about how that song actually came to be... but Sammy belted it out and here it is...

Update:  March 8th, 2012

I caught this article on a local Facebook page for Digg Detroit from a visiting journalist who was in town to cover the Romney event at Ford Field.  He saw something in our city that many journalists have failed to see.... hope of a real sustainable recovery.  Please check it out....

  Two cities: two works in progress....

And... my reply to the comments posted....

posted 2 days ago
Thank you Richard for you thoughtful comments about your recent visit to Detroit. It is refreshing to see some more positive light being shined on a city on its knees. You see as an advocate for the fair City of Detroit...I read, watch and hear plenty of the bad news and poor coverage of the city. I caught your story on a Facebook page known as Digg Detroit and I recommend a visit there to get a vibe on what I am about to try to explain to your readers. As the first Chrysler superbowl ad said...most critics have never even set foot here. How can you pass judgement on something you know little or nothing about? Some of your reader comments are kind in thought but lack prespective from some current facts. I will direct you to some great web places for fuether thoughts on what is happening at the grass roots level... Visit Lemonaide Detroit and Google search Dan Gilbert...Quicken Loans owner and his continued investment in city gems long ago abandoned and under redevelopment. There is an entrepenurial renassance taking place very quietly and the nation needs to understand what happens when you have gone to hell and back...again quoting Chrysler super bowl ad last year.... You had better learn from the past mistakes or plan for the final chapter. Please also visit National Geographic online March April edition for a great story in 3ise and Shine Detroit...and see my favorite gem in the Guardian trust building...alive and well in 2012 dating back to the pre first depression boom and unfolding of the automotive explosion in the making. 5eroit was then known as the Paris of the midwest due to its ever expanding deco skyline. Now donkt let me leave you with the idea that I am not in touch with the was stated in the article...we have COMPLEX issues that are mind blowing. Last month each week a new more horrifying story surfaced of chilren being baby shot to death while sleeping on a sofa in a drive by...40 plus shots into a house...gang drug related. Those are deep dark issues that go way beyond any revitalization plan. Sorry about the typos...I am doing my best with Blackberry. Check my FB for more pictures and my personal committment to find the beautiful things in the D!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February 1st 2012... In balmy Michigan

I just tore off the sheet on my old fashioned paper calendar for January 2012.  It occurred to me that although January is the first in the line of 12 months on the calendar... I'm never sorry to turn the page to February.  Now some might say that we can just chuck February and March too... because if your from Michigan... and you prefer lets just say... the "other" months... the first part of the year can be down right blahh.
Enter the new climate conditions for 2012... throw out the rule books, trade in your snow thrower, and let's break out the shorts and flip/flops (did you know some Michiganders actually never put them away?) cause spring comes in February  now.  Yes... the ground hog has been fired... no need for old PA Phil to tell us about winter and spring anymore.

You know your in Michigander when...

Number 1:  You drop the top on the convertible... and its partly cloudy and 45.
Number 2:  You decide to swap out the car for the motorcycle... partly sunny and 50.
Number 3:  You start calling around for tee times at the golf course... overcast and 49... remember in April you'll likely complain about windy and 58.
Number 4:   No worry kids... but the snow board aside for the long board... I see my neighbor kids hitting the rolling hills in the hood jackets of course...
Number 5:  You start to complain about a string of too many nice days in a row... it upsets your inner Michiganian.

Now... keep in mind that just 36 hours ago we were blanketed in 3-4 inches of snow and we even had the threat of a dreaded... "snow day..." .  Funny how your perspective on this changes as you become a parent.

So... to all those local community event planners... sorry about it... Tip up Town... the annual winter event that brings winter enthusiast out onto the ice with their Ice Shanty's and Tip up's... not gonna happen.  Right through the ice and into the drink.   Fire and Ice... how about smoldering embers and slush?  Winter Blast?
Change it to Spring fling.  It is really hard to plan for winter events and it is always risky at best.

At the same time.... I hear about record snow in Alaska and cold in the UK... hard to figure it out and that is because... you can't.   It's called climate change... because the climate... is always changing.  This article in the Detroit News kind of explains the science of "Why".... theoretically.|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|p

Earlier this year I swear I could even smell it.  Yes... in our local area there was chatter about that unusual smell in the air.  What was it?  Never had it before in the winter... I though perhaps it was the smell of... climate change.  My theory was based on the temperatures staying above freezing for so long that we were catching the hint of a moldy smell in the air.  Once person I talked to theorized a proliferation of "Winter mold" caused by above average temperatures.  Others speculated it was from a manufacturing facility that had just recently went back on line after a long shut down.  Others pointed to the local landfills and truth be told my sniffer caught this every time I was in the vicinity of these places.  Problem is... the manufacturing facility is located right in between the two growing mounds of rubbish.   Something happened... and not sure what... but the smell is gone now and were not sure to this day where it was coming from or what caused it... or why it went away.  It just smelled like... climate change to me!

So... keep the faith... keep doing the small yet significant things you can do in your course of daily living.  It all counts as we learn each and every day.   I want to share this link I discovered from a green minded friend this week and I think is the ultimate in "reuse".

Let's just say... it sheds some light on a new way to use a plastic Pepsi bottle.

One last thing... we are still showing world wide interest in  with 56% visitation from China in January and a host of others around the globe.  We've had groups contact us from placed like the Philippians to talk about partnering with their fair trade farmers, missionaries in India to share their need for support,  a Spanish club on the east coast, and several non profits in Detroit, Michigan.

There seems to be a strong connection about wanting to "do the right thing" when it comes to taking care of mother earth... but it is not necessarily universal.  There are still many who really don't think they can effect the outcome and choose to do nothing.   Our target is really not necessarily them... but their children, grand children, nieces and nephews.   If we can get the attention of the grass roots level... and work up from there... I think that is the most effective way to go.   Going at it from top down is a road that can be... just impassible.   Coming at it from the roots up... well that just is a more effective and efficient process.   I might not be able to convince a firmly entrenched  curmudgeon to recycle plastic... but I bet his grand daughter will... ;)    

Cities Visits %
CN: 5,725 56.36 %
US: Coldwater 1,214 11.95 %
US: Seattle 732 7.20 %
US: 687 6.76 %
RU: 401 3.95 %
CN: Beijing 318 3.13 %
US: Mountain View 208 2.05 %
UA: 124 1.22 %
UA: Kiev 74 0.73 %

US: Palo Alto 52 0.51 %
US: Fremont 38 0.37 %
US: Atlanta 35 0.35 %
US: Dallas 30 0.29 %
US: Washington 24 0.24 %
US: Rochester 22 0.22 %
US: Clarkston 17 0.17 %
DE: 15 0.15 %
US: Sartell 14 0.14 %
GB: 14 0.13 %
US: Ypsilanti 13 0.12 %
DE: Bremen 12 0.12 %
PH: Manila 8 0.08 %
Other 321 3.16 %
Total 10,158 100.00 %