Thursday, May 01, 2008


Here are some of the photos I took on the ride from Detroit airport to Joe Louis Arena on our trip in early April to the Motor City. Follow the above sign, crossed the Ambassador Bridge, and you will be in Windsor, Canada. The bridge in the photo below is not Ambassador Bridge. My husband being a Detroit native could not tell me the name of the bridge or anything else about it. I thought my adoring fans would find the unusual structure of the bridge interesting.
Where else would be fitting and appropriate to have the giant tire on the side of the road than the city where headquarters of the big Three Autos are located?

Joe Louis Arena, known as The Joe, seen from the outside. Photo above shows a walkway from the garage into the arena (photo below). The complex, built in 1979, looks like a warehouse and not at all attractive compared to other modern arenas I have been to. It was hard to believe that the Joe was good enough to host the NHL All Star when it was completed. Inside, the hallways are narrow, crowded with fans in long lines at concession stands and primitive, overloaded make-shifts carrying merchandise of everything from a $6.50 for a hockey puck to a few hundred dollars jackets. There is no fancy team store. There are no cupholders at the seats. The restrooms are so substandard and unaccomodating to the women. Yet die-hard fans, I am included, keep coming to this out-of-date, desperately in need of major renovation warehouse, just to see our beloved Red Wings team dazzling us with their talented players on the ice and their magic moves, stealing the pucks from opponents, moving around the defensemen as if they were not there, scoring and chasing away even the toughest goalies.
My husband asked me to capture the smokestacks and the building where his father (PA) worked for 22 years from early 1960 to mid-80. The building was called the River Rouge Plant, or The Rouge Complex, located upstream from the confluence of the Rouge & Detroit Rivers in Dearborn, Michigan. This Ford plant was built in 1928, back then it was the largest integrated factory in the world. PA worked as engines repair technician. He was responsible for testing the engines to make sure they worked correctly before putting them into the cars. PA started out on the assembly line and moved up quickly because of his natural mechanical ability. PA was a handyman who was good with not only repairing stuff but also building things from scrap. With only a high school education, PA built his own home while working full time, being the sole breadwinner supporting a wife and seven kids. My husband has always felt a sense of loyalty towards the Ford company and insists on buying automobiles from Ford and its products. Currently the plant is still in operation as Ford's largest factory with approximately 6,000 workers.

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