Thursday, June 4, 2009

Run, walk, bike the Dequindre Cut is Open!

Dang what a sweet urban happening of healthiness we've now got in Detroit my friends and I am making it my personal mission to get everybody down to the Dequindre cut for a little excercise. What is the cut? Why it's a below grade mile expanse (so far, but dreams are to have it run into the suburbs) of old rail line that starts at Gratiot right by Eastern Market, and goes to the river. It just so happens to tie up with the very beautiful Riverwalk, which runs east onto Belle Isle and Hart Plaza running west. This new cut's got the funk going for it in this green reclamation thing. Cause this bike path (or the first completed mile anyhow) is a moving, changing art form with concrete embankments lining the path covered in the best graffiti. Last Friday morning at 9am people were out biking and walking or running. Spring is resplendent in native plants and the Detroit River sparkles at the base of the path. I made the trip down with the pool club (hard-core middle-aged broads I swim with at the YMCA) so we’re here for the work out. We made about a 10 mile ride out of this excursion so from the cut we hook up to the River Walk and head east to Belle Isle. Now in some places the river interrupts the path, so you gotta wind back to the old brick streets which I love with the ancient brick structures that were once home to a thriving music and club scene. In my mind’s eye I see them vibrant again with entertainment, dining, living, retail and art. We circle the perimeter of Belle Isle, riding through a meadow that would make you think you were in the country, and out to the lighthouse point and a spectacular view of the mouth of Lake St. Clair. Riding back, we cross the restored bridge and admire the beautiful view of the Downtown skyline, and the prominent homes of GM and the UAW. Something about their dire circumstances, the evidence all around us of the city we built to transport a nation, and with all that hanging in the balance here’s this sweet homegrown effort to bring beauty and health to a troubled city. Well it sure gives you pause. Shoot, it’s our very own version of the Seine River in Paris; lots of bright new benches and places to meditate along the river, people fishing, pavilions with tables and chairs even those stainless high-tech automated self-cleaning bathrooms that talk to you about how clean and cool they are. We ride back to our parked cars in the Eastern Market and the trucks are moving produce and meat in and out, RJ Hirt is bringing out their garden wares next to the gleaming newly refurbished sheds. And I think, hey it’s a living breathing thing this city, and we want to keep it healthy. See you there tomorrow. I'm riding with a new posse, hope we see you there.

1 comment:

weakyknee said...

beautiful post! i'm reminded again of why detroit is a city of the imagination. and that imagination leads to creation. can't wait to get out there. :)