Tuesday, April 28, 2009

America is great indeed. Imagine a country so free, one can throw glass on the streets!

Last weekend our Home Teacher offered to have our kids over to spend the night and give Chris and I a break.

I would like to repeat that in case you missed it.

He took all five of our children (and I think he would have taken the 6th if I would have let him) and they slept over and we had a break.

All night.

He is a great guy, Christopher's 11 year old Scout Leader, and a RM from Taiwan so Chris is constantly practicing his Chinese on him. His wife and daughter are great too. They were in Utah visiting family so he was lonely for some company. Lucky us.

They had a great time. He cooked for them, took them for a long walk to a park with a lake, let them watch movies and made them smoothies.

Chris and I had a great time too. Chris' parents took us to a restaurant in Mexicantown called el Zocalo. I have been to several other restaurants in Mexicantown including Xoci's which is usually considered the gold standard. I really love Mexican food and have been to alot of Mexican restaurants. el Zocalo is THE BEST! I had the fajitas. Best fajitas ever. Whole breasts of chicken, not just the little strips, marinated and cut up. OH YUMMY. I'm drooling on my keyboard. The owner loved Lizzie and gave her a little bowl of orange slices and marachino cherries. He wanted to give her jalapenos! She loved the oranges. It was a great meal.
The Slums of Detroit

Mexicantown is in a really crappy part of Detroit. Granted, most of Detroit is crappy parts. Driving around down there and looking at what was once abundance and wealth but has deteriorated to slums and abandonment was pretty dismal. We drove up Vernor and Michigan and looked at the abandoned and sad buildings. I don't spend any time in the city of Detroit other than to go to Mexicantown or the occasional trip to Cobo or Comerica Park. I really have no idea what is must be like to actually live in this forsaken place. I don't know how the people there actually have any hope or dreams. It looked so gloomy and also dangerous. I was anxious to head back home. Then we turned on 14th Street and found a peaceful oasis in the middle of what looked like a war zone. The Detroit River Branch surrounded by a tall fence and electronic gate. The building looked like a typical LDS chapel except for brick where windows would normally be and a big metal door instead of the usual glass entry doors. Seeing the chapel there was pretty amazing for me. All I could think of was part of this paragraph from Joseph Smith: "Our missionaries are going forth to different nations, and in Germany, Palestine, New Holland, Australia, the East Indies, and other places, the Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."

The usual Church sign behind the fence.

The tall fence and gate around the building. Parking lot lit up like a Christmas tree.

Notice the bricks on the windows and the big metal door.

I have always been fascinated by the architecture and the decline of the great city of Detroit. One of my favorite sites is here.


Lil said...

Dave's brother and his family attend that church in Detroit...they drive there from Grosse Pointe. There are also security cameras with a monitor up by the Bishop so he can see who is driving in or out. Crazy, huh!

Suzy said...

We watched that building go up when we were both working downtown. It's close to YDB, which is where Mark used to work (across from the OLD Tiger Stadium, which is probably gone by now) exactly one of the neighborhoods you described. Detroit truly is a depressing sight. But then it does have bright spots every now and then too...Mexicantown is one of them. We used to go for lunch all the time...I miss it!! Miss you guys too!

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