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Inside out

October 3rd, 2012

Poor Migo. They way he tells it, his rickety old house has been broken into so many times by his neighbors that he finally said to hell with it, and took just about everything that was inside the house and placed it outside. “I put stuff out and said, ‘Take it.’ I don’t care no more.” Might as well save everyone the trouble of breaking in, he figured.

But rather than just throw everything in heaps, he draped and wove his belongings almost artfully along his fence, in the trees, and on the walkway to his door. His project forms a canopy over the front yard, an artistic display of despair.

For the rest of the story, click here.

Rage against the machine

September 19th, 2012

They came full of anger, and brought with them a long list of grievances. Tonight, the target of their fury would be placed before them on a stage. And by the end of the evening they’d drive him from the room.

The occasion was Mayor Dave Bing’s fifth District Community Meeting with city residents, held Sept. 13, at Charity Lutheran Church on Kelly south of Seven Mile. They came here not to pose questions, but instead to vent their rage, to get their pound of flesh from the man they accuse of destroying the city and handing the remains to outsiders. This would not be an evening of civil discourse.

For the rest of the story, click here.

Candy land

September 12th, 2012

There aren’t many bright colors left in this part of town. There’s the green in the grassy fields along the main road. The gray of the streets. And the shades of brown on the wood houses whose paint has
weathered away.

But in the midst of it all is this little place that beams with a rainbow’s worth of sugary hues.

The Miracle Soda Shoppe, on Van Dyke near Nevada on the east side, stands out because it’s so different from everything around it. It’s quaint and old-fashioned and wholesome, surrounded by a rough, declining neighborhood.

For the rest of the story, click here.

Divine inspiration

August 29th, 2012

God speaks to her. She goes to sleep at night and by morning he tells her what he wants her to do. He told her to transform that empty apartment building across the street. He told her to clear the field where that little girl got raped. And he told her to take all those homeless people and prostitutes into her own home.

“The prostitutes didn’t have nowhere to stay or eat or none of that, so I just started asking God what to do, so they just started coming to my house one by one, needing clothes or showers,” Carey says.

But her guests have taken over her home.

For the rest of the story, click here.

Taking the bait

August 15th, 2012

It’s a quiet summer afternoon, the sun shines in a soft haze through the shop windows, the traffic outside is sounding a sleepy whoosh, so who could blame the shopkeeper for dozing off in a chair in the middle of the day?

“That’ll be $5.70,” says a bleary-eyed Michael Freeman to the customer who’d just come in and roused him from his slumber. The purchase was important enough to wake him for — two dozen worms were urgently needed. The fish in the river are biting today.

Freeman owns Michael T’s Bait on the corner of Van Dyke and Jefferson, a place where the pace of the day is languid no matter how busy it gets. He named the shop after himself when he took over two years ago, using his first name and middle initial. “I tell guys the ‘T’ stands for trouble. I tell women ‘T’ is for terrific,” he says, instead of just saying that it’s really just Tyrone.

A couple of years ago the store’s original owner died, and the shop’s survival was in question. Freeman had worked here for more than two decades, almost every single day, and it had become what he simply does in life. He became determined to save it. But it wouldn’t be easy.

For the rest of the story, click here.