Crisp fall day here. Seems like a good time to show off Riverside Park in Ypsilanti, which I wandered through today after a few hours at the YHS archive.
On my way over, I walked along Huron Road, which is lined with several historic buildings dating back well over 100 years. Ghosts galore, no doubt. Within a block or so, however, approaching the intersection with Michigan Ave, the historic buildings give way to a series of storefronts, which are perhaps 40% unoccupied at the moment. It feels vaguely seedy, though I don’t know anything about how long some of those places have been empty. Perhaps not that long; we’ve had a few years now of bad business conditions, after all, and this corner of Ypsilanti is almost entirely small businesses.
Ypsilanti does have its big-box store corridor, westward towards Ann Arbor along Washtenaw. There you’ll find the K-mart, for example. But the stores along Michigan Ave are smaller; antiques, restaurants, vintage clothes. Most of them are still open at 5:00 when I leave the archives, but the quietness of the whole scene, the lack of a town “buzz”, is intimidating. I feel like I’d have to explain myself if I went into a store, and it seems tacky for my reasoning to be that the lineup of porcelain angels seemed worth a photo (actual restaurant window, yes) and not that I actually had any desire to eat there.
It gets philosophical from there. To take a photo is to objectify. So, how to objectify in a way that’s fair? Etc, etc. This went through my head as I rounded the corner on Michigan Avenue and didn’t take pictures. I passed a group of middle-aged couples bedecked in blue and yellow (excuse me, maize) Michigan gear; there’d been a game earlier in the afternoon, and I guess they’d been watching it from one of the restaurants.
Anyway, Michigan Ave crosses the Huron River, and this is the southern end of Riverside Park. A red metal stairway leads down to the park from the road. I watched some sort of hybrid duck-goose flock (looked like ducks, acted like ducks, but sized like geese) float downstream on the rapid current.
The park follows the river up to the next bridge, at Cross Street. The paths running through it are in fairly good shape, but it was a blustery day and no one really seemed to want to linger outside; I passed one group of four people, talking together in a huddle, and the other park visitors I saw were walking alone determinedly towards some destination. I probably didn’t look too different, except for when I brought my hands out of my pockets to take a photo. (Mostly overexposed, despite the excellent natural lighting; must check my camera settings.)