He dips, he dives, his arms create sinuous figure eights. His feet are something else altogether. They hop, they spin, they mash like they're crushing cigarette butts. They push up on the tips of their kicks like a ballet dancer on pointe. Make that on speed. The footwork can be dizzying. This is the Jit, the dance Detroit almost forgot.
Well, the Halloween season is over ó but not quite. The southwest Detroit community is extending their celebration of el Dia de Los Muertos for just a while longer.
In a truly out-of-the-way, no-name neighborhood, once home to Detroit's German and Italian immigrants, stands a cultural monument to the days when working class people left the 'Old Country' to remake their lives in America.
In the dead of night Thursday, a 40-foot dragon snuck up to the north lawn of the Detroit Institute of Arts and left a blazing message to the city: 'Save the Art.'
Remember that kid in high school with the pocket protector, the heavy-rimmed glasses, broken and held together with tape wrapped around the nose bridge? Sound familiar ? Have we got a club for you!
'Everybody rides a bike. Who doesn't ride a bike? Why wouldn't you ride a bike?' asked Mike MacKool. 'If you don't ride a bike I feel like you're missing a major part of what's fun in Detroit right now.' The cycling entrepreneur and advocate of all things bike in Detroit states what's obvious to the growing numbers of bicycle riders in the city. Bike riding is (mac)cool.
The food truck trend thatís picking up steam in Detroit lately isnít new to southwest Detroit residents. Taco trucks have been serving up tasty, affordable food there for over a decade. You can find them scattered along main drags and tucked into neighborhoods you might not visit otherwise. But they offer a delicious reason to explore.
Photographer / Video Journalist
Born in Bayonne, N.J. and raised in Royal Oak, photographer Donna Terek -- nicknamed "Turk" -- lives and works in the city of Detroit. Once upon a time she worked the graveyard shift in a GM bearing plant, put those tiny brushes in nail polish bottles for L'Oreal, taught English in Greece, night-staffed in a home for developmentally disabled adults, collected loans for a bank, served cocktails in Omaha, ran a phone bank in Atlanta, taught high school in rural Minnesota and bummed on a beach in Mexico where the locals claim to have invented surfing.
Terek was tolerated as a token hippie at Miami University and got her M.A. in journalism at the University of Minnesota. Today she lives with her husband and two dogs, C.C. Ryder and S.O. Terek, in one of Detroit's historic neighborhoods.
"Donna's Detroit" was named best online column by the Society of Professional Journalists in 2010 and by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists in 2009, the column's first year.
- Donna can be reached at email@example.com.
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