Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Detroit Is Not All Urban Decay

After several pictures of graffiti and such, here is a snapshot of fall foliage in a nice park along the River Rouge in the suburbs. Yay!

Monday, October 15, 2012


Love this graffiti tribute to Yvette, near the abandoned train station from last week. The portrait is undeniable.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Seraphs Agency

The abandoned houses are perhaps the saddest part of Detroit. Some of them were obviously beautiful homes, once. This one has a sign that reads "Seraphs Agency," whatever that is. Actually, looking at the windows, this one might be somewhere in between entirely abandoned and just in desperate need of a lawnmower.

Thursday, October 11, 2012


In addition to the entirely overgrown and derelict buildings, Detroit features a number of vacant storefronts with interestingly old-timey advertising on the fa├žade. Bonus points for any reader who can tell us what used to fill in the missing parts of "__I__ES D____S" before they installed windows here.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

How Did You Know?

It is true, I do love graffiti. At least, when well executed. A fun idea can overcome lack of craft, as I think maybe it does in this case. Detroit offers a lot to choose from.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Of Detroit

We went to Detroit! We visited some friends in the nearby suburbs, and while we did get some pictures of babies cavorting and such, the staff photographer did not take a lot of Holla-appropriate photos of the nearby Red Robin. But we did take a few pictures of the craziness that is urban Detroit, or what's left of it, between stops at the Motown Museum and Eminem's trailer park. For example, see above a massive and entirely abandoned building that was once, we gather, a train station. This was not an anomaly. Not entirely sure if the planters of grass in front of the building are also the result of neglect, but I suspect so. For the rest of this week we will attempt to scrape together a few pictures worthy of publication from the few we snapped while in the Motor City.

Thursday, October 04, 2012


This was perhaps as poignant a memorial at the Antietam battlefield as any of the more carefully sculpted monuments and pillars.

Not really related: the battlefield preservation people have a tough job finding the balance between enough information about who stood where when to make the reenactors and Civil War buffs happy, but also provide simple enough context for normal people to understand why a given site was significant without having to wade through walls of text. I think the Antietam people (and the Gettysburg people) do a pretty good job of it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Of Antietam

While gallivanting about the Western Maryland/Eastern West Virginia area, we made a stop by the site of the battle of Antietam. It's kind of a nice place. Pretty rolling hills, a nice little stream, a number of historic monuments but not like Gettysburg which has so many you can barely see the landscape anymore. The star attractions of any civil war battlefield, of course, are these olde-timey fences.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Last one from Harpers Ferry

Ok, last picture for now from Harpers Ferry. Fun fact: the location used to be called "Harper's Ferry" but eventually people got too lazy to include the apostrophe. Hooray for efficiency!

Monday, October 01, 2012

Where were we? Oh, yes... Harper's Ferry

Normally the Holla winds up on inadvertent hiatus when our day job is kicking our ass too much to focus on blogging. Our day job at the moment is becoming fluent in Portuguese in four months. It's tough, but it's not like the ass-kicking that an actual job can deliver. Really, it's our personal life that's been kicking our ass of late. Which is sort of a nice problem to have, but nonetheless, it's diverting attention away from the Holla. It was also probably fine to not be doing this marginally Foreign-Service-related blog over the last few weeks because I don't really have anything I should be saying in this forum about Libya, but for the last couple weeks, there wasn't really anything else in Foreign Service world.

Anyway! We're back for now, and here is another picture of an olde-timey coffee grinder or something from Harper's Ferry!