Monday, August 24, 2009

A tree grows in Detroit

Make that, “on” Detroit. City officials have made no secret about their attempts to improve Detroit’s greenspace areas in recent years, and Campus Martius and the RiverWalk are two examples of their success.

Then there’s this little chunk of nature springing up. Atop the Lafayette Building – that huge, hulking wreck of concrete that towers over Lafayette Coney Island – saplings have popped up to further brighten a building already decorated by some of the finest graffiti stylings this side of a CSX rail car.

From everything I’ve read and heard, the Lafayette Building, unlike the Book Cadillac and Fort Shelby hotels, is considered beyond repair, and will meet up with the wrecking ball sometime in the near future. In the meantime, the sidewalk at its base has been blocked, shielding innocent pedestrians from falling hunks of things that would, presumably, hurt really bad. It’s nice to know the city’s looking out for us!

All of this raises at least one question, not the least of which is: Why are we always reading about storms that up-root trees with 24-inch trunks, and yet these little saplings are somehow rooted deep enough in roofing tar that they’ve been able to handle any storm whipping in off the river? Just wondering…