Art Walk in Auburn Hills

This isn’t necessarily a park or nature walk. It’s a cool small town – downtown walk. For those of you familiar with the Detroit Bankruptcy, you may remember reading or hearing reports of the community fears that the creditors involved would seek the forced sale of The Detroit Institute of Art’s (DIA) art collection to get payment for the debts. I do not understand what its value is except that it’s worth millions and millions of dollars. No one wants to part with the precious works, for obvious reasons. However, the bankers, retirees, and other companies who hold contracts with Detroit are entitled to their money, that is the expectation when one signs a contract; to get paid. This is not the sort of entitlement that people have been recently complaining out. So… There is the dilemma of having to file bankruptcy. Both are precious and must be honored – but cannot.

Apparently the DIA has top notch public relations and marketing experts. Art Walks have sprung up in several cities, Auburn Hills being one. The walk is basically a walk ‘around the block’. The walk features weatherproofed copies of the some of the famous paintings featured in the DIA. A plaque next to them tells the story of the work. It’s a way for the people who do not or cannot visit the DIA. It’s a way to for people to engage in what makes people like them. (Photos from my walk are at my Pinterest page.)

My physical disorder must hire these promoters because my disabilities aren’t liked by anyone. (Yeah, that would be cool if P.R. worked liked that.) I am still fearing dealing with my employer on the matter of the surgery, but I work at a college and its summer semester. What could go wrong–right? Nothing will be interrupted on a grand scale during the summer – is it?

It’s a beautiful morning, and the temperature is perfect; not too hot and not too cold. I can exercise at my pace and learn at the same time, because my ability to walk is perfect for stopping every few hundred yards to read a plaque. I pick up a guide at the first painting and am treated to a perfect landscape, not the art, but of Downtown Auburn Hills. It’s still early, and there are only a few people out; mostly at the little sidewalk café as they sip at their coffees while nibbling at their breakfasts. The sun is shining, and the town looks like a post card.

I walk up the main drag enjoying the peacefulness of morning. I come to the first intersection, the north half has a median that features park benches. Everyone hated them when they were put in; “No one will ever sit on those; nice use of tax dollars,” a friend complained.

I smile and sit down on one of the benches, just because. I watch traffic speed through town at ridiculous speeds. I get up and walk on after a lady turns onto the wrong side of the median while having the nerve to give oncoming traffic in “her” lane a dirty look. She is woefully aware of her situation, but for many years that was me with my hip, so I don’t judge her. I just hope she hurts no one before she realizes that oncoming traffic are not the drivers in the way.

Singing birds and smiling people on bikes are the icing on this morning’s cake walk, but it won’t be nice for long. Clouds are rolling in. Luckily I make it back to the car before it rains. This is a very handicapped friendly walk.

By now several people at work have asked me about the walks. When I told them about this one they were excited to check it out for themselves, or, at least, go through my photos of the artwork. Everyone has had a positive response to it. They also agreed the DIA artwork shouldn’t be sold. The popularity of the DIA was increased even more.

“It must be saved” was the resounding, well-received message. Not one person I spoke with thought anything at the DIA – toilets included – should be sold (yep, toilets; hey, I work with college students you know that someone had to mention toilets at some point).

Jim Croce’s “I’ve Got a Name” was playing.

“Moving me down the highway”

“Rolling me down the highway”

“So life don’t pass me by”

Luckily the bankruptcy storm passed by the DIA, and today’s rain also passed me by. I hope the potential storm brewing at work over the surgery will pass me by.



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