Friday, 6 April 2012

DETROIT: Belle Isle

Belle Isle
Between two countries

As an island, Belle Isle lies between the USA and Canada within the Detroit River and it's one me and Joe paid a visit to a couple of months ago. Landscaped by Fredrick Olmstead [the gentleman who designed Central Park] Belle Isle is in fact larger then it's New York counterpart and is America's largest island park. Yet it's somewhat forgotten. Reached only by the American side Belle Isle is home forgotten museums, football fields, nature reserves and herds of Canadian Geese [and their droppings]. What also remains is the red and white corner markings when the island was used as a temporary race track for the IndyCar series in 1992.

It's future is unclear. While Detroit owns/runs the island it's a city running out of money [if it hasn't already]  - therefore the fountain [above photograph] isn't running and the museums are closed - Detroit struggles as it is to keep schools and the police in operation so it's far from having the money to throw at Belle Isle. Detroit's Governor has suggested Belle Isle be turned into a state park or even a metro park [like many me and Joe have visited]. Local public radio station WDET [part of the PBS service] ran with the question about what should happen to the island with public suggestions including adding an entrance fee for cars, reintroducing racing, fishing piers to creating a theme park. I fear until Detroit sorts it's own finances out, the future of Belle Isle will remain unclear for some time.

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I hope everyone has a lovely Easter Weekend, I'm still catching up with yesterday and everything that didn't get done after spending 13 hours in ER with the boy yesterday caused by a kidney stone. I now know the difference between American and British hospitals in a way I wasn't expecting.Which is why I never got around to blogging yesterday!

Enjoy your chocolates this weekend! Huge sized Easter eggs don't seem to occur over this side of the pond but we have some M&S goodies and some peeps left!

26 comments:

  1. I love this post, it's sad about the museums and fountain. Hope your both ok, 13 hours doesn't sound fun :(

    Charlee
    xxxx

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    1. Its a real pity that everything has been left to fall apart. I could imagine if this island was in a different city it may never have suffered this bad. People have written off Detroit so it's historical and places of interest get neglected too sadly. And yeah those 13 hours dragged!

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  2. Poor boy how excrutiating. Hope it passes soon.

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    1. Yeah they seem to create such horrid pain for such tiny things!

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  3. that islandlooks so cute! xx

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    1. It's a gorgeous place for a wander around.

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  4. the pictures are lovely and hope it passes soon!

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  5. I hope things have settled down now and you have a relaxed weekend ahead xxx

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    1. Yeah things seem to be a lot better today - just off to have a lazy weekend x

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  6. I've never heard of this island, although it's got such a sad story! I really hope the finances sort themselves out as it's such a shame to waste such a gorgeous place like this!

    Hope he's feeling a lot better now :)

    Love, Elizabeth xx

    http://butterflyboo.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Yeah sadly I think it might take a while before the city gets around to sorting out the future of the island. Hopefully before it's too late though!

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  7. I feel so bad about Belle Isle, as a child my mother spent much time on the island. She has many fond memories. To think of this landmark being shut down is so sad.
    Have a wonderful Easter, Rachael.

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    1. I know, it has such a great potential but I think people just get distracted by the pure fact that it's in Detroit so it gets written off.

      Nice to hear that your mother use to go there as a child though!

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  8. Thank-you for the comment my sweet, it's so cool how you've captures a border in an image!

    Lots of Love,

    Lily from Red Brick Lipstick

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    1. Yeah it feels a little strange when you're standing literally between the two countries or you're looking across to Canada over the water. Pretty neat.

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  9. i've never heard of that! but i drove through detroit and didn't stop, so maybe that's why? i just found your blog and am rather smitten.

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    1. Yeah it's a little out of downtown on East Jefferson, as far as I remember it's not really sign posted at all so it would be easy to miss. But it does get a mention in post guide book recommendations of Detroit.

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  10. I hope somehow Belle Isle secures a great future.

    I hope that you are having a wonderful weekend.

    Sunny Days and Starry Nights

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  11. Stopping by from blog hop to say hi! Newest follower! Happy Easter and I hope your boyfriend feels better!

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    1. Yeah the husbands much better now thanks!

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  12. Oh my goodness I hope your boy is feeling better! I hear chocolate is a good cure ;). This place sounds so magical and I love the photos! xx
    Ella @ Belle Vintage

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  13. Hi Rachael, that picture of the border is interesting :) I've never heard of the belle isle in detroit

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  14. Sounds like the island would do well to go state....

    As for the kidney stone, that sounds awful!! Here's wishing him a speedy recovery!

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  15. Wow the pictures are lovely, I hope they can figure out something for the island soon!

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