Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Through the Lens: Belle Isle~ The Water


In the summer, the smell of BBQ grills  being put to use is heavy in the air - grilling meat, that faintly chemical smell some people use to start the grills, smoke - its one of the signs of summer on the island. Cars are lined up to park at the beach, and the road around the isle is packed with cars. People are biking, boating, swimming, walking and hiking, picnicking; it is a place of life again.

Belle Isle is huge at 982 acres and has something for everyone - water, views, woods, museums, a gold course, and the Detroit Boat Club . Once a place of great activity for Detroit area residents, around the mid-80s or so it became notorious for criminal activity, and no one really went there for fun anymore. The city ran out of money, and the park really went downhill. Recently, Belle Isle was taken over by the state, and is slowly finding its old glory again. I can remember a few years ago when Billy and I would visit, we would be one of a few cars. Now every space and lot is filled, and there are people having fun in every nook and cranny.






The James Scott Memorial Fountain, built in 1925, white marble. James Scott was really quite scandalous, and the his story and that of this gorgeous piece of architecture is really quite interesting. HistoricDetroit.org has a fascinating article on him, if you want to know more about this "rapscallion".





I have lived within a mile and a half of the Detroit River my whole life, and sights like this still weird me out. This is one of the narrow shipping channels, and as you can see, this freighter is crazy close. Where I live the river is much wider and freighter don't pass by right next to your face, but on the part of Belle Isle, they do. I can't honestly tell you if that is Canadian water, American, or International right there - the apartments and such you are seeing on the other side are in Canada, while I am standing in the United States. 


A photo of the beach I took from the moving car. I have never actually been swimming at this beach, I am kind of freaked out by swimming in the Detroit River! Billy hung out here all the time as a little kid though, playing happily in the sand and splashing in the water.

Next time, I hope to share photos of the museums, aquarium, and conservatory. The architecture is beautiful!


All photos are my property. Please don't use without my permission.

7 comments:

  1. Hard to believe I've never been to Belle Isle! And I didn't know they had an aquarium. Glad you could share the pics- it looks nice there. Love the fountain. and glad they're bringing it back...

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    1. Belle Isle is trying hard to return to its former glory - it is exciting to watch. Billy and I used to go down there when it wasn't yet being reinvigorated, and sometimes we would be the only people there. I think I am going to share some of the photos of the ruin that is there too. It is crazy.

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  2. Love to see other folks' hometown photos. Looks like a great deal of fun, and I'm happy for you that the state took it over and made it safe and enjoyable again. I just love that fountain, wow!

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    1. It is so cool to watch it come alive - I never saw it in its heyday, and where I live and am from we were warned away from Belle Isle for a wile. Just too dangerous! Now it is filled with families and people enjoying the sports of the island, it is awesome.

      That fountain is amazing - blinding white in the sun, huge in size - it is really quite a beautiful piece of architecture.

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  3. That is some water fountain; how majestic it is. It can be fun to play tourist in one's city.

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    1. We enjoy discovering what Detroit has to offer, which is more and more everyday. It is a city trying so hard to pull itself up by its bootstraps and it is doing a great job so far. It has its problems and major challenges, honestly, but this city is trying to come back.

      This fountain is amazing - I had never actually gotten a chance to view it up close until the other day. It is on two different levels of the road, like a fountain within a fountain, if you were to look at it from afar. :)

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I love hearing from people, don't be shy! I would love to hear what you think! I always reply back, although it takes me a bit longer these days due to the little guy.