Sep 112010

I have a Roadside America app on my phone (which Henry just LOVES because it veers us so far off course) which I had been snooping around on before we left for Michigan.  I figured Chooch wouldn’t be able to be cooped up inside Warriors 3 all day and we need diversions (little did I know I could have left without him and he never would have noticed).

While sitting in the VIP room of the shop, I asked everyone if they knew how to get to the Heidelberg Project. It popped up in the app as something that was nearby, which excited me because I had read about it before, a few years back. Roadside America billed it as an urban junkscape and I am a huge fan of found art projects so I already knew I wasn’t going home until I got to see it. Plus, its creator, Tyree Guyton, has already had numerous run-ins with the city of Detroit bulldozing sections of it right out from under him, so who knows how much longer the Project will continue to thrive.

We were just going to go alone, the three of us, but Bill and Jessi offered to take us because they had never seen it either. I felt guilty pulling them away from the shop (especially after an old friend of Jessi’s showed up just to see her while we were gone) but they kept assuring me they wanted to go.

We took their car so I didn’t get to taunt anyone in the inner city with my Penguins flag. Considering the things I saw out of the window on the way there, perhaps that was a good thing.

Bill and Jessi made sure I didn’t miss the gratuitously humongous Uniroyal tire on the side of the road, which I learned from the Roadside America app that it used to be a FERRIS WHEEL. Bill and Jessi didn’t tell me that. They’re horrible tour guides. (<—THIS IS A JOKE.) I cheerfully checked off the Uniroyal tire as “Been there.” Then I posted it to Facebook to complete the full obnoxious experience.

I teared up a little when we pulled into the street that houses the Project. There’s something really special about taking random discarded items, things that are trash to most people, and using it to breathe life back into a dilapidated urban area. To me, it transcends art.

And now I will let the photos tell the rest.

Jessi and I being shocked and awed by beautiful junk.

I want to go back there today.

The plan upon leaving was to order Thai food to bring back to the shop, but my little purple and yellow painted fingers just wouldn’t quit tapping along through the Roadside America app. I soon learned that there was a giant neon kielbasa sign a mere 2 miles away. Bill was quick to agree to take us there, giving away his latent desire to deep throat mechanical meats.

Giggling deviously deep in my throat, I checked the kielbasi off my list and posted it to Facebook.

“Are you playing some sort of Bingo?” Bill asked, trying to figure out why I was so hyper about neon sausages and elephantine roadside tires.

Henry mumbled something from the seat next to me, but I was unable to decipher it. He’s probably just jealous he can’t have apps on his hick phone.

Then we ordered Thai food from a restaurant in Dearborn, which is where Sahar from the latest Real World is from, you guys! I wanted to try and find her to see if she still has that cold, or if that’s just always how she talks.

I should have added her to Roadside America.

  6 Responses to “Labor Day Weekend Part 2: Heidelberg Project & a Giant Sausage”

  1. Wow. I never knew this existed! I MUST see this next time I road trip to Pittsburgh… Heidelburg is close, isn’t it? I think I pass exits on my way to the city. Maybe. Your photos are delicious.

    • Actually, it’s in Detroit. That’s where I was last weekend.

      There IS a Heidelberg, PA – but it’s just a small town a few miles away from me. Still, if you ever come to Pittsburgh, you can come see ME!

  2. You always find a way to make the unusual interesting. I love reading your blog lady!

  3. Isn’t there a giant teapot in West Virginia somewhere? For some reason, I recall hearing that somewhere… Sounds like a good day trip!

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