End of an era

For the last few years, no matter what, every Memorial Day Weekend has been spent in the pursuit of booze, techno, and decay in the streets of Detroit at an event known by various names officially, but always as DEMF (Detroit Electronic Music Festival) to those who love it. Except for the first year we went, our lodgings have been at a place called the Shorecrest Motor Inn; a glorious dive within walking distance of the festival where just about anything goes. Over the years, the Shorecrest has provided us with a dry, unclean place to load up, and then sleep it off while the events outside unfolded. This morning at about 10am CST I called them up and canceled our two hotel rooms for DEMF weekend; the lady at the desk, who has taken my calls almost every year, was touchingly disappointed by the news. Undoubtedly those rooms will be booked again by the end of the day, but I can guarantee you that the Shorecrest, and DEMF perhaps, will be forever changed by the loss.
Over the years, our crew, though ever changing on the fringes, has been comprised of a core group of revelers who were willing to drive hundreds of miles to take part in that annual ritual of noise and fun that we called DEMF; in more recent days, these people have fallen off the routine for various reasons. The event itself changed over the years as well. We have seen the gradual change from DEMF being a free event where white suburban raver kids danced along side native Detroiters, drug addicts, random homeless, and just curious folk that heard about it and decided to wander into the city from Flint and elsewhere - all the way to being an expensive ticketed item with security, elaborate lighting, massive sound and more. While many things have changed, for better or worse, one can always count on the music to be amazing, and after hours to be wondrous all-night affairs, and the cab drives extremely dangerous and unpredictable. Urban camping became the term for what we took part in - sleeping wherever one could find a comfortable corner of bed or closet; grilling on the exterior walkways of the motor lodge; packing canteens with dubious alcoholic concoctions for survival purposes; hiking and exploring the decayed outback that is the Detroit waterfront, and fighting off the feral beasts that live there; and on and on. Stuff to tell the grandkids and gloss over with your parents.

Such great times with friends and family were had there; I fell in love with my husband there - we even spent our first anniversary in Detroit at another event to celebrate the connection (cheesy, but yeah).

So what happened? Did we all get old? Have our tastes changed? Have they stayed the same while everyone else's have shifted? Perhaps all the above? Either way, the change has left me with bittersweet feelings. Maybe one day we will triumphantly return to the Shorecrest, the meathole, to retake our thrones as monarchs of that fine establishment on that one extended weekend, but until then I hope it is in good hands. All that's left to do is post a nostalgic photo montage (click to enlarge - they always show a bit pixilated in here)...

Shorecrest - first year (2nd year at fest)

Exploring year 3

Great White stylings of Lank

Exploring year 3

Dancing homeless year 2

'nuff said

The View year 4

The Claw and Me, year 4

Detroit connections

Dan and me, the early years




Shorecrest baseball

Motown breakfasts

Final year - exploring

Heidelberg project

Meg, urban hiking

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