I was in this alley at dusk last Saturday checking out how the kids are getting into the David Broderick tower these days when a cargo van full of drunk people pulled up and several beefy suburban guys hopped out to cavalierly piss on the Metropolitan. They didn't see me and they hopped back into their van quick enough, but I still had to walk back through their piss smell. I know that kind of thing happens all over, but I couldn't help resenting these guys. They were acting like the city was just a toilet. "Pull over, I have to piss." It's not just suburban types, though. I see people pissing on their own city all the time.
Then, from the alley, I saw Torya Blanchard lugging a big bucket of water around, tossing sheets of suds out onto the sidewalk and scrubbing them down with a broom. Torya was a French teacher for five years in a Detroit charter school. She'd lived in France as a student and an au pair. This year she decided to open a creperie in downtown Detroit, calling it Good Girls Go to Paris. It's only been open a couple months and we've been there a dozen or so times, and there's always been a line. It's so great to have a place to get a delicious crepe downtown. I find it so inspiring when people like Torya or Joe or Clare or Karen and Kelli or Liz see something lacking in this city and instead of complaining about it they do something about it.
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