For those are you who don’t know who Jerome Adams is, he was a bartender at a local yacht club and best known for inventing the Hummer. While he was best known for this, it was probably the most unremarkable thing about the man. What made him a great man and a great Detroiter was his character. He had a smile that could warm the coldest nights, melt the most icy hearts and, lift the most beleaguered spirits. He was a man whose grit and determination appeared effortless, even to people who knew it couldn’t be. He was humble beyond comprehension, but could never be humbled by another. His wisdom laid with its simplicity and clarity. He radiated humanity and love.
Aaron Foley, noted local author and editor, first reported that three women felt they were racially-discriminated against at a local eatery in Grosse Pointe Farms on Saturday February 18, 2017. While I initially suspected that this was a simple miscommunication, I remained relatively quiet on the issue. Forgoing my usual barrages of demanding proof and evidence of the accusations levied against one of our small-business owners. As picketers mobbed the small business hurling accusations of racism, the lawyer of the proprietor quietly held a press conference at another local small business, where he showed evidence contradicting the claims of three Grosse Pointe women. In the light of this evidence, I feel I have to come forward and submit my view of the subject.
As an important member of the Grosse Pointe community, people oftentimes seek out my council on matters pertaining to the paragon of communities in which we live. One such concerned citizen brought a plan to dissolve Grosse Pointe into a cauldron of peasantry to my attention. My immediate reaction to this heresy was to wish that the author be felled by pancreatic cancer and to curse a pox upon his family and all their descendants till the end of time. After a little further consideration and contemplation, I have downgraded my level of vitriol to post-Inquisition levels of disdain. However, make no mistake, what the author suggests is pure heretical balderdash.
Some of you troglodytes have no doubt been wondering where I have been. Well, much like Bruce Wayne I had to flee the trappings of my apparent princeship. Unlike him, I had to do so at the urging of my legal counsel. Apparently, my legal team needed some time to sort out the age-old legal question: “How 18 was she?”.
Exiled in a far away and exotic land, I was of course recognized for my natural leadership and striking good looks. Soon, I found that I had ascended to yet another position in which I was trapped by my own influence and hemmed-in by those who would seek to peddle it. Just as I was steeling myself to cast it all aside, yet again, I felt icy fingers grip the base of my spine.
Through space and time I heard the agonies of my people call out to me. I ascended up from the darkness into the light. My people needed me.
This ordinal fact is not what one would expect, but according to U.S. News & World Report’s 2014 Best High Schools List released on April 22, it would be the case. While U.S. News & World Report’s methodology for their rankings is to say the least, suspect, it is still well followed and frequently cited. How exactly Grosse Pointe South can go from fourth in their rankings to not ranked in one year is a bit of a mystery to me.
Let’s say you get a job offer at a recovering car company and you were going to move your family to metro Detroit, but to which suburb? Chances are good that part of your research would involve typing “best school systems in Michigan” into Google.
For generations the Grosse Pointe Public School System’s preeminence would have been a foregone conclusion, but today there is a dark pall cast over our pedagogical supremacy. What do you think happens to your home’s value when U.S. News & World Report ranks Warren Mott over Grosse Pointe South? I won’t belabor the obvious ramifications for property values in the community, but it is suffice to say that property values are directly related to our school system.
Some of my consternation, and our failure, is caused by a methodology that weights poor children’s achievement more than the achievement of their more affluent peers. The demographic trend our community has experienced over the recent years, with lesser-affluent students transferring from lesser school districts, has had a devastating effect on our ranking. The argument of the validity of this methodology is a complex question with no clear answer. What is clear is that we must seal this achievement gap before the dike breaks.
Since the demographical winds have shifted in our community we have noticed a demonstrable and considerable decline in the level of excellence we have come to expect from our school system. I don’t believe this is a coincidence and other communities’ experiences would validate my observations.
The time has come to shine the Lantern of Diogenes on our community to illuminate the ugly truth and take some remedial action. We owe it to the taxpayer, the children, and the students and teachers who help build our once unassailable reputation. This point is beyond contestation, the argument lies to what shall be done, not if it should be done. With that in mind, I would make the following suggestions:
1) All transfer students will be tested and placed according to their merits. If you read at a fourth-grade level, you go to fourth grade.
2) We finally admit to ourselves that we need to rethink our arrangement with Harper Woods and examine extricating our children from that situation.
3) Call upon the Grosse Pointe School Board Members to individually publish plans to rectify the travesty that has befallen our quaint community.
I am GP For Life and the time for debate and discussion has come and gone like a thief in the night. We must now act decisively and intelligently.
One of the pet peeves of those of us who live in Grosse Pointe is having to wait more than 15-seconds to find a parking spot that isn’t more than 30-feet away from our destination. To some this may seem unreasonable, but we’re very busy people. No only do we have our own complex lives to live, but we have to clean up others’ mistakes. So, is it too much to ask to have good parking set aside for us?
Nowhere is the parking question more prevalent than at Kroger in The Village. Many of these spots are taken up by people from outside our community, most of whom mysteriously have handicapped parking permits, despite a lack of any evident disability.
It’s that time of year again, when our wayward progeny return to the nest to break bread with our families while nursing raucous hangovers from the evening before. Yes, it’s Thanksgiving. What reason could possibly be good enough to combine two of my favorite pastimes, binge drinking and binge eating? Our victory over the savage, that’s what.
Sure, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated alongside the more native members of our country in 1621 and celebrated the bountiful harvest. As time went on, we had other things to give thanks for. In 1777 the President of the Continental Congress set aside a day in December to thank God for the crushing defeat we levied to the British. That said, the modern Thanksgiving holiday as we know it was established in 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law a bill designed to celebrate his family’s swindling of Manhattan from the native peoples for 60 guilders.
Today we celebrate our nation’s accomplishments by heading out to the bars to reconnect with friends who were driven out of Metro Detroit by affirmative action hiring practices and drink till we blackout. We’ll wake up tomorrow and groggily chug mimosa after mimosa while watching the Thanksgiving parade on television while looking for the trashcan we hit on the way home. It will be another glorious and beautiful day in Grosse Pointe, and while that is reason enough to be thankful, we should remember that we weren’t given this land – we had to take it.
Occasionally, I like to wade into the unwashed masses of humanity and anoint them with my knowledge. Recently, on a local forum I engaged the masses to combat a popular myth that Grosse Pointe’s best days are behind them. You can find one my responses below, unedited, and the full thread here.
Originally Posted by Bham1982
I think the Pointes will always be fine and relatively desirable, but I do think the home values have suffered relative to Oakland County (though admit I’m biased). Compare GP Park to Birmingham. I live in Birmingham and will admit the architecture in GP Park is 100 times better. No tacky mega-bigfoot homes, and relatively few bungalows/future teardown jobs. Yet Birmingham real estate values blow away the Pointes. I think, very conservatively, per square foot values run 2 to 2.5 times those of the Pointes. In Birmingham, 500k will not give you a family sized house and definitely nothing renovated and non-bungalow; in the Pointes it will give you something big, beautiful and distinctive, and in move-in condition.
GP For Life:
Bham gets it. Oakland County in general has some architectural abominations that merit trials at The Hague and there’s some gorgeous classic architecture as well. The prevalence of architectural atrocities is far-lower in the Pointes.
GP is located on one of the nicest freshwater lakes in the country for pleasure boating and part of the world’s largest freshwater systems. We can be at our boats in five minutes and on the water in ten. Our parks are essentially private clubs unto themselves, with comparable amenities and private marinas.
Another thing that’s oft overlooked is that GP is legitimately a community. Kids ride their bikes to school, to the corner store, and to the parks. We don’t have a highway running through the middle of town (which is nice, but is a drawback too) separating us from each other.
GP people, by and large, are more polite. I work in Bloomfield Hills and when I hold the door open for ladies and say please and thank you, people look at me strangely. Birmingham has less of those people, but in BH I am clearly an outlier.
Grosse Pointe has more of a classic sense of style as well. You see far less $300 jeans and Ed Hardy t-shirts and far more polos and pearls, as we say.
Yes, there’s less of a nightlife in GP, but then I can be downtown in ten minutes. I would also argue that the Park strip is coming back and with the increase economic activity in the area soon we’ll be back to the days of weekend evenings looking like mardi gras.
Is there less shopping in GP? Absolutely, go to Sommerset around Christmas time and then tell me you’re not thankful that it is 30 minutes away. The only thing worse than a mall at Christmas is listening to people complain about driving there the rest of the year. You can have your shopping and droves of aspirational undesirables clogging your roadways, thank you very much.
GP is far more tied to downtown than BH and Birmingham, which is tied far more to the faceless glass towers of Troy. Right now, I would be short suburban office space and long downtown office space, if I were looking at the trend. As for the demographic picture of GP (BH and Birmingham, as well) having masses of old people, just look at our county’s demographics. It was just worse here because for the last eight years young people couldn’t get a job in SE Michigan to save their life. That trend is starting to reverse.
By the way, someone mentioned something about liquid wealth in GP. I will say this, one wealth management office from a bulge bracket bank is the second-largest in the world as measured by assets under management. There’s an astounding amount wealth in SE Michigan in general and GP in particular, it’s just that there wasn’t any wealth generation for the last ten years.
Don’t count out GP, or BH and Birmingham. Though, I would say Birmingham is probably overvalued right now from a market perspective, otherwise I like that town. BH is just ghastly and filled with people of poor breeding and even worse bearing. I wouldn’t live there if you paid me.
It’s that time of the year again when droves of proles diagonally-cross Mack at a gentle saunter and invade our neighborhood in search of handouts and people to victimize. No, this isn’t The Purge, it is Halloween in Grosse Pointe.
As our children take to the streets, adorably adorned as miniature cosplay enthusiasts, children from outside of our socioeconomic strata come to feast upon the sugary and delicious fat of our society. Now, before any of you bleeding-heart idiots out there say: “GP, you can’t have a problem with poor children getting candy on Halloween, can you?” I say, no I would be happy if it were just the children of the poors, as I am a charitable man. However, it’s not just children and it’s not just people who want to participate in the festive tradition.
The problems begin with the fact that teenagers show up with an angry scorn as a costume and a discarded WIC-Sack (grocery bag) and angrily demand candy for themselves and their “auntie” at home. Then we have the fact that they pile into conversion vans from the late-80’s and cruise our neighborhoods and disgorging their spawn at every corner all while clogging our roadways when I am trying to get home. Also, I am sorry but a garbage bag with armholes isn’t a Halloween costume. Seriously, I get that we all weren’t born into wealth, but at least use some creativity when trying to con “the man”.
Here’s a few pro-tips for dealing with the sugar-seeking interlopers:
1. Van stops, sprinklers go on.
2. Give away fruit to people outside the area.
3. Hand out books.
Have a safe and fun Halloween!