Ocho De Mayo At The Bagley Bridge

The dogs and I are a little late to the party. We missed the parade last weekend (guerrilla gardening) and the Cinco de Mayo opening of the Bagley Avenue Pedestrian Bridge in Mexicantown (working), but we're here today... visiting the new bridge that reconnects a neighborhood divided by I-75 for forty years. And we brought the rain.

The entrance plaza to the bridge sits across from the Mexicantown Welcome Center and the Mercado. It is a really great-looking space, with places to sit and admire the impressive suspension bridge, the Ambassador Bridge, and the city skyline. The designers of the space have mixed in a little wood and greenery to soften the concrete and steel, so that it feels like an outdoor room. It also has plenty of bike parking for the two-wheelers.
Crossing the bridge itself is quicker than I expected. When I thought of crossing the freeway, in my mind it was a much further journey. It's actually only a couple of minutes, not counting dog-meandering stops. The sculpture shown above, by Hubert Massey, is one of two pieces he created for the pedestrian bridge and plaza. This one above is The Spiral Kinship, representing the bond between the U.S. and Canada, and the concept of unity itself, according to an MDOT press release on the bridge opening.
The bridge and plaza were designed with great attention to detail. Functional elements of the bridge, such as lighting, benches, and even the safety fencing carry out the look, feel and concept of the soaring suspension tower in an organic way.
...looking back towards the Welcome Center (on the right), and the shops and restaurants of this side of Mexicantown, with the city skyline beyond....
...the view of the bridge from the other side...
Yes, it's the famous hulking beauty herself, the train station.
Back on the other side again, near the Welcome Center, we take a closer look at Massey's other art work here,  a mosaic titled Spiral of Life, depicting the history, culture, and landmarks of Mexicantown.
The Mexicantown Mercado (below) and the Welcome Center across the street are mostly empty. The ongoing Ambassador Bridge construction mess has taken its toll on these new projects, but they are well-situated for future growth.
There seems to be a strong tradition of public art and murals in Mexicantown. Among the many vibrant murals that I see.... a Mayan-influenced depiction of the neighborhood...
and a lovely scene that reminds me it is Mother's Day on Sunday.
Some ornamental iron flowers whose beauty will never fade, and are tougher than they look... just like my mom....


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