another update on ypsilanti’s freighthouse

Last night’s Freighhouse fundraiser went well. I’m not sure what the final take was, but I wouldn’t be surprised if, after all the restaurant receipts and tips are counted up, we’d raised over $5,000…. And there wasn’t much “we” to it. I didn’t do much at all. I’d been asked to work behind the bar, and I tried, but there wasn’t much to do except open bottles of wine, and talk with the people sitting at the bar, while the professional bartenders did all the real work… I did, however, help dispose of the ullage, which I suppose is useful.

I could write pages and pages about the Freighthouse, and what I think led to its current condition. But, I’m going to spare you that for now. For now, I just want to mention two things.

ONE. I heard last night that the new Freighthouse, once opened, will no longer be heated by a wood-burning stove. Apparently, even though it’s probably been there, working just fine, for 100 years, it was determined to be too dangerous. I was told that the old stove would still be there, but that it would somehow be rendered unusable. I’m tempted to break into a rant at this point, but I’m going to wait and see what I can dig up first. I don’t want to burst another blood vessel in my eye only to find out tomorrow that there was an easy solution. I will say, however, that a Freighthouse without a wood-burning stove isn’t nearly as good.

And it’s not just the wood-burning stove. A lot of things we all loved about the old Freighthouse probably won’t be coming back. Thinking about the Freighthouse last night, I was reminded of all the old regulars who won’t be there. People that used to form the core of the community there have passed on and moved away – the folks that used to sell their goods, the guys that used to play in the band, etc. I know that some of them are still around, but, even so, it’s not going to be the same as it was. Clearly, we still need a big public space like the Freighthouse, and I’m not suggesting that people don’t continue to support the effort to get it open, it just occurs to me that we won’t be able to start up again where we left off. I suppose the rest of you probably already realized that, but I’m dense.

TWO. We need in now… Somehow the City was able last year to open the caf

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  1. Posted May 14, 2008 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

    I too would miss the wood burning stove. I understand the concerns over safety. Simply welding the door closed is a lazy solution. I think the stove can be made safe with a little creativity.

    I definitely like the idea of opening the cafe part of the building if that is in fact possible. The only worry I’d have about that idea is the question of how much it would cost. I’m sure insurance would have to be underwritten, and there will be operating expenses too.

    The duties of the RAC coordinator and a freight house coordinator I think are significantly different. Wouldn’t two separate part time positions be less expensive than one full time position?

  2. Brackache
    Posted May 14, 2008 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    It would cost $600,000 to make the stove safe, and a mere $25,000 to weld it shut. But now, for the low low price of $10,000, for 52 Saturdays I’ll stand in front of it with my arms crossed and a stern frown on my face.

  3. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    Somebody needs to head over to Walmart to get one of these. $160. Problem solved. Trust me, Mark will never know the difference.

  4. Brackache
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    … or one of those fancy metal mesh firepit thingies with the budweiser logo cut out of the sides.

  5. Dr Cherry
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    Ypsilanti could hire a firm to do a study on the wood stove safety issue. I couldn’t cost more thank $20,000 though I could be selling the study industry short.

    Maybe you could get that guy from Florida who suggested a pontoon bridge on the Huron.

  6. schutzman
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

    I think we need to first pay someone to do a study on whether Dr. Cherry’s idea of paying someone to a study is a good idea.

    Note: the city owes me $2,500 for writing the above comment.

    I was going to add something more serious about insurance rates for historic structures, but i’m invisible.

  7. LJ
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    If I were invisible, I wouldn’t be wasting my time here.

  8. schutzman
    Posted May 15, 2008 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    i take heart in the fact that farmer doctor mayor’s “Silent Majority” was invisible, too.

  9. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 12:21 am | Permalink

    If I were invisible, I’d stick my finger up President Bush’s rectum every time he tried to shit. I’d also tie his shoelaces together, talk crazy in his ear and pinch his armpits during speeches. At least until I realized none of it affected his performance in the least.

    Then I’d probably just hang out in women’s dressing rooms. Maybe get free drinks. Kill things. Sneak into places with cable and control the remote. Suffice to say, like LJ, this is the last place I’d be haunting.

    Invisibility is my favorite fantasy superpower. I like to pretend, when I cut my fingernails, they’re not gone, just invisible. Like parts of my teeth, liver and lungs.

  10. ytown
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    What are you going to do when the freighthouse is renovated? You will have nothing to obsess over. Nobody but a handful of people ever used the freighthouse. It is a cold open space that wasn’t very inviting.

  11. Steve Swan
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    Mr. Cross, if you would like to collaborate on a script, let me know. I like the way you think. I’m not aware of any “armpit pinching” fetish films. That doesn’t mean there’s not a market. I think, if you added the part about the invisible man putting his finger up people’s butts, that you might have a winner.

  12. Dr Cherry
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

    What are you going to do when the freighthouse is renovated? You will have nothing to obsess over.

    ytown, you must be new.

  13. DL
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m with Ytown. The Freight House wasn’t very inviting. I got sad and peed on myself there one time. I’d much prefer a McDonalds. Their play lands make me feel warm all over. All the balls pressing on my body makes me feel loved.

  14. ytown
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Come on its a joke. There will always be something to obsess over! I am a lifelong Ypsi resident. I went to the old Fletcher elementary, YHS, etc. I know the freighthouse and I think it would be a great addition to Ypsi. I have been to the freighthouse and it wasn’t inviting. Just because you all love the freighthouse and your memories there doesn’t mean everone else feels the same. Perhaps that is why it hasn’t been renovated as of yet.
    Now if we can get the depot renovated!!

  15. ytown
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Dr Cherry, you must have a PHD the way you advertise your credentials.

  16. Posted May 16, 2008 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

    DL, don’t you feel warm all over when you pee yourself too?

    OEC, I share your superpower fantasy. It stops short of rectally examining President Bush, though. And I don’t want to be documented in one of Mr Swan’s endeavors either.

  17. Dr Cherry
    Posted May 16, 2008 at 11:19 pm | Permalink

    I’ve purchased a number of credentials through the mail, of which I’m very proud.

    I’m also an ordained minister but the Rev. Dr. Cherry seemed pretentious.

  18. Ol' E Cross
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    For the record, I was just trying to think of the most secure place I could sneak into if I were invisible, it started with the White House, then the bathroom in the Oval Office, and well, finally…

    It was at that point that I realized I would be easily corrupted and use my superpowers for evil which is probably why God didn’t make me invisible, just really, really small.

  19. mark
    Posted May 17, 2008 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    For what it’s worth, OEC, I hear it’s not the meat, but the motion.

  20. Brackache
    Posted June 3, 2008 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

    I hear the Old Tiger Stadium Conservancy might have a portion of the $369,000 (that they failed to raise to save Old Tiger Stadium) left over. Maybe they’d like to try their hand at something a bit more lofty?

    {thanks to Mrs. Brackache for the idea}

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