austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

The chemical, physical kryptonite

We got to the Fillmore venue about 6:30, the hour doors were to open, and there saw a line that went across a (closed) street and down, without exaggeration, about a city block. Also it was just chilly and drizzly enough to make us feel under-dressed. But the line moved at a good clip, with IDs checked way ahead of time and wristbands distributed efficiently. It's not fair to compare operations of professionals to well-meaning amateurs but the trouble of Motor City Furry Con's registration queues was still in my mind. We were in, though, after waiting barely long enough for the group ahead of us to get us to take a picture on their phone.

The Fillmore Detroit was originally built as one of those grand movie palaces in the 1920s and so it's got a gorgeous lobby and opulent entry way and a bit of a mystery about where the bathrooms are. We went up three flights of beautiful stairs before finding a small women's room with an enormous line and an empty men's room. bunny_hugger overheard a rumor that there was another bathroom somewhere at a lower level; I scouted out and found indeed there was a set of large, underused bathrooms. I shared the intelligence with other people in the line, but don't know who else might have gone.

The theater was apparently restored several years ago, when the current management took it over and changed the name (which it'd only had for a generation). There's things like statues of Kind of Roman Medieval Knights flanking the theaters, and soooo much moulding, and little sconces with light fixtures and bas-relief faces and all that, all around. And there's still signs of decay, too, some parts of the ceiling particularly that look unrestored. bunny_hugger's (later) research indicates that they haven't finished all the renovations. We'd thought they might have left some areas un-retouched so as to show off the authentic age of the place.

Trivia: George Stephenson's 1829 ``Rocket'' locomotive won a competition and a prize of £500 for drawing a 20-ton load an average of ten miles an hour over a distance of seventy miles in one day. Source: Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time, Clark Blaise.

Currently Reading: Games Without Rules: The Often Interrupted History of Afghanistan, Tamim Ansary.

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