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Thread: De Noc

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    De Noc

    Warning !!!! This thread is based on a city and a metro that is "not real". If you "real" planners are turned-off by those of us who draw maps.....change the channel.

    In other threads, such as my introductory thread back in May, 2003, I did a little describing of my "fake" maps. Because my mind tends to work in an organized manner it has been bugging me that my descriptions, etc. are located on several threads......so this thread is an attempt to "git organized". (sic)

    My main (big) drawings, and all the related small drawings, charts, graphs, written history, etc. can be looked on as a "novel in progress". My city and suburbs contain all the elements of real cities.....sprawl, good planning, not-so-good planning, lack of planning, big boxes, Wally-Marts (yes, sorry), school district boundaries that border on the absurd, shopping centers that are vibrant and alive, shopping centers that are near death because of design (and a changing retail world), high-rise public housing crammed into older near-downtown areas alongside crowded expressways, bike trails, and all kinds of other blah-blah-blahs.

    As I enter new posts on this thread I will occasionally ask for advice, etc. Not being a real planner has left me with a mind that is not enlightened by the planners on these pages.

    Again, I warn you.....my city is "fake".....but in my mind it has been real for the forty (40) plus years that I have been working on it.

    Bear

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    De Noc, Northern Michigan is the 9th largest city in the United States. The population of the city is 1,174,100. The metropolitan area population is 1,856,287, placing it at number 21 in the rankings of USA urbanized areas (demographia.com).

    I started drawing De Noc in 1964, as a junior in high school. Today, there are over 400 hundred drawings (size aprox 28 x 22) that include all buildings (all named), all houses, all roads, all lakes, streams, hills, etc.

    Major roads are all named. Any minor road (or street) with a building other than a house is also named, because I'm currently working on addresses for all buildings.

    In the "old days", my favorite public library was where I went to gather info to work on my city. With this here new-fangled invention dubbed INTERNET, it is easy to pick up all sorts of info that helps me.

    I draw my city and suburbs because it relaxes me. I have always had a love affair with the "urban experience", getting chills as I drove through cities and towns. What the hey, most of you understand those chills.

    Future posts will describe some of the finer details of De Noc.

    Bear

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    It is New Year's Eve and the better half and I are already home from the local establishment. Sooooo......what better time than to let you pleasant readers know what people do for fun in
    De Noc.

    Downtown De Noc is reasonably alive for a city of this size. Because gambling is legal there are a number of casino-hotel combos in the downtown area. Shopping in downtown is still
    a reality.....but.....in the last year one (1) major department store closed their downtown location. (Sounds like Cincinnati and Columbus?)

    The downtown area has a People-Mover.....unfortunately the planners didn't put in enough stations. Gotta work on that.
    Because of the colder climate (similar to the Twin Cities) downtown De Noc has a Sky Walk system, with some restaurants and bars adjacent-to.

    The southern part of the downtown area, near the Convention Center, is home to The De Noc Coliseum (NBA basketball and NHL hockey) and Western Sports Park (Major League Baseball). In the largest suburb, Fairhaven, situated on an expressway named The Sportsway, is Fairhaven Arena (a minor league hockey facility) and the Plastic Bowl (NFL football). Good news here is that public funding of all of these type of sports venues has stopped.

    Because De Noc is located on Lake Michigan and because there are so many smaller lakes in the metro, boating is "big fun". Fishing and recreational boating hit the spot and there is even a week in mid-summer that is highlighted by championship hydroplane racing. Ice fishing and some ice-boating races break-up the north woods winter.

    A major race car track was built in the mid-1960's. Of late, I have been considering making some physical changes to allow it to hold NASCAR-type racing.

    Other fun stuff, such as museums, etc. will be covered in future posts.

    Bear

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Welcome back, Bear up North! I am planning a trip to Munising at the end of the month, and BASED ON YOUR DESCRIPTIONS, may have to make a stop in de Noc. Can you recommend any good restaurants?

  5. #5
    maudit anglais
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    What is De Noc's NHL team called, and how are they doing in the standings?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Having grown up on the shores of the “real” Little Bay De-Noc, in Escanaba, I would be interested in seeing some examples of you work. Also who knows, the future of Escanaba and Gladstone might make parts of De-Noc true… Escanaba is looking at building an international shipping port.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  7. #7
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Don't forget Big bay De Noc and lovely Garden Peninsula and Fayette.

    Would consider buying land there. Beautiful.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian martini's avatar
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    Welcome back Bear. I too would love to see some of these maps you've created. Sounds like one helluva project. 40 Years! If you've got some electronically done, let the curious see.
    You're more boring than you know.

  9. #9
    Cyburbia Administrator Dan's avatar
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    McDonalds in DeNoc?

    Growth for growth's sake is the ideology of the cancer cell. -- Edward Abbey

  10. #10
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Originally posted by Dan
    McDonalds in DeNoc?

    Oh my God, that's a great pic, Dan!!

    That pic is very 'Northern Michigan'!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    You know what... I have done that a few times.
    You have to kill the slead to order though...
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  12. #12
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Thanx all for the comments and questions.....

    Cardinal.....good steaks and brewskis at Corky's Lakeside Inn, just west of downtown, on West Grand River Avenue.

    Tranplanner.....NHL team: De Noc Laughing Whitefish. Michaelskis will probably get a kick out of that. Good logo, too. Gotta have a good logo to participate in NHL.

    Michaelskis.....Port of De Noc is a busy place, and on my huge project list is more upgrading to the port. Hate to compete with other Northern Michigan cities, such as Gladstone and Esky, but all is fair in love and war and competition for tax dollars (or tax abatements).

    Mendelman.....Garden (village of) and other township areas of Garden Peninsula all bedroom suburbs of De Noc. Not really a long drive, if you work in the southern or eastern Metro. (Agree that in real life Garden Pen is a cool place. Watch out for the "weed" growers, though.....)

    Martini.....One of these days I will scan some of my drawings and send them toward Cyburbia. I will need a scanner of significant size to do that.

    Bear

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    De Noc....."culture", if you will.....

    City Museum, located just north of downtown De Noc, is famous for ore sculptures, among other things.

    Museum of Science & Industry, located a few miles north of downtown (near the Northern Michigan State Capitol Center), is similar to Chicago's famous S & I.

    Fairhaven Museum of Modern Art, as it says, with building shaped, from the air, like a cat. (Suburb of Fairhaven.)

    Katie Shores (newest suburb, southwest metro, named after my wife) is home to Star Tower, an 800-feet high observation tower (similar to but smaller than CN Tower, Toronto). Monies for Star Tower came primarily from Star, Inc. of America, area's largest coporation.

    Next to Star Tower, Sea-Lake Aquarium, a larger aquarium that highlights both salt-water and fresh-water creatures. Aquarium and tower are connected via Katie Shores People Mover to Westwinds Convention Center. Next to Westwinds, some casino-hotel combos and the usual spattering of Hard Rock Cafes, etc. (It's all about destination.)

    Because the two (2) major universities in town are located so close to each other, a bit of an art district has developed on the streets between the schools. (Michigan Shores State University and University of De Noc.)

    De Noc Ballet Society in a new facility, located in eastern De Noc area, close to Overmyer Television Network (OTN) Broadcasting Complex.

    Orchestra Hall, home of the De Noc Orchestra, is not far from Ballet Society building.

    In addition to OTN studios, De Noc has a few private movie studios, including Wolfe-Roxbury Studios, Inc, located on Roxbury Trail in suburb of Roxbury Hills. (If you can call corporate training films "culture".)

    Can't forget the rodeo facility, adjacent to I-298 (North Metropolitan Parkway)....or the numerous "adult" establishments that seem to pop up (heh heh heh) in seedier parts of the metro.

    Culture is as culture was.

    Bear

  14. #14
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Time to throw in some of the bad stuff.....

    In my first post on this thread I indicated (indirectly) that I am not a "planner". My city is more like a "novel" that is continually changing and growing. My city is not "planned"....it just "happens"......just like almost every other place.

    De Noc's inner city is scary. The downtown area is relatively safe and alive. But if you are a mile or two south of downtown you will be saying something similar to the guy in the movie "Grand Canyon" when his car broke down in the ghetto, "Mayday. Mayday."

    In the 1960's, De Noc (De Noc Metropolitan Housing Authority)
    built numerous high-rise public housing towers. Located adjacent to major expressways they did what similar structures in places like Chicago did.....they bred crime. De Noc even had, in the late 1960's and early 1970's, "urban renewal districts", that included elimination of single-family housing.
    These districts even gobbled-up some of De Noc's earlier suburbs.

    De Noc's transit system is really good (more on DNTS in a future post) so that takes "some" pressure off the road system. There are major problems, though.

    One (1) of the major expressways (Western Expressway) takes a lot of traffic out of downtown, westbound. But, about six (6) miles out it turns-into a boulevard, as it enters the older suburb of Des Plaines. Bottleneck, especially since the boulevard in Des Plaines is home to some major industrial facilities, including a GM plant.

    The northeastern suburbs have only one (1) direct expressway, which is a 4-lane traffic-clogged nightmare. Commuters to the suburbs in this area find it easier to drive north on I-98 to the Metro Parkway and head east.....about ten (10) miles out of their way, but faster. Truck traffiic in the heavily-industrialized NE suburbs is also a problem, a lot of which has to transverse 2-lane streets.

    Sprawl is certainly evident in the metro. The newer suburbs, outlying areas, along the "outerbelt" Metro Parkway.....all have your typical "big box" sprawl, suburban business parks, etc. The older areas of DN and the older suburbs have more of the "mom and pop" businesses. Traffic in these areas is "okay" in the non-lake-adjacent areas where the road patterns tend to be grid-pattern. Areas on lakes, though, tend to have more traffic problems.....primarily because of road patterns, such as curving along shorelines.

    More later.

    Bear

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Public Transportation In De Noc

    In the early 1970's I decided to incorporate public transportation into my "fake"city (and metro). I developed the De Noc Hi-Speed Transit System, named the authority body DNTS (De Noc Transit System) and drew the lines in to my maps. At that time I had absolutely no idea as to the type of transit it was.

    Now that the internet helps me quickly find "stuff", I can safely tell you this:

    De Noc Transit System (DNTS) is a combination of the following: Monorail system (Alweg design, Bombardier equipment) with major lines going out n/e/s/w from downtown De Noc and "feeder" lines feeding (with transfer stations) the main lines.

    Downtown DNTS rapid transit lines are underground.

    As I do more and more research on cost of construction, terrain considerations, vehicle costs and operating costs I feel the above-mentioned system is best for my metro. I know that I do not have enough stations.....so station additions (easy to fund with pencil lead) are forthcoming. As I mentioned in previous posts, this "novel" of mine is still an attempt to be as realistic as possible, so before moving on the stations I will be analyzing population patterns, potential ridership, etc. I welcome any comments from or about real-world scenarios.

    There are two (2) People-Mover lines, one (1) located in the "destination" suburb of Katie Shores (explained in a previous post on this thread) and one (1) located in downtown De Noc. Not enough stations on the downtown line.

    Of course, the People-Movers (similar to Detroit, elevated light rail) have transfer stations with the DNTS monorail.

    DNTS stations are built mostly with underground parking and many have the "kiss and ride" drop-off feature. DNTS busses
    tend to focus on sheparding riders (bahhh, sheep) into DNTS stations. So, in theory, you can get there from here but you may walk to a bus, transfer to the DNTS rapid, transfer again to another DNTS rapid.....and, for major downtown destinations such as the ball park, transfer AGAIN to the People-Mover.
    ("Honey, I'll just drive downtown....it's easier.")

    Finally, just now developing the feeder line connecting to my new airport, in the southwestern metro. More on the airport story in the next post.

    ".....and I'll ride forever 'neath the streets of Boston....."

    Bear

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    How about high-speed rail (Amtrak) connections to Minneapolis and Detroit?

    P.S., I hear your football team has defeated the Bears in 18 consecutive games. True?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  17. #17
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Cardinal.....

    No AMTRAK service to De Noc, at this time. Years ago their was passenger train service across Northern Michigan, running from the Twin Cities to Sault Ste. Marie. Never enough cost justification to run the shiny Budd cars when AMTRAK was formed.

    De Noc, Northern Michigan is served by two (2) regional bus lines and Greyhound.

    And then there are the airports.....

    As mentioned in a previous thread, months ago, when I was much younger I read an article in POPULAR SCIENCE (or one of a similar ilk) about circular runways at future airports. So, Northern Michigan International Airport was designed with a single circular runway, nearly 6000-feet in length. The terminal was in the center, accessed via an expressway connection (with tunnel under runway).

    This served De Noc well for a number of years, but with the explosive (no pun intended) growth of air travel a new airport was needed.

    I just finished designing it, based on info from airports in Seattle, Cincinnati, Chicago, Cleveland, Minneapolis, etc.
    It's also built with room for additional runways and additional terminals.....providing a state of readiness for growth.

    There are other airports in the metro, including an executive airport near downtown (corporate America wants their toys), another small-plane airport in the eastern De Noc area, and a closed National Guard Air Base in the southern suburb of Indian Springs. The runway and buildings at that base sit empty, waiting for the government to sell it off. Of course, sprawl developers await that sale, anxious to construct the things we call "big boxes", etc.

    And, our NFL team in De Noc sucks, and has for years. We play "Da Bears" pretty even.

    Bear

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Many Months Of Fun In De Noc, Northern Michigan

    January
    De Noc Winter Carnival
    Two (2) weeks, with many events, both outside and inside. Events include Pancake Breakfast, Ice Sculpture Contest,
    Ugly Toboggan Parade, Frozen Tundra (Sorry Green Bay)Softball Tournament, Friday-After-Work-Party-In-The Coliseum (Drinking and eating), and much more.

    February
    Devils Lake Snowmobile Races
    (Devils Lake is one of a few very large inland lakes in the city proper.....near downtown De Noc.)

    February
    Red Lake Ice Boat Championships
    (Red Lake is one of a few very large inland lakes in the city proper.....next to both major universities, west De Noc.)

    May
    Bass and walleye fishing season opens. Get out of their way!
    Great fishing in the inland lakes (bass) and Big Bay De Noc
    (Walleye).

    July
    International Grand Prix Week
    Grand Prix motor racing at Northern Michigan Internation Grand Prix Racing Course (southwestern suburb of Southgate).
    Week-long events and time trials end in Northern Lights Grand Prix Race. Seating at numerous grandstands is for more than 250,000 somewhat inebriated fans.

    July, August
    Numerous regattas at and around numerous yacht clubs, both on inland lakes and on Big Bay De Noc.

    September
    Black Bear Hunting Season. Steady line of pick-up trucks, heading northwest and northeast, from De Noc, in search of
    Yogi.

    November
    Deer Hunting Season. Incredibly huge line of pick-up trucks, heading all through any woods in Northern Michigan, from De Noc, in search of Bambi.

    December
    Christmas Shopping In Downtown De Noc.
    Because downtown De Noc is still home to a significant number of large department stores and some newer smaller mall-type venues, Christmas shopping downtown happens.

    Bear

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    40 Years Of Fun With Names

    Because my pencil-drawn city is fake, I have had a chance to enjoy forty (40) years of naming everything in and around Metropolitan De Noc. I know that my method is about the same as the way that names were or are attached to everything else in our world:

    Named after people you know or respect or honor (Kennedy High School); named after the founder or prominent early-settler (Cleveland, OH); named after a near-by or prominent physical landmark (Stone Mountain, GA); named after what it may look like (Red Sand, Somewhere); named after an event that took place nearby (Battleground, IN); named after a specific direction, usually attached to another name (North Gentle Rapids, Anywhere); named because of some sort of religious activity or settlement (San Diego); named after another place (Toledo, OH named after Toledo, Spain), etc.

    Metro De Noc & Suburbs:

    De Noc, named after Big Bay De Noc, a real place in Upper Penninsula of Michigan. Joland and Foxe Lake named after a couple former girlfriends (Jo Ann and J. Fox). Katie Shores named after present wonderful wife, Kathy. Angel Pointe and Luna named after my two (2) granddaughters, Anjelica and Luna Bella (my son and his wife's choice for names is "far out and cool"). My older brother Terry gets a suburb named Tee. (My younger brother got an elementary school and a major boulevard. My son got a major boulevard and an industry.) I even named a suburb after my high school, Whitmer.

    Other suburbs were named after local rivers or lakes or hills such as Norse Mountain. Some suburbs were named after other places I know of, such as Des Plaines, Southgate, and Royal Orchard (a play on suburban Detroit's Royal Oak). I even named a suburb after my wished-for basketball prowess, Skybear. (I will be back to playing twice a week once the chemo treatments are over and my body settles back to normal. See, you young whippersnappers.....even us 55-plus folks play ball.)

    Many other suburbs.....but you get the picture. What about lakes and streams?

    Sturgeon River, the largest stream flowing thru the metro, really exists in this location. I have been keeping it development-free, penned in on both sides by the Sturgeon River Greenbelt. There are a few lakes in the 10,000+ acre range. Included are Devils Lake (named after all the Devils Lakes in our country, including MI, WI, ND), Red Lake (random name), Orange Lake (another random), Green Lake (and another random), Lake St. Paul (named after the MN city). Smaller lakes include Porcupine Lake (guess why?), South Lake (in a southern suburb), Big Rabbit Lake (because when I was drawing it I was also watching a bunny hop around my yard)....etc., you get this picture, too.

    So I ask this question: Is my method of naming really any different from any other used in the real world?

    Bear

  20. #20
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Business & Industry In De Noc

    Sure, it's only a "novel".....fake drawn city, De Noc. But, I used some logic in deciding, over the thirty-plus years of drawing the metro, which types of businesses would be good fits.

    De Noc is the "Plastic Capitol Of The World". Many plastic factories dot the area and plastic technology and research is a key tool in local private industry as well as the two (2) major universities.

    Some automobile parts are produced in De Noc and suburbs. Buicks are assembled in a suburb. Snowmobiles are also produced.

    There are some smaller steel factories, including coil coating. A large factory in the suburb of Nahma Junction produces lake ore boats and some smaller military craft. A couple smaller plants build sailboats.

    There are a number of smaller chemical factories. Other products include cash registers, bowling pin-spotter equipment, snowshoes, commercial kitchen equipment, and wooden cabinets, doors, and windows.

    De Noc's largest industrial facility produces school busses.

    Non-factory employment includes all the State Of Northern Michigan government offices, one (1) Fortune 500 headquarters skyscraping office tower, and a number of life insurance headquarters.

    And, even though DN has experienced some solid growth over the years (remember, very similar to the Twin Cities) the area has lost a significant number of larger employers, including glass-manufacturing, mining equipment manufacturing, some steel producing facilities, and some warehousing.

    Bear

  21. #21
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    Railroads In Metro De Noc:

    No metro area is complete without railroads. The De Noc Metropolitan Area includes some of America's best-known roads.

    Most RR traffic moving through the metro has been transferred from one (1) of the major lines to either the De Noc Belt Line RR or the DN Trunk Line RR. Both service different industrial areas of the metro. In these days of intense consolidation there is discussion going on that would merge the two (2) local lines, as a cost-saving strategy. Some rail in the metro has already been abandoned.

    The heaviest metro rail traffic is through the southern suburbs of Alaska House, Katie Shores, Bailey Creek, and Nahma Junction, primarily due to unit trains of iron ore pellets going to the port areas. Unit trains of coal, bound for the different coal-fired electric plants also contribute considerable volume.

    De Noc does not have a piggyback trailer loading facility.....yet.

    The main lines feeding the metro include the North Central RR, the Soo Line RR, the Chicago & Northwestern.

    The Chicago & Northwestern RR provides bridge-line movement to the Milwaukee Road, with an interchange about 100 miles west, near Iron Mountain. Most eastbound traffic is routed on Soo Line rail, although the North Central does carry some cargo in that direction.

    With the closing of the RR car ferries at St. Ignace (in the 1980's) any traffic heading for Detroit, Grand Rapids, Toledo, etc., is routed on the western side of Lake Michigan.

    The State Of Northern Michigan ("upper peninsula" for real) has other rail lines, such as the Lake Superior and Ishpeming. Very unusual for any rail cars to leave De Noc metro and go to anyplace nearby.

    And, as mentioned in a previous post, Amtrak does not serve the De Noc area.

    Bear

  22. #22
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Do they have a have a Coast Guard station being the home port for both a
    combination ice breaker/bouy tender and new 47ft lifeboat?
    Oddball
    Why don't you knock it off with them negative waves?
    Why don't you dig how beautiful it is out here?
    Why don't you say something righteous and hopeful for a change?
    From Kelly's Heroes (1970)


    Are you sure you're not hurt ?
    No. Just some parts wake up faster than others.
    Broke parts take a little longer, though.
    From Electric Horseman (1979)

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    Northern Michigan is its own state? I love it! What is the capitol?
    Anyone want to adopt a dog?

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    JNA.....I have a Coast Guard Station on my (very long) list of "to do's" for the metro. Some other waterfront projects include a new water treatment facility, located on the waterfront but at the outflow end of the Water Intake, located about six (6) miles out in the bay, extension of the present breakwall that surrounds the area of the ore docks and the general cargo docks, and I'm also developing a theme park, on the water, in the suburb of Angel Pointe. (Angel Pointe named after my oldest grand-daughter, Anjelica, who turns twelve ((12)) this month.)

    Cardinal.....De Noc has been the state capitol for Northern Michigan since
    8-28-48. What a coincidence, I was born that day. The State Capitol buildings are located about three (3) miles north of downtown De Noc, on Blue Ridge Parkway.
    (Sometimes my creativity function involves "stealing" of place names.)

    Bear

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Emeritus Bear Up North's avatar
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    JUNE DAY IN DE NOC

    Jake looked out his office window, 34-stories above Madison Street, in downtown De Noc. It was late Friday afternoon, it was a sunny June Friday in Northern Michigan, and he was planning his evening.

    His view was to the south. His blue eyes scanned the numerous skyscrapers to the south and east of his northwest downtown location. Fifteen (15) miles south he could see the blue horizon of Lake Michigan. A number of smaller skyscrapers dotted the landscape between downtown De Noc and the lake front. Included was the 15-story Coon Rapids Record Tower, designed by his company, although he wasn't directly involved in that project. His work was usually with site planning for strip centers....drive-up, get a six.

    His plans? Take the People-Mover to the area around the downtown baseball park, home of numerous establishments that put the fun in downtown De Noc. Even though the major league ball team was on the road the area would be "hopping" on a warm Friday evening. A couple friends from the office were also heading that way.

    After taking the elevator to the 2nd level of his building he walked across the Skywalk System walkway and went into Demery's Department Store. He walked his normal route through the store, emerging at the People Mover Station adjacent to Demery's. Within a few minutes an elevated rail car arrived and he was on his way, with many others, southbound.

    The People Mover car stopped at three (3) more stations before swinging sharply west. He exited at Western Sports Park and walked a block to Riley's Dugout Saloon. There he met his friends.

    After just a couple drinks Jake climbed back on the People Mover, zipped north back to the Demery's Station. He went down three (3) flights of escalators to his underground parking level, found his red sports car, and headed home.

    Jake usually took the Western Expressway home but on the radio was the warning of an overturned truck, causing a back-up. He shifted his plans and cruised down 4-lane wide Chevy Road, heading west. Chevy Road followed the shorelines of both Devils Lake and Red Lake, winding past numerous luxury high-rise apartments and past the two (2) major universities.

    At the western end of Red Lake he turned right and worked his way through some surface streets to his cozy little 1950's split-level, in De Noc's largest suburb, Fairhaven. He passed the boat launch on Red Lake, thinking that in the morning he would be out on the lake, cruising on his small Hobie Cat sailboat.

    Unfortunately, Saturday would bring a cold front and temperatures in the low 50's, with some rain. Sunday would be slightly warmer....but the weather would get better on Monday....the beginning of the work week. Typical Northern Michigan June weather.

    As he walked into his house he smiled at his beautiful wife. "Honey, I'm home," he said to her. She frowned.

    "This isn't LORD OF THE RINGS, Jocko. You're late."

    Bear

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