Architectural, Landscape &
Portraiture Photography
and written work
by Elizabeth Cara

My Inspiration Blog // Beetlejuice
Instagram /// @Elizabethanc
Twitter //// @_lizcara

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I wish I could put to words how it feels to be abroad in a place like this.  Speechless awe.  I am living in a vivid dream.  I am Blessed to be here.

They’ll Clap When You’re Gone

   I thought, at first, that it would be fitting to write a dramatic goodbye to the city that outlined my saneness with white chalk lines when I was in my countdown hours.  But I was too eager to flee my New York home.  Never before have I been so over and beyond a place.  And for a while, Detroit was the same sour city to me.  It, at one point, and just as New York had, prompted a diet of sour lemons with not a cube of sugar to deter the sting; I disdain. And here we are now.

   The storm has calmed.  No more muted paneling on crammed apartment buildings and stale-air subway platforms. No more charred barren neighborhoods in the ghettos.  I feel at ease or I have convinced myself that I am.  I am in the most familiar of places: home.  To my amazement upon my return nothing has really changed. The same light bulb in my bedroom ceiling lamp doesn’t illuminate.  My old paintings are still propped up in the corner.  Finger marks on my mirror, and that polaroid from Costa Rica.  The same red blanket draped over the love seat.  The blue couch is still worn down, but much more than I expected.  And now the tablecloth is fraying at the edges.  The same buttons on the microwave don’t work. But the refrigerator is redecorated with more photos of the children.  Surely the reminder that we still exist is comforting whenever the milk is requested for the morning cereal.  And the smell…it is my favorite smell.  At least one of them.  It smells of familiar mornings, crinkling bed sheets and foaming toothpaste.  Burning dust from the furnace when the heat turns on for the first time and a dry Michigan breeze in the morning that perfectly accompanies the ginger pear tea you sip on.  Mother is always there to ask “What would you like for breakfast?” and then I recall all the mornings I shrugged the offer off & denied myself the pleasure of my mother’s hospitality.  Even when she isn’t near she still manages to leave things behind, like seeds on the pathway to guide me [to eat more & eat well]. 

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Detroit may be one of America’s largely underrated cities. I was born and raised in the Metro Detroit area. So I have seen the city in many ways: fiscal corruption, financial depletion, and through the fires that charred the neighborhoods far and wide. Detroit has burnt to the ground and rebuilt itself many, many times. I think that is why I have an everlasting pride when I exclaim “I’m from Detroit “. It is the Motor City, the Arsenal of Democracy, birthplace of Motown, Techno, the Automobile, and home to some of the best (and some of the worst) sporting teams. People in the Motor City have a work ethic that withstands all friction and challenge. Some of the toughest people I’ve seen are Detroit natives. “If Detroit is the fat kid in our baseball movie analogy, LA is like the rich, snobby kid who everyone expects to do well, but plays terribly.” We put forth the utmost effort. We sweat and bleed to get the job done. We have calloused hands and large hearts. We, the people, aspire to rise above the notions that this city is dead and dying. Detroit will bounce back & flourish when the time is due.