Things to See: A Stroll Through Downtown Ferndale
(Crystal A. Proxmire, April 7, 2020)
Ferndale, MI – As people throughout Michigan struggle with the impacts of the COVID-19 coronavirus and the social distancing required to keep the infections at bay, a nice walk outside could either be a treat or simply a dream depending on one’s situation.
So Oakland County Times is introducing our “Things to See” series, highlighting the pretty and interesting things we see as we safely get in our steps throughout this beautiful county. Spotting details on walks is a great way to give your brain and your body a temporary break from the worries of contemporary life.
For this walk we focused on Downtown Ferndale.
Gracing the 9 Mile and Woodward area, the large purple marquee of The Magic Bag reminds passers-by “We are all in this together, now please go wash your hands.” Other signs brightly beckon patrons to the restaurants still serving carryout, and the traffic is unusually light in the normally bustling downtown.
But there is plenty to be seen, including the Downtown Development Authority’s investment in public art – particularly the sculptures and murals that have been added through the years. There are also random artsy surprises, like the collage of band stickers behind the Loving Touch, and artificial flowers whimsically left by some creative stranger in unusual places
Among those businesses closed by executive order is the prominent Rust Belt Market, right on the corner of the intersection. The windows give peeks at some of the art and locally made products inside, as well as the amazing selection of cactus and houseplants at The Plant House that will remain growing there until the store reopens. One window sends their wish to fellow Ferndalians “We love you, stay weird.”
On the windows of CandleWick Shoppe there are several messages spelled out in yellow letters, including “I manifest everything I desire.”
And on the brick walls of Go Comedy! Improv Theatre (also closed), the message in chalk shared over and over is simply: “love.”
As leaders like Governor Gretchen Whitmer and County Executive Dave Coulter share information about the virus, they urge people to go out for fresh air and exercise while practicing social distancing. Face masks are recommended, as is standing at least six feet apart and avoiding often-touched items like handrails, benches, and playground equipment. Proper hand washing is also an important way to prevent the spread of COVID-19.