As with most flights that leave North America for Europe, ours was no exception in that it left at night from Detroit, which meant we had a morning arrival into London Heathrow.
London (along with the rest of the U.K. and Europe) is experiencing unusually cold weather for this time of the year. With the capital city covered with plenty of low cloud at around 2,500 feet , and with a slight crosswind pushing the plane away from the runway's centre-line, it was tricky to get shots. But, hey, who needs a helicopter ride over the city when you have complimentary views from a plane!?
These photos were taken as we landed in a crosswind at Heathrow’s runway 27L (and it was a hard landing too!).
Rain rain go away!: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Can anyone see us?!..NO!...the tourists were too busy in the Tower and on the ferry: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Nice to be higher than the Shard!: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Shy Vauxhall hides behind the clouds: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Imperial College, Royal Albert Hall, and all the Museums in Kensington: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Earl's Court: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
St Paul's School and Hammersmith in the background: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Detroit Airport: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Detroit (the GM HQ is seen as a blue blur in the middle), and Windsor (Caesars Casino seen as a red blur in the center of the photo): Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Skyline of downtown Detroit- buildings that bear the scars of the past: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Following on from my previous posting, here are some more photos of life in Detroit.
Oh by the way, I did notice that the weather is weird here thanks to the close proximity of many lakes. It's very common to experience rain, thunderstorm, clear blue skies, hailstorm, sunshine, and TORNADO....all in 24 HOURS. I was driving with my cousin from Rochester to Detroit city (a distance of around about 27 miles), and during the 40 minute drive we experienced clear blue skies with sunshine, then some sudden sleet snow, and then rain. By the time we got to Detroit the sun started to show its face again. I have never experienced such as quick and dramatic change of weather anywhere else. People here are used to it as well.
Plus I did eventually pay a visit to a baseball game, thanks to my friends who showed me around. We were treated to a game between Detroit and the Kansas City team.
Rochester suburb, Detroit: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
One of the most famous spots in Detroit...the FOX Theater at Woodward Avenue. Scene of many happenings of fame...
Shelby Township - an affluent area of Detroit: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Post in the USA is delivered using these cute vans: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Baseball game in Detroit
Comerica Park in Detroit- home of the Detroit Tigers Baseball Team: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Comerica Park in Detroit- home of the Detroit Tigers Baseball Team: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
With a population of only around 212,000, Windsor is the southernmost city in Canada. The city lies on the border with Detroit, and is easy accessible by a few border crossings, including a tunnel that runs under the River Detroit, or the Ambassador Bridge. Windsor's economy is primarily based on education, manufacturing, tourism (most people from Detroit like going to the Casinos in Windsor!), and government services.
The lifestyle in Windsor, as with the rest of Canada, is very laid back, and quiet compared to its neighbor down south.
Ice-cream anyone? Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Engine 5588 'Spirit of Windsor' is a 4-6-2 Canadian steam locomotive was built in 1911 in Montreal. She has been sitting on display in Windsor since 1961.
Caesars in Windor is one of the largest casinos in Canada: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Downtown Detroit: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Detroit's skyline may be tiny in space...but still impressive!: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Another empty building...welcome to Detroit: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Founded in 1701 by the French explorer and adventurer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe, sieur de Cadillac, and located on the border of Canada Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan. With a population of around 5.5 million people, the city’s economy and survival is built around the automotive industry. General Motors have their global Headquarters here, as well as major plants of Ford, and Daimler Chrysler. Oh and not to forget the town that gave us the music from the likes of Diana Ross, Eminem, Stevie Wonder, Motown Rage, Della Reese, Madonna (born in Bay City!), Martha Reeves, Aaliyah...and so many others. World renowned for its Detroit Symphony Orchestra and music celebrities, the area has a long and rich heritage, including several Platinum artists in different genres whose recordings had surpassed forty million copies by the year 2000.
This is my first time to the United States of America, and it’s interesting that I happen to be in a city that is not really strongly representative of the whole country. The city of Detroit has gone through a lot in recent times. My first impressions after landing were that there is not much happening here. One of my first few questions to my taxi driver included ‘Where is everyone?!’. The roads are not busy, and on the way from the airport to my hotel, I came across many derelict buildings, most of them former factories or just left empty by people who could not pay their taxes. According to official statistics, between 2000 and 2010, the city's population fell by around 26%, from the nation's 10th largest city to 18th. In 2010, the city had a population of around 714,000, more than a 61% drop down from a peak population of over 1.8 million at the 1950 census, indicating a serious and long-running decline of Detroit's economic strength. If there was one city that had strong signs of a depriving global economy, then in my opinion it would be Detroit. In some parts of the city, it just feels like a ghost town.
Part of this decline may have to contribute to the history of the city. During the African-American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s, Detroit witnessed some of the worst confrontations between the police and inner city black youth, culminating in the Twelfth Street race riots in July 1967- which went on for over a month. Governor George W. Romney ordered the Michigan National Guard into Detroit, and President Johnson sent in U.S. Army troops. The sad result was 43 dead, 467 injured, over 7,200 arrests, and more than 2,000 buildings destroyed. This also resulted in thousands of small businesses being closed permanently or relocated to safer neighbourhoods around the state or country. The impact of those riots have had a long lasting impression on Detroit and the affected districts lay in ruins for decades- even today the scars of those riots can be seen as in some parts of the city most buildings are derelict. As of 2010, the mean income of Detroit is below the overall U.S. average by several thousand dollars. Of every three Detroit residents, one lives in poverty. Luke Bergmann, author of Getting Ghost: Two Young Lives and the Struggle for the Soul of an American City, said in 2010, "Detroit is now one of the poorest big cities in the country."
While taking a drive around town, my friend told me that the American government and the local Michigan State government are trying their best to bring business back to Detroit however without much avail. The city has a strong baseball team (Detroit Tigers), and a very good American Football team too (Detroit Lions). It comes across that apart from the automotive industry, which itself is suffering because of the outsourcing to growing economies such as India, Brazil, Mexico, and China, there is little else that Detroit has to offer. There are a handful of Casinos in the Greek town of the city, however that’s mostly for touristy purposes and is not really fuelling the economy of the local area.
I don’t want to make it sound like Detroit is a bad city at all, and it’s not all doom and gloom here. It’s a nice, and quiet city. Above all else one must bear in mind that Detroit is an industrial city and where ever in the world you have an economy being fuelled by heavy industry you are not always going to have that neat blend of being a touristy city as well as an industrial city. The same I suppose goes for Seattle which is home to Starbucks, Boeing, Microsoft and others, but its not a touristy city at all. There are many other examples around the world.
There are many beautiful parts to Detroit as well. Like every city in the world, Detroit does posses a few jewels, such as the Grosse Pointe Shores area, which is an affluent suburb on the shores of Lake St Clair. This area is home to A-Listers, government officials and Captains of Industry. Then there are pockets of nice area outside of the main Detroit area such as Rochester, Ann Arbour (home to Michigan University Campus), Troy, and Shelby Township.
So here are some photos I have taken of life in Detroit.
Woodward Avenue: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Another captivating view of Detroit: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Welcome to Detroit!: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
The Renaissance Center is the world headquarters of General Motors: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Ambassador Bridge linking Canada and the U.S.A.: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Grosse Pointe is an affluent part of Detroit: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Grosse Pointe Shore Village: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
The Guardian Building is a landmark skyscraper in the United States, located at 500 Griswold Street in the Financial District of Downtown Detroit, Michigan.
Woodward Avenue: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
The city of Windsor in Canada as seen from Detroit: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
Detroit as seen from 20,000 feet. Grosse Pointe Shore can be seen at the bottom middle of the photo: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
On the 29th of April 2013, a National Air Cargo Boeing 747-400 freighter on behalf of US Mobility Command, registration N949CA performing cargo flight N8-102 from Bagram (Afghanistan) to Dubai Al Maktoum (United Arab Emirates) with 7 crew and cargo consisting of 5 military vehicles, crashed shortly after takeoff from Bagram Air Base's runway 03 at 15:30 local time, and erupted into flames near the end of the runway within the perimeter of the Air Base. All 7 crew died in the accident.
National Air Cargo confirmed their aircraft N949CA with 7 crew, 4 pilots, 2 mechanics and a load master - initial information had been 8 crew -crashed at Bagram. The airline later added, that the aircraft had been loaded with all cargo in Camp Bastion (Afghanistan, about 300nm southwest of Bagram), the cargo had been inspected at Camp Bastion, the aircraft subsequently positioned to Bagram for a refuelling stop with no difficulty, no cargo was added or removed, however, the cargo was again inspected before the aircraft departed for the leg to Dubai Al Maktoum.
A horrifying dashcam video captured the full extent of the crash with the Boeing 747-400F appearing to take off normally as it gained altitude, and then plunging into the ground like a rock. It’s the kind of stuff you may see in a nightmare. The video went viral on the internet and elsewhere (except it was not shown by some respected media outlets). There was a time in history when such things were NOT shown by the media.
At the time the news broke out of the crash I was in Detroit, (Michigan), home state to six of the crew members who died. Interestingly enough on that day I was on the phone to a very good friend of mine who personally knew the deceased Captain of that unfortunate flight. Captain Rajan, former of Pan-Am and a veteran Boeing 747-400 training Captain with Boeing, told me of his utter shock and disbelief that the video of the crash was freely available on the internet. It’s a sad change of the times indeed that with all the modern technology and social media there is nothing that cannot be sold by anyone (and they don’t have to be journalist in order to do so). In my opinion, such videos should not be on the internet or elsewhere as a mark of respect for the deceased. Yes, there are lots of unmentionable and horrific videos on the internet, however normally such things are not shown by the media. It’s not a Hollywood movie...it’s totally disrespectful to those who died to show that video (In my opinion).
am in Detroit, U.S.A., and happened to spot this sign at Rochester Library. In the UK we call them Audio Books, so it seemed funny to see that someone had named this section 'Talking Books'. This photo was featured in The Telegraph as part of Sign Language. Check it HERE
I was surprised to see a McDonald's situated alongside a weight loss center in Detroit: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
ccording to official statistics provided by the OECD survey, and THIS
Reuters report, the United States of America has the highest rates of obesity in the world with 34% of the adult population classified as obese. Michigan is ranked 10th highest for obesity in the U.S.A.* (Mississippi State is 1st with 67.4% of adults obese*). Therefore, it is no surprise that fitness centres aimed at helping people fighting obesity are part of a multi-million dollar industry in the U.S.A. - and they are in a challenge fighting a corporate war alongside fast-food giants such as McDonald's, KFC and others who in contrast encourage people to eat their food.
I noticed an extreme example of this as I drove by in Detroit earlier this week (I arrived in Detroit earlier this week...first time in the USA...more to come on this!). A weight-loss center was placed right alongside a McDonalds fast food outlet!* http://healthyamericans.org/reports/obesity2008/Obesity2008Report.pdf
A model plane of a Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER at Gatwick Airport: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
A model plane of an Emirates Airlines Airbus A380-800 at Heathrow Airport. Concorde used to be here before: Photo Copyright Navjot Singh
When passengers arrive or depart from London's two major international airports, Heathrow and Gatwick, they will notice that the aircraft models that are displayed as welcoming adverts are in fact not representative of any of the British airlines.
On the 30th of March 2007, a scale model of Concorde which had the pride of place at Heathrow Airport's entrance for 16 years was sadly removed, and replaced in 2008 with an Emirates Airlines A380 aircraft model. British Airways had decided not to renew the £1.5m annual rent to advertise on the roundabout at the gateway to the London airport. Instead, Emirates Airlines, the major carrier of the United Arab Emirates, poached the prime spot with a six-year deal to advertise on the site.
Meanwhile at Gatwick Airport, Turkish Airlines have partnered with Eye and Gatwick Airport to suspend a scale model aeroplane inside the airport terminal. The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft, situated in Gatwick’s North Terminal check-in measures 6.1m in length with a wingspan of 5.1m. The 124kg structure created by Leading Models will be suspended from the check-in ceiling until August 2013.
Back in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s the airport billboards at British Airports were thronged with national pride such as BOAC, British Caledonian (remember them?!), British Midland, Virgin and so on. With the change of the times, it's the Middle Eastern and Asian carriers who seem to have the money (China Southern Airlines have huge billboards outside Terminal 4 at Heathrow). So the question is if there any chance that we may ever see British carriers advertising their airlines at British airports?
Perfect book for killing time on a 3 hour train journey. 'The Challenger Sale' explains the new style of the game changing sales tactics and skills that are being implied by business leaders across the world in order to generate revenue in difficult economic times. Sales people know very well that 'building relationships' are so important when getting a contract signed. However, recently, another approach to sales has been the 'The Challenger Sale' where YOU as a Business Development Manager can take control of the customer conversation in order to get the gold signature for a successful deal closure. A great read...and it may just contain the answer that you are so badly looking for in this horrible economic climate.