Thursday, March 19, 2009

What's my Liability?

Yesterday, local news sources reported that a live jazz supper club just inside the border of Detroit called Baker's may need to close down within the next few months in the event that they do not see a surge in business during these months. That is sad news, but not exactly out of place in this day and age. Baker's has been in regular operation since 1934 and has attracted some pretty big jazz names through the years to perform there. I often carry quite a bit of guilt with me, so what I've been wondering about is might there have been anything I could have done, in my own insignificant way over the past years to prevent this piece this unfortunate likelihood.

Baker's Lounge is located on Livernois Avenue, just a tiny bit south of 8 Mile Road, so it's barely even inside the city of Detroit. It's actually in quite a nice neighborhood with some surprising large and well-kept houses. Know how I know? Because I probably passed by Baker's Lounge about 1,440 times on my way to and from my high school, the University of Detroit High School and Academy. Over the course of those years, I never stopped into Baker's once, largely because I was not aware it was a famous jazz club.

Several months ago, I read a review in The Metro Times for the food at Baker's because they had updated their menu to a southern home cooking type of vibe and MT seemed to enjoy the food, especially when added to the jazz experience. On top of all this, I really like jazz music (as long as it isn't the incredibly unstructured and the aurally maddening type of jazz). After reading that review, I was convinced that I would find myself at the club sooner rather than later, and yet I still have not made the time for the trip. Clearly, something is wrong with me. I love food, I love jazz, and I love Detroit, so why have I never taken the time?

This is one of those issues we encounter from time-to-time when we are upset by something, but we don't do any of the things we could to prevent that thing. Am I even allowed to be saddened by its potential closing because I have never done anything to prevent it? Most importantly, would my patronage be far too late and in no way help the club or its owners? It's a disappointing situation, but I find myself even more disappointed that I have done nothing, big or small, to keep it from happening.

Michigan has lots 'o' problems, but one of them is that we (and absolutely I am included) spend too much time being bothered by things. Some of that energy would be far better used working on solutions. I don't know if Baker's is going to make it, but hopefully you and I can give it the probable last hurrah it assuredly deserves. So, who's going to solve this problem for me?

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