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    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

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    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

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    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

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    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Culture

Girls on film

How one man takes the city's prostitutes and gives them their 15 minutes of fame

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

John Juan takes photos of Sarah and Michelle inside their house.


 

There are two houses standing alone on this side street, surrounded by waist-high grass. Both are whorehouses.

John Juan is here for a photo session. A woman greets him at the door of the blue house on the corner. Her pimp watches from the porch of the white house next door. "He's like the house dad," she explains. "He's a sweetheart."

Two hookers are here today. There's Michelle, 41, the woman at the door. She smokes crack. And Sarah, who's 24. She likes heroin. Both offer the same, simple reason for their occupation. "Drugs," they say in tandem, then giggle. A little mirror with wisps of white powder on it sits on a table.

Several women live here rent-free, in a neighborhood that's become the city's most popular spot for street hookers. All they have to do is pay their landlord, the man on the neighbor's porch, $10 for every "date" they bring home, and they can stay there between johns. 

Their house is old and battered inside after years without house cleaning or basic repairs. It's sparsely furnished, with dingy old couches, a nicked-up dining room table, an old stove and fridge in the kitchen, yellowed curtains torn on their edges, and well-used mattresses in the bedrooms. "This is as ghetto as it gets," Michelle says.

She's blond, too thin and has scabbed sores covering her chest and stomach. She was a mom from Oakland County before her addiction sent her tumbling down to the John R hooker strip five years ago. She matter-of-factly talks about her 19-year-old son in college, and another who's a senior in high school. She doesn't see them much.

Sarah is 24, brunet, not at all skinny, and she's worked the streets for eight years. She's the one who invited John Juan here. Michelle never met him but didn't have any qualms about the photo session. "I don't care what it's for," she says. "No problem, honey." Neither ask him for money in return.

Their workplace is just feet from their front steps, along John R, where they stand and wait until someone stops, which doesn't take long because the road is swarming with single men cruising back and forth. 

Peak hours, the women say, are midnight to 4 a.m., when the drunks pass through; from 3-5 p.m., when everyone's on their way home from their jobs; and 5-7 a.m., when guys are heading into work. "That's the best time too," Michelle notes, "because they gotta be at work, so you can get quick blow jobs for $20 and you can turn them over really fast."

They've taken all their clothes off and stand before a dirty plaster wall, bending over, touching each other and themselves, pouting for the camera, giggling. John Juan shoots dozens of photos and a few videos; some on a camera, some on his phone. When he's done, after about 15 minutes, the two women come over for a look. "Aww, them are cute," Michelle says of the stark photos. Sarah smiles. Both thank him in sing-song voices. And John Juan packs up to go.

Outside, their landlord still watches suspiciously from the porch next door, and there's a tall, thin hooker in a black dress standing with him. As John Juan heads to the sidewalk, she follows him, and the two of them walk off together on a private adventure that, tomorrow, everyone can see for themselves.

 

Detroitblogger John is John Carlisle. He scours the Motor City for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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