detroitblog -- Land of the lost
The short answer is "tense and depressing," for the longer answer read the piece.
Helen Turner has a mean scowl on her face. Always. It’s the look she gives customers at the diner where she works. “I don’t take no shit off of nobody,” she spits in an Appalachian accent.
She’s behind the counter at White Grove Restaurant, a tiny, genuinely retro diner on Second Avenue near Charlotte, in Detroit’s skid row. Her customers are the city’s underclass — addicts, prostitutes, the homeless and the insane. They spend their days aimlessly roaming their neighborhood here like zombies, slowly killing time and themselves, waiting for the next handout or the next quick score.
And nearly all of them come into the diner at some point, trying to pull a fast one.
“The attitude around here is, ‘I don’t have anything, so I’ll try anything. What have I got to lose? I’ll try any trick,’” says Linwood Martin, Turner’s co-worker. “It’s like they spend all of their time trying to conceive trickery. They’re predators, vultures.”
Martin and Turner have worked at the diner for decades, long enough to view everyone who walks in with suspicion. Both are in their late 60s and live nearby. Both have a dim view of the locals after their years among the crazies and the crooks.
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