That's the bulk station/bulk plant owned by his dad. His dad's business contact information cites Farmington, MI. I googled that too, saw the street view.
Farmington is a city in Oakland County of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is a part of the affluent northern suburbs of Metropolitan Detroit.The company retails oil and oil services in Farmington. If one looks at the general business statistics available on the web, including its (quite small) number of employees, the estimated annual revenue, and when the business was established*, it seems a good bet that some time back this company hit the (extremely) sunny side of the income/overhead ratio. The type of company that becomes the foundation mare, so to speak, for money applied to other revenue producing and wealth safe-guarding instruments.
Re the below, as I say towards the end of this entry, there's nothing wrong with coming from comfortable circumstances. It's not a character deficit, any more than poverty is a character attribute.
There is something wrong with appropriating a city's misery as a prop.
Particularly when you live a privileged/comfortable existence in an upscale community immediately adjacent to the city in America with the country's highest misery index, and your actual awareness of that reality is somewhere between invisible and nonexistent. #roadtosochi
I know what Meryl and Charlie are getting at by tacking in this direction, and they don't lack balls.
Detroit Grit Sharpened Davis White
Meryl and Charlie explain their hardscrabble heritage.
From Meryl and Charlie, we learn that in Detroit, nobody is handed anything. It's starting from less than nothing and bootstrapping your way. And that's what they bring to the ice, their immersion in the culture of Detroit.
How do you even organize a post for this? The lake in Meryl's family's backyard? Her tweet about What's a Detroit (10-1 that's been deleted). Their many many tweets indicating they believe their home environment has been produced by Walt Disney (Detroit. Winter. Charlie tweets about how everything around him, all he ever sees, is so stereotypically wintery scenic. I wonder if his home had heat).
Meryl and her sorority sisters?
Meryl on her boat?
Sunday sail with Kelloggs? The $$ Charlie's family spent on violin, hockey and figure skating for Charlie? Family vacations?
The fact that the moms go to every international competition because cost is not a concern?
The fact that they've never had actual jobs because skating and going to school is their job into their mid-twenties, and they still can take island vacations during training break, and meantime Detroit is bankrupt?
That Meryl furniture shopped for her condo on line because despite training at the highest level, which is unbelieveably expensive no matter how much you win, and that she belonged to a sorority, and wears high end clothing such as Burberry, she can buy her condo and furnish it in the middle of her career because none of these other expenses impact her lifestyle financially?
Detroit was the largest city in the United States to ever file for bankruptcy and they did it in, I believe, July 2013.
And this is how Meryl and Charlie react. Use the poverty and afflictions of Detroit to accessorize their public relations. They compare what Detroit is experiencing to their fucking TRAINING EFFORT. A training effort that costs tens of thousands of (disposable, not essential, DISPOSABLE) dollars.
Pictures will come later (of Meryl and Charlie's struggles) but here's some quick and dirty recent statistics about Detroit that I grabbed from the web.
Detroit’s population has plunged 63% since 1950.
…and it’s down 26% since 2000.
The unemployment rate hit a high of 27.8% in July 2009.
As of April 2013, the unemployment rate was at 16%.
Even though the population fell 63% since 1950, the municipal workforce fell by just 40%, adding to the strain on public finances.
Detroit has the highest violent crime rate of any large U.S. city
…it’s five times higher than the national average.
40% of the city’s street lights don’t work.
78,000 structures and 66,000 lots are abandoned.
Arson accounts for 1,000 of 12,0000 fires per year.
…60% of those arson fires are in dilapidated or empty buildings
Any of this shit shape your nitty gritty work ethic Charlie and Meryl? I wonder if it just "filtered" in the way non-net-users Tessa and Scott experienced the non-existent Carmen criticism via filter.
Here's a Meryl quote:
“Detroit is really a city that has prided itself for a very long time on hard work and starting from not necessarily having anything … kind of paving your own way.”
Got that? NOT HAVING ANYTHING. They're connecting it to THEMSELVES. Also, Meryl is confusing "starting from not necessarily having anything" with "starting with being a dynamic metropolis with a thriving auto industry and then LOSING everything."
Does she know what paving your own way means? She and Charlie talk about Detroit as if poverty is the city's style. Yeah, that's the way we like to do it in Detroit. We start with nothing and pave our own way, only uh, there's no place to go because the city is broke. So we leave.
She has no fucking idea what she is talking about. Neither does Charlie (not leaving him out, but Meryl is the "what about Ann Arbor" genius. That's how she responded to reports of Detroit's suffering in the past. What about us in Ann Arbor? It's great here!)
That's before Detroit's tragedy filtered into the air somehow and became a training regimen value add.
This is what Meryl and Charlie are saying. That all that poverty, personal bankruptcy, municipal bankruptcy, unemployment, food insecurity, homelessness, foreclosures, crime, making your own way, HAS INFORMED THEIR SKATING.
Of course, it's only via osmosis. His dad works downtown, Charlie shares. Just that, itself, kind of, sort of, you know, gets into the air.
They didn't say one word about the actual conditions in Detroit. They simply related everything to themselves.
His dad works downtown!! It's this vague mix of, you know, kind of generic struggle, kind of like, ummm auto industry? and uh - music? and doing it yourself without a hand out, and a million other things that show they have no clue, as if the very heart of this article doesn't demonstrate that already.
P.S. There's nothing wrong with coming from comfortable circumstances. There is plenty wrong with ignorance and gall, and the bred-in-the-bone lack of respect Meryl and Charlie have just shown Detroit.
The pitiful reason they did this is to contrast themselves with classically beautiful Virtue and Moir, who float on the ice. Floating on the ice and how they "make it look easy" is now being twisted by Davis White to imply HAVING it easy, IS easy. Talent is now a character flaw. It's not nitty gritty and there's no work ethic. To that end, they wrapped themselves in the tragedy of Detroit, and invited us to look at Virtue and Moir as if they've just been handed stuff.
When I was reading through Meryl and Charlie's tweets, it's difficult not to notice that their tweets are now devoted almost entirely to embedded corporate shout-outs to Visa, ATT & Kelloggs. Fine - that's true of a lot of people on twitter, although Meryl and Charlie are particularly bad at it. But then in the middle of it all Meryl tweeted out a "never forget!" on 9/11. It was just another sound bite. They're below Piper Gilles level at this point.
I scrolled through Meryl's twitter til day one and her twitter never acknowledged the day - July 18, 2013 - Detroit filed for bankruptcy. There was no mention of Detroit in her tweets in July whatsoever. You know the city where they take "strength" from the "grit" and bring it into the rink. The city they just said helps shape them in some kind of vague, feeling, sensory, something's-out-there-and-it-feels-no-frills type kind of thing, you know, a place that has become what it is today (BANKRUPT) not because anyone handed them anything, but because Detroit worked really hard and paved the way to ... BANKRUPTCY. The work ethic.
That interview was just nuts.
Here's Meryl's profile pic on twitter:
Who doesn't love summer in Detroit?
Colorado's pretty gritty, too.
Well at least she got a hug in reward for all that work ethic.
Roots are important. Detroit roots.
Bid day. When you think about Detroit, it's the first thing that comes to mind.
It was your escape from all that no frills, nitty gritty you were absorbing on the rink, am I right Meryl?
She got that from Detroit. Bag shopping and sushi is the best way to release the stress of your no-hand-outs work ethic.
Before we get to Charlie, I checked out his Dad's "oil company", because I was curious why he'd have offices in downtown Detroit. (My assumption.) My takeaway (another assumption) was that, when Charlie talked of downtown, he was being Detroit specific. The Detroit downtown. You know, the urban shit got real of it all in the atmosphere that in his growing up seeped into Charlie's pores, was carried into the rink, and exuded out his skate blades. Exposure to the sort of atmosphere that tempers your inner steel or refines your oil.
His dad owns a petroleum refinery located in what is clearly an industrial, not residential or mixed use, area of Detroit, that may be "downtown" but is an industrial section of downtown. Maybe to Charlie "industrial" is kind of a Detroit thing but it's really a most major cities thing. Most cities have an industrial district. Even ones that aren't nitty gritty, and even those that stick their hands out all the time.
Note, when looking for an oil company on line, use the word "petroleum" instead.
No stranger to fear. Detroit.
Ann Arbor. It's right nearby... Detroit. Detroit filed for bankruptcy days after the Ann Arbor car show, but it didn't impact Ann Arbor's happiness index. Nor Charlie's. Maybe he didn't notice. He failed to mention it on twitter.
*Charlie's dad's company was established in the 1930s, so it's not as if even Charlie's parents are from that nobody gave you anything stock Charlie and Meryl say characterizes their impression of Detroit's can do, self-reliant, up from nothing (versus down from something which is actually where Detroit is at the moment) climate.
Prior to this article in FREEP, IMO even the general particulars of Charlie's family's business weren't relevant, other than when talking about the advantages of not worrying about training expenses, side jobs, travel, and training value adds. But when Meryl and Charlie show up and try to act as if the grittier parts of Detroit are in their veins, as if their work ethic has been forged by Detroit's historic struggles, they they deserve to have their asses kicked.