Detroit, Why I Love Her

Detroit Skyline

At this point, I’ve lived in Boston for nearly as many years as I spent growing up in Detroit. Yet, as much as I love my adopted hometown, I still feel a kinship with my real one. So, a few weeks back, when a media lead came across my desk with the subject line “Detroit, Why I Love Her” it caught my attention. A reporter for CNN Money was looking “for Detroit citizens who can tell us their favorite “thing” about the city, what makes them love it – whether it’s the perfect cup of coffee at a certain café, or perhaps the light in a particular museum or gallery, or a parking lot being turned over to urban farming. The more specific – and passionate – the better.” Don’t even think for a second that I didn’t email her…unfortunately, she needed current residents. But she did call and we struck up an interesting conversation about how we’re in the minority as far as our positive feelings for the city are concerned. She told me she once went to Detroit from Canada, just to check it out. The border guard asked her the reason for her visit. When she replied “for vacation,” he ordered her over and did a full auto search, convinced she was running drugs. According to him, “nobody comes to Detroit for vacation.”

Anyway, my hometown’s been getting a lot of not so great ink of late, so I thought I’d do my part to spread some Detroit gospel. Here’s my answer, times 10. I hope you’re inspired to prove that border guard wrong!

Detroit, Why I Love Her

  1. Eastern Market. One of the country’s most authentic farmer’s markets. Live chickens killed on the spot, cheese at R.H. Hirt, the Rocky Peanut Co. The list goes on and on. As a Board member of the association that’s trying to bring one to Boston, Detroit makes it look very easy.
  2. The Detroit Institute of Arts. Just think about how much money was in the city when this institution was built. From the Diego Rivera Courtyard to the modern art wing I love to playfully mock. Even the coffee shop offers a stunning backdrop.
  3. A true iconic food capital.
  4. You can be in another country—via tunnel or bridge—in five minutes (the photo above is the view from Canada. Just don’t forget that passport!).
  5. Driving on Jefferson, one minute you’re in ghetto land, cross the street you’re passing the gorgeous green lawns of Grosse Pointe.
  6. If you care at all about sports, it’s a pretty good sports town (good luck Red Wings!).
  7. The whole city is gritty and unbelievably authentic – but in a way that you just “know” that money once flowed to excess.
  8. The relatively new Riverwalk that connects Hart Plaza all the way to Chene Park. Another thing Boston can’t seem to get right.
  9. Woodward Avenue. Before there were expressways, there were Woodward Avenues across the country.
  10. Indian Village.

Posted by Marlo

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