Way back when I gave a half hearted attempt to blog regularly, I started a little series called “Experiencing Detroit.” The whole point of it was to calm my anxious spirit about residing in Michigan. A city girl to the core, (ironically living in quasi-farmland currently) any time we ventured to Chicago, Atlanta or D.C. I would feel a pang for that style of life. Then I’d return home and lament over Detroit. Detroit is dangerous. Detroit is boring. What does Detroit have to offer me? With all of that said probably one too many a time, my husband called me out. Can’t blame the guy. He said if I so desperately wanted a taste of city life then let’s go explore the one that’s only 30 minutes away. So we did.
Just over 2 years later, and anyone that knows us knows the passion that we have developed for Detroit. If I could go back in time and knock some sense into myself, I would. Everything about that statement above stands true. Detroit is not something/somewhere you can explain. There are so many pre-dispositions about the city that steal away the opportunity for incredible experiences. Yes, Detroit has dangerous areas. So do most cities. And just like in those places, you make smart choices about where/when to be somewhere. But life is too short and Detroit is too wonderful to avoid an entire vicinity based on fear.
If you live near Detroit, please do not miss out what it has to offer. It’s not hard to find something you’ll love. Brandon and I didn’t develop our passion by force-feeding ourselves the city on a daily basis. We chose to head downtown for a date night instead of to our comfort zones. Once a week or a couple times a month. That’s all it took for us to recognize what we were missing. Is it summer? Go sit in the sand! The frozen snow globe that is Michigan winter? Go ice skating! Both can be found at Campus Martius. Take a walk down Woodward during the Holidays and do your Christmas shopping at the dozens of shops that appear inside the light-draped buildings. Stop in the Roasting Plant or Great Lakes Coffee or any of the many coffee shops in the city for a departure from the standard coffee experience. Choose a seat by the window and watch the hustle and bustle of the city go on around you.
Only have a morning to spare? Go to the Detroit Institute of Bagels. Try something from the small batch. Food. Don’t even get me started. Our favorites? Roast. The Detroit Beer Co. Lafayette. Green Dot. Supino. Bucharest. Pegasus. Angelina. I could go on, there are more. And there are still many, many more that we have not yet tried. If I could live in the city for Detroit Restaurant Week, I would. 10 days, tons of restaurants offering special 3-course meals at a steal. It is our best excuse to head to Roast, or any of the other incredible dining experiences that normally fall outside of our budget. And please, I beg of you, go to Melt for some gelato. You can’t go wrong there.
On a limited budget? Pack a picnic, go explore Belle Isle. Even on a cloudy day it has a view that can’t be beat. Watch the sun set over the city skyline. If you don’t feel comfortable walking the city to explore it or have no one to go with, grab your bike and show up on a Monday night for the Slow Roll. If it’s summer or early fall, buy cheap tickets to a Tiger’s game. Comerica holds one of my favorite city views.
In my mind, there is no excuse or reason not to find time to explore Detroit. I’m not asking you to pack up your family and move there (I peruse houses online on the regular), just find moments to appreciate everything this city has to offer. I’ve told you a few, find the hundreds of others.
Go experience Detroit. I dare you to not fall in love with it.