DETROIT IS NUTS! IN A PRETTY GOOD WAY


We arrived in Detroit right as the evil storm I mentioned was winding down.  Pretty dramatic way to get into a pretty dramatic place.  When we crossed the border, the US border guy said “oh, it’s you two again”.  You can only imagine what this did to me and my unnecessary border blabber.  I was all – HI!  YES IT IS US!  HAHAHAHAHAHA!

And then husband shouted around me that we’ve never been to Michigan. So now border guy looks at me like I’m crazy, and technically I kind of am when it comes to things like this, and then he said there was a Massachusetts plate that came through there already today, and he thought we were the same.  Because there are only two people in Massachusetts.  It makes total sense.

After I messed up all the questions he asked me, and husband had to correct me, we were off to our hostel It was in a pretty run down part of Detroit, but it had character!  We heard about it from a friend of husbands, and the hostel is the first one in a long time for Detroit.

We dropped our stuff and then headed to Slows – an institution in Detroit, and one could say the start of the regeneration going on.  We had some amazing food, and then looked at the abandoned train station right nearby.  It was beautiful and depressing.  But mostly awesome.

We headed back to the Corktown area of Detroit (of course we stayed in an old Irish neighborhood!) and stumbled upon the most awesome bar in a run-down residential area.  NANCY WHISKEY’S!  We immediately made a million new best friends, got tons of recommendations and husband bought about a million whiskeys for the bartender.  And himself.  And the whole bar pretty much.  But – it being Detroit, the whiskeys were only three dollars!  WHISKEY FOR EVERYONE!  Smalldog even made an appearance, running into the kitchen of the bar in a sort of catch-me-if-you’re-not-too-drunk kind of game.  We won!

The next morning we were up early to go to the Eastern Market section and get an authentic Detroit greasy spoon breakfast.  And it was very, very good.  We wandered around the market, which is still supremely popular and also pretty neat to wander around.  There’s also a peanut/candy factory that you can go in and buy penny candy and spices and everything you could ever want.  So we did a lot of that. 

We then checked out Belle Isle, which is pretty, but not so pretty in the somewhat miserable weather we caught up to again.  There is a lovely Victorian conservatory that had signs inside pointing out plants such as “ferns”.  I thought that was most helpful.  We also drove to Grosse Pointe, which is right on the edge of Detroit, and it’s insane.  You go from absolute poverty and boarded up buildings everywhere, to obscene wealth.  Over the top times a bagillion.  It was like we drove ten minutes and landed in a new universe.  If everyone in that community pitched in on a Saturday to clean up downtown Detroit, I’d say it would be a pretty helpful.  Oh well, everyone there must be busy.

Most of Detroit:

Grosse Pointe:

We looked at Mexicantown and more of the downtown, eventually meeting up with friends of husband’s school friend, who gave us some more cool tips.  We’re overflowing in cool tips at this stage- the tinycar is loaded with pieces of paper with tips.  Ask me anything, I have a handy tip for you!  We also hit an awesome bar/superclub place, Cliff Bells.  It was amazing inside, what I imagine Detroit was like back in the thirties.  It was renovated a bit, but it’s pretty much how it used to be back then.  It was pretty spectacular.

After an eventful Detroit day, we headed back to the Hostel.  Unfortunately, we had to move from our private room to a shared bunk room.  We squished on the same top bunk and smalldog had to sleep in the car!  Which of course made me super paranoid.  As it’s not totally uncommon for things to be taken from your car in Detroit, I was convinced someone would steal smalldog.  Add to that our bottom bunk neighbor was an older man with a penchant for the loudest, most obnoxious snoring EVER IN THE HISTORY OF THE UNIVERSE, I did not sleep well.  Or at all. I kept waking up husband and asking him “DID YOU HEAR THAT!?!?!?!?!” and he would shout-whisper at me to go to bed.  It was very productive.

Eventually, it was 5.30 in the morning and I was READY TO GO AWAY FROM SNORING MONSTER MAN.  So I read a history book about Corktown in Detroit and rescued smalldog, who had a very happy night in the car.  It was an interesting end to an interesting place.  I really hope that Detroit can capitalize off all of the people that are seriously in its corner.  It has so much history that is fading away, and tons of potential.  It’s really a unique place that I think everyone should go to.  SO GO!

Off to Chicago!

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One Response to “DETROIT IS NUTS! IN A PRETTY GOOD WAY”

  1. I want to travel with you two! You seem to have more fun than should be allowed.

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