Postcard from Detroit, Michigan
Preamble: One night in February I drank a tad too much
– I’ve ended up buying a random number of music gigs tickets
– Woke up the day after to realize one of those gigs was in Detroit
Fast forward: Guess I am going to Detroit.
Detroit: I like cities. I like dirty, edgy, smelly, messy, mostly fucked up but creative and somehow welcoming places.
Detroit ticks all the boxes. A city that collapsed years ago and tried to come back different. An open air museum with a ridiculous amount of graffities, music, street art, diverse food options.
It might not have really bounced back completely. Probably not even partially. But sure thing it is a damn cool place to be.
City Break in Detroit Cheat Sheet
Accommodation in Detroit:
- The Siren Hotel, 1509 Broadway St., Detroit, MI, 48226 Very cool and quirky hotel right in the middle of downtown Detroit, a stone throw away from the river and, well, Canada.
Where to eat and what to see in Detroit
- Duly’s Place Coney Island, 5458 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209. An old-fashioned diner serving classic chili dogs, cheese fries & sandwiches. One of Anthony Bourdain favorite places to eat while in Detroit. The pair of hot dogs I got although very cheap were delicious and very filling.
- El Club, 4114 W, 4114 Vernor Hwy, Detroit, MI 48209, A beautiful small rock venue with an outside area, great vibes, intimate setting and great sound quality no matter where you are.
- Eastern Market, You don’t go there for the market (well, unless you want to) but for the incredible, edgy, high quality street art: hundreds of incredible murals scattered all around the 24 acres market area. Unmissable.
- The Belt, between Broadway and Library Street, an open air art gallery places in a alley in the heart of downtown Detroit.
- Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit, 4454 Woodward Ave, Detroit, MI 48201, beautiful museum, both for the type of exhibition hosted and for the building, a former auto dealership painted black on the outside with raw, flexible, and cavernous spaces (from the MOCAD website, can’t find a better definition) inside.
- Guardian Building, 500 Griswold St, Detroit, MI 48226, an art-deco skyscraper from last century’s late ’20.
- Motown Museum, 2648 Berry Gordy Jr. Boulevard, 2648 W Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI 48208, I’ve just managed to have a look from the outside cause the Motown Museum was temporarily closed when I was in Detroit but a friend that managed to go told me it is worth the visit.
City Break in Detroit FAQ
Start the day chilling on the riverwalk, visit the Guardian Building (you can have a free tour), head to The Belt to have a first taste of Detroit Murals and graffiti scene. Go the the Easter Market even when there is no market: you can easily spend half a day walking around looking at all the murals and street art. Walk back and hit the MOCAD for some incredible edgy exhibitions. Go to Duly’s Place Coney Island for a deserved hot dog. Hit a show at El Club.
If you had to eat only one dish while in Detroit it would be the chili dog with onions at Duly’s Place Coney Island. To die for.
I didn’t know what to expect from Detroit. I heard multiple negative reviews and a couple of enthusiastic feedback. I personally loved it. There is street art everywhere, plenty of music options, it felt relatively safe, food wise I wasn’t blown away (ok: the hot dog was great!) but I didn’t do much researches beforehand, last not least, prices are way lower than other midwestern large cities