June 8, 2013

A Whirlwind Weekend in Detroit




1. I'd take you out for the best tacos of your life at Lupita's Taqueria in Mexicantown. You can order whatever you want, but I'd strongly recommend the tacos al pastor, their signature dish. After lunch we'll walk around the corner to a Pepto Bismol pink bakery with sombrero-donned churros painted on the walls. La Gloria's crisp, sugar-rolled churros are the perfect way to fuel up for the afternoon ahead.
 


2. It's famous for a reason! You shouldn't miss Michigan Central Station in all its beautiful and dilapidated glory. This Beaux-Arts building was designed by the team behind New York City's Central Station. Once the hub for Detroit's train and streetcar traffic, the station sunk into obsolescence with the rise of the automobile. The station is now on the National Historic Registry and efforts to save the building are in the works.

3. Calories don't count on vacation, so we'll hop on the People Mover--a monorail-esque train that circles Detroit's downtown loop that your kids will adore--and grab another treat at Astoria Bakery, a charming pastry shop in Greektown. On the way, we'll catch a lovely panoramic of Windsor, Canada, and pass Detroit landmarks such as The Spirit of Detroit, the city's mascot, and the Joe Lewis Monument, which is basically a 24-foot-long fist bump.  




4. The weather is perfect and getting outdoors is a must. We'll take advantage of the gorgeous day by strolling through Eastern Market, the go-to place for homegrown Detroit produce and goods. With the fleet of BBQs roaring and the open air karaoke blasting (with a dead ringer for Tina Turner belting it out for the crowd), you will fall head over heels for this vibrant Detroit farmer's market. 

5. You're so fortunate to have an art lover showing you around. The locals would stone me if didn't show you The Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art project created by Tyree Guyton. While it certainly is one of the stranger things you'll see, it is on an incredible community-building mission that uses "art to provoke thought, promote discussion, inspire action and heal communities." Precisely what Detroit needs. It is especially big on helping local children. Plus, it's just plain fun to explore. 


6. You didn't ask, but I'll tell you
 anyway that a trip to Detroit wouldn't be complete without visiting John King's Used and Rare Bookstore, a paradise for book lovers like ourselves. We'll roam the four floors of books and get lost in its maze-like sections. We'll probably find an old favorite and settle down in one of the shop's cozy reading corners to spend the rest of the afternoon. We'll round out our Detroit experience at the Redford Theater, a restored old timey movie theater with an absolutely stunning Barton Theatre Pipe Organ. We'll transport back to Detroit's Golden Age by watching a silent film with a live organ soundtrack played by an expert member of the Detroit Organ Society. 

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13 comments:

  1. Amy, this makes me miss SE Michigan. Way to represent the awesomeness of Detroit!

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    1. I really wish you would come back here :) Mudgie's is next on our list!

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  2. Wow! I would have never expected such cool things to do in Detroit! Thanks for sharing.

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    1. It's so fun to find little Detroit gems!

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  3. Love to hear good things about home from a happy transplant :)

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    1. I'm jealous you get to call Detroit home--but I'm glad I get to adopt it as my home today!

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  4. I am a Detroit transplant too! I can't believe how much I have fallen in love with this city, it is spectacular! I also can't believe I have missed both of your Mexicantown places and the Redford theater. I am always excited to have somewhere else to check out, maybe tacos will wind up on my lunch menu for today...
    Thanks!

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    1. You are going to love the Redford and Lupita's! There's also a great pupuseria in Detroit (if you're craving El Salvadorean food). It's called Pupuseria Y Restaurante Salvadoreno.

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  5. I was just in Detroit a month ago. The only thing on this list I did was see the train station, that was by default because we were going to Slow's for lunch (umm amazing!). I have to say I didn't expect to love Detroit, but it is an amazing city.

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  6. Isn't the train station grand in all its crumbling glory? And I'm glad you got to get Slow's for lunch. I crave that daily!

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  7. It makes me happy to read someone say nice things about Detroit. I grew up in western Michigan and many of my friends snobbily avoid ever going to the eastern side of the mitten, but I love Detroit. It's going through some hard times, but Detroit natives are some of the most awesome people ever!!

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  8. I don't think I've really ever spent time in Detroit. I went to the zoo as a kid....and then the Henry Ford Museum a few years ago, but that's as close as I've gotten.

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  9. Hi! Love your blog, and enjoy reading about your travels. I have started my own blog, about traveling, fashion and everyday college life. I'd love it if you could check it out! Thanks!

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