Thursday, January 22, 2015

Hey I'm Going to Detroit

*Every once in a while I'll get an e-mail from a friend, like hey I'm going to (Paris, Puerto Rico, NYC ect.) what do you recommend, so I think I'm going to try to turn these e-mails into some sort of organized list of suggestions/ideas for their trip...and yours too, so here is another installment in the...
Some things to know...
Detroit is has way more to offer than the doom and gloom that's on the news and while there are plenty of abandon houses, and swaths of dark creepy city, there are other areas that are experiencing a revival.
Where to Stay
There is an abundance of gorgeous brick lofts on Air B&B clustered around Midtown/Cass Corridor, and South West/Mexican Town that are pretty inexpensive (this is my favorite). There are also really posh hotels like Book Cadillac, or Motor City if you’re feeling fancy.
What to Do
If you want to shop check out: John King Books which is one of the most impressive rare and used book stores in the country.  If you’re an avid record collector then Detroit is your city and Hello Records is your spot.  I personally like shops like City Bird, and Nest for etsy esq handmade in Detroit items and while you’re there you can walk around the corner and get a pizza and beer at Motor City Brewing Works. If thrifting is more your style, I will say Michigan thrifts never disappoint.  An absolute must must MUST see is the Diego Rivera Court at the Detroit Institute of Art, The Motown Museum, The Heidelberg Project, the amazingly art deco Guardian Building, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the historic mansions in the Boston Edison neighborhood, and lastly, The Dequinder Cut, which like the Highline in NYC, and the Bloomingdale Trail in Chicago is a former railroad line which has been converted into a walking/biking path.
Eat Drink and Be Merry
So I already mentioned Motor City Brewing up there, but that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm pleasantly surprised each time I visit Detroit to find more and more places opening.
For drinks you have some options.  If you're looking for something laid back try: UFO factory, The Lagar House, Bronx Bar...really there are no shortage of laid back dive-y bars. BUT If you need to toast something special or craft cocktails are more your thing then head to: Two James, or Sugar House.  The restaurants that are on my list are: Detroit Institute of Bagels the best (but maybe only?) bagel place in town (I can also count on running into friends Saturday or Sunday morning before my long haul back to Chicago, which is always a plus) Ottava Via a new Italian place with an excellent wine list, Speaking of wine there's City Winery, Slows of course if you're craving BBQ, Gold Cash Gold, if you don't mind a wait... as it's brand new, Johnny Noodle King, Katoi at two James has excellent Thai (some of these I still need to test it out, but friends who live in Detroit have nothing but good things to say). If you're craving Polish or Bangladeshi cuisine, take a little excursion to Hamtramck...and...finally, the Middle Eastern food is NOT to be missed seriously if you are just driving through this is the #1 thing I would suggest, so take that detour to Dearborn and get yourself a fatoosh salad, a mujadara sandwich, and probably a side of hummus/babaganoush/tabbouleh... maybe a beet/carrot/apple juice too.

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