Detroit is Two-Faced

Detroit is two-faced! Or is it us that is two- faced toward her? I suppose your opinion would be based on your most recent experience.

You may be in love with the D today because your summer taxes are paid, the weather is perfect and you just had a fantastic lunch outdoors at your favorite local spot. Whereas, tomorrow you hate her because you ran over a broken bottle, got a flat tire AND a parking ticket (as a result of not moving your disabled vehicle) and the Tigers lost to the frighin Royals, ugh!!

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Is the glass half full or half empty?

I chose to love the city on Sunday. I chose to be an optimist. Even though my dear hubby was stuck at work, I took a picnic lunch to him for his break and then took B to the River Walk to burn off some of his boundless toddler energy. I parked near my old building (free parking on Sundays) and walked through the Renaissance Center (because who doesn’t like a good puzzle on a Sunday) to the gleaming blue waters of the Detroit River.

Free Parking

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Gerbil Tubes Shooting off the RenCen

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Enjoying the sunshine and watching the boats.

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We sauntered down the River Walk past all of the pooches on the pet walk, the joggers and even one brave woman on rollerblades speedily pushing a stroller (woah!) to Wheelhouse Detroit where you can rent any bike complete with gear, totally awesome!

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The fountain and carousel were a big hit with B!

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The outdoor seating was plentiful, the grills were turning out some quality eats and the sun was beaming. We had just eaten our picnic lunch with Big Daddy, but once B caught sight of that slushie machine, there was NO WAY he was leaving without one. Sooo, my little man got his “special treat” of red dye #40 and he couldn’t have been happier.

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The playscape was just big enough for B to get his “swing on” but not get lost in an intricate web of shoots and ladders like some we’ve been to. It had beautiful benches, flowers, waste receptacles and clean, kid friendly bathrooms. There was also a HUGE free parking lot two feet away. Note to self, park there next time if not bringing a stroller!

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Here is the dichotomy: All of this beauty, cheer, food and fancy drawing your eyes to the river and the joys of being near it, but if you turn around… It’s a chained off, barren, seagull infested blight.

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This is where we make our choice
to love her or hate her, or maybe the third option is just allow ourselves to feel both. Isn’t that what a relationship is all about?

What are your most recent experiences in Detroit?

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9 responses to “Detroit is Two-Faced

  1. Love this post and my favourite lines of it all has to be “Isn’t that what relationship is all about?” because it totally is! You can’t hope to feel the love unless you make room in yourself for the hate. You don’t have to accept it, just make enough room for it to be felt. Beautifully said, thank you!

  2. I have only been in the Detroit airport years ago, and even that was when I was young and the economy was still a climbin’. Now it seems gravity is trying to pull us all down! But with people like you, it’s sure going to have a challenge! You always make it sound so nice. I am so happy Detroit has you! If we are all honest, we have thorns, even in what we love! I have a love-hate with my former home: South Carolina. So beautiful, yet so much to address. Perhaps if all was open, then it could be addressed and free! Anyhow, just thought I’d stop by and see what you were doing in Detroit because I hear so much negative about it and you’re always positive! My home-state is just south: Indiana.

    • Thank you for stopping by 🙂 I agree with you about the negativity… It’s easy to join the bandwagon and be negative, but there are good things going on too or NO ONE would live here!! There are just as many beautiful homes, parks, schools, farm markets, lakes and festivals as there are all of the negative things we hear on the news… Just trying to shine the light evenly 🙂 I’ve only driven through Gary, Indiana on my way to Chicago… I wouldn’t want Indiana to be judged by the gas station off the highway there…

  3. I love the River Walk. All the way out here in CA, if I need to de-stress, I close my eyes and feel my hands on the railing and my feet on the ground, and I look up and down the Detroit River, listening to the sounds of kids playing and people chatting as they walk. When I’m in town, I love seeing all the people that enjoy the River Walk, especially the families with kids.

    I’m so glad you’re blogging about family fun in Detroit! And I’m glad your son is growing up to love (or love-hate?) the city. That’s our future.

    • I feel compelled to write about ALL of the great things happening here. I’ve got friends who have deep roots in the city, own a home, educate their kids and do business here and others that won’t even go to a Tigers game without a security detail. The split perception is incredible! I’ve lived in NY and Atlanta and worked a lot in LA and Miami, all of those cities have their bad areas but no where have I ever seen the perception so clearly demarcated than here. I’m not sure if it’s because it is a smaller population, so everything is more concentrated, or if its just the wagon wheel design backing up against another country and a body water.

  4. I must go now and ride that sea-themed carousel.

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