Detroit City

I went to Detroit for the day on Monday.  A friend asked me to accompany her as she went to drop off some paperwork in order to receive a visa to travel abroad.  I happily obliged, since a.) I’d never been to Detroit b.) I enjoy road-trips and c.) I didn’t want to do laundry on my day off.  Here’s what I concluded after a visit to Detroit:

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1. Metal detectors are the new must-have item for all buildings in Detroit.  

We stopped at a Chase bank to get some forms notarized before we dropped them off, and even the bank had a metal detector procedure we had to go through.  The entrance to bank accommodated only one individual at a time.  That individual had to open the door, go in, close the door, walk through the metal detector, wait for the first door to close completely and for the go-ahead from the detector, and then they were allowed to gain entrance into the actual bank.  Meanwhile, the second individual outside was not able to enter or open the door until the first individual had completely entered said bank, and the second door was shut.  All that to find out that they don’t do notarizations for people who don’t have accounts there (even though I did, but the paperwork wasn’t in my name.)

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2. Hitsville USA should be redubbed Shitsville, Detroit.  

I’m very aware that Detroit has a reputation for not holding the best quality of living standards.  I was aware that it was filled with residents that didn’t have hefty financial means.  However, I didn’t expect the Motown museum to be tucked in the back alleys of Detroit.  I was expecting something with a little more pizzazz and not so…cheap 1970s – hourly rates motel kinda vibe.  We decided not to actually visit the museum after seeing the neighborhood it was in.  We road in my friend’s extremely nice SUV, and we both had ideas if we went inside and looked around, when we came out the wheels might be missing. 

 

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3. I experienced ihop for the first time.

I was hungry and it was immaculate.  I had the bacon & egg cheeseburger along with a chicken salad.  Both met my expectations.  Next time, we’ll try something from the breakfast section.  However, I don’t believe that next time will include a trip to Detroit.

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4.  Motor City Hotel & Casino looks beautiful from the outside.

We didn’t go in, so I can’t vouch for the inside, but I loved the design of the exterior.  Aside from the automobile industry, there is no reason something so lovely deserves to be in Detroit.  And speaking of the auto industry, at least I got to see where my portion of the $800 billion auto bailout went.

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4 thoughts on “Detroit City

  1. She was able to go to Detroit to do all of that??? Back in August the one that had control over Ohio was Chicago, so I had to go all the way there to get my VISA!

  2. The Motown Museum is located inside a house that Motown Records founder Berry Gordy bought in 1959, at the beginning of his career in the music industry, to serve as a recording studio and offices for the label. He didn’t come from a rich family, so of course his first studio is just a house, not some marble building.

    Besides that, it’s unfortunate that you’ve come to the other hasty conclusions in this post. Not every building in Detroit has a metal detector. Most of them don’t. If you were getting a visa, you probably went into a building that housed government offices, so of course there was increased security there, and that’s the case for any government building in any city. Likewise, if every nice car had its wheels stolen, there would be cars on cinder blocks all over the place. Such is not the case. And to say that something as lovely as the Motor City Casino doesn’t “deserve” to be in Detroit leaves me flabbergasted. Why is Detroit less deserving than any other city? Why do you condemn nearly one million people?

    Detroit’s problems are not unique, yet we’re the only city that regularly gets slammed by people ignoring all the good parts and paying attention only to the bad parts, and making broad statements about an entire city based on observing a small part of it. If I went to a “nice” suburb, ended up in some soccer mom’s kitchen meth lab, and reported back that all suburbanites are drug addicts hiding behind their manicured lawns, well, most people would see the fallacy in that kind of reasoning.

    If you’re ever in town again, check out Campus Martius and its surrounding shops and restaurants, the Renaissance Center, the River Walk, the Main Library, all the museums of the Cultural Center, the campuses of Wayne State University and the College for Creative Studies, the beautiful houses of historic Corktown and Woodbridge neighborhoods, and vibrant Mexicantown, to name but a few things.

    • I’m very aware of the historical origins of the Motown Museum and its relation to Motown Records. I’ve seen numerous photos and video of both the interior and exterior. My comment was directed towards the fact that how the building and surrounding areas have been perceived in the photos and videos I’ve seen is a far cry from what I saw in person. The building’s upkeep wasn’t as good as I had suspected, and the surrounding area was also portrayed as kept in better condition as well. I sincerely apologize if my statements did not reflect these sentiments specifically.

      Ironically enough, the two government buildings that were visited in order to receive the visa in question did not contain metal detectors. Reading more closely, you might catch on that, “Metal detectors are the new must-haves for all buildings in Detroit,” was an exaggeration, and that I don’t mention any other buildings aside from the Chase bank. And yes, you’re very accurate in stating that if all nice cars had wheels stolen, there would be cars on cinder blocks over the place. If that were the case though, I’d be putting my stocks in the concrete industry. In relation to my trip to Detroit, we were specifically driving my friend’s mother’s Mercedes SUV. I enjoy nice things, as I’m sure many other people do. However, I don’t feel comfortable being responsible for a ridiculously expensive vehicle which I do not own in an area where I am not familiar for an unspecified amount of time – hence my reservation for leaving it outside my comfort zone.

      That being said, as a native of Cleveland, (which also holds quite a reputation for its rough & tumble neighborhoods, its low-income housing, its financially stricken people, and it’s increasing crime rate,) there are many places that I wouldn’t be comfortable driving around/leaving in a parking lot in someone else’s vehicle (let alone my own). I can easily understand and relate to Detroit’s problems (including the Lions having an 0-16 record in 2008 – It’s not like the Browns did anything with their season either). Just as you believe I’ve over-stepped my boundaries by staking such claims toward Detroit, I think you’ve crossed lines yourself. It is not as if I represent others who have unfairly bashed Detroit, nor have I stated anything remotely resembling acceptance towards nice suburbs, soccer moms, and meth labs. (However, I will stand up and declare that I do not any any problems with soccer moms whatsoever.)

      I’m sure there are lovely areas of Detroit, unfortunately though, my experience did not involve any of the places you mentioned. I’m sure there are many more areas of Detroit beyond what you’ve informed me that are also fantastic. And yes, I’ll be sure to visit some of them next time I am in the area. But on the flip-side, I encourage you to take a step back and look at the big picture. Yes, I made some comments about Detroit and my less-than-enjoyable experience. But on the other hand, look at things in perspective and take them for what they are worth. Hell, my prior post was about spitting Oreo’s & milk out your nose.

  3. I’m sorry if it seems like I took others’ constant Detroit-bashing out on you personally. It was not my intention to attack you as person.

    My reasoning as I decided to comment was that you were either a reasonable person who was making a joke without thinking it could easily be taken very negatively, or that you wholeheartedly believed such things. If the former, you’d respond reasonably or ignore it; if the latter, it would be an opportunity to make things better. Because I can’t change how the world looks at Detroit or any other issue, but what I can do is interact with someone and see what they think. I’d much rather potentially make a fool of myself than sit quietly and wonder “what if?” So thanks for responding.

    Peace.

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