Monday, July 15, 2013

Down In DEE-Troit

When I go back to my hometown in the mitten-shaped state of Michigan, I'm a mere half-hour's drive from the waterfront in downtown Detroit. 

But I never take the time to go see the sights there. In fact, I've been down to DEE-troit maybe five times in my entire life. 

{It's pronounced De-TROIT. If you wanna use the original French pronunciation, try Day-TWAH. But let's be honest; DEE-Troit is just plain wrong.}

There are some good reasons to steer clear of this city. In my lifetime, Detroit has always struggled with a reputation as an urban jungle, hardly a family-friendly playground. And in recent years, with the auto industry in shambles, the city has earned a reputation as either a war zone or a ghost town. 

Today, for reasons I can't explain, I decided it was time to explore the heart of the city. Maybe I wanted to revisit my misty childhood memories, definitely I was looking for an adventure, but also, I wanted to see just how bad things have become at Detroit: Ground Zero. 

Honestly, I was happily surprised at what I found. Majestic ore boats still slide along the Detroit River, carrying their mysterious loads from the upper Great Lakes to the rest of the world. The walkway beckons me to stroll upstream and downstream, enjoying views of the river and our international neighbor, Windsor, Ontario, across the way. There's a grassy bit of park, and looming overhead, the hopeful glass and steel gaze of the Renaissance Center. 

All in all, I had a good visit. And while I'm not exactly ready to book a week's vacation in the Motor City, I would definitely venture down into Detroit again. 

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Ready for more stories about Michigan, my mitten-shaped home land? 

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Other stories of hope, offered from me to you:

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