It's my good fortune to get to visit Detroit on a biannual basis, and I say that without a shred of sarcasm. Detroit, contrary to everything you read, has pockets of splendor. It's not a diamond in the rough. It's more like a diamond that was once immaculate with perfect cut and clarity, but which is now eroded and cloudy looking. There are flickers of redemption, however. And there are places where, if you squint your eyes, you can imagine a golden era of prosperity. Take Belle Isle, for example. An island, accessible by car (and maybe bus?), with views of Detroit and Windsor, Canada. The entire island is a ruin. It is not ruined. It is a ruin of a time gone by: a petting zoo now shuttered and graffitied, a casino that is closed except for the public bathrooms, fountains that no longer shoot water. But it has a unique beauty, this totem to a place of leisure for an urban culture that once was.
And then there's Corktown, with our favorite cafe, Mugsies, where everyone should go with their friends, if they have friends like Bess and Amelia who were once Loverpants' campers, fun fact, and eat dill potato chips and take a gander around the 'hood.
Dessert at Astoria, Greektown, DET. Yes, please. Opa!