Detroit, B Side – How I fell in love with Motor City

Detroit is the city of the future. Henri and I stayed one week at an urban farm in North End where we had the chance to experience what’s great about Motor City today.

I heard about Detroit for the first time when I started being interested in electronic music in 2001. Like anybody remotely into this misunderstood and under appreciated music genre, Detroit became a myth for me because of techno, as it was born there (or in fact, nearby, in Belleville, MI) in the eighties. So I’ve always pictured it as a pioneer city.

Of course this is not the typical description of Detroit. I met more than one person in the US who described Detroit to me as a gigantic rundown neighborhood made of abandoned houses and buildings, poverty, despair, crime, unemployment. After a week there I must say that this description of the city seems utterly outdated. Even if the problems remain, it seems really unfair to focus on that aspect of what the city is about.

Okay, there are some abandoned houses. Everywhere outside downtown and the immediate streets around Midtown, basically. And there are also a zillion abandoned buildings. If that’s what you want, yes, there is that.detroit michigan station (back)Ford T building site

But for each abandoned house or building…

…there is a beautifully preserved or renovated one

Alfred Street DetroitDetroit, Eastern Market building

… a good-looking lunch spot, maybe facing CanadaArt Institute cafe courtyard, DetroitDetroit Promenade view Canada

… A greenhouse

detroit greenhouse belle isle

… a smile

detroit craft market

… a farm in the city

Food Field Farm, Detroit
Food Field Farm, Greenhouse - Detroit Urban FarmFood Field Farm container
Food Field Farm Sunset, Detroit

… a fruit stand

Fruit stand Downtown Detroit

… a unique artistic projet

Heidelberg Project, Street Art Detroit, Pink Car
Detroit Heidelberg project - street art
Heidelberg Project TVDetroit Heidelberg project - street artDetroit Heidelberg project - street art
Detroit Eastern Market Limousine & Wall Art

… a stylish Detroiter

Detroit Jacket

… a fun street scene

Detroit wedding on the Dequindre Cut Greenway

… a businessman in town

Renaissance Building Detroit

… a new subway stop

Wall Art and Subway Downtown Detroit

… a good diner that costs nothing

Campus Diner, Detroit

… nature in the city. Everywhere.

Nature in Detroit
Nature in Detroit

I’m in love with Detroit now. We stayed at an Urban Farm where I actually practiced apple tree thinning for a day, near North End / Boston Edison.

Places liked in Detroit

  • Museums: Institute of Art, The Museum of the City of Detroit and the Motown Museum
  • Food: Campus Diner (near Wayne University) and Eastern Market on Saturdays
  • Street Art: The Heidelberg project, streets around Eastern Market
  • Neighborhoods: Boston Edison and Brush Park Historic District
  • Bar: UFO Factory, Downtown / West Side
  • Parks: Dequindre Cut Greenway and Belle Isle

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