I think sometimes the difference between a crap day and a really good one is just being surprised by a spontaneous act of kindness from a total stranger, or stumbling upon a hidden gem of beauty in the city.
This is on my mind as I'm nearing the end of a road trip. I rode along with a group of friends, wending our way from Montreal to Chicago by way of Detroit.
I have to say I was blown away by my experience in the Motor City, guys.
At first glance you are struck by the boarded up houses and razed buildings. The urban landscape is full of holes overgrown with green as it slowly revives after the crash of the auto industry and the subprime mortgage bubble.
It kinda reminds you of a hockey player who's taken a few too many pucks to the face.
But, incredibly, the city still manages to crack a charming gap toothed smile. Everywhere we went, people went out of their way to be genuinely friendly, helpful and to somehow save us a buck or two. Even the staff at the Greyhound bus station were trying to figure out how to consolidate our bags so we could save money, and treated us like long time friends, laughing and joking.
The buildings were peppered with the most positive graffiti I have ever seen.
"Be nice to Detroit" "I love Detroit" and "Rebuild Detroit" are popular. On top of this, there is a tonne of 'outsider art' in the form of large scale outdoor public artworks that make use of abandoned lots and the surplus of scrap materials to be scrounged on the street. At least that was the impression.
It was a priority of the trip to check out as many of these projects as we possibly could, so we made it to the HamTramck Disneyland, the Heidelberg Project, and the African Bead Museum (my personal favourite).
As subscribers to this newsletter you will be the first to know about the projects that I am planning to launch by the end of this year!
Thank you so much for reading along and I hope this glimpse of Detroit improves your day.
If you enjoyed this, go ahead and share it using the social buttons on the sidebar.