In this second and final blog I reflect on some further things I want to do during my time in Detroit. Click here to view part 1 if you missed it.
I’ve seen the Tigers, the Pistons and the Wings. I’ve also kept my own physique in ‘fantastic’ shape at the Boll and Royal Oak YMCAs (the hilarious sight of old white men doing a slow breast stroke to 50-Cent and Usher – on the pool radio at the latter – will stay with me).
But I’ve failed to see the Lions, a Rouge (Detroit City FC) game or the City’s annual Senior Olympics. Worse still is my failure to cover the half mile from my home to the Detroit Curling Club. None, sadly, are do-able in the next few weeks!
I’ve had lunch at the home of the hilariously-titled Polish Yacht Club in land-locked Hamtramck (complete with its photo wall of former Presidents – all wearing yachting caps) and at the more august Detroit Athletic Club (more than a match for the (few) London clubs I’ve visited). But I still want to see the International Institute of Metropolitan Detroit or the nearby Scarab Club.
Policeman and active citizen…
I made it to Angel’s Night – the annual citizen patrols to counter Devils’ Night. I chatted with a Detroit cop about how he’d loved fish and chips on his visit to Liverpool. My wife and I drove around the not-so-mean streets around Marygrove with a huge flashing amber beacon on our car. The one bit of ‘suspicious activity’ turned out to be another Angels Night car – I came to fight crime!
I can still contribute to the annual Neighborhoods Day – the brainchild of former Detroit News journalist Luther Keith. This year (August 1st) sees over 250 projects focusing on improving/beautifying the city.
Man of the people…
Detroit has improved out of sight in the few years I’ve been here – alas, two completely unrelated things!
I’ve met some great people – I defy anyone to leave a neighborhood visit with the likes of Riet Schumack of Neighbors Building Brightmoor, Mark Covington of Georgia Street Community Collective or John George of Motor City Blightbusters and not feel better about life.
The city will stay with me but I’ve a few weeks left to make a few more memories to keep me going … in the wonderful Beltway traffic! Cheers!