Seeing Detroit Through New Eyes

Detroit has long been one of my favorite cities. So much of my college time was spent here with friends, falling in love. So many parts of my childhood can be linked to Detroit and the surrounding metro area. 

service as a Fellow

I also served as a Sleight Leadership Fellow in 2012, providing emerging leadership during Detroit's economic recovery. The Sleight Leadership Fellows Program provides an intense leadership skills enhancement experience and consists of an in-residence program that immerses Fellows in cutting-edge leadership models and experiences through classwork, hands-on learning, and small work-group projects. Fellows examine Detroit's history, its current status, and the emerging leadership that is guiding the city's recovery. The program concludes with small group work (through research and presentation) on projects that directly impact Detroit's economic viability.

a return to the resurgence 

Having the opportunity to come back to Detroit for a weekend was such a treat! I made a point to list things I wanted to see and do - especially places I wanted to show S.

Perhaps the biggest highlight of the weekend was sleeping at the Trumbull & Porter Hotel. "Newly refurbished with an appreciation for Detroit’s rich history, Trumbull & Porter has undergone a major renovation touching all aspects of the hotel. The visionaries of the new Trumbull & Porter Hotel are proud to have worked with many talented Detroit- and Michigan-based design firms, contractors and artisans on this $9 million transformation. Among those featured include furniture from the iconic Herman Miller and vintage-style bicycles.

Featuring an outdoor music and art venue, downtown Detroit residents and visitors will be able to enjoy local bands in warm weather months in the hotel’s courtyard and Pump Room beer garden. The Red Dunn Kitchen and Burroughs Lounge serve the area’s best seasonal American fare and full-service bar. A private dining area named The Steak Room, and a meeting space for smaller events, are available for rental. From the original mural created by celebrated Corktown artist Don Kilpatrick prominently above the porte cochère entrance, to the words of beloved Detroit poet David Blair on display in the lobby, this hotel is truly one-of-a-kind."

Before settling in for the night, we started the weekend off at Slow's BBQnever a bad meal and this time was no different. We soon followed that with a trip over to The Whisky Parlor - a personal favorite. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Saturday night is jazz night and so I spent my time dancing in my chair to the soft and smooth jazz on display.

"The Whisky Parlor is an intimate second floor hideout in the heart of downtown, located above the historic Grand Trunk Pub. Reflecting the spirit of the diverse past of the space, the menu items are named after the proprieters of the many businesses that have occupied the building since it's construction in 1879, from Martin Limbach's hardware to Ida Sixby's restaurant."

After a restful night back at Trumbull & Porter, we headed out to see the sights of the city! We only had a half day to adventure, but we were able to pack in a walk through Greektown (and of course, breakfast at Astoria Pastry Shop), a drive by some of the classics (Hart Plaza, Spirit of Detroit, Comerica Park, the Renaissance Center, Ford Field, Michigan Central Station, Dequindre Cut Greenway, the Packard plant, and the Vanity Ballroom, etc), a wander through Eastern Market, and of course, a pitstop for me to pick up another Detroit Rose candle. I even told S the lore of the Detroit coney dog:

"The rivalry between American and Lafayette is the stuff of Detroit legends (The real story is only slightly more complicated). As the story goes, brothers Bill and Gust Keros opened American Coney Island on downtown Detroit's Michigan Avenue in 1919; years later, they had a falling out and in 1936 Bill decided to open his own diner, Lafayette Coney Island, right next door. Today, American remains a family-owned institution while Bill's employee's now operate the Lafayette restaurant. The pair have been battling for coney dog dominance ever since."

Detroit, I'll be back soon. I promise.