By Jacob Collison – LinkedIn
A grand gateway city bordering on the edge of what we recognize as America, is a notably mysterious and forgotten place. The once booming factories humming with ferocious innovation and production now lay bare as reminders for what this city used to be. Glorious neo-gothic structures once heralded for their beauty lay hallowed silently aging in place.
Detroit has been misunderstood in its plunder and unfairly overlooked in travel guides in recent time, but it has nevertheless found a cult following in a people that understand that this city isn’t dying, but instead being reborn.
Like all new beginnings, the birth is still in its infancy. For Detroit that resurrection begins in a downtown that shines. The Campus Martius area in and of itself could hold par with any major metropolitan, drawing in crowds and transfixing them on the potential this city could offer. Nearby areas like Corktown and Midtown have taken that spark, like tinder to a flame, and now carry on that resurgence. With new established national landmark restaurants like Slow’s BBQ and lesser known, if not more revered, gems like Sugar House, or Bill Murray’s for those in the know.
Detroit’s ambiance should be taken in slowly, at a relaxed tempo, much as the city is itself. Detroit, in winter, has few tourists, which means that as you loiter through downtown you get the impression that what you’re seeing is entirely authentic — a city that is real.
The initially rough and tumble folk found within this city have been made hardy through being tempered and forged in the factories. Hard edges give way to an earnest and honest people, working hard for themselves and their city. Those that haven’t left during the fall remain uniformly optimistic and hopeful, as what can commonly be heard in bars and taprooms, “You aren’t from Detroit, you are Detroit,” if you live here. Undoubtedly Detroiters are openly proud of their city, eager to boast about it and show it off to curious visitors, which means they aren’t shy in recommending several restaurants and sites.
The young dining scene has taken center stage with new restaurants popping up daily, embracing and filling the decidedly not young neighborhoods. This new meets old has created a new niche unique to this city, as the food is unique and innovative, it does not escape the comforts and familiarity that the residents have grown to love. The restaurateurs build fervently with the mindset that they are building for a community, ensuring that fresh food is met at with blue-collar prices. This is the core of the new Detroit mantra, that no one is pushed out or replaced, and that is why this city, this great city, has a chance.