For millions of years a battle has raged on in Detroit that makes the Battle of Troy look like playground teasing. Every Detroiter has their allegiance and there never has been a clear winner or loser. The object of our affection? Coney Dogs. Grilled hot dogs wrapped in a warm flaky bun, topped with meaty chili, spicy mustard, and sweet onions. And now, the professionals are stepping in to weigh in on the war. Travel Channel’s “Food Wars” will be crowning a champion Coney Island tomorrow night (Wednesday at 10pm). Featuring the original neighboring contenders, American and Lafayette Coney Islands. Who will win? (Detroit Moxie knows but she’s not telling) tune in! Will this put an end to the suffering and battling that divides this city? Doubtful.
Such an exciting weekend to be in Detroit! So many events to go to! Sadly, because my grandparents only have one 60th anniversary, I’m off to the great Up North for some family fun. But here’s the rundown of things that I am bummed to be missing:
– The Woodward Dream Cruise – Hard to put into words, the Cruise is a feast of cars and a celebration of all-things auto. Truly one of the greatest events this city puts on, to understand the magnitude and enthusiasm of the Cruise is to understand Detroit Besides being the “World’s Largest Automotive Event” it’s a circus of car-lovers and detroit-lovers that park their folding chairs along Woodward to cheer on the Motor City.
– A Glass Act – Northern Lights Lounge is having three glass blowers come in for a night of drinks and art. I could watch glass blowing artist for HOURS (which I did once during an excruciating family vacation to Dollywood) so to sit back with a drink and watch these artists then take some of that art home with me to relive the experience ever time I pour an Oberon into a handmade glass blown pint glass sounds like some kind of wonderful.
– The Fucking Awesome Fest – What more is there to say? Three days of over 50 fucking awesome bands playing at the Majestic. Top of my list would be The Hood Internet, a Chicago based remixing duo worthy of a listen. See what music monster JayeL Audio has to say about them
– The Canfield Street Market – Two of my favorite words: handmade and vintage
– Pewabic Pottery Sale – Beautiful Detroit-famous pottery art is 30-50% off! You have to be a member but that’s easy! The HGTV star wannabe in me would love to retile my fireplace and these creamy, pastely, patterny wonders. But I don’t have a fireplace.
So get out and enjoy these events and hope that I survive a weekend of family-fueled camping for another week of reporting on where Detroit Happens.
To rent or buy? The eternal question. Micro real estate project LOVELAND makes that decision easy. For $1 we can all invest in Detroit.
Although it’s taken me a little while to decipher the quirky goals and cartoonish enthusiasm of the project, I believe the goal is for a group of “inchvestors” to buy up a small piece of property in Detroit which is then developed into a art space for people to enjoy. The first plot of land has already been completely bought up (Congrats!) and is “in development” as they construct the Monumental Kittie structure to be seen from the Corktown pedestrian overpass.
They are now taking donations for their second plot of land, which is still looking for a home. I believe this plot is going to be turned into a park space. A portion of their donations also go towards other local organizations that are working to transform Detroit’s drooping corners into livable, sustainable places for people to enjoy.
I’m so intrigued by their project and the way its portrayed yet still shaky on the details of the products. It seems that the logical way to understand it is to get involved myself. So as Detroit Happens finds it’s place in the cyberworld, it will also be finding a place in Detroit as well as I donate my $1 to LOVELAND and see where my inch takes me.
My first order of business as a born-again Detroiter was to go to Eastern Market for the first time on Saturday. As farmers markets become the new grocery stores across the country, Detroit has maintained the largest public market in the country for 119 years. This is no trend. This is a huge, established market with hundreds of vendors that set up shop in the middle of a culturally bustling neighborhood.
Full disclosure, I am no chef. But after years of eating out, my bank account is forcing me into the kitchen. I was planning on going to Eastern Market just for the experience, to see the hustle and bustle, to smell and taste. But I walked out with big plans, my kitchen won’t know what hit it. You can’t help but get caught up in the colors, smells, tastes, and people. You want to be a part of it (even Iowa wants to be a part of it.) I walked out with corn, basil, tomatoes, honey, garlic bread, wild flowers, oatmeal cookies, sweet onions, Parmesan cheese, and some New York strips for a feast of a meal with my family.
For me, the most exciting part of Eastern Market wasn’t actually the market, but the local shops surrounding it. There are antique shops with tables set up on the street, silk-screened Detroit tee shirts under tents, wine cellars, street musicians, restaurants with smoke billowing from BBQs outside on the patio, cheese and jam shops, and meat markets. Cheese paradise can be found inside R. Hirt Jr & Co. A general store set up with a cheese counter holding hundreds of cheese for all over the world and tons of local options as well, they also carry spices, sauces, spreads, salsa, jams, chocolate and all your adorable cooking needs.
If you need a mid-morning pick-me-up, stop into Vivio’s for a bloody mary before braving the Gratiot Central Meat Market across the Fisher fwy. Counter upon counter battle for your red meat soul. Ribs, t-bones, kabobs, sausage links, even wings and seafood. Pick up some Dearborn hot dogs to grill during the Woodward Cruise this weekend and I’ll be over at 5.
Around 11am, as you wind down your morning harvesting (since you naturally got to the market at 7am with the restaurant buyers) Bert’s Market Place Jazz fires up the BBQ and the karaoke out on the patio. This is no 3am drunken crooning karaoke though. This is karaoke for the soul, karaoke that gives you chills and reminds you that this is Motown.
A little background to this blog. I’m Jen and I just moved back to my hometown of Detroit after living in Chicago for 4 years. Living away from Detroit meant the turmulus state of the city and dramatic news reports were just out of my sight. It wasn’t until I decided to move back that I started to see how desperate Detroiters were to show the country that we are more than unemployment rates and closed factories. And I want to help, I want to be a part of the great movement that is taking shape in Detroit and all across Michigan. People are standing up and speaking out for Detroit, for Michigan, for all the people that still see the great place that this is.
I want to write about all the things that I grew up loving about Detroit and the things that I am just now discovering as I am reintroduced to the city. I also want to highlight the incredible number of organizations that work hard to bring positive change and advancement to the city.
Most importantly, I don’t want this to be one opinion in a sea of hundreds. I want to know where you think Detroit Happens.
This is where Detroit happens, where it really happens. Where the people are proud, excited, optimistic, and happy. Where people support their city and do not give up. Where they see the good that exists beyond the headlines and statistics.
The mission of this blog is to give light to the people, events, places, and organizations that make Detroit the strong and exciting city that it truly is. Whether you live in Detroit or want to learn more about Detroit, please enjoy the stories featured here and I look forward to hearing from you where you believe Detroit Happens.