Was in Detroit area earlier this week for work. Had Dinner at Fordís Garage at the bar, under the Model A. Unfortunately, the Ford Museums were not open when I was free. But I got to drive by and look in the windows, and see a little bit of Greenfield Village from the gate. Looks like a place I will need to go back to sometime.
I suspect I will be back a few more times over the next year for work, so I might have to schedule an extra day.
I was there last week and saw the museum and some of Greenfield Village. I want to go back and see more - no way you can see it all in a day...or two...or three.
If you can get there for OCF in September you will love it.
Now's the time to visit. Detroit is the No. 2 city in the world to visit, Lonely Planet says
How wonderful for Detroit, but I really do think that Detroit as the number 2 city in the world to visit is way over the top (or OTT, in the parlance of the typical Lonely Planet audience).
That said, and being in tourism way down here down under in New Zealand, I just love so much telling Americans visiting us how much I want to get to Detroit. And to Windsor, Ontario.
So far, everyone without exception has looked at me as though I am completely balmy! And they may be right. They tell me not to venture out alone, by day or night! To hide the camera - and the wallet. To walk away from bushes and doorways that some less desirable folk may wish to bop me on the head from. And even to not cross the street alone. So many warnings!
But what they don't understand is why I need to visit the place/s that I have read so much about and researched so much. As said - they may be right and I might be quite balmy! But that gets back to our motivation to visit a place and, let's face it, Detroit has a lot of competition in the world!
Anyway, Detroit is apparently the number 2 city in the world? Lonely Planet must be losing credibility.
Detroit - or London? or Sydney? Venice? Paris? Amsterdam? San Fransisco? Milan? To name just a few. Detroit?
That said, I want to go to Detroit. In fact, I NEED to go to Detroit. I'm prepared to take the risks that everyone has warned me about (fellow Americans!) with both Detroit and Windsor. But those two cities are just so rich in auto history - by world standards - that they cannot be ignored. Not by me, anyway.
That history is a unique asset. Indeed, it is a potentially massive asset. But, before anyone, inside or outside, can be expected to take notice of it the folk inside must first recognise it and start doing something with it.
Maybe that is happening and the people I've spoken to, who think I'm odd for wanting to go there, have all got it wrong.
But I'm coming regardless!
If you are a car person, definitely visit Detroit, but if not - I can think of a lot of other places where I would prefer to spend my travel dollars. I agree that it is a bad idea to venture out alone, and do not use the unmanned elevated - ever - without being accompanied. If alone, drive to your destination and park carefully. I was there in 1968 and it was fine, at my last visit just a few years ago it was not.
Greenfield village is a must see, I was there with my Adult Son in August, they have a fleet of about fourteen or more old model Ts with a couple of A model trucks and one A model Bus that runs around the village picking up and dropping off riders, they have model t rides with a fleet of model T's mostly Touring's and a few depot hacks, They use the old cars for all transportation at the village with A model farm trucks hauling stuff and running chores and cars for transporting staff. I would have liked to have been there for the old car weekend, While on our Depot Hack ride the driver who was about the same age as the car mentioned the OCF and said a number of the drivers didn't know how to drive ? On Detroit visited down town went to the water front park saw folks fishing, Canada across the river and a little bit of the intercity, but got out of Dodge before the Sun went down. Goggle "It's harder to drive a model t than you think, We tried it" filmed at Greenfield Village covered in snow, The transportation director gives a T driving lesson to a professional driver, who has driven everything except a model T. Expensive trip came back and bought my first T.
I highly recommend visiting Henry Ford museum and Greenfield Village, you-tube has many video's of the old car festival to check out, if you have a model t then this IS the place to go at least once in your life time. M.E. Finch
I really don't want to turn this into a debate, but as recently as 4 or 5 years ago I would have agreed with some of the negative assessments above.
But, as a life-long Detroiter who has seen this city when downtown could have been mistaken for New York and then endured the shame of bankruptcy, those assessments are no longer true.
Yes, there are parts of Detroit that should be stayed away from, just like another major city.
Go downtown during the day now, and Detroit is a busy, bustling city with people walking about to and from the many new jobs created here or to or from the many, many loft apartments and converted warehouse apartments. The real estate values are going through he roof.
Go there on a weekend and downtown is packed with cars and pedestrians going to the many new -- and established -- restaurants and venues.
Although it's taking a little longer, the neighborhoods are also being revitalized, refurbished and cleaned up. Many houses have been torn down and replaced with parks or urban farming.
All of this -- and more -- has improved the moral and pride of Detroiters.
Number 2 city in the world to visit? Not sure about that, but the revitalization of Detroit sure should make it on your list of places to visit.
Oh, one more thing: When you come here, add the Piquette plant to your list of places to visit.
To add to Marti's excellent comments.
I moves to Detroit 40 years ago as a faculty member at Wayne State University. Just north of downtown and walking distance to the magnificent Piquette Model T Plant.
When I started the surrounding are was tough ... called the Cass Corridor. No more. It is 'Mid-Town' and you literally can't find a place to buy or rent.
I was one of the founders of the Piquette Model T Club. We prided ourselves as being of the city, and most of our early tours started at the plant and went through the city to incredible destinations.
To be clear, for most of those years we lived IN the city in historic Indian Village. We are patrons of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, the Detroit Institue of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, Hillberry Theater, sailboat racing etc. We attend fine jazz and classical concerts endlessly. The are more restaurants than you could experience in a lifetime.
In short if your image of Detroit is more than 4 or 5 years old you are far out of date.
We spend most of our time these days in far northern MN at our retirement cottage (where our current '23 Model T is resident). But if we are in the D, and have reservations, I would be glad to meet up with you and provide a most positive and fun experience.
And yes. A trip to the D, without experiencing the PIQUETTE PLANT, is truly lacking,
If you happen to be downtown, and are hungry, visit Greektown. There is some good food there.
David Coleman, when were you at WSU? I was an adjunct professor teaching performance back in the 80s.
Marty:. Joined the Chemistry Department faculty in 1977. Stayed on in a myriad of teaching, research, and administrative roles until 6 years ago when I started a phased retirement (3.5 years). Live the Department and have great admiration for the University and it's role and mission in the D and beyond. D. (PS:. Enjoy and depending your WWJ commentary.). Always had a T since grad school days, with a few logistical gaps.
I somewhat aprehensivelt moved to Oak Park, assbout 3 1/2 yearscago... from Peoskey... 200+ miles to the north. It was a culture shock, to besure..I moved to Petoskey frm Lansing, to get away from the traffic! LOL. I took an IT job at WSU... Physicians Group.. often work out of 'Mid-Town'. (Only a few blocks from the Piquette Plant!) I've tsken thd T to Piquette, nany times .. and downtown Detroit.. seemingly between a Tigers baseball game, and some big event at the Fox Theatre 3 or 4 times! It's a great drive.
There is so much to do, and places to go, It's amazing. I wouldn't hesitate coming, in the least.
Thanks, David!! It's good to know I have at least one listener!!!
See Marty "live" on the video at the Piquette Plant. A very distinctive voice.