The oversized thought bubble reading, “Detroit Never Left.” included in a large, vibrant mural is located on Gratiot Avenue near Eastern Market on January 9. Detroit continues to focus on rebuilding, growing and drawing people into the city. The Improve Detroit mobile app makes it accessible for anyone to report issues such as running water, damaged street signs, and potholes directly to the City Hall. (Kate Goldstein)
The oversized thought bubble reading, “Detroit Never Left.” included in a large, vibrant mural is located on Gratiot Avenue near Eastern Market on January 9. Detroit continues to focus on rebuilding, growing and drawing people into the city. The Improve Detroit mobile app makes it accessible for anyone to report issues such as running water, damaged street signs, and potholes directly to the City Hall.

Kate Goldstein

Magic moments in Motown: Detroit’s comeback

January 17, 2022

 

The oversized thought bubble reading, “Detroit Never Left.” included in a large, vibrant mural is located on Gratiot Avenue near Eastern Market on January 9. Detroit continues to focus on rebuilding, growing and drawing people into the city. The Improve Detroit mobile app makes it accessible for anyone to report issues such as running water, damaged street signs, and potholes directly to the City Hall. (Kate Goldstein)
The vivid colors paint creativity as the murals contrast with the chaos of construction on Riopelle Street on December 24. Most of downtown Detroit is under construction, as this is the first step towards rebuilding and revitalizing the city. (Kate Goldstein)

Detroit in one word: progressive. Ever since I was little, I recall hearing “What happened to Detroit?”, “I don’t feel safe there anymore,” and “Detroit used to be such a nice city.” Although statistics show that Detroit’s violent crime rate is above the national average, people fail to acknowledge that Detroit CBS named the metro city “one of the nation’s most up and coming housing markets” in 2020. Despite this rise in housing, Detroit’s reputation looms over the city like a gray, cumulus cloud. Fear not; there is always a brightly colored rainbow after the storm.

Block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, the city is rebuilding itself from the ground up. Slowly but surely revitalizing as people of all ages now enjoy the positive experiences the city offers. Living just 20 minutes from the city of Detroit, I’ve become a frequent visitor. My numerous trips to the inner city have allowed me to explore Motown’s gems, and I’ve highlighted just a few of my new favorite destinations.

 

The Nothing Stops Detroit mural on Division Street is found near the Eastern Market, on December 24. It pays homage to our historic and important auto industry and the relentless pursuit of innovation. No matter the obstacles and challenges, our city and businesses will persevere (Kate Goldstein)

 

Dime Store, a small brunch spot located inside the heart of the city, incorporates a fresh, hip twist onto typical breakfast food. The small building sits perfectly in the corner wing of the Chrysler House, making it easy to stroll by without taking a second glance. Peering through the frosty window, I was overwhelmed with anticipation. My mouth began to salivate as the scent of freshly poached eggs and lightly toasted rye bread wafted through the frigid air. Greeted with a warm welcome from the hostess, my dad and I began to scan through the broad menu. The unique spread features breakfast, lunch, and chef’s specials ranging from ginger eggnog french toast to duck bop hash. My eyes immediately center on the chicken Caprese sandwich, headlining grilled chicken breast, fresh mozzarella, roasted tomato, arugula, pesto mayo, and balsamic vinaigrette all smothered on warmed ciabatta bread. Dime Store has made a modern interpretation of a classic favorite.

Two customers share a laugh over brunch at Dime Store on January 9. The Dime Store is a popular destination for creating a melody of exquisite flavor combinations. Furthermore, according to their website, this hit spot is most well known for a “traditional take and creative twist on breakfast specialties”. (Kate Goldstein)

 

Any sandwich comes with a side of either house fries, salad, or fresh fruit. However, for a two dollars more, you can upgrade the fries to the next level with bizarre condiments. Along with the Chicken Caprese Sandwich, I indecisively selected the spicy Korean fries, showcasing shaved ribeye, Korean barbecue sauce, sriracha mayo, and pickled vegetables. Due to the global pandemic, we opted for the carry-out option. My stomach angrily grumbled, so I was pleased to hear it would only be a fifteen-minute wait. With some time to spare, my dad and I voyaged through the streets of Detroit.

 

Famous brick archway in Shed #5 of Eastern Market frames the bright blue sky and rustic building on November 9. Over 150 years old, the Eastern Market is a definite must on a Saturday. This spot comes alive with the buzzing restaurants and other electric shops surrounding the area. (Kate Goldstein)

 

The harsh wind sent a chill down my spine, leaving a trail of goosebumps in its wake. A towering burnt orange skyscraper, the Guardian Building, captivated me instantly, like a siren luring sailors with their enchanted song. As we trek through the spinning glass doors, my mouth gawks in awe at the artwork covering the building head-to-toe. The bright fluorescent lights lined the arched ceiling, leading your eyes to a color-washed map of Michigan. You would never expect this simple office building to conceal this angelic architecture. As I look up, the concave wall is lined with a variety of brightly colored mosaics. The light shines in through the intricate glass window, spotlighting a pine tree decorated with dazzling white lights. Suddenly, my fifteen-minute timer buzzes, alerting us to pick up our late lunch. Snow crunched under my thick black boots, but my pace quickened as we walked closer and closer to the restaurant

“It will just be one second,” the same friendly hostess remarked.

Another fifteen minutes later, she eventually brought out the large white bag. Although frustrated and flustered due to the long wait, the paper bag permeates a rich, decadent smell. As our appetizer, we unloaded the spicy Korean fries in the car. I made sure to include each aspect of the dish in one bite. The warm, thick, homemade fries served as the perfect base to complement the savory ribeye, sweet barbecue sauce, spicy mayo, and tangy vegetables. Altogether, that single mouthful was phenomenal and the incorporation of various flavors was flattering. Next, I unboxed my chicken Caprese sandwich. Immediately, I was disappointed with the lukewarm temperature and the dryness of the chicken. I could barely taste each element and was perturbed with the texture of the meat. Overall, I rated my meal and experience at the Dime Store as three out of five stars. Surprisingly, the Korean fries were out of this world. On the other hand, the chicken Caprese sandwich was a disappointment. I still recommend giving this restaurant a shot if you gravitate towards powerful flavor combinations and a vibrant ambiance.

 

A local Detroit citizen drums on various pots and pans, performing for pedestrians strolling through the Eastern Market on November 9. This street performer not only has a bright smile on his face, but generates a grin onto fellow Detroit inhabitants. (Kate Goldstein)

 

The long, windy highway transformed into neighborhood streets filled with run-down houses. With the windows shattered, doors taped up, and doodled graffiti, I inferred from their conditions that this was not the most pleasant area of the city. Nevertheless, with an optimistic outlook, I kept my fingers crossed. Haphazardly situated on a lawn, the rustic sign reads, ‘Heidelberg Project”, and I am, at first, shocked from what appears to be thrown-out trash lining the street. I eagerly step one foot out of the car, and my eyes immediately are drawn to the metal fence lining the narrow sidewalk. Over 100 shoes, ranging from a toddler’s burgundy flip flop to a midnight black high heel, are tightly tied to each spire. A jumbled tower of bicycles and shopping carts lean at a seemingly impossible angle, as if it were completely defying gravity. I observe a decaying speedboat stacked full of battered stuffed animals and plushies, stuffing spilling out. An abandoned taxi sits illuminated by the rays of sunlight, reflecting a glare onto the variety of scribbled faces engraved into the sidewalk and wrapped around the cargo crates.

Ranging from sneakers to flip flops, various shoes dangle lifelessly off of the metal fence lining Heidelberg Road on December 24. This display is a part of Detroit artist Tyree Guyton’s outdoor art museum, referred to as the Heidelberg Project. According to World Footprints, the shoes are meant to symbolize “reaching deep into the soul, or ‘sole’”. (Kate Goldstein)
The dead silence is broken with the crunch of a tuna can. I glance to the side to find a man surrounded by an array of stray cats. The white speckled cats wait patiently as if this is a daily routine, while the kind man refills their glistening silver bowl of water. At a further examination, I’ve come in direct contact with “the creator, custodian, and de facto mayor” of this masterpiece, Tyree Guyton (New York Times). The theme throughout this outdoor art museum is the evolution of space in time. Although reading various hours of the day, the markings comprise neon-colored clocks. I am astonished by the extensive meaning, let alone the composition. According to the Heidelberg Project website, the clock constituted “a time for us to reflect where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going.” As a Roman poet, Leonhard Culmann once implied, “One mans’ trash is another man’s treasure.” This repurposing of everyday objects reminds me of the emergence of a butterfly from its silky cocoon.
This unique sculpture of discarded bikes typifies the creativity of artist and Heidelberg Project creator, Tyree Guyton, on December 24. He has transformed an urban neighborhood into a living outdoor art gallery and community organization, now known as the Heidelberg Project. The art draws attention to the plight of the forgotten neighborhoods and spurns discussion and action. (Kate Goldstein)
My dad and I worked up an appetite after exploring the streets. My sweet tooth craving landed us in front of our classic favorite, Ochre Bakery. Dispersed trees add character to the outdoor scenery. A black statue resembling an abstract painting radiates a vibe of serenity and congruity. With one foot in the doorway, I am embraced by the scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies and crunchy, warm sourdough bread. The front of the counter is covered with elaborate bright orange and blue colored mosaic tiles. Beyond the register, the bustling workers in the kitchen are commissioned to roll out fluffy dough onto a bed of flour. A heterogeneous layout of bread, pastries, and sandwiches settled on blonde hardwood shelves. The crisp shell of a croissant melted on my tongue and the salivating flavor just absolutely dissolved. I find myself craving Ochre’s pastries often, longing for a trip back to the inner city.
Bright rays of sunlight shine on a classic favorite at Ochre Bakery on January 9. The buttery and flakey crust of the croissant melts on the tongue, yet serves as the perfect crunchy shell for the warm gooey interior. (Kate Goldstein)

Following a snack break, we head over to Detroit hotspot Eastern Market. Every Saturday, various venders gather to sell their fabulous homestyle treats and artistry to the public.

The sunlight spotlights Randy and Larry Lipman, owners of Mystic Kettle, on November 9. Their sweet and salty kettle corn recipe originated in 2009, but the couple began selling at local organizations such as the Eastern Market in 2011. On my 14th birthday, Randy and Larry generously gifted me an extra large bag of their mouth-watering kettle corn. (Kate Goldstein)
pic of eastern market
This animated mural is sprawled across a building on Adelaide Street, which leads to the Eastern Market, on December 24. It was created as part of the Murals in the Market Event, an annual art festival that features local and guest artists from around the world. (Kate Goldstein)
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