Yesterday’s adventures started off with a driving tour of the downtown area. Yep, I just drove myself around for nearly two hours. I was warned that it would be worse than what I’d seen the day before, but honestly — I think the vibe is much better.
Take a look for yourself. (And see? I’m getting better at this video editing thing!)
The areas you see on the video encompassed Cork Town (Detroit’s oldest neighborhood), the mid-town area, Belle Isle and the river front, and last but not least, the downtown itself.
Obviously, not everything I saw is included here.
Yes, I saw abandoned and boarded up buildings — just like I had the day before. Piles of rubble here and there. Graffiti, too.
But there was a difference that I can only attribute to the people. I saw lots of them.
It felt very much like Oakland, CA. The waterfront, the artsy energy, and the grit around the edges.
Obviously, this isn’t a lonely place. And the real estate prices certainly reflect that. (Prices range from 20K to 500K+ depending on the specific neighborhood and size of the property.) So it remains to be seen whether or not there’s anything left at a price that would lure me away from my California winters.
Last night, I stayed in Dearborn — a very nice suburb just outside the city and home to the Henry Ford History Museum. (The entire town looks like a golf course — manicured lawns everywhere.)
And I had the great pleasure of sharing sushi with a client and her husband — folks I’ve only known online until now. Bless them for driving in from Ann Arbor!
On today’s agenda: lunch with some entrepreneurs at a downtown co-working space called the Green Garage (lots of interviews to come!). And then spending the rest of the afternoon looking at real estate with an agent. Tonight, I stay at an Airbnb condo in the downtown area.
p.s. – Thanks so much for all your tips and sharing of local friends’ contacts. I’m following up with all of them this weekend.