The Big D Day 2: A Bit Brighter

EnjoyDetroit

Photo Credit: Meredith Fleischer (Click the image to visit her website)

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.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “The Big D Day 2: A Bit Brighter

  1. Great adventure, Tea! I’m enjoying the tour. Looking forward to the coming days’ reports!

  2. Not sure if you’re brave or just crazy. I would not drive around Detroit for 2 hours alone and I’ve been a metro Detroiter all my life. Maybe that’s why, even though there are the glimmers of hope and light, what we see and hear about is all the awful stuff. Though I have gotten lost on the way to big venues like theater or sports field and not far off the expressway are places I definitely did not want to be. See you soon!

    • LOL. Probably a little of both, Cheryl. You know I grew up in Los Angeles and while it wasn’t Compton, I did get used to a lot. I’ve also owned property in Sacramento that was on par with what I’m seeing here (when Sac Town was “gentrifying” you could get a great house for a song and a prayer). So definitely nothing I’ve not ever seen before. Looking forward to our time together this weekend!

  3. Beverly

    Great video! I love hearing about your adventure!!! I think the whole trip is such an awesome idea! Love you!

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