After the darkest hour, the former Motor City is reborn from its ashes, as is its currency. Since, it is moving forward at multiple speeds. The Downtown became the small empire of the millionaire Dan Gilbert while the other neighborhoods are growing by focusing on the local with the wave of artsy, urban farms, the multicultural heritage and old-world charm.
The advantage of this city is that in two days you will have visited the main. It will not be surprising to see many homes and buildings abandoned. The renaissance is gone at speed large V. there are five years ago, the one that you compare constantly to Berlin was mainly for his urbex and his holidays underground. The city inspires the greatest as the american director Jim Jarmusch, or the actor Ryan Gosling. The chaos, the silence, the factories desolate, stately mansions to loss of view are subject to imagine the sets dystopiens. The vultures soar above the Downtown, and many locals will tell you that the deer were in the habit of walking around. Detroit is an experience, a playground, a Paradise of possibilities on which the millionaire Dan Gilbert bet. It invests, invites to numerous start-up businesses to come and try their luck.
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today, the city center is again humming. Of course, this gentrification has not helped much poverty surrounding or the african-american community, which constitutes 85% of the population. The situation seems even more absurd when we know that Dan Gilbert has spent seven million dollars to build a streetcar that connects Downtown to Midtown, a tiny part of the city, not up in any other neighborhoods. Let’s say, however, that it is an advantage for the tourists, provided that they are not in a hurry. It takes a few times to wait ten minutes to see it slowly getting away.
Thus, the renaissance follows its course with ups and downs but progress is certain. Dan Gilbert has even decided to build in the city centre the highest towers of Michigan, all-glass projected for 2020, just in front of the Shinola hotel which has just opened its doors. Product derived from the brand of watches 100 % made in Detroit, it wants to be a true symbol, “the salon of the city centre” as the team likes to mention it. In the same complex is a shop, an Italian restaurant, the San Morello and The Evening Bar, the spots in the mode.
The new addresses are constantly expanding In the heart of Downtown, The Guardian is nicknamed “The cathedral of finance” because of its shape of cross. Ro Aroyo
If the new addresses are constantly expanding, there are still places iconic of the Art deco architecture, to see, to remember the past glorious of the city. In Corktown, the old irish quarter, which became a high place of the plugged-in lies the imposing train station. Symbol of the Urbex for many, it is very quickly become the monument in front of which is photography. Just bought by Ford, it is going to be renovated by the architecture studio of renowned Snohetta. Great news for the city, which is a lot of emphasis on this area.
In the heart of Downtown, The Guardian, dubbed “The cathedral of finance” because of its shape, cross, owes its inspiration to the churches of gothic style, but also to the ornamentation of the native american. If the outside is brick, the inside reveals a decor glitzy with marble, stained glass windows and above all an impressive polychrome mosaic achieved, in part, by Pewabic Pottery, a workshop dating back to 1903 still open to the public, on the East side of the city, near the river.
Take advantage of it to make a hook out there and visit that building. A perfect excuse to stop at Rose’s Fine Food, one of the favorite places of the local. This former dinner cuisine from the farm to the plate where everything is made in-house. For those who want more american, Clique, the restaurant of an Inn is totally in its own juice. Great pancakes soaked in maple syrup, a wide choice of omelettes… The true experience.
Belle Isle, an island on the detroit shared between America and Canada. Elizabeth Beale for HistoricDetroit
The more improbable is a bit of a gap: an island on the detroit shared between America on one side, Canada on the other, aptly named Belle Isle. In summer, the All-Detroit comes to enjoy this green oasis, and portrays the whole afternoon with barbecue, transat, and the necessary equipment to spend a day at the beach. To visit absolutely: the greenhouse and aquarium, the oldest in the United States, designed by Albert Kahn, the architect is the key to the city.
To admire another masterpiece, he will need to get to Midtown, which houses the largest masonic temple in the world. If you’re visiting on a Sunday, the 1st and 3rd of the month, it offers guided tours on the architecture of the place, with premium in the discovery of secret rooms. The building also houses two concert halls and the names of the displays are very often of high quality. Keep an eye on the calendar.
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Not very far away, are the two best museums. For aficionados of contemporary art, MOCAD offers exhibitions always surprising and free, often with local artists. As for the DIA, it has, with 65,000 works, one of the richest art collections in the United States. Among Van Eyck, Sol Lewit, Picasso, there is also and especially the famous mural of Diego Rivera, a critique of the industrial world and the nascent capitalism of the time.
For those who want to discover the next underground, Dabl’s Bead Museum is a rite of passage. Here, Olayami Dabls has created his little kingdom, a house and a vacant lot transformed into art brut, the sparkling colours and games of mirrors.
In one of the houses, hundreds of small bottles filled with beads decorate on shelves, its collection since the 1970s. An atmosphere of vodou, the image of a barracks of Ali-Baba. Thus, Detroit would be what it is without its cultural diversity. It jumps from the Motown Museum, Mexican Town, passing through Hamtramck, this district, once inhabited by the Polish community, where now the populations of india and yemen have taken their marks. Polish Village Cafe is, however, one institution. True Tavern of the time, the place is completely in its own juice. The card, of course, pierogis as appetizers, main dish of hearty plates such as the traditional sausage Kielbasa.
If you prefer a modern kitchen, opt for Grey Ghost, located in Midtown. The entrance to the dessert, each dish is perfectly balanced. Same thing for cocktails. Side menu, a true blow of heart for the beef tenderloin that melts simply in the mouth. Even the beef tartare with its mashed potato, fresh cream and a spoon of caviar is the height of the French tradition.
Take advantage of this evening to try the cocktails at the Bad Luck Bar, a speak easy is a rare quality. The place is intimate and accommodates a small number of customers for a team with little care. As an aperitif, always a cup of a concoction warm in winter, cool in the summer. A great place to start. Inspired by the cards of the Taro, the cocktails, very stylish, are always surprising. The Hammer, unveiled under its dome, smoky, is a whiskey infused peanut. To note that each month, the menu, a spirits, exception is proposed for approximately 200 dollars the glass. Those who have the courage to extend the night should interfere in a a bar to jazz. Cliff Bell’s and its Art deco building offers concerts of high quality. For the more adventurous, in a quiet distance from the town centre, there is also the iconic Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. Simple bar with sandwiches, he became in the 1940s a rite of passage for most of the big names, and a reminder that Motown is, all the same, born in Detroit.
The hotels where to sleep… Receipt of the Siren Christian Harder
● The Siren. Decorated by the designers of new york ASH, the hotel is steeped in a wave of romanticism. The entrance plunges us into a boudoir, european-style, mingled with pieces by designers such as Joe Colombo, Colette Gueden. Within the hotel is also very private restaurant Albena owned by chef Garrett Lipar. A true ceremonial of only eight places for a kitchen of minimalistic.
● The Inn on Ferry Street. Nothing more charming and warm than these six different houses style victorian fully restored. A mythical place where one can imagine the city at its peak.
● Henry The Hatter. The oldest hatter in the United States has reopened its doors in 2017 to start a new chapter in its history. Hats off to them!
at the Detroit City Distillery Detroit city distillery
● Detroit City Distillery. This distillery the stills copper offers beautiful bottles of spirits. She recalls the past of the city when it was a hub of alcohol smuggling during the prohibition, thanks to its connection with Canada where the sale was not illegal.
● Schvitz. Nothing seems to indicate that there was behind the door of this old building for a sauna similar to the sets of David Lynch. It is nevertheless the case. An atmosphere steeped in history. Created in 1930, this was first a place of purification for the community of eastern Europe, before becoming a marker of the Purple Gang, one of the mafia’s most violent city. Today, of the regulars, such as young hipsters come to spend the afternoon up to 22 h for $ 30 entry, in an atmosphere of more family.
● Katsu. It is, without a doubt, the japanese restaurant the most popular of the moment. The owners have played the game until the end and were inspired by the traditional Isakaya, the bar at the long counter, with the origin placed at the back of the shops where the workers come to release the pressure. Here also the input is hidden, it is necessary to enter a small alley to immerse yourself in this bubble. Customers are greeted with a zeal of politeness and a reverence. At choice, they can dine at the corner of the large wooden tables, or remove their shoes and sit on the floor in the lotus position with heating mats. It is simply a journey into traditional Japan.
Culture… Greenfield Village, a village rebuilt to original spec. Grenfield Village’s Mainstreet district
● Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village in suburban Detroit. This museum contains one of the innovations that have made the greatness of America. A collection with original models of cars, planes, trains… In addition to the museum, from the month of April is open Greenfield Village. A small town rebuilt in the same way, sometimes even with homes of origin, in order to relive the most intense moments of the History of the new continent: on the day when Thomas Edison lit the first light bulb, the birth of the Model T, the first airplane of the Wright brothers. For those who wish to learn more about the line work, Ford made the audience see a part of his factory where the workers work in real time.
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The market to do absolutely…
● Eastern Market. If you’re visiting on the weekend, this historic market, a true rendezvous of the inhabitants, offers a fine selection of local products, pies made by the Amishs, maple syrup, dried meat… large warehouses for the food industry are still in business, and their walls are covered with street art changed once a year in September at a festival that invites graffiti artists local and international. After the market, there is nothing better than a pizza at Supino.
When to go there …
spring and autumn are the perfect times to visit Detroit and around Michigan, the great lakes region (in particular in the North, the Upper Peninsula).
The two biggest events are the Movement, one of the most important festivals of techno, in May and the Jazz Festival, at the end of August.
Good to know before you go
Detroit is a city in renaissance that has experienced one of the most important crises of history, it is necessary to rent a car as the city to redevelop neighborhood and the interstices are not always secure.
The Downtown is connected by the Q-line, a new tram that leads up to New Center.
The MoGo, the urban bike like the Bird, the electric scooters are very coveted and are a pleasure to use from Downtown to Midtown, to the edge of the river and on the Dequindre Cut, the old rails being converted into walk urban. Avoid the bus.
The neighbourhoods to visit: Downtown, Corktown, Mexicantown, West Village, Midtown, Eastern Market.
Office of tourism Visit Detroit.
1937 LaSalle Coupe at the Henry Ford Museum Henry Ford Foundation