America’s Comeback City, (Detroit Part 2)

As I said in my last blog, I enjoyed such a variety of fun and local sights in and around Ferndale and Detroit, Michigan on a visit to see my cousin and to check another Major League Baseball stadium off my list, that I decided to create a “Part 2” to my sharing!

On Friday we headed back into Detroit FOR MORE!  One of the largest bookstores in America, the John K. King Bookstore is comprised of two whole, four story buildings. With so many strange and rare finds, you could spend hours getting lost among the shelves and looking at what they have on display as well as archaic framed art on the walls.  Leslie and I spent two and the time totally flew by!

Then we hit Corktown.  “The area has a long history as Detroit’s oldest neighborhood, with ‘1834′ emblazoned proudly on the signs. The name, some say, refers to County Cork in Ireland, as many of the early residents were immigrants after the potato famine.” (visitdetroit.com) Ford has built a new campus there and with all the new, trendy housing, quirky boutiques, fun eateries, bars and coffee shops, its become a popular destination and place to live and has a super cool and fun vibe!  “A worker’s row house circa 1840 is located on Sixth Street and is one of the oldest existing structures in the city of Detroit.  In later years, modestly sized Victorian townhouses with Italianate, Gothic, and Queen Anne elements were constructed in the district.” (Wikipedia).

As an added bonus, we walked along the old Tiger Stadium site on the Corner of

Michigan and Trumbull, which I visited in 1998, the year before its last.  Detroit’s Police Athletic League (PAL) headquarters is now there and maintains the remaining field for youth sports, including high school and college baseball.

And even though it was Friday the 13th, and the Tigers (worst team in MLB) were hosting the Baltimore Orioles (third worst team in MLB) and it started out with rain and Detroit lost – I had a Fabulous Time at the stadium with my cousin, her hubby and two daughters!!  The rain stopped, statues of old time baseball players in amazing poses

as well as the Giant tigers and baseballs adorning walls and important spaces inspired, the in-stadium ferris wheel with carts shaped like baseballs was a fun ride to the background of a lovely sunset, the evening culminated with an Outstanding fireworks display sharing the skies with a full moon – Man-o-Man, I was in my Happy Place!!

Saturday we hit the venerable Eastern Market, “the largest historic public market district in the United States, which first opened in 1841 at Cadillac Square in the downtown area. In the 1850s, additional markets were opened on the east side of the city.  In the beginning, the Eastern Market was devoted to hay and wood sales, but in 1891, sales sheds were built and the Farmer’s Market was moved from Cadillac Square to its present location and renamed Eastern Market.  The Eastern Market grew through the following decades, and additional sheds were constructed in 1922 and 1929.  Following World War II, more wholesalers and food processors moved into the area, and Eastern Market developed into an important hub for the wholesale food distribution industry.In 1970, the stalls rented by farmers were decorated with paintings of produce and livestock. Over the years, these murals have become Eastern Market logos.” (Wikipedia).  The Eastern Market farmer’s distribution center is the largest open-air flowerbed market in the United States and has more than 150 foods and specialty businesses.

The colorful murals seem to address social issues and symbolize the city.   The artwork I beheld was incredible and we really enjoyed being surprised around every corner as we meandered and, in looking at the website, (muralsinthemarket.com) we didn’t see the half of them!!  I researched this a bit after I got home and found that there is an annual festival (and I JUST missed it – it was the following weekend!!?!?) “In total, the fest has brought at least 150 murals to the market in its three editions, increasing visibility for an already well-known area of the city that draws massive crowds, especially on Saturdays. Eastern Market is now covered in myriad murals that work as individual pieces but also collectively as a larger artistic symphony of color.” (frees.com).  They also invite artists from outside the city and I discovered a Seattle artist, Mary Iverson among the murals I happened upon (maryiverson.com).

We didn’t make it to Belle Isle, which was definitely on my list.  Briefly, because this blog is already WAY TOO LONG, this historically rich and beautiful 987 acre park, with its 3 lakes, 150 acres of wooded area, an aquarium, museums and a myriad of activities is an  an island in the Detroit River, as well as several surrounding islets and views to Canada.  Nor did we make it to the African Bead Museum, a “unique destination on the corner of Grand River Avenue and West Grand Boulevard includes a museum and a block filled with large-scale art installations.” (detroit.curbed.com).

Truly, there is so much to do in Detroit (and Ferndale and other surrounding cities) that a week is not enough!!  I sincerely had NO IDEA!!  On Monday when everyone was back to work and school, I took a 3 1/2 hour “stroll” amounting to 11 miles through the neighboring towns of Pleasant Ridge, Royal Oak, Berkley and back to Ferndale.  From Tudor, Victorian, colonial and more, I saw so many incredibly beautiful homes and yards within those inviting communities – as well as a number of little fairy doors and other miniature setups.  Twas fun!

To wrap up my last evening, I had the pleasure of accompanying my family to a full practice of the local marching band practice before their first upcoming competition.  They take this “sport” and “art” seriously and the musicianship, hard work and a whole host of skills each student possesses inspired me!  The two girls were in the band playing snare drum and trumpet and the choreography, musical score and costume additions were extremely professional!  And by the way, they took first a few days later!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. ourcrossings says:

    Detroit pretty much looks like a city I would wholeheartedly enjoy exploring and photographing as I – and my family too – love bookshops, farmers markets and colourful street art. Thanks for sharing and inspiring. Aiva

    Like

    1. robbidenman says:

      So happy to hear I have inspired you! I was very surprised at how much I enjoyed myself on so many levels! I guess I had a limited preconceived notion that I wasn’t even aware of…

      Like

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