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New York Times Article

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This was posted on detroit.com By a person called the TOYMAKER....great article, thought it would be nice to share...

EDIT: Yes, there are nice hotels in the region ;)

EDIT X2...this is a Post article not a Times article....sorry.

http://www.nypost.com/travel/4 7443.htm

(you have to sign up to view so i will paste)




May 31, 2005 -- A rich musical heritage, the grandeur of a forgotten era, plus a creative scene as vital as Brooklyn, pre-strollers - isn't it time you visited Detroit? DAVID LANDSEL and MARY HUHN report.

TELL someone you've just been to Detroit, and you're likely to hear everything from "I'm sorry" and "You're kidding" to "You're still alive?"

Rarely has one city been rejected out of hand by so many - most often by those who have never set foot in it.

Until recently, that was probably a good idea. But with the city poised to host its first Super Bowl in January 2006 (the '82 game, the region's only other Super Bowl, was held in suburban Pontiac), Motor City is in overdrive to rebuild.

In some ways, this flailing core of a hard-working metropolis is already far ahead of Jacksonville, the '05 host: Detroit has a world-class art museum and symphony, a wealth of gorgeous architecture (though half of it is still abandoned) and an interesting, if immature, culinary scene. And then there are the locals, some of whom are now (or have been in the past) among the world's most well known musicians. It even played host this spring to the first annual Motor City Music Conference, which brought over 400 bands to 40 clubs.

Dive in to a city that today is a lot like early '90s-Brooklyn - scrappy, messed up, full of possibilities and intensely interesting. Go now, before the stroller set moves in and prices skyrocket.

Note: Nearly everything of interest to the first-time visitor is located in or just north of the city center, but you'll still need a car, as distances are compounded by a shocking amount of abandoned territory.


Getting there couldn't be easier. Hop on board one of Northwest's regular nonstops from LaGuardia, generally priced around $200 round-trip (nwa.com). You'll fly into the McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport; brand-spanking-new, it's creatively designed and has wifi throughout.

A good hotel is hard to find. The only address in the region with dependable service is the Ritz-Carlton, a dated (think brocade and china hutches) but cozy hideout located minutes from downtown, in Dearborn. It's great value for money (weekends from $139; 300 Town Center Drive, ritzcarlton.com).

Spend the early evening downtown, beginning with a visit to the Pure Detroit Design Lab. This collective of young local designers is part of a growing group of retail stores operating under the Pure Detroit banner. Each of the shops, all located in or near the city center, has its own spin on hometown pride - one outlet specializes in local records, another in local foods (Design Lab is at 156 W. Congress; puredetroit.com).

From the Lab, it's two blocks east to rapidly revamping Woodward Avenue, the spine of the metropolis (it begins at the waterfront and heads out into the suburbs). In a matter of a few blocks, you'll see a lot. First up, there's the Campus Martius development, a formerly abandoned area now holding a gleaming square and park with gardens and artwork.

It's fronted by Compuware's towering glass building, which holds an enormous Borders bookshop (the first to be built in the city, even though the chain is based 20 miles west in Ann Arbor). Head north along the avenue (past some new loft buildings) and you'll find the famous - and famously ornate - Fox Theatre, which opened in 1928 and is still going strong, plus sports-mad Detroit's two new favorite haunts: the gorgeous Comerica Park (home of the Tigers) and Ford Field (home of the Lions and Super Bowl XL next January). It's just a little further to dinner at Agave, a sophisticated Mexican joint with nearly 100 tequilas in-house (4265 Woodward Ave.)

Also on Woodward is the Detroit Institute of Art, widely recognized as having one of the nation's best collections, but now undergoing a dramatic renovation and expansion project that has much, not all, of the art under wraps. It's open until 9 p.m. on Fridays, so don't miss the Diego Rivera murals (admission $4; 5200 Woodward Ave., dia.org).

After the museum closes, wander back down the avenue a few blocks to the Majestic Theater Center.

This blocklong complex, known as the Stick, houses a retro bowling alley (it's been around since 1913 and features rock 'n' bowl nights), the Majestic Theater for large rock shows, Magic Stick (a medium-size venue with pool tables and the site of the famous Jack White/Von Bondies' Jason Stollsteimer fight), the Majestic Cafe, which features changing work by local and Young Soul Rebels, a great record store, where you can pick up vintage vinyl of George Jones or the new disc by local act the Hentchmen (4120 Woodward Ave., majesticdetroit.com).


Start the day at Detroit's Eastern Market area. Everybody's out wandering the narrow walkways and back streets of this historic wholesale district. At the heart of the neighborhood lies a bustling produce market, selling everything from spices to flowers. Here you'll also find a collection of odd, ancient shops (pistachio dealers!) and historic breakfast haunts like the Russell Street Deli (No.2465). The people-watching is unbelievable - all types mingle at the heart of a city that's notoriously segregated (Russell Street, between Gratiot and Mack).

If you've yet to eat, head for brunch at Atlas Global Bistro near the Music Center. Great bloody marys, inventive omelets and a restful space (white linen tablecloths, wood floors, tin ceilings) are a boon to the block, where nearly all of the buildings remain boarded up (3111 Woodward Ave.)

Spread out among the ruins in the quiet neighborhood on and off Cass Avenue (which runs parallel to Woodward, just to the west) between downtown and the Wayne State University campus, and you'll find a variety of sophisticated shops and caf

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I like this article, and the reason why is because it is being real. In a lot of articles, Detroit is either really good or really bad. This article mentions all the amazing stuff Detroit has to offer, but recognizes the fact that the city still has a way to go. Travelers shouldn't be suprised that there are still a lot of abandoned buildings in the city, but there are still some special places to visit among some of the blight and ruin. I'm glad the article covered that. I'm also glad that they are mentioning places outside the downtown (even to mention Mexicantown was great since it is out of the way west of the core).

Of course, there will always be a few innacuracies, like the mention of Campus Martius which really hasn't seen any abandonment ever. I'm sure there is a few more I might have missed since I began to skim towards the end of the atricle.

Overall, I would say they are pretty good. They show that Detroit really has the potential to be even better.

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I agree the "realness" of the article is what makes it good. Im glad people around the country will now be reading something positive about our city. I hope Detroit does begin to have the kind of revitalization that Brooklyn has had. Detroit has all the ingredients of being a great city it just needs people to take a chance on it.

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I do believe that now would be the time to purchase real estate in Detroit. Prices have pretty much bottomed out, and once gentrification starts to set in, prices will definitely go up. I would move there if I could afford a place, but I am in a financial situation that would prevent me from doing that. I highly expect Ann Arbor will end up being considerably more affordable if the housing boom really takes hold in Detroit. I am sure growth will really explode when that new mayor takes office!


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Actually housing in Detroit is appreciating faster than anywhere else in the region. It's all centered around the northwest side of the city, though, where people are starting to realize just how valuable those highly-ornate 1930's brick homes are worth.

Hopefully we'll see areas around the core start to appreciate at a greater rate. Maybe then we'll see more slumlords sell their properties to developers.

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