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torgo

Super Bowl XL

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Well the Super Bowl is over. I didn't hear too much negativity about Detroit, and I think that overall they came out looking pretty good. Below is an excerpt from a sports column about "Winners and Losers":

Winner: City of Detroit

Maybe it was because Jacksonville set the bar so low last year

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I think it went smashingly well from what I've read and seen. Just the fact that so many metro Detroiters went downtown for the first time in 20 - 30 years and were pleasantly surprised says a lot. Hopefully they can build off the momentum and keep the cooperation that was needed between the city and the suburbs to pull this off. An improved Detroit image can only help us :thumbsup: (see, not one thing negative)

Plus, we don't normally watch the SuperBowl anymore, but we tuned in this time to catch the "downtown Detroit shots". It looked awesome with all the lighting :shades:

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I think it went great also. Many suburbanites who normally wouldn't go to Detroit did and I'm sure their views of Detroit changed. As you can see from the metro Detroit forum, lots of people from outside of Michigan were pleasantly surprised with Detroit. Hopefully people liked it enough to visit again.

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The game was lame, but heard nothing but good things from my bros's in the D about the Saturday evening events. Tented streets, great idea.

Let's hope the PR machine keeps running. hint hint MEDC.

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All the hype persuaded me to zip over yesterday for a dash-in visit.

Traffic was light. Disappointed by all the trash in the Northland (shuttle) parking lot, but I guess D-dot had bigger concerns. Also could have used signage (SBXL SHUTTLE HERE) in that humonguous parking lot.

Not a huge crowd on the bus (Steeler fans were hilarious) and our driver made a spiel as we pulled up to the dock. ("Where did I pick you up?" "Northland." "What bus will you go back on?" "NORTHLAND!") Better signage/organization at shuttle stop for next time. (Guess shuttle bus use far exceeded expectations, which helps validate why Detroit needs mass transit, too!)

Downtown looked incredible, all fixed up with toenails painted. I hadn't seen Campus Martius since I left the Planning & Development dept in '03 (at that time it was a dusty construction zone). Nice layout and beautiful street fixtures. In addition to the historic monument, there's a fountain, a restaurant, ice rink, couple tall sculptures with flaming tops, street furniture (including block tables for the chess players), nice antique street lights.

Amazing to see storefront after storefront of retail on Woodward. OK, mostly SBXL souvenir shops and walk-in party houses, but still.

Merchants Row lofts (the former Kresge building, across from Compuware) are done and look great. I wich I could have watched a user of the car elevator parking deck.

Winter Blast: impressive. I see where the organizers want to make it annual, and so many attendees showed up that they kept it open an extra couple of hours.

Nice new wayfinding signage.

SBXL volunteers everywhere. (Guess they were tired by Sunday; I helped one of *them* find her way back to the shuttle buses, and I offered guidance to anyone I saw looking at a map.)

Riverfront area looked beautiful. Cobo spotlights, RenCen decorations, lots of pretty lights. Trees still sporting their light strings (always left up for the auto show).

Returning to the shuttle bus, I chatted with police (Wayne County, state police, City). Every one of them was cold but happy.

Shuttle bus badly needed ID signage stating which buses went where. A nice gift: no charge for the return trip.

I'd do it again, and I'd leave earlier next time (or come for Saturday and stay at my ancestral home in Oakland Cty). One of the volunteers lives in *Pittsburgh* and signed up because she grew up in Detroit. I could have done that!

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Reading some of the other posts in the Detroit forum, it sounds like some of the Detroiters we disappointed (and annoyed by the Detroit suburbanites), but many out-of-towners were pleasantly surprised. Low expectations? Maybe. :dontknow:

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Theres the problem, Detroiters annoyed by the suburbanites, more separatism less unity.

Press was good, visitors were good... vendors hyped Detroit. Lets just wait for a week to pass. The plastic comes down, and the sterofoam crumbles - falls to the streets. The tarps unveil a truer story to tell.

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GR gets annoyed with it's suburbs too :P (cough cough Wyoming, EGR, JENISON!) To a smaller extent Rockford, Walker, Grandville.

With Detroit the two most annoying 'burbs are Troy and Novi, ...well and maybe Pontiac, Farmington Hills, and Southfield too. :P

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Theres the problem, Detroiters annoyed by the suburbanites, more separatism less unity.

Press was good, visitors were good... vendors hyped Detroit. Lets just wait for a week to pass. The plastic comes down, and the sterofoam crumbles - falls to the streets. The tarps unveil a truer story to tell.

Does someone have a tummy arch, today? :) What an incredibly grim picture you paint, but it really doesn't surprise me in the least bit. I hope you're just in a funk today, and that the grey skies clear up for you.

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Chewable rolaids... nah - I think maybe a bandaid wil be the cure, that seems to be the remedy nowadays, eh?

Mommy kissing the boo boo always worked :D

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Annoyed? While I can see some possible resentment on the part of the city of GR towards those of us living in suburbia due to the fact that we have chosen to live outside the limits and therefore pay no taxes yet use the city often. The flip side to that coin is that these surbanites are the same people who come into the city and keep it going by working in it and spending there hard earned dollars there. These same communities also make up the strong metropolitan area that Grand Rapids enjoys today and has been able to grow upon. Many of these suburbs, despite having benefited from city flight, are older communities...many founded around the same time as GR's humble beginnings. They are not prototypical highway exit communities. They have their own history. Although, sadly much of it goes overlooked.

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Terrible game, but overall. Detroit seemed to have been a very good host. However, I won't mention the $4 billion it cost the State to get it into working condition...

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What was refreshing about this Super Bowl was that the aerial shots portrayed a stadium that is within the urban fabric.

I am so used to seeing a superbowl site that is basically a dome surrounded by a HUGE parking lot and highway off ramps. No context. No walkability. No humanity.

At least the Super Bowl in Detroit exhibited something different and that is refreshing.

Other things that gave me some optimism:

1. the number of people walking around on the streets

2. the overall dynamic appearance of the city

3. and a very nice skyline, full of great building forms.

Detroit has not been painted in this positive way in a very long time and it is about time that it gets a little love.

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