The dazzlingly decorated hotel bar was in full swing when happy hour approached on a brisk December evening. My dear friend Linda, a Michigan-transplant since our days cheerleading together in high school, somehow managed to score four available seats next to a leather couch where an amorous couple’s PDA or public display of affection lit up like a Christmas tree. No surprise, really. In a city filled with this much history, ingenuity, and accomplishment, gushing over its resurrection is an expected reaction. “Give me a D!” I almost heard Linda cheer as she welcomes me to downtown Detroit with a big bear hug.
Five stories above us, my car enthusiast awakes from a power nap to join us. George is enjoying the amenities of the boutique crash pad at the heralded Foundation Hotel once home to the Detroit Fire Department Headquarters. During check-in, I requested a window view of the nearby COBO convention center where one of the biggest auto shows takes place in January, a show he’s always wanted to attend.
We’ve come to one of America’s greatest manufacturing cities for 3 days to fuel up on car museums, assembly lines and National Historic Landmarks. As the Metro Detroit visitors bureau likes to say, “Detroit: It’s Go Time” and there’s no better time to revel in this reimagined sense of purpose and energy than now.
This is my beginning paragraph of an article I’m writing for GoNomad this month.
In it, George finds the horsepower to surround himself with Motor City culture starting with all things Henry Ford: the Innovation Museum and Rouge Factory, the 1915 home of Clara and Henry called Fair Lane and the Ford Piquette Plant, the birthplace of the Model T. I follow up with a slippery stroll along the Riverwalk, a tour of the Guardian building, the DIA and a 20-minute drive on the edge of the city for tuna casserole at Vinsetta’s Garage. The last venue shadowed by another childhood and neighborhood cohort, Joe. All that and so much more thanks to a 90-minute flight aboard Delta at sunrise from Albany International.