Sadly I only had one day in this unique and breathtaking city. We drove from Toronto and arrived in Detroit late that night we had booked an airbnb with the wonderful Gary, I highly recommend staying here for only 30 bucks each Gary offered us his Post Industrial Apocalyptic Landscape Tour, which meant we were able to see a side of Detroit we would never have seen on our own.
Detroit is rich in history, during the roaring twenties it was booming with the success of Henry Ford and was the richest city in the U.S. Do check out the history of the 12th street riot, it was the one of the most destructive riots in American history and the city has never recovered. Many people abandoned their homes and business' that day and never returned. Whole neighborhoods are still left in a ghostly state, as if frozen in time. This makes Detroit a truly amazing place for Urban exploration of abandoned buildings.
Two of my favourite abandoned buildings you should definitely check out were the Packard Automotive plant and the Michigan Central station, you wont be breaking any rules with these guys because they can definitely be appreciated from the outside.
You may think all of this would make Detroit seem like a sad place to be, however through adversity Detroit has created a flourishing Arts scene. We were lucky enough to visit the Heidelberg Project and meet Tyree Guyton the creator and founder of the project. I really recommend going to visit this project it is truly unique and a stunning example of Detroit creativity.
The MBAD African Bead Museum is most certainly worth a visit Olayami Dabls was working on it at the time we visited, what he has created is truly beautiful and looks different at all times of day due the reflections of light on the mirrors used.
Lincoln Street Art Park is an ingenious idea, art has been created from an illegal dumping spot using the rubbish to create works of art and to teach the younger generations in the community the importance of Art and recycling, one word AMAZING!
Detroit is home to a wealth of community gardens, which have been put together on a voluntary basis in the community and the food grown is free to take. So no one ever has to struggle or go hungry.
Detroit's Architecture is stunning it used to be referred to as the Paris of the West, take a walk around the city and take a look around the beautiful Art Deco buildings which show Detroits wealth and decadence in the Twenties.
We were also lucky enough to go to Belle Isle where you can actually yell over to Canada if you like! It's such a peaceful, idyllic place with some great stories about the prohibition era.
Most people we spoke to on our trip asked us "Why the hell would you go to Detroit?!", "Were you scared for your safety?" Yes there are a lot of Homicides in the city, but aren't there a lot in any city?! Did I feel safe, yes, I was with a local which I guess always puts you at ease, but seriously there is so much to Detroit, it truly is beautiful and fascinating I'm not going to miss out on that because of fear. I need to go back to do more, we missed out on seeing 8 mile which is a definite must! I really believe if you never go you have missed out on somewhere truly remarkable, and hey with its thriving art scene get ahead of the crowd and go before it's 'cool'. Not to mention it's the birthplace of Motown!
Have you ever been to Detroit? Or have you been to another misunderstood place? let me know in the comments! Here's our video all about our stay: