Every so often in our business, work and discovery perfectly intersect and you are reminded of how lucky you are to have cause to travel to places in North America outside of your regular flight path. Like Detroit.
Of course, we’d heard and seen many attempts at documentary, at ascribing meaning and cause to the events that have afflicted this great American city, but no words come close to describing it.
Detroit is a great city. We have travelled all over North America and what struck each of us – beyond the great ruins, the stunningly juxtaposed architecture, and the sense of flux – was how genuine and how open the people here are. Routine transactions turned into real conversation. People greeted us on the street, returning our awkward, head-down Canadian ‘Sorry’ or ‘Excuse me’ with ‘How are you?’ and ‘Have a great night’. And they meant it. Everyone (and we mean everyone) held doors open.
We had the good fortune of seeing evidence of the bloom of the creative class, no doubt arriving to benefit from Detroit’s favourable cost of living, but staying and retooling pockets of many scorched earth neighbourhoods through a proliferation of small businesses and creative collectives. Amidst the endless tags and unloved graffiti shone truly incredible pieces of street art and community installations. We saw a lot of great design.
Mercury Burger & Bar (Corktown)
City Bird (Cass Corridor)
Shinola (Cass Corridor)
Get yourself to Detroit. Now.