Wanderlust: Detroit, MI
Americas comeback town rewards edgy adventurers with its rich history and emerging arts and culinary scenes.
A PRECIPITOUS DROP in population from 1.8 million to 700,000 gave the Motor City an opportunity for a fresh start, and the city emerging from its urban ruins today is greener than in the past, with parks replacing dilapidated housing and micro-initiatives like the Green Alley Project using a “place-making” strategy to create unexpected bursts of charm in walkable districts. Midtown is the epicenter of the renaissance, with a rich variety of art and cultural organizations: Detroit Institute of Arts, Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Children’s Museum, Michigan Historical Museum and Motown Museum. One of the neighborhood’s most popular happenings is the DLECTRICITY nighttime art and light festival, which brings dozens of artists together to light up buildings and outdoor spaces for two evenings in September.
Upstairs from the barbecue joint is a two-bedroom inn called HONOR & FOLLY. Its story parallels the renaissance in the rest of the city by showcasing that bigger isn’t always better. The owner’s background in design means the rooms are decorated with simple yet meaningful items from Midwest-based artisans (and many of them are for sale, if you’re in the market for a non-traditional souvenir). Although it’s only a 15-minute walk to downtown, making it out of Corktown could take some effort; with its restaurants and art shops, the neighborhood is a magnet for foodies and shoppers alike.
Photos by Marvin Shaouni, courtesy of Honor & Folly