Working in Detroit… and Loving It!
I was very anti-Detroit for a very long time. I lived in Dearborn in the mid ’80s and dreaded any trips into the city. I avoided the city as much as possible and when asked about Detroit, I typically said that I thought it was the worst big city in the U.S. Eventually, I moved away and vowed to never go back.
And now, I work in downtown Detroit… and I love it! In fact, I drive 40 miles one way to get to work. And I often make the drive on weekends too. How can this be? What caused my change of heart?
Well, the truth is Detroit really has changed.
In the ’80s, it seemed that every time I went downtown, I saw or experienced things that were negative and/or made me uncomfortable. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say that those experiences overshadowed any positives from the trips and definitely tainted my feelings about Detroit.
But now, Detroit is much better. For one thing, it’s cleaner… much cleaner. The streets are no longer littered with trash. Many of the older, abandoned buildings have been renovated or replaced with new ones. Several large business have moved downtown (e.g., Compuware and QuickenLoans). New businesses, restaurants, and shops have opened all over the city. The city opened Campus Martius in late 2004 and it has exceeded all expectations for creating a great community gathering place. The streets, restaurants, and shops are busy. There’s an energy now. A buzz that’s exciting and contagious. And it’s getting better every day.
If you’re not familiar with Detroit, below are some of the cool places/things. Come check them out and see for yourself.
- The Riverfront
- The DIA
- The Detroit Science Center
- Wayne State University
- Campus Martius
- The Whitney
- Comerica Park (home of the Tigers)
- Ford Field (home of the Lions)
- The Guardian Building
- The Renaissance Center
- Woodward Avenue
- The Garden Bowl
- Eastern Market
And here are a few links if you want to learn more.
- Dan Gilbert Guest Hosts Morning Radio Show on WJR AM 760
- Inc. Magazine: How the Motor City Got Its Groove Back
- Opportunity Detroit