Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring in Detroit

After a long, brutal winter, I think we're starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel (knock on wood). Last weekend during my run I had to take my gloves off because I was too warm. Yesterday I attended my first ever Tigers Opening Day at Comerica Park in Detroit. The weather was flawless - sunny, temperatures in the low 60s. Detroit was humming with anticipation of Tiger baseball, but there was more. It is springtime in Michigan's flagship city, and the air was filled with hope and (dare I say it?) idealism.

Enjoying a great lunch at Fountain Bistro with my friends
Detroit hasn't had the easiest road. It's easy for people to look at what's happened in Detroit - political scandal, the nation's largest municipal bankruptcy - and write it off as untenable. Those people, however, just don't get it. They don't understand that the City of Detroit is the linchpin in making Michigan the kind of state that is attractive to young, talented workers. As long as Detroit lags behind, Michigan lags behind.

Many of the headlines for Detroit can be brutal, but the positive headlines are numerous and inspiring. Young, talented entrepreneurs are flocking to the City because its possibilities are endless. Last year Fast Company magazine did a piece on the community of entrepreneurs rebuilding Detroit. Despite its financial challenges, the City of Detroit is ground zero for placemaking and entrepreneurship.

On Opening Day the City was filled with optimistic people enjoying the best of what Detroit has to offer. My friends and I enjoyed lunch and a bloody mary bar at the always delicious Fountain Bistro in beautiful Campus Martius Park followed by drinks at Centaur before the game. We hit up American Coney Island after the game (which in my opinion is far inferior to its rival Lafayette...but had no line to stymie for our starving group).

This weekend we're heading back to Detroit for me to run the inaugural Cocoa Classic Half Marathon. We'll be in Detroit for a weekend in May to attend a friend's wedding festivities and a Detroit City FC soccer game. While it's always good to get to the D for a Tigers game, this year I will finally honor my 2013 resolution to spend more time in the City.  As a lover of cities, Detroit fills me with this zealous need to somehow be part of the bright future of the City.  I'm not sure a little 13.1 mile jaunt along the Detroit River and Belle Isle will do for Detroit, but it seems like a start, right?

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