Monday, September 29, 2008

A Beautiful Saturday in Detroit

My mom and I spent Saturday doing all things Detroit. I was finally able to hit up some of the cultural hot spots I can never find time for and it was amazing.

We started off the day with omelettes from Toast, a Ferndale diner (OK, everything else in the post is Detroit), as recommended many times by my dear friend Nikki. It was delish! We had a "20 minute" wait, which really turned out to be 5 minutes and were greeted by friendly and fast-working staff. I'll definitely go back!

From there, we went to explore artist Tyree Guyton's Heidelberg Project, a housing project on the eastside of the city that has had many question what art really means. While driving through the dilapidated neighborhood surrounding the project, my only thought was "how sad." Once we entered Heidelberg street and saw the randomness that makes up the art-filled streets and homes, my only thought was, "Man this is weird. But at least it's not sad anymore, it's just...interesting." I mean, who literally staples hundreds of stuffed animals to a house? Art is in the eye of the beerholder I suppose! Nonetheless, it was fascinating and beautiful in its own way.

After taking some photos of the houses, we headed over to Eastern Market -- a place I've been dying to go to since I moved closer to the area a few years ago. It was AWESOME! I could have walked up and down the rows of produce for hours -- it was like a candy store to me. There was just something so great feeling about buying items from local farmers and entrepreneurs. And the prices! I don't know a single store that can beat 'em! I walked out with grapes, tomatoes, raspberries and strawberries all for just $4.50. And with fall in full bloom, you couldn't beat the prices for mums and the other flowers that decorated the rows either.

From Eastern Market, we went to Pewabic Pottery, the famed Detroit historical landmark on Jefferson. This was another spot I could have stayed for hours. I have always loved ceramics and find such beauty in their uniqueness. It took me nearly an hour to pick out the perfect, reasonably priced piece -- a simple, circular, "Pewabic green" flower that was fired in the Detroit studio. My mom and I also wandered around the current exhibit - "Texting: Print and Clay" and admired the intricate and modern pieces and learned a little about Pewabic's 105-year history.
On the way back toward home, we drove around Belle Isle Park, which was huge and very beautiful (I've never seen so much grass in Detroit!) then we hit up the Good Girls Go to Paris Creperie, a new stand hidden on John R, a block off of Woodward. I had the Mollika (cherries, chocolate and whipped cream), while my mom had the Cora (strawberries, blueberries and whip). Very cool concept and I'm happy the adorable owner decided to set-up shop in downtown.
Overall, it was a perfect day and I have the city of Detroit (and my mom) to thank.


Sarah said...

I have wanted to go to the Heidelberg project since we saw the exhibit in January at the DIA. Jealous.

Leigh said...

The Heidelberg Project is interesting, isn't it? I had to go to it during my first year of law school, because we did a legal assignment on it. I now know wayyy more about Tyree Guyton than I ever thought I would, haha.

White Collar Boy said...

Heidelberg is an interesting beast. I work at Franklin-Wright Settlements, a nonprofit that houses Tyree and his organization. I don't live on the Eastside (I live near Wayne State)...but working 40 hours a week in this neighborhood is quite intense.

"Interesting" is just the tip of the iceburg for all the people and stories that become the Eastside.

metrogal84 said...

@sarah: I will go back with you so you don't get lost! ;) With your photography skills, it is def a place you need to bring your camera!

@leigh: I want to hear about the legal assignment -- was it learning about upset neighbors? ;)

@White Collar Boy: Totally agree --the Eastside is very unique. I am currently working on an event that is taking place in that area and have learned a lot of those stories you speak of...One thing is for sure, those Eastsiders have mad pride for the city!

Anonymous said...

yay a fellow detroiter blogger! good to know we're out there :)

And I love Toast. Between Toast and Fly Trap, breakfast was never better.

Of course the breakfast at Russell Street Deli in Eastern Market is fantastic too! And Detroit Breakfast House. We take breakfast very seriously around these parts :)

A Super Girl said...

I, too, love Toast, though when I went, the wait was more like 45 minutes, so that often deters me from going back.

And isn't the creperie insanely good? It's one of my favorite cheap lunch spots downtown.