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Detroit: 10 Things to Do in 24 Hours

It's summer -- the best time of the year to visit the Motor City, and the Midwest. TIME just published its Detroit Travel Guide -- the 10 key things to do, where to stay, and places to eat, on a short trip. There are plenty of places we could have added to the list -- like Bastone, in downtown Royal Oak, Mich., for steak frittes. Or a couple rounds of "ghetto blaster" -- a beer -- on the deck of Motor City Brewing Works, in Detroit's relatively bustling Midtown section.

If you had to introduce a first-time visitor to Detroit, what would you show him, and why?

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  • 1

    Buddy's Pizza, the original on Conant and E.McNichols, a neighborhood institution since 1936, started serving Pizza in 1946, once a blind pig for gambling, still has Bocce court from old days. It's hard to find old-time neighborhood hangouts in the D as many have closed over the past three decades(Little Cafe, Turtle Soup Inn, the original Shields, Vincenzos, Lou Rosas, Nortown, Zosias, Kavans,Roccos,Schiavis, etc...). Chicago has many, many old-time restaurants and bakeries. Hamtramck still has a few. But Buddys in Zipcode 48212 of Detroit(same zip as Hamtramck) deserves a visit from anyone who wants a taste of the history of the City of Detroit. Sunny Side Bakery & Deli on E. McNichols at Bufflao in Zip 48212 is another rare institution from the 1920s and 30's that still exists, I bought some paczkis there in February, the best!!! Nice cakes there too! Marcus Hamburgers on E. McNichols, just east of Mt. Elliott, also Zip 48212, is very interesting,unique burgers, serves breakfast & lunch too, an old institution since 1936, closes early, around 4 pm. There's another now in Sterling Heights, but it lacks ambiance of original.

  • 2

    Since the East and West coast based national media, and that includes TIME - your magazine Mr. Gray, take such obvious delight in showing ONLY the worst side of Detroit to the nation, I would show my 1st time friends the beauty of Detroit which the national media is so reluctant to do.

    1) Lake Shore Drive through the Grosse Pointes and Edel and Eleanor Ford's mansion.

    2) Belle Isle, Scott's Fountain, Great Lakes Museum and the Horticultural Bldg and Gardens.

    3) Through the tunnel for a view of Detroit from Windsor, Ontario Canada.

    4) A ride on the People Mover for an overview of the central business district with a stop at Greektown's restaurants and casino.

    5) The central business district which includes GM'S RenCen, the River Walk, the beautiful Guardian Bldg, Campus Martius, Fox Theater, Hockey Town, Comerica Park, Ford Field and the Gem Theater.

    6) Up Woodward Ave. to Orchestral Hall, The Detroit Medical Center, Detroit Science Center, Detroit Institute of Arts, Center for Creative Studies, Detroit Public Library (don't miss the mosiac on the Cass Ave side), the Wayne State University campus, the magnificent Fisher Bldg, take the tunnel under W. Grand Blvd to Cadillac Place (the old GM Headquarters).

    7) General Motors Tech Center in Warren and Chrysler's Tech Center and Museum in Auburn Hills where they still design and engineer America's cars and trucks and conduct materials and process engineering research in the $billions.

    8) On to Royal Oak and it's unique downtown, shops and restaurants, beautiful Birmingham downtown and its lush neighborhoods, Bloomfield Hills and Cranbrook, Kirk in the Hills Church on the shore of Island Lake, Franklin Village.

    9) Dearborn's The Henry Ford and Greenfield Village which takes a back seat to no other museum complex in this country. Plan for a full day.

    10) Tour of Ford River Rouge assembly plant which Toyota copied, among the other of Detroit's innovations, for their Toyota City.

    You and your staff really ought to see these uniquely Detroit places and things Mr. Gray. It's obvious that you haven't since you and your magazine never write about them. That's a shame, not only for yourself and Detroit, but also for cheating the rest of this country out of a very worthwhile and enjoyable experience.

    • 2.1

      Nicely done, jeff9808. I'm from the other side of the state and love going to Detroit for Tigers games. Detroit has some rough areas, sure, but I've never understood what's so incredibly *bad* about it--besides the economy, of course. Maybe it's because I'm a Michigander, and I remember going to Detroit as a little girl when the auto industry was still booming and the Tigers had Sparky Anderson!

      I had the opportunity to go to The Henry Ford last summer, and I thought it was incredible. I also loved Dearborn; it's a city I wouldn't mind living in.

      I've not seen much of what you have described, but I will definitely keep these areas in mind if I have more time to explore the next time I head east...

  • 3

    Your 10 Things to Do in 24 Hours is seriously lacking. Though it does mention Michigan Central Station it ignores far older ruins in the city, ruins that in themselves tell the story of the rise and fall of Detroit as much as what is left of the Colosseum tells the same for the Roman Empire. The structures of which I speak? None other than the few residential ruins left in the area of Brush park, only blocks away from Comerica Park and Ford Field. The most poignant of these is arguably the Ransom Gillis House on the corner of John R and Alfred Street.(see

    Not visiting Brush Park when in Detroit is like not visiting the Acropolis when in Athens.

  • 4

    [...] since we all love Detroit, I want all my fellow LionsDetroit fans to check out detroit.blogs.time and tell me what you think about[...]

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