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You Know You're in Detroit When...

The city's heat wave is keeping my family and I indoors – whether it is watching too much TV or making endless Lego inventions. So, today, we ended up just driving around with the AC on high.

To that end, I present to you…My favorite Detroit landmarks. Here's my top five. Please add to the list!

Oh, and one more thing I love about Detroit: Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus (Gabriel Richard).

1. The Michigan Central Depot train station. 'Nuff said.

Steve Savich

2. Spirit of Detroit: Love this epic statue by local sculptor Marshall Fredericks. The great man lived and worked here for decades. It's one of many in the area, including the Detroit Zoo fountain with the polar bears and the giant one in front of the Royal Oak library that I passed daily when I lived there. Another favorite is the Lion and the Mouse at Eastland Mall. Find me at a local watering hole, and I'll tell you the story about how the mouse disappeared – and reappeared recently.

Steve Savich

3. Belle Isle fountain: Its true name is the Scott Memorial Fountain. Its white marble, huge diameter and spectacular sprays make this island landmark a gem. It is as glorious as any you will find in Chicago or New York.

4. Joe Louis fist: My friend Jim puts it best. “Supporters laud its symbolism of Detroit's toughness, working class roots and the patriotic iron fist of a Black American Detroit-born hero who fired the first shot against Nazism - elevating his race in the process - when Joe Louis pummeled Max Schmeling in the late 1930s.”

Steve Savich

5. Kern's Clock: When my mom lived downtown back in the day, friends often planned to meet under this famous clock. Proud to say I know the guy who fixed it up (Hey, Malcolm!), and it now resides near Campus Martius and the Compuware headquarters.

Steve Savich


And I'd be remiss without adding these words from my friend, James. “Not all technically landmarks, but: That point on southbound I-75 north of 94 ramp when church's three steeples (not sure which church) appears in foreground superimposed over the RenCen--and exactly reflecting its outline. View from northbound I-75 over Rouge. Theatre Bizarre. View from the Book-Cadillac. Avalon Bakery cookies, which is kids' favorite alongside Belle Isle playground and conservatory. The Fox. Whichever room my roommate's dog is napping in at the moment. A museum district a relative stone's throw from affordable housing.”

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