ME: “Where are you from?”
ME: “What do you think of Detroit so far?”
MAN: “It’s interesting.”
He was non-committal about the town, but maybe it’s because a strange kid from Los Angeles was talking to him in a hotel elevator.
We spent the morning at Great Lakes Coffee next to Wayne State College. We were in the right place: artisan coffee, exposed brick, Edison bulbs, a bar, and table service in the evenings. They’ve got their recession-proof human vices covered: coffee and alcohol.
Belle Isle State Park is a recreational island in between Detroit and Windsor, Canada.
Jonathon and I picked up an entirely green lunch at Whole Foods in an attempt to compensate for last nights meat-stravaganza and what was coming up tonight. We picnicked near the water and a good distance away from the asshole geese.
At the opposite end of the island there was a conservatory with a jazz concert going on in the middle of a Wednesday. The event was called “Senior Power Dayz” and was mostly made up of black seniors enjoying retirement and the beautiful day.
After the free reptile zoo we drove down Grand Blvd towards Mootown Creamery. Grand Blvd is a row of beautiful, giant houses all abandoned with an overgrown weeds forming a natural fortress around them.
In the afternoon we did some urban spelunking at a famous abandoned factory in Detroit. We climbed over piles of cement, stared at trash and burnt tires, saw headless Ken dolls, and tried to decipher the graffiti art. I’m being vague on purpose because I’m not entirely sure it was legal for us to be in there.
I decided I'm not going to post any photos of the desolation of Detroit because you can find that anywhere on the Internet. There are pockets of art and development there but they are few and far between. I found that the GPS always took us to the same sections of the city, because these are the only parts where you can find normal amenities like a grocery store, a FedEx, or a Starbucks. In between this commerce though, you find entire city blocks of buildings that look like the house from Fight Club. Jonathon made the observation that the people milling around in the street were "like animals waiting for food."
You also don’t have to pay for parking anywhere in Detroit because you just drive to the next block where it’s abandoned and stop there. With that in mind we didn’t pay anything to park for the Tiger game.
I’ve been to 16 different baseball stadiums and Tiger Stadium is easily one of my favorites. Although I no longer watch baseball, going to the stadiums will always have a romance for me that you don’t find in any other sport. Each stadium has its own personality. With baseball, going to a game is more about a social event and it's rarely about the actual game.
We stood at the upper deck bar next to a group of Canadian frat bros that screamed “big titties!” when one of the Tigers hit a grand slam. We saw a group of Michigan girls that took selfies for 10 minutes. We hung out next to two fifty-year-olds that kept saying, “Yes!” when a cute girl came up on the jumbotron.
Although we bought seats for $20, we only spent two innings there. For the rest of the game we just walked around, went to the bars, shopped for Tiger swag, and chatted about life.
For most of the road trip I’ve been dancing in the car to Jonathon’s looks of horror and mock disapproval, but he never joins me. Since “emotion comes from motion,” I sometimes do physical things to change my state to whatever mood will serve me, for anything from the gym to going on a date. You should see the douchey rituals I do before I do a back squat.
Why do I bring this up? Because tonight I finally got him to dance. And all it took was two beers.