Not only did we not have to talk our relatives in suburban Detroit into exploring downtown, they suggested it! Detroit gets better with our every annual visit. We dropped by what is now an old favorite must see, the stunningly ornate Guardian Building and then followed a comfortable-sized crowd to a thriving pocket park – campus martius – with cafes (Parc looked particularly good), outdoor tables, sculpture and a sandy beach (minus the waterfront — the Detroit river is a few blocks south). Kids played in the sand, small groups (black and white, although not mixed) sipped drinks at outdoor tables, two bands played an stages near muscle cars on display (a fraction of the vintage cars participating in the annual Dream Cruise further north on Woodward Avenue). Barbara forgot her purse at our table, walked back to it after a few minutes and there it was waiting for her, all items accounted for. Gives you hope for Detroit’s continued renaissance.
We also wandered into Moosejaws, a Detroit outdoors store, among several inviting cafes and shops nearby and more to come — a big Shopping Center is rising soon on the site of the famous old Hudson’s Department Store that I used to go to with my mom in the 1960s and 70s. We also dropped in at a famous old auction house across from RenCen and by far the best piece for sale was a piece by Glen Michaels, father of a high school friend.