I’m not a native Detroiter, as a matter of fact when 99.5 WYCD called me to come work here in 2011, my wife Karen and I were a bit skeptical. After all, the press isn’t so kind to the Motor City, all you hear is murder, death, decline, bankruptcy, and scandal. Hey, what’s not to get excited about? However, from the minute we arrived in Metro Detroit, after calling Nashville, Tennessee our home for ten years, we instantly fell in love. Peel away the surface, get into your city, feel it’s energy, it’s history, be a part of it’s pulse, and Detroit will envelop you, it will suck you in like a vacuum, and you’ll become addicted to it. As a radio personality, this nomadic profession has taken me from my Peoria, Illinois hometown to Tampa, Florida, to Louisville, Kentucky, to Mobile, Alabama, to Nashville, and now, a place in which I feel very at home; the region we call Metro Detroit.
Whether you’re in Rochester, Royal Oak, or Romulus, St. Clair Shores, Southfield, or Southgate, we’re all Detroiters, and the city is just the nucleus that keeps this region in tact. Never have I seen more resilient, passionate people who love where they are from than I have here. Now, there are others who we’ve encountered who when they learn that we actually relocated here, they say “why?”, and we can honestly say we love it. There would be many things we’d miss if we left, which is why I try my best to entertain you daily on WYCD, because lord knows, if my ratings fail, there goes Jack Shell. When I talk about the things I like about living here on the radio, it’s not some phony way of connecting with you, the native Detroiter, it’s genuine, because I like to see what this region can do, and is, and what it’s going to be. There’s so much potential for greatness in this city still, and the young generation of people who get their hands dirty in the city proper to help it prosper again excite me to no end. When people back in Tennessee ask me how I like Detroit, I tell ’em the truth, “I love it!”, and I give them the real skinny on the Motor City. Sure, there’s the surface, the blight, the crime, the lovely mild winters (sarcasm), and the bankruptcy issues which hit the national news, but Detroit’s so much more.
Here are things I love about Detroit. Granted some of these things are 248 and 586, but without 313, there’d not be those either.
1.) Detroit Red Wings – Have actually been a fan for years. Had this jersey made at my first game at the Joe.
2.) Detroit Tigers – Nothing like a sunny day at Comerica Park with a cold beer and baseball.
3.) Belle Isle Park – Karen and I love to have picnics and ride our bicycles here in the warm months. A treasure.
4.) Detroit Institute of Arts – Get lost here, and hang with Rembrandt, Picasso, Monet, Warhol, and more. We’re card carrying members.
5.) Woodward Dream Cruise – The real pride of Metro Detroit. Cars, cars, and MORE CARS!
6.) Architecture – The most amazing architecture in America is in Detroit. A feast for the eyes.
7.) Coney Islands – I’m a National man, myself… but I’ll sit anywhere and enjoy a tasty coney and a Vernors, you bet.
8.) Pizza – More pizza here than any city in America. I’d put Buddy’s up against any overrated Chicago deep dish.
9.) DTE Energy Music Theatre – Greatest outdoor concert venue ever. Greatest concert fans.
10.) Campus Martius Park – The centerpiece of Downtown Detroit. Beautfiful fountain, tasty bistro.
11.) River Cruises – If you’ve never taken one of these in the summer, do it, thank me later.
12.) Corktown – Even without Tiger Stadium, it’s still a thing. Cool, young people are keeping it alive.
13.) St. Patrick’s Day Parade – Nothing like it. Drunk people losing their mind and stomachs on Michigan Avenue.
14.) America’s Thanksgiving Parade – Rivals Macy’s parade in New York City.
15.) Dutch Girl Donuts – Woodward and Six Mile, simply the greatest doughnuts I’ve ever tasted.
16.) Faygo Rock & Rye – Most refreshing, tasty pop ever. Instant lipstick.
17.) Tigers Opening Day – What a party!
18.) Eastern Market – Cool people, cool vendors, fresh Michigan produce and meats, great eateries. Love Eastern.
19.) Downtown Hoedown – The greatest three days of country music in the Upper Midwest with the greatest fans.
20.) Motown – When I hear Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, and the Temptations, it has a new meaning for me since living here. That legendary music was born here.
21.) Kmart – It started here. I don’t know why that makes me happy but it does.
Detroit, Karen and I are very happy here. I raise my glass and toast to you on this Detroit Day!
This list came fairly easy. There are more things I love, but I must get into the rest of my day. Perhaps YOU have your own favorite things about Detroit. Feel free to share them below.