Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Hometown Hearts: Detroit, MI

Hey there CAPow readers! I’m Mandy of GingerMandy (, a freelance writer living just outside Detroit, MI. I’ve grown up in the metro Detroit area all my life and have lived all over the tri-county area. Regardless of which suburb I’m finding myself stuck living in with my family, Detroit is “home” and my true love when it comes to big cities. You might be wondering what in the world is so special about Detroit, but if you’re from the area, you understand the feeling of “what ISN’T special about it?” Between our art, history, culture, food and music scene, we’re the cat’s pajamas. Sure, we’re busy picking ourselves up from economic downfall, but that’s one more thing that makes it so inspiring for young artists and entrepreneurs. In Detroit, you’re noticed. The city NEEDS you, and since none of us can find jobs, we might as well create them ourselves. Abandoned buildings are being turned into theatres, salons, bakeries, bars, and boutiques. Here are some of my favorite happenings in the fabulous Motor City:

1. Motor City Brewing Works ( - We’re not just known for coney dogs in Detroit (more on those later), it’s all about beer, too. One of the most popular brews is Ghettoblaster, a mild ale known as “the beer you can hear”, an ongoing tribute to Detroit’s music scene. The brewery even releases compilation discs of local music on occasion. Their Pale Ale is good too but if you come to Detroit and don’t have a Ghettoblaster you’re dead to me.

2. Detroit Flyhouse ( - I discovered the Flyhouse performers while at an art show a year or so ago and immediately had to sign up for classes. Micha, the owner, is one of the most inspiring people I’ve ever met (and has wicked muscles, too). Not only is it an amazing experience to transform your body by doing Cirque Du Soleil type tricks, but it’s a positive environment with other people who love to be “flying” in the air and upside down. 

3. Slow’s Bar B Q ( - I don’t eat pork and I’m not a fan of barbecue flavored food, but Slows is a major exception. Their sandwiches explode with filling and drip with sauce, and they don’t exclude vegetarians, either. The Genius sandwich is for veggies who don’t want to be left out, and their mac ‘n cheese will give you a foodgasm. No really. Foodgasm. You’ll die. They also do a lot for the city, selling locally brewed beers and working with local charity events.

4. Lemonade: Detroit ( - Lemonade: Detroit is (these details taken from their website) “a film about the disarming resilience of a city that can no longer rely on a single industry for its livelihood, and the entrepreneurial strengths of those who are reinventing themselves and their communities. Instead of sensationalizing blight, “Lemonade, Detroit” will sensationalize hope, told through the intensely personal stories of those who are turning the city into what it will become.”
Erik Proulx is the creater of Lemonade: Detroit, raising funds by encouraging everyone to buy a frame and become an IMDB-accredited movie producer. For $1/frame, it’s an inexpensive, easy and exciting way to be a part of something that will (hopefully) span the globe and encourage people to visit Detroit and realize it’s much more than what’s seen on the news. One of my favorite authors OF ALL TIME, Hugh MacLeod, even created this limited edition print to raise funds for the project. Badass.

5. The Dirty Show ( - (NSFW) - I like art that makes you uncomfortable. I like naked people. I like burlesque dancers, suspension acts, freaks and geeks. Those are some of millions of reasons why I could name The Dirty Show as my favorite Detroit art exhibit of the year. If you’ve been dying to go look at erotic art while dragging your boyfriend or girlfriend behind you on a leash, here’s your chance. I'm pretty sure this show is in other parts of the country as well. The Dirty Show is special to me because it holds the only time in my life where I legitimately could not tell whether someone was a man or a woman.

6. Lafayette and American Coney Island ( - The coney dog has been a favorite of Detroiters for years. Lafayette and American Coney Island are the two most popular Coney restaurants in the city, located right next door to one another and owned by two brothers (one owns each). Skin-cased hot dogs in a warm, steamed bun topped with chili, mustard and onions. Once again, foodgasm.

7. Detroit Riverwalk ( - The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy is a non-profit dedicated to bringing enjoyable public access to Detroit’s riverwalk area. Whether you want to go for an evening stroll after dinner, walk your dog in the morning, go for a run around the city or even do yoga on the river in the summer, this is the perfect place to go and unwind. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the pleasant peninsula of Michigan while still in the midst of a beautiful downtown area. I know, I sound like a personals ad for the state of Michigan.

I could probably name 20 more places and probably left out things that other Detroiters will be like "what the hell is WRONG with you Mandy," but there you have it. Some places in Detroit that make it so lovable to me. One of the best parts of living here? The pride. Every single person from here is incredibly proud of what’s happening around them, and they’re proud to say they are Imported From Detroit (link to this: you're in the area, holler! We'll go out for beer and some coneys.

If you want to see how awesome other Michigan bloggers are, you can check out some of my favorite ladies. We've developed great friendships and I'm so grateful to live near them:
Sarah (, Mae (, Ria (, Jenni (, Megan (, Lauryn (, Rebecca (

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Thank you Mandy for showing us what makes Detroit awesome!
If you would like to write a guest post on your hometown, please email us!
windshielddiaries at gmail dot com


  1. Looks like an awesome city! Thanks for sharing, Mandy! :)

  2. What a great post! I read her blog, but I really loved this feature!

  3. yay, i forgot i was posting today haha! i go home in 2 days (FINALLY) and this makes me even more excited. thank you for the feature! :)

  4. DETROIT! Born & bred. I love hearing people talk good about this awesome city. It definitely doesn't get a lot of credit for being one of the most fun cities around. :)

  5. that flyhouse looks pretty awesome!

  6. yaaay! i grew up in metro detroit too, and although i've moved all the way across the country, i still call it "back home."

    i am so proud, impressed and thrilled with the amazing things happening in the city now. thanks for sharing with the rest of the bloggy world!

    <3 <3 <3


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