Favorite thing: As soon as you emerge from the Detroit/Windsor Tunnel, you will see on your left (west) the wonderful Michigan Historic Site MARINERS' CHURCH.
The Plaque in front of the Church reads:
"In 1842, according to the will of Julia Ann Anderson, Mariners' Church was organized to serve the spiritual needs of Great Lakes Seamen. Anderson had come to Detroit in 1818 with her husband John, a Brevet Lieutenant Colonel with the U.S. Topographical Engineers. Designed by Calvin Otis of Buffalo, New York, the Gothic Revival Church was built in 1849 on the northwest corner of Woodward Avenue and Woodbridge Street. In 1955 the Church was moved to make room for the Civic Center Plaza. Hauled 880 feet along steel rails to this site, the 3,000-ton limestone structure blocked Woodward Avenue traffic for 21 days.
The Church was immortalized in the 1975 ballad "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" as the "cathedral" where "the church bell chimed 'til it rang 29 times."
Mariners' Church is in the National Register of Historic Places."
Fondest memory: Located at 170 East Jefferson, Detroit Michigan 48226
A BIT ABOUT DETROIT
Favorite thing: The largest city in the State of Michigan, DETROIT is also a major port city on the Detroit River. North of my hometown of Windsor, Detroit is the only major U.S. city that looks south to Canada. Founded in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.
Known as the world's automotive center, "Motor City" is home to the Big Three car companies - GM - Ford - Chrysler.
It is also here that popular music legacies began with Berry Gordy Jr. and the "Motown" sound which rose to prominence in the 60's and early 70's with acts such as Stevie Wonder, the Four Tops, The Temptations, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Jackson 5, Marvin Gaye and Martha & the Vandelas.
Can't forget the nickname "Hockeytown" home of Detroit's beloved Red Wings.
Fondest memory: Tuesday June 23, 2009
Hans and I visited Detroit. Among the sites we visited were: Greektown - St. Mary's Church - Mariners' Church - Renaissance Center and Hart Plaza.
WAYNE COUNTY BUILDING
Favorite thing: Located at 600 Randolph Street, the WAYNE COUNTY BUILDING contains the Wayne County administrative offices and its courthouse. Detroit architect John Scott designed the building which stands 5 floors and makes use of copper, granite and stone materials.
Constructed from 1897 to 1902, it may be the nation's finest surviving example of Roman Barocque architecture. The tower has four figures representing Law - Commerce - Agriculture - Mechanics.
Favorite thing: Located on Detroit's Riverfront, HART PLAZA was named in honor of Senator Philip A. Hart and is the site of many of Detroit's most popular festivals and events. It features several amphitheaters and an ice skating rink. There is also a cruise ship dock and passenger terminal at Hart Plaza ( very near the site where Antoine Cadillac landed in 1701 when he founded Fort Pontchartrain).
The 14 acres Plaza opened in 1975 and has a capacity of 40.000 people. At the center is the Horace E. Dodge & Son Memorial Fountain.
When we were at Hart Plaza, there were still some Food Wagons left from the Huge Fireworks Display that were put on a few days before. That is a huge event for Detroit/Windsor area, where millions line the shores of both cities to watch the Fireworks over the Detroit River.
ST. MARY'S CHURCH - GREEKTOWN
Favorite thing: A Michigan Historic Site, ST. MARY'S CHURCH is located in the heart of Greektown. It is very beautiful inside and out. I went inside to take a peek and there was a Mass going on.
A lovely plaque in front of the church reads:
"St. Mary's Parish was founded by Father Martin Kundig in 1835 for the German-speaking Catholics in Detroit and is the third oldest Catholic Parish in the city. The cornerstone for the original church was laid on the Feast of Corpus Christi June 19, 1841 and the church was consecrated in honor of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary on June 29, 1843. This High Victorian Romanesque style structure was designed by German parishioner Peter Dederichs. The cornerstone was laid in 1884 and the Edifice completed in 1885. St. Mary's founded the city's first Black and Hispanic Catholic Missions. Since 1893, this Parish has been guided by the Fathers of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost."
THE GATEWAY TO FREEDOM
Favorite thing: In Hart Plaza, on the waterfront, there is a wonderful sculpture by Ed Dwight THE GATEWAY TO FREEDOM. What is written on the plaque in front of the sculpture describes it very well and it reads:
"Until Emancipation, Detroit and the Detroit River Community served as the Gateway to Freedom for thousands of African American people escaping enslavement.
Detroit was one of the largest terminals
of the Underground Railroad, a network of abolitionists aiding enslaved people seeking freedom. Detroit's Underground Railroad code name was Midnight. At first
Michigan was a destination for Freedom Seekers, but
Canada became a safer sanction after Slavery was
abolished there in 1834. With passage of the Fugitive
Slave Act in 1850, many runaways left their homes in
Detroit and crossed the river to Canada to remain free.
Some returned after Emancipation in 1863.
The successful operations of Detroit's Underground
Railroad was due to the effort and cooperation of
diverse groups of people, including people of African
descent, Whites and North American Indians. This
legacy of freedom is a vital part of Detroit and its History"
Tiger Everywhere in Detroit
Favorite thing: Oh well, not the real tigers!
If you happen to be in Detroit in Michigan, you will enjoy watching and taking photos with lots of tigers in the area of Comerica. Don't miss your chance. Your kids will like the place as it is a park dominated by the Tigers.
Bring your digital camera and socialize with the tigers just before the ballgame.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
Border Tunnel - Detroit/Windsor
Favorite thing: The Detroit-Windsor tunnel is an underwater tunnel between the cities of Windsor of Canada and Detroit of the United States. It is the point of international crossing that requires both countries checking of passports and vehicles who visits each of the two countries.
Passing thru the immigration formalities takes only few minutes so it is not much of a problem to cross the border. Just some piece of advice: It is now required by the US authorities to present the passport even if you are a citizen of Canada.
Streets of Detroit
Favorite thing: My brief stay in Detroit gave me better impression of the downtown streets. I have not seen a lot but I can say that the street is wide and did not see any traffic.
I thought maybe the reason why the street was quiet at that time is because it was a Sunday and not too many people on the road. It was easy and convenient to travel as the streets are wide and drivers behave on the street.
If it is convenient for you to travel on a weekend, please do. It's not a crowded place at all. You will see my photos of street in Jefferson and one was taken on the street in front of Comerica.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Family Travel
Favorite thing: I travelled to Detroit from Toronto by car and took us approximately five hours. When we reached the border of Windsor and Detroit, I can see the skyline right from where we were. It was a magnificient view from afar.
These skycrapers made the downtown Detroit beautiful and I can imagine how amazing will it be at night across the Detroit River. Some of the tallest and prominent buildings at the downtown are the Cadillac Place and the Renaissance Center.
Stay in Detroit and enjoy the place. Watch the ball game at Comerica and go out at night and see the buildings brightly illuminated and made reflections of the light along the waterfront.
Fondest memory: I will definitely be going back to Detroit. My stay there was very brief and have yet to see some of its beautiful places.Related to:
- Arts and Culture
- Road Trip
Large automobile companies
Favorite thing: The Detroit area is home to several large automobile companies, namely General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler. While driving down the freeway in Dearborn, you can see many Ford buildings as seen here. The popular and must-see Henry Ford Museum is also located in Dearborn just off the Southfield Freeway (Highway 39).Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: Not that you can get there, I've never found a way, with one exception. But there are some major underground excavations that few people ever see.
1. The Salt Mine: Yes, there is a huge salt mine under the city. The entrance is supposed to be down in the River Rouge industrial district on the south side.
2. The Railroad tunnels (more than 1 I've heard of, but only one shows up on the maps. It runs from Detroit to Windsor. Probably the Amtrak/Via Rail route from Chicago, Illinois to Toronto, travels under the river here. More likely, they use the tunnel up at Port Huron-Sarnia.
3. The Windsor-Detroit Auto Tunnel. Yes, here's were you can get underground.
Fondest memory: I remember the time, we drove through the tunnel to Windsor. It was a strange trip. In Detroit, you enter just south of the Renaisance Center. It looks like you're entering an underground parking garage for Riverfront Park. The signs make it clear that you're entering the tunnel to Canada.
The road makes a long slow turn down and clockwise. It's just 2-lanes with a yellow line separating you from the on-coming traffic. Around and around you go, deeper and deeper, then the road straightens out and continues a gentle slope down hill. The walls are covered with ceramic tile. All white. Open the windows. When traffic is light, the sound is unlike anything you'll hear above. The air is cool and damp. There is the sound of water dripping through the entire length of the tunnel. The tiles look like they will give way at any moment and the Detroit River will rush in on you. You pass a black stripe of tile rising on your left, over the top and down on the right. One side says USA, the other side Canada.
Welcome to the underbelly of Ontario. Then the road begins to turn upwards. Shortly, you enter another helix of road, climbing upwards towards the daylight (I've not done this at night yet). At the top, the road widens out to numerous lanes and you meet the Canadian Customs/Immigration. Now you're really in Canada. A right turn brings you to the road to downtown, and you can see Detroit across the river.Related to:
- Road Trip
Favorite thing: 97.1 Free FM is an option if your woofers & tweeters need a break from Detroit radio. The hosts are usually annoying and talk mostly about their personal lives or topics such as "do you wet your toothbrush before you brush", "is it gay for a guy eats a salad with grape tomatoes", and whether or not you are "parting" your hair on the left if your wear your part on the left. (?) I am not kidding.
Its entertaining to listen and try to figure out what the heck they are doing for about 5 minutes. I think they have only two modes: dirty, and clean and stupid. And the dirty thing doesn't fly these days at 4pm.
Parker & the Man are on every week night & have the best sports talk show anywhere...Made a sports lover out of me....
LET'S JUST COME OUT AND SAY IT!!
Favorite thing: Folks from Detroit and the Detroit area love to talk about Detroit. We love to criticize as well as hope and the best blessings and worst cursings come from our very lips. There are a lot of suburbanites that despise the city. Let me clarify. I mean white suburbanites (not all of course). They will tell you how horrible the city is. What they are really saying (and sometimes they will come right out and say it) is that they judge how safe an area is by the black/white ratio. The more black people, the worse it must be. This is so ridiculous and it is the very attitude that has held Detroit back. Take things you hear with a grain of salt.
Favorite thing: It's long and big airport. I made the mistake of walking to my gate. As I arrived from my flight from Singapore/Tokyo, I have the impression that my gate for my next flight would be near. I was wondering why people took the sky train to get to their gates. I should have followed them. After about 5 minutes of walking did I realize that my gate was still very far. I reached that about 5 minutes before the gate opened. So on the return leg, i took note of where I was (luckily my arrival gate was just near my departure gate).
Lesson Learned: know the airport you are transitting, specially if you have little transit time.
Fondest memory: Althoug it was cold on the outside, the airport was quite warm. The shops are along the way to your gate. I thoroughly enjoyed shopping for souvenirs as the staff were quite helpful.
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