A slim Disney-esque baby blue bridge connects Detroit with Canada. As avid Canadians – and Spaniard – travellers, we patiently wait in the border to spend a weekend exploring Detroit. The other side of the bridge looks not so much like Disney. A modest brown skyline that once held the title of the automobile capital.
Detroit holds its beauty in its contrasts. After the main car manufacturers installed their headquarters in the early 20th Century, growth seemed unstoppable. At its peak during the late 50’s, Detroit censed almost 2 million people – for reference, today’s population is around 600,000. Developers didn’t skimp on expenses in an effort to turn their buildings into colossal pieces of artwork. Among my favourite things: the People Mover, a monorail that for only $0.75, will get you closer to any place downtown, the Detroit Institute of Arts and buildings like the Guardian building.
Night in downtown Detroit was lively, in spite of the freezing rain. People were gathered in little pockets, like in the ice-skating rink and crowded bars watching the Piston’s game. There is something inherently glamorous in the dark facades of the old stone buildings, quietly illuminated. Everyone seemed to be having a great time.
One of our favourite spots is the Siren Hotel, an old building that the developers ASH NYC purchased and re-converted into a hotel, respecting its old cracks and identity. We didn’t spend the night there because it is a lot cheaper to stay in a Canadian hotel in Windsor, but I wouldn’t mind saving up in advance just to see the bedroom’s interiors.
I hope to be back, Detroit!