Detroit: Urban Farming @ Earthworks Community Garden
After my explorations of Windsor on October 17, 2008 I headed over to Detroit where I embarked on a driving tour with Jeanette Pierce, co-founder of Inside Detroit, a non-profit organization that offers a wide range of thematic tours of Detroit.
From Stroh River Place, a mixed-use development of converted Victorian warehouses, we headed to Belle Isle, Detroits urban island and leisure playground. After a visit to the upscale Indian Village and the Gleaner Food Bank, an example of urban farming, Jeanette took me to the Heidelberg Project, an outdoor art installation that features painted houses and artistic compositions made of discarded items. Artist Tyree Guiton originally conceived this project in the mid 1980s as a protest against the deterioration of his childhood neighbourhood. We were able to catch a brief interview with the creator of this now world-renowned project.
After a brief stop at Detroits Eastern Market we drove through Midtown Detroit which is highlighted by various cultural and educational institutions including Wayne State University and the Detroit Institute of Arts. North of there is New Centre, which is distinguished by two 1920s architectural masterpieces: the Fisher Building and Cadillac Place, the former headquarters of General Motors.
In the evening I enjoyed a tasty seafood dinner at Sindbads Restaurant which has a great location right on the Detroit River. The Blancke family has been running this restaurant since 1949. Finally, after a long and intense day I headed back to my hotel: the recently reopened Westin Book Cadillac Hotel, a gorgeous Art Deco masterpiece from 1924 that has recently been brought back to glory at a cost of more than $200 million.