Three Things You Probably Did Not Know About Detroit

I was born and raised in Detroit. In fact, I lived there for nearly all of my life before moving to the suburbs (that”s a topic for a different post). Growing up as a child of the “90s, I didn”t quite understand how Detroit ranked compared to other cities. Slowly but surely it became clear; we didn”t rank well. “What is wrong with Detroit,” I thought, “what is so bad about the city?” I didn”t travel much so it took getting the Internet after I graduated high school to realize what was wrong. The answer was simple; a lot was wrong with Detroit. Instead of focusing on the negative like the rest of the media, I want to take time to talk about a few things that you probably did not know about Detroit. This is by no means an extensive list. It”s more of a few thoughts from a local.

Detroit”s Large Middle Eastern Population

Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan

Islamic Center of America in Dearborn, Michigan

As someone coming to Detroit on business or even for a vacation, one may wonder what there is to do. How about experiencing a little culture? It wasn”t long before I realized that not everyone has had an authentic Chicken Shawarma or Shish Kafta sandwich. It”s as common as apple pie to a native Detroiter, but to someone that is not from Detroit, it might seem as foreign as… well, Middle Eastern food.

Dearborn, Michigan is home to a population that includes over 40,000 Arab Americans. That”s not including the surrounding cities. According to the 2010 census, 40% of Dearborn”s population is Arab American, including the largest Lebanese population in the United States. Dearborn is full of culture including shopping, the Arab National History Museum and, of course, delectable food.

Middle Eastern Food Recommendations

  • Al Ameer – 12710 West Warren Avenue, Dearborn, MI 48126 – Rated 4.5/5 five stars on Trip Advisor, I don”t think we need to say anything else. You will not be let down.
  • Al Shallal – 24402 W Warren St, Dearborn Heights, MI 48127 – Their 3.5/5 rating on Trip Advisor does not do it justice. The food here is amazing and the owner is equally so. Try the Baklava; it”s to die for.
  • Armani”s Restaurant -13823 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI 48126 – Yelp rates them 4/5 stars and that”s saying a lot since Yelp has been known to favor bad reviews. Tip: Go with a group and eat family-style. You”ll never enjoy food as much as you do if you eat it with a group.
marathon course

Detroit Free Press Marathon Course

International Marathon Begins in Detroit

That”s right, Detroit is home to the only international marathon that begins in the United States. It obviously heads south into Canada. Yes, you read that correctly, the 26.2 mile race begins in Detroit proper and heads south online casino across the Ambassador Bridge and into our neighbor of the North, Canada. After a running the Canadian leg of the race, runners continue north-bound and under the Detroit river, where the near the final leg of the race after running under water. Don”t believe me? Take a look at the map.

Art Lovers Rejoice; Detroit Has Got You Covered

The Detroit Institute of Arts is home to one of the finest collections of art in the country. The DIA is comprised of over 100 galleries, an auditorium, and a lecture hall, conversation lab, and a reference library. It”s known as a “Temple of Art” due to it”s collection of artwork from all over the world and ranging from nearly every era imaginable. Since it”s opening on Woodward Ave. in 1927, the Detroit Institute of Arts has been a home to millions of art lovers. If you are in the city and don”t set aside some time to see it for yourself then surely you”re doing yourself a disservice. So while you”re in Detroit, stop by and check it out; you will not be let down.

A must see at the Detroit Institute of Arts

It”s most famous works include Diego Rivera”s “Detroit Industry.” An ode to Detroit manufacturing and labor roots by one of the most famous artists to ever come out of Mexico. According to Rivera, it is the work he is most proud of and there”s no wonder why. It”s a stunning work of art and to be able to see it is absolutely breathe-taking.

All in all Detroit not might be a gem to an outside but it”s a gem to a local. A flawed gem but a gem nonetheless. If you”re in the area on business, pleasure, or for any reason it”s worth exploring more than just what is on the surface. As they say, “Don”t judge a book by its cover.” In regards to Detroit, I guess that can be modified to “Don”t judge a city by it”s media coverage.” We hope to see you soon.