Monday, December 14, 2009

Detroit, city of choice for discerning people like Me and Stone

Over Eid, Stone and I went to Detroit, leaving the baby in the care of mom, dad, and the housemaids. We had an absolutely fantastic time. Detroit is one of the coolest cities in America, full of the nicest people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. We went there for the first time last summer, and liked it so much we bought an apartment downtown.

I think Detroit gets an unfair rap in the media and the minds of Americans, at least in part due to racism and classicism. The city of Detroit is like 82 percent black, and according to studies, boasts an illiteracy rate of 45 to 50% among ADULTS. The city has been repeatedly victimized by decades corruption and incompetency in local government, and though the new Mayor seems honest and competent, he has a difficult road ahead of him.

Stone and I think there is a great deal of hope for Detroit. Even overrun with abandoned skyscrapers, burned out suburbs, and urban prairie taking over old neighborhoods, we feel that Detroit is full of hope, and opportunity. Detroit is awash in interesting architecture, funky pocket neighborhoods, activities for kids, kind people, ample semi-skilled labor, a thriving arts and music scene, great restaurants, low costs of living, and wonderful downtown parks. I could go on, but you get the idea. I do not believe Detroit is too broken to fix.

Moving on, I thought I would post a few thoughts on our trip to Detroit, and a few vignettes of our time there.

  1. What is it with the total assholes that work the immigration desk in the US? Just Once I would like to arrive in the US, hand them my passport, and hear "Welcome Home Suburban!" . Instead, every single time, I get some asshole who feels like interrogating me for fifteen minutes because I'm not a "Genuine" American. I mean, would you guys just fuck off and let me come home? Is there a factory somewhere in Washington that cranks out these dour, soulless Ass-wipes who are everyone's first point of contact with the United states?
  2. Interestingly, the only Assholes we met during our entire week in the US were the US immigration authorities. Everyone else, even the crackheads and homeless people were the very personification of charm.
  3. We had the pleasure of eating twice at the Best BBQ place in the city, SLOWS It's three minutes out of downtown, in the corktown neighbourhood, directly across from the beautiful and decrepit abandoned train station. They have absolutely fantastic food, the fried catfish was so good I could eat if every day for the rest of my life. They also have an amazing selection of Micro-brews all sorts of outrageous porters, wheats, lagers, cask conditioned ales, and more.
  4. Our (straight) Realtor and some (non straight) friends took us to an awesome gay bar one night. (How Awesome is our Realtor?) For a 2 dollar cover charge you get a giant mason jar of Pabst Blue Ribbon, some really really really famous DJ's spinning, graphic homosexual art on the walls, guys danging around in leather, and a genuinely friendly crowd, even to boring straight people like me and Stone. I wish I could remember the names of the DJ's because the music was so fantastic.
  5. We went out to dinner at this place Called the Harbor House, which serves Alaskan Snow Crab. It is insanely delicious stuff. for 18 RO (Including tip) Stone and I could eat Two pounds of Snow crab with drawn butter, a really gourmet salad, fries, baguette and cinnamon butter, and have two Micro-brew beers each. That is Value Bitches.
    Yes, that is a real crab. Yes, they are really delicious.
  6. The guy from the rental car company picked us up in an Brand New Dodge Ram Pickup. I was all, Dude, this is a Sweet Ride! and he was all "Hi Five!" His name was Anton, and he was hilarious. Instead of the crappy tiny pickup we were planning on renting, he upgraded us to the giant, Red Ram for free. Look for a review here soon.
OK, this post is too long already. Needless to say we had fun. I'll post some of the funny stuff we did and saw in a future post. and some more on the British invasion of F1 later in the week. I"m not sure how to write it all up without alienating every one of my British friends. Stay tuned.


Kristi said...

Lived in the Middle East for four years and considering moving to your neck of the woods in the next year or so. Every single time I came home to the US I dreaded going through customs because they were so cantankerous. You're right- just once I would have loved for them to smile and say, "Welcome home."

And your post made me hungry. Best regards.

Sythe said...

I hate the US immigration people. I know they're just doing their job, but does that mean they cant smile?


Did your apartment in Detroit come with a free 9mm?


Suburban said...


Thanks for the comment, and the agreement on US immigration wankers.
I Don't know if my neck of the woods constitutes that you are considering moving to Muscat or Detroit, but I can recommend both as the finest places to live in their respective regions. WHatever you do, good luck.


Yes! and a can of gasoline and spray paint for random crime sprees. If we had bought a bigger apartment the owners association would have provided all that, plus a 2 OZ monthly supply of crack cocaine.