My Kind of Town: Chicago… and Detroit

Posted by on Oct 1, 2014 in News | Comments Off

My Kind of Town: Chicago… and Detroit

Earlier this week, I visited Chicago to do some work for a client. For two nights, I lived in the heart of Chicago, on bustling Michigan Avenue at a hotel next to the John Hancock Building.

Without a doubt, Chicago is a great city. While I did not have time for sight-seeing or experiencing the city, it brought back memories from my younger days. Often in college, and shortly thereafter, I traveled with friends and visited other friends living in the Windy City. The days were adventurous and the nights were long. On Sunday, the long car ride on I-94 back to Detroit awaited us.

While leaving town and the great memories, we would travel along Lakeshore Drive and Lake Michigan. There a bustling lakefront bid us goodbye on one side and soaring architecture and fountains stood on the other. More times than not, it led to the comment and discussion, “Why can’t Detroit be like this?”

It’s not a conversation that was exclusive to my car. It is a refrain that many Detroiters have echoed over the years.

I recalled those sentiments as I left town yesterday driving through a picture-perfect autumn Chicago postcard. And my thoughts were a bit different this time.

No, Detroit will never be Chicago. Never has been and never will.

But the idea that Detroit could have a bustling riverfront and an exciting downtown is now not just a pipe dream. I’ve spent more time in the past five years on Detroit’s RiverWalk than I ever did before. Downtown has its moments where it has a distinct, vibrant personality.

Most importantly, there are true rays of hope that many of the reasons that drew us to Chicago in my younger years are already – or soon will be – on display in Detroit.