Monday, April 4, 2011

The Big D day 2 & 3 -arc 9-9-10

---So this is one of a series of posts I started in another blog that sets up this move to the Big D---

So, I'm writing about a day behind because, well because. ** and I'm mixing two days, well because! and there you have it*** So day two we drove around a bunch and checked out the big D. It looks a bit like pictures of Berlin after WWII. That's a bit extreme because there are not too many buildings that look bombed but one will go down a nice street and have this very crazy mix of very kept up houses mixed with boarded up houses with burned out shells with vacant lots. I guess it's more like a place that has been hit with a plague, which it kind of has. It was a city of two million and only 900 thousand are left. Cities grow out but they don't shrink the same way. The city is a swiss cheese the holes are pretty evenly dispersed. The down side is that you have a really big city with a small tax base. The up side is you can make lots of parks! The mayor paid for time on TV the other night to tell everyone that they were going to shrink the city, literally. It's rough times. Someone, from this area, said that Detroit was basically a microcosm of all the things that are wrong in the economy country wide squished into on city.

Now this has all been the bad and that is not fair to the big D. The positives are many if a little harder to see. The people are great. I know one is supposed to say things like that but it's really true. There is a strong "survivors bond" about the folks in Detroit that is very uplifting. They have gone through hell and are still hanging on damn it. It might not get much better soon, nobody seems to really think so, but they are determined to stick it out. What is also interesting, for the murder capitol, is that though many parts of the city look like you just got transported to the worst areas of east Oakland, they don't "feel" as scary. It's a modern city I'm sure there are very dangerous places to hang out, but I haven't gotten that feeling about just about anywhere here. I'm traveling with my wife who has just about zero urban radar so I have had to give her a "warning Will Robinson" or two but I have to do that around SF also. I mean the woman would go on a stroll through a project in the middle of the night and not thing anything about it!

Anyway back to the Big D.

Everyone was worried about food, this is the midwest after all - do they know what real coffee tastes like???

Well I think the answer is absolutely yes. Motown appears not to be in the gravy belt. I have yet to have any bad coffee. I roast and am a bit picky. Certainly some has not been stelar but I have had AWFUL coffee in the Bay Area and I expected bad to really bad with a high point being maybe up to charbucks. If I (for some demented reason) stoop to charbucks it will be far worse than anything I have had so far. And I had a cup the other morning of Ethiopian Harrar that had bunches of the elusive blueberries in the profile. If your not a big coffee person suffice it to say that it to say that you have to do a lot right, ie know what your doing, AND get good beans to pull off a cup like that.

BTW that was at the Russell Street Deli

Tonight we had a great mean in a fabulous bar/ restaurant called Checker Bar and Grill.
Highly recommended, family owned and it's been around since the 50's. Everything is prepared fresh and was very good. If you hang out long enough they will let you help out and wash things ;~). They close at eight so it's not your late light hang out.

Another outstanding food place is the Avalon Bakery.

Along with a great assortment of fresh bread they also serve sandwiches and pastries, and misc other edibles, and yes good coffee.
There is a Trader Joe's, though it's out in Grosse Point. Everything seems about the same as CA but whine is higher. Two Buck Chuck is three buck chuck etc. I need to research it because I'm not sure if it's a flat $1/ per bottle tax or if there is a % tax on beer and wine. Also TJ's didn't sell any hard liquor. This may be a state with strange liquor laws?

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