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Unread 01-08-2008, 07:35 PM
 
70 posts, read 333,138 times
Reputation: 46
Sounds like downtown Detroit hasn't changed since I lived there in the early 90's. If its not attached to a parking garage, people won't go -- God forbid they have to step outside and, gasp -- walk?! Ironically, when friends visit me here (in Baltimore) they love getting out, walking to bars, shops, restaurants, etc, but they honestly wouldn't consider doing that at home (Detroit) -- its litterally from their attached garage to a parking lot or garage attached to the destination. Real cities are made of people, not cars.
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Unread 01-08-2008, 09:58 PM
 
673 posts, read 1,207,490 times
Reputation: 363
Detroit has a lot of potential, downtown, esp with Campus Martius, the theatre district/Hockeytown/sports complex, etc, Greektown and Bricktown (pockets with lots of foot-traffic), but much of it, during most times (when there's no game at the complex), seems dead. And you're right, RenCen was built to be a self contained fortress. And that mixed use apartment/retail complex attached to it seems to take a while to get to thru the "rat-tube" over Jefferson St... It’s interesting to see the contrast with the updated postmodern, people/street friendly design in the Compuware building/atrium which has no barriers to the street and encourages people to move easily between its atrium, Borders, the Hard Rock and the Campus Martius courtyard with its many people/family-friendly outdoor activities. It’s nice to see the pedestrian connectivity city planners are working on to unify Campus Martius, lower Woodward and Greektown…

But as I've long said, Detoit will NEVER realize it's potential until it builds a true rapid transit system to/through downtown which allows pedestrians to access streets, retail, commerce and restaurants directly without the hassle of disposing of cars (and passing through, often, dreary garages. Subways and similar rails systems allow downtowns to be compressed as the need for garages is reduced and businesses feed off each other's synergy; people would gravitate away from the Detroit practice of driving to one spot parking in the garage, attending, then driving away...

When there's a football game (and sometimes Tigers game) and large numbers of people are funneling through the riverfront, RenCen and Greektown on the People Mover, you get a small glimpse of Detroit seeming Eastern or Chicago-like... If true rail transit were built through town mainly down Woodward, thru Cobo and out to Metro Airport (as a starter system), you'd get that feel in downtown much more than during a sporting event (or the Auto Show at Cobo)...
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Unread 01-11-2008, 08:29 PM
 
Location: Detroit - Ferndale - Playa del Carmen MX
70 posts, read 193,194 times
Reputation: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
We went downtown to show relatives around today. The sidewalks were almost completely empty. Almost nothing was open. A few shops in the Guardian building, a restaurant called Eph (good sandwiches there). Du Mouchelle. Some Ren Cen shops (not many) and there was a magician and a balloon guy performing at the Ren Cen. Barnes & Noble was open and it was pretty busy. In fact, it appeared that every person downtown was inside Barnes & Noble or at the skating rink. We did not run into many people elsewhere. We could not find any other restaurants open except Eph and the snack bar at the skating rink.

It was like being in New York after all other human beings disappeared. Kind of spooky in places.

There must be something going on Downtown on weekends. Something must be open. Where is it?
It depends what your looking for.

Check out Metro Times, Real Detroit, or Model D for events

WINTER BLAST starts in Feb. it's alot of fun.
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