Detroit in small bites
July 5, 2015 3:39 PM   Subscribe

In a week, I'll be heading to Detroit with a few high schoolers as part of my denomination's Youth Gathering. With over 30,000 Lutherans heading to town, my people will be everywhere. However most of our events start after 12 noon, which will leave me and the youth with mornings to kill. What in Downtown Detroit should we see? Where should we eat? What shouldn't two 16 year old guys miss?
posted by Stynxno to Travel & Transportation around Detroit, MI (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
1) The DIA. It's more than you can do in a single morning, but you certainly won't be wasting your time there.

2) The Motown Museum is kind of cool, but maybe not to high schoolers.

3) I'd say catch a Tigers game, but the All-Star break is the 13th-16th. They play Baltimore on Friday evening, so maybe that's in your window.
posted by axiom at 3:50 PM on July 5, 2015 [4 favorites]

As for food... definitely check out Supino Pizzeria. Slow's BBQ is trendy right now as well. Buddy's Pizza is a bit of an institution, and the pizza was still very good last time I had it. Cadieux Cafe is kind of an interesting place (feather bowling is fun, no matter your age) though it's not located downtown.
posted by axiom at 3:58 PM on July 5, 2015

The Charles wright african American history museum.
A Coney dog at American or Lafayette (This non-Michigander liked them both)
posted by brujita at 4:17 PM on July 5, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Just got back from Michigan a couple days ago, so this is fresh on my mind. DIA is great, especially the Kahlo/Rivera show they have up right now. Heidelberg Project is something people should see at least once. Eastern Market has all sorts of delicious farmer's market stuff. (Supino's is OK, but you're coming from New York. Supino's does not hold up to New York pizza expectations. No Detroit pizza really does.) Tiger Stadium is a fantastic place to catch a game, so do go if you can (damn All Star break). There are about a million breweries that are top notch, but that's not so much a 16-year-old thing. There are a ton of great cathedrals that are worth a look, and you can google some self-guided tours to them. Hart Plaza and the waterfront can be a nice half hour or so. If you eat meat, you should go to either American or Lafayette Coney (they're next door to each other and have a family rivalry — people pick sides!). MOCAD is generally pretty solid, though they're a non-collecting institution so I don't necessarily know what they've got hanging now. Belle Isle is gorgeous, though when I was just back I didn't check to see how much they've reopened, since it was going through renovations last time I was there. The Dequindre Cut is a nice walk full of graffiti murals. The Green Dot Stables is a nice bar/restaurant that has delicious sliders.
posted by klangklangston at 4:23 PM on July 5, 2015

Best answer: As much as I love the DIA (and I really do..) I question whether 16-year-olds are ideally positioned to enjoy it. If they're into museums, by all means, but even then they might prefer Greenfield Village or the Henry Ford Museum.

Are they into cars? Detroit has an incredibly rich automotive history and a very active car culture -- car fans might get a kick just out of cruising Woodward Avenue on a nice summer night.

Across the street / down the block from the DIA the Detroit Historical Society has a museum which has a decent overview of Detroit history, covering topics as varied as its colonial history, its history of music (everything from Motown to Eminem and Kid Rock), its past as a terminus of the Underground Railroad, the golden age of the city during the auto industry heyday and other things. Not a huge amount of space is devoted to any one subject but it gives a good overview.

Eastern Market is pretty fun to walk around on market days, but again, maybe not going to wow 16-year-old boys..
posted by Nerd of the North at 5:01 PM on July 5, 2015

Having been a 16-year-old boy and gone to Henry Ford and Greenfield village, the current DIA show is about a million times less boring and consciously Olde Timey. Eastern Market is fun to walk around on market days, but what will wow them is both the incredibly tasty food and the fantastic murals all within a block or so from Eastern Market. The Detroit History Museum is also hella boring compared to the DIA.
posted by klangklangston at 6:46 PM on July 5, 2015

Like Klang, I also remember liking the DIA better than Henry Ford & Greenfield Village, I also liked the Science Center, but not sure what it looks like nowadays.

Also, if you make it over to Belle Isle, the Heidelberg Project is on the way. Younger kids might be freaked out, but 16 or older may appreciate it.
posted by p3t3 at 4:05 AM on July 6, 2015

I recommend the Motown Museum to everyone who comes to Detroit, even if you're not into Motown. I'm not, like, into Motown, but I appreciate it, and the Museum was excellent. Warning: it's not a "walk around and look at stuff" museum, it's a "guided tour through stuff" museum, so expect to be led around by a very entertaining guide/docent. They will give you time to look at stuff, but also tell you about it. I don't usually like that sort of thing, but they're very charming and clearly love Motown and talking about it.
posted by Etrigan at 4:32 AM on July 6, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: From my Former-GM-Employee boyfriend:

Have (early) lunch at the Grand Trunk.

Get on the People Mover.

Go see the intense interior of The Guardian Building.
posted by functionequalsform at 7:11 AM on July 6, 2015

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! We were able to hit up a couple of these places. The Guardian Building was amazing. Mural hunting was fun. The kids loved Greektown. The food at Nikki's and Bucharest grill was great. And my group did a service project helping out at Eastern Market. I wish I could have seen the Heidelberg Project but will live vicariously through the other ELCA Lutherans who went and posted pictures.
posted by Stynxno at 11:34 AM on July 21, 2015 [2 favorites]

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