Friday, October 27, 2006

I heart Detroit.

Wow, I can't believe it's almost been a whole week since I've been in Detroit! Thanks to everyone who left good wishes about the trip (hi, Ashley! No wheels, so we couldn't get to Grand Rapids, sadly.). My friend Cristina was presenting a paper at a labor conference, and I planned to do some research in the Wayne State University library.

We left Detroit last Saturday, right before the World Series was to start, and the air was electric with excitement. Everyone, including the homeless guy who helped us squeeze out of our tight downtown parking spot, was positively giddy. A week later and...ew. Things don't look so good for the Tigers, but I'm sure those fans are hanging in there.

On the way back, while I waited for my connecting flight, I called Bill for company. He asked me how I liked Detroit, and I said, yeah! I liked it a lot. He said, you're the first person I've ever heard say that about Detroit. But it was true! Wwe had Greek food, we got to see the Diego Rivera mural at the Detroit Institute of Art, and Cristina fell in love with Comerica Park. Maybe it was Tiger fever, but we found the city to be hospitable and charming, even.

OK, so the charm probably had a lot to do with the bed and breakfast we stayed in. The Woodbridge Star, owned and operated by Alan Reid and Stephen Tezyk, is a lovely old Victorian house, located a few blocks away from the university.

The house was lovingly restored, but the rooms are a little quirky....there's a Doll Suite, y'all. And a Teddy Bear room.

Cristina and I stayed all the way upstairs in the Deco Suite. It was just lovely, with a tea nook, a copper lined tub, and a bedroom tucked underneath the eaves:

Deco suite at the Woodbridge Star

This was right about when my camera batteries pooped out, so I didn't get any more shots. Damn! And no convenience stores in sight...probably our only complaint about Detroit.

But I did get a pic of some fall foliage:

Fall foliage on the Wayne State campus

Isn't that beautiful? It was definitely a much needed sight for this autumn starved, STARVED I tell you, midwesterner. And! We saw black squirrels! I scrambled for my camera the first time we saw one, and then when I was too slow to catch that glossy little critter, we saw another two minutes later. And then another. I definitely felt like the out of towner, trying to get a picture of a squirrel.

Did I get any sock knitting done on this trip? I did! I finished one sock! Socktoberfest has come and almost gone, and all I got to show for it is this one lonely sock. But just feast your eyes on the perfect fit that is the Longhorn Rib and Cable:

Cristina's Longhorn sock

Cristina was only too happy to model her new sock at our favorite coffee spot, the Dandelion Cafe. But now she's expecting the other one. Well, I guess they do come in pairs...

Before I sign off, I have to tell you about the best flight attendant I had on United. I was sitting there working on my sock, and as she walked by, she asked, are you knitting a sock? Well, my jaw dropped; you sock knitters know that if someone asks you anything, it's more along the lines of, is that some kind of instrument of torture? To which you answer, no, they're double pointed needles. (Which some knitters may agree are instruments of torture, but I happen to like em.)

Anyway, she knew exactly what I was doing, because she's a sock knitter too! She admired my sock, and brought back a preemie hat she was working on to donate to charity. I gave her my card and wrote my blog url on the back, so I hope she stops by. Hi, Barbara! You guys were great! :-)


At 3:59 AM, Blogger Laura said...

see, this is why i like you. because you can find something good about everywhere you go! i don't doubt that there are some very charming parts of detroit. and being midwesterners, naturally the people are bound to be nice. :)

nice sock, too!

At 5:47 AM, Blogger Ashley said...

Seriously, NO ONE likes detroit. But that B&B looks awesome in a kitschy way, and I'm glad you got some good foliage and a look at the black squirrels, which I find completely exotic in a way that makes everyone here think that I'm a total idiot. But I love them!

At 7:01 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Wow! I've never heard anything good about Detroit, but I'm glad to hear good things! That B&B looks charming!

At 7:41 AM, Blogger Elizabeth said...

Gorgeous sock. And yeah, you're definitely the first person I've ever heard gush about Detroit. In fact I think my husband has gone to that same labor conference that your friend went to - he's gone probably 3 times and said that was enough for him with Detroit. I'd like to see the Diego Rivera murals, though.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger Nancy said...

Michigan is my second favorite state. I was just in Flint 2 weekends ago - nice people, lovely scenery. The sock looks great! Nice yarn (wink-wink)!

At 1:40 PM, Blogger Kodachrome Knits said...

Hey! I LIKE DETROIT! My partner grew up in Windsor, the Canadian border city to Detroit; his family lived (and still does) right under the Ambassador Bridge (basically). Because of him and his family, I've spent lots of summers exploring Detroit; it is a fascinating city with an important, telling history & the people are so warm & proud to be Detroiters. And those Coney Dogs can't be beat. Now I realize there are problems with Detroit (what major city doesn't have problems), but let's also not forget that it was voted #1 for being the most liberal-minded city in the US. No offense to anyone, but I personally will take that (liberal-mindedness) over a so-called pretty city full of conservative (which often, unfortunately, means intolerant) people any day-- :)

PS: Oh right, these are knitting blogs, so let me just say, Olga, how much I like your sock. And thanks for the blocking advice.

At 1:44 PM, Blogger Kodachrome Knits said...

Just one more thing, given a lot of people seem to think that no one has ever had anything good to say about Detroit. People, can we say MOTOWN? (Not to mention it was also deemed at one time 'Paris of the West'.)

Getting off of my hobbyhorse now...

At 2:53 PM, Blogger janna said...

The one time I was in Detroit, I had fantastic Greek food. Some other things were a little scary, but it looks like you were perhaps in a nicer part of town!

And although I've lived in Texas for 22 years, I get so homesick for the midwest (Illinois, in my case) every fall. The foliage picture is beautiful -- as is your sock!

At 6:51 AM, Blogger Legalfrugalbabe said...

Ack! You beat me to it! I lurked around your post yesterday and decided I would comment today, and you popped in and said hi first - thanks!
That sock looks great. I love the rib and cable. It's funny that the colorway is called "Hook'em horns"; some of my closest friends taught in Houston for a while and I heard the slogan out of their mouths for the first time. Now I know what it means!
I wouldn't think to go to Detroit, but you've changed my vision. Looks like you had a great time! I have no plans to go there, but should the need to travel there arise, I will know not to cringe. ;-)
And I loooooove Greek food. Avgolemono, pastitsio, moussaka, gyro, souvlaki, dolmades, tarama, spanakopita... Never mind the waistline...

At 4:32 PM, Anonymous amanda cathleen said...

Sounds like you had a great trip!! Love the pic's. The b&b looks like a little castle


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