How to Spend One Night in Detroit

I’ve heard from a few Redskins fans who are planning to make the roadtrip to Detroit this weekend, and it occurred to me that I know absolutely nothing about Detroit. I don’t know any landmarks, don’t know if there are any local foods, don’t know what the city is like at all. What little I know comes from seeing 8 Mile years ago, but I remember nothing at all from it besides Eminem throwing up on himself. Anyway, living in Baltimore while watching The Wire taught me a valuable lesson about the futility of using popular entertainment as a city guide, so I figured a better approach was in order.

With that in mind, I asked a few of the guys on the roster who have Michigan ties what fans should do with one single weekend night in Detroit.

Todd Collins seemed unsure. “There’s the casino, if you like to gamble, I guess,” he said. “Probably some kind of Henry Ford site you could tour.” Devin Thomas had no such hesitation. “Go to the casino — you can’t go wrong,” he said. “The only way you go wrong is if you lose your money.”

This seemed to me like a fairly major way to go wrong, so when Chris Wilson started in with the same answer, I asked him what people should do if they didn’t want to go to the casino, or before the casino, or afterward. “Robert Porcher’s got a nice spot called Seldom Blues, if you want to eat. You’d also probably want to go down to the Waterfront.”

Well, do you have a personal favorite place to eat in Detroit? “Oh!” he said, suddenly enthusiastic. “You gotta go Southern Fires. It’s a soul food restaurant, but it’s, like, the best. Most of the time, you go to soul food joints … you don’t know if you’re gonna have a stomachache the next day or what. But this place, they really prepare the food well, it’s not just a bunch of grease, you know? It’s real, and really good.”

Jon Jansen also had a specific food suggestion. “I would go down to Lafeyette street,” he said. “There’s a place down there called Lafayette Coney Island, and I’d get myself a coney dog. Apparently there’s some sort of ongoing conflict between Lafayette Coney Island and the neighboring American Coney Island, but Jansen came down firmly on the side of Lafayette.

All of which is much more instructive than the Eminem film, although without the excellent theme song.


11 Responses

  1. There is only one thing to do, Mr. Official Redskins Blogger – get drunk and hope to God that you don’t remember a thing.

    Ah yes, Detroit Rock City… the cesspool that it is.

  2. Went out to detroit over the summer for a wedding. Detroit women are underated, I saw some hotter women in Detroit than in VA. You get the impression that detroit is hood, but the suburbs of Detroit are pretty nice. Detroit has a MGM Grand, fairly new and cleaner than any Vegas/AC hotel i’ve been to. And I hear you can take a small 10 minute train ride to across the boarder and party it up in Canada.

  3. Going across into Windsor, Canada is nice. Windsor has a lot of great restaurants and a decent night scene. Definitely worth checking out.

  4. Step 1: Leave the city…
    Step 2: Head over to Ann Arbor…
    Step 3: Find a college party…
    Step 4: ???
    Step 5: Profit.


  5. There are a number of things to do. I love Greektown. Cool restaurants, entertainment and casino. There is also the Motor City Casino and MGM Grand as well. My personal favorite thing to do in the city is the Motown Museum. You can actually walk around in the same studio where the Temptations, Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson and many others recorded their hits.

  6. Matt,

    That was a fantastic picture of Downtown Detroit that you featured in your blog. I was very happy to see a US Coast Guard Cutter feature in the foreground. I am currently serving on active duty in the Coast Guard in the Tampa, FL area and have been serving for almost 10 years. I am a Sterling, VA native who suffers from DFS (displaced fan syndrome). I have been criticized by my coworkers for years for the hours I spend on the Redskin’s web site. The addition of your blog has increased my time on the site. I have enjoyed your blog, along with Cooley’s, and will continue to wave the Redskins flag at all my duty stations around the country and deployments around the world. Hail to the Redskins!

    Carson S. Gillum

    Petty Officer 2nd Class
    USCG Sta Cortez

  7. I went to Detroit for the 2004 game. I wasn’t a big fan of the city it just seemed really dirty, but the field was really nice. I forgot the exact date of that game but i remember the weather was real nice for that time of year so it was good tail gaiting. The fans were really nice. A couple of them offered us skins fans food and beer. Even in the stands the fans were really nice to us, though Clinton tore them up and i left the stands with a smile.

  8. i’ve just watched a film called “THE EXPRESS” about the heismann winning running back ERNIE DAVIS, one of the greatest players of all time, the first african american to win the trophy who tragically died of leukemia before he could ever play a game in the NFL, a tragic but true story, the fact he died at 23 is bad enough, the Cleveland Browns who drafted him even retired his #44 shirt tho he never played a single game for them, but worst of all in my opinion as a white Scottish redskins fan is that the Washington Redskins traded their first round pick with Cleveland to avoid having to pick ernie davis because of his colour, hang your heads in shame all redskins fans, all you second and third generation fans, it was the attitude of your forebears who condoned such an attitude among those who ran and still do run professional sports in the USA, if it were not for the African American sportsmen then the NFL, the NBA and baseball would be a poor shadow of their present standard. a 1960 redskins team would not have had an Art Monk, a Doug Williams a Clinton Portis, Darryll Green, and many many more who wore the shirt with pride and made me proud to be a redskins fan this past thirty years.
    i am sitting here at 4.45am watching the world series, the game was just interupted for a rendition of God Bless America, just another example of the arrogance of America as a country, God Help America more like, a country which spends countless billions of dollars supposedly fighting to free others and is proud of their actions would do better to spend the money to give a large percentage of its people the same freedom it tries to win for others, whether they want it or not, God bless Oil should be the anthem, how long before washington decides to free canada? or being american is it only those godless countries that need saved? watch the film , be ashamed to be a redskin and be ashamed to be american, i won’t hold my breath, humility is a word that doesn’t appear in the lexicon of americans, not unless its the name of a gun, saying that destroy detroit this week.

  9. Morris, dude, I wasn’t a part of that situation, and it is already well known that Marshal was an ass, I am ashamed of many things as an American, but I WILL NEVER HANG MY HEAD as an American because while there certainly negatives in our history, there are also great things that we can be proud of.

    Don’t forget, slavery didn’t start by a white man, Africans had been selling each other for centuries, between tribes, capturing other tribe’s people and enslaving them, long before the “white” man entered the situation and took part in such cruelty.

    I mention slavery because that was the root of the racial prejudices that would grow throughout the world.

    Your judgment is misplaced, judge the people who committed such injustices, not the people who came later.


  11. morris, man, let me tell you a couple of things, first and foremost is that I am a mexican, a redskins fan for some years, and after reading your “comment” about rascism, oil and stuff, to tell you the truth, strikes some chords here, you know, but hey this is not the place to do it….

    and second point would be this, you wrote “…would not have had an Art Monk, a Doug Williams a Clinton Portis, Darryll Green, …”

    Darryll Green?? Darryll Green??? are you for real??? come on man….you can do better than that, even I can spell that name right…

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