January 18, 2018

    By Eden Baniel

    This past weekend I was fortunate enough to visit Detroit with some of my closest friends, experiencing some of the winter-related activities happening across the city.

    I boarded the Detroit Connector just before 1:00 p.m. and made myself comfortable for my trek to the city. I felt like I was on an airplane, only slightly smaller. Everyone seemed to be in their own little worlds, but comfortable all the same. Some passengers appeared to be reading books or listening to music, while others were working on their laptops or chatting with one another. The seats reclined so far back, I almost thought I would fall asleep. I did manage to stay awake so I could get ahead of some homework using the Connector’s WiFi.

    Once we reached Detroit, my friends and I decided our first destination would be Campus Martius Park. Being there felt like being in a mini Winter Wonderland. There was a huge Christmas tree, an ice-skating rink, and several restaurants and coffee shops.

    We were so cold when we first arrived, that we decided to walk into the first building we saw, not really knowing what would be inside. Luckily, the building which had clearly appeared inviting from the outside, was just as warm and cozy on the inside. The pop-up shop called Woodward Market, which was filled with small boutiques and a spacious seating area with comfortable cushions and seasonal decorations, was our first stop. Even though we hadn’t planned on buying anything, it was interesting to see the unique style of items being sold – all local and engaging.

    Before we had a chance to explore further or sit and talk for a while in one of the cozy seating areas, one of my friends decided that she was incredibly hungry and couldn’t waste anymore time before having a meal (okay, it was me). We hadn’t planned on a specific restaurant, but I had previously heard great things about a place called Central Kitchen, and I was growing more and more restless to try it.

    Central Kitchen turned out to be both spacious cozy with it’s dimly-lit atmosphere, and as expected, their menu did not disappoint.

    The weather outside must have been between about ten and fifteen degrees, and we certainly felt it. But the cold didn’t stop us from exploring Detroit destinations.

    In the center of Campus Martius Park, there were lines of little tents. Each tent was a small shop that had its very own heater. In hindsight, this seems a great way to get people to buy more things – luring them in with heat. This tactic definitely worked. We bounced from tent to tent – exploring candles, hats, books – anything you can name, before finally stumbling upon one larger tent at the very end.

    We were intrigued and weren’t sure quite what to expect. But when we entered, we were amazed at what we found. I truly felt it was a safe haven from the bitter cold, and it seemed everyone else was in agreement. It was like one giant living room filled with holiday decorations, trees, couches, tables, and even several giant versions of the game Jenga.

    At the end of the shop was a counter filled with all sorts of refreshments – from hot chocolate, to coffee and champagne. Above the counter, a giant movie was being played on a huge screen. Families and friends were sitting and laughing with one another as they played Jenga and enjoyed their escape from the bitter cold. It was as cozy as one could get in the chilly Detroit weather, and we truly didn’t want to leave. In fact, you can be sure we’ll be back.

    The experience I had while visiting Detroit was a huge success. As someone who isn’t native to the area, but who has been downtown before, I am blown away by all the opportunities Detroit provides. Detroit has a local flare that I often don’t see in other cities. With its new shops, delicious restaurants, and fun activities, Detroit is a place filled with adventure.

    The Connector Destinations Blog is not an official University endorsement, and is based solely on the opinion of the author.