Detroit and a Case of Strawberries

Some things in life, are matters of the heart. Matters of the soul. Some things can’t be taught to you through books, can’t be learned in a classroom, but only through seeing, feeling and living. Detroit has long been a place that I’ve been so incredibly fascinated by, and as a life long Michigander, it’s also a place that is far too distant and removed from my day to day reality and understanding. My capability to understand.

I’ve long known that Detroit held a poignant story for me. For all us American’s, about what happens when we turn away from our people, our community, our roots. What happens when we let capitalism and corruption take a city and devour it whole. But this weekend, I started to discover that Detroit also holds this deep rooted and fervent potential to be something so much more than the shell it currently is. The shell it is perceived to be. There is life in this forgotten town. This city is absolutely brimming with life.

Eastern Market Detroit

This weekend, I had a chance to hop on bus and see some of Detroit’s best cultural attractions, which gave us sheltered Ann Arbor folk an opportunity to see life on the other side of the blockade wall of prosperity we all stand behind. Walking a mile in another’s shoes, another’s life, was so, so refreshing for me. It allowed me to step back from my conceptions of what Detroit was to me, and actually experience it.

If you have never been to Eastern Market in downtown Detroit, I absolutely cannot recommend it enough to you. It’s absolutely brimming with fresh foods and culture. From musicians lining the periphery to the hundreds of vendors inside the market, this place has it’s own unique culture, and people flock to it.

I’d be remiss not to mention the hundreds of apples lining every stall. This is fall in Michigan after all. 😉

Michigan Apples

In addition to the actual market, which was 4 huge stalls full of every produce, meat and dairy item you could imagine, there were also cute little shops that lined the outskirts. There was an antique shop, a few diners, and lots of specialty stores that carried Michigan specific products. One of my favorite shops along the side of the market was Rocky’s. From the gentleman that held the door open with a big old smile for every single patron to the wonderful packaging on the locally sourced and produced products lining the wall, this place had me at hello.

Another favorite was Devries, which made me feel like I was stocking up at the general store before loading up my wagon to head west. Do I scream child of the 90’s with my Oregon Trial flashbacks? 😀

Eastern Market Detroit

Other than soaking in lots of D-town culture, I also really enjoyed snagging some serious deals at the market. A la, these strawberries.

Strawberry Recipes

Yes. That’s a case. Guess how much I paid for them. Come on!!! GUESS! ….. wait … for …. it …. FOUR DOLLARSSS!!! I think we can all go ahead and stamp that one as a WIN for Mary Sell.

Our entire week has been full of strawberry-filled-goodness.

Like these muffins, recipe here.

Strawberry Bran Muffins

Or these milk shakes. Scoop of vanilla ice cream, cup of strawberries. Bam.

Homemade Strawberry Milkshake

Along with gussied up morning waffles. And more fruit smoothies than you can bat a stick at.

Strawberry NutriBullet Recipe

And we still have 4-containers left! Send me your strawberry recipes! 😉 No seriously, send them!

Until tomorrow Detroit. For every sad, lonesome and forgotten piece of history, you have ten wonderful people waiting to recreate your history and make this city great again. God speed. With every bone in my body, I hope Detroit not only makes it, but thrives. So many amazing things are happening here. There is so much yet to be seen.

In closing, I’ll leave you with a picture of a hoodie I saw on a middle aged, tired and proud looking man I came across roaming the market with his family. Detroit hustles harder. Yes it does, America. Yes it does.

Detroit Hustles Harder

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