Here is a list of some of the places we’ll be gawking at, riding through and fully experiencing. This year, we’re revealing the stops one at a time, so check back frequently for the latest updates.
Palmer Park — Our meeting place; our rendezvous; the Alpha and Omega of the 2013 CTG Detroit ride is Palmer Park. Located off of Woodward, just south of Seven Mile Rd., Palmer Park is a surreal slice of natural beauty within Detroit’s concrete landscape. Palmer Park (and Palmer Woods) was named after one of the most significant figures in Detroit history, Thomas W. Palmer. A Detroit-born U.S. Senator, Thomas W. Palmer donated 140 of his acres (or 60 hectares) to the City of Detroit (Palmer, along with his wife Elizabeth “Lizzie” Merrill Palmer were known for their generous gifts to the city). This land became the Palmer Park (and Palmer Woods) that we know today. Palmer Park is home to a golf course, many beautiful mansions (built between 1917-1929) and miles of hiking/biking trails. Meet here 9:30 am — we roll out at 10:00 am.
DID YOU KNOW… that Thomas W. Palmer was one of the founders and the first president of the Detroit Museum of Art (now known as the Detroit Institute of Arts)? Well, now you know.
“All we need is music, sweet music,
There’ll be music everywhere
There’ll be swingin’ swayin’, and records playin,
Dancin’ in the street”
Our first visit of the day will be at Hitsville U.S.A., the Motown Museum.
Founded in 1959 by American record producer, songwriter and founder of the legendary Motown record label Berry Gordy, the Motown Museum first served as the headquarters/recording studio for the Motown record label. TONS of famous Motown recordings that you’ve no doubt heard, danced to, made out in the back of your parents car to, were released by the Motown Records. And, get this: from 1961 to 1971, Motown had 110 Top Ten hits. That’s about one Top Ten hit a month for 120 straight months!
Today, this location serves as the Motown Musem — a celebration of the great music that was created in Detroit.
We won’t be going into the museum, but we’ll give everyone an opportunity to snap a photo or two by the building.
Next up: Beer.
Known for creating and producing the delicious Ghetto Blaster — an English style mild ale — as well as their long list of savory thin-crust pizzas, Motor City Brewing Works has earned a reputation as a Detroit gem and a must-go-to brewery and restaurant since its opening in 1994. Beer, food, atmosphere, style… they’ve got it all.
MCBW uses a 20 BBL custom-fabricated brewery made from salvaged equipment and scrap left over from Detroit’s great industrial era. The brewery was made by some of Detroit’s finest artists, fabricators and craftsman, ensuring that every pint of beer you drink is an example of the city’s finest libations.
So, hop off your saddle and enjoy a pint of Detroit’s finest.
RIDE & VIEW
3. The Corner (Old Tiger’s Stadium)
There might’n’t be much left, but we’ll be cruising by where the old Tiger’s Stadium used to hail. Snap a pic of the now-open field and reminisce of a time not so long ago.
5. Hart Plaza
Completed in 1979, the Philip A. Hart Plaza has become a staple downtown Detroit hangout. That crazy electronic music fest, the hillbilly-fueled country fest, and the snob-infested Jazz fest (my personal favorite) all take place in and/or around Hart Plaza. Also, unless it’s super hot out, try to avoid riding directly through the Dodge Fountain.
Always a rider favorite, we’ll be cruising along the Riverwalk and Riverfront for a portion of our ride. Enjoy the airy breeze (hopefully), the view of Canada (aka America’s Baseball Cap) and those crazy fountain things that always seem to soak my feet.
Formerly a rail line of the Grand Trunk Western Railroad, the Dequindre Cut Greenway spans a couple of miles (for now) and connects the Riverwalk/Riverfront to Eastern Market. In years past, we’ve always enjoyed the massive street art murals (to call it “graffiti” would be degrading; many of these murals are beautiful pieces of art). The folks who built the Greenway in 2009 have done a heck of a job with upkeep, and we’re excited to see what the future holds for the Grand Trunk Western Railroad. (Could it eventually become the Grand Trunk Western Greenway? One can dream.)
MO FOOD. MO BREWS.
Located in Detroit’s history historic Rivertown district, and housed in a 1919 factory warehouse, Atwater Brewry was founded in March of 1997 with the purpose of carrying on the rich history of brewries in Detroit (that part is verbatim from their website). Atwater Brewry employs a brewing process that is something to the tune of 200 years old. So, whether you’re snuggling up with a Dirty Blonde, savoring a Decadent Dark Chocolate Ale, or massively pleasing your taste buds with a Vanilla Java Porter, Atwater will satisfy your deepest thirst for brews.
RIDE & VIEW
Indian Village is a neighborhood many of Detroit’s 1-percenters used to call home. When riding through Indian Village, take note of the stunning architecture and imagine a time when this was the place to be. For a full list of architecturally-significant homes, click HERE.
Created in 1986 by Detroit resident and artist Tyree Guyton, the Heidelberg project is an outdoor art environment in the McDougall-Hunt neighborhood. Basically, if you’ve never been here, it’s one of the craziest places you’ll ever see. A polka-dotted house? Check. Polka-dotted street? You got it. Stuffed animals tacked to another house? Mhm. RANDOM GROCERY CARTS ATOP LARGE TREES. YES AND SERIOUSLY! This place is a Detroit gem. Ride slowly, take it all in, and enjoy this crazy slice of Detroit.
11. New Dodge Lounge
One of Nic’s favorite places is the New Dodge Lounge. Located in Hamtramck for the last 24 years, the New Dodge Lounge features music, pool, a really cool upstairs area and a friendly environment. (Also, did you know that Hamtramck is a city within a city? Crazy, eh?)
OUR RETURN TO PALMER
12. Palmer Park
Our starting and ending point. GET THIS: We will be giving away FREE COLDSTONE ICECREAM at the end of the ride. FREE. In the words of my 17-year-old cousin, “OMG YES.”