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|| News Item: Posted 2009-03-10

March Madness: All You Need To Know About Detroit
By Diane Weiss, Detroit Free Press

Believe it or not there are actually some really cool things to do in Detroit (and I do mean the city) and some great places to eat on the cheap and some expensive places that you can test your expense account.

If you cover sports on a regular basis, there is a good chance you have visited the city recently, since Detroit has hosted a Super Bowl, Baseball All-Star Game, World Series, Two NBA Championships, Two Stanley Cup playoffs, a Ryder Cup, PGA Championships and the NCAA Wrestling championships all in the past five years. (We will host the Frozen Four next year).

I live in Detroit and I do walk to Tigers and Lions games so all my recommendations will be for the city. If your hotels are in the burbs than your food choices will be many and there will be everything that you see in every other city in the country so you might as well be anywhere.

My suggestions are for things purely unique to Detroit and no chain restaurants

If covering your team does not keep you busy than here are a few must sees: The Motown Museum: 2648 W. Grand Boulevard you will walk through the houses that Barry Gordy owned and where the music was born. And you will find yourself humming and singing some old Motown hits.

DIA Museum: 5200 Woodward Ave. If you only look at one thing in this Museum than go see the Detroit Industry fresco cycle by Diego Rivera. It was commissioned by Edsel Ford. It is in the main hall (Rivera Hall) and covers all four walls and the ceiling. You could spend hours looking at the details.

The Heidelberg Project: Heidelberg Street and Mt. Elliott (on the East Side). Not exactly the DIA Museum but it is Detroit's very own urban folk artist making his mark and his statement.

The 8-mile tour: Grab a GPS, get in your car (this is the motor city, we drive everywhere) and visit all the scenes in the 8-mile move. Print out the tour from the link below.

Casinos: Detroit has three, the MGM, Greektown and Motor City. All have restaurants and hotels now. All have free self-parking or paid valet. I am not a big casino person but have gone when visiting relatives insist. Don't forget Canada, they have one Casino and it is smoke free. Don't forget your passport.

If you are a hockey fan you can catch a Red Wings game on Thursday, April 2nd or Sunday April 5th. Tickets should be available.

The Pistons also play on Sunday, but I don't recommend because they don't play in the city but about 40 miles away. Definitely tickets available. Pistons are tanking.
Sorry, no Tigers game on Monday; the Tigers open their season on the road.

Here are some of my food suggestions in the hood. The hood is my hood in Detroit, which is also about two blocks from Ford Field the site of the Final Four.

Neighborhood bars with great bartenders, waiters, good bar food and Internet.

Anchor Bar - 450 W Fort St. Newspaper bar, down the street from the Free Press and News. Bar decorated with photos of dead newspaper reporters. Free wireless. The serve food until closing at 2pm.

Honest Johns - 488 Selden St. great cheeseburgers and they have wireless if you have to work. Serving food until closing at 2pm.

Woodbridge Pub - 5169 Trumbull - still a neighborhood bar in the Wayne State University neighborhood. Most entries under $10. Great Sunday brunch with bottomless Mimosas.

Coney Islands
American Coney Island - 114 W. Lafayette (open 24 hours)
Lafayette Coney Island - 118 Lafayette (open 24 hours) can go in order a Coney and a bad beer at the counter. I prefer Lafayette Coney but I cannot tell you why.
Always a great late night adventure in Detroit.

Slows BBQ - 2138 Michigan Ave. Most photographed and famous abandon building in Detroit is across the street from slows. Good Barbeque, catfish etc. open till 2am.

Restaurant of the Year - Roast. 1128 Washington Blvd. (Downtown Detroit) it is located on the ground floor of the newly renovated Cadillac building by Westin Hotels. If you can't get reservations they have a communal table or grab a seat at the bar. (It's worth it)

Mexican town in Southwest Detroit. Try some of the smaller mom and pop restaurants, they are the best.

A few other place within a mile of Ford Field>.

The Majestic - 4120-4140 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI . You can have a nice meal, sit at the bar, live music upstairs, grab a slice of pizza or go disco bowling. It is all at the Majestic.

Small Plates - 1521 Broadway and The Detroit Beer company - 1529 Broadway. They are next to each other and walking distance from Ford Fled.

If you are Shooting The Game:
Ford field is a domed stadium with a basketball court set up in the middle of the field, so it is not a small cozy atmosphere.

The NCAA is working with everyone about trying to get better up positions. Not the best angle because of the distance from the court.

The light seems pretty even across the court and the last time we shot a basketball game there the exposure was at ISO 1250, f3.2 at 1/500 of a second.

If anyone has any questions or comments about Detroit, I can be reached at or 313-223-4517 or Julian Gonzalez at

PS: if you have actually read this far, there is a really good chance there will be an after hours party at my house after the Final Game on Monday night… Stay tune for details.

Related Links:
Diane's member page

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