Since a large part of making sure your company can flourish and grow is making sure the city it’s in can do the same, Quicken Loans is a vocal supporter of Detroit and along with that, making sure that new employees know what’s here to see and enjoy.
So it was that I took a bus tour of Detroit during the middle of my work day. D:Hive is an awesome organization that exists to help visitors and transplants make the most of Detroit. Whether it’s showing you all the great entertainment options, giving you a walking/bus tour of the area and its history, helping you find a job or a new place, they try to cover it all.
We loaded up on a large travel bus outside the Compuware building and set out. At some stops we got out and had a chance to look around, others were more a driving history lesson.
Our first get-out-and-walk stop was the River Walk by Rivard Plaza. Of note here is Wheelhouse Detroit, a bike rental and repair shop that has maps and multiple tour options along the riverfront and around Detroit.
We also learned the adjacent park – William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor – is the only Michigan state park in an urban area. It’s focused on dedicating a section of land to be returned to its wild wetland original condition. Already, migratory birds that have not stopped here in decades have begun to return.
Our next walk-around stop was to see The Heidelberg Project – an open-air art project in the middle of a neighborhood on Detroit’s East Side. Using everyday, discarded objects to create a two block area full of color, symbolism, and intrigue, it is now in its 27th year.
I stopped in the small gift shop and bought a pin.
Then we stopped at D:Hive itself, to check out the space. There is also a little horticultural plant shop called pot&box that offers floral designs and a variety of plants. Great place to get some greenery for your new living quarters.
After that we headed over to Midtown Detroit to see some of the newest shops in the Park Shelton building. Don’t let Google StreetView fool you, the city is filling in faster than those roving camera cars can keep up with.
One store I stopped in was Emerald – a men’s boutique that had everything from ties to cologne to books to candy cigarettes (no joke).
I also was intrigued by this tee-shirt store: goods tshirt bakery. Not only do they have a cool collection of pre-made shirts, but they will make you a shirt of your own design while you wait!
There were a few other bits to the tour that I couldn’t capture in photos. Much more about the areas we drove through, various buildings and tidbits of history about them along with information on soon-to-be developed locations and projects. I highly recommend hitting the site for D:Hive and finding a tour to take, be it by bus or on foot. If you prefer to explore alone, definitely check out the Wheelhouse Detroit bike shop. You still have a chance to say “I knew the city before it was cool (again).”