Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Detroit Rock City.

I would just like to share, with my fellow bloggers, some tips and pointers that will hopefully make one's possible future trip to Detroit more enjoyable, and, at the same time, oil-paint a picture of Detroit.
1. Plan accordingly. Despite what your ticket and boarding pass might say, the flight is only about one hour and ten minutes: "flight attendants prepare for departure", 5 minutes, and "flight attendants prepare for arrival".
2. D-town. Don't expect to sleep on the extremely short flight. I sat behind two people who wouldn't shut up, and these two were the most unlikely candidates for extended conversation: an aging Russian dancer who lived in the heart of Moscow during the Cold War and now is in the planning stage of bringing down the US government, and a middle-aged colored man who had extremely long dreadlocks, plays reggae, and thinks Revenge of the Sith is all about the Bush administration. With no common ground i know not how they kept on babbling incessantly.
3. It's DEE-troit. Make sure you emphasize the first syllable, otherwise you risk offending and angering the locals, and, boy oh boy, some of them are real hicks. The closer you get to Detroit proper (e.g. 8-mile), the number of trailer parks and its inevitable trash increases exponentially. Case in point: a lady at the airport was speaking to someone about her children, especially the youngest and cutest whose name is seabass. That's right, both the fish and the punk from Dumb and Dumber. Talk about trash.
4. It's called a FREEway. I know this concept is foreign to New Yorkers but all Detroit has is freeways, you know, those 4-lane things. They connect all parts of Southfield, Oak Park, etc. and you can't get anywhere without taking the freeway, even if it's only a 5-minute drive.
5. Jerusalem Pizza. Arguably one of the best pizza places i've ever been to, and I'm not a fan of 99.9% of pizza places. Eat here every chance you can get. Get the BBQ chicken pizza; trust me.
6. Work out your thumbs. Make sure to wage a lot of thumb wars before you go because the most favorite pastime of Detroiters is N64, especially NFL Blitz. Nothing can separate Detroiters from blitz, even if their wedding is in the afternoon. Other favorite pastimes are pool and foozball.
7. Don't display fear. Almost all Detroiters have some type of animal, especially giant guard/ attack dogs. These dogs own the houses so people don't lock their doors. Don't take advantage of this to leave a note in the house for the owners; i almost got mauled.
8. Don't wear nice shoes. If you want to walk anywhere on shabbos and don't want it to take 3 hours, be ready to walk across large expanses of grass, which is normally quite moist.
9. Mentally prepare yourself for a lack of buildings. There are no highrises and there is no skyline unless you live in the heart of downtown. Be prepared for quiet, serene, foresty-sounding noises. Traffic is basically non-existent. It's beautiful. Read some Emerson before you embark on your journey. If you have allergies, don't plan a trip to Detroit; there's always visible stuff flying everywhere.
10. Don't expect frum. Detroit is shady unless you're in the super-chareidi yeshivish area.
11. Canada is only half an hour away. Get ready to fend off the mounties.
I will end with a riddle. Well it's really more of just a rhetorical question. On my flight back there was an Asian national wearing a health mask (similar to a surgeon's mask) and gloves. He had weird purple stuff on parts of his face that weren't covered; it looked like his face was melting. And I'm thinking, "hmmm, SARS?", you know just when you don't hear anything about it, it pops back up. And they wonder how outbreaks continue to occur in odd places. Does someone want to explain to me how they let these people on flights where all of the air is constantly recycled? Don't they realize that dead passengers don't continue to fly their airline?


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