I think having self-awareness and appreciation for the environment that surrounds you when exploring a new place is often challenging. I feel like our situations allowed for a great deal of lackadaisical observations because we simply went to another city in the United States as opposed to somewhere abroad. We fall victim to the generalization that one big city in America is just like another, but the reality is that that cannot be any farther from the truth. When you take time to slow down and observe the Motor City you find that you are somewhere that is much unlike any other city in the world. It is a breeding ground for cultural sects such as pioneering blue collar nature transforming into an incredibly transcending technological hub. This does not even factor in the reality that Detroit is tremendously ethnically diverse. You can go from the Hispanic murals in Southwest Detroit to the African American paintings throughout downtown to the Arabic wood engravers near the Canadian border. What is incredibly astounding about all this diversity is that you can view it all in a matter of blocks. I have tried to fully immerse myself in this authentic Detroit experience during my recent bike rides. I have seen things that I did not realize were there by simply taking the time to look around more instead of focusing so heavily on where my destination is. One thing I have truly been impressed with in Detroit is the desire to maintain this tradition and heritage as much as possible. Much of the homes throughout Detroit’s historic districts have been minimally changed in the past century, and even as their value begins to trend upwards there is still that silent agreement between buyers and sellers that the authenticity of the area will be maintained. I feel like the same thing is happening with the larger properties. Take the old train station that Ford recently bought for example. This building laid vacant for so long and there was growing fear that it would eventually be condemned and consequently torn down, but Ford stepped in to both further their business potential and preserve the city that they had such significant role in growing. Another example of this preservation of authenticity can be seen below in the image I have attached to this blog post. This is an example of how Quicken Loans has sought to both enhance the downtown area while preserving its heritage with the conversion of a safe into the meeting room. This is just one of many examples of how they have attempted to do this with great success.