Detroit being one of the biggest cities in the United State I knew I would come here and find people from all over the globe. People aren’t what the media tries to portray them as, Detroiters might just be the kindest people I’ve met. On Monday during work, one of the fellows I work with asked me if I was scared coming into Detroit and I told him that New York isn’t any different, there are people in New York that can be rude and disrespectful. He told me about his experience at a Cornell summer program and mentioned that his teammates were instantly shocked when he told them that he was from Detroit. He didn’t forget to mention that the media does a pretty bad job illustrating what Detroit really is. That comment made me think about “What is really Detroit?”
Where do I start? I love Detroit, not just Midtown and Downtown, every place I’ve been in Detroit is so rich in culture and pride. Every weekend I try to go explore a different part of Detroit, of course very thankful for the MoGo pass, which allowed Saager, Kevin, and I to bike down to Mexicantown and have some amazing authentic Mexican food. The food was great! The approximate 40 minutes we were there reminded me a lot of the dinners my family and I would have at a nearby Mexican restaurant back home. Only this time it was with my suitemates who are always down to explore, later on that evening we went to a Detroit FC soccer game! Honestly one of the best games I’ve ever been to. Highly recommend! You can feel the Detroit spirit; the team isn’t even in the MLS (Professional American league) but I promise you the experience you get going to Detroit FC game is way better than going to an actual MLS game. Also, let me not forget to mention tickets are only $12!! For the experience you get at the game, every penny is worth it. I would also say every second I’ve spent in Detroit has been worth it, I’m enjoying the city so much.
I’ve tried to immerse myself into the city in a different way starting from going to the Eastern Market every weekend and enjoying the welcoming Detroiters. Although, it’s great going to the Eastern Market every week to get produce, I wanted to get some more hands and get to talk to more people this past weekend. So, all of last week after work I would research volunteering opportunities around the Eastern Market that I can simply go afterwards. Turns out there was one very close and it’s called Gleaners Community Food Bank and the mission behind the organization is to provide food and hope for neighbors in Southeast Detroit. My experience there was like no other, I got to have several one on one conversations with local residents and students who were also volunteering through a University of Michigan program. I was fortunate enough to meet a student who’s from Alabama and had just recently visited Duke and mentioned how he is very excited to apply in the fall. Who knew you can meet and talk to people while also helping others in a significant way. In little over two hours and a half about 500+ bag was packaged and ready to be delivered to those in need. This city has taught me so much from being more independent to seeing things differently.
As much as I miss home, Detroit in the short time I’ve been here has become a new home. A home that will forever stay in memory and in my heart. I hope to one day come back and appreciate how Detroit continues to have hope and appreciation for the city they live in.