Travel guide to Detroit written by seventh-gen locals: "Belle Isle to 8 Mile"

Rick Prelinger sez, "I'm not a Detroiter, but I've been visiting from time to time since the 1980s, and I hope you will too. It's really unfortunate that most of what we see and hear about it amounts to repetition of the same old cliches -- deindustrialization, poverty, ruins, hipsters, cheap houses. But Detroit's much more than that. It's one of America's most fascinating cities, and if you want to see its unique combination of long-term residents, mostly African American, with rock-hard faith in their city, and new Detroiters aspiring to build Utopia, you better get on a plane soon.

"And when you go, bring Belle Isle to 8 Mile. I just got my own copy, written by three siblings who are seventh-generation Detroiters. It's full of hundreds of city landmarks, eating places and arts spaces, but it's more than the ordinary hip insider travel guide. I see it as testimony to places and businesses that have survived years of adversity and disrespect, as well as an incredibly deep guide to the new Detroit, which is an uncommonly exciting city. Excellent, inspiring read."

Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider's Guide to Detroit (Thanks, Rick!)


  1. Today I drove down into the city to visit a friend in the Indian Village residential area.  Detroit has changed.  In some ways it’s worse, of course.  That’s been more than adequately documented.  But it’s still a great American city in many ways and I respect the people who are trying to keep it going.

  2. I was just in Detroit for the auto show on Friday and Saturday. We stayed in the renovated Westin Book Cadillac downtown and I was definitely encouraged at how much more energy that part of town has now.  The casino nearby, the transformation of a vacant skyscraper or two into residences, lots of new restaurants…It just *feels* better.

    1. In my experience, ICP and their fans are from the suburbs and farms.  They only go into the city to hold shows.

  3. Ok, my chance to toot Detroit’s horn…

    If you can, go to the Detroit/Hamtramck version of Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras. A day long celebration with a Polish viewpoint (Paczki, Polish food, dancing etc.)

    In March will be the “Blowout” a three day indoor music festival featuring many bands and venues for one price.

    Opening day for the Tigers is very close to being a holiday.

  4. I would love to buy a copy but their cost to ship to Windsor Ontario is $10 … really? $10 to cross the border? really now? (P.S. Detroit is on the other side of the Ambassador Bridge, from Windsor Ontario).

    So sick and tired of this sort of thing.

      1. I actually heard back from the publisher, I ate the cost and bought the book already but he offered help, was decent of him.

        At the very least I think publishers need to know what their books are being charged for shipping.

    1. Are you afraid of driving over here?  They’re selling it at City Bird (460 W. Canfield St.), pretty close to either the bridge or the tunnel.

  5. Hey, Cory. I know of an excellent Bed And Breakfast in Detroit that is very close to the ‘Under the Poppy’ brothel show. Come and I’ll show you the scene.

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