A Sense of Place


Published:

Thinking he was too big and too blond, he spent his life haunted by suspicions that he didn’t belong in his family.

And so earlier this season, James Robert Barnes, the middle-aged Kalkaska, Mich., man who felt like a misfit in his own childhood home, became a fleeting media sensation as the hoped-for adult face of a New York toddler who was kidnapped in 1955.

DNA testing dashed his fantasy and quickly silenced news reports headlining what might become the juicy story of a mystery solved.

Being odd man out chafes like ill-fitting clothes — sleeves that won’t reach our wrists no matter how vigorously we tug at the cuffs. Lucky are the people who are comfortable in their skin — and their setting. They may say that the clothes make the man, but in reality, we’re shaped by context. People make the place and the place makes the people.

“Walk a mile in my shoes,” is the sage advice for understanding our fellow man. The same goes for a city, or a neighborhood. To understand a place, get out and put some mileage on the shoe leather (or rubber, as the case may be).

You can read about Detroit on our pages, but, like “dating” online, the proof comes in person.

Whether this is your birthplace, your adopted city, or a way station to some hoped-for better fit, getting familiar with the lay of the land feeds a truer sense of self.
Our special 26-page City Guide offers inspiration for 365 days of metropolitan excursions. Included in the guide is a reminder that hotel lobbies have, for years, served as classic meeting places.

New York’s Algonquin Hotel, for one, was made forever famous for the collection of journalists, editors, actors, and press agents that regularly lunched at what became known as the Round Table. That witty midday crowd included Dorothy Parker, who once said, “Take care of luxuries and the necessities will take care of themselves.”

Getting out and around is a necessary luxury. Start now with the outdoor options, because it’s just not time to let go of summer. We’ve got car shows to visit, fresh local produce to buy, and baseball games to watch.

It’s time to find our “place in the sun.” Unlike the movie of that name, in which a young man conceals his working-class background in the hopes of trading up in love and social standing, we can embrace where we came from, where we are — our old English “D”NA.

Edit Module
Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Content

Doctor's Orders

“Detroit’s Got Soul”

Letter from the Editor, September 2018

This Time, I Really Mean It

Letter from the Editor, August 2018

(Not So) Great Expectations?

Letter from the Editor, July 2018

Thanks for Making Me Look Good!

Letter from the Editor, June 2018
Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. Top Docs List 2018
  2. Memories of Miya
    Citizen Yoga founder, Kacee Must Leeb reflects on her sister’s suicide, its impact on her...
  3. Introducing the Piekie
    These cookie-shaped pies win big on-screen and off
  4. The Sixth Man
    A youth basketball coach teaches lessons on and off the court
  5. Seeking Support
    Like many metro areas across the U.S., finding a therapist in and around Detroit can prove to be...
  6. Therapy in the Digital Age
    New innovations that revolutionize traditional approaches to counseling
  7. Food Recipe: Chili
    Michael Keys, of Red Crown in Grosse Pointe Park, shares his favorite chili recipe
  8. Author's Cuisine
    At M Cantina in Dearborn, Junior Merino is creating a new kind of Mexican cuisine that is...
  9. Mending Migraines
    Nausea, excruciating head pain, sensitivity to light and noise: The oppressiveness of the list of...
  10. Seeing Clearly
    The co-founders behind Genusee on making eyewear with a mission