Editor’s Letter: Best of Detroit 2023

Hour Detroit’s editor-in-chief talks working at Hour and staff members’ picks for their top Detroit experiences of the last year.

I went to an event recently where someone asked me, “Is working for Hour Detroit as fun as it seems?”

While I paused for about five seconds thinking about this issue’s looming deadline, and how attending the event would set me back, I quickly said, in all honesty, “Yes, it is.” To write about what’s going on in metro Detroit, the editorial staff needs to get out and experience everything from the opening of Michigan Central to chamber of commerce luncheons. Our days and nights can get pretty jam-packed with work events, but it is, indeed, for the most part, fun.

Kate Walsh // Photograph by Brad Ziegler
Kate Walsh // Photograph by Brad Ziegler

Since 1996, Hour Detroit has been bringing you the best of Detroit in our pages — and a little later, on our website. And since 2000, we have invited readers to tell us their favorite places, people, and events in our Best of Detroit feature. Starting on page 62, you will find the 228 winners in more than 200 categories (there are some ties), representing 920,000 votes.

Since the staff does not weigh in on who will win the categories (other than to vote once, like everyone else), I asked them to share some of their top experiences of the past year. Here’s what they had to say:

“I saw my favorite K-pop group, Monsta X, perform at my favorite venue, the Fox Theatre. I made a mini staycation out of the event — booking a hotel stay at Aloft Detroit in the David Whitney Building, which also houses a People Mover stop. So I took that for a spin as well.”

— Luanne Lim, associate editor

“Attending Pistons games at Little Caesars Arena! Making homemade martinis with Detroit’s own 8 Mile Vodka. Seeing Jack Harlow at the Fox Theatre, then enjoying some Mom’s Spaghetti [Eminem’s restaurant].”

— Maya Gossett, account executive

Van Gogh at the DIA was amazeballs! I ate at Sozai for the first time in 2022, and it was magical. And I’m looking forward to the Detroit Kite Festival on Belle Isle [coming back July 9].”

— Nick Britsky, digital director

“I tried out Escape Room Novi at Fountain Walk — which was a blast. Also, I love going to Blank Slate Creamery in Ann Arbor. They have delicious seasonal flavors.”

— Olivia Sedlacek, copy editor

“The Blackberry Beret margarita at The Backdoor Taco & Tequila speakeasy bar — new in Rochester — is to die for!”

— Johanna Moriarty, project manager

“Attending the Big Ten football championship game. To see Michigan win it was something I will remember always.”

— Kate Manley, accounting associate

“I got to spend time racing on a sailboat on Lake St. Clair with 2022 Bayview Yacht Club Commodore Lynn Kotwicki. Also, opening day for the Tigers.”

— Scott Atkinson, deputy editor

“My favorite Detroit event, Theatre Bizarre, made a triumphant return after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. This was my husband’s and my 10th time attending; we love it so much.

— Stephanie Daniel, senior production artist

Detroit City FC matches are always intense, and a lot of fun, but watching them go from the underdogs in a new league to one of the teams in the championship was really special.”

— Christina Clark, digital editor

By the way, Michigan Central’s launch (referenced above), was one of my favorite events of the year. Make sure to note your memorable metro Detroit experiences now through November, so you can write in your own favorites when the Best of Detroit general ballot goes live in December.

This story is part of the June 2023 issue of Hour Detroit. Read more in our Digital Edition.