Becoming a ‘Resident Tourist’

Letter from the Editor

When paying a visit to another city, most people gravitate toward the obvious. San Francisco? Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz Island … Check. Paris? The Louvre, Eiffel Tower … Check.

You might assume everybody living in a destination city has been to its most iconic places. Perhaps it’s a “can’t see the forest for the trees” syndrome, but I’m sure countless New Yorkers have never ascended the Empire State Building or toured the Statue of Liberty.

Which brings us to our annual “City Guide.” We decided to freshen up an iconic list last run here in 2005: “101 Things Every Detroiter Should Do.”

Compiling such a list compels you to view the metro area through a different lens — sort of like pretending to be a tourist. If you were visiting here for the first time, what would be a quintessential Motown experience?

It became a bit embarrassing when Associate Editor Monica Mercer, who moved here just a few years ago, bested several lifelong residents when tallying up personal scorecards from the “101.” Let’s just say in our Detroit-style game of “stump Monica,” she more than held her own.

In addition to our “101 Things,” we offer even more ways to see metro Detroit. Explore on your own from the seat of a bike (page 65) or take a guided, themed tour (page 70). Dine in little-known restaurants (page 82) or get the inside scoop on an area such as Mexicantown (page 72) that you only think you know. Then see how 10 years of the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy’s efforts have changed the face of our waterfront (page 44).

Love our list? Hate our list? Let us know. We’re not saying you have to be able to lay claim to a large percentage of this list. We’re just saying that if you ever complain about having nothing to do, you might consider taking an “outsider’s” perspective.


At least we didn’t get it this wrong! After our July edition went to press with a story about the mayoral campaign, Mike Duggan withdrew from the race — and then announced he would launch a write-in campaign. In late May, the Detroit Election Commission had certified his eligibility. But the state Court of Appeals upheld a Wayne County Circuit Court ruling that he violated the City Charter’s residency requirements (he had not lived in Detroit a full year prior to turning in the qualifying signatures).

We admit taking a calculated risk running the story. But as professionals who live and die by trying to meet deadlines, it’s hard to comprehend someone getting penalized for turning something in early. All we can say is stay tuned for the August 6 primary — and perhaps some more legal action.

Photographs courtesy of the Library of Congress