It’s funny how you can see something every day but not notice it. At least that’s what I discovered while driving my portion of the Hour Detroit staff’s “mile by mile” City Guide adventure.
Although I grew up in Macomb County and spent plenty of time cruising the northern suburbs, I currently live near Six Mile and Southfield. So I pulled rank and nabbed four roads — including the notorious Eight Mile.
I’ve literally driven some of these stretches 1,000 times, but noticed lots of “new” things. Detroit Vintage coffee shop is a recent addition to Eight Mile, right? Nope. Missed it since August 2013.
Where has smothered cube steak been my whole life? At Motor City Soul Food; I just needed to get out of the car. I also found amazing Pasta Bolognese about a mile from home.
Getting off the main drag to visit Northville’s Mill Race Village revealed a history lesson (and a cool brewery!) on “Old Baseline” Road … and who knew there was a turkey farm in the middle of Livonia?
Every scene wasn’t pleasant, though. A house I once rented near Six and Gratiot was gone; as was most of the neighborhood. I sent a former roommate a picture of a pheasant sitting in a field where an elementary school once stood. He noted it was a vast improvement over the burnt out shells of homes witnessed the last time he drove by our old stomping grounds.
One thing I did know before this quest: “magic” mile road math. I first heard of this phenomenon from staffers at The Macomb Daily, who could calculate how to get to the scene of the action from an address overheard on a police scanner.
When I’ve brought up this formula to some people, they’ve looked at me as if I were from Mars. Nah. I’m from the 33000 block of Utica Road. (Do the math; it’s 14 Mile Road).