|Photo: Robin Soslow|
Boom and bloom have shattered the Motor City's gloom-and-doom reputation. Super-charged vital signs include a white-hot urban art scene, homegrown jazz, R&B, funk and electronic virtuosos, sensational bargain-priced food, coffee and craft beer, a fresh new riverfront, a greenway where lush foliage competes with street art-splashed concrete slabs, new urban bike and kayak tours, and friendly residents excited to share their cultural riches.
Abandoned buildings are surging back to life. The Aloft hotel opened last year in the David Whitney, a 1915 neo-Renaissance skyscraper with a jaw-dropping atrium. A labyrinth-like brewery now holds Red Bull House of Art's galleries and studios.
Russell Industrial Center, an auto body factory designed by Detroit starchitect Albert Kahn that opened 1925, now holds studios (Bill Poceta's glassworks, Dana Keaton's fashions), Michigan Hot Glass Workshop and galleries. Catch the Robots and Ray-guns exhibition.
An abandoned warehouse has revived as Ponyride, a business accelerator and home to Anthology, a new slow/ethical/heavenly coffee purveyor where you should savor it black.
Neglected storefronts now hold hip joints like Northern Lights Lounge, a retro outpost with no cover, even when Motown veterans take the stage.
As a stunning new hockey arena rises downtown, entrepreneurs are racing in from New York to snap up cheap big digs with character. Homegrown innovators are launching dream ventures. The 100 restaurants that have opened in the last two years include wildly popular Selden Standard, Republic and Katoi. New brewpubs include Batch Brewing and HopCat.
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