It was a gloomy day but we had no gloom in our hearts or our step as we headed to Detroit for a day of fun, music and a visit with the Baby Grand! Our primary destination was to be the Detroit Symphony but Rick, Kate and I left early to prowl around the revitalizing city of Detroit.
Since our plans for a picnic or extensive outside walking were somewhat curtailed by the weather, we decided we'd visit the area of Indian Village. This is a neighborhood of architecturally significant homes built during the arts and crafts period of the early 20th century.
The area held special significance for Rick. His great grandmother, Catherine Armstrong Acklin, was from this area and her sister, Aunt Josie Hibbard, also lived there after her marriage. We didn't know the address but wanted to check it out and see what it might have been like.
We had a bit of an idea. Photos from Rick's cousin Mary's album gave an idea of what the inside of one of these homes might have looked like during the period.
Back in the day, the Armstrong's neighbors included automobile legends Edsel Ford and Henry Leland, who founded Lincoln and Cadillac.
The homes were large, some behind gates, others with carriage houses.
Most of the homes were in the style of the Arts and Crafts movement, Tudor or what I would call traditional American.
Please, if there are any architecture mavens here, please add your two cents to the comments!
There was one fairly looking modern home I liked, though you couldn't see much of it from the street.
But most were open to the street with lovely lawns looking lush in the soft rain.
We'd missed the garden tour (The Hibbard home had been on the garden tour -- if only we'd known!) but it was clear that everyone had their yards neatly done for their guests, hedges clipped. It was clear that when the garden tour took place a week or two before, that the trees had been in full flower and one can only imagine how lovely it was.
A group of intrepid cyclists were out for the day as well. You couldn't pick a nicer neighborhood to cycle through.
Yet one block over, it was clear that this was Detroit, less revitalized, less preserved. The homes were more rundown, vacant lots overgrown.
From Indian Village we headed to Belle Isle. Belle Isle is an Island in the Detroit River between Detroit and Canada that is 982 acres. It's the home of the yacht club, Coast Guard, a Great Lakes museum, a golf course, aquarium, nature zoo (with displays of lizards, turtles, snakes and more!), loads of picnic areas and much more.
We stopped at the nature zoo. As you might expect, I was captivated by the birds!
And the displays. See that little egg in the back row? My gallstone was that size! (Considering that the gallbladder is about the size of a lemon or a deck of cards, it's no wonder I was in the ER!)
After heading back to park by Orchestra Hall, we took the new Queue streetcar to the heart of downtown Detroit where we enjoyed a terrific lunch at a restaurant called the Broderick Grille.
It was a happy accident to discover it but the salads were delicious and huge and Rick was loving his chicken pesto sandwich and parmesan fries.
A good waiter like Bobby, who kept our glasses filled made us happy diners!
We walked back to Orchestra Hall, afraid we might miss the Queue. (It's new and the schedule needs a little work!) As we did we passed by my favorite Fox Theatre...
...and Comerica Park, home to the Detroit Tigers.
I noted some great architectural details along the way -- Kate pointed out these fabulous church doors.
Concert time! A couple photos from the lobby of Orchestra Hall. I loved this art installation...
...this interesting piece...
...and the view of the lobby from the upper lobby. (OK, truth be told, I had to hang my camera out over the ledge because looking down from here kicked my vertigo into such high gear I was tingling all over!
The concert included a magnificent rendition of Beethoven's 9th Symphony (Ode to Joy) and a pretty weird adaptation of Bob Dylan songs sung by a soprano to music by John Corgliano. You could barely hear her over the orchestra and the music was -- well, let's just say they should have stuck to Dylan's tunes. Fortunately, the 9th made up for it! Time for dinner!
And dinner was at Kevin and Molly's where we got to see our Baby Grand!
I probably don't have to tell you how happy this little guy makes us.
What's really lovely is seeing his parents interact with him. The next day was Molly's first day back at work and she was excited and I think both were a little anxious about the little guy's first experience in day care. (He did well!)
And then it was off to home. And by then, I think we were all ready for bed.
A wonderful day.
Happy to share this week with Monday Social and Share Your Cup when links become available!
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