Living Downtown Detroit: What You Can’t See on a Map

November 05, 2013 | Detroit

Detroit Red Wings

A lot of people ask me why I live Downtown Detroit. Some of them know I work 35 miles outside of the city, doing a reverse commute to the suburbs. Some of those who ask have no idea that I don’t work for any one of the many companies that have headquarters, or who have moved their HQ, Downtown.

This time of year, it would be accepted by more if I answered ‘because of the Red Wings.’ They know I grew up far in the far North, where you pretty much learn to skate before you can walk (true story…we have priorities).

Yeah, okay. I didn’t move Downtown just to be a couple of blocks from the Joe. But that was definitely part of the reason—along with the Tigers, the Lions, the restaurants and bars, the Orchestra and the Opera. I’m not going to list all of the reasons I made the decision to move Downtown. Because this blog is about the Wings.

Or, more accurately, about the one thing I didn’t realize when I moved Downtown that would make events like Red Wings games even more fun.

Living in the ‘burbs, going to a game means, first, finding friends who can go to that game. Say it’s a 7:05 game. That means they have to be off work and ready to head out around 6. And willing to not get home until around 10 or 11. Not always easy for everyone on, say, a Tuesday. Then you have to get tickets, figure out if you’re all going to drive together and—if so—who’s going to drive, and then where you’re going to park.

All of the logistical issues completely disappear when you live Downtown. I can leave for the game 15 minutes before the puck drops and be home 15 minutes after the game ends, which is almost less of a time commitment than watching Slapshot or Mystery, Alaska. I don’t have to park: I can walk to the rink in less than 10 minutes. Or I can take the People Mover from less than a block from my Loft right to the Joe if it’s raining. (Or, for others, if it’s snowing…but if I let snow stop me from walking, my family would stop talking to me. And mock me.)

All of those things I could figure out just from where my Detroit apartment was located. So could you just by looking at a map.

What I didn’t realize is that my choice of where I lived Downtown would affect—maybe I should say eliminate—that first question: Who can go with you? Because my Detroit Loft has twice-monthly events, and a common one is going to a Red Wings game. Which we’re doing again this week.

So, for Thursday, November 7th, The Lofts of Merchants Row has gotten a block of tickets, and all Residents have to do is RSVP to the front office. Oh. And the tickets are $10 off for us because my building chips in to lower the price! We don’t have to print or download them. We just meet in the lobby and they’re handed to us. We then either all walk over or take the People Mover to the Joe.

Sometimes we meet up with friends from the building in our own lofts before heading down to the lobby (which we can do because we have that extra hour since we don’t drive down and park), but not always.  What we do always do is to have fun. And cheer on the Wings.  And make new friends from the building.

And that’s something you can’t see on a map or know before you move Downtown. How many opportunities there are—from planned events to hanging out at Campus Martius Park—to make new friends when you live Downtown.

And, come on, no matter how many friends you already have, everyone knows hockey fans make great friends.

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