It’s human nature to like things in pairs, and having doubles has worked out well for us: from Noah’s Ark to double-stick popsicles (who didn’t love how the second popsicle always got even more deliciously gooey in the wrapper by the time you’d finished the first!) to Little Caesar’s ‘Pizza! Pizza!’ (A Two-for-One pizza deal? Yes, please!).
But those were two ‘of a kind.’
While pairings are not any less historical—in the Symposium, circa 380 BC, Plato proposes that humans were once hermaphroditic creatures that, now split apart, experience love because we are forever seeking our other ‘half’ (a concept reduced to its utmost simplicity in Jerry Maguire as ‘You complete me’)—they are quite different from pairs, and their emphasis on the complementary nature of the two objects is not only totally on-trend, but can result in something almost magical in its ability to bring out the ‘best of both worlds.’
In other words (and think angles here), complementary ads up to something which is 90°, a ‘right’ angle—or perfect intersection. Which in a ‘right triangle’ means the angles add up to 180°, or, as the phrase ‘I did a 180’ suggests, a complete change in direction. Something which can change the world or your perspective….
After Plato, the next big historical pairing that I’m aware of occurred in the late 1970s with “You got your chocolate in my peanut butter! You got your peanut butter in my chocolate!” Alright. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups have been pairing the complementary flavors—flavors that add up to a combination that brings out the best in each other—of peanut butter and chocolate since H.B. Reese, an employee of Milton Hershey, came up with the pairing in 1928. But still. It was a brilliant idea that resulted in a great product.
And many a brilliant and creative idea has been born out of pairings in Detroit.
Take cars and cook-outs.
Yep. Both were made better, if not possible, by a Detroiter.
The next time you drive out to the park or lake and fire up a grill with Kingsford Charcoal, you have Henry Ford to thank for that experience. While determined to make cars that were affordable for the ‘average American worker’ in the early 1900s, Ford—a proponent of combining resources—realized there was a lot of wood scrap going to waste. ‘Ford Charcoal’ was renamed after the Detroiter’s relative, E.G. Kingsford who created the modern charcoal briquette and the Upper Peninsula town named after Kingsford and where a Ford plant and sawmill were located.
Or, take another great Detroit pairing. “Ebony and Ivory.” Yep. The hit song by Stevie Wonder—who moved to Detroit when he was four and signed with Motown Records when he was eleven—and Sir Paul McCartney. “Ebony and Ivory,” a melody that brings together the idea of living ‘in perfect harmony’….
Wait, you say, Sir Paul McCartney isn’t a Detroiter! However, while I am in no position to smack a sword against his shoulder and deem him one (or hand him the key to the city), I believe his generous funding of the restoration of the 1877 Steinway instrumental to so many Motown greats in the ‘60s and his subsequent donation of it to the to the ‘Hitsville, U.S.A.’ Motown Museum more than qualifies him as an honorary Detroiter.
The song, “Ebony and Ivory,” its lyrics, and both musicians embody the complementary nature of pairings: the joining of talent and voice to change people’s perspective on the world.
The third, and last, complementary pairing I want to mention is Fowling.
No. That is not a typo.
Fowling is the complementary combination of Football and Bowling. Detroiter Chris Hutt is credited with this incredible pairing following an Indy 500 tailgate party where a ‘chance’ football toss knocked down the pins from an abandoned bowling game.
Seriously, since Jarts (which is really the penultimate pairing, but not the direction you want to go in….Yeah, let’s let kids throw Javelin—read, sharp-pointy spears—straight up into the air in an effort to hit a nearby Dart-board-like circle while the adults congregate nearby to drink) there has not been a more fun and exhilarating game of mixed skills that complement one another. And you are guaranteed a success…because whether you ‘win’ or not,’ you’re going to have a great time Fowling!
Oh. And there is a lot less likelihood of an unplanned trip to the emergency room.
So why am I writing about this—pairings—now?
And, if you attend this, or one of Angelina’s other wine pairings you will get four complementary experiences.
This week, the pairings are:
Bronzino with Radicchio, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Oregano with Motyum Inzolia
Braised Beef Sugo with Vegetables and a rich Tomato Sauce with Motyum Nero d’Avola
Eggplant Risotto with Shitake Mushrooms , Tomato & Eggplant Confit, and Arugula with Civias Acanteo Nero d’Avola
Flourless Chocolate Torte and Candied Chilies with Terre di Sole Sangiovesse
Angelina regularly offers such successful and complementary pairings: and while Lofts of Merchants Row Residents only pay $15 this month, the regular price is set at a very ‘tasty’ $30!
And what better place to experience a complementary pairing than Detroit, the city that continuously brings together people who—together—have the power to change the world and our perspective of it.
That collaboration is the definition of the innovation that our city is famous for: the bringing together of different ‘angles,’ different ideas, and even different ‘tastes’ to achieve something incredible.
But the most incredible thing that our city offers is the way it allows you to blend the experience of Living, Working, and Playing all in one place….
That, the sense of being a part of something—paired with something—that is bigger than myself, is what makes me feel ‘whole’: in harmony with the world, and ready to ‘win’ every day.
And that is why I love living in my Detroit loft and my city.
Detroit…YOU complete me….