Discover Something New at Home in Detroit

Posted Nov 20th 2013 11:00 AMUpdated Dec 20th 2013 10:59 AM

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No one, sadly, has missed the news that Detroit is filing for bankruptcy. But don't let that fool you into giving Motown a miss. In spite of Detroit's financial woes, or maybe because of them, the city is reemerging, not disappearing, thanks to a growing number of artists and entrepreneurs.

New Restaurant: La Feria

La Feria, which opened in November, has brought tapas to Midtown Detroit. The small shareable plates feature everything from soups and salads to tortillas, grilled sardines and boards of charcuterie and cheese. Native Spaniard Pilar Baron-Hidalgo and her two friends started the restaurant after winning the top prize ($50,000) in Hatch Detroit's retail contest. Try the tortilla española, a sliced potato omelet garnished with roasted red pepper for $4.

Place to Bring a Little "Home" Home With You: Shinola

Shinola, in West Canfield, a luxury goods store that sells watches, leather goods and bicycles, would normally seem horribly out of place in Detroit if it hadn't set up its global headquarters here last year. Most of its products are manufactured locally and regionally. Be prepared for sticker shock: while a small journal costs $12 and a watch around $550, a limited-edition bicycle is a whopping $4500.

Word on the Street

Here in Detroit, "pop-up" no longer means temporary. From restaurants (Guns + Butter featured recently among Anthony Bourdain's Detroit picks) to boutique stores (Spielhaus Toys is now lighting up Woodward through the holidays), it is more than a trend right now in the "D" as most of the businesses opt to stay long-term.

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Jennifer Conlin is the founder and editor of CriticCar Detroit, which records and shares on YouTube short arts and cultural citizen reviews of happenings in Detroit. Though Jennifer lived in Europe and the Middle East for more than 20 years before returning to her native Michigan three years ago, she thinks Detroit is by far the coolest city in the world right now and the bread at Avalon is as good as any she ever tasted in Paris.

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