This past weekend I was in Detroit.
The highlight of the trip was watching the Tigers beat the Yankees 9 – 6 in a 11-inning nailbiter delayed four hours by rain. At the start of Friday night, my buddy, one of his friends, and I were frustrated trying to find some decent night life. We had just settled on a quieter hotel lounge when we noticed the Tigers game was only in the 2nd inning and the Tigers were up. So we asked ourselves why we were sitting in a lame lounge when we could be at the game. We downed our drinks, hailed a cab, and pointed it towards Comerica Park. After haggling with a scalper we secured three tickets no more than ten rows up from right field. Watching a baseball game up close is great, but that night there was as much entertainment off the field as there was on the field. Since many of the fans had already been there for five hours, there were plenty of drunk and annoyed people. Loud verbal fights were breaking out every three innings. We saw at least a dozen people get ejected, including the four people right in front of us. The Yanks eventually tied it up to 6 – 6, and it stayed that way until the 11th inning. By then it was nearly 3 AM, and since half the fans had left we decided to upgrade our seats to five rows up from first base. Sometime around 3:30 AM in the bottom of the 11th the Tigers put a ball in the stands, causing them to erupt with joy. I think most of the remaining fans were happy not only because the Tigers won but also because they could finally go home. We returned to my friend’s boat at the Detroit Yacht Club sometime after 4 AM and he had tripled his money at an MGM Grand blackjack table.
11th inning view:
Me at 3:30 AM after the game. Look at how much scruff I grew during the game!
Cars in Detroit are cheaper. I was finding ideal Mustangs for at least $5k cheaper than I ever see in the Seattle area. For the price of a premium GT model in Seattle I could get a Saleen or even a Shelby Cobra model in Detroit. This obviously had a lot of appeal to me — who wouldn’t want a black 2006 Shelby Cobra Mustang on the cheap? My rational self had to fight hard to stop my impulsive self from just going out and buying one. The drive from Detroit to Seattle would be a blast in a car like that. Luckily, my rational side did prevail, and so I flew back unencumbered by fresh debt. I’m sure I’ll return to Detroit to do the buy and drive next year. In the meantime, I’ll have to be satisfied with pictures. Sigh.
Detroit itself is an interesting city. It’s a much different world than Seattle. Where as Seattle is pretty well-off throughout most of the city limits, Detroit has large swaths of impoverished communities. Boarded up houses and closed businesses are a common sight, and there’s a surprising number of houses gutted by fires. The people seem to be friendlier and more out-going than West Coasters, who are friendly enough but they generally would rather not interact with you. It’s refreshing to hear sirs and ma’ams used in public. Detroit is very flat. It almost creeped me out how I couldn’t see a single bit of elevation change.
The view of Detroit from the Detroit Yacht Club:
The view of Detroit’s night skyline from the Detroit River: