Feb 11, 2010 5:21:01 AM
Love Factually: unrequited love
Romance and Detroit: seems it’s hard to imagine these two together, like a ‘Magic Happens’ sticker on a Mustang. If you’re looking for walks along tree-lined boulevards, candlelit suppers and champagne, maybe Detroit’s not the spot. But if you like your romancing with an urban edge; backstreets, backseats and beer, then The D is the town.
The one thing Detroit does better than just about anywhere else is music; soulful, funky, angry, rockin’ and bluesy music. It seems unbelievable that this hard-to-love city, a symbol of America’s industrial heartburn, could have produced such an stellar soundtrack. But what other town on earth could claim to be the cradle of R&B and the birthplace of punk? Only Detroit could produce the smooth grooves and sweet soul of Motown and the butt-kicking proto-punk of the MC5 and The Stooges.
But does the town that romance forgot have anything to offer visitors with romance on their minds, apart from a jukebox full of Stevie Wonder, P-Funk and The White Stripes?
Start by checking out Diego Rivera’s huge mural Detroit Industry at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Not very romantic, true, but the fact that a Mexican communist (with a wife who looked a lot like Salma Hayek) painted this tribute to American industrial development is pretty amazing, if not the stuff of Mills & Boon.
Then it’s time for a little historical romance at the Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn. The enormous collection here includes countless cars and machines, plus all manner of American weirdness such as a George Washington’s camp bed and a Wienermobile.
With your head full of V8s and dreams, what you need now is a damn good hot dog, and Lafayette Coney Island serves them Detroit-style: smothered in chili and onions. After you’ve downed a ‘dog, you’ll need to slake that thirst so take your special someone over to The Bronx for a few beers and the rocking-est jukebox in town.
Now, with a gutful of Pabst Blue Ribbon and hot dogs, and an earful of The Dirtbombs and The Von Bondies, the time is right for love. So find yourselves a hotel room, slap on that Four Tops disc and let Detroit’s own Levi Stubbs put you in the mood…
Of course if it doesn’t all work out, you can always head to a Red Wings game.
If you’re tired of working on your night moves Detroit-style, why not get racey in Reykjavík, where things are certainly more chilled.