I was born (1941) and raised (1941 through 1966 when I went into the Army) in Flint, Michigan. My father worked for Buick. When I graduated from Ferris in 1964 I worked at Chevrolet Saginaw Transmission. My wife and I are coming to Michigan for a circle drive from Chicago to Big Rapids to Travers City, Mackinaw Island, Oscoda and down into Frankenmuth. We are not staying in Flint, but we will come down from Frankenmuth for a drive through old places of memory, Coney dogs at Angelo's, more driving through old haunts and finally a deluxe with olives at Bill Thomas' Halo Burger, formerly Kewpie's.
I am not an expert on Detroit, but have been to town often (nearly 50 years ago), Hudson's for everyone's first ride on an escalator, Hamtramck, Bloomfield Hills, Greenfield Village (for a look at the history of Ford), Dearborn, the GM Proving Grounds, through the tunnel for good buys on scotch, to various friends here and there, Gross Point and the GM buildings.
I want to drive through Detroit for a personal view of the reality distinguishable from the perspective of national news for the last 30 years. My memory is driving to the Dort Highway and turning South. Then the Dixie Highway down past Heron Lake and Dixie and Deer Lakes, through Pontiac onto Woodward Avenue. Woodward took me through Bloomfield Hills (and past Jimmy Hoffa's point of no return) and down to the beginning of the wide broad mile markers, 12 mile, 11 Mile, Ferndale, Highland Park and Hamtramck (Basketball that light up Ferris State for several years) and then Downtown.
Where do I go to see the reality of a great city gone bad, a great city preparing for an invasion by the accountants of Lansing who always know best. Where do I go to see the bad, the ugly and the good that must be there somewhere. I will be coming down the route just remembered above and then turning West at some point to head back to Chicago for a return flight to Denver and Parker where I now enjoy the beautiful mountains of Colorado backlit by wonderful sunsets.
I would be grateful for streets and routs that will show me what Detroit and environs is really like today.
Oh, ....and one more thing. Where can I get a great Coney Island in the Motor City?
Thank you all.