If I had to describe myself with one word it would be artist - a visual artist and an artist with words. My artwork is included in Ohio Online Visual Arts Registry. I'm working with various galleries in the Midwest to promote my oil paintings and abstract light photography.

 

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Detroit – Midtown

Image: Fine Dining at The Whitney

Culture and Elegance in Midtown Detroit

© Becky Linhardt 2010

 Midtown Detroit is the Cultural Arts Center for the city.  The Detroit Institute of Art, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, Detroit Children’s Museum, Motown Historical Museum and the Detroit Historical Museum are all within about a half mile radius of the  Wayne State University campus.  In the late 19th century it was also THE residential neighborhood for Detroit’s wealthy merchants, lumber barons, and Great Lakes shipping magnates and much of the romance of that era remains.

 What’s Special

Detroit Institute of Art

Newly expanded, the museums collection of visual arts is beautifully displayed.  They have an unusually large collection of African Art and notable collections of Asian and Islamic Art as well as a strong base of American Art that has expanded with the recent addition of the James Pearson Duffy Collection of contemporary art. Exhibitions and special programs freshen the experience of each visit.

Motown Historical Museum

In a collection of the original buildings that formed the national power house for the Motown Sound, you can see the original studio where Michael Jackson and his brothers refined their recording skills and stage presentations.  There are gowns worn by the Supremes, album covers, gold records, and much more.  A very heart-felt video at the beginning of tours presents the challenges and the triumphs of the performers and this successful African-American business.

Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

A historic timeline exhibition of African-American history shows the past as well as current accomplishments in an extensive set of permanent displays.  However it is the contemporary visual arts, the creations that rose from the culture that have the most energy.  Permanent displays as well as select touring exhibitions can be seen in this powerful architectural building that has a huge gathering space that allows for performances and other cultural events.  See also Detroit’s African American Heritage.

Romantic stay

The Inn on Ferry Street, offers 40 unique rooms/suites in a complex of 1890’s romantically restored mansions and carriage houses in the midtown arts area near Wayne State University.  The huge stone residences were built in the 1890s for the business elite of Detroit.  The fine woodwork, elegant stained glass, and spacious rooms are unique in each of the four adjacent mansions.  The two carriage houses have upstairs private suites with an under the eaves coziness.  The décor is simple, comfortable, and very romantic.  And, because the Inn offers free on-site parking and free shuttle transportation within a 5-mile radius, you can park your car and let someone else drive you downtown, to theaters, sports events, The Henry Ford Museum or to arts programs on the nearby campus.  True, it is van transportation, not a chauffeured limo but drop-off and pick-up can make life so much easier in a town that may not be familiar to you. 

Romantic dining

For a truly romantic lunch or dinner, The Whitney offers opulent elegance.  The meticulously restored 52-room mansion of lumber baron, David Whitney, Jr. has 20 fireplaces, 218 windows including some in original Tiffany stained-glass, period lighting and furnishings.  As a merchant of lumber from Michigan forests and exotic foreign locations he showcased the woods in exquisitely beautiful woodwork found through his mansion. The height of romance in Detroit?  Maybe that would be a nightcap in the Ghost Bar on the third floor after walking up the Grand Staircase with its opulent views of the 1890s life of an ultra-rich Detroit merchant.  During the warmer months, dining in the terrace garden is popular for the business crowd and locals who enjoy the sum-dabbled light and great food in a more relaxed, casual atmosphere.

Fun, and funky

For casual dining, there are any of a number of lively, near campus dining options including the Union Street Café with its old-time club atmosphere.

 Detroit area events and attractions:  800-338-7648 or www.visitdetroit.com

The Inn – reservations/information: 313-871-6000 or www.theinnonferrystreet.com

The Whitney – reservations/information:  313-832-5700 or www.thewhitney.com

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        As a travel writer it is my responsibility to select the best places, events, and experiences to present to you. Most travel has been on my own though some has occurred on sponsored press trips. Travel listings here will be more informal than my published articles.

 

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