Back In Town!
The past few weeks have been incredibly hectic, which has made it difficult to keep up with this outlet for my whining and carrying on.
Anyway, I spent most of last week in Detroit, MI for the annual conference of the Association of Procurement Technical Assistance Centers (APTAC).
I was able to stay with a friend, a former colleague who now makes lots more money in the corporate world than she did working for St. Louis city government. ;-)
Anyway, she lives about 30 miles from downtown Detroit (about 75 minutes drive in rush-hour traffic), where the conference was held at the RenCen, a bizarre monstrocity of early 1980s architecture that now serves as world headquarters for GM.
Detroit is a MUCH larger city and metro area than St. Louis, but I would argue its downtown is not as nice as ours. Indeed, most of the city and many of the inner-ring suburbs are still quite blighted.
However, its waterfront is somewhat prettier, mostly because the Detroit River actually is blue, not brown!
I really enjoyed the Henry Ford Museum -- too bad it's out in the suburb of Dearborn. Likewise, I briefly explored the campus of Wayne State University -- located in the heart of the city, about a 15-minute bus ride from downtown and adjacent to the cultural district.
Metro Detroit certainly does NOT have very unified public transit. There's two major agencies serving SE Michigan -- D-DOT operates buses in the city proper, but SMART has the routes in the suburbs as well as commuter routes from the suburbs into downtown.
Meanwhile, the ridiculous late-1980s Detroit People Mover elevated tramway loop downtown is operated separately; and the tunnel bus to Canada is of course operated by Transit Windsor.
I rode two different SMART routes, and one D-DOT route, as well as the People Mover a couple times. I never took the tunnel bus, but I wanted too. I just hadn't remembered to bring my birth certificate; and my passport expired three days before the trip.... which I guess means my 10-year high school reunion is coming up!