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Fun in Detroit
My fiancee, Myah, and I drove up to Detroit from Nashville, TN in a Toyota Corolla. We're staying up here for 3 months, so we had to pack a bunch of clothes, dishes, bedding, etc. We ended up filling every little nook and cranny I could find in the car, but did not have room for a microwave or TV! So, yes, that is correct, I will not have a TV for 3 months. That's perfectly fine with me, however, because it forces me to get off my bum and explore the Detroit area. Here are some of the things I've done:
On Saturday, June 5th I went to Windsor, Ontario for the first time. It was actually my first time being out of the country. Before I came to Detroit, I hadn't realized how close Canada actually was- Windsor is only 4 miles from my apartment. I went with Myah and another DMP researcher, Pamela. We visited a mall and a sculpture park. Canada didn't look very different from America, mostly because the part we visited was very Americanized. We saw Taco Bell, Wendy's, Dairy Queen, and many other restaurants that are in the States. We had trouble getting back since none of us brought our birth certificates with us. After some questioning, the customs agent let us through. Needless to say, I called my dad that night and asked him to mail me my birth certificate so I could go to Canada again!
Later that Saturday Myah and I visited a cafe near our apartment. Ben, one of the grad students, was playing in his band there that night. They play Middle Eastern music. It was very interesting- I had never heard music similar to it before. Detroit has a large population of people of Middle Eastern and African descent, which creates a unique and diverse culture. I enjoyed my experience and hope to see more local attractions soon.
The Detroit Festival of the Arts was downtown the weekend of June 13th. Wayne State is in the middle of Detroit's Cultural District, so many of the tables, stages, and performances were on the WSU campus. I visited the Detroit Historical Museum and watched some gymnastic/acrobatic/unbelievably flexible people perform on stage.
I've gone to Canada a couple more times. I went to Casino Windsor and gambled a whopping $2.50 in Canadian dollars. That's only around $2 American, so I wasn't exactly a high-roller! It was my first time being in a casino and gambling. I'm only 19, so I'm can't gamble in the States. The legal age in Canada is 19, so I got lucky. I played the slots and won about $2, but spent it in the slots again. It's not like I was planning on winning college tuition on betting $2.50 anyways.
Wayne State has a fabulous recreation and fitness center. I go work out after work for about an hour and then swim on the weekends. They have a great leisure pool that has a big, figure-8 waterslide, basketball, a bubble bench, and a jacuzzi. I hope that I go to a graduate school that has a pool as awesome as this one.
I went to the Detroit Institute of the Arts one weekend in July. They had art from various periods and pieces from famous artists. For example, there was a self portrait of Andy Warhol. The DIA had a special exhibit called "Portraits, " which was a display of large close-up photographs of teenagers in the Detroit area. Beside their pictures was a short paragraph or two in their own words. I found this exhibit the most interesting because it made me think about the lives of these young people. There was one portrait of a cute girl whose personal story revealed that she has a two-year-old and one on the way. It was kind of depressing to read the stories of some of the kids, but, overall, the exhibit was thought-provoking and interesting.
Ben gave me tickets to the Detroit Tigers vs. Chicago White Sox baseball game for the last weekend I was in Detroit. They play at Comerica Stadium- there's a pic of the stadium in the photo album. Myah and I went and had a good time. We drove around for about 15 minutes and finally found a spot to park on the street, so we wouldn't have to pay $10-$20 to park in a lot. Inside, there were tons of places to eat and buy souvenirs. Ben had given me access passes to the Tiger Club and Tiger Den Lounge. The Tiger Club was a restaurant with a $25 all-you-can-eat buffet. The Tiger Den Lounge was a restaurant and bar with couches to relax on while watching the game on a couple of big screen TV's. Myah and I went to the lounge a couple of times to get out of the heat and to grab some ice water. Our seats were on row 12 behind the Tigers dugout. Needless to say, these seats were extremelly close to the action. I couldn't have asked for a better view of the game. My only complaint was that there was not a cloud in the sky, so it was very hot. We stayed until the top of the 6th inning, but I still ended up getting a little sunburned. I had never been to a real baseball game before. The closest thing was my brother's little league games when I was a kid. So, this was a good experience to take with me back to Tennessee.