The Awesome Mitten - A Newbie's Guide to Metro Detroit

A Newbie’s Guide to Surviving Metro Detroit

Did I just get called a newbie? OK, it’s true – I am indeed new to the Detroit area, having moved here from Traverse City about two months ago. Half the fun of moving to a new city is discovering its hotspots and, in the short amount of time I have been here, I have come across some of the most amazing places! Get excited, because I am about to lead you through my discoveries of the best that Detroit has to offer a newcomer.

The Awesome Mitten - A Newbie's Guide to Metro Detroit
Photo Courtesy of Shut Up and Box

When moving to a new locale, it is important to me to find a gym I love. I was experiencing separation anxiety from my gym in Traverse City, the Grand Traverse Athletic Club, but finding a new gym is difficult – it’s like finding a new best friend. On a student budget, spending a lot of time and money trying out different gyms was not an option, so I started snapping up Groupons to ones I thought I wanted to give a whirl. One particular Groupon led me to Al Irish’s Shut Up and Box in Royal Oak. Holy macaroni – I went to a class this morning and barely have the arm strength to type this! Shut Up and Box offers more than boxing: there are lots of other classes to sign up for, too – intensity classes, Yoga, TRX, Zumba – as well as a range of personal training options. The trainers are energetic and fun, pushing everyone to the point of exhaustion.

The Awesome Mitten - A Newbie's Guide to Surviving Metro Detroit
Photo Courtesy of Astro Coffee

My favorite coffee shop in southeast Michigan is actually about 45 minutes away from Detroit, but I promise, it is so worth it! Comet Coffee located in Nickels Arcade in Ann Arbor compares to no other – the mocha has the taste, consistency, and smell of magic. If I have to choose one closer to the greater Detroit area, Astro Coffee in Corktown is absolutely marvelous. The owners are passionate about their product, and that’s an attractive quality in a coffee shop. They serve bread from Zingerman’s, so – boom! – best coffee shop ever.

The Awesome Mitten - A Newbie's Guide to Surviving Metro Detroit
Photo Courtesy of Bookies Bar and Grille

I love a good patio. Any bar with outdoor seating instantly draws my attention, so I’m partial to Bookies Bar and Grille in downtown Detroit. Their patio overlooks the city and is conveniently close to Comerica Park. Pre- and post-Tigers game beverages are a must, and are much less expensive and more tasty than the $8 Bud Lights sold in the stadium. Red Fox in Royal Oak also has a lovely outdoor seating area, with fire pits for the nine months of the year that Michiganders cannot comfortably sit outside.

Coming from northern Michigan, I was surprised to have found this much enjoyment here in Detroit. The variety of restaurants, concerts, parks, and sporting events to choose from makes up for the excessive sidewalks and lack of running hills. Really though, it’s a great area to live, go to school, and work. Check it out!

~Jennifer Hamilton, Feature Writer

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