Detroit Puppet Art

Living in Detroit

Last weekend, J and I took the kids to Detroit Puppet Art to see “The Snow Queen.” The organization is located downtown and offers puppet performances, exhibits, and classes. We were able to make reservations, but we should have showed up earlier, because the small theater was packed. The show was beautiful and at just an hour long, it held the kids’ attention. Afterwards, the kids participated in a puppet-making workshop, where they made replicas of the large “Snow Queen” puppet that was used in the show. BE is already asking when we can go back. If you live in the Detroit area, be sure to check it out!

BE at the puppet workshop

BE at the puppet workshop

A Trip to the Detroit Public Library

Living in Detroit

I’m happy that my kids love the library, and they were anxious to visit our new library in Detroit. We finally got to go earlier this month and I was immediately impressed just by the outside of the building, which is beautiful. But, the kids were more interested in the children’s room, and got right to picking out books, coloring, and playing on the computers. BE even got her first library card, which will also allow her to check out books from the monthly book mobile that visits her school. We’ll definitely be back soon!

Detroit Public Library

Detroit Public Library

Dequindre Cut

Living in Detroit

We live right near an entrance to the Dequindre Cut, “an urban recreational path.” The “Cut” was formerly a railroad line and is below street level. It provides a pedestrian-only path from the Riverfront all the way to Eastern Market, and will hopefully be expanded. J and the kids have been on the Cut countless times since we moved, but I only got to use it recently. J and BE were out for the day, so BC and I took a bike ride down to the Riverfront. BC loves bike riding and he was excited to coast down the “entrance ramp” and to play at the park when we got down to the Riverfront near the Renaissance Center. I’m looking forward to warmer weather when we can use the Cut more often – I especially want to take it to Eastern Market!

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Dequindre Cut with BC

Family Fun at Campus Martius

Living in Detroit

On the way to BE’s school every morning we drive by Campus Martius, and right now the park is beautifully decorated and lighted for the holidays. The kids have been watching as the decorations are put up and ice rink is built.

They were both begging, so we went skating the first weekend the rink officially opened. A few weeks before, the kids and I had been there for lunch at the Fountain Bistro. They split a cheeseburger and fries for only $10 total and I had a great veggie sandwich. And, the kids were so excited when the waitress brought them a whole box of crayons and told them they could color on the paper tablecloth.

The park is a wonderful for families and I’m happy that we live close enough to walk!

Campus Martius park in downtown Detroit

View from the Fountain Bistro

Coloring at the Fountain Bistro

Savior or Saved?

Adoption

Most adoptive parents I know hate it when other people treat them like a hero, simply for becoming parents through adoption. We strongly dislike the implication that we “saved” our kids. That’s why a new advertisement designed to recruit foster parents in Detroit caught my attention.

My kids were adopted through foster care, so clearly I support foster parents. This campaign is meant to attract foster parents who are local, so that kids can stay close to the neighborhoods that they’re used to. I strongly support this idea as well, because it’s clearly in the kids’ best interest.

However, I take issue with the phrasing of the ad. It says, “I save neighborhood kids. I’m a foster parent.” The last thing adoptive and foster parents would ever say is that they “saved” anyone. In fact, many of us are more likely to say that our kids saved us. Have you seen this ad? What do you think?

Living in a Segregated World

Living in Detroit

As a Caucasian raised in the suburbs, I recognize that I don’t have much authority when it comes to racial issues. When we moved to Detroit, we became the minorities for the first time in our lives. There’s been talk about how younger generations are “post racial,” but that’s not clear to me here in Detroit, where segregation is still the norm.

Here, the segregation occurs between the city and suburbs. I really want a more diverse experience for my children and I know that their experience will be undoubtedly different from mine. But, so far, my kids are living in two different worlds. In the city, we’re exposed to one culture, and when we visit our family and friends in the suburbs, we see a different monoculture. It would be great to have both come together, but when it comes to things like this, I can be a little naive.

Recycling in Detroit

Living in Detroit

In the suburbs, we had the luxury of having our recycling picked up every week with our garbage. Not so in the city. The alternative is to take your recycling to one of several drop off locations throughout the city courtesy of Recycle Here! The closest drop off location to us is near Eastern Market and is open the first Saturday of every month.

So, the first Saturday in October, BE and I loaded up the car with our recycling. With a month of recycling piling up in the basement, we had quite a load. Recycle Here! had a semi set up in a parking lot near Eastern Market, which was easy to spot thanks to their bee logo. The semi was filled with boxes, one for each type of recycled material. BE had a great time separating the items and going up and down the steps into the semi.

Even though it’s not as convenient as curbside pickup, it was still a good alternative.

One month of recycling

A food oasis

Living in Detroit

When people learn that I now live in Detroit, they often ask, “so where do you grocery shop?” Detroit has a reputation for being a “food desert.” People often hear that there are no grocery stores in the city and are told that Detroiters shop at party stores where they buy prepackaged food. I have no doubt that there are some pockets of the city where fresh and healthy food is hard to find, but we happen to be fortunate enough to live just blocks from great grocery store. Plus, we’re less than a mile from Eastern Market. Here’s a sample of what I bought this week from the local store (and there are no Twinkies or soda bottles in sight!):

Do you grocery shop in the city? If so, what’s your experience been like?

Detroit Jazz fest

Living in Detroit

A few weeks ago, Detroit had its annual Jazz Fest downtown and we’re so close to downtown that we were able to walk there. BC had a great time dancing to music, and BE enjoyed playing in the fountain at Hart Plaza. I just wish we could have stayed longer. Here are some photos:

Fountain at Hart Plaza