November 13, 2020

25 things we can't wait to do in Detroit once the pandemic is over

Eight months later and very little has changed since the 'rona busted into our lives like an unemployed ex. (Did we mention we're back with our unemployed ex?) Well, actually, things might be gearing up to be worse than they were before, and though we've become pretty used to the whole not-leaving-the-house thing, it's getting old. And sad. Old, sad, and downright depressing. Never have we related to something more than when Blink-182's Tom DeLonge wails “Where are you?” on the band's 2003 emo ballad “Miss You” because, well, dammit, we miss life B.C. — life before coronavirus. Simple pleasures and grievances all make our list of things we miss as we wait out this pandemic. Hopefully, all of these things and more will return to our agendas once, well, you know. For now, though, let's get nostalgic about the future, shall we?

Scroll down to view images
Experience the many emotions of being a Detroit sports fan
Each year, we do it to ourselves. We slap on face paint, a foam finger, and our favorite jersey, and we go all in on Detroit sports — even after we’ve suffered years of heartbreak, because, well, our teams' track records lately haven’t done much to inspire hope. But we miss having to choose between one losing team or three because, well, we miss being able to make any choice at all, really. But while we’re discussing choices, you could choose to rally behind Detroit’s only pro soccer team, Detroit City Football Club. They are champions, after all. 
Dion Degennaro

Experience the many emotions of being a Detroit sports fan

Each year, we do it to ourselves. We slap on face paint, a foam finger, and our favorite jersey, and we go all in on Detroit sports — even after we’ve suffered years of heartbreak, because, well, our teams' track records lately haven’t done much to inspire hope. But we miss having to choose between one losing team or three because, well, we miss being able to make any choice at all, really. But while we’re discussing choices, you could choose to rally behind Detroit’s only pro soccer team, Detroit City Football Club. They are champions, after all.

Dion Degennaro
Sharing a joint with strangers
We’ve all done it — walked into a dispensary wearing a top hat and monocle and when asked by the budtender what we’d like to see, we just start pointing to jar after jar, smelling each one pretending like we can smell the pine notes or hints of dank. Sure, the marijuana industry has been deemed "essential" since March, and while they are open, getting up close and personal with bud is not an option. This goes for weed events like Cannabis Cup and Hash Bash, too, where we look forward to getting high with our fellow potheads instead of getting high at home on a Wednesday at 2 p.m. because we’re basically unemployed. Plus, wat we wouldn’t do to pass the dutchie...
Photo by Jordan Buzzy

Sharing a joint with strangers

We’ve all done it — walked into a dispensary wearing a top hat and monocle and when asked by the budtender what we’d like to see, we just start pointing to jar after jar, smelling each one pretending like we can smell the pine notes or hints of dank. Sure, the marijuana industry has been deemed "essential" since March, and while they are open, getting up close and personal with bud is not an option. This goes for weed events like Cannabis Cup and Hash Bash, too, where we look forward to getting high with our fellow potheads instead of getting high at home on a Wednesday at 2 p.m. because we’re basically unemployed. Plus, wat we wouldn’t do to pass the dutchie...

Photo by Jordan Buzzy
Worrying about rising rents, rather than worrying about not being able to pay rent
This ain’t just about gentrification anymore. This is about survival. Tough times like these mean not worrying so much about whether the landlord of your shabby chic, er, totally run-down apartment building near New Center is going to raise your rent because a new high-end leather goods store just moved into the neighborhood, but if you’re going to be able to make rent at all. 
Photo by Steve Neavling

Worrying about rising rents, rather than worrying about not being able to pay rent

This ain’t just about gentrification anymore. This is about survival. Tough times like these mean not worrying so much about whether the landlord of your shabby chic, er, totally run-down apartment building near New Center is going to raise your rent because a new high-end leather goods store just moved into the neighborhood, but if you’re going to be able to make rent at all.

Photo by Steve Neavling
Looking at cars we can’t afford at the North American International Auto Show
The Motor City’s biggest and most insane celebration of things with four wheels was, well, canceled this year, which was a shame because it was to be the first time it was held in the warmer months and not the frigid depths of winter. Though we may roll our eyes at the lavish opening night preview gala or cars that drive themselves, we can't wait to put on something sparkly and pick out our next ride. 
Photo courtesy of NAIAS

Looking at cars we can’t afford at the North American International Auto Show

The Motor City’s biggest and most insane celebration of things with four wheels was, well, canceled this year, which was a shame because it was to be the first time it was held in the warmer months and not the frigid depths of winter. Though we may roll our eyes at the lavish opening night preview gala or cars that drive themselves, we can't wait to put on something sparkly and pick out our next ride.

Photo courtesy of NAIAS
Be mistaken for a furry at Detroit’s anime convention, Youmacon
One of the things we missed out on this year was our ability to become someone else — Princess Peach, Sailor Moon, Thor. That’s because Youmacon, Detroit’s annual Japanese anime and pop culture convention, was called off, which means we couldn’t visit the Maid Cafe or the 24-hour-gaming room.
Photo by Megan Matelonek

Be mistaken for a furry at Detroit’s anime convention, Youmacon

One of the things we missed out on this year was our ability to become someone else — Princess Peach, Sailor Moon, Thor. That’s because Youmacon, Detroit’s annual Japanese anime and pop culture convention, was called off, which means we couldn’t visit the Maid Cafe or the 24-hour-gaming room.

Photo by Megan Matelonek
Going to the mall — you heard us
Two words: Orange. Julius. That’s right. We may have spent most of our adult life dreading trips to the mall and all of their outdated glory. But nothing sounds more delightful in this moment than walking past a Cinnabon, purchasing and eating a Cinnabon, and wiping our hands on our old, totally shitty jeans, only to wander into the nearest American Eagle to grab a new pair. And while we’re at it, we might as well swing by Spencer’s Gifts to grab a lava lamp dildo and a trucker hat that says “My other hat is a condom.” If we’re feeling adventurous, maybe a stop through F.Y.E. to grab a Good Charlotte CD.
Llze_Lucero/Shutterstock

Going to the mall — you heard us

Two words: Orange. Julius. That’s right. We may have spent most of our adult life dreading trips to the mall and all of their outdated glory. But nothing sounds more delightful in this moment than walking past a Cinnabon, purchasing and eating a Cinnabon, and wiping our hands on our old, totally shitty jeans, only to wander into the nearest American Eagle to grab a new pair. And while we’re at it, we might as well swing by Spencer’s Gifts to grab a lava lamp dildo and a trucker hat that says “My other hat is a condom.” If we’re feeling adventurous, maybe a stop through F.Y.E. to grab a Good Charlotte CD.

Llze_Lucero/Shutterstock
Running the red devil out of town while also defending his right to run rampant through Detroit as part of Detroit’s kooky annual  tradition Marche du Nain Rouge
Concerts aren’t the only thing that hit the chopping block when COVID-19 came to town. Though we do miss spending way too much money on beer and ticket processing fees, what we miss most of all is celebrating Detroit’s weird and wonderful traditions: namely Marche du Nain Rouge. Don’t worry, Detroit. We will run that little red MF’er out of the city once and for all, you know, next year. (Or support him, if that's your thing.)
Photo by Steven Pham

Running the red devil out of town while also defending his right to run rampant through Detroit as part of Detroit’s kooky annual tradition Marche du Nain Rouge

Concerts aren’t the only thing that hit the chopping block when COVID-19 came to town. Though we do miss spending way too much money on beer and ticket processing fees, what we miss most of all is celebrating Detroit’s weird and wonderful traditions: namely Marche du Nain Rouge. Don’t worry, Detroit. We will run that little red MF’er out of the city once and for all, you know, next year. (Or support him, if that's your thing.)

Photo by Steven Pham
Having a reason to get dressed up
Remember dressing up? Neither do we, which is why we can’t help but get wistful for an evening at Willis Show Bar, where everything is retro and decadent and everyone dresses the part. We miss grabbing a frosty Old Fashioned and taking in some soulful sounds from a live jazz band, or some seductive burlesque. Never have we wanted time travel to be a real thing more than we do now. 
Photo via Willis Show Bar/Facebook

Having a reason to get dressed up

Remember dressing up? Neither do we, which is why we can’t help but get wistful for an evening at Willis Show Bar, where everything is retro and decadent and everyone dresses the part. We miss grabbing a frosty Old Fashioned and taking in some soulful sounds from a live jazz band, or some seductive burlesque. Never have we wanted time travel to be a real thing more than we do now.
Photo via Willis Show Bar/Facebook
Eating grilled chicken with our hands (and not worrying about where they’ve been)
One of the greatest culinary pleasures in Southwest Detroit, and there are many, is ordering a half of a grilled chicken from Taqueria El Ray. Something we’ve taken for granted, however, is tearing that bird apart with our nasty little fingers and giving zero fucks about washing them. Ah, yes. The simple pleasures. 
Photo by Tom Perkins

Eating grilled chicken with our hands (and not worrying about where they’ve been)

One of the greatest culinary pleasures in Southwest Detroit, and there are many, is ordering a half of a grilled chicken from Taqueria El Ray. Something we’ve taken for granted, however, is tearing that bird apart with our nasty little fingers and giving zero fucks about washing them. Ah, yes. The simple pleasures.

Photo by Tom Perkins
Laugh ourselves sick at a local comedy show other than at the dark comedy of our everyday life because it’s getting really old, you know, we could use a laugh because they say laughter is the best medicine and since we don’t have a vaccine yet maybe a comedy show would do the trick, at least when it comes to this weird elbow rash…
Detroit might have a reputation for being rather rough and tumble, but underneath that "hey, get away from my car!" exterior is a whole mess of funny bones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests using low voices and not projecting, yelling, or laughing loudly as to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which means we are well overdue for a laugh fest at the expense of one of the area’s comedic professionals. From improv, stand-up, live podcasts, and even bad improv, we want it all.
Photo courtesy of Planet Ant

Laugh ourselves sick at a local comedy show other than at the dark comedy of our everyday life because it’s getting really old, you know, we could use a laugh because they say laughter is the best medicine and since we don’t have a vaccine yet maybe a comedy show would do the trick, at least when it comes to this weird elbow rash…

Detroit might have a reputation for being rather rough and tumble, but underneath that "hey, get away from my car!" exterior is a whole mess of funny bones. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests using low voices and not projecting, yelling, or laughing loudly as to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which means we are well overdue for a laugh fest at the expense of one of the area’s comedic professionals. From improv, stand-up, live podcasts, and even bad improv, we want it all.

Photo courtesy of Planet Ant