A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about urban exploring


The world’s general view on Detroit is bleak, it’s seen as a city riddled with crime and unemployment, which came about from the automotive industry crashing some time ago. A city that had a proud population of over 5 million people now stands at approximately 650,000.
Taking this on board, we took it on ourselves to check it out and make up our own view of a city that has recently become bankrupt.

As a result of the financial crisis, a lot of business have either gone bust or packed up and moved elsewhere, leaving old historic buildings abandoned and left to rot. This allowed us the opportunity to do some urban exploring and get a feel for what this city once was.

To celebrate Daniels 25th birthday we ventured up to Rochester Hills for the Mad Decent Block party and enjoy some of our favourite DJ’s.
As the Detroit public transport system is scarce, it meant we could only take the one daily bus there, arriving 6 hours early for the party. This certainly worked out in our favour as we stumbled across the worlds biggest car cruise – “Woodward Dream Cruise” which saw more than a million people observe over 30,000 Muscle cars cruise down an 11 mile circuit. We were in heaven! ☺


So now arriving over an hour late for the party, we were greeted with an eye full of Detroit beauties, a lack of clothing, portable beer stands and filthy electronic beats that were enjoyed by the Molly crazed crowd. Bliss…
Our aussie accents made us a lot of friends, one in particular was a beer stand worker who was kind enough to drive us back to Downtown Detroit, avoiding a sleepless night until the 8am bus arrived. On our drive back we passed the infamous “8 Mile Road” ironically on the same night Eminem was playing in Detroit.


We woke the next morning to the sounds of Rotary, V8 and turbocharged drift cars taking over city streets in a legalised event – Again catching us by total surprise. ☺ This place seriously caters for all our needs!
So we scoffed down breakfast, jumped on some push bikes and watched some crazy American drifters display their skills in front of the famous abandoned train depot.


Having access to push bikes gave us the freedom to explore the diverse street scape and local neighbourhoods of Downtown Detroit. We were able to check out the Heidelberg Project, A non for profit communal area that converts abandoned household goods, toys and furniture into decorative art that has changed the whole demographic of the area and has now become a tourist hotspot rather than an area you would once avoid.


Detroit has, and will continue through tough times. Serious potential is shining through with investing business beginning to come back and a community presence that is banding together to make this city great. We feel Detroit is very similar to Berlin (Post Berlin Wall) that is just on the brink of becoming magical.

For all those planning a U.S holiday, see past the negative press and give this city a go. You’ll be greeted by such friendly people that are willing to give up their own time to help out where needed, or even to share a simple hello, alternative restaurants and bars, a big sports culture, beautiful architecture and a great American Muscle Car community. After all, it is known as the motor city.

Along the lines of Fedde Le Grand – “Put your hands up for Detroit, (We) love this city” ☺

Abandoned Detroit Train Depot.
Abandoned Book Tower - Tallest abandoned structure in America
Woodward Dream Cruise
Mad Decent Block Party - Rochester Hills MI
Nissan S15 - One of the many drift cars
Heidelberg Project

Posted by camenbrothers 10:51 Archived in USA Tagged buildings travel detroit historic_buildings drift abandoned_buildings urban_exploring car_cruise v8 downtown_detroit rochester_hills mad_decent heidelberg_project dillion_francis immunity brothers_wandering Comments (0)

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