It has been many months (nearly a year!) since I had the opportunity to visit Detroit, Michigan. But as anyone who has spent thirty minutes with me will tell you, Detroit has not been out of my mind (or heart) for a moment. Today, I will start my series of blogs, highlighting my journey from departure to return. With so much time passed since I have returned back to Newcastle, Australia, there has been an interesting chance for reflection upon my visit. The distance from the Detroit moments has helped me identify things that I may not have appreciated whilst in the moment.
So many people asked me, ‘What was the best part?’
My answer has immediately been, the people.
My journey began with the generosity of people and this theme ran through my entire stay. So this post is dedicated to all the hearts and hands that went into making my Detroit visit the wholesome, rich and amazing experience that it was.
First off, are the forty supporters from my Pozible campaign. The feeling of having people believe in your work gave me such a sense of purpose, a very nice way to start a journey like this.
If it weren’t for the campaign (and this local paper article) I would not have had the fortune of crossing paths with Alan and Loraine Stear. Alan and Loraine were visiting Newcastle (from Detroit, MI) whilst I was promoting the campaign to travel to Detroit. Loraine took the time to get in touch via the website, offering to help whilst I was in Detroit. The help from Alan and Loraine was overwhelmingly inspiring and gracious. I was hosted by them, introduced to their friends and family as guest of honour.It was such an honour to be a guest of theirs and I know it helped me see a loving, community driven, side of Detroit.
Their friends Harriet and Alvin extended so much support in helping me see the best sides of Detroit. I was able to stay in downtown Detroit with Harriet and Al, allowing me to walk (although their start of Spring weather is certainly a little different to ours!) to the Project for Public Spaces Global Placemaking Council Meeting.
I cannot thank both families enough for the support and generosity they extended to help me feel at home, in their homes. I was able to see and meet so many amazing people through them, which you will all meet in the upcoming posts.
Here is the last photo I took in Newcastle (Cardiff views from the train to Sydney) and the first image I took in Detroit (Michigan Central Station).
Part II – Project for Public Spaces Meeting – Next