Category Archives: Just Michigan Things

Just Michigan Things: Going to a Tiger’s Game

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I’ve sort of made an unofficial list of things that I wanted to do before going to Japan. Considering that I’ve spent most of the last few years in Texas, there are a few things that I’ve not been able to do as much as I’d like. The first thing on our list, besides drinking Vernors and being able to call things pop again, was to go to a Tiger’s game.

I’ve been asked to talk about Detroit, so I’m planning to do a little bit of that was well while I’m at it. Before you go to a Tiger’s game there are several dining options available to you in downtown Detroit. One of our favorite places is Lafayette Coney Island. It stands next to American Coney Island. At some point the two brothers who originally owned American fought over something and they split. That’s where Lafayette comes into this. Though American is bigger, Lafayette, nothing more than a tiny hole in the wall, is often packed. There was even a line when we got there.

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It’s a place straight out of time. Tiny counters line and equally tiny space. The stools are squat and the space between them and the counter suggests a time when people must have been shorter. I had to sit sideways and even that was a bit hard to manage. At the front, or back, depending on where you enter, there are a few scant tables.

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There’s a menu, but generally anyone who comes there doesn’t need it. You order a coney with everything. You can get water. If you’re feeling super Michigany, you get a Vernors. It’s ginger ale for those of you who don’t know. It could and probably will be the subject of its very own post at some point. You could get a beer, but why bother.

Coneys are a staple of Michigan food. It’s simple. It’s a hot dog with creamy greek style chili, bright yellow mustard, and fresh onion. It’s almost impossible just to pick it up. Eventually everyone needs a fork. Eating your coney dog with a fork is almost like a right of passage. I could spend a lot of time on one simple restaurant, but this was only lunch.

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The nice thing about going across town a little ways is seeing all of the amazing buildings. I didn’t manage to capture as many pictures as I would have liked. Below is a picture of one of the last remaining original theatres. Even though it’s seen better days, it’s easy to get a glimpse of just how beautiful this city once was and the city is littered with buildings just like it. It’s a monument to the type of architecture that ran rampant in the early parts of the twentieth century. The biggest shame in all of it is that so many of them have been so little cared for that they won’t stand the test of time.

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Look everybody. It’s Canada. Everyone say hi Canada!

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My favorite of these buildings stands just outside of the Detroit Opera House and right within view of Comerica Park. It was at some point scheduled to be torn down, because everyone loved it so much it was bought up simply so that it could continue to stand there and be looked it. It’s of course the art work that saved it. More and more that’s starting to be true.

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I would talk a bunch about the actual game, but then I’d have to talk about how I wanted to burn the bull pen that game. We won and that’s what really matters. I also got to spend some time with my good friends. It was a great day in a great town with great people.

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