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Love Letter Detroit
Image: Time Out

Dear Detroit: A love letter to one of four cities that saved America

Motown, Motor City, The D. Whatever you call it, we're celebrating Detroit in all its glory.

Written by
Nicole Brewer

Dear Detroit,

Motown, Motor City, The D, my hometown. Detroit. Us Detroiters affectionately call you many names, but what we won’t stand for is anyone belittling you, because we've survived plenty of hardships in order for everyone to put some respect on your name. We firmly believe the motto "Detroit Vs. Everybody," because we have stood in those sentiments throughout the decades. I love you for many reasons, Detroit, but here are only a few. 

First, I love you because your city streets raised me. I’ve lived abroad as an English teacher for over a decade, traversing the globe from South Korea to Oman, but I will tell anyone in a heartbeat that if I can survive Detroit, I can survive anywhere, because my city not only taught me street smarts, but how to navigate boldly from the East side to the West side, to across the world. 

Second, I love you because you didn’t back down in the 2020 election cycle. Detroit was and still is an urban oasis and you stood your ground fighting tooth and nail to get those ballots counted in an election that we desperately needed to win to uphold Democracy in this great nation. Yeah, you did that Detroit. To the rest of the country, you’re welcome. 

Third, I love you because of your urban renewal and revitalization. I remember graduating from the University of Michigan and learning about the population of Detroit falling to around 700,000. It was heartbreaking. But to look at you now and see the strides that you have made as a city with massive growth in small businesses, through programs like the Strategic Neighborhood Fund (SNF), makes me beam with pride.

So thank you once again Detroit for showing me your resilience and in turn teaching me how to go after my dreams. You are the gift that keeps on giving to myself and the world.



Photograph: Courtesy Nicole Brewer 

Black-owned businesses shaping Detroit right now

The phrase Detroit Vs. Everybody was coined by self-proclaimed artist and brand manager Tommey Walker. Walker decided that he wanted to show some hometown love to the city that he was born and raised in, resulting in one of the coolest brands around. 

Melissa Butler started The Lip Bar in her kitchen when she was fed up with the lack of inclusion and diversity in the make-up industry. After being rejected on Shark TankButler simply continued that Detroit grind and got The Lip Bar started. In addition to its Farmer Street storefront, The Lip Bar is now carried in over 400 Target stores throughout the nation.


Detroit native Andrea Williams is a graphic designer turned handmade paper goods shop owner who loves bringing joy to her clients. The Paisley Paper Co. line includes everything from greeting cards and journals to planners and invitations for every occasion, from Valentine’s Day to the birth of newborns. 


Bo Shepherd was once a designer at GM who had a knack and passion for using raw materials to create beautiful furnishings. Her passion led to Woodward Throwbacks, and now the bustling business is a force to be reckoned with in the city of Detroit. 


Situated directly on Woodward Avenue is House of Pure Vin, a distinguished shop for wine lovers. It's home to a vast array of wines and Champagnes as well as having the distinction of being a partner with one of only three Master Sommeliers in the state of Michigan. It also features Black-owned brands such as Black Girl Magic by the McBride sisters and the Brown Estate.  

Read all the letters


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