Detroit City Guide

by Jose Marc Castro on August 18, 2008

USflagIMAGE200The largest city in the state of Michigan, Detroit is a major port metropolis situated on the banks of the Detroit River. Its name means “the strait”, with respect to the large body of water that borders it. It recently ranked 11th in the category of the most heavily populated urban area in the country. It is also renowned as the world’s long-established automotive hub. As a matter of fact, it was even nicknamed Motown and Motor City. Some other names include the City of Champions from its successes in sports, the Arsenal of Democracy as war materiel was made there, slang names as The D and D-Town and popular culture names such as Rock City, from the song of the band Kiss and Hockeytown from the NHL team, the Red Wings.

Geographically speaking, Detroit has long been considered as an oddity because of its location in reference to its neighboring metropolis – and country. It is the lone American city that looks south to the Canadian territory. In addition, its nearness to Windsor, Ontario provides for fantastic vistas and a bustling nightlife, together with the adjacent country’s 19-and-above drinking age.

Residential Places in Detroit, Michigan

Detroit, Michigan is divided into numerous districts. Some areas are purely commercial in nature, while others are devoted for residences. Then again, some sections are rather mixed than others. The East English Village is one of the most amalgamated communities in the substantially segregated larger Detroit region. The streets, mostly lined with trees, feature a diversity of residential properties varying from small homes to big and lavish older houses. The housing supply also includes a great number of two-family units. Plus, an active and ever-present neighborhood association enhances life in the community.

Other places include Lafayette Park, the Gratiot Park Development, Midtown and the New Center, Palmer Woods, Sherwood Forest, Green Acres, and the University District.

The West Village

The West Village can be found on Detroit’s near east side. Aptly named for its position – immediately to the west of the historic Indian Village, it is a dense urban neighborhood that is noticeably distinct and eclectic because of its housing preferences and inhabitants. Its valuable location, just 2 miles to the east of the city’s downtown district, has inflated its reputation in recent years. The neighborhood consists of numerous Victorian houses, four blocks of apartment buildings, and chain of homes scattered in between.

Just west of the West Village is Islandview. It is bordered by Jefferson on the south, Mack on the north, Balwin on the east, and Mt. Elliott on west. The eastern periphery, Balwin Street, used to be Detroit’s city limit back in 1891. At present, this section of the neighborhood features several century-old multi-family and single houses, brick row homes, and apartment complexes.

The Woodbridge area is currently one of Detroit, Michigan’s flourishing neighborhoods. More and more people have opted to move into the new and refurbished homes in this section of the city – particularly college students due to its close proximity to Wayne State University.

Hospitals and Universities of Detroit, Michigan

Wayne State University, situated in Detroit’s Midtown Cultural Center, is considered as a research-intensive academe with eleven schools and colleges that offer over 350 major subjects to around 33,000 undergraduate and post-graduate students. The main campus covers a 203-acre land area connecting 100 research and education buildings right in the center of the city. The university’s six extension centers in the metropolitan district provide access to quite a limited variety of courses. The institution is also a noteworthy engine in downtown Detroit’s educational, economic, and cultural landscape as exhibited through various efforts like its accommodation of the Detroit Festival of the Arts and its 75-acre park devoted exclusively for research and technology.

For your medical needs, you can avail of the services provided by numerous hospital and health centers scattered all over Detroit – particularly in the metro area. One of the foremost health institutions in the city is the Detroit Medical Center. It is a non-profit conglomerate that owns and manages nine general and specialized hospitals in the Southeast Michigan area.

The Detroit Medical Center is indeed a large and well-equipped medical institution with over 2,000 certified beds, around 3,000 allied physicians, and more than 12,000 employees. Some of the hospitals operated by DMC include the Children’s Hospital of Michigan, the Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital, the Hutzel Women’s Hospital, the Michigan Orthopedic Specialty Hospital, the Sinai-Grace Hospital, and the Harper University Hospital. In addition, a number of these health facilities are staffed by doctors from the WU School of Medicine – the biggest, single-campus school of medicine in the nation.

Commercial Places in Detroit, Michigan

Renowned as the country’s automotive hub, the city of Detroit is considered to be the oldest in the entire Midwest. Motown or Motor City – as it is more popularly called, has transformed into a flourishing financial, entertainment, and cultural center. Without a doubt, the city can present you with a fabulous range of selections in terms of shopping, dining, nightlife, and other fun things to do.

Before the advent of shopping malls, there were a number of areas in the city’s downtown district where people could purchase almost anything – from handkerchiefs to gardening tools. Times have changed though. Still, a lot of town centers persist to be magnets for shopping enthusiasts. These places, in fact, offer a distinctively different experience for both locals and tourists with their galleries, one-of-a-kind shops, specialty stores, restaurants, bars, theaters, and nightspots. The superb architecture, attractive streets, and numerous special events add to the charm of these commercial spots.

Well-known commercial districts in the city’s metropolitan area include the GM Renaissance Center, the Greektown, the New Center, the Downtown Ferndale, the Village Downtown Gross Pointe, and the Downtown Royal Oak. A number of shopping spots also lie beyond the city center. These places consist of the Birmingham Principal Shopping District, Rochester Downtown, and the Village of Rochester Hills.

Service Establishments of Detroit, Michigan

Getting around Detroit and its numerous suburban areas is possible with SMART – or the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation. It is one of the city’s local transit networks. What make this transportation option particularly appealing is the fact that most of the routes pass through a number of interesting destinations and activity hubs. Schedules, however, may vary between districts. For more information, you can reach their office at (866) 962 5515.

For your cellular phone needs, you can take your pick from a number of wireless phone companies in the city. Wireless AT&T, Verizon Wireless, and CNET are just some of the many options you have. To get in touch with AT&T, you may visit their website at But if you prefer Verizon, you can drop by at their office at 14126 Woodward, Detroit or you can simply check out their latest offers at Lastly, if you wish to connect with CNET, then go directly to their site at for more information.

Embassies in Detroit, Michigan

Despite the absence of a British Consulate-General’s office in Detroit, you may still seek for assistance from the office of the appointed British Honorary Consul in the area. You may get in touch with them at (313) 225 7000 or at (313) 225 7080. You may also visit their office at 150 West Jefferson, Suite 900, Detroit, Michigan.

Kindly take note, however, that an Honorary Consul is not in the position to handle passport or visa related inquiries. For further information about British embassies in the United States, you may visit

Useful Sites

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

adelaide May 19, 2011 at 2:06 pm

I am moving to Detroit so I really appreciate your recommendations. I am looking for Midtown Detroit Apartments and came across your post.


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