Blog: Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey

Model D managing editor Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey reports in this week from the publication's  Motor City headquarters on why Metro Detroit needs to rethink their relationship with the city and why summer is the perfect time to do it. She'll be giving metromode readers the skinny on what Detroit has to offer the region that you simply can't find anywhere else.

Post No. 1

I know everyone's got their eyes glued to the Pistons/Wings these days, but should summer actually arrive, there's nowhere better to be than the city. It seems like every weekend I spend away from Detroit there's always something I regret missing, and usually it's free.

And I stress the free price tag. There's nary a weekend where you can't find a free concert in Detroit — from the Rockin' on the Riverfront series (Pat Benatar June 27!) to Fourth Fridays with Ford at the Campus Martius Park (only one degree between you and Kevin Bacon July 25), and then straight through to Dally in the Alley in September. And don't forget River Days in July. Concert of Colors in July. The list goes on.

My personal favorite, Cityfest (or the festival formerly known as Tastefest) is held in the New Center Fourth of July week, and it is the best, hands down, for quality and quantity of music. I've seen Yo La Tengo, Blanche, Common, and the Wailers. This year, there's De La Soul, Calexico, George Clinton, the Dirty Dozen Band and local darlings Zoos of Berlin. It's also the best for quantity and quality of food and drink. Some of the city's best restaurants are represented, and in addition to the usual festival swill, there's a nice patio set up with actual bartenders and quality beer courtesy of the Town Pump.

Festival of the Arts coming up in early June is a very close second, for sheer variety and kid-friendliness. The festival takes over the area around the DIA and Wayne State, and it's perfect for taking the kiddies b/c they have loads of free child fare -- including a giant sand castle and a wonderland of activities that no festival can rival. It's like a whole pre-school-year of crafts wrapped into one afternoon. And the music and entertainment is the most eclectic around --  I've seen French rap before, flamenco dancers, and this year there's a South African vocalist, Colombian singer, Spanish performance art and a Chinese-influenced band.

So after the playoffs, or instead of if the Wings and Pistons play like they did tonight -- take a gander at these lineups and make a date in Detroit. There's a ton going on this summer, and you don't want to miss out.