The small things make trip to Detroit ‘speical’ –

Posted By on December 14, 2021

Oftentimes, I think its the little other things that can make a story special.

Or, in my case, speical. Thatll make sense later.

This past weekend, I took a trip up to Detroit with two friends to see a concert featuring early 2000s megaband Evanescence and the female-led rock group Halestorm.

The concert was rad, and everything my teenage inner child needed, as Evanescences Fallen was one of the main soundtracks of my high school career.

But this is a story about a few other things that happened, little ancillary tidbits from that trip that I think really add some color to the overall story. And, at least, I find them amusing.

The entire state of Michigan, smells like weed

If youve followed my columns, you know Im a fan of a bold, ludicrous overstatement to make a point. But seriously, during our time in Detroit, it seemed like we couldnt go anywhere without smelling marijuana.

Recreational marijuana is legal in Michigan now evidenced by about a billion billboards in the Steuben County Interstate 69 corridor and directly across the border so youd expect it to be more prevalent than the occasional run-ins in Indiana.

And maybe youre thinking, Well, Steve, you were going to a concert and theres weed at every concert! which seems to be true at least from my experience, but no, I mean it seemed like it was everywhere.

We got to our hotel, got checked in and are walking down the hallways to our room and BAM, weed. Bought a bootleg concert T-shirt from a guy on the sidewalk near the arena (more on that in a bit) and BAM, weed. Sitting in the concert enjoying the show and about midway through, BAM, weed.

Despite being someone who is anti-smoking after watching cigarettes kill off my mom and other in-laws, Im generally for marijuana legalization with reasonable public safety guard rails in place.

But, after 24 hours of smelling weed nonstop in Detroit, Id consider not supporting legalization just to avoid the constant reek.

I ate one of the best sandwiches Ive had in a long time

After arriving at the hotel, we needed to get some dinner. There were a couple places nearby including a grilled sub place and a pizza joint with an Italian menu beyond just pizzas.

But right next door to the hotel was the self-styled Detroit Famous Bread Basket Deli. This little joint had the markings of being a Jewish-style deli, so my expectation was I could get a giant sandwich exploding with meat.

We called in our order (the place had no walk-ins due to COVID) and picked it up at the window and took it back to our hotel room.

I had ordered a Reuben sandwich on rye (the second night in a row eating sauerkraut as part of my dinner after having a Polish sausage with kraut for dinner on Friday night after having a taste for that) and I opened up the paper for this sandwich and OH, MY, GOD.

This beast was inches thick with corned beef, piled with kraut and cheese and dressing on some perfectly toasted bread. I had to unhinge my jaw to get a full bite of this monster and it was SO GOOD, easily the best sandwich Ive had in years.

It made me ask the question once again Why dont we have good food in northeast Indiana?

I already know the answer to that question. Unlike Chicagoland where I hail from, northeast Indiana is comparatively ethnically un-diverse. Mostly starchy rural Germanic immigrant types who like to eat rice-filled dumplings on mashed potatoes between bread and coated in a bland and tasteless white gravy.

Give yourself a melting pot of Polish, Italian, Greek, Jewish and Middle-Eastern people among others and then youll get a recipe for some dynamite cuisine.

Buying a bootleg concert T-shirt

On our way into the concert (we had purchased parking in the attached multi-story garage), we were approaching the Little Caesars Arena and, as we got there, we ran across guys standing out on the sidewalk hawking T-shirts.

Buying a T-shirt at a concert is akin to highway robbery, but theres a certain level of sketchiness with buying off a guy on the street.

But while we were waiting in line to get into the garage, I figured Id give it a shot. I checked my wallet for cash $21 in there and rolled down the window to ask a guy how much.

Twenty bucks, he said. Sold! One XL please.

I took a look at my new T-shirt (which had an aroma of weed on it, of course, because Michigan), and was pretty pleased. But why was this being sold out on sidewalk at a reasonable price?

As I glanced over it, I realized that in smaller type on the back of the T-shirt it says Speical Guest: Lilith Czar.

Leave it to the newspaper editor to find a typo, right?

My thought: Who cares if theres a typo on the back in small type introducing the opening act? I just scored an otherwise cool shirt for less than half of the price of an indoor vendor.

We had a good laugh and officially made speical the memorable theme of the rest of our trip.

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The small things make trip to Detroit 'speical' -

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