January 17 is a very special day in my year. It is exactly five years ago today that I jumped on a plane in London, nearly all of my belongings packed away in storage, and I flew to the promised land of Detroit.
I didn’t have a job secured, I really didn’t know what the future would hold, all I knew was that I was going to be moving to the place that had welcomed me with open arms during my previous three work trips, and that life would be better from that point on. I had made friends here, and I had contacts that I knew would throw me some freelance work. But what had drawn me here was the creative spirit that hangs over this entire region.
Everybody knows about the historic music of the region; the Motowns and Segers and MC5s. That’s great, but a music writer needs an exciting, thriving current scene to get his teeth into and that’s what is so exciting about Detroit. It remains so.
When I first got here, some of my friends would say, ‘you’re excited to be here now, but give it a month.” After a month, that turned into ‘give it a year.’ Five years on, I still love Metro Detroit with a passion.
Of course, it helps that my beautiful wife, Toni, is a Detroit girl. Nearly four years into our marriage and I still thank my lucky stars every day. We have an amazing son, Dylan, who is half-Detroiter-half-English, and I’m excited to teach him about both sides of those roots. I want him to be proud of his Detroit side. He’ll certainly be taught about everything this great city has to offer.
I've worked with some amazing people for some amazing companies since getting here, writing about business, finance, and even doing some ad copy writing. Thankfully, I'm here at the MT full time now. That feels good. I have business cards and everything. I'm thankful for all of the experience I've gained but I'm at the right place.
Yesterday, on Wednesday, the MT staff took a bus tour of the city with the Detroit Bus Company and D:hive. Look them up, it’s well worth it. One of the stops was at Pony Ride, a new space owned by Phil Cooley of Slows Bar-B-Q. Cooley, a fascinating dude, worded it perfectly when he said, “Detroiters are capable of incredible things.”
He’s right and, five years in, I want to say thank you, Detroit.