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  • aliwebb37

Detroit Midtown all A-Glitter

Published in the Battle Creek Enquirer

One way to get into the holiday spirit is to visit Noel Night in Midtown Detroit. I’ve gone in past years and really enjoyed the music, opportunities to pick up unique Christmas gifts, eat and to see some of Detroit’s cultural icons— all in a few hours on a cold December night. If you haven’t been to Detroit lately, or ever, you must make a trip soon. It’s a vibrant city for arts, culture and good food. What else do you need? Some good friends of ours, Detroiters now living in Lansing, invited us to make an overnight trip around the celebration. We got a nice room at the Marriott at the Renaissance Center, looking out over the river to Canada. The location was perfect for Noel Night— just a few blocks away in Midtown’s Cultural Center. Another place to stay is the Inn on Ferry Street, which is a small 40-room bed and breakfast. You have to book really early to snag one of their rooms. I’ve stayed at the Inn before and it’s charming. Noel Night spreads over many city blocks primarily between Cass and John R and Kirby and Willis Streets and includes the top-notch cultural spots like the Detroit Institute of the Arts and the Charles Wright Museum of African American History. Both of these deserve full visits on their own but on Noel Night— they’re open free of charge. You don’t want to miss the Detroit Public Library either. It’s a grand public building built in the 1920s. Even on this cold night, the streets were filled with people— happy holiday spirited people bundled in warm coats everywhere! We heard one music group in a local church, First Congregational that opened its sanctuary to an over-flow crowd. Another stop was at the College for Creative Studies where students and alumni displayed their creations. I couldn’t resist a one of a kind hand blown glass ornament. There were so many choices between music, shopping, culture and food, we all got tired before we got close to seeing even a fraction of what was offered. Unfortunately we pooped out before the culminating tradition— a community sing along on Woodward Avenue led by the Salvation Army. We could have taken a horse drawn carriage but they never seemed to be around when we need a lift. We did catch the free shuttle between spots so we didn’t have to walk all night. A wonderful meal at La Dolce Vita rounded out our quick overnight visit. Located on Woodward, further out in the Palmer Park District, this Italian restaurant offered all the traditional dishes with some innovative items as well. The calamari was crunchy and perfect. The salmon I ordered was cooked in parchment and served with white wine, clams,mussels, shrimp, calamari, scallops and spicy tomato sauce. I always meant to go back in the summer to eat on their patio but haven’t yet. Noel Night is produced by Midtown Detroit, Inc., a nonprofit community development organization focused on spurring economic growth in Detroit’s Midtown district. You can support our state’s largest city, its local businesses and cultural institutions all while having a great time. That is truly in the spirit of the season. If you go: Noel Night This year 39th annual Noel Night will take place on Saturday, December 3rd, from 5:00 pm- 9:30 pm. The Marriott at the Renaissance Center Rooms start at $159 The Inn on Ferry Street

La Dolce Vita 17546 Woodward, Detroit, MI 48203

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