My Detroit Mini Jane's Walk Plan

I read about Jane's Walk at RustWire and immediately went to the their website to see if a Detroit Jane's Walk exists. What is a Jane's Walk? From the website:

Celebrating the legacy of Jane Jacobs, the foremost urban thinker of recent times, Jane’s Walks inspire citizens to get to know their city and each other by getting out and walking. Jacobs famously declared that walkable, diverse and mixed used neighborhoods are the hallmark of a healthy city and its people. 

There isn't a Detroit version yet... but it started me thinking about all the official walking tours that are available around town. Inside Detroit and Preservation Wayne both offer awesome guided walks.

If you want to walk with your dogs, Canine To Five has a monthly group dog walk along the Riverfront and the Dequindre Cut.

When I read about Jane's Walk, I felt an immediate sense of recognition....I take my own version of Jane's Walk almost every weekend. I've seen and gotten to know Detroit in a way that I never could by just driving around. If you read this blog regularly, you've been on many walks with me.

I have a few ideas for this weekend. The official Jane's Walk dates are this weekend to honor Jane Jacobs' birthday. Since it is the weekend closest to my grandmother's birthday as well, some of them are based on things that she liked (and I assume still does, wherever she watches me from).

1)  Old Detroit retail tour....Grandma was old school. She always had matching gloves, shoes, and hat, coming from some of Detroit's finest stores. The stores are gone, but the names, buildings, and stories remain, and there's lots of other interesting places to stop along Woodward and Washington Boulevard.

2)  Motor City Makeover is the first weekend of this month-long event. I put my biggest bring-your-own recycled shopping bag to good use on Saturday, filling it up with trash and emptying it several times during this past Saturday's Belle Isle Clean-up. Grandma was a killer gardner... I'm sure she'd like it if I cleaned my way around a neighborhood park and planted some flowers. The Riverside Park Extension is being reclaimed from the Bridge Despot this could use some TLC.
3)  Pictures of Grand Circus Park tour...she was a great photographer, and I've been meaning to wander this area and take pictures for a while.

I hope you'll get a little inspired to get out of your car and go for a walk this weekend, maybe even in the city. Visit the tulips if you take a walk around the Cultural Center...they're at the Detroit Public Library.


janeswalkusa April 26, 2010 at 7:44 AM  

What a great post! Let us know what we can do to help you there in Detroit. We'd love to have you up on the website and help promote you in anyway we can!

Jane's Walk USA

Belle Isle April 26, 2010 at 8:04 AM  

Thanks, Nate! I will think on it today and talk to some folks and see what I can do.

detroitredesign April 29, 2010 at 7:11 AM  

Fantastic post! I'm LOVING the pictures on your blog. Thank you for referring DetroitReDesign! I really need a blogroll. I'm definitely going to check out the other blogs you put up.

Belle Isle April 29, 2010 at 12:37 PM  

@DetroitReDesign...I'm glad you enjoyed reading... there are so many interesting Detroit bloggers out there, far better writers and photographers than me! I hope you get to explore the Detroit blog-o-sphere further.

I'm looking forward to watching your project develop.

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