Tour Detroit’s “good, bad, and hopeful” sides

Detroit gets a bad rap. So bad, it was voted the “Least Favorite” city in a recent TripAdvisor poll. But one local is trying to help both visitors and residents get a better understanding of the city, to see that maybe it’s not the punch line everyone thinks it is.

Linda Yellin, the creator of Feet on the Street Tours, runs walking, bike, and bus tours of the city for individuals and tour groups. One of the most popular tours is called “The Good, the Bad, and the Hopeful – You Be the Judge”. It’s held the 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month and costs $25 per person. Says Yellin, “We created the city sightseeing bus tour . . . because we wanted people to see and decide for themselves – not just assume what they hear or read is correct. We guarantee that people will get a new view of [Detroit].”

As the title of the tour implies, the goal is to show all sides of Detroit. Instead of glossing over the city’s blight, the tour will take you past plenty of crumbling buildings and abandoned lots, and explain the circumstances that led to the city’s current condition. It will also show you the institutions that have stood strong in the city for years and the rich history surrounding them. The tour will take you past the “hopeful” too – the signs of life being breathed into the city in the form of new shops and restaurants and a burgeoning local art scene.

Tours can be customized to focus on Detroit’s history, architecture, music, culture, food, or art, or to concentrate on a certain neighborhood of the city. Learning about the history of Motown Records in Detroit, exploring the festive neighborhood of Greektown, gallery-hopping to see works from the city’s up and coming artists, or sampling fresh produce and local specialties from the vendors at Eastern Market are among a few of the options.