Debby Bezzina: Welcome to Michigan!


Welcome to Michigan! 

I look forward to engaging with you during the 2018 ITS America Annual Meeting, and sharing the Ann Arbor Connected Vehicle Test Environment and Mcity with you. There is however, another City that deserves your attention: Detroit! I am excited to share with you this fabulous place, and hope that you will find time during your stay to get out and enjoy all that Detroit has to offer.  Whenever I have family or friends visit, “The D” is where we head.

To truly experience Detroit, it's best to immerse yourself in the simple pleasures it offers.  First, make a dinner reservation at the Whitney Restaurant for 5:30 PM (Yes, 5:30!)  The Whitney is famous for upscale dining in the D. Completed in 1894, it retains the exquisite charm and elegance of Detroit at the height of the automotive capital of the world.  And while your reservation is for 5:30, arrive at 10 a.m.; as long as you have a dinner reservation, you can park there for free

Next, cross Woodward Avenue and hop on the Q-line and head north. The Q-line is a light rail system that was launched in 2017.  A day pass is $3.  The Q-line runs north/south on Woodward Avenue, connecting Downtown to Midtown and New Center areas.  The Q-line averages over 7,000 passengers daily.  Exit the Q-line at the Detroit Institute of Arts. The DIA is world renowned for its spectacular collections including spectacular Diego Rivera murals depicting industry through the ages in the city. They're truly phenomenal and captures the spirit of the assembly line worker and the auto industry in general.  My favorite, though, is the China Room.  Pay attention to time - the DIA closes at 4:00 PM. 

Hop back on the Q-line heading south. There are many boutiques to stop at on the way back including the Peacock Room nestled in the Park Shelton, featuring vintage-inspired pieces. Hop on and off the Q-Line as often as you like!  Ultimately, take the Q-Line to the end of the line where you’ll see the Joe Louis fist sculpture, and the Spirit of Detroit statue. Walk across Jefferson Avenue to Detroit's Riverwalk.  The Riverwalk is a 3.5 mile stretch along the Detroit River with fantastic views of Canada!   When you've had enough walking as sightseeing, hop back on the Q-line to the Whitney.  I recommend arriving ahead of your reservation and enjoying a drink in the Ghost Bar, known for live entertainment and the famous Witching Hour Martini!

Debby Bezzina is the "Connected Ann Arbor" lead for Mcity. She is also the lead for the U.S. DOT Center for Connected and Automated Transportation at UMTRI.