"We need to develop that attitude, because every business in town is just so glad you're there," he said. "I consider it a mark of progress that we have places now that are stuck up."
Detroit might have just found itself a new slogan.
If you go
Eat and drink
Slows Bar-B-Q (2138 Michigan Ave., 313-962-9828, slowsbarbq.com) is always busy for a reason: It serves top-notch barbecue and beer.
A few doors down, Astro Coffee (2124 Michigan Ave., 313-638-2989, astrodetroit.com) makes simple, fresh breakfasts and lunches and some of the best coffee in town.
On the same block is Sugar House (2130 Michigan Ave., 313-962-0123, sugarhousedetroit.com), Detroit's first craft cocktail bar.
The gourmet sliders and craft beer at Green Dot Stables (2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., 313-962-5588, greendotstables.com) cost $2 to $3 each, which makes it the great food-beer-deal trifecta.
Michael Symon's Roast (1128 Washington Blvd. 313-961-2500, roastdetroit.com) has won some of the city's biggest fanfare with a meat-centric menu best known for the "roast beast of the day" — suckling pig, goat or lamb roasted on a spit.
Supino Pizzeria (2457 Russell St., 313-567-7879, supinopizzeria.com) makes a fantastic thin pie.
Brooklyn Street Local (1266 Michigan Ave., 313-262-6547, brooklynstreetlocal.com) is a new and already much-loved breakfast and lunch place.
Interesting hotels are few in Detroit, but the modern two-room (yes, two-room) Honor and Folly (honorandfolly.com), which sits above Slows, is a good start. One room costs $165 per night, and both cost $215.
The Inn on Ferry Street (84 E. Ferry Ave., 313-871-6000, theinnonferrystreet.com) is a series of beautifully maintained historic mansions, with rooms $159 to $239, breakfast included.
Those on a budget should consider the well-run Hostel Detroit (2700 Vermont St., 313-451-0333, hosteldetroit.com), which has 10 private and shared rooms with 24 beds; cost is $25 to $47 per night.
Downtown offers thousands of rooms in the typical urban fashion, including three hotel-casinos: MGM Grand Detroit, Motor City Casino Hotel and Greektown Casino Hotel.
Detroit is rich with art, from the Detroit Institute of Arts (5200 Woodward Ave., 313-833-7900, dia.org) to the edgier (and Red Bull-sponsored) House of Art (1551 Winder St.).
Eastern Market (2934 Russell St., detroiteasternmarket.com) is a year-round Saturday morning gem teeming with fresh produce, baked goods and flowers.
The river walk along the Detroit River extends about three miles but eventually will be expanded to five. Wheelhouse Detroit (1340 E. Atwater St., 313-656-2453, wheelhousedetroit.com) will reopen in spring. It's an ideal place to rent a bicycle for a ride along the river. If biking, also be sure to check out Dequindre Cut, which bisects the river walk and offers 1.35 miles of urban bike path on what used to be a rail line.