Reflections on Hitting 100

When I started this little challenge last February, I honestly thought it would be hard. Visit 100 places in the Metro-Detroit area – that I’ve never been to before – that are Michigan-owned-and-operated establishments? How many places are there really around here that aren’t national chains and that I’ve never been to?

A LOT, it turns about. I’ve barely scratched the surface.

One of the main reasons I decided to embark on this little quest was because I was sick of seeing local places that looked really cool, saying I was going to go to them, and then never doing it. Instead, I became a collector of somedays and maybes, compiling pages ripped out of Hour Detroit and The Detroit Free Press in a binder full of things I wanted to check out and places I wanted to try. The 100 Places challenge was a way to finally push myself to see some of the intriguing local businesses featured in those pages.

I pulled the binder out and went through those pages last week, excitedly assuming that I must’ve visited most of the places in there in this past year. How wrong I was! Check out the photos below and see how many from that little compilation I actually got to.

Framed in a certain light, the blog can definitely feel like a failure. It’s named 100 Places in the D, and only ten of the places I visited were located in Detroit? My goal was to hit at least 20 in the city proper. And while I did visit 33 different cities while visiting these 100 places, when you think about it, that’s not a lot, considering that there are about three times that amount of towns located in the tri-county area. Plus, a whopping 30 of the places I visited were in Ferndale and Royal Oak alone (sorry, I like it there!). I guess what I’m saying is, I could have done better. I could’ve went even bolder and bigger, been more strategic, more adventurous. But at the end of the day, I still I accomplished what I set out to do, and I enjoyed every moment of it. I visited 100 local restaurants, bars, boutiques, parks, tea shops, bakeries, bookstores, and venues that I had never been to before – and supported local business owners while I did it. How cool is that?

I encourage you, wherever you live, to give the 100 places challenge a try. Modify the parameters as you see fit – visit 50 places instead of a hundred, or focus on one local county – or five, whatever you want. I think as long as you’re focusing on trying new places that you’ve never been and that are locally based and, therefore, more directly supporting your state’s economy than some national chain, that’s the essence of it. I myself plan to continue this blog and aim to visit at least five new places a month for the rest of this year – so at least 60 total. I aim to visit a more diverse mix of cities and to hit more places in Detroit City; I’ll aim for the 20-mark again there.

In case you’re curious, here are some geographical breakdowns of where I went.

Breakdown by county:

Oakland County – 54

Macomb County – 27

Wayne County – 19

Breakdown by city:

Ferndale – 16

Royal Oak – 14

Detroit – 10

Clinton Township – 8

Birmingham – 4

Shelby Township – 4

Clarkston – 3

Grosse Pointe Farms – 3

Northville – 3

Rochester – 3

Saint Clair Shores – 3

Troy – 3

Berkley – 2

Eastpointe – 2

Grosse Pointe – 2

Macomb – 2

Plymouth – 2

Sterling Heights – 2

Armada – 1

Auburn Hills – 1

Clawson – 1

Dearborn – 1

Fraser – 1

Lenox – 1

Madison Heights – 1

New Baltimore – 1

Oak Park – 1

Pleasant Ridge – 1

Rochester Hills – 1

Roseville – 1

Warren – 1

Westland – 1

And here are the pictures of all the complied pages showcasing places I ended up going to, with what number visited they were written on them:


And here are all the pages representing places I haven’t visited yet:


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