Reflections on Year Three of 100 Places in the D

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The patio of #196, The Old Miami, Year Three

As 100 Places in the D celebrated its three-year anniversary on February 8 (woo-hoo!), it’s time to reflect back on the last year and how I stacked up against the goals I set for the blog.

OK, so overall, I kind of sucked at achieving the Blog Year Three goals. The Type A part of me is annoyed about that, but the fun-loving, relaxed part of me is like, “Hey, it’s OK – there’s always this year!” I’m liking the latter perspective. The journey of doing the exploring for and maintaining of the blog this year was fun, and fun is the reason I’m doing all of this. Still, I plan to better prioritize this year’s goals – which I’ll reveal here, too – for the sheer enjoyment of the challenge of pursuing them.

Getting into last year’s goals: the first one was to visit 60-75 new places. I achieved that one, visiting 66 new places (YAY!). To be honest, I didn’t remember that I’d given myself such a number range; somewhere along the line, I forgot that and fixated on my goal being 65 specifically. No matter – I hit the mark either way.

My second goal was to visit at least 25 new places in Detroit proper and to get more comfortable driving down there by making solo visits to the city at least once a month. I ended up visiting 19 places downtown – not the target number, but decent. And I was awesome about pushing myself to drive down to the D regularly for about the first third of the year; then I fell off in the spring. Whoops. I’m still easily flummoxed by the cray-cray network of roads in the downtown epicenter – I was just driving down there Monday en route to a new place and doing my usual death-grip-the-steering-wheel-and-try-not-to-hyperventilate routine – but can we all agree that it’s advanced-level driving down there? Seriously, those roads are WILD! I’m at a point where I’m at least proud that I push myself to drive downtown despite my fear of it. I love visiting Detroit, and I’m not going to let my nerves around being behind the wheel stop me.

I flat-out failed at my third goal, which was to visit one new-to-the-blog city a month. Given that I didn’t even write my Year Two reflections post and goals until March 5, nearly one month into the start of Blog Year Three, I was already setting myself up for failure on this one. Poor planning and prioritizing of this goal further exacerbated things, and a few months in, I’d already pretty much abandoned pursuing it. In the end, I only ended up visiting six new-to-the-blog cities in Year Three, those being:

Bloomfield Hills

Bloomfield Township

Harrison Township

Hazel Park

Oakland Township

Pontiac

To these six fine cities: you are a delight – I am happy to have gotten to know you better!

What are my goals this year? Well, for one, I’m vowing to reattempt this quest to visit an average of one new-to-the-blog city per month. The goal intrigues me, and I think with even a little bit of planning and foresight I can achieve it, because there are still quite a few Metro-Detroit cities where I haven’t visited places for the blog. I’ve compiled a list of 12 prospect towns so I can plan ahead. I visited one of them last weekend (post forthcoming!) and will be hitting another next week, so I’ve got a good start.

In terms of overall volume of visits, my goal is 71 new places (so I can hit 300 lifetime-total places visited by the end of this blog year!). That means I’ll need to visit an average of six places a month, which seems doable – but again, it will take intentional planning. My third goal to visit at least 20 places in Detroit – about two a month – which should also be easy enough to hit if I actually track it.

These goals are worth tracking, I’m realizing, because they involve stuff that is fun to me, and fun stuff is important stuff. So I’m going to make them a priority in my life, for the sheer pleasure of achieving them, because one thing I’m realizing as an adult is that finding enjoyment in every day is critical to ensuring one doesn’t become one of those shriveled up, miserable people.

It’s too easy for me to get caught up in responsibilities and to-dos and mortgage payments and with-what-money-am-I-going-to-buy-that-new-dryer scenarios? But I’ve decided I won’t not let myself stay mired in all of that stressful adulting. I’m going to continue eating dinners at former auto shops (here’s looking at you, Katoi!), taking in music at the dive-iest of dive bars (Tom’s Tavern, my love!!!!!!), and searching for the ideal coffee shop (Eos Café, you are pretty damn near perfect). ~Sigh.~ Sounds like a delight.

In case this kind of analytical numbers stuff interests you as it does me, here’s a breakdown of stats for the Year Three visits:

Number of places visited in Year Three: 66

Number of cities visited: 23

Breakdown by county: Macomb: 12; Oakland: 27; Wayne: 27

Breakdown by city:

Detroit: 19

Plymouth: 8

Royal Oak: 5

Clinton Township: 3

Pontiac: 3

Rochester: 3

Saint Clair Shores: 3

Clarkston: 2

Ferndale: 2

Madison Heights: 2

Rochester Hills: 2

Shelby Township: 2

Warren: 2

Auburn Hills: 1

Berkley: 1

Bloomfield Township: 1

Bloomfield Hills: 1

Harrison Township: 1

Hazel Park: 1

Mount Clemens: 1

Northville: 1

Oakland Township: 1

Troy: 1

And to recap, my goals for Year Four (February 8, 2017 through February 7, 2018) are:

-Visit 71 new places.

-Visit places in at least 12 new-to-the-blog cities.

-Visit at least 20 new places in Detroit.

Thanks for nerding out with me on this post and for following The 100 Places journey. Here’s to Year Four and to your own exploring this year!

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