Month: April 2023

100 Places in the D’s Year Nine Review!

The Royal Eagle (#571), a Year Nine visit

100 Places in the D turned 9 on February 8! And to celebrate that milestone, I’m doing my annual recap post.

I base blogging years around the annual anniversary of my first post, which occurred on February 8, 2014. Blog Year Nine ran from February 8, 2022 through February 7, 2023. My goals for the year were:

  1. Visit at least 50 new-to-me places.
  2. Have 20 of those visits be in the city of Detroit.
  3. Represent at least five new cities on the blog (cities where I’ve never recorded a new-place visit).
  4. Continue to blog consistently.

I achieved those first three goals.

  1. I visited 60 new-to-me places.
  2. Twenty of those places were located in Detroit.
  3. And I highlighted five new-to-the-blog cities, via visits to places in Farmington, Harper Woods, Redford, Sylvan Lake, and White Lake.

Hooray to hitting those milestones!

I missed the fourth goal. I blogged fairly consistently until mid-November. Then I took a two-week vacation and came home to the hustle of the holidays – all of which I let derail me from blogging. That inaction carried over into the new year – and led me to post once in a three-month span before I finally forced myself to get back on track.

Yet again, I was confronted with this lesson about momentum: it works as much for inaction as it does for action. When I let myself not blog for a week, that’s so much more likely to turn into a month, into two months, into three . . ..

Besides that misstep, it was a strong year for 100 Places in the D! I hit 26 cities during my 60 visits – a pretty diverse collection of locales, especially considering that 20 of my visits were in Detroit alone. Here’s a breakdown of Blog Year Nine’s visit stats:

Number of places visited in Blog Year Nine: 60

Number of cities visited: 26

Breakdown by county: Wayne: 27; Oakland: 21; Macomb: 12

Breakdown by city:

Detroit: 20

Rochester: 4

Dearborn: 3

Mount Clemens: 3

Rochester Hills: 3

Berkley: 2

Farmington: 2

Hamtramck: 2

Northville: 2

Royal Oak: 2

Washington: 2

Clinton Township: 1

Eastpointe: 1

Ferndale: 1

Harper Woods: 1

Hazel Park: 1

Lake Orion: 1

Macomb: 1

New Baltimore: 1

Oak Park: 1

Redford: 1

Shelby Township: 1

Sterling Heights: 1

Sylvan Lake: 1

Utica: 1

White Lake: 1

Now it’s on to Blog Year 10 – which has been rolling for over two months and yielded awesome visits. I can’t wait to see how it progresses!

I’ve established these goals to help keep me intentional in Year Ten. They’re practically copies of last year’s goals. But I like the framework and accountability they provide, so why change them?

  1. Blog consistently. Only take weeks off for vacations and crazy-busy seasons of my life, and don’t go more than two weeks without posting.
  2. Visit at least 24 new-to-me places in the city of Detroit.
  3. Highlight five new-to-the-blog cities.

Here’s to another year of amazing new-place visits, for me AND for you! If you’ve felt called to explore your corner of the world but lacked the momentum to get started, I hope this post is the nudge you needed. If 100 Places in the D has taught me anything, it’s that adventures are everywhere. Sometimes all you need to spark excitement, inspiration, and aliveness is a visit to a restaurant, bakery, or park that’s new to you!

608. 7greens – February 6, 2023 – Detroit, MI

7greens and its sweet Chachie salad! The salad that is, hands-down, one of the BEST things I’ve eaten this year.

The fast-casual restaurant based in downtown Detroit sells more than salads. It’s also got smoothies, bowls, wraps, burritos, nachos, and toasts (“Elevated Toast,” as it’s deemed on the menu – a.k.a. toast with fancy-fun ingredients such as arugula, avocado, and flax oil drizzle). Its food features fresh, healthful ingredients; only natural sweeteners are used (no baddie refined sugars added here!). Whole foods reign supreme at 7greens, which is right up my alley!

Lots of options on the 7greens menu are right up my alley. I’m definitely enticed by its Warm Bowls, especially the Spicy Buddha Bowl with its spinach, beets, red cabbage, avocado, chickpeas, roasted sweet potatoes, and organic brown rice drizzled with lime juice and served with a spicy cashew sauce. And I love that there’s a Create Your Own Meal! option, allowing you to craft your own salad, bowl, or wrap by choosing the greens, toppings, and sauce of your choice. Pick from a wide array of proteins, nuts, greens, veggies, cheeses, and crunchy stuff (think pita chips and toasted ramen), then top it off with one of 7greens’ house-made sauces, all of which are gluten-free and paleo- and keto-diet friendly, according to its website.

Or choose a smoothie. You couldn’t go wrong with 7greens’ decadent-yet-healthful Reese’s Cup, a concoction of dark chocolate, peanut butter, banana, dates, chocolate-flavored protein, maca, and almond milk. Throw in dried cherries, dark chocolate chunks, a honey drizzle, or another of the tasty touches available on the smoothie add-on menu.

Or go with that Chachie, one of the BEST meals I’ve had all year and certainly one of the best salads of my life. It was utterly fantastic, a fresh flavor explosion via a mix of romaine, kale, cucumber, tomato, quinoa tabbouleh, falafel, hummus, and pita chips. Served with a half a lemon and a pomegranate sumac dressing, it was accompanied by a slice of nutty wheat bread.

Hummus in a lettuce-based salad??? I never would’ve thought to do that. 7greens did, and they were spot-on: that hummus is the key to the Chachie’s extreme deliciousness. That and the broken-up bits of falafel, and the pita chip pieces, and the zesty quinoa tabbouleh . . .. I could go on and on about how great that Chachie is. But you really must experience it for yourself!

1222 Library St.

Detroit, MI 48226

607. The Lip Bar – February 6, 2023 – Detroit, MI

A visit to The Lip Bar made for a bold, Bawse Lady of a Monday!

The locally-owned makeup brand is a total boss, with its wares being sold at Target and Walmart stores across the country. So it’s totally appropriate that it offers a shade of lipstick called Bawse Lady.

That’s the shade I tried and bought when I visited The Lip Bar’s shop located in Parker’s Alley in downtown Detroit. It was a delight to experience the sleek store with its neatly curated shelves of makeup and wall of mirrors nestled into arched cut-outs, a swing bench anchored from the ceiling in front of each one. The personalized shopping experience offered to me by the salesperson running the shop that day was awesome. She’s the one who convinced me to try The Lip Bar’s Liquid Matte Lipstick in the Bawse Lady shade.

I was initially intimidated by the thought of having to apply the bold lip stain with an applicator wand, but it was easier to put on than I expected. And I loved the striking red hue! Minutes after leaving The Lip Bar, I got compliments on my makeup – and for that, I’m giving Bawse Lady and that lovely saleswoman all of the credit!

Not only is Bawse Lady a pretty shade, but it’s impressively long-lasting. Yay to a liquid matte lipstick that’s easy to apply and worth the effort!

And double-yay to The Lip Bar’s makeup being vegan and cruelty-free! Its makeup line is comprehensive, featuring not only lipsticks and lip glosses, balms, and liners but also skincare products, tinted moisturizers, bronzers, concealers, eyeliners, eyeshadows, mascaras, and more. The women-of-color-founded brand is made for all shades; take its Complexion Quiz to receive personalized makeup recommendations, and use its Virtual Try On feature to see the products on yourself right at home. Or take a trip to The Lip Bar’s shop and sample its pretty wares in person!

1435 Farmer St., Ste. 122

Detroit, MI 48226

606. Dooped Donuts – February 6, 2023 – Detroit, MI

Dooped Donuts is a sweet place to be! Cuddle up with a coffee and a baked delight at this cute vegan donut shop in downtown Detroit.

That’s exactly what I did one Monday morning in early February. Being a remote-based worker is the perfect excuse to try a new place! The ballet-pink-, hunter-green-, and blond-wood-accented interior of Dooped Donuts became my workspace for a couple of hours. Caffeine-and-sugar-fueled focus: what a way to start a work week!

The storefront is the former site of another local business: coffee house Ashe Supply Co. Ashe, in fact, lives on at Dooped Donuts: its roastery still operates within the building, and its coffee is featured on the menu. No wonder the black coffee I ordered at Dooped Donuts was so delicious! It didn’t need to be gussied up with add-ins; it was flavorful on its own.

If I had wanted a fancier drink, I could have ordered my coffee-shop stand-by: a cappuccino. Dooped Donuts offers coffee-, tea-, and espresso-based drinks, including iced coffee, matcha lattes, and pour-over coffee.

And the donuts! Why am I burying the lead and not getting to the donuts already? Dooped Donuts’ are tantalizingly fresh nuggets of fried dough and sweetness. The shop offers an ever-changing array of enticing flavor varieties. Donuts featured this year have included Pecan Toffee, Mulled Rosé, Berry Basil, and two launched in honor of 313 Day: one with a Faygo Red Pop-infused glaze, the other a chocolate glaze topped with crushed Better Made potato chips. The donuts are not only vegan but handmade, crafted by a “small-but-mighty team” that “makes over 1200 donuts fresh each week,” according to Dooped Donuts’ website.

During my visit to Dooped Donuts, I indulged in a lemon-curd filled donut, and it was A-MAZING. Dusted with powdered sugar, it was delectably crispy-fried on the outside but soft on the inside, wherein nestled the luxuriously sweet-yet-sour lemon curd. Yum, yum, and YUM!

Experience the YUM-ness for yourself with a trip to Dooped Donuts. Whatever the time of year, fresh-fried goodness is always in fashion!

1555 Broadway St.

Detroit, MI 48226

605. Peninsulas – February 4, 2023 – Berkley, MI

Peninsulas’ products embrace our mitten-shaped state!

The Berkley-based shop knows all about the pride that comes from making a map of the Upper and Lower peninsulas with your hands. It sells Michigan-centric gear: sweatshirts, hats, mugs, pins, t-shirts, toys, candles, water bottles, and more promoting the Great Lakes state. Many of the products it stocks are also Michigan-made, according to its website.

While the Berkley location of this indie business calls Metro-Detroit home, Peninsulas embraces Up North via a Cross City location. It’s spreading the love of our fair state far and wide – and what’s not to love about that?

3171 12 Mile Rd.

Berkley, MI 48072

(With an additional location in Cross City, MI)