The interior of American Coney Island (#423), a Blog Year Six visit.
Year Six of 100 Places in the D is complete!
It’s wild to me that this blog I started in February 2014 as a way to motivate myself to get out and visit awesome-sounding establishments I was seeing highlighted in local media is still going strong. To date, I’ve visited over 460 locally-owned, wholly-new-to-me establishments in the Metro-Detroit area. I must say, it feels like a pretty cool accomplishment! 🙂
Every year of the blog’s existence, I’ve set at least one goal. My goal for Year One is hinted at in the blog’s title: to visit 100 new-to-me, locally-owned places – restaurants, bars, shops, parks, etc. – in the tri-county Metro-Detroit area (Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne counties) within a one-year span. I achieved that goal – and my obsession with new-place exploring was born.
In subsequent blogging years, I achieved mixed results with the goals I set; I hit some but not others. I’ve appreciated having them to use as guideposts, even when I didn’t end up accomplishing them. Working toward goals such as the Blog Year Six goal, to visit at least 50 new-to-me places in the city of Detroit, has enriched my life in indescribable ways. The thrill of an introduction to a restaurant, coffee shop, or bar that I end up loving . . . nothing quite compares to it!
Blog Year Six of 100 Places in the D ran from February 8, 2019 through February 7, 2020. I had that one goal for it: to visit 50 new-to-me places in the city of Detroit itself.
This was the exact same goal I set – and achieved – for Blog Year Five. Did I achieve it in Blog Year Six? Nope – I fell short, at 43 places visited in the city of Detroit.
I didn’t exactly set myself up for success with this goal. I took an unplanned, 5.5-month break from writing on 100 Places in the D in the first half of 2019 (the result of untended-to feelings of blogging burnout and the snowballing effect of prolonged procrastination) and didn’t do a Blog Year Five review post until July. While I’d still been visiting new places during my blogging hiatus, the months of unintentionality didn’t aid my pursuit.
Then, once I tried to ramp up Detroit visits in the fall and winter, I felt myself at times plagued with a sense of the visits feeling forced – which is definitely not how I want one of my favorite activities in the world to feel!
Finally, as I approached the conclusion of Blog Year Six and attempted to rally myself for a mega-visiting spree (like, seven places within a span of three days), I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Not only was it incongruous to the winter-hibernation vibes I was feeling to jaunt all about town on work nights, but from a financial perspective, it felt irresponsible.
The great thing about this type of exploring is that if you’re creative, it can be affordable (a visit to a bakery or coffee shop can run under $5, for example) or even free (yay to parks, admissions-free museums, and window-shopping!), but for the places I was looking to go in that last Blog Year Six run, I was going to be spending money, and it just wasn’t aligning with the state of my pocketbook (which, frankly, also needed to go into winter-hibernation mode). So I let the goal go.
Still, I feel grateful to that 50-mark goal, because it pushed me to visit 43 new-to-me places in Detroit, which is still pretty cool!
Looking forward to Blog Year Seven: continuing to blog consistently throughout the year and hitting the milestone of Visit #500 (which should happen before the end of summer!) are my main objectives; simply achieving those would make me happy. I’m also aiming to visit at least 36 new-to-me places in the city of Detroit itself (which feels much more feasible than 50 – even if it’s only about an average of one less visit a month!).
And here’s one that intrigues me: to visit at least 20 of the places that have been lingering on my to-do list for years. Some establishments have been on that list essentially since the blog’s inception; I want to more intentionally seek out those long unchecked-off places.
That’s a solid amount of goal-setting; Blog Year Seven is turning out to be more ambitious than I’d expected. Here’s to another year of exploring!
I hope that wherever you live, whether it’s in the Metro-D or elsewhere, that you’re getting a chance to check out those places in your neighborhood that intrigue you. Once you start exploring, you may find – like me – that you just can’t stop!
To conclude this post, here are some stats around Blog Year Six (because I love to nerd out on this stuff):
Number of places visited in Blog Year Six: 73
Number of cities visited: 19
Breakdown by county: Macomb: 8; Oakland: 17; Wayne: 48
Breakdown by city:
Clinton Township: 2
Saint Clair Shores: 2
Auburn Hills: 1
Grosse Pointe: 1
Grosse Pointe Park: 1
Hazel Park: 1
Lake Orion: 1
Royal Oak: 1
Shelby Township: 1
Sterling Heights: 1