To the world, the city is distressed, bankrupt and faces a population exodus. To Caudill, the Motor City offers surprising delights, hidden charms, goodwill and Art Deco buildings.
Indian Village “This is a neighbourhood that I’ve just moved to. It looks exactly like what it did in the late ’40s and early ’50s – beautiful with an old-world charm, decorated with mid-century townhouses and parks so beautiful, you’d never want to move out.”
Detroit Antique Mall “It’s the city’s most eclectic antique mall and has a good mix of everything. I’ve found vintage fixtures for our stores, desks and chairs for our office, and mid-century furniture for my home. This is the place to go to for your one-stop antique fix.”
Ponyride “This is a small, aspirational business incubator where people can rent a space to work on projects. There’s a lot happening here, from cafes to the studios of denim, wood and leather craftspeople, as well as non-profit organisation The Empowerment Plan, which I find most inspiring. Founded in 2011 by social entrepreneur Veronika Scott, it hires homeless women from local area shelters to sew an innovative jacket that doubles as a sleeping bag. The jacket is then distributed to the homeless, locally and around America.”
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit “More commonly referred to as Mocad, the museum puts together an interesting annual benefit called The Hunt: You show up, you get a map with directions to a mystery dinner location, and you follow those directions. One time, the dinner was held in an abandoned building’s outdoor parking lot, decorated with fairy lights and long tables. It was beautiful.”
Guardian Building “There are many Art Deco buildings in Detroit, but this is one that has never been abandoned since 1928. More than often, people harp on the city’s massive destruction, vandalism and dilapidated buildings, but there’s so much else in Detroit, like the Guardian, that remains in pristine condition. There’s so much to admire on the inside of the building that it’s almost overwhelming. You walk in and immediately, you feel inspired.”
Astro “I like things that are made by people who really care about what they do. Astro, a coffee house in Corktown, Detroit’s oldest neighbourhood, is like that. Its beans are sourced from the best American roasters, and the baked goods are all made in-house using natural and organic ingredients. The owners have a vision that’s simple and honest, not ostentatious.”
This article was originally published in Female July 2014.