Friday, November 23, 2007

The perfect Detroit day

Recently picked up a book (at Bailey/Coy, I think) that listed 50 cities and described a perfect day in each, according to travel writers who know those cities well. I think I experienced my perfect Detroit day today. Got up late, ate breakfast, and played Scrabble with our geeky new Onyx Edition board, then went with my mother to Greektown, where we had a fabulous lunch at New Hellas (the perfect lunch: saganaki, Greek salad, and Hellas' unbelievable spinach pie. Honestly, far too many Greek restaurants, including basically all of them in Seattle, seem to consider spinach pie an excellent way to get rid of a lot of excess phyllo dough. But you know what? Here's what a spinach pie should really be about: spinach and cheese. (And, yes, lots of oil and salt.) And New Hellas, and most every other place in Greektown, knows this. And acts accordingly. So the spinach pie has a delicate, slightly soggy (from all the oil!) layer of phyllo on top, and another even soggier one on the bottom. And between them, nothing but delicious spinach and cheese. Mmmm...

After this heavenly lunch, we went to the Detroit Institute of the Arts' Grand Opening Weekend, which was amazing and very inspiring, considering how far the museum has come. The main lobby was full of glittery paper circles hung from the ceiling, and people were fencing in front of an audience. (They weren't dueling over a lady; presumably they were paid to be there.) We checked our coats and went to the Julie Mehretu exhibit, which was cool and involved one of the biggest canvases I've seen in a long time. Then it was on to the modern and contemporary sections, which were fantastic -- especially the modern stuff, including a beautiful Georges Seurat piece with a painted frame and lots of Spanish works, including Picasso and MirĂ³. After seeing a fair bit of art and inspecting the gift shop, we headed to Kresge Court to sip mint-tarragon tea and listen to a jazz trio perform. The whole place was lit with candles. Just lovely. Finally, we left the museum and drove home... for two more games of Scrabble! And here I am now. If there's a more perfect Detroit day out there, I'm not sure I want to know about it.

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