Every Saturday in the Spring, Summer and Fall I ride my bicycle to Eastern Market. From my house on Detroit’s Westside to Detroit’s historic Eastern Market the ride is generally 18 to 20 miles there and back. Marciano Walton (who’s one of my best friends, and like an older brother to me) joins me. The bike ride takes us through my neighborhood, Highland Park, the Boston Edison district, the New Center area, Midtown Detroit, and Downtown Detroit. I find it refreshing to get an in depth look of Detroit from the perspective of pedaling through. On a bicycle I notice so much more of the people, businesses, happenings, and changes in the city. Closing the journey in Eastern Market I’m always finding new and creative people, foods, arts, plants, and things that are uniquely Detroit.
Eastern Market is an open farmers market. It welcomes hundreds of vendors selling a variety of primarily fruits and vegetables. I stock up on spinach, carrots, peppers (of all varieties), cabbage, greens, kale, celery, apples, grapefruit, grapes, pineapples, and pears (I follow my Grandma Vel’s rules with juicing, the greener the better). The quality of the fruits and vegetables for the pricing is amazing. You’ll feel like Popeye with fresh Michigan Spinach!
Along with produce Eastern Market’s Gratiot Central Market carries every type of meat you’d ever want to buy. Seafood, poultry, beef, and pork are comparable in price but premium in quality. The options of ground chicken, turkey, types of sausage, and bacons are keep the market bustling every weekend.
My friend Vinetta Lloyd has a boutique that sells clothing & home accessories, and t-shirts. ‘Shop, Play, Love,’ is located in Bert’s Warehouse. Her boutique adds the artistic style of Detroit to Eastern Market.
My favorite place in Eastern Market is ‘Rocky’s.’ Rocky’s is a dry foods store that specializes in spices, candies, nuts, dry fruits, and sauces. My friend Mytao insisted I visit Rocky’s 2 years ago. Since my initial visit I haven’t gone a month without stocking up on spices, or trying new ones. Rocky’s carries a mix of no-salt, low-salt, world, and specialized spices. I encourage everybody to visit and help out your kitchen with some spices from Rocky’s.
Another place I often enjoy is Mootown Creamery. It’s an Ice Cream shop. The family business also carries baked goods and home accessories. I think they make a perfect ‘Boston Cooler.’ The owner actually shares the story behind the original ice cream shop that was located in Detroit’s Boston & Edison district that brought the drink to fame. A Boston Cooler is a drink that blends a mix of Vanilla ice creams, Vernors soda, and ice. It’s uniquely Detroit, and definitely my favorite milk shake.