PAL students want kid friendly downtown Detroit

downtown DetroitTwice a month I take my 17 year old son Brandon to downtown Detroit for male bonding and fun.

We enjoy treats from Avalon Bakery in midtown, T-shirt shopping at Detroit vs. Everybody and Detroit Hustles Harder in Eastern Market along with strolls down Woodward and some of  the side streets in mid town.

Shake Shack and any of the restaurants in Mexican Town are among his favorite places to eat.

The other day some of the kids I mentor at the Detroit Athletic League media class at the former Tiger Stadium site said they rarely go downtown because it is not kid friendly. For all the wonderful projects that Dan  Gilbert and company have brought downtown, they ask that adults share in the fun with teenagers and young adults too young to drink at The Skip, Harrys Detroit and Founders Brewery which are some of my favorite spots.

They propose three new venue to make downtown better for them — an expansive video arcade, a small amusement park similar to Edgewater Park that closed in 1981 on Detroit’s west side.

Oh and there is one more thing Detroit needs, they said. A gaming arena.

Gaming arenas are becoming popular around the country. It is where people gather to compete in video game competitions in front of screaming fans that are sometimes televised nationally.

The only drawback is that you can play your pals online now. But they said a gaming arena would appeal to people that want to compete for money and other prizes before a live audience.

They all sound like good ideas, but do adults want to share in their downtown play ground?






The small things make for a great Father’s Day

dime storeI grew tired of watching my shiny bald head in the mirror when I worked out in the morning at my health club. So I bought a couple of bandanas to wrap around my head.

The other day I drove to a graduation party in Detroit with my wife Abs. My children Brandon and Celine drove separately. Afterwards, Abs said she knew a cool place that sold bandanas of every color and design for my shiny, bald head. She suggested we stop there so she could buy a couple for me for Fathers Day.

We drove into the parking lot and were surprised to see Brandon walking toward us demanding that we get out of there as quickly as possible. Celine shopped for bandanas inside. We took off so we would not spoil the surprise.

I was thrilled that my family thought about me.

But that wasn’t the best part about Fathers Day. Celine wanted to hold my hand as we walked inside the Chrysler House for an hour long wait to enjoy brunch at The Dime Store. When I went for a walk downtown in the heat Brandon insisted on going with me, so we could visit without the ladies and talk.

We went to Avalon Bakery, Under Armor and a couple other shops before making it back to the Dime Store.

The gang bought me a flowered shirt that drew two compliments in one day and some shorts and T shirts. The gifts were not the best part of the day.

I received love and that meant more than anything. Celine wanted to hold hands and Brandon wanted to spend a few minutes alone with dad. Those are special moments that might sound corny to non dads, but I really appreciated it.

When I was young one of my goals was to make life better for my children than it was for me. We are on our way. Celine completed her freshman year at Stanford University,  made the deans list, is an officer in a women’s business group and is president of the sophomore class. Brandon carries a B averaged in high school and has his eye on helping children when he is an adult.

I am proud of both of them.

It is important for men to be good husbands. I believe it is even more important to be a great dad.

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