The Villages attracts my attention like a moth to a flame. Hi-rise condominium complexes along the Detroit River give you stunning views of the city skyline and Belle Isle. A virtual who’s who of city fathers have lived somewhere in The Villages since the early 1900s when Detroit was known for cigars and stoves. Thankfully, the six neighborhoods that make up The Villages are still intact and will play an important part in the transformation of the city.
Last Sunday, Islandview, East Village, Berry Sub, West Village, Indian Village and the Gold Coast collaborated again to put on their Living in the V tour. Live music greeted people as they walked inside The Parkstone Apartments to register for home tours. Curious folk could tour available real estate for rent or purchase. Some homeowners with no intention of selling opened their homes so people could experience their neighborhoods.
As we walked around the neighborhoods taping interviews, we noticed people seemingly everywhere. Some lived in the area and viewed the day as a great way to mingle with their neighbors. Others like Redford resident Darren Jackson were coming in to gaze at the incredible architecture.
“I’ve always had a lot of pride in Detroit even though I don’t live here. Especially neighborhoods like West Village, Joseph Berry and all those places. I just want to see the areas of the city that are so well taken care of and the potential of the city,” he mused.
Many more came to check out the new Tashmoo Biergarten in West Village. It’s the brainchild of a few friends who wanted to see an Eastern European style biergarten with a Detroit twist located within the city limits. It’s something neighbors from around The Villages have embraced.
“Over the course of the last couple of weeks, neighbors have stopped by and have been thanking us for doing something like this … creating a place where the community can come together,” said co-founder Suzanne Vier.
It’s that sense of community that draws me in. The houses in Indian Village are amazing. There is a grocery store in the middle of The Villages along with a few cute boutiques. There is plenty of access to parks, even when you take Belle Isle out of the equation. And still, just like most neighborhoods in Detroit, it’s the people who really make this place special.