Your summer assignment: Try to see, eat and live more of Detroit than ever before

Here’s my “What I Plan to Do on Summer Vacation” essay. I will explore Detroit. I will go fearlessly into this great city and see places I have never seen before.

And, based on my first outing, I’m going to have a full stomach, a wicked tan and some proud memories of the voyage.

I throw down to a challenge to every Singleton, Newly Married, Parents with Kids or Baby Boomer out there. I dare you to see more than I’ll see over the next three months. I’ll challenge your Facebook check-ins with mine. I’ll match you on Foursquare. You pick the social-media medium, and I’ll technologically wipe the floor with you.

Because I’ve realized there is no reason NOT to see every part of the city this summer. Some of my favorite places have been shuttered; there is no Detroit Science Center or Children’s Museum to fetter my imagination. There are places I have only written about or read of in my various online wanderings. It’s time to put some eyes on the real thing.

First stop: The Bucharest Grill near Foxtown. Please, someone, tell me why I haven’t been here before. My apologies, owner and Romanian native Bogdan Tarasov. I had no idea there was Romanian cuisine in Detroit. I had no idea you were the shawarma master around these parts. I bow down to your fattoush, your curly fries and your savory cabbage.

Yes, the sauce dripped down my arm and – pardon me, Mom – I sopped it up with my pita and continued eating. I devoured the fattoush with relish. And there was no stopping me from bragging to my husband that we need to eat there again immediately. That first trip has me thinking that my kids need to try some new Romanian eats this weekend.

Speaking of kids, the next stop was all about the Little One. Before my Firstborn finishes the school year, I took the so-called Second One or Baby of the Family out for one last voyage. (She is a soon-to-be kindergartener getting kicked out of the nest.) Alas, we didn’t have time to catch the Diamond Jack’s boat tour. So we just sat back by the carousel on the RiverWalk, ate some Superman ice cream and threw some pennies into the fountain.

Said 4-year-old girl also ran like a mad woman around the new playground, chasing bubbles with her new found best friends. She bounced around the area like it was hers from the start. And, in a way, it truly is.

Here’s another point of pride on this short jaunt into Detroit. My kid didn’t look twice at any of the kids she played with or hung out around that day. There were many school groups there from all parts of the Metro area: Dearborn, Detroit, etc. There were nationalities of every stripe and she didn’t bat an eye. She didn’t ask for explanations or pause in her movements to question why they were there or she was there. Everyone played together in one large crowd of bubble-popping manics.

Detroit, you are a fine city. You have expansive views, lovely people and tasty ice cream. You make my heart feel all squeezey when I see my family growing up here with joy. And I’m pretty sure we’re all going to have one amazing summer here.

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