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A.M. Begin the day as Detroit?s finest chefs do, at Eastern Market (Russell and Winder streets). Fortify yourself with a henhouse-fresh omelet at Farmer?s Restaurant (2542 Market St.; 313-259-8230) and browse the stalls of this 117-year-old farmers? market. Search for exotic herbs at Rafal Spice Company or snatch up bargain vintages at Cost Plus Wine Shop (ask for the "family discount"). Next stop: the 3.5-mile Detroit RiverWalk (Rivard Street at the riverfront). Park at the carousel and take in the passing ore freighters and buff bikers as you meander west to the imposing Renaissance Center, GM?s world headquarters. Duck in to admire John Portman?s circular architecture and ogle the vintage cars on display in the GMnext Showroom (Level A, Renaissance Center; 313-667-7151).
Continue past the cruise ship dock, enjoying the view of Windsor, Canada -- Detroit?s southern neighbor -- where you can legally marry Mr. or Ms. Right. Return to Woodward Avenue via Hart Plaza to experience one of the plaza?s many summer music festivals. Stroll into the financial district and peek into the limestone and terra-cotta Guardian Building (500 Griswold St.), resplendent in its art deco architecture and lavish Pewabic tile work. After all that fresh air, you?ve earned an authentic Detroit coney dog and fries for lunch at Lafayette Coney Island (118 W. Lafayette Blvd.; 313-964-8198). Popular lore says Michigan-style coneys, smothered in chili with all the fixin?s, were invented here. Grab an orange vinyl seat, or get carryout and stroll one block east to the park at Detroit?s urban heart, Campus Martius, for people-watching and live music.
P.M. Head 10 miles up Woodward to fashionable Ferndale and shop along funky Nine Mile Road for vintage clothing at Mother Fletcher?s (234 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-398-4816) and kitsch collectibles at American Pop (175 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-837-2127). Visit Affirmations LGBT Community Center (290 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 800-398-GAYS) to view works by local gay artists, then dine at Assaggi (330 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-584-2143) for updated favorites like pappardelle with wild-boar ragout or savory lentil pancakes.
Skip dessert and spend the calories sipping cosmos with the hip gay and lesbian crowd at Soho (205 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-542-7646).
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