“She is larger than life, alluring, and hauntingly beautiful. A Japanese Geisha, standing about 16 feet tall and cloaked in a collage of colors and graffiti, stares endlessly at passersby in the alley now known as ‘The Belt’ – The stunning mural, sure to make people stop and return the gaze, is just one of the many breathtaking works created for Detroit’s newest public art experience (between Grand River and Gratiot Avenues in what was once the city’s garment district). Bedrock Real Estate Services and the fine art gallery Library Street Collective worked together to bring The Belt to life with the help of more than a dozen of the best artists in the world.” (‘THE BELT’, AN ALLEY TRANSFORMED, by Robin Schwartz)
As Detroit continues to transform its downtown area into a place we want to visit, places like The Belt draw us in to wander and see, learn and grow. Our children learn about art as they see it bigger than life. Their minds grow with “maybe I can do this, too” as they gaze up at the colors and style and realize that art is for everyone and it is beautiful, interesting, and makes us think. Plus, this alley is so cool, you wander in and you are mesmerized by the art, of course, but the lights that cross over your head, the brick walls, the shelter that you feel from the city noises surrounding you. Public art is important to the artists, but it is important to all of us, too.
So what else to do while you are in downtown Detroit? During the Christmas holiday there is ice skating at Campus Martius Park, which during the summer months is a great place to eat your lunch in the sun. You can hit the side-by-side Coney Island hot dog restaurants (American Coney Island or Lafayette Coney Island) or eat at Hard Rock Cafe which is near the city center on Monroe Ave. Of course, there is always the ubiquitous Starbucks close by. Hart Plaza is on the Detroit River and is always a good place to wander around. From there you can look across and see Canada.