Saturday, January 14, 2012

Cool Story from Detroit Free Press


Did you see this one?

Talk about finding a good place to spend your days.  This 111 year old woman moved to the Detroit-area of all places and just became an American citizen.  As someone who has some experience with the US Immigration system, I applaud this woman for having the patience and strength to get through it all.

This article also goes to show us that Michigan, although problematic, is a place of family.  With Michigan’s past strength, we know that many expats have a ton of family still living there.  This is ultimately a huge tie that brings people back to the state.

Ultimately, this is what brought the Doctor back to this home state.  If the winters weren’t so cold, maybe I could convince my wife to move back there with me!

Until next time,

Mr. Sig

Friday, January 13, 2012


Michigan Expats - Commentary - See All Commentary

By Doctor

No sooner had I asked, "Winter, Where Art Thou?" yesterday, winter showed up in Michigan (as forecast). In fact, about six hours after I uploaded the post yesterday, I had to stop and wait on my home street as a tow truck pulled an SUV out of the ditch.

Not only did winter arrive, but most schools in the Grand Rapids area are enjoying a snow day. There were few things more exciting for a kid growing up in Michigan than snow days. No school! And lots of fresh snow to go outside and play in. Snow days bring back fond memories of sledding, building tunnels in snow drifts, getting dropped off at Mt. Holiday in Traverse City for a day of skiing, and of course snowball fights. And when you needed a break, coming inside for hot chocolate and playing Nintendo.

What are your fond memories of snow days? Please share and let us know how you and your siblings, neighbors, and friends spent your days home from school.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter, Where Art Thou?

Michigan Expats - Commentary - See All News

It's the second week of January and I'm way too focused on the upcoming Major League Baseball season. Yes, there's a lot to be excited about for fans of the reigning American League Central Division Champions Detroit Tigers who are an early favorite to repeat as division champs and are highlighted by AL MVP and CY Young winner Justin Verlander as well as perennial MVP candidate, Miguel Cabrera. My participation in fantasy baseball is also contributing to a personal countdown to pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training (February 18!).

But there's something else in play. It's the weather. The last two days in Grand Rapids have seen highs near 50 degrees (record tying 53 in Traverse City). Local news showed Michiganders out playing golf and mowing their lawns. Even today, with snow reportedly on the way, it's rainy and almost 40; more along the lines of a late-March day than mid-January.

It certainly is not the weather I was expecting when I decided to return home to Michigan last summer. I was looking forward to the snow and particularly going out skiing and snowboarding again.

My window to comment on the mild winter is likely closing, but I couldn't help but think that, in mid-January, instead of scraping ice and snow off the car, I was contemplating hooking up the hose and washing it.

Snow is expected tonight and there's still time for lots of winter sports fun to be had across the Mitten state. I'm still hoping to make a ski trip up to Boyne (with a side trip to Short's in Bellaire). Santa brought me my ticket to the sold out Michigan Winter Beer Festival (February 25). And I just got an email from the National Cherry Festival in Traverse City for their Winter Wow!Fest which features a Snowball Softball Tournament which could be a fun time.

What winter sports, events, or activities are you looking forward to this winter or wish you could look forward to if you were back in Michigan? Let us know.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Journey's "South Detroit" Mystery Explained

Michigan Expats - News - See All News

We're all familiar with the song. Even those of us who were born in the 1980's but didn't necessarily grow up in the '80's. Yes, Journey's "Don't Stop Believing" remains a requirement at almost all Red Wings home games, wedding receptions, and karoakee bars (want to here it at Grand Rapids dueling piano bar, Mojo's, better bring $20) thirty years after its debut. And while Detroiters and Michiganders always find a few extra decibels when signing along at the beginning of the song to the line "Just a city boy/born and raised in South Detroit" (emphasis added to belabor point), it has remained something of an ironic mystery, since "South Detroit" isn't really a real place.

Well, we have an answer for you. Actually, songwriter and Journey lead-singer, Steve Perry, has an answer. I'm quoting from Detroit Free Press' article by B.J. Hammerstein quoting a New York Magazine article that originally featured the Perry interview (isn't internet journalism great).

Perry admits that a visit to Detroit during the band's 1980 Departure Tour inspired the song and that "South Detroit" just ended up sounding better than any other cardinal direction.

Perry: “I was digging the idea of how the lights were facing down so that you couldn’t see anything,” he said as he recalled looking out a hotel room window at 2 a.m. “All of a sudden I’d see people walking out of the dark, and into the light. And the term ‘streetlight people’ came to me. So Detroit was very much in my consciousness when we started writing.” (The song includes the line: “Streetlight people/ Living just to find emotion/ Hiding somewhere in the night.”
“I ran the phonetics of east, west, and north, but nothing sounded as good or emotionally true to me as South Detroit,” Perry said. “The syntax just sounded right. I fell in love with the line. It’s only been in the last few years that I’ve learned that there is no South Detroit. But it doesn’t matter.”

And because I know you want to listen to the song know that it's stuck in your head, here it is...