This dates back to 2010.
Here in Detroit the cab culture is pretty shabby. Actually, there is no cab culture. The only places to promptly catch are outside of MGM Grand Detroit, Motor City Casino, or Greektown Casino. Otherwise, you would have to call a cab and wait (probably thirty minutes) for it to arrive at your place of position.
Me “hitch-hiking” is probably as dangerous as it sounds but I had no sense of fear while walking through Detroit’s deserted downtown.
A girlfriend of mine was celebrating her birthday at Cliff Bell’s and I was WAY behind schedule. Finding a parking spot was becoming a bother. After circling around for nearly twenty minutes I decided to park in the MGM Grand Detroit parking structure and “cab it” back to the restaurant. How effortless! I intended to have dinner, catch another cab to a club (where a friend was celebrating their birthday), and then catch a cab back to the MGM to retrieve my car.
The dinner party continued to linger after we finished eating and I was ready to make my next stop. At the time Elysium Lounge was a popular hang out spot and one of my favorite downtown Detroit clubs. I began walking toward Elysium from Cliff Bells thinking I would be able to “flag a cab”. Who was I kidding? This was Detroit. There is no “flagging of cabs”. Only nine more blocks on through the empty Detroit streets to go.
As I approached my second block a man in a van rode up next to me. This scenario had abduction written all over it. He asked if I needed a ride and proceeded to let me know that he also drives hotel shuttles for income. The van had no company logo. I was a bit dauntless with my decision to accept a ride; but I really did not want to walk nine blocks in high-heeled shoes. I hopped in and tipped the driver (whose name was Tony) when I got out.
When the club let out I stood outside looking for a cab, again. There was no cab and I was even further from my car than before. In normal cities, cabs are always stalking around after events let out. That was not the case here in downtown Detroit.
I stood around talking to miscellaneous folks (which I am very good at) trying to “evaluate” who the best candidate would to take me to my car. A guy and his friend had approached me asking why was I alone and where were my friends. I stood and talked to them as they waited for their car to delivered by valet. When he asked where I had parked my car and I told him it was at the casino he offered me a ride. WIN!
This scenario also had abduction written al over it. When I go in the car he handed me his ID and let me send a photo of it to a friend of mine to make sure that I was safe. After getting back to my car I just went on home. He was a really nice fellow who I still keep in touch with to this day!
As some of my friends would say: “That was a Teri experience”.
Today’s downtown Detroit has more life than 2010’s downtown Detroit. There is plenty of new development. With the current urban redevelopment boom new business are popping up every day. Young professionals are living and moving downtown and the “hipster movement” is all the craze. It’s become functional, but it is still really hard to “flag a cab”.