Finding the Value of Valentine’s Day in Detroit


Refusing to Jump on the Band Wagon

On Sunday, February 12, 2017, I was sitting on the edge of my bed listening to the news. Partaking the sounds of the local news is one of my rituals while getting ready for work or any outing for the day.  At times the news appears to be watching me if the story lines become too overwhelming.   I was preparing for church when suddenly I heard the news reporter state something that was very displeasing to my ear.  The media was pushing a wagon of negativity across my doorstep and expected me to get on board.   I refused to accept the ride and said to myself, “They can keep pushing that buggy until the wheels fall off.”  It was reported that San Francisco was designated as the best place to spend Valentine’s Day.  However, Detroit was considered the worst place to be on this joyous day assigned to show your love and appreciation to someone special.  My thoughts were:  Who did they survey?  Where did this survey take place?  Why did this survey occur?  I answered my own questions by stating it was another opportunity to continuously shed a negative view about Detroit.  I was pleased to hear one of the reporters mentioned eventually others will realize there is a resurgence happening in this city.  

A Valentine’s Day Tradition

I must revert back to why Valentine’s Day is sentimental to me in the “D”.  Over thirty years ago my mother started a tradition.  She always insisted on making sure I smiled on Valentine’s Day even when I didn’t have a sweetheart.  She would provide a card, hug, or a small box of chocolates to improve the quality of my emotional health.  This past Sunday wasn’t any different.  When I arrived at my mother’s home to pick her up for church, she got in the car and handed me a card.  She politely said, “Here is a little something for you to put gas in your car or treat yourself to lunch.”  Also, she had two additional envelopes for her grandchildren.  Her kind gesture made me grin and at that moment it seemed the sun smiled and shined brighter than usual on that brisk morning.  I am proud to say I continue this small tradition with my children. I knew I had an assignment to accomplish.  I had to share the tradition my mom started years ago to provide an example of how Valentine’s Day in Detroit can be special.  

Increasing the Value of Valentine’s Day in Detroit

The Value of Valentine’s Day is what you make it.  Overpriced, and superficial gifts aren’t needed to show someone you love them.  Also, it is true Valentine’s Day isn’t required to validate to your loved ones that you care. However, we become engrossed with the demands of everyday life.   Small reminders are needed to tug on our hearts to alert us to take a pause to show someone they are valued.  Below, I have provided a few suggestions if you decide to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Detroit.  Let’s show the World we can designate Detroit as one of the best places to be on this celebratory day of love!

Looking for a night out check out these sites that provide a few mentionable places to spend your time in Detroit:

  • Check out Ticketmaster and complete a search of concerts, plays, and events that are taking place in Detroit on Valentine’s Day.

Looking for free ideas for Valentine’s Day and beyond:

  • Give a Hearty Hug to a loved one
  • Speak a Humble Hello  to someone who may need encouragement
  • Offer a Sensational Smile to someone who needs to be uplifted
  • Share a Little Laughter to any individual who enjoys the sound of happiness
  • Watch a Memorable Movie from the comfort of your own home
  • Sing a Simple Song that brings peace to your heart
  • Instead of texting pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t heard from in a long time and Create Conversations.  

Happy Valentine’s Day from a Girl who Loves Detroit!!!!!!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

-Michelle Dawson



Starting a Heart Full of Conversations to Spark the Courageous Soul of Detroit!


DETROIT!!!! MY HOMETOWN!!! Often referenced to as the MOTOR CITY, D-TOWN, THE D, or The 313!!! A city once known to have a plethora of vibrant neighborhoods filled with life, hope, and charisma. Today many neighborhoods have been abandoned and left with dismay, dimness, and depression. It doesn’t matter what substandard feelings people will have concerning Detroit I will always embrace it with tender loving care.

My thoughts are constantly exercising in my brain. At times I am exhausted because I have visions weighed down in my mind that I never execute. Five years ago, I envisioned the start of a blog relating to why I love Detroit. I felt the surge of a transformation occurring and the energy excited me. I didn’t want the culture and essence of everything that composed Detroit to be lost in the shuffle of the rebirth of a few concentrated areas in the city. I knew it was my obligation to tell the World that Detroit thrives not because of a few areas that are being reconstructed such as Midtown, Corktown, and Downtown. However, there are numerous Existing Entities, Blooming Businesses, and Committed Citizens contributing to the success of keeping the Motor City alive. These businesses or people may be familiar to a few but it is important they are introduced to the masses. Successful people and places in the D might be tucked in a corner or overshadowed by well-known establishments that can afford to advertise their presence. This blog will allow me to shed a positive light about the what, who, when, where and why people invest and dedicate their time to ensure Detroit is and will always be remembered as a priceless city!

Detroit is my true and dear friend.  I am saddened how others abuse and taunt my city. I am angered by the negativity. I am outraged how some of the citizens fail to protect the elderly, children, neighbors, and neighborhoods. Detroit is a beautiful gem filled with people who still want to nurture its courageous soul. There were many instances when I wanted to flee. My FEET whispered MOVE but my HEART yelled STAY! I will continue to reside in Detroit and encourage people to read about the goodness and culture this historical place offers to society. Hopefully, this blog filled with A Heart Full of Conversations will give you a reason to befriend and care for my Dear Detroit also!

Detroit Vintage Coffee and Tea House: The Oasis in my Neighborhood!


Detroit Vintage Coffee and Tea House  10335 West Eight Mile Road Detroit, MI 48221

(This was written in February 2016 and I held it in my heart all this time)

What’s Behind those Blinds

For over a year I rode past the eye catching storefront dressed with welcoming blinds.  The thought of visiting this peculiar place would be lost by the recognition of the inner city’s fanfare.  As a native from the “D” it is human nature to drive along Eight Mile Road and watch the countless liquor stores, and gas stations wave at the people and lure them into what they offer. In addition, there are the greetings of fast food chain restaurants that serve delicatessens dipped in fried grease with minimum priced meals.  As time passed I continued to drive along Eight Mile forgetting to visit a new place I needed to discover.

Days evolved into months and I couldn’t take it anymore. While driving in my car I blurted out loud, “I must visit Detroit Vintage! What does this place really have to offer in my hood?”  I remembered a meeting of the minds was approaching for two board meetings regarding separate non-profits I belong to.  I told my friend, “Hey we must have our meetings at Detroit Vintage Coffee and Tea House.”  Next, I sent an email indicating the meetings were to take place at Detroit Vintage before I had the opportunity to have it approved by the proprietor.  I called the owner and she assured me the meetings could be held there.

On Saturday, January 16, 2016 I woke up with excitement.  I would be able to view what was behind those welcoming blinds.  I started my day off early to meet the owner in person to confirm the board members could meet at Detroit Vintage.  Once I arrived there was a kind woman sprinkling  protective solution on the back walkway to ensure a safe path was available to patrons who wanted to know or already knew what was behind those welcoming blinds.  I politely introduced myself and with a gleaming smile she informed me she was the owner.  Pam Duvall was delighted our organizations would host our meetings there for the day.

The Offerings of an Oasis in the Neighborhood

Three and a half hours later I would finally be able to sit within an oasis in the middle of the inner city.  I arrived at 10335 W. Eight Mile Road between Meyers and Wyoming Roads. I was able to catch a glimpse of what would be in store from the back of the building where patrons have ample parking. Also, in the rear of the facility customers will find a restful place known as a patio to partake in for warmer days that would be approaching soon.  The painted promises of hope on the building offered rays of bright sunshine even though snow was beneath my feet.

It was time for the meeting and I was disappointed in myself.  Matter of fact I was angry for waiting so long to stand in a wonderful space filled with endless treasures!  My eyes spoke louder than my thoughts.  Detroit Vintage offers new and used books for sale.  If you are in the mood of welcoming new aromas to freshen your home you can purchase scented candles.  If you are looking to sip a delight to warm the insides of your soul there are various choices of specialty teas, coffees or good ol’ fashioned hot chocolate to tinkle the fancy of your tummy.  Panini sandwiches are available if you are interested in a light snack.  In addition, you can purchase baked goods and sweet treats!

The owner of Detroit Vintage didn’t select the location by happenstance. Duvall informed me Detroit Vintage was occupied by her family many decades ago.  During that time it was a soul food restaurant. Though the business closed the building remained in the family.  The facility was given a little love and the new vision known as Detroit Vintage was born. Unfortunately, Detroit Vintage only operates during the weekends. Duvall stated, “Growth is important, but it must be steady.”  She is aware she is not prepared to serve 100 people at one time because it could lead to disaster. Duvall believes it is important for Detroit Vintage to remain a fun place where you can read a book or relax.  I asked her to describe the setting of Detroit Vintage and she indicated, “It is a place where you can sit back and enjoy the comfort of being in someone else’s home.”  In addition to offering delicious delights Open Mic Night is held every first Friday. Participants can be as young as ten or the heartfelt age of many years beyond. I must stress the material presented in the showcase should be sensitive to the ears because offensive language is intolerable.  If this isn’t enough make sure you bring or find a competitive companion because there is a table of chess or checkers for you to play at your leisure.

My plea for you to visit this Oasis

Detroit Vintage is an amazing, distinctive, and cozy place to visit. Duvall stressed the business is currently promoted via social media and word of mouth.  I hope this story also serves as a promotional piece and inspires others to visit.  There’s a sofa waiting for you to sip tea on fine china as you inhale the uniqueness that surrounds you.  I was pleased with my decision to meet at Detroit Vintage.  We had two successful meetings because the ambiance of creativity was in the atmosphere.


-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

-Michelle Dawson