It was a Frenchman, Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, who established a mission and fort at the strait—détroit—in 1701.
You can find evidence of Detroit’s French heritage in the names of parks (Belle Isle, Gabriel Richard), streets (St. Antoine, Beaubien), the neighboring cities of the Grosse Pointes, and one really big complex on the Detroit River (Renaissance Center).
The city honors Cadillac with a statue, Cadillac Square Park, and Cadillac Tower downtown. Not to mention the line of four-wheeled namesakes courtesy of General Motors.
And although there’s no “Frenchtown” district lined with bistros, sidewalk cafes or Sunday Bird Market, you can find hints of the heritage around town.
Enjoy super savory and sweet flavors of a French creperie at Good Girls To To Paris Crepes in Detroit, and newly-opened second location in Grosse Pointe Park.
Check out the French flair at Savvy Chic, a boutique in Detroit’s Eastern Market.
The rotating selection of new and vintage goods captures the spirit of the country according to owner and Francophile Karen Brown.
Paige and I browsed the shop late this summer and admired the housewares, jewelry, candles, accessories, furnishings, vintage clothing, art and, well, more than we could absorb on a very un-French-like rushed run-through.
This is the kind of place where, if you see something you like, you’d better scoop it up because the inventory changes and it might not be there on your return trip.
Visit Savvy Chic on a Saturday and you can sip a latte and bring home fresh produce, great cheeses, a loaf of bread, bottle of wine, and bouquet of flowers from the vendors at Eastern Market. Throw in a ride on the People Mover (le Metro) and Detroit River boat cruise (la Seine) and voila: Paris in Detroit.
C’est si bon!