College graduation in Michigan was last week, which means summer-intern season is underway downtown. And while it’s still a bit chilly (grrr), Thursday is supposed to be nearly 80, which means all the pieces are clicking into place for another fabulous summer in Fun City.
A couple of the development firms have gone whole-hog into summer internships, which they see as an opportunity to shape young minds to love Detroit, not the regular, non-summer Detroit, but a special enhanced Detroit, its pillows plumped just for them.
They poured a bunch of white sand at Campus Martius park a couple weeks ago, so the kids can have a “beach.” One building with a second-floor overhang has installed outdoor seating clusters, not lawn chairs but living-room style, separated by dog topiaries. There’s a private bike-sharing service for them. One building has an outdoor chess set, with pieces the size of trash cans.
It so happened I was out and about today, at one of the new-style “co-working” places that are all over town — usually a raw space fitted out in reclaimed wood with cubicles and lots of fun add-ons, like full kitchens and employees’ dogs. We looked at one for Bridge when we were moving downtown, but opted for something a little more traditional — journalists sometimes have to make phone calls in privacy, although we were the original co-workers, in my opinion.
My walk there took me past a high-rise apartment building with more living-room seating arrangements out front and that most essential detail of new-urbanist life: Bike racks. Lots of them.
One can be heartened by the new life flowing into downtown Detroit and still find a lot of this stuff silly. I suppose everyone dreams of landing a job in a free-food, bring-your-dog paradise like Google, but realistically, only a lucky very few ever will. So what is this Playskool-colored, toys-toys-toys summer-fun interlude for?
I remember my first real job after college. I spent the first weeks walking into walls, wondering where the fun had gone. We used to sit around the Ohio University Post scrawling graffiti on the wall and re-enacting light-saber battles using a pile of discarded fluorescent tubes the physical plant guys never took away. At the Dispatch, half the staff was a thousand years old and worked on the editorial page, writing six-paragraphs welcomes to spring and St. Patrick’s Day.
So I hope the new summer interns have fun here this summer, digging their toes in the sand and eating sandwiches under the dog topiary. For whatever casualness they have brought to the workplace at large, I’m grateful — it’s nice to have pantyhose more or less permanently off the work-wardrobe budget. And I hope they all get jobs when the internships are over. Maybe some will be in Detroit. Sorry to say it, kids, but: The winters suck.
Not a lot of bloggage today, but this was satisfying in a mean way: Pete Coors can’t understand the kids and their fondness for craft beers, aka beer that doesn’t taste like chilled urine:
Coors said he is baffled about trends that show the more expensive craft beer market growing by about 7 percent, the light premium beer market staying flat and the economy beer market with brands such as Pabst Blue Ribbon and Keystone dropping by 7 percent or even into double figures.
“In this economy that is difficult to understand,” Coors said. “But people are staying at home now, not buying cars or houses. They have money to spend. They want to spend it on something that they think has more value. … You talk about the millennials. The world is very different.”
A while back, Kate’s bass teacher and I were chatting about the use of guns in self-defense, and we agreed that as irritating as it is to have your stuff stolen, neither of us were willing to kill another human being over a television set. Not so in Montana. Good lord, but I’m growing to despise these lunatics.
And now we’re sliding toward the weekend. Every week, this miracle happens.