Thursday, August 21, 2014

A Year in Review

Rediscovering the DIA
Lifelong Michigander started one year ago today with my first post.

With one year down, and hopefully many more to come, I would like to share some of my favorite posts/experiences while running this blog.

Most Popular Posts

These five posts had the most page views:

5. The Sugar House: A Thrilling Tale of Prohibition in Detroit

The Sugar House is a good read, especially for history buffs. As a Polish-American, I especially enjoyed the descriptions of the Polish immigrant experience in Detroit in the early 1900s.

4. Burn: A must-see movie

I have a special place in my heart for firefighters, so I am happy that this post reached a lot of people. Hopefully, some of them watched this great film and donated to the Detroit fire department (or their local fire departments).

3. The Little Things I Miss About Michigan

A list of a few things I miss about Michigan. It is by no means exhaustive. I am grateful that Getty Images allows free usage of most of their catalog now, so that I could find plenty of photos to publish with this post.

2. Detroit Is More Than They Say It Is

My response to all the unoriginal people who have made "Detroit is crap" and "Detroit is dead" into top searches on Google.

1. 104 Weekend Days in Michigan, Part I

I was crazy enough to come up with a list of 104 weekend activities throughout the state of Michigan (one for each weekend day of the year). Part I was the most popular blog post of the year.

My Favorite Posts to Write

Although none of the following posts was among the five most popular posts, they are my favorites based on their topics and the process of writing them. Picking my five favorite posts to write was not too difficult, but ranking them is impossible because each deals with two topics that are dear to my heart, my family and my Michigan roots.

At Home In Wyandotte

I lost my paternal grandmother, who was my last living grandparent, but I reconnected with cousins I had not seen in years at her funeral. Family was the most important thing to my grandparents, so sharing drinks, Polish food, memories, and some laughs with my family was the perfect way to honor her. Writing about my return to my grandparents' hometown allowed me to relive the good times one more time.

Summers in the U.P., Part II

Childhood memories are not always perfect, and the perfect ones are often impossible to recreate. I have not been to my family's vacation spot in the U.P. in more than twenty years, but the memories are vivid because they are some of my best. I probably smiled the most while writing this post.

A Family's Hero

My grandpa was not rich or powerful, but he was a great man. I wanted to share a little bit of who he was with my readers, but, more important, I wanted to keep his memory alive for my children.

Happy Birthday Detroit

This post is one of several "love letters" to Detroit that I've written, and it's my favorite.

Bourdain's Detroit: An Unfinished Story

People in Detroit either loved or hated Anthony Bourdain's Parts Unknown. I personally thought it was well done. In this post, I was not reviewing the show as much as I was exploring the reactions to it.

My Favorite Experiences

Without this blog, I may not have had the opportunity to discover new things about Michigan or to meet some very interesting people who care about their home state. These are the top five experiences that I would not have had or might have experienced differently if I was not writing this blog. Again, these are impossible to rank, so they are in no particular order.

Spending July 4th in Detroit

When my brother heard I was going to be in town for the July 4th weekend, he was generous enough to get tickets to a Tigers game from a friend for me, my wife, and our two girls. Before the game, my family and I met up with two friends and their young girls at Belle Isle. The weather was perfect; Belle Isle was perfect; and the game and post-game fireworks were almost perfect (the Tigers' loss was the only damper on this day).

My first guest blogger writing for me (and reading her blog)

I am still interested in other guest bloggers, but I also am fortunate that Jamie Stec, my first guest blogger, is witty and already writes a great blog. I binge-read her blog over a couple of days when she offered to write a guest post for me. It's about her experience with breast cancer. I love it because she writes with brutal honesty (and brutal humor). After reading her blog, I was not surprised by the high quality of the posts she wrote for me.

Walking around on Navin Field

The Corner, where Tiger Stadium once stood, is hallowed ground for Detroit sports fans. I silently walked around the field as if I was visiting an ancient cathedral in Europe. Stepping on the field where legendary Tigers (and Lions) once roamed left me in awe of the history of this spot.

Interviewing Jean Scheffler and reading her book, The Sugar House

When Jean Scheffler sent a message to me asking me to read and review her book, I was unsure if I would. I had never written a book review before, and I did not want to write a negative review if I did not enjoy the book. Luckily for me, I loved it and was happy to write about it. I was even more fortunate that Jean Scheffler agreed to let me interview about her book. It was interesting to learn about her research and writing process.

Rediscovering Detroit

Since my family is in Metro Detroit and I live out of state, the Detroit area is the only place in Michigan where I have been able to spend time since starting this blog. I have made it a point to try to make it into the city at least once every time I visit (and I usually visit the city more). Because of this blog, I try to do something new each time I am in the city, and I have had so many amazing experiences in just a few short visits.

Looking Forward to Year Two

In year two, I hope to learn more about my home state and the people who are making a difference in Michigan.

Thank you to my readers for visiting this blog, especially those of you who give me feedback about my posts. I appreciate your interest and hope to provide you with more positive content next year.


  1. Great blog...I love it...subscribing. PLEASE keep up the great work!

    1. Thank you. I appreciate your kind words. Please feel free to share my blog with others.