I was in Michigan and have been many time since I left in 1981 and my impressions are as they have been -it is a very beautiful. Yes, Detroit is blighted and we took no photos of that blight NOT through any agreement or plan and we have not even talked about it but I think we both thought it too cliche, too easy.
And then, on the cover of the USA Today today was this story about states trying to create a brand for themselves, like Pure Michigan, an ad campaign that has been very successful in a way they may not have anticipated; making Michiganders feel better about their state.
We have always loved the place. I wonder how much of that has to do with the fact that we spent the first nearly three decades of our lives here. After all, I do know people who are glad to have left their home city, state or even country and have never looked back. I just know that my favorite beach in the world is there.
Now, I have been to some good beaches: Cape Cod, both sides of Florida, California, Jamaica, Mexico, even Hawaii and France, but for me the best beach in the world is just a few miles south of Manistee, Michigan.
(How many times on this blog will I bemoan the inability of happy snaps to convey the beauty of a place? At least once more.)
And what I find so astonishing about this beach is that, in the 40 years since I first saw it, almost nothing has changed. There still are not many people, there still are no amenities, there is still nothing man-made in sight except for one new item; a sign designating that dogs are welcomed to the right, dog- free beach to the left.
Over and over I say "I am not a beach person" but this place makes me indescribably happy.