Woodward Avenue People and Places, from Detroit to Pontiac – PHOTOS

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Photos by Lauren Jeziorski

Woodward Avenue, Detroit’s sprawling spine that separates the east side from the west and sweeps 27 miles from the Detroit River and through Oakland County’s hills, is more than 200 years old and rich with history.

Before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his lyrical words, “I have a dream,” during the March on Washington in August 1963, he first made the declaration two months before that on Woodward Avenue-the place where Detroiters have historically come to party and pray.

It is home to big nightclubs, the grand Fox Theatre, the city’s largest cathedrals and major cultural institutions: The Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Historical Museum and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which is only a stone’s throw away.


Woodward also offers dining experiences from raw cuisine to fried turkey wings-and enough entertainment venues to keep a night owl occupied all night. It’s a main artery with the opportunity for a full day of adventure, something B.L.A.C. recently embarked upon. Here are some people we met and some places we discovered on Woodward from Detroit to Pontiac.

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Campus Martius

800 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Shortly after finishing jury duty one recent afternoon, Kevin Calhoun, 30, of Canton discovered Detroit’s downtown park-its gardens, waterfall and fountains-for the first time. He sat under an umbrella and opened a novel. “This is so beautiful,” he says. “I used to live in New York City, and it reminds me of the city. It has such a nice urban feel.”

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Ben & Jerry's

1014 Woodward Ave., Detroit

As Lon’Nasia Harris, an all-smiles 21-month-old, licked the last of a scoop of her cookies ’n cream ice-cream cone and reached for her father’s shake, she was supporting Goodwill Industries employment enterprise. “Ice cream is her favorite,” says her father, London Anderson, 23, of Detroit.

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The Hudson Cafe

1241 Woodward Ave., Detroit

When you arrive here for breakfast or a cup of coffee, you may notice barista Tameka Massengale’s smiling face across the counter. Formerly the Detroit Breakfast House, this snazzy space also offers a variety of sandwiches and salads.

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1253 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Looking to live, work or get more engaged in Detroit? This spot will hook you up with tools, connections and information to help you navigate your Detroit dreams. 

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Woodhouse Day Spa

1447 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Few things can help one wind down more than a massage, manicure and pedicure in a luxurious spa that even offers a bath in a claw-foot tub. “I get a massage once a month,” says Beverly Thacker, 48, of Farmington Hills.

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People's Records

4100 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Sometimes, it’s not easy to find a Dizzy Gillespie, Eddie Kindricks or Marvin Gaye LP, but you easily can in this music store that specializes in vinyl records. DuShawn Adams recently stopped by to sell some old 45s. “I still play my LPs at home,” she says. “I play my Patti LaBelle, Gladys Knight and Minnie Riperton.”

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Detroit Community Acupuncture

4100 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Nora Madden has made a comfy, affordable place for people to get acupuncture treatments that can help relieve pain, stress and other maladies. In big recliners, people lie back and relax-and often find themselves in for a deep sleep.

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The Turkey Grill Detroit

8290 Woodward Ave., Detroit

Efe Bes loves the fried turkey here so much, he sometimes plays congos right outside the door to draw others here, where the fried turkey wing bites will have you standing in line.

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Nandi's Knowledge Cafe

12511 Woodward Ave., Highland Park

If she has set out to create a home away from home, proprietor Nandi Frye couldn’t have done a better job. Home to a bookstore, art gallery and café that includes a vegan menu, Nandi’s is metro Detroit’s hottest hangout for spoken word on Thursday nights.

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