Many of Detroit’s independent stores are colorful places. I’ve seen them painted in eye squinting golds, lively reds, bold greens, and other eye-catching hues such as royal blue. The small businesses have contrasting letters splashed across the bright buildings that promote a particular business or service. Most of the places feature professionally lettered messages. Others are grass-root, non-professional hand painted signs that have been squeezed onto the building.
There are also simple white buildings with black or red letters lining the city streets. Some are rather stark and feature three or four words only, using only a few letters boldly painted on the side of a one-color building. All of these small businesses, regardless of the exterior paint color, advertise auto parts, tires, car washes, food, liquor, appliances, fish, and just about anything else people may need or want.
These colorful businesses can be found from one end of the city to the other. On my bicycle rides I’ve seen them in peaceful well-maintained neighborhoods; stuck in small spaces in shabby shopping centers; on busy roads that run through heavy industrial areas; and wide commercial streets that crisscross the city. With their vibrant colors and bold messages, they are not hard to miss. Check them out in your travels.
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