Dream DOUBLE ACT On a hot musical tour of Chicago and Detroit
it – and the city came back stronger than ever.
Oh, and Chicago did not get its nickname from the gales blowing off Lake Michigan. It actually earned its Windy City title from its long-winded politicians.
I was staying at the Blackstone Hotel, which hosted Capone and his mates back in the day and was used in films such as The Untouchables and The Color of Money.
The food is also a winner. Benny’s Chop House served up the best steak I have ever had while Dusek’s Board and Bar, a Michelin starred restaurant, was unforgettable.
But I was only warming up. Because next stop was 200 miles away in Detroit – which has given us the likes of The White Stripes, Stevie Wonder and banging techno music. And not forgetting rapper Eminem – Eight Mile, the film based on his career, is centred here.
It is also home to Motown, the definitive soul label for the past half century. Taking a tour of the Motown Museum at Hitsville USA is a must.
While there, our excitable tour guide – a singing, clapping, dancing virtuoso – regaled us with tales of Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder and many more global stars.
cessful musician hailing from here is Kid Rock. I visited his music lab, which is worth a trip, even for just the DJ decks, where I was laying down some, ahem, phat beats.
But this city in Michigan owes its fortunes to one man – Henry Ford. His vision turned a shed into a multi-billion dollar industry and saw the city’s population boom.
And the Henry Ford Museum shows off the innovation and spirit of the American people, concentrating on aviation and, of course, cars.
But it does not shy away from the uncomfortable parts of its history. I sat in the bus and on the seat where, in 1955, Rosa Parks refused to move for a white passenger. And I also saw a creepy KKK outfit, which sent shivers down my spine.
If you can, pop to Canada through the Detroit-windsor tunnel, which will cost you about £3. Sadly I didn’t have time – I had to head home. Happily, it was via Norwegian’s spacious Premium lounge.
After a whirlwind week, I was exhausted in the best way. Because both these cities hit the right note. FACTFILE: You can fly to Chicago and back with Norwegian for £280. Or if you are flush with cash, fly Premium for £909 return. Rooms at The Blackstone cost from £142pn, see theblackstone.com. Rooms at MGM Grand in Detroit start from £120pn, see mgmgranddetroit.com.