Twelve Things I’ve Learned So Far (About Grosse Pointe)

I’ve been living in Grosse Pointe for a little over two weeks now. Here are twelve things I’ve learned so far…

1.  The Starbucks in the Village makes a better dry cappuccino than any San Francisco branch. (milk foams better here, too. humidity levels?)

2.  Every second car is an SUV or truck. Every 20th car is a cop car. Every 50th car is foreign.

3.  An unexpected snowstorm in April is magical, revitalizing and cathartic.

snow in april

4.  Detroit-style pizza is going to be the death of me. (If I can’t fit into my swimsuit this summer, I blame you, Buddy’s!)

5.  I can make a perfect grilled cheese on an electric stove. Sushi rice, not so much. Pork cutlets, a struggle. Stove = 2, Me = 1.

stove.grilledcheese6.  Nope, that’s not a cute cottage, that’s a garage.

garage7.  Fire hydrants are red.


8.  Squirrels are creepy.

9.  Japanese beetles are not ladybugs (and they are all over the apartment. and also creepy).

10.  A quarter will get you anywhere from 20 minutes, to and hour and 15 minutes, at a meter (and look at them!).

meters11. Detroit is beautiful.

detroit212.  An after-dinner family walk makes everything better.


Moving Day


Friday was moving day. A big, bright orange van with the words, “San Francisco Bay Area” pulled up in front of the apartment a little after 8:30 in the morning. It took them all day to unload (I think they left at 5:30pm-ish).

My husband said the movers (the same crew moved us out of our SF place) kept commenting on how heavy the boxes were. “In my 35 years on the job, never have I…” and so forth. I did most of the packing. Whoops. But absolutely nothing broke. Except when I dropped part of the espresso machine as I was taking it out of the box. Yeah, well.

The first time I walked through the apartment, I was underwhelmed. No closet in the second bedroom (unless you call a 6-inch deep x 4-foot wide space a closet) and a somewhat similar “closet” in the “master” bedroom. The kitchen was tinier than I thought (and most of the counter space was taken up by a behemoth microwave from the ’80s). And there were dead flies all over the attic (which made the baby cry and want to go home).


Looking at the apartment from the backyard. Second floor.

After my husband arrived (five days after I did), he and Sam the Labrador slept at the apartment, while the girls and I continued to stay with his mom (so much easier to be in a furnished home with a stocked fridge, especially with little ones).

The girls and I still haven’t moved in officially. The fridge and the washing machine are both on the fritz (to be fixed tomorrow). Not to mention the boxes everywhere. But I’m already growing fond of the place. I managed to fit all my cooking stuff (meaning the stuff I didn’t put in storage), save a couple bulky items (slow cooker, mixer), into the tiny kitchen. We figured out solutions for the clothes situation and the attic is a super play area for the girls (and it has air conditioning!).


Me and Sam in the backyard on moving day.

And the backyard. Oh my gosh. Having the girls be able to go downstairs on their own (carpeted, not scary stairwell inside of the house) is a million times better than our situation in San Francisco. And I can see them from the kitchen window. Dream come true.

A lot of our things we allocated for the apartment didn’t fit into the small space. And I kind of love that.  I loved putting books, artwork, clothes, dishes, back into boxes and labeling them “storage.” I loved the process of “no, we don’t need that.” I feel clean. And I feel like, yes, we can move from a 1700-square foot home to an 800-square foot apartment and live to tell about it. Very excited to move in (tomorrow?) and really get this adventure started.



It’s Electric! (aka: GAH!)

electric stove

The stove.

Oh my gosh. I just found out that the stove in our rental apartment (where we’ll stay when we first move to Grosse Pointe) has an electric stove. I’m kind of freaking out. I don’t know what it is, but I have a huge aversion to the electric stove. I see one and I make a funny noise and start backing away with my hands covering my face.

I need to preface this rant by saying that I am first of all grateful beyond words to friends who are renting us the apartment dirt cheap, not to mention having to fix the place up for us and move a houseful of furniture elsewhere, just so we can move in all of OUR crap.

But back to the stove. Cooking is one of the things that makes me happy. And I am going to need to go to my happy place a lot in this apartment, I just know.

Does anyone out there have any tips on how to cook electric?!

How not to burn popcorn, for example? Really, how not to burn anything. Or how to bring a delicate sauce to a slow simmer?  Or how to remember not to put my hand on a hot burner that wouldn’t still be hot if it were a gas stove!