The first installment of Geek’s Dream Girl’s Great Dates in 50 States series is written by Matt.
Matt is a gamer that lives in Michigan and has some great ideas for dates in the Detroit area. From traditional Ethiopian dining to crazy inventions to stepping back in time, the Detroit area has a lot to offer those seeking a great date.
The Blue Nile
“Experience the elegance of a traditional Ethiopian feast” says The Blue Nile’s website. With locations in Ann Arbor, Ferndale, and Trenton, The Blue Nile serves traditional Ethiopian fare. This restaurant is unique because you can see how your date reacts to new cuisine and sharing a common platter. According to their website, “significant in the Ethiopian culture is eating from the same plate and sharing the same bread (called injera). It is said that people who eat from the same plate and break bread together will create a bond of friendship and personal loyalty.”
Part of The Henry Ford Museum, Greenfield Village is great for the history geek. If you like Renaissance Fairs, this is the old timey America version (minus the alcohol and wenches – sorry!). Depending on the time of year, different events are held. The Christmas Nights event going on currently is much like stepping into a Norman Rockwell painting. If your date is a history geek, she will love it. If she’s a party girl, she will hate it. If you’re not sure where she falls, it’s a great geek litmus test.
Palazzo di Bocce
This is a great double date. It’s a nice place to eat and you get to play a leisurely game of bocce ball. Sometimes called lawn bowling, bocce is a bit like playing horseshoes or shuffleboard, except with heavy ceramic balls. (You can also gauge her sense of humor to see if she makes the obvious jokes.)
Also, because it’s an indoor sport, you can play bocce any time of year – even when Michigan is covered in snow and ice. If you want to eat there, the restaurant’s menu is traditional Italian cuisine. Eat and play in one place!
Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum
This is where you get to crank up the geek. Marvin’s is an orgy of mechanical wonders and video games from all eras. While there are lots of old school machines, you’ll find modern toys too. (Don’t worry – you can get your DDR fix here!)
There’s even a machine that will test your ability to withstand electric shock. Prove your manliness – or lack thereof – to your date! Check the website for tons of pictures and lists of the things you’ll find at Marvin’s.
Detroit Film Theater
This is not your typical movie theater! A great place for film geeks, the Detroit Film Theater shows art films, foreign films, and restorations. Try to arrive early so you can get a glass of wine at the concession stand and chat before the movie starts. The Fall 2008 series of films (which continues through mid-January) coincides with the Detroit Institute of Art exhibit Monet to Dali: Modern Masters from the Cleveland Museum of Art. A great date for artsy geeks – and a good second date is a trip to the museum to discuss the connection between the film and the art.
The Detroit Riverwalk
Since the old cliche of walking along the beach doesn’t work in Detroit, the next best thing is walking along the river. It’s a little cold for that at this time of year. In warmer months, I recommend Diamond Jack’s River Tours. It’s a two-hour guided tour of the river and is great for those new to town or who want to learn more about Detroit. Snacks and drinks area available on board – but bring cash; they don’t take credit cards.
Gibraltar Trade Show
e and I went here on one of our first dates and we had a blast. For only a few dollars admission, you can wander the sea of booths selling everything from sports memorabilia to antiques to funnel cakes to tattoos. (Why anyone would get a tattoo at a flea market is beyond us.)
It’s doubtful you’ll find anything worth buying, but it’s an interesting view on humanity and the idea that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Want a fuzzy painting, a giant fountain with panthers, or some old photographs of people you don’t know? Want a tattoo? Want to laugh at people buying those things? Gibraltar is a cheap and entertaining way to spend an hour or two with your geek girl.
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