At the Motown Café and Grill on East Jefferson Avenue one October morning last year, a small group gathers in a booth near the window. The visitors peer out, studying with some interest the wide roadway in front of the diner. Minutes pass between solitary cars. The six lanes of East Jefferson Avenue—as wide as most interstate highways—are for the most part empty.
“For people who do what we do,” says one of the visitors, a man from Ohio, “this city is amazing.” Around the Motown, eyebrows are raised. It is a description that, in recent times, is not often heard here in Detroit.