Unmistakably Detroit

The places and people that make Detroit unique

That One Time I Was Robbed in Detroit….

Riding bikes along the RiverWalk.

Riding bikes along the RiverWalk.

Almost two years ago while on a bike ride along the RiverWalk with my kids, my wallet got stolen from my minivan. Since there was no damage to my van, I assume that I had been distracted by my two kids and our three bikes and forgot to lock the door – and had left my wallet in the van. I know better than to leave a wallet in an unlocked car – but it still sucked. I remember our bike ride being a ton of fun – it was a beautiful sunny August day – perfect hanging out on the RiverWalk and exploring. I didn’t even know my wallet was gone until I started getting calls from my credit card companies while I was driving home. And it was then that a fun day went downhill….

I wanted to blog about the experience when it happened – but how would it not be just another story about something shitty happening in the D? Or another “Detroit tip” to not be stupid and make sure you lock your doors and don’t leave your wallet in your car? I love to tell positive stories about Detroit, but I felt like I couldn’t honestly turn this one into something positive. So I kept silent. I got all my credit cards canceled, moved on and didn’t hold this one infraction against the whole city. These things just happen.

Then something else happened.  A couple weeks ago I learned that Facebook automatically filters messages that it thinks are spam – so I followed the steps to retrieve all my long-lost filtered messages. There were almost 10 years worth of messages in this “hidden” folder. Most of them were junk, but then I saw a message from Elise Simon. I don’t know Elise, but something made me click on the message to see what it was – and here is what I found:

good morning. My name is Elise Simon. Yesterday on August 3rd 2014, I found some items on the ground that I believe belong to Ms. Elizabeth Carson. I was in downtown Detroit near Miliken State Park which is the park near Chene Park. Feel free to call me at…..”

Holy crap!!!! Elise had found my stuff!! Even though I had canceled all my cards almost two years ago, I still wanted to reach out to her so I sent her a message and got a response back within a couple hours.  She STILL HAD MY CARDS!!! She had kept them safe for me for almost two years. I also learned that she had found another woman’s stuff in the pile with mine and had contacted her as well and was able to return that woman’s stuff right away.

Elise and I had chatted back and forth a bit via Messenger. I told her about my Unmistakably Detroit blog, she told me about the music festival named Charavari (which was why she was on the RiverWalk that same day in August). We learned that we both love the City of Detroit.

And that’s when this became a story that I wanted to share. Because I no longer needed to add some sort of fake positive spin. I now have a real one. Yes, bad things happen – in Detroit and everywhere. But there are awesome people out there. And I like to believe that some of the most awesome people happen to live right here in Detroit. I can’t wait to meet Elise at Charavari this summer!

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