Detroit 2011: Some of Its Greatest Hits

By Brian O’Connor
2011 Conference Chair
 
Now that we’ve selected Detroit to host the 2011 conference*, Motown is preparing a selection of its greatest hits.
 
While dates haven’t been set and all plans are subject to change (your mileage may vary, as the Big Three say), the city that put the world on wheels is ready to put on a show for the NSNC.
 
Right now we plan to visit Hitsville, USA, the original Motown Records Studio, as well as the famous Ford Rouge Complex, the largest integrated factory in the world when it was built in 1917, and now one of the greenest in the world.
 
We also expect to visit the famous open-air art installation the Heidelberg Project, and columnists can decide for themselves who serves the best Detroit-style hotdogs in the throw-down between the warring families of Lafayette Coney Island vs. American Coney Island. In August, the Food Channel declared American Coney the winner, but I prefer the ambience at Lafayette. A sample of recent dialogue when I ordered two Coney burgers:
 
Counter man: You want chili?
 
O’Connor: Are they better with chili?
 
Counter Man: Everything’s better with chili!
 
And this, friends, is why Motown ranks 27th on Men’s Health magazine’s 2010 list of “America’s Fattest Cities.”
 
For our Thursday night kick-off reception, two Detroit News columnists have graciously offered to entertain us. The winner of last year’s Online Column contest, Donna Terek, will host the reception at PJ’s Lager House, the famous Detroit dive bar she owns with her husband. Meanwhile, former (bought-out) News editor and columnist Luther “Badman” Keith wants to have his Luther Keith Blues Band show us how to get down in downtown.
 
Hotels are submitting bids, recommendations are being taken for the Lifetime Achievement award, and ideas for a stimulating line-up of panels are being collected. If you have questions, suggestions or comments, send them to boconnor@detnews.com.
 
(*LEGAL NOTICE: Conference fee will not include tax, tags, title, & dealer fees extra on all offers, and with credit approval. Special financing may not be able to be combined with factory rebates. Offers expire summer 2010 or while supplies last. Conference pictured is intended to be a general representation, and may not be the exact model year, series, or color available for the above offer at the time of delivery.)

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