A little friendly competition is an expert trick to avert first-date jitters, and these giant chess pieces located on the sidewalk outside the 1001 Woodward Building are an easy way to gauge your potential mate’s competitive streak. The vibe around the building is Alice in Wonderland-esque, with massive topiaries and giant throne-like chairs to sit down and dissect your chess game. Grab a coffee afterward at Detroit’s Roasting Plant and proceed to act out every first-date cliche, right down to the awkward, "Do I go in for a kiss, a hug, or a brotherly high five?" dance of dysfunction at the end.
After a rousing game of giant chess, the loser can treat the winner to something cool at Detroit Water Ice Factory, which is just a short stroll away, past the Campus Martius fountain. Founded by local author Mitch Albom, Detroit Water Ice is whipping up its own spin on refreshing, fat-free, dairy-free, and cholesterol-free desserts. One hundred percent of the profits from the store go to help Detroiters in need. Look at you, Mr. Nice Guy. Handsome AND civic-minded!