I Visited Royal Oak today for a Holiday luncheon at Trattoria Da Luigi and the The Great Escape Room afterwards. At 12:04 I was able to grab a great parking spot right in front of the The Great Escape Room with 1.5 hrs left on the meter. I felt I had plenty of time to deposit some more quarters after lunch.Shortly after 1:PM I walked back to my vehicle to add some quarters to the meter and found a $50.00 ticket under the wiper blade, the ticket had been issued @ 12:33PM.A faulty meter or ????? ruined what should have been a memorable afternoon. I'm not saying there is something shady going on here (or am I?) but pricing the ticket so that it is easier to just pay it rather than go through the inconvenience of fighting it seems a bit unscrupulous. PS Trattoria Da Luigi was one of the best Italian restaurants I have ever dined at, the food and atmosphere was excellent.The The Great Escape Room was also a great time, I highly recommend it.
When i was a kid/teenager in the mid 90s, I used to go hang out at my brothers dads house who lived right in town of Royal Oak. I remember Royal oak being Hipster. Variety of people on main street, it wasn't always very legit though. You had your Homeless bums, Your blue color mechanics, Drug dealers, Prostitutes, and Goths. Back then anybody could fit in Royal oak. in the late 2000s Royal oak gradually became trendy and is imitating Birmingham. Nothing but Rich fashioned people who spend their money to get wasted. As i grew up and noticed how much this place has changed, its disappointing. They drove away the mid class and the poor and the RO got invaded from the Riches. Resturants and Bars are funny about who they see come in their building. Me and my friend have been rejected of Service for not wearing Classy clothes. Any resturant i go to in a different city i can wear my own clothes and not get hassled. it only happens in Royal Joke. This town is only for the Classy. Sadly Royal oak used to be my Favorite city of Oakland county. But after passed couple years being turned down by the society, its not so much anymore. I hope RO is happy that they pushed one of their long term fans away.
Terrible parking and no handicap spaces. City does not maintain sidewalks and it is a death trap in winter. City cares more about parking meters than citizens well being walking on sidewalks! City hires a team of attorneys to make sure people who are injured are denied. Not worth going, nothing there is worth the risk. Stay away.
I've lived in a lot of cool cities, but Royal Oak, Michigan is by far one of my favorites. On the outside, it looks like any other small city on the rise, but after a little bit of exploration and time, this city truly sits apart from the others around it. It's filled with interesting little shops, trendy restaurants and bakeries, concert venues, and some of the friendliest people in the state.
One of the greatest things about Royal Oak is that even though it looks like a small city, it feels like a big one. With the amount of stuff to do while there, you'll never be bored, yet it's not uncommon for residents to walk into restaurants, bars or stores and have the employees greet them by name. Another great thing about the city is that it's on the rise - even though it doesn't need to be.
Downtown Royal Oak features plenty of parking, so it's easy to take in everything the city has to offer. One of my favorite things to do when heading to an evening concert at Royal Oak Music Hall was to arrive a few hours early, park, and take a walk through the business district, including stopping at one of my favorite bakeries - Taste Love Cupcakes - before heading to the show.
I only lived in Royal Oak, Michigan for a few years after college, but it was a really fun experience. I thought that it was going to be a jarring experience moving from a large city to a smaller one, but I hardly noticed the difference while living in Royal Oak. There was more than enough to see and do, a ton of great people to meet. The only downside of living there was that things were a bit more expensive than I thought they would be in a smaller suburb of Detroit, however the quality of life I experienced while there made the slight increase completely worth it.
You are eligible for a parking ticket in the city of Royal Oak even after paying to park in a public garage. I learned this the hard way in March of 2014 when I returned to my vehicle after a night on the town. Imagine my surprise at receiving a parking ticket on my window in a public garage that I had paid to park in.
I have since learned that the city of Royal Oak makes it a priority to issue as many as it can to fund the city. It's sad to see a municipality so desperate for revenue. Don't beleive the hype about how great a place it is to vist. I doubt if I will ever feel the desire to return.
My family and I have had an overwhelmingly negative experience with the city of Royal Oak. In a nutshell, Royal Oak is only good for the "young and trendy", and anyone who expects to raise a family here should stay away. Just recently has been the forth time I've been victimized while living in the city of Royal Oak, which has been a short stay of only five years.
Now let me give you some background on the area I live in in Royal Oak. I LIVED in the 14 Mile and Main area, quite a few minutes' drive away from where you would think crime would be happening. I paid $185,000 for my house in 2007, it's now as of my last appraisal worth $108,200. Still a little pricey considering how much a house in Ferndale or Warren goes for. It's mostly brick houses through my neighborhood, with wide and open yards that provide for good visibility.
Not somewhere you'd expect crime, right?
Well, the first incident happened two years after I moved in, in 2008. I had been mowing my lawn when my wife called me into the house for lunch. I shut the lawnmower down and set it up against the side of the house and went inside. About ten minutes later, I go outside, only to catch two men in the process of loading my lawnmower into the back of their truck. They quickly packed it up and left after they heard the door shut, and I was not able to stop them.
Not a big deal, things get stolen, was probably my fault for leaving it out on the lawn?
Not exactly. I called the Royal Oak Police and they sent a car out. It took an hour for the police to show up. An hour. I told the officer who showed up what happened, what the guys looked like, what kind of truck they were driving, what the lawnmower looked like, even the first letter of the license plate, but I was told there was nothing I could do besides file a report, and after that they will probably not find the lawnmower anyway. TELL ME, what kind of police work is that?
The second time was in 2009. At that time I had been working at a factory in Monroe, which for those that don't know is an hour drive each way. Therefore I was not then able to stop at my house every day for lunch like I do now. It was actually my wife, who discovered on her lunch break, that the house had been BROKEN INTO. I told her not to call the police (It would have taken me the same amount of time to show up..) and not to go inside and I left work to go back to the house.
When I showed up to the house, the entire sliding door on the back was smashed out. The flatscreen television which was mounted on the wall in the living room was stolen. Both game systems inside the house were taken. The computer was taken. My kids' PIGGY BANKS which had only about $40 of their money total (which they earned *on their own* from hard work and personal incentive) were taken. Our spare garage keys inside the house were taken, and at that, the thieves used the garage keys to unlock the garage and steal my toolbox.
I tried to talk to my neighbor, but he said he saw nothing. Likely story coming from the jobless guy who sits on his back porch all day to not see a burglary in the adjacent backyard after code enforcement fined him for having a vehicle on his front lawn (which he refused to move, hence why he was fined) based on my complaint?
I was victimized for the third time about six or seven months ago when my car was broken into in the parking lot of LA Fitness on Woodward. I had parked there to take my kids to the zoo, which is across the street, and was full to burst parking-wise. When I returned back to the gym parking lot, my door lock had been popped, money was missing from my center console as well as my GPS unit and my wife's sunglasses. This time, I decided to call the cops. Guess what they told me? File a report, but there's not much we can do about it.
Uh, how about get the gym to put in some damn cameras? I read in the newspaper shortly thereafter that the particular gym had been having EIGHT to TWELVE auto burglaries a month for multiple months on end.
So now, it's been two months since the fourth and last time I have been victimized. I fixed up the sliding door, bought a nice new TV, bought my son a brand new game system that was nicer and more expensive than the last one to make up for the piggy banks, replaced my tools, and took the spare garage keys out of the house.
What do you think happened? Just what you would expect. I even came home for lunch that day, as I was working at a much closer job. House seemed fine, I made sure to lock up, pull the curtains shut, close the gate, all of that.
I come back just four hours later after having gone back to work and worked the rest of the day, and what do I find? My side glass door smashed, the entry door kicked in, my kids' new game system had been stolen, the crooks took the time to pound a hole in my bedroom wall with a hammer that was on my dresser. They broke the closet mirror, stole my wife's prescription meds from above the sink, broke the TV stand (which did not have a television on it, but did have a cable box which luckily still worked) and even went so far as to break the toilet seat off and throw it out the bathroom window. To top it all off, they stole the gun which I intended to use in-case one of these thugs happened to break in while my family was home.
And that's when I called my wife and told her to look for houses in Clinton Township. We have not yet found a house, but are staying in an apartment complex in the Twp. Our neighbors have been very pleasant and polite, and I've noticed the number of patrolling officers I see on a daily basis is significantly higher than in Royal Oak.
In a nutshell; the police are no good, they are not very professional, they are not very efficient, and rarely do you see them patrol residential neighborhoods. I feel as though I've wasted my time having any confidence in the Royal Oak PD which is what led me to not report either burglary. I can't complain about city services, code enforcement came out and did their job the one time I complained, trash is always picked up on time. Schools are okay, can't say I had neither a positive or negative experience with the schools, although the fact that the district has no bus service did not sit right with me for a while. Downtown I'd imagine is pretty nice if you're young and social but I'm in my early 30s with a job and a family and a wife and a responsibility to care for my children so I do not have the time or desire to go clubbing, or go to bars every night, or smoke hookah.
So, the ratings
ATTRACTIONS - I gave it one green because there are some pretty significant events and locations around Royal Oak. The Downtown area is very busy, it's a very high demand area to do business (although personally I prefer a more refined, tasteful Downtown such as Clawson or Mount Clemens). The zoo is in Royal Oak, there are a few movie theaters in Royal Oak, Oakland Mall is right outside of Royal Oak. The Dream Cruise runs through Royal Oak every year which is fun to watch every few years. All-in-all it's not a bad spot for entertainment.
COMMUNITY - This is where Royal Oak seriously lacks. First of all, let me start off by saying I was highly disappointed in the neighbors on my street. When I first moved in, the house on the left was owned by a married middle class couple in (I'd say) their fourties with no children. They were social and welcoming, but at the same time kept to their own business and were not nosy or overbearing. They sold it to a young kid about 2 years after I moved in, and in the few encounters I've had with him, I'm not impressed. He's made it a pastime of his to play loud music and smoke marijuana in his backyard at ungodly hours of the night when us working folk are trying to sleep. He's also been very disrespectful to my wife and I on the few occasions he's spoken to us. On the right of my house is the older man who used to park his van on his front lawn before I reported him. He remained very sedentary and did not speak to either me or my wife before the first burglary incident, and we have not spoken since.
Personally I also feel that Royal Oak suffers from a lack of community initiative. There are no community groups that I've seen - where is the Neighborhood Watch? Cleanup Committee? Open House Events? Garden Walk/Home Tour? Closest thing I've seen to a Garden walk or a home tour was the "Downtown Wine Stroll", just a fancy made-up name for a bar crawl, which of course favored the businesses Downtown as if it's all the city government is concerned with. Royal Oak desperately needs community effort groups like these to get their act together. The city DOES NEED them. There is crime in Royal Oak, we should have a neighborhood watch. People vandalize parks, throw trash everywhere, there's elderly folks who can't mow their lawn and could use a free cut, we should have a cleanup committee. And Royal Oak has hundreds of old historical homes that are well taken care of that could be showcased in a home tour.
But no, the city and the community are not willing to put in the time or effort to organize these things. Royal Oak has and has always had the opportunity and potential to be a great city, but the people who make it what it is do not want to put effort into it. There is no community in the city. We are literally a bunch of people who happen to live in the same spot on the planet circumstantially.
NIGHTLIFE - I gave it one green, while I despise many of the bars downtown (pardon my french, they are extremely douchey in every sense of the word), there are a few quality bars around - Duggan's, the Blarney Stone, etc. These are places where REAL MEN go to drink and get a sandwich and watch the game after a hard day at work. I wouldn't be caught dead in Blackfinn.
RESTAURANTS - There are very few quality family restaurants in Royal Oak where you can actually have the feeling of sitting down with your family and having a nice, well cooked meal in a comfortable environment. Many of Royal Oak's restaurants are crowded and loud, the staff often makes mistakes with orders in many of them, and on top of that, look at the ridiculous prices you have to pay there. We've had nicer family dinners at the McDonalds. It got to the point where we would drive to Madison Heights or Warren to go to a quality sit-down restaurant for a meal.
SHOPPING - Once again, this aspect suffers from a lack of family friendly shops. The shopping opportunities are very attractive to the younger generations but I often find myself driving out of Royal Oak to go shopping for everyday things. There are no grocery stores in Royal Oak, just small markets, and the one grocery store that was planned to be built in Royal Oak turned into a snob-like display by the DDA in an attempt to bar it from being built because "the layout did not match the character of Downtown". Meanwhile it's a year later, and the site is still vacant. The shopping market in Downtown Royal Oak pertains mostly to young "urban consious" females clothing. The remaining stock Downtown is mostly second-hand stores and a few cleverly disguised sex shops. Outside of Downtown there is very little shopping at all, there are a few gas stations and local Walgreens stores, but if you actually intend on going shopping for things you NEED - groceries, clothes, shoes, home repair supplies, work supplies, appliances, electronics - you'll find yourself either in Troy or in Madison Heights. Royal Oak can not provide that for you.
One of the best cities that Michigan has to offer is Royal Oak. And I say this wholeheartedly. I am truly in love with the city of Royal Oak. It is almost like a mini Ann Arbor, and it has some of the hottest nightclubs and best shopping in Michigan. It is a city made for beautiful people that love to have fun and are carefree. It is also known as one of the most accepting cities of the gay community in Michigan. Whether you love to shop for vintage or grab a drink at the hottest nightclubs, Royal Oak is the perfect city for you.
I can think of nothing better than to live in Royal Oak as a college student or young professional. This city has everything a student could want. There are amazing art galleries in the neighborhood, which can inspire you on a daily basis. There are tons of cafes and bookstores in the city that would also be perfect for studying. This is truly one of Michigan's finest gems. For people that love to get the most out of life, Royal Oak is truly the place for them. This vibrant city makes Michigan an amazing state.