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Act now: Detroit's winter won't last forever (really, it won't)





Blink and you'll miss some of the best Detroit has to offer in winter (well, winter in the traditional sense, not the "February is 13 months long" Michigan version). Here are few things you do not want to let pass you by.

1. A little something from Hugh -- Hugh is a shop for the swanky bachelor, or at least a guy who wants to look like he's one. Expect good design and super cool home and personal accessories. Expect many things at affordable prices. Just don't expect to find Hugh around for long. This is store with an expiration date. Short-term retail is a national trend, and proprietor and occasional Model D contributor Joe Posch, who also runs the Mezzanine online store, says it has its definite advantages. "It's like being the new face at the party. Everyone wants to meet you," he says. The store is set up in the same building as Centaur -- the Iodent Building -- behind the Fox Theatre. Look for hip bar ware, vintage Playboys, and other items a discerning gentleman might want under his tree. Hugh is at 2233 Park Ave. Call 313-887-0900.

2. Admire the Lafayette Building -- The Lafayette Building downtown has been empty for a more than a decade. In that time it has grown both admirers and a poplar tree that sprouted through its roof. The City of Detroit has decided to tear down the 1923 building, and demolition has already begun. So before there's a lot of new elbowroom near the city's epicenter of Coney Islands -- American and Lafayette share the block -- take a moment to appreciate the old girl, and bid her adieu. A great way to preserve the memory is with one of Detroit photographer Dante Stella's prints. Stella's images capture the beauty of the building, which was designed by C. Howard Crane, who also designed the Fox Theatre. The black and white prints are available framed and unframed at Bureau of Urban Living, 460 W. Canfield in Midtown.

3. Balduck sledding/Clark Park hockey -- There's a hallowed winter tradition on the East Side. Near St. John Hospital's Moross campus, the hill at Balduck Park is the place to be for sledding and even some light snowboarding. The park is at 5271 Canyon. Once a few inches snow falls, the hill is crawling with sleds. Way over on the other side of town, winter means ice skating and hockey. Southwest Detroit's Clark Park hosts a youth hockey league through the Clark Park Coalition. Clark Park is at 1500 Scotten St.

4. Avedon at the Detroit Institute of Arts -- The study of Richard Avedon's fashion photography is only at the DIA until January 17. The remarkable collection of 50 years worth of photos include iconic, vintage pictures from the Avedon Estate. Don't miss this one.

5. Sunday shopping at Detroit Artists Market -- The DAM gallery is great year round. But the winter holidays are the best time of year to get the whole DAM shopping experience, because so many artists -- 120 -- have work to buy. The holiday offerings include jewelry, glass, metal, ceramic, photography, accessories, paintings, drawings, sculpture, books, cards, framed prints, and more. A lot of it is crazy affordable and certain editors of certain online magazines love the jewelry counter, especially. During December, DAM is open on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m., in addition to the usual gallery hours (11 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday). Detroit Artists Market is at 4719 Woodward Ave.

6. Holiday treats from Avalon International Breads -- The Midtown bakers roll out some awesome goodies this time of year: molasses crinkles, Chene Ferry chocolate cherry cookies, brown sugar-pecan shortbread, peppermint patty brownies, frosted gingerbread cake, and vegan chocolate/mint snack cake. And on December 12, as part of the Shop Detroit events, Avalon is donating 10 percent of the day's proceeds to Alternative For Girls. They will be doing sampling, taking orders for gift baskets (feel free to send me one) and offering dough-saving promotions all day. Tip: If they have the sea salt chocolate chip cookies, you need one or a dozen of them, too. Avalon is at 422 W. Willis in Midtown. 6 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Call (313) 832-0008.

7. and 8. Pewabic and City Bird ornaments -- Any Christmas-celebrating Detroitista must have these two holiday ornaments: a Pewabic tile and a City Bird bulb. Pewabic tiles are classic Detroit; City Bird is the new guard. Siblings Andy and Emily Linn recently opened the City Bird shop in Midtown. They offer a clear glass bulb with the black paper cutout of the Renaissance Center. Over on East Jefferson, Pewabic Pottery continues to create pieces of Detroit history, including some small ones meant for tree trimming, like a set of ornaments illustrating the "Twelve Days of Christmas." Perhaps nothing's more perfect than a Pewabic partridge in a pear tree. City Bird is at 460 W. Canfield, in Midtown and is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday. Pewabic Pottery's store is at 10125 E. Jefferson in the Villages. Hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday, with extended holiday Sunday hours noon-6 p.m. this month.

Clare Pfeiffer Ramsey is editor of Model D. Send feedback here. Do you have a favorite winter in the city thing we missed? Post it on our Facebook page.

Photos courtesy of Dante Stella (Lafayette Building), City Bird (glass ornament), Pewabic Pottery (ceramic ornament), the Ramsey family archives (sledding).

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