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154 Southwest Detroit Articles | Page: | Show All

Upstart Boat Magazine creates Detroit issue

It was a lazy month for London ad agency owners Davey and Erin Spens. The pair, fascinated by magazines and travel, took an unusual vacation -- renting an office in Sarajevo, bringing their two coworkers along to pen a magazine offering readers a true glimpse of the formerly war-torn city.

After some help from writer Dave Eggers, who introduced the first issue of Boat Magazine with one of his short stories, the pair are at it again. They came to Detroit to produce their second issue -- a $12 "antidote to lazy journalism," printed on beautiful matte paper, with an article from Jeffrey Eugenides and interviews with Ben Wallace, Alex Winston and Jessica Hernandez.

We found one excerpt, a photo essay on Detroit food, in The Guardian:

We headed down there on a Saturday morning to find a bustling area filled with vegetable stalls, and thousands of people from all over Detroit and the surrounding states shopping for produce for home or business. The must-haves are the ribs from Berts, but we were as taken by the market across the freeway, with its walls painted in murals of meat, fish and cheese, which are sold inside.

Buy it here

Record amount of diners swarm fall Detroit Restaurant Week

There's just no stopping Detroit Restaurant Week.

Event producers Paxahau reported that the 10-evening dining promotion lured 36,046 gourmands to 21 restaurants across the city of Detroit, an 18.4 percent increase over 2010. It's the second-largest tally ever for the $28 prix fixe dining bonanza, which has counted 150,000 customers since launching five years ago.

"We are pleased the enthusiasm Metro Detroiters have for Detroit Restaurant Week has continued to grow over the years," said Jason Huvaere, Director of Detroit Restaurant Week. "It has been a terrific way for our community to experience the tremendous fine dining restaurants Detroit has to offer. With each campaign we hope we’re developing a new crop of customers who will frequent the restaurants all year long."

Stay tuned for the announcement for a Spring 2012 Detroit Restaurant Week date and more here.

Tour De Troit helps make Detroit more bike-friendly

Close to 4,500 bikers made the Motor City a two-wheeled adventure course for a day on Sept. 24; choosing a police-escorted 30-mile jaunt through Detroit's streets or a whopping 62-mile slog from the tour's home base at Roosevelt Park (check out Tour De Troit wrap-ups from the News, Freep and MLive).

Tour De Troit's explosive growth (it drew less than 50 cyclists for its first outing in 2002) mirrors the bicycle's increasing popularity as an accepted form of transportation in the D. A growing network of greenways and bike lanes, wide avenues and more tours have helped grow cycling by 192 percent in the past ten years.


"(Riding a bike) shows the city on a human scale, and you see a lot of detail that you wouldn't see when you were in an automobile," said Bill Lusa, 37, director for the tour. Lusa, who lives in Woodbridge, uses his bike to commute to places around the city. "It's not always about smashing the system and ending the automotive hegemony," he said. "It's about having fun and being in slightly better shape."

More available here.

Photography exhibit reveals city's contradictions

It's quite the contradiction that Detroit, a city of more than 700,000 residents, is often photographed as if it were totally empty. That's what inspired Nancy Barr to curate Detroit Revealed: Photographs, 2000-2010, which opens Oct. 16 at the DIA. Enough of the abandoned buildings -- Detroit Revealed draws on a mix of home-based and out-of-town photogs to document life in the city; workers in the Ford Rouge Plant, children and immigrant gardens.


Great photography is not only about good technique; it's also about access to people and places that are unique to a particular community. I would welcome more work that takes into consideration the diversity of our city, its people and the culture, by photographers from all types of backgrounds. Their perspectives would (and will) enrich Detroit's photographic legacy and identity.

Slide show and more available here.

Court: 555 Gallery can display boosted Banksy mural

After spending much of the past year in storage, a mural completed by famous graffiti artist Banksy will be on display at the 555 Gallery as early as November.

The painting, which depicts a boy holding a can of red paint, alongside the words, "I remember when all this was trees," was removed by gallery artists from the Packard Plant in May 2010. 555 Gallery, in contest with the owners of the Packard Plant, won clear title to the piece for a mere $2,500 -- a fraction of its estimated $100,000 worth. It's the culmination of a saga which pitted graffiti purists, arguing that place is intrinsic to the meaning of the mural, against preservationists, who contended the removal saved Banksy's work from certain destruction.


The controversy itself has now become part of the accrued meaning of the mural -- what Becky Hart, associate curator of contemporary art at the Detroit Institute of Arts, calls "a patina of narrative."

"The piece is different now that it's not in its original location," said Hart. "But part of the meaning is its accrued locations. 555 entered into that dialogue about abandonment and re-use when they relocated the piece."

Read more here.

Fast Company takes a bite of Detroit SOUP

What can a shared meal of soup teach us about brand loyalty and market growth? Plenty. At Detroit SOUP, a monthly shared dinner where participants pay $5 to hear new ideas from the community before voting funds to the crowd favorite, democracy and community concern are the buzzwords. A new article from Fast Company calls SOUP an example for companies, not just concerned citizens; noting the co-creativity spawned by having the right guests to dinner, so to speak, is the future of crowdsourcing.


Back in Michigan, Detroit SOUP co-founder Kate Daughdrill is putting these principles into practice: "We're figuring out how to engage civically, how to be engaged citizens," she explains. "We've been excited to create this practical experience in democracy. Brands that embrace this mindset will experience deeper engagement, richer collaboration on innovation opportunities and the gratification of shared value creation.

Sample the article here.

New doc: Detroit in Overdrive

The Discovery Channel's new miniseries, Detroit in Overdrive, appearing on Planet Green, digs in deep. While familiar faces like Motor City Denim's Joe Faris and Kid Rock get their due, this vid searches out the "tangible faces behind those big buildings" for the three-part special, which originally aired Aug. 4. That means Maria's Comida, the Sphinx Organization and CCS student and designer Veronika Scott are among the long list of the city's community members and do-gooders sharing the spotlight with Detroit's superstars. We like it.


The Russell Industrial center functions as a community space for artists, craftspeople, and small businesses. Edith Floyd stands up for what she believes in by building an urban garden where abandoned houses once stood. Last, Kristyn Koth and Malik Muqaribu feed Detroiters in their 1956 Airstream, the Pink Flamingo, bringing fresh organic food to Detroiters in a unique mobile food truck, spearheading a local food movement.

Find out more about Detroit in Overdrive here.

Young Broke & Beautiful: The new IFC series gets wild in the D

"Young, Broke & Beautiful" -- there's no way a TV show aiming for that demographic could pass up a night in our fair city. This intrepid series from the Independent Film Channel spotlights indie culture and creators across the nation. Their hour-long travelogue on the D makes friends with plenty of our favorite people and places, from the Imagination Station and DJ Kyle Hall to late-night parties and Coneys (natch).


Stuart will pull the Scion into the most beautiful, broken down parking lot in the world. There's no doubt that all these YBB's will know where the dopest, most off the chain, unsanctioned warehouse party is happening, and Stuart will find himself closing down the night, partying with his people.

IFC will rerun the Detroit episode all week, beginning Tuesday at 6 p.m. Find out more about the channel's tour Detroit here.

SDBA honors the heroes, movers and shakers of Southwest

What do longtime activist and casino investor Jane Garcia, state representative Rashida Tlaib, and Slow's BBQ have in common? They are just a few of the honorees of this year's Community Investment Breakfast, sponsored by Southwest Detroit Business Association. The event, themed "The Detroit of the Future: Built One Community at a Time," will be emceed by Fox 2's Huel Perkins, and feature remarks from Dave Bing and Henry Ford Hospital's Dr. John Popovich. Belda Garza, The Ideal Group's Frank Venegas and the City of Detroit's Brad Dick will also be recognized for their leadership and support of the Southwest community.

The event will be held at The Display Group, located at 1700 West Fort Street. Tickets are $50. Visit the SDBA website to learn more, or click here to purchase tickets.

Michigan Koreans advocate choosing Detroit

This gem of a link comes from Sandra Yu, program manager at Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice. An MIT grad who chose to return to Detroit (and couldn't be happier about the decision), Yu authored eight reasons why the Korean population of Michigan should embrace Detroit, and then turned to some of her friends for their say. The article's printed in Korean, but scroll down to read what Yu, Sean Mann, Sheu-Jane Gallagher, Leor Barak, and other city dwellers have to say about what this town's given back to them.


Detroit is the ideal city for the immigrant spirit. A century ago, Detroit was 33% foreign-born, mostly immigrants from Europe and the Middle East. During the Great Migration that spanned 55 years from 1915 to 1970, 6 million African Americans fleeing brutal conditions in the South migrated to Northern cities like Detroit searching for a better life and a fair chance for themselves and their children. Now, immigrants from Latin America make up the only growing demographic in the City of Detroit, and have created one of the densest, most vibrant districts in the city. Detroit is not a city that is kind to the lazy, the selfish, or those who feel entitled. It is a city for the entrepreneurial, the creative, the hardworking, the determined. If you are adventurous, engaged and committed, there is a community in Detroit that will embrace you, make you one of their own and give you a say, whether you are an artist, an activist, a farmer, an inventor, or an entrepreneur.

Read this collection of quotes and thoughts on choosing Detroit here.

Patton Park in Southwest Detroit gets famous soccer sod from the Silverdome

Southwest Detroit's Patton Park just got an upgrade and some famous sod. The grass from the AC Milan and Panathinaikos FC soccer game on Aug. 6 has a new home at this SW Detroit park.

Excerpt from the Detroit News:

A crew of volunteers, soccer players and fans will remove the sod today from the Silverdome that was used for a recent professional soccer game and transplant it to Patton Park in southwest Detroit.

About 30,000 fans saw a match between AC Milan and Panathinaikos FC at the Silverdome on Aug. 6. The sod used for the field will become a third soccer field at Patton Park, which is home to numerous local soccer teams.

"We are very excited about this new field and grateful to everyone who made this possible," said Latino World's Soccer League president Luis Garcia. "Soccer is huge in southwest Detroit and this new field will help our league serve the young people of our community."

Read the entire article here.

Latino businesses flourishing in Soutwest Detroit, on All Things Considered

Southwest Detroit is arguably the city's strongest neighborhood. The rundown of Detroit's stat sheet may not be exactly sterling, but if you look into Southwest, and Mexicantown, you'll find flourishing small businesses.

Excerpt from NPR:

With a stratospheric unemployment rate and major job loss throughout Detroit, it seems there's no room for small businesses to thrive.

But despite the city's severe economic problems, it appears its Hispanic business community is flourishing.

Detroit's Latino population has more than doubled in the past 10 years. Mexicans came in droves during the 1990s and continue to trickle in. There are roughly 400,000 Latinos in Michigan; half of them live in Detroit. Many work in construction, landscaping and the service industry. But hundreds have opened food-related businesses.

Listen to the broadcast here.

Luring immigrants should be a strategy for Detroit

It's been well-documented the benefits of having a healthy immigrant population. They start companies, they diversify the economy, and they put the money back into the community. Just look at Southwest Detroit or Hamtramck's Bangladeshi Avenue, which you may know as Conant. Detroit's immigrant is only at 4.8 percent, while the nationally that number is 12.5. That means there's room to improve... and you know us here in Detroit have space.

Excerpt from the Detroit News:

Bring us your fired-up, your hungry-to-succeed, your Ph.D.s. Bring us your entrepreneurial foreign born, who were 189 percent more likely to start a business in 2008 than those of us born stateside.

For decades, Detroit's ethnic populations have migrated to the suburbs, while new immigrants largely bypass the city.

The trend is national, but it's acute in Detroit, the city that once teemed with immigrants. The region now has an immigrant population of 12.5 percent, which mirrors the national average. Detroit's is about 4.8 percent.

Those are among the findings from a draft of "Global Detroit," a study backed by foundations and industry types and shepherded by former state Rep. Steve Tobocman. The southwest Detroit resident spent a year researching how to unleash new energy in Metro Detroit.

"No American city has had population gains without immigration," says Tobocman, whose grandfather came to Detroit from Poland a century ago.

Read the entire article here.

WARM Training Center, Arts & Scraps, Green Garage named Michigan Green Leaders

The Detroit Free Press put together an independent panel of judges to sift through 350 nominees for Michigan's Green Leaders for 2010. There are groups, schools, and activist from across the state represented in the winners. And, a few of which, are from right here in Detroit. Congratulations to the WARM Training Center, Arts & Scraps, and the Green Garage for their recognition.

Check out the entire list of winners here.

Windsor looks to Southwest Detroit as model for saving a neighborhood

Windsor is looking at the Hubbard-Richard neighborhood, just east of the bridge, for models to help with its own area by the bridge.


But the most powerful tool that Hubbard-Richard now wields is the momentum of a rebuilt community. Houses, apartments, townhouses, a commercial district on Vernor Avenue -- this is investment that is much more expensive and difficult for the bridge to buy up.

People are part of that momentum, said Wendler, "and we've got a vested interest. If the bridge company comes in and starts that crap, we'll push back. We'll organize buyers."

Bagley had some practical advantages. A lot of the land was vacant. The city owned more than the bridge and was happy to sell to Bagley. Ste. Anne Church, the second oldest parish in the U.S. and an anchor in the community, with 800 families, was a formidable obstacle.

Still, this was a poor, crime-ridden wasteland in a city with a lot of problems. What its reinvention really took was commitment.

If this community can wrest its neighbourhood from the bridge, surely Windsor can. The question is the same: Is this neighbourhood worth saving? The means are the same: commitment.

Read the entire article here.
154 Southwest Detroit Articles | Page: | Show All
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