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Signal-Return letterprint store unwraps for Eastern Market holiday shopping

Detroit's new letterprint shop, Signal-Return, opens its doors to the public Dec. 2. The Eastern Market storefront will sell hand-printed stationary, books, posters and more; sourced from independent producers across the world and right here in the D. Local artists include Bryan Baker, Susan Goethel Campbell, I.T.U., Leon Johnson, Don Kilpatrick III, Emily Linn, and Megan O'Connell.

Kicking off the new store, Leon Johnson will head a workshop introducing bookbinding and letterprinting for 10 artists from Friday, Dec. 2 thru Sunday, Dec. 4. And on Jan. 4, the writer and artist Alison Knowles will exhibit her array of books, poems and scores; as well as her recent experiments and manipulations with cyanotypes and prints.

Signal-Return will be open for good, from Wed.- Sat, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 1345 Division St. in Eastern Market. Join their group on Facebook to keep abreast of all the updates -- and happy shopping this holiday season.

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
.

Detroit, an artistic paradise

This LA Times' trip to Detroit found an "artistic haven" of old structures, committed art dealers and vibrant examples of how community and culture intersect.

From the DIA, which the writer calls "America's most overlooked major museum," to the sculpture park outside the College for Creative Studies, and even a stop at Heidelberg, this travelogue details a city teeming with creativity. Russell St. Deli, Cafe D'Mongo's, Cass Cafe, and yes, Slows, were a few of the destinations the LA Times raved about.

Excerpt:

When I asked his inspiration, Guyton responded with questions of his own: "What is art today?" "Does it have to be in a museum?" "How do you revitalize a neighborhood?" "How do you get people to come to Detroit despite what they've heard?"

One of Guyton's motifs is New York taxis, painted on plywood boards. "A lot of people think you have to go to New York to make it," he said. "I'm saying I can make it right here, and I will. Watch me. I'm just getting started."

Find out more 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.

Signal-Return and AIGA host first letterprint workshop

Signal-Return, Detroit's first retail store dedicated to fhe fine art of letterprint press, will host its premier workshop, with a holiday theme, on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10-11. Hosted with AIGA Detroit, the Holiday Style workshop will offer only 12 registrants the opportunity to produce holiday-themed cards on vintage equipment with custom envelopes and paper. The workshop will focus on hand-compositing movable wood and metal type, locking-up, and printing.

The cost is $180 for AIGA members and $220 for the rest of us.

Find out more here.

Next Urban Chef contest chops off at Eastern Market

This year's MI Apple Gala, a benefit for Eastern Market, will offer patrons a new twist -- the chance to witness the city's first Next Urban Chef competition. It's all taking place Oct. 14 at Shed 3 in the market (click here for tickets).

Recycle Here!'s Matthew Naimi says the live cook-off will raise awareness of Detroit's "food shed," the local fresh food system extending through Ontario, southeast Michigan and northern Ohio (of which Eastern Market is the hub). Supino Pizzeria owner Dave Mancini will face-off against Phil Jones, the former executive chef at Lola's and incoming chef at Colors Detroit. The two chefs will be supported by a team of non-professional Detroiters both young and old, including several DPS students mentored as cooking assistants.

"This is as much about the chefs as it is about the youth that are involved," Naimi says. "We really are trying to show youth in the city of Detroit, especially, that there are careers in the food system -- from cooking and fine dining to producing food, processing food or growing food. It's all part of our food shed."

Here's how it works. Each team will receive an ingredient box of produce, meats, grains and spices (all from food shed producers). They'll have an hour to produce a unique meal, judged on the merits of innovation, creativity, taste and presentation.

The Next Urban Chef contest is just the beginning of a series, Naimi says. He says Mancini and Jones' community work made them natural choices for the first head-to-head challenge. "Dave has helped a lot of the small food groups get started with his kitchen, and by being a very giving person," he says. "And Phil Jones did a lot of work with the Food Policy Council. And his work with the Colors kitchen lends itself to working with youth and others."

Bite into more here.

Detroit's first Food Truck Stop gears up in Shed 2

Call it a drag race for gourmands. Celebrating the birth of the food truck craze in the Motor City, Eastern Market is opening its doors to six SE Mich food trucks in Shed 2. Hailing from Lansing, Ann Arbor, Oakland County and the good old D, foodies will be able to taste a range of four-wheeled cuisines -- from Asian-inspired fare to tacos and coffee and crepes.

Experience Detroit's first truck stop meet-up and witness entrepreneurship in action on Sept. 27 from 4 to 8 p.m.

Hungry for more? Check out the Facebook page.

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.

Excerpt:

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.

Kresge honoree Scott Hocking: "Detroit is on a threshold"

Long before "ruin porn" became a fashionable hobby, artists like our own Scott Hocking risked life and limb (not to mention, arrest) to explore broken-down and abandoned buildings, which became the subjects for his documentary photography and site-specific installations.

Hocking, a 2011 Kresge Award Winner, reveals much in this interview with Sarah Margolis-Pineo, herself a curator at the Cranbrook Art Museum. It's a look within the eye of the artist -- touching on everything from Hocking's passion for abandoned buildings, to his place in Detroit's rich history of D.I.Y creators.

Excerpt:

Everybody, myself included, who has been making artwork in the city hasn't had resources to do anything but making with what you have. Sometimes you're living in squalor and trying to scrape by… The Cass Corridor people got a lot of notoriety, but shit, there were artists in the 1980s living inside the Broderick Tower and Fort Wayne, and had studios in random skyscrapers that were virtually vacant because no one could afford to do anything in there. These artists may have not gotten the same attention, but that lineage is all the same--trying to use the spaces that have been neglected because creative people see potential there.

Read the interview 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).

Excerpt:

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.

Bullish on the Brewster Projects

Only in 2008 were the Brewster Homes, located near the junction of I-75 and I-375, formally abandoned. Four of the six towers constructed in 1993 remain, along with several rowhouses and low-rise buildings. The 15-acre site, which straddles Brush Park, Eastern Market and downtown Detroit, are a tough sell -- consider the cost of demolishing the towers, a $3 million price tag and the clearance needed from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to make the sale. Yet Midtown's strong development clip has some local real estate experts speculating about the possible investment potential of the Brewster site.

Excerpt:

But Bieri thinks the site has potential -- good visibility, and proximity to Midtown. "One of the issues in Detroit is trying to acquire sites of size without strings attached, because there are so many issues with regard to quiet title, or redevelopment districts with strings attached," he said. "If the site were actually available with no strings attached, it could be a viable opportunity for developers."

Find out more here.

Vacation buzz: our favorite links from the past two weeks

Model D took a break last week to celebrate the holiday, but a city like Detroit never sleeps. If you're just back from Up North or the beach, here are a few of our can't-miss links to catch up on what went down over Fourth of July weekend.

The New York Times sang the praises of the city's young and entrepreneurial dreamers, writing, "These days the word "movement" is often heard to describe the influx of socially aware hipsters and artists now roaming the streets of Detroit. Not unlike Berlin, which was revitalized in the 1990s by young artists migrating there for the cheap studio space, Detroit may have this new generation of what city leaders are calling "creatives" to thank if it comes through its transition from a one-industry (town)." Are we becoming a Midwestern TriBeCa? Read more here.
Or, wait a minute: aren't we already the next Brooklyn? Check that out down the page.

Microfinancing Detroit: Kiva Detroit, a partnership between Michigan Corps, the Knight Foundation, San Fran-based Kiva.org and microlender Accion USA, together raised over $11,000 in just three hours to help fund five start-up businesses in the city. The site allows supporters to pledge loans for as little as $25. Click here for details.

Will a battle for designing the Detroit of the future derail the momentum of the present? The Wall Street Journal writes of a rift between the City of Detroit and the Kresge Foundation that could have serious implications for arguably the two most important initiatives of 2011. "Kresge stopped funding Detroit Works at the start of the year after disagreements with City Hall over the role of outside consultants. The foundation also is rethinking its support for the rail line amid a separate spat with city officials." Say it isn't so. Read the rest of the story is here.

Here's one bright spot: Amidst a gloomy June economic report, BNET reports Detroit continues to hire both white and blue-collar workers, calling the domestic auto industry a "micro-recovery." We're sure glad to hear it, though we'd rather be cycling in the city. More information here.


Head to Eastern Market for new Tuesday shopping days

More fresh food and fun awaits during a new day of shopping at Eastern Market. From July 12 through Sept. 27, Shed 2 of the open-air marketplace will be open to the public -- a great way stock up on eats while avoiding the Saturday crowds. Stop by every Tuesday this summer from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Shed 2 is located at the corner of Russell and Winder streets.

Excerpt:

"Detroit Eastern Market Tuesdays" will feature a sampling our historic Saturday Market experience though the inclusion of farmers, flowers, produce dealers, specialty products, and prepared-food vendors. In addition, "Tuesdays" will be a weekly community celebration including special events highlighting the agricultural, social, culinary, and artistic treasures of our city, region, and state.

Find out more here.

Detroit's journey from mean to green wins admiration from the Times

"The gardens are everywhere," writes food scribe Mark Bittman in a moving editorial in the New York Times Opinionator blog. His chronicle of a visit to our city describes Detroit's burgeoning food movement powered by the breadth of our residents' imagination -- and the belief that only we will turn this city around. Local food in public schools. The Peaches & Greens produce truck. And acres and acres of cultivated land, harvesting not only food, but a key to this city's future. If the journey is as important as the destination, Bittman concludes, Detroit's back-to-basics green revival is already a success story.

Excerpt:

As Jackie Victor, co-owner of the Avalon Bakery, an unofficial meeting place for the Detroit food movement, says to me, "Imagine a city, rebuilt block by block, with a gorgeous riverfront, world class museums and fantastic local food. Everyone who wants one has a quarter-acre garden, and every kid lives within bike distance of a farm."

Imagine. Read more here.

Detroit 1-8-7 signs off

It was a rough week in this city for underdogs.

We said goodbye to the Red Wings, who mounted a three-game winning streak but fell just short of a series win. Detroit Public Schools' emergency financial manager Robert Bobb bid adieu to the city, after disclosing his fight with cancer during his tenure. And "Detroit 1-8-7", an ABC cop show set and shot in the Motor City, lost its bid for another season. While the show had some early missteps (soda, anybody?), the cast of Hollywood transplants truly embraced Detroit. We saw and heard them genuinely fall in love with the D, and proclaim that message to the national media. We'll be sorry to see them go.

Excerpt:

For a while, "Detroit 1-8-7" embraced our underdog spirit and ran with it. Somehow, the characters coalesced into a portrait of what gives underdogs the hope to keep going. With their humor, despair, grace and frustration, the characters played by James McDaniel, Michael Imperioli and the other actors had begun to represent the real population of metro Detroiters who aren't giving up, no matter how many times Detroit's issues are borrowed by outsiders for a punch line or a put-down.

Click here to read the rest of Julie Hinds' farewell.

169 Eastern Market Articles | Page: | Show All
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