| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Vimeo RSS Feed

Buzz

3054 Articles | Page: | Show All

Joe Posch: Duggan's victory speech historic for Detroit's LGBT community

Yes, Joe, we too believe Duggan's verbal victory lap, like his campaign, was all about inclusivity. It is at the top of the list of social and cultural neccessities as Detroit moves into the future. The city is in fact poised, by building a strong foundation of quality leadership, to lead the charge for unity and set an example for the sleepy State of Michigan. Welcoming the LGBT community, all ethnic minorities and recognizing and respecting longtime Detroiters are all part of a social contract we can get behind near and far.

An excerpt from Posch's opinion piece in the Freep: 

At the end of his acceptance speech, mayor-elect Mike Duggan said: "The way we are going to rebuild this city is to value every single person in our community. It will no longer matter if you are black, brown or white. It will no longer matter if you are Christian, Jewish or Muslim. It will not matter if you are gay or straight. We want all of your talents. You’re all going to be equally valued and welcomed, because only in that way will we rebuild the kind of Detroit everyone in this city deserves."

It seems like a little thing, in 2013, to include the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community in a statement of acceptance and unity, but politics and the power of the pulpit have kept gay people out of the discussion in Detroit for years.

Read more here.

Public Pool to host fundraiser for Hamtown Farms

Last week, we reported on Hamtown Farms' efforts to raise money to keep its green investment moving forward on Lumpkin St. just south of Holbrook in Hamtramck.
 
Michael Davis, who launched the community-based project in 2012, is attempting to raise $10,000 to purchase the lots where his productive garden grows. The lots are presently owned by the city of Hamtramck. Neighboring Kowalski Sausage has said it is also interested in purchasing the property.
 
This week, the Farms' allies in Hamtramck are stepping up to help support the project. 
 
On Wednesday (that's tomorrow, Nov. 13), Rock City Eatery servers will be asking patrons if they'd like to give $3 to the farm. If they say yes, $3 will be added to their bill. The truly fab Rock City is at 11411 Jos. Campau, one block north of Caniff.
 
On Friday, Nov. 15 a benefit dinner is being held at the Hamtramck Moose Lodge #1670. The lodge is at 9421 Conant (that's a block and a half north of Holbrook). Dinner starts at 6 p.m. $10 donation.

And on Saturday, Nov. 16, Public Pool (3309 Caniff, Hamtramck) hosts a presentation by Davis, who will talk about the Hamtown Farms project and its current campaign to raise funds. Also on the bill are Hamtramck Mayor Karen Majewski and Model D Green City diarist Matthew Piper, who wrote this piece last year that included Hamtown Farms.
 
The event begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. An art show called Cut Paste Borrow Burn, featuring work by Hamtramck collage artists Anne Harrington Hughes and Christina Galasso, is currently up. Viewing of the exhibit is encouraged. Expect good beer, good wine and good snacks. Invited guests begin their talk at around 7 p.m. Donations will be accepted throughout the evening.

Anthony Bourdain essays love and respect for Detroit

For those of you who missed Sunday night's 'Parts Unknown: Detroit' here are some video excerpts along with a written companion piece cultural explorer Anthony Bourdain included as part of his experience in the city.

The highlights are many: the Packard Plant (no, it was not too long as some suggested. And here is our own answer to Bourdain's question: who drove the Packard? This comes from the film 'Chinatown.' In this famous scene (spoiler alert!), Faye Dunaway's character drives a white convertible Packard, a real beauty); examples of street level entrepreneurship (Greedy Greg's BBQ, and the secret pupuseria); eating at a Detroit fire station and offering to wash the dishes afterward; joining the mower gang at an overgrown city park; D-Townn Farm and sitting down for a fabulous-looking dinner at Guns and Butter.

Not enough hipster entrepreneurship? No references to the Stooges, Bourdain's favorite band? Too much Charlie LeDuff? Yes, yes, yes, maybe so.

To those who say showing the ruins of the greatest, most inspired industrial network the planet has ever known won't attract some to come here to look and leave, but others to live and lead, are just plain wrong. People are coming, more on the way, largely because this place is one of kind, fascinating, irreplaceable, 300-plus years old and still fierce as hell.

Bourdain makes an observation and asks a great question at the end of the broadcast. Here it is:

Detroit is shrinking. And changing. The artists and innovators, activists, and artisans, who are coming in will no doubt, do much to transform the city -- mostly in very positive ways.

But who will live in the Detroit of 25 years in the future?

It will still be beautiful. That's for sure. It will certainly be smaller.

But will all the tough bastards who stuck it out for so long -- against ridiculous odds -- who fought and continue to fight for their neighborhoods and their homes -- will they still be there?

News' Daniel Howes: Next wave entrepreneurs making big impact

It's always good to get validation in print for something many of us already know and spend a good deal of time advocating. That is, cultivating entrepreneurship in its multiple forms, as a way of driving economic development in Detroit, the region and the state.

Here's Daniel Howes' take in his Detroit News column. An excerpt:

And partly it’s because the state’s homegrown entrepreneurs, born from the rubble of Michigan’s economic implosion, are ahead of the capital they need to grow and to prosper. Their success, their stories, would help to change the conversation about a state marked by the traumas of federal bailouts, municipal bankruptcy and the edge of financial collapse.

"None of us were around to remember when GM was just another startup," said Jeff Helminski, managing director of Blackford Capital LLC in Grand Rapids. "Of what? Two hundred auto companies."

More than three, anyway. That’s the power of entrepreneurialism -- someone wins, big.

Intriguing, yes? Read more here.

Hamtown Farms raising funds to save green investment

Last summer, we ran this great piece that included Hamtown Farms as part of our Green City Diaries series. We have followed the efforts of urban farmer Michael Davis before and after the piece. And now we report a potential hiccup in the progress of this noble project. Under emergency finacial management, Hamtramck was about to sell the city-owned land to neighboring Kowalski Sausage, which has designs on converting it into a "a parking lot or a buffer." (Now hold on, Kowalski, we love your kielbasa and assorted lunch meats, not to mention you guys have the best neon sign in the entire region, but a parking lot vs. a productive urban farm that has already planted myriad seeds of cultural growth in the community is simply no contest.)

An excerpt from Eclecta: 

The good news is that Hamtown Farms has received what Michael Davis is calling "mind blowing support." They have created a fundraising page at the crowd-funding website Indiegogo. It is their hope that they will raise enough money to be able to outbid any other groups in the auction, including Kowalski Sausage, and then own the property outright.

One more thing: this is a major opportunity lost by Kowalski Sausage. They could be the good guys here, the good corporate citizen that made an investment in their community to make it a better place to live. Instead, they have chosen not to do this and, in fact, to do the exact opposite. They told Emergency Manager Square that they didn’t have any specific plans for the land, they "just wanted to have it." They told Fox News Detroit it would be turned into a "parking lot or a buffer." What could have been a tremendous contribution to the community is ending up being a public relations disaster for Kowalski Sausage. If they see turning this remarkable farm space into a parking lot as somehow a good thing will benefit them, they are decidedly wrong. It's hard to imagine why they think this is a good approach. Read more here.

Fundraising continues until Nov. 19 here.

DTE Energy partners with Eastern Market on $750K social space

Fabulous news from the ever-growing-in-all-the-right-ways Eastern Market, which is rapidly becoming exactly what it promises to be: a 24-hour neighborhood with food, social and cultural options galore.

An excerpt from the News:

"The DTE Energy Plaza will serve as a convivial gathering place to create a stronger market, and we are very grateful for the DTE Energy Foundation’s generous support and naming of this new community asset," Dan Carmody, president of the Eastern Market Corp., said in a statement. "The DTE Energy Plaza will be a welcoming place where people will gather to enjoy each other and the bounty of Eastern Market."

In June, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. awarded the farmers market, which is open year-round on Saturdays and on Tuesdays in the summer and early fall, a $1 million grant for the renovation. The project has received funding from other foundations, corporate sponsors and the city, which is supporting it through bond revenue valued at $1.5 million and a community development block grant for $330,000.

Read on here.

Wow: Model D publishes issue 400 this week

When we launched this slightly mysterious media project called Model D in June 2005, online journalism was in its infancy. The dailies and magazines, not just in Detroit but most everywhere, seemed oddly unconvinced that the future of news was digital not physical, for better and worse.

Eight-plus years is an eternity in this business, enabled and accelerated by the very nature of the Internet. We are happy to be here to celebrate (albeit quietly, unlike our Model D 300 bash in 2011 -- better known as the Next Big Thing party, at the still raw, unreconstructed Whitney Building) 400 issues this week.

We say, "wow" to that and thank you all for your support. At the present pace we should be reaching 500 issues in late 2015. Stay tuned in. We'll keep you in the loop on the city's growth and development and lots more in between. That's a promise.  

Subscribe here, look for us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.  



'Detroit Unleaded' premieres Wednesday at DFT

Director Rola Nashef’s romantic dramedy Detroit Unleaded opens in Detroit at the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts Nov. 13. Yes, that's tomorrow.

Detroit Unleaded premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival where it won the Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award. Expanding upon the award-winning 2007 short, Detroit Unleaded is a modern take on Romeo and Juliet that tells the story of Sami, a Lebanese-American who reluctantly takes over his father's gas station after he is murdered in an armed robbery. It's not a life that Sami ever wanted, nor did his late father who always encouraged his son to go to college. 

The gas station is more than just a pit stop for rolling papers and fake perfume, but a place where an infinite stream of spirited and often hilarious people flow through. When a gorgeous "up-do girl" named Najlah comes to deliver cheap long-distance phone cards, Sami quickly falls for her. Afraid her overprotective brother will disapprove, Najlah begins a romance with Sami under the promise of secrecy. As their love blossoms, Sami's dream of a better life begins to swell. We know you want to go, right?

Tickets for the film and the gala red carpet event are available here.

Coalition of Detroit environmental groups releases Detroit voter guide

The Detroit Environmental Agenda, led by Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ), a nonprofit working with communities to create cleaner, healthier and safer neighborhoods, earlier this month released an update to its 2013 Voter Guide.

Each candidate for Detroit City Council and Mayor were provided a copy of the Detroit Environmental Agenda (DEA) report released earlier this year and asked to complete a short questionnaire with the following questions:

• Do you endorse the Detroit Environmental Agenda?

• Detroit suffers from very high rates of asthma, cancer, and lead poisoning, all influenced by our heavily polluted environment. These problems impact children’s ability to learn and adults’ ability to work. What would you, as an elected official, do to improve Detroit’s environment?

• How would you, as an elected official, be an advocate for resident efforts to improve neighborhood quality of life?

• In the interests of environmental justice, how would you work to alleviate disproportionate environmental burdens in the city?

• The city needs to be an advocate for higher environmental standards. If you are elected, how do you envision using the Detroit Environmental Agenda as a tool to create policies that improve the city’s environment?

• For mayoral candidates, we asked if they would consider establishing an Office of Sustainability with the power to move Detroit Environmental Agenda recommendations forward.

Nearly 20 candidates responded to the survey, including both candidates for mayor. The report can be downloaded here and print copies will be circulated in communities throughout Detroit. The purpose of the guide is to inform citizens in an effort to help elect leaders who will take action for a cleaner, safer, healthier Detroit. 

The 2013 Voter Guide is funded by the Fred A. and Barbara M. Erb Family Foundation and The Kendeda Fund. 
 
For completing a brief survey online and downloading the DEA Voter Guide, participants are entered into a drawing to win various prizes. They can also gain another entry by "liking" the DEA’s Facebook page. The winner will be announced on Facebook Nov. 29. 

Cleveland transit holds lessons for Detroit's M-1

With work on the Woodward Corridor's M-1 rail set to begin soon, the Freep's John Gallagher writes about how a not dissimilar rail line in Cleveland has worked out.

An excerpt:

Cleveland’s HealthLine shows that detailed planning can pay off. The city created new zoning rules requiring developers building along the route to build their projects right up to the sidewalk with parking behind the building to avoid the look of suburban strip malls. The city’s Regional Transit Authority even commissioned more than 100 new trash bins with a snappy design for the route. Playing off the hybrid design of the bus rapid transit vehicles, which run on tires like buses but use dedicated lanes like a train, the HealthLine’s slogan is "It’s not a bus. It’s not a train. It’s the future."

Read more here.

Freep's Gallagher to mayoral candidates: Don't forget Detroit Future City

In this recent piece in the Detroit Free Press, John Gallagher gives a bit of a healthy shove to both mayoral candidates, who don't appear to be embracing many of the strategies outlined by the Detroit Future City document.

An excerpt: 

Both candidates' plans for neighborhood revival nod to Detroit Future City, and both Duggan and Napoleon said in interviews that Detroit Future City has informed their own work. But Robin Boyle, chairman of the department of urban planning at Wayne State University, is among the experts interviewed by the Free Press who said neither candidate goes as far as Detroit Future City in envisioning innovative strategies for turning around Detroit.

Detroit Future City, for example, calls for concentrating any new development in the city's already more densely populated areas rather than scattering it throughout the city as often occurs today. And, most controversially, Detroit Future City advises allowing large areas of low density in distressed neighborhoods to convert to "green" uses, such as agriculture or reforestation or rainwater retention basins, rather than calling for re­development in those areas.

Read on here.

November launch party set for Freep doc film festival

Detroit’s getting a new film festival -- one in which the Motor City and Michigan will play the starring roles.

The Freep Film Festival, presented by the Detroit Free Press and Detroit Media Partnership, will debut March 20-23, 2014. The annual event will showcase documentary films about Detroit and our region. The festival will be held at two iconic venues: the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts, and The Fillmore Detroit, in the heart of the city’s downtown theater district.

The new film event has two primary goals, says Steve Byrne, the festival’s executive director. "We want to engage people in our community in a discussion about the issues and challenges we face," he says. "And we also want to celebrate what makes our area so unique and special."

Details about the festival are here.

The festival will screen about a dozen films over its four-day run, and feature other community engagement activities. The films will be announced later this year. They are being selected by a committee that includes Kathy Kieliszewski, the Free Press’ director of photo & video (and the festival’s artistic director), Elliot Wilhelm, film curator of the DIA, and Josh Newman, talent buyer of Live Nation Michigan /The Fillmore Detroit.

A festival launch party will be held Thursday, Nov. 7, at the Fillmore Detroit. The party will feature the Detroit premiere of The Michigan Beer Film, a movie that explores the explosive growth -- both economic and artistic -- of Michigan craft beer. Directed by Kevin Romeo of Rhino Media Productions, it delves into the entrepreneurial spirit that has fueled the state’s flourishing beer scene. Attendees also will be able to sample some of the beers featured in the film. 

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with drink specials 5:30-6:30 p.m. and a 7:30 p.m. screening. Tickets ($10 advance, $15 at the door) will go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 11, at ticketmaster.com and livenation.com.

For more information, follow the festival on Twitter and Facebook

Detroit Area Art Deco Society hosting third annual downtown wine stroll

The Detroit Area Art Deco Society will be hosting it's third annual Wine Stroll with the theme of "Art, Architecture and Great Wines" at varous Detroit restaurants and historic venues. 

The wine stroll will provide attendees with a chance to tour several architecturally significant buildings, see art and select wines paired with a food tasting from each unique venue.

Check-in location: Chez Zara. Confirmed venues: Angelina Italian Bistro, Small Plates, Music Hall, Grand Trunk, Sky Bar, Centaur, Rowland Cafe, 24 Grille and Firebird Tavern.

Sounds like fun. More details here.

SEMCOG hosts green infrastructure visioning session today in North End

The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG), in cooperation with its county and local government partners, is developing a regional green infrastructure vision for Southeast Michigan. Green infrastructure is both a network of green space and natural areas in our communities, along with built techniques such as rain gardens and bioswales that preserve the functions of the natural ecosystems to benefit residents of the region.

One more Green Infrastructure Visioning session is scheduled in the City of Detroit:
·  Date:       Tuesday, Oct. 29
·  Time:       6-8 p.m.
·  Location:  Jam Handy, 2900 E. Grand Blvd., Detroit.

The purpose of the visioning session is to gather input from stakeholders on important natural areas in their counties, and discuss what and where additional green infrastructure could be located. The regional vision could set the stage for future grant opportunities, and parks and recreation plans.

Attendees will participate in an interactive group exercise on current and future green infrastructure in the county. Keypads will be used to identify important policies to help communities implement green infrastructure recommendations.

Detroit techno inspires, sustains Berlin Tresor brand

Model D managing editor Walter Wasacz has long talked and written about Detroit's global vibe, that special, intangible "otherness" that tastemakers all over the world seem to find again and again. He was asked by San Francisco-based music pub XLR8R to write this piece on Tresor -- a label, a club, a pioneer in Berlin social entrepreneurship -- which gains much of its inspiration from Detroit techno.

An excerpt:

(Dimitri) Hegemann and other tastemakers in the city, including Mark Ernestus and Moritz von Oswald, who opened the Hard Wax record shop in 1989 and started their Basic Channel group and label project four years later, were paying close attention to tracks being produced in Detroit. They embraced the sound, and began cultivating relationships with Motor City artists.

"Detroit was fresh. We thought the best new music was coming from there," Hegemann says. "I first heard a Final Cut white label in 1988, then Jeff Mills came here for the first time in 1990. Everything really started coming together in Berlin because of Detroit techno. It was the soundtrack that we could all agree on."

Rock on Jeff Mills. Read the rest of the story here.
3054 Articles | Page: | Show All
Signup for Email Alerts