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Detroit artists featured on ArtSlant


Grading Time Inc.'s 'Assignment Detroit'

Time Inc. has descended onto Detroit either like a thunderstorm or as liberators, depending on who you talk to. There has been a blitz of blog posts, features stories, and videos from its self anointed "D Shack" portraying the Detroit they've seen so far.

Videos include an interview with K-9 to Five's Liz Blondy, a piece on 85 cent hamburgers, asking Detroiters why they love and hate the city, and another piece about how Detroiters "survive."

Stories have covered entrepreneurs, housing costs, Detroit's decline, and Ernie Harwell.

So, what's your take? How would you grade their assignment so far? Is it the same ol' same ol'? Or is it something different?

Our own media outlets and bloggers have been discussing the coverage as well. Read a piece by Crain's Detroit business here.

Listen to an interview with Daniel Okrent -- writer of Time's Detroit cover story -- on WDET's "Detroit Today" here.

And, last but not least, Dyspathy's "Assignment Detroit: The Drinking Game" will keep you reminded of the Detroit cliche's as well as keep you totally sauced when reading through Time's project.

Let us know what you think about the Time blitz on our Facebook page here.

Check out the Time Inc. coverage here.



Juxtapoz Magazine holding auction to help Power House Project

Juxtapoz Magazine is dedicating the proceeds from the 15th Anniversary Art Auction to helping grow the Power House Project in the Davison and Conant neighborhood.

Excerpt:

Over 11,000 homes have been foreclosed in Detroit, which is one of many reasons why we have decided to organize our 15th Anniversary Art Auction to benefit Power House Project of Detroit. ABC News recently took a look at a unique way some artists are coping with the recession: the $100 home.
 
It’s no secret Detroit has seen better days. These homes have been stripped of copper wiring, some have been burned, and many are falling apart. The jobless rate in Detroit is now at a whopping 22% and crime and hopelessness is at an all-time high. However, some artists see not blight, but opportunity. A blank canvas to build studio space.

...

Our hope is to help make Detroit a more livable, viable, and artistic community by raising enough money via our 15th Anniversary Art Auction to purchase homes with Power House Projects in the Detroit area and fly artists out to help renovate them.
?
Read the entire article here.

Time: The Detroit Blog - A speical Time Inc. project

Time Inc.'s interest in Detroit has been well documented so far. But, in case you missed it, the big media machine has bought a house in East English Village and will set up shop there for a year to cover Detroit and all that it brings - both negative and positive.

In this week's In The News we have a piece up written by the New York Times, as well as a mention in the Tweet of the Week.

However, is a direct link to the Time Inc.'s Detroit blog. Track their work as they track ours.

See the blog here.

NPR: Despite tough times, some see opportunity in Detroit

Though Detroit continues to lose population, there is a contingent coming to the city with big eyes and a lot of hope, NPR reports.

Excerpt:

Meghan McEwen, a magazine editor and mother of two small children, says you can find a family-friendly life inside the city of Detroit. Her husband is Ryan Cooley, the developer. She admits that the city lacks basic urban conveniences, but because she and her husband were able to find real estate so cheap, she's able to work part time.

And she says it's exciting to be part of an effort to rebuild a city.

That enthusiasm gives Lou Glazer, president of Michigan Future Inc., hope. He says the city will never return to its past vibrancy without young, talented professionals. Glazer says the brain drain from the city has been devastating.

It may not be a flood of artists, business owners and young professionals coming back to Detroit, but many in the Motor City say those trickling back in are giving many during these tough times something they haven't had for a long time ... hope.

Read the entire article here.


Celeb chef Anthony Bourdain's 'No Reservations' Detroit, Hamtramck episode debuts on Travel Channel

We finally got to see the fruits of celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain's much buzzed about visit to Detroit and Hamtramck. In the episode, he eats at the Polonia Restaurant in Hamtramck, Al-Ameer in Dearborn and the East Side's Cadieux Cafe.

While sucking down mussels and beer at the Cadieux (great choice, Bourdain) he muses: "I am absolutely having the most wonderful time. I am really liking everyone I meet. I have been eating really great food. These mussels are amazing, man." He also marvels at how the people he met had a deep love for the city, and how the most cool cars and music have come from here.

The show first aired Monday, July 27, but repeats (shocking, we know) routinely, including another airing July 30 at 11 p.m. on the Travel Channel. Set the DVR and enjoy.

His blog about his visit can be found here.

Tweet of the Week: Do what your mother says

So vacation is behind us and we're back with the Tweet of the Week. So, what do you have to say?

You should listen to your mother @miel_dulce, always listen to your mother.

@miel_dulce: my mom said to stay in detroit, im totally thinking about it...


We don't know where you are, but we wish you were still in Detroit, too. You can always come back.

@Bizemisty: I wish I was still in Detroit. I hate this place.


Congratulations Earthworks Urban Farm. Keep up the good work. And thanks @AshleySFlintoff for the heads up.

@AshleySFlintoff: Congrats to Earthworks Urban Farm - Detroit's 1st Certified Organic Farm! Check out their work at www.cskdetroit.org/earthworks


Exactly @dlexus2001, don't forget about us, whoever you are.

@dlexus2001: dont' forget bout detroit

And finally, the winner, for our first week back from vacation Tweet of the Week is:

@flamingowojack: Just got back from John K. King Used Bookstore in downtown Detroit. I'm there every week, but I find "new" stuff every time I go there...

True that, @flamingowojack. True that.

Keep reading. Keep tweeting. And see you next week.

Follow us on Twitter here.

Listen up: WDET's 'Home Is More Than Our House' series continues through July

WDET 101.9 FM reporters Rob St. Mary and Zak Rosen continue their coverage this week in their "Home is More Than Our House" series on how Detroiters are facing and fighting the foreclosure crisis.

Listen to Detroit Today on WDET this week for their stories. The program airs from 1-3 p.m. weekdays on 101.9 FM.

This week, Zak will be talking about the collaborate effort to stabilize Boston-Edison with median-income families, which in turn stabilizes the surrounding areas. Also, check out the great piece he did on Habitat for Hamtramck here.

Rob St. Mary offers a story on finding help for the Jewish community in Metro Detroit.

For more on the series, check out their blog: wdetmortgagecrisis.com

fDi Magazine names Detroit a city of the future

fDi Magazine, an investment mag produced by the Financial Times, released their cities of the future list and Detroit fell in at No. 10 for the largest cities of the future.

Excerpt:

fDi Magazine’s North American Cities of the Future 2009/10 shortlists, which took more than six months to research and involved the data collection of nearly 400 North American cities, ranks San Francisco, California, as the top large city of the future, followed closely by Austin, Texas. Of the large cities surveyed, San Luis Potosí in Mexico ranks top for cost effectiveness, while Charlotte, North Carolina, ranks top for FDI strategy according to the judging panel.

Read the entire article here.

The bottom-up process is the key to renewal, revival, Richard Florida says

Richard Florida is that creative class guy. Some agree with him, some don't. Wherever you fall on Florida, he does make some good points in his piece in the Atlantic that Detroit should pay attention to.

Excerpt:

The most successful shrinking strategies, like Pittsburgh's, are not top-down affairs driven by all-knowing governments, but organic, bottom-up, community-based efforts. While Pittsburgh government and business leadership pressed for large-scale urban renewal - stadium-building, convention centers, and more far-fetched schemes for local mag-lev trains - its real  turnaround was driven by organic, bottom-up initiatives. Community groups, local foundations, and non-profits - not city hall or business-led economic development groups -  were the driving forces behind neighborhood stabilization and redevelopment, university-based economic development, water-front revitalization, park improvements, and green building among others.  This kind of bottom-up process takes considerable time and perseverance. In Pittsburgh's case, it took the better part of a generation to achieve stability and the potential for longer-term revival.

All of which brings us back to a big question: What about people versus place strategies? I agree with Glaeser: people must be the priority. Especially in tough economic times, public investment should flow toward people. Early childhood investments, as James Heckman has shown, are the most important, longest-running and highest-paying investments we make.

Read the entire article here.

Hamtramck ice cream trucks are like snowflakes, no two are alike

The Hamtramck ice cream trucks are just one of the many reasons this 2.2 square-mile city is such an interesting little place.

Excerpt:

But that hardly matters, because it's so delightful to listen to "Do Your Ears Hang Low?" again and again that such trifles as needing to pull one's car out would hardly matter. Besides, you get a better look at the truck, appreciating its hand-painted charm. No two are alike, and there are even a few old New York City-area Mr. Softee trucks in the fleet, all creatively decorated and patched up like it's Havana. Watch long enough, and you may even see an unusual ice cream motorcycle putter along — complete with sidecar and rear-mounted freezer case. You'll certainly be tempted to snap a photo or record the delicate warble of the prerecorded ditty, if you can hear it clearly. Sometimes it will be drowned out by motor noise, as all of the trucks seem to use the very latest in loud-engine technology to keep the ice cream cool. 

Once the vehicle stops, the driver and the excited young children begin their gentle negotiations. You might worry that the driver will cut off the music or switch the coolers over to battery power  for a couple minutes, but, thankfully,  he's sure to keep everything running, not wanting to spoil anybody's pleasure. Over the din, you'll often hear at least one of the children ask, "Hey, you won't make a deal?" over and over again before the calorie-jitney finally buzzes off.

Read the entire article here.

Council by Districts initiative is vital to Detroit, Francis Grunow says in Freep

The Council by Districts initiative is vital to Detroit writes Detroit resident, WSU law student, and occasional Model D writer Francis Grunow in the Detroit Free Press.

Excerpt:

Which leads me back to the beginning -- we must also take the next clear step to help ensure that districts become reality. A coalition of groups known as Detroiters for City Council by Districts is pushing an important ballot initiative to place this question before voters in November.

Passing this initiative is vital. It would serve as an insurance policy for the citizens of Detroit. There is no guarantee that the charter review process will result in council by districts. In fact, when the council-by-districts question was last considered as part of a charter review in 1993, it was turned down. A successful initiative will mean that the charter debate won't be about whether we need council districts, but how best to implement council districts.

Read the entire article here.

Tweet of the Week: Safety first, Detroit Zoo, and the happy feet skaters triumph

I'm not sure if you've heard but the Red Wings lost the Stanley Cup to the Pittsburgh Penguins. And though we here at Model D love Pittsburgh, especially our sister pub Pop City, we hate the taste of humble pie. We'd much rather have a Coney.

Anyway, let's put the ice behind us and get on with the water. It is summer, after all. Let's also drop in on the Detroit tweeters. And find out what's up.

Here are this weeks memorable tweets:

@ClariceTinsley: Hello Twittizens...70 & sunny in Detroit. FOX 2 is showing the Red Bull Air Races over the Detroit River. Great action & gorgeous sight.

Twittizens? That's funny... So, even if you didn't get a chance to see the air races in person, you probably heard them. Whether its downtown, or around town, we love a good excuse to get out and enjoy the city, as long as it doesn't have you running for cover.

@heathermarie356: is at the Detroit Zoo with my BFF & 2 nieces! Beautiful day!

It seemed like the whole city was basking in the gorgeous weather we've had this past week...

Including this next tweeter, who was getting ready for what sounds like some serious porch-sitting:

@ChrisJMiller: Just finished rebuilding the porch on this house in Detroit. No one will fall off it now, railings are good.

Good work, Chris. Safety first!

And special props to this weeks all-star tweeter, for keeping a winning attitude even after the Wings' bummer of a loss last weekend.  Believe it or not, Detroiters can dish out complements as well as we take them...

@ktpupp: Oh BTW, good morning Detroit! Met some really cool Penguin fans last night. They praised the Wings & look forward to a rematch next year!

Still... It would have been nice to beat them to a pulp. In terms of hockey. Don't take the literally Pittsburgh... we're not that aggressive and weird here in Detroit.

Follow Model D on Twitter here.

Keep readin'. Keep tweetin'. And see you next week.


Song, video celebrates all Detroit has to offer

A couple put together a video celebrating the city's gems. It has a country twang, but we're not talking about John Rich's "Shuttin' Detroit Down." That's for the birds.

Check the video out here.

'Home Is More Than Our House': WDET's coverage of facing Detroit's mortgage crisis

Public radio station WDET FM and Model D have partnered to focus on Detroit's foreclosure crisis and different ways people and neighborhoods are dealing with the issue.

This week, WDET reporter Zak Rosen will have a piece on the citizens of the North End of Detroit, who are teaming up with the Greening of Detroit to reclaim 134 abandoned lots.

Rob St. Mary will have a piece on the Motor City Blight Busters and how foreclosures have affected their work.

Look for his work on the WDET "Home is More Than Our House" blog here. And listen to 101.9 FM during the Detroit Today show for more.

Michigan Radio drops in on Hamtramck's Hatch

The Hamtramck Artists Collective may have an HQ in the coming year thanks to the city selling them the old police department for one dollar.

Excerpt:

Listen to the entire piece here.

Immigration may be the key to economic growth in SE Michigan

Even though Southwest Detroit and Hamtramck are beacons of diversity, Detroit and Michigan could do a lot better when attracting immigrants, which have proved to be a source of economic growth within communities.

Additionally, Wayne State University is hosting a film event playing "Regional Roots" that will discuss Detroit's 300 years of history and how immigrants helped shape what the city is today.

Get more information here. A trailer for the film can be found here.

Excerpt from the metromode story:

"To have a strong Detroit, a strong Southeast Michigan, immigrants are a necessary component," Tobocman says. "We need a welcome mat for these citizens, housing services, and employer services. We're thinking on what some of these out-of-the-box strategies could be for immigration growth."

Global Detroit began in March of this year and Tobocman says they've already discussed dozens upon dozens of strategies, some of which have already been implemented in other states. Ideas like welcoming centers for new Michiganders, internship programs to retain foreign students after college graduation, or a regional center that pools foreign investment (of $500k or more) for local development -- which would create American jobs -- in return for a visa (called the EB-5).

As Southeast Michigan stands now, and for most of the Rustbelt for that matter, there aren't any honest to goodness strategies in place. Efforts haven't gotten past a welcome center in Detroit's Mexicantown and one recently instituted in Philadelphia. These centers give new immigrants soft landings into communities and urban areas, plugging them in as much as possible.

Read the entire article here.

Detroit tweetin': Detroit's tweet of the week

Well, why not, right? It's a social media world and people have a lot to say - especially about our beloved city. So how about a Tweet of the Week?

This week, the big inaugural winner of our Tweet of the Week (can we call it a Tweek - get it!?) goes to @BrownSugarFX with this little gem that made us smile: Detroit smells delightfully of spring-time flowers.

This tweet showed up on a Thursday, in the afternoon. It was a nice little pick-me-up after a little bit of rain. And a nice reminder to stop and smell the flowers.

So, @BrownSugarFx, congratulations! You win a year's subscription to Model D. Keep smelling Detroit! Er, wait, keep smelling Detroit's flowers.

Here are a few runners up from the last week:

@eatsntreatsdet: Mon Treat: Taste Pizza Bar dwntwn Detroit +$5 MOJITOS ALL DAY +Best Pizza in the City +chic & urban vibe

'Cause everyone needs a Monday treat so why not with pizza and mojitos.

@AbraKhadaver: algo tiene "Put your hands up for Detroit" que hace que me guste

Not exactly sure what this means but I think it's positive. Asked a friend to translate over the internet. It was no help. Feel free to tweet us the translation here: @modeld.

@JamesDDickson: I have such a love-hate relationship with Detroit.

It's true, we all do. But, if you think about it, love gets boring after a while. Sometimes you need a little adversity to realize the love. Am I wrong?

As Hamtramck's 74-year-old paper dies another is planned in its place

The news void left by the shutting down of Hamtramck's 74-year-old weekly the Citizen two weeks ago isn't expected to last long. It's planned that the Hamtramck Review is starting up this week.

Excerpt:

So it’s interesting that, despite the black eyes, the paper still had enough goodwill in the community to foster talk of reviving it, either as The Citizen or as something else. When we heard that the paper’s now-unemployed editor Charles Sercombe was meeting with stakeholders at Hamtramck’s Café 1923 Wednesday night, we motored over for the news. There, on the sunny back patio of the coffeehouse, Sercombe announced to a handful of council members, newspaper folk — from reporters to cartoonists — that he had been tentatively retained to head up a new community newspaper, scheduled for publication starting one week from Friday.

Tentatively called The Hamtramck Review, it’s backed by Michigan-based publisher Mike Wilcox, whose company publishes two papers in outstate Claire. Wilcox is no stranger to Hamtramck, having bought The Citizen in 2002 and sold it in 2007, and Sercombe says Wilcox’s old sales connections have already lined up advertisers, with competitive ad rates.

Read the entire article here.

Model D is looking for an intern or two for the summer

Model D is looking for an intern to help out on the editorial side of things. This position is unpaid except for any feature stories published. We're looking for one, maybe two, lucky candidates to work 15-20 hours a week. Interns will help out with various projects and events, update listings, write stories and get us coffee. No, just kidding, we get our own coffee.

A journalism background is a plus. Knowing the city is an even bigger plus. Knowing a little about online media is a bonus.

If interested please send a cover letter and resume to terry@modeldmedia.com.

CBC interviews Design 99 duo on the $100 house phenom

The interviews continue with Gina Reichert and Mitch Cope of Design 99 as CBC interviews them.

Excerpt:

Artist Gina Reichert and designer Mitch Cope weren't content to let that happen to the city where they live.

They bought a foreclosed home for $1,900 US last year and turned it into both an experiment in operating off the power grid and a centre to link artists and the local community.

"We really like to think that art is a catalyst and a bridge between all sorts of people and places," Reichert told CBC News.

"So the goal is the house acts as a forum to attract artists and designers and architects from other places to come and see the positive things about Detroit. It's really easy to find the negatives, but underneath all of that there's a really active culture and active community."

Read the entire article here.

NYTimes finds Detroit's music scene vibrant, packed

New York Times finds the places where Detroit's music scene flourishes. There's even a mention of Hamtramck's Blowout.

Excerpt:

IN a city whose name is forever entwined with that of Motown Records, it is tempting to expect to hear songs like “Dancing in the Streets” blaring constantly from speakers on light posts, or to see Eminem or Kid Rock shooting videos on the downtown streets.

But Motown left town a generation ago, leaving behind only the small white house that is home to the Motown Historical Museum (2648 West Grand Boulevard; 313-975-2264; www.motownmuseum.com). And while Eminem and Kid Rock still live and record there, they keep lower local profiles than their fame might suggest.

But the clubs where they and other Detroit acts got their starts are still very much a part of the city, developing performers who could join the ranks of other famous Detroit artists. Even though the city, and its auto industry, have been hit by hard times that threaten some venerable places, live music endures in the Motor City.

Read the entire article here.

Here's one more reminder: Model D is now on Twitter

It's been great so far, the tweeting. Though we'd just drop in one more reminder. So, everyone, keep tweeting. Can we call it a Model D Tweet Shop?

Follow us at Model D Twitter feed. Talk to us. Give us feedback. And stay engaged. Also, join our group on the other social media giant Facebook for updates.

On top of that, we'll be out covering Detroit's nightlife during the NCAA's Final Four. There are sponsored events by the NCAA but there are also a lot of un-sponsored events... If you know what we're sayin'. So, let us know where you'll be and what you'll be doing and we'll do the same for you.

See you out and about. www.twitter.com/modeld



Dwell weighs in on Detroit's developing design

Dwell Magazine, who has been here before to check out Lafayette Park's Mies van der Rohe development, returns to talk to Design 99 and where Detroit design could go.

Excerpt:

The first Power house Project location is an architectural manifesto-in-progress, with fresh paint, new landscaping, and an attic camera obscura the latest additions. (Their status as urban-art homesteaders – and their feelings about being newly minted media darlings – is described on Detroit's Model D blog.) 

Spectators to all this interest in Detroit as smoldering metaphor and tabula rasa are the rest of Detroit's one million residents, who may have an opinion or two about outsiders' views of their city. In his Times article, Barlow mentions that some German artists are thinking of relocating to Detroit to build a giant, two-story beehive; as hopeful as all these stories are, when Germans pick your town to build their beehive, you know there's nowhere to go but up.

Read the entire article here.

NPR, 20/20 and Anderson Cooper put spotlight on Detroit, Design 99

Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert have been busy since Toby Barlow's piece found its way into the New York Times. Here's a round up of the pieces that have made their way into the national media.

Excerpt:

"Our idea — instead of putting it all back and connecting to the grid, we wanted to keep it off the grid and get enough solar and wind turbines and batteries to power this house and power the next-door house," Cope says.

He thinks he can make the whole place operate "off the grid" for around $60,000, a cost he hopes to help cover with grants. And, since the whole point of the project is to better the neighborhood, Cope wants to turn the first floor of the Power House into a neighborhood art center. The second floor will be a bedroom for visiting artists; Cope believes that if he can just get artists to visit the neighborhood, they'll want to stay. And he hopes the cheap real estate will lure them there.

Read the NPR article here... and the ABC 20/20 article here... and Anderson Cooper filming from Warren (about Detroit) here.


Also, Detroit blogger Supergay drops in on Anderson: "So Keira and I arrived and it turned out the only two seats remaining were at a table right in front. Like seriously front row. Let me be explicitly clear right here: I sat for three hours with an unobstructed view of Anderson Cooper's backside. It did not suck."

Read more about Anderson Cooper's posterior here.


Oh... and one more interesting piece about this topic and urban sustainability here.

Could Detroit be the next Berlin?

Berlin and Detroit have many parallels even though they are in very different positions right now. Berlin's post-industrial landscape coupled with the huge influx of artists and musicians has made the city a vibrant, growing place. Detroit could be that. Detroit may be a fledgling Berlin.

Excerpt:

Is Detroit the next Berlin? For the past several years, artists, musicians and others seeking time and space to work, and an inexpensive place to live have flocked to the German city. Now it seems that Detroit may be headed towards a similar influx of like-minded people.

Read the entire article here.

Detroit's border shouldn't end at Eight Mile

The Detroit city council, as of late, could probably have its own VH1 reality show with all the drama, controversy, and, some would say, flat out ignorance it has portrayed. Lately, the question of division has cropped up and what is and isn't a Detroiter? Division is only productive when it comes to math and recycling. Yet, it seems as if some on the city council haven't figured that out yet, according to Detroit News columnist Nolan Finley.

Excerpt:

Why on earth would a city in such desperate straits build a wall between itself and its best potential allies?

A smarter marketing strategy would be to encourage more people to boast that they are citizens of Detroit, in spirit if not by address.

If more suburbanites identified themselves internally as Detroiters, it might put an end to our infernal turf wars.

And we'd have more folks who gave a damn that Detroit is rotting away, that it's under siege by the worst forces of urban life, that it's been neglected and abandoned and nobody outside our small corner of the world cares.

Instead, the council is advocating the very black-white, city-suburban divides that are responsible for Detroit's decline.

Read the entire article here.

Another piece from the Metro Times about being a Detroiter can be found here.

Want a little more Model D? Then follow us on Twitter

We're there. We've done it. We're on Twitter now. We have a Facebook group, might as well have a Twitter feed, too.

Our hope is to offer a little more insight into what we're doing and when we're doing it. We don't want it to just be another RSS feed.

So follow us. Talk to us. Give us feedback. And do it all right here: Model D Twitter feed

Mother Jones blogs about Detroit, the new American dream

Detroit writer Toby Barlow's piece in the NYTimes about the $100 homes went around and around a number of media outlets. One reference about it came out on Mother Jones. And though it was mostly snippets of the article, it put forth some interesting ideas. More so than most of the other reposters of Barlow's article.

Excerpt:

"Detroit right now is just this vast, enormous canvas where anything imaginable can be accomplished," says the Times author, Toby Barlow. "In a way, a strange, new American dream can be found here, amid the crumbling, semi-majestic ruins of a half-century’s industrial decline." I find this fascinating. Politicians talk all the time about the ingenuity and resilience of the American people. We all know that rhetoric can feel empty at times. But as this country begins its climb out of this recession, real life examples of that fighting spirit will abound. And the places that were hit the hardest will and already are seeing them first.

Read the entire post here.

When $100 homes aren't always a bad thing

Detroit writer Toby Barlow explains that Detroit's $100 homes aren't a bad thing, especially for artists.

Excerpt:

Now, three homes and a garden may not sound like much, but others have been quick to see the potential. A group of architects and city planners in Amsterdam started a project called the “Detroit Unreal Estate Agency” and, with Mitch’s help, found a property around the corner. The director of a Dutch museum, Van Abbemuseum, has called it “a new way of shaping the urban environment.” He’s particularly intrigued by the luxury of artists having little to no housing costs. Like the unemployed Chinese factory workers flowing en masse back to their villages, artists in today’s economy need somewhere to flee.

But the city offers a much greater attraction for artists than $100 houses. Detroit right now is just this vast, enormous canvas where anything imaginable can be accomplished. From Tyree Guyton’s Heidelberg Project (think of a neighborhood covered in shoes and stuffed animals and you’re close) to Matthew Barney’s “Ancient Evenings” project (think Egyptian gods reincarnated as Ford Mustangs and you’re kind of close), local and international artists are already leveraging Detroit’s complex textures and landscapes to their own surreal ends.

Read the entire article here.

Englishman in Detroit says the 'Blowout is the best festival ever put on anywhere in the world'

New Detroiter, hailing from London, hits Hamtramck's Blowout and it blows his mind.

Excerpt:

Holy shit, I love the Blowout. I may have only just arrived home (at what I thought was 2 a.m. but what my computer clock is telling me is 3 a.m. – damn) and therefore still be enjoying the memories that are very fresh in my mind, but I think that this year’s Blowout is the best festival ever put on anywhere in the world. Ever. Frankly, you can stick your Woodstock up your ass.

Having lived in London for 10 years and traveled extensively, I’m fairly sure that this is a festival that could only happen in Detroit. In London, New York or L.A., the venues wouldn’t pull together in this manner and there wouldn’t be enough decent local bands to make the thing work. As an Englishman who chose to live here 14 months ago, I truly believe that this is the greatest city in the world, and the Blowout highlights the fact.

Read the entire blog post here.

The Blowout gets a nod from NPR

National Public Radio looks in on the Blowout in Hamtramck.

Listen to the audio here.

Hamtramck's diversity is still trumped by the Polish paczki

Hamtramck isn't just a little Polish town nearly surrounded by Detroit anymore. It's much more diverse these days. Still, on a certain Tuesday in February, everyone is Polish.

Excerpt:

The city occupies two square miles and once was the premier destination for people from Poland who were new to America. The former Pope John Paul II even made it a point to visit the Catholic and Polish city.

But now the city that touches Detroit's east side is home to a thriving mix of ethnicities and visitors are just as likely to hear a family from Bangladesh speaking as they are to hear an older resident speak fondly of his or her babciais (Polish for grandmother).

There are more than 20 different languages spoken in Hamtramck, according city officials, but on Fat Tuesday, everybody is Polish.

Read the entire article here.

Mmmmmm... packzi: Countdown to 2009 Paczki Day festivities in Hamtramck

Hamtramck gears up for Paczki Day 2009.

Excerpt:

On Saturday, Feb. 21 from 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. the City of Hamtramck will host the annual family-friendly Paczki Day celebration, Countdown to Paczki Day. This year's events will include a Paczki bake-off competition, free Paczki, polka music from Misty Blues, traditional Polish dancers, the First Annual Paczki Toss, and the first annual "Paczki Express" Bakery Bus Tour and much more. Admission is free.

On Tuesday, Feb. 24, the city buzzes with heady good times and gluttony galore. Hamtramck favorites, the Polish Muslims, the Keilbasa Kings, Polka Floyd and others will make the rounds at various Hamtramck venues (see schedule here). Also, various Hamtramck bars and bakeries will commemorate the holiday with day-long bar crawls, giveaways, traditional Polish drinks and food, plus spirited abandon. They don't call this February fun ''the Polish St. Patrick's Day'' for nothing, folks.

Read the rest of the article here.

Peoples State Bank, established in 1909, lights 100 candles as Hamtramck's oldest business

When the bank opened, Hamtramck was still a village farmed by German immigrants. Assets began to boom with the auto industry in the teens and 1920s.

Excerpt:

Hamtramck Historical Commission Chairman Greg Kowalski takes a look back at the humble beginnings of the bank.

Peoples State Bank continued to grow through the years but never lost sight of its successful business formula. In 1986, the bank was rated No.1 in safety and soundness by Money magazine. 

Peoples State Bank has changed much through the years. The bank building was remodeled to reflect a more modern age, and it greatly expanded operations by adding branch offices and merging with Madison National Bank in the 1990s as well as expanding the scope of its services.

Read the entire article here.


Celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain brings his travel channel show to Detroit, Hamtramck

Writer and celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain brought his acclaimed Travel Channel show "No Reservations" to Detroit and Hamtramck for an upcoming episode.

Excerpt:

"I'm not interested in places where we sell cheeseburgers to each other," Bourdain says. "I'm interested in places where people make things, and where mom-and-pop businesses grow up around those businesses to feed the people who make the things."

Many are immigrant families who open up restaurants to feed other immigrants from their own countries, "and Detroit has a lot of that," he adds.

If one thing impressed him about the people he met here, he said, it was their character and sense of humor, "even when there doesn't seem to be much to laugh about."

Read the entire article here.

The Detroit News finds 50 fun things to do under $50

Explore Hamtramck and Mexicantown, grab a play at Planet Ant, go for a drink at Enoteca, check out the DIA, the Detroit Historical Museum, and D'Mongo's Speakeasy. These are just a few of the things that The Detroit News came up with to do under 50 bucks.

Excerpt:

Having a good time doesn't mean you have to break your piggy bank. There are various inexpensive ways for families, couples and singles to find fun. Take some of the guesswork out of finding a good time on a budget with our list of 50 value-conscious activities that will take you from the museum to a hipster hotspot -- all for less than $50.

See the entire list here.

Christmas comes to Hamtramck's Planet Ant

Planet Ant, which keeps the gaze of the theater world in SE Michigan toward Hamtramck, has a holiday comedy that has moved from Webisodes to the stage in "A Very Ced n Teri Xmas."

Excerpt:

Few theaters in Southeast Michigan have done more in recent years to encourage, develop and stage new works by local up-and-coming artists than Hamtramck's Planet Ant Theatre. Many - if not most - have come from the fertile imaginations of the area's improv community, and critical response has generally been quite favorable. In fact, since 2004, 15 original comedies have received Wilde Awards nominations for Best Production, and a few - Joseph Zettelmaier's "All Childish Things" and Lauren Bickers' "Danceical: The Musical" - have had subsequent productions elsewhere.

The Ant's latest original comedy, "A Very Ced n Teri Xmas," has taken a different route to the stage, however.

Read the entire article here.

Read a Freep piece about the play here.

Time looks at Detroit auto industry's forgotten legacy of diversity

TIME looks at the Detroit auto industry's role in creating a melting pot of workers and a diverse metro Detroit.

Excerpt:

"Detroit is truly a huge melting pot," says Alee Darwish, 53, a retired assembly line worker employed by Ford Motor Company for 32 years. "The car companies were no doubt responsible for that." Like other Lebanese who flocked to the area in the early 1900's, Darwish's father immigrated to the U.S. seeking a job at Henry Ford's Model T plant, as the pioneering automobile entrepreneur was offering a large $5 a day. Following in his footsteps, both his sons ended up as career hourly employees at Ford, applying sealer to the seams of metal on the assembly line. "I worked hard, saved my money, and eventually opened a Coney Island diner and a pizzeria on the side while I worked full-time at the plant," says a proud Darwish, now married with two children. "Ford was good to us."

Read the entire article here.

The Economist touches on Muslim life in Detroit, Hamtramck

The Economist comes to Detroit and Hamtramck and takes a brief look at Muslim life in the area.

Excerpt:

Meanwhile Hamtramck (population 26,000) is changing from a Polish enclave into a growing Muslim one. Schools now compete for Muslim students, says Sally Howell of the University of Michigan. Mohamad Issa, who founded Bridge Academy and seven other charter schools, says his establishments are not religious; they can’t be, as they get public money. But Muslims like the Arabic classes, days off for Muslim holidays and space for voluntary prayers. Detroit’s public schools struggle to catch up; some offer Arabic classes and halal food.

Muslims in Detroit, thanks to strong institutions and numbers, feel better than elsewhere in America, though they still face prejudice, say Ms Howell and Amaney Jamal of Princeton University in a joint study. And no less than in Europe, local politics fosters odd alliances. Last month, Catholics induced Muslims in Hamtramck to vote down a gay-rights ordinance. Both there and in Detroit, Muslims and Latinos have co-operated to restrict racial profiling.

Read the entire article here.

Rock 'n' Rummage Sale set for Oct. 11 at Hamtramck's Painted Lady

Rock 'n' Rummage will be hosting their Treats and Treasures Show on Oct. 11 at Hamtramck's Painted Lady. Ten vendors will be on hand serving up CDs, vinyl, vintage, and just about everything else you can find at a rummage sale.

Excerpt:

Rock 'N' Rummage isn't your moms typical yard sale!!!

So you're sitting in Metro Detroit bar, and people start setting up tables with stacks of vinyl records, t-shirts, and nostalgic items with words attached to them like "The Goonies", "Garbage Pail Kids", and "The Dark Crystal". No, this isn't a retrospective decade show on VH1. This is Rock 'N' Rummage you have just witnessed.

Rock 'N' Rummage brings the yard, garage, market, and fair into a bar/coffee house setting. The event is centered around music, drinking, and merchandise.

For more information go here.

People's Arts Festival brings out the people, art

The People's Art Festival, despite a week's postponement, brought out droves of people, art, and artists. It was a large Sunday gathering inside a Detroit post-industrial landscape.

Excerpt:

After being rained out last weekend, the People’s Arts Festival at the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit had some tough competition today with the Funky Ferndale Art Fair going on less than 10 miles away.

But that didn’t stop the crowds from coming out en masse on the last day of summer to what has become the largest arts festival in Detroit, according to its Web site. 2008 marked just the second year of the festival, which opened at 11 a.m. today and runs through midnight.

“It’s going pretty good, better than it was last year,” said John Robinson, 67, of Flat Rock, a security guard at the Russell Industrial Center. “They’re coming out like flies and there are no places to park.”

Read the entire article here.


American Table goes on a food tour, comes to Detroit

Detroit is a music town, a sports town, a car town, and, don't forget, a food town, too. American Table is coming here on a food tour to show why. They'll be here June 26-28, visiting eateries from Hamtramck to the River, from Eastern Market to Ann Arbor. So, please wear you fat pants.

Hamtramck commences Clean Sweep this Saturday

The Hamtramck Beautification Commission and volunteers are hitting the streets this Saturday, May 17, for some spring cleaning.

Film development Web site says, 'Send them to Detroit'

CHUD.com (Cinematic Happenings Under Development) says Detroit's on it's way to more and more filming projects with it's 40 percent tax incentive for film makers.

Hamtramck's Design 99 offers 'not necessarily furniture'

Hamtramck's Design 99 duo, husband and wife Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert, have launched a publications department starting with two new pubs.

Hamtramck-produced web 'sit' com to screen episode 8 May 4 at Park Bar

The low-budget web "sit" com Ced n Teri is set in Hamtramck and pokes fun at the city's eccentricities. Each episode features a performance from a Detroit band and debuts at a public screening at the Park Bar.

Chicago scribe takes in Detroit over a weekend

Chicago Sun-Times writer Dave Hoekstra spent an action-packed weekend in Detroit. He stayed at MGM Grand, took in the Holy Hip Hop! exhibit at MOCAD, took in a Red Wings game and ventured to Record Graveyard in Hamtramck. And he loved every minute of it, apparently.

Grad student debates options for Detroit's redevelopment

A University of Michigan graduate student in urban planning, Joseph Ciadella, crafts a cogent op-ed piece about Detroit corporate development strategy as opposed to smaller, organic strategies.

MSHDA funds to target blight in Hamtramck, Detroit and Highland Park

The cities of Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck may be receiving funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority targeted at specific blighted properties.

Blowout brings more than just bands and beers to Hamtramck

The Hamtramck Blowout brings hordes of music lovers into the city. Most will just hit up participating bars, but others get off the beaten path and discover what else the unique and diverse city has to offer. Read about it from our own Walter Wasacz in the Metro Times' Blahg.

Cool Hunting targets Hamtramck's Design 99 and Ornj Bags

Shopping blog Cool Hunting likes Ornj Bags -- cleverly crafted from orange construction fencing -- and points consumers to Hamtramck's Design 99 to find them.

Mo Rocca visits Paczki Day for CBS Sunday news

Ain't no party like a paczki party! That's what Mo Rocca found out on his visit to Hamtramck's Paczki Day celebration.

Design*Sponge offers savvy, comprehensive guide to Detroit design

Design*Sponge invited local blogger Sweet Juniper to write an entry on Detroit for its city design guide series. The result is super-thorough and manages to be egalitarian while separating the wheat from the chaff.

Innovative Hamtown retailer hosts winter shopping party Dec. 15

Design 99, a Hamtramck-based business that combines retailing with design consultation, is hosting what it calls a Winter Extravaganza this Saturday.

Wayne County's TURBO program spurs $40M in development

Wayne County's TURBO (Transforming Underdeveloped Residential and Business Opportunities) is being used to catalyze challenging developments -- $40 million in just its first year of operation.

Popartmonkey teams with Midtown shop to launch textile line

Hamtramck-based painter Carl Oxley III is introducing a new line of textiles, including pillows and coin purses, at the Bureau of Urban Living.

Learn about Hamtramck's revitalization at Sept. 27 event

Cafe 1923 will host a Women In Communication event that will discuss Hamtramck's economic revitalization as well as the town's media.

Crain's house party draws 900

Crain's Detroit Business' second annual Ultimate House Party drew 900 people. After visiting individual houses across the city, revelers converged at the Ren Cen.

Crain's to host second Ultimate House Party

Crain's Detroit Business is hosting its second annual Ultimate House Party on Sept. 20, when people will get a chance to learn about living in Detroit by hanging out in a private residence. Then all guests head over to the Ren Cen for a big after-bash.

Tons of fun on the agenda for this weekend

If you thought summer fun was over -- well, not quite yet. This weekend is jam-packed with a bike ride, art opening, art festival, music festival, pub crawl and a clean-up of Cass Park.

LISC community development awards to be given Sept. 20

Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation, better known as LISC Detroit, will celebrate the success of the city's community development corporations at its annual awards luncheon on Sept. 20.


Forbes names Detroit 21st best city for singles

In its annual rankings of how well singles cities fare in 40 metropolises, Detroit came out twenty-first.


Detroit humming with activity over Labor Day weekend

So much to do over Labor Day Weekend...

Downtown, there's the Detroit International Jazz Festival, while the Michigan State Fair wraps up on Monday. There's also the Detroit Belle Isle Grand Prix and the Hamtramck Labor Day Festival.

TheDetroiter.com tells what came before the galleries

Nick Sousanis has done the city a service by compiling short histories of some of Detroit's art galleries. Fascinating read.

Crain's special issue showcases living in the D

Crain's Detroit Business has published an extremely comprehensive guide to living and investing in the D, including a slide show, views into two days of five households' lives and much, much more.

Planet Ant showcases Boxfest for female artists August 9-12

Planet Ant Theatre is all-girl for four days of Boxfest. Music, theater, comedy improv, and short films that are all written, produced and performed by women will take the stage from August 9 through 12.


Hamtramck arts incubator established

HATCH, a creative arts incubator, has been established in Hamtramck. It is the first of its kind in the state.

Lasalle Bank commits start-up funds to DEGC to help eliminate "food desert"

Lasalle Bank has committed $15,000 to help the Detroit Economic Development Corporation establish a fund that would target areas of Detroit in need of fresher food options.

Immigrants contribute to Hamtramck's vibrancy, economy

Hamtramck's growing immigrant population contributes to the city's diversity and vibrancy -- as well as spawning an increasing number of small businesses that are boosting its economy.

Detroit Renaissance unveils regional revival strategies

Details of Detroit Renaissance's "Road to Renaissance" plan have been unveiled. The three-year plan is expected to cost $75-80 million, $50 million of which will go towards business accelerators -- including TechTown and NextEnergy.

TONIGHT: TRU's quarterly meeting to discuss DDOT efforts to bring rapid transit to Detroit

Transportation Riders United will host its quarterly meeting April 17 at the Guardian Building. The meeting will discuss DDOT's Detroit Transit Options for  Growth Study as well as TRU's latest projects.

10-year plan to end homelessness announced

A multi-faceted plan intended to end homelessness in Detroit, Highland Park and Hamtramck has been developed by the Homeless Action Network. It targets five key areas: prevention, housing, supportive services, community engagement and collaboration.

AT&T donates $1.2M for youth technology access

The AT&T Foundation has made a $1.2 million grant to the Detroit Youth Foundation to provide Detroit youth with access to technology.

TRU launches transit design competition

Transportation Riders United, a metro Detroit transit advocacy group, is sponsoring a design competition on the future of mass transit in the area.

Michigan Suburbs Alliance to host annual Regional Redevelopment Summit Mar. 23

Michigan Suburbs Alliance will host its annual Regional Redevelopment Summit on March 23 at the Fairlane Club in Dearborn. The keynote speaker will be Paul Schutt, Issue Media Group's publisher and co-founder.

Urban farming expert in town Mar. 29-31

John Jeavons, a national expert in urban farming and biointensive agriculture, will be in Detroit March 29-31.

Fifth Third investing in southeast Michigan, to open 2 banks in Detroit

Fifth Third Bank plans to open 40 banks in southeast Michigan over the next three years, with two in Detroit set to open in the coming months.

Go to Hamtramck and get your paczki on today

Hamtramck will be ready for the hungry hordes that line its streets for delicious Paczki on Fat Tuesday.


Detroit's music major draw for tourists

Compared to Nashville, Detroit's venerable music hot spots may be spread out. But the Tourism and Economic Development Council's new campaign wants to make it easier for tourists to navigate the local music scene.

DMCVB's D-Rod will showcase Detroit as tourist destination

DMCVB has tapped Holly-based Detroit Muscle to build a custom hot rod, the D-Rod, to showcase Detroit's appeal as the Motor City and as a travel and leisure destination.

Townhouses, senior apartments planned for Hamtramck

Developer Gil Opaleski of Platinum Construction Co., LLC, will begin construction next month on a 7-unit $1.3 million townhouse development on Mitchell Street in Hamtramck. He is also in talks with MSHDA to develop 104 senior housing units on the site of the former Woody Pontiac dealer on Jos. Campau.

United Way CEO urges regional solutions to area problems

United Way for Southeastern Michigan CEO Michael Brennan discusses the agency's survey process that has led them to begin working on solving the region's major problems in three key areas: educational preparedness, economic stability and basic needs. He urges the region to work together in a collaborative manner to acieve success.

Windsor, Detroit leaders need to work together on economic issues

Columnist Jeff Sanford looks at Windsor's connectivity to the Detroit economy, which isn't always a good thing. But he sees bright spots, including the relationship between the mayors of Detroit and Windsor.

Ann Arbor News encourages regional cooperation

The Ann Arbor News urges its readers to support Detroit Renaissance's "Road to Renaissance" by thinking regionally and supporting Detroit's existing amenities.

MLUI urges local leaders to realize transit boosts development

A group from Grand Rapids is headed to Portland to learn about how transit has electrified the local economy. Transit advocates hope the civic leaders on the trip come away with a real sense of what a necessary ingredient transit is to the redevelopment mix.

Daniel Howes: 'Shed the cynicism; One D could spell different Detroit'

Detroit News columnist Daniel Howes writes about One D, the new partnership between Detroit Renaissance, the Detroit Regional Chamber, New Detroit, the United Way of Southeast Michigan, the Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Cultural Alliance of Southeastern Michigan.


Free rides offered Nov. 24 to Detroit, Hamtramck, Ferndale and Royal Oak shopping areas

A free shuttle service will take shoppers to business districts in Detroit, Ferndale, Hamtramck and Royal Oak on the day after Thanksgiving.

Detroit lands $3 million in federal money to study transit in city

The Detroit Department of Transportation has landed $3 million in federal funds to study mass transit throughout the city of Detroit. DDOT plans to study light rail, street cars, an expanded People Mover and bus rapid transit.

Object Orange featured in Good Magazine

Object Orange, an anonymous group of Detroit artists that paint abandoned houses bright orange, is featured in the inaugural issue of Good Magazine.

US Population growth bodes well for older cities

Planners around the country believe that the unprecedented population growth the United States is undergoing can mean good things for older cities like Detroit.

Hamtramck rock flick featured on TurnHere

Film-maker Matthew Nothelfer's short film about Hamtramck's music scene is featured on TurnHere, a website that showcases films that convey a sense of place.

Kate Moss in the Motor City: W Magazine photo shoot hits stands

The September 2006 issue of W magazine has hit newstands. It features the photo spread supermodel Kate Moss and fashion photog Bruce Weber shot around the Motor City recently.

Here's an excerpt:
"Detroit is coming back to life. Reborn as one of the most vibrant cities in the world. So Bruce Weber and Kate Moss went off to sample a little motown magic. They got a lot."

To see the pix, check out the magazine.

Movie filmed in Detroit shows artistic side of the city

"The Passenger," set and filmed in Detroit, tells the tale of an office worker who finds himself venturing into the city's underground art scene. 


City leading area housing market

The city of Detroit remains a high point in the region's struggling housing market, leading the way in home sales and new construction.

Detroit's neighborhood gas stations to be fuel-alternative pioneers

General Motors Corp.'s drive to put ethanol-based fuel in the tanks of more U.S. cars and trucks may transform Detroit's neighborhood gas stations and its drivers into pioneers in the use of the gasoline alternative.

Groups offer deals on trees, shrubs to encourage planting

Bareroot tree seedlings and small bareroot trees and shrubs are available through county conservation districts and nonprofits like Global ReLeaf and the Greening of Detroit.

Hamtramck to build 200 homes in Grand Haven-Dyar

The city of Hamtrack is redeveloping the Grand Haven-Dyar area with about 200 houses with attached garages, and putting in new sidewalks and sewers.

CREW-Detroit's Back-to-School party gives supplies to 180 girls

National award winning CREW-Detoit, for the fifth consecutive year, will serve pizza and distribute supplies to girls during its Back-to-School party.

Families flock to State Fair for 100th year in Detroit

Michigan State Fair completes one hundred years in Detorit.  This wholesome family entertainment will attract over 500,000 people.

Detroit found to be most liberal U.S. city

Detroit ranked as the most liberal city amongst 237 US Cities.


Some Detroit neighborhoods to see substantial property tax reduction

House panel approved a bill to lower taxes in Detroit, and thanks to this bill, property owners in a $200,000 home will save as much as $3000 a year.

Detroit Metro Airport posts best-ever first half

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport set an all-time record for passenger traffic, for the first six months of any year, for first half of calendar year 2005.

Foundation to keep commitment to Detroit

Knight Foundation reaffirmed its commitment to Detroit, despite exit of Knight Ridder Inc’s publication business in the city.

AirTran to Launch Atlanta-to-Detroit Service

AirTran Airways plans to begin nonstop service from Detroit Metropolitan Airport to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Orlando in November.

Fashion Week shows off Detroit's glam best

"The runways are set, the models are ready and the clothing is fabulous - everything's in order for Detroit's first fashion week devoted to Motown's hottest designers," says Pride Source.

Detroit Tops List of America's 'Most Independent Cities' for Home Sellers

"A widely anticipated annual survey of home-selling habits released today by real-estate services company ForSaleByOwner.com reveals that Detroit homeowners are the most 'independent' of any city in the U.S.", reports PRNewswire.

Thompson, Skillman foundations to team up on charter high schools in Detroit

Thompson and Skillman Foundations recently formalized their partnership to spend $200 million on building charter high schools in Detroit.  The first urban charter high school could open as early as 2006.


Teens use summer to help Detroit

Read about how some kids from Detroit and its suburbs volunteered their time this summer painting elementary school gyms, tending gardens and helping third-graders read.


Ann Arbor-Detroit transit plan gets boost $100 million federal grant

"A rapid transit system between Ann Arbor and Detroit, long considered merely an expensive dream, has gained momentum with an expected $100 million in federal funding for an engineering study. " says the article...


Redevelopment effort in neighborhoods paying off

The broadening and deepening of Detroit’s neighborhood redevelopment plans is attracting, in 2004, an increase of more than 100 percent private investment in new commercial construction, from 2003 numbers.


DTE Energy Foundation Grant to Help Build Gateway to Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge

The Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge, the first International Wildlife Refuge in North America, established in 2001, is located along the lower Detroit River and western shoreline of Lake Erie.

The report quotes Robert Ficano, Wayne County Executive as saying "...residents can boast that they live near the first international refuge in North America.  There will always be a protected and conserved area in Wayne County that our children may visit, experience and learn from."

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