According to the Louis Aguilar Detroit News, Slows Bar BQ will be opening its second location, Slows to Go, a takeout and catering business in the Midtown area (NW corner of Cass Avenue and Alexandrine Street) by the middle of 2010.

The 6,000-square-foot building expands the reach and capacity of the Michigan Avenue restaurant, which was an instant success when it opened four years ago, west of the old Tiger Stadium.

The new building will allow for the preparation of larger quantities of food compared to the original restaurant, which has a tiny kitchen and limited smoker capacity. It also will fill carryout and catering orders. "We're just trying to keep up with demand," said chef Brian Perrone, who also is an owner.

With its slow-food, Southern-inspired menu, Slows has been named one the best barbecue restaurants in the nation by Bon Appetit magazine, the Wall Street Journal and others.

Slows to Go is a $1.5 million investment, including the purchase of the building. The original restaurant's success tapped into a number of movements, including the counter-trend of young people moving back into the core city and the interest in restoring old Detroit buildings.

"We view differently than Time (magazine) and other reports," said co-owner Phil Cooley, referring to a spate of national coverage of hard times in Detroit.

Phil Cooley, a 31-year-old former Louis Vuitton model, convinced his brother Ryan, a former Chicago banker, and their parents Ron and Patty to move to Detroit. And all of them are owners. Other owners include general manager Terry Perrone and sous chef Mike Metevia.

"I've lived in Milan, Barcelona, Tokyo, Paris and Chicago and this is best community that I know,"said Phil Cooley. "The people who are here are often very committed to the area."

TEDx Detroit 2009 Highlights

Chris Spiek
The AWS Blog

If you’re not a fan of the videos at Ideas Worth Spreading, I’d be willing to bet that it’s just because no one has introduced you to the site yet.

If you’ve never heard of, drop whatever you’re doing for the next half hour and watch the videos in this post.

Yesterday, Ted’s ideas spread to Detroit as some of the area’s top thinkers gathered at Lawrence Tech University for a day of compelling discussions about technology, energy, entrepreneurship, and other current challenges.

The first conversation that I had when I arrived at the conference I believe to be very representative of what everyone there was feeling. The man in front of me in line at the registration desk turned around, introduced himself, and asked, “So … what are your expectations?”

Anyone that’s been a long-time fan of knows that the expectations are high. When I watch a TED video online, it tends to introduce a number of new ways of thinking about the topic. On a very positive note, I can honestly say that many of the presenters at TEDx Detroit had the same impact on me.

I’ve seen Richard Sheridan from Menlo Innovations speak on a number of occasions, but this was hands-down his best presentation. Richard spoke about design issues, and specifically how they relate to software design. He opened with a wonderful example: “Have you ever walked up to a door and pushed on it, only to discover that it’s a ‘Pull’ door?” That is BAD DESIGN. His presentation went on to explain a number of examples where studying natural human behavior in the workplace can lead to better software interface design. I agree wholeheartedly with Rich in his argument that we don’t spend enough time incorporating user observation into the design process.

Dan Izzo form Bizdom U gave a though-provoking talk on Turning Dreamers into Doers. Although I think that’s a pretty tough challenge to face (motivating people to act), especially in a 20 minute presentation, he made a number of good points about innovation. His most pointed comment being: “If your business idea is the answer, then what is the f$#@ing question?” The next time you have the next great idea, spend time talking to people about the challenge that they face, and be sure that your solution is actually mated to their problem.

Inspiration & Creativity
In her TED presentation, Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love discusses the creative process, and explores the demands that we put on creative thinkers (the possibility of never creating anything great, and the even greater challenges that come with actually creating something incredible).

I believe one of the only standing ovations of the day went to D Blair after he performed his poem Detroit (While I Was Away), and it was definitely much-deserved.

TEDxDetroit video: Poet D Blair performs 'Detroit (while I was away)'

Rory Sutherland presents one of the funniest TED videos that I’ve seen so far as he explores the differences between actual “real” value, and perceived value. If you’ve read Predictably Irrational, you’ll definitely want to watch this.

Would I Attend another TEDx
On the drive home I thought back to the first conversation of the day; had it met my expectations? The short answer is that I would definitely go to another TEDx. The long answer is a bit more involved.

For me, TED is always about taking in a new, thought-provoking perspective on a topic, and the online videos fill that need perfectly. When I think about how I pull them into my life, they are effective because 1) I can watch them whenever I want, and 2) I can skip to the next one if a video turns out to be boring.

I’ve spoken to a few people about the idea of collaboration at the TEDx conferences. I didn’t experience a whole lot of it (the physical layout of the auditorium didn’t lend itself terribly well to round-table discussions), and I didn’t really expect to. Most of the useful conference-type collaboration that I’ve been involved with have been with a number of people who are all experts on the same subject, throwing ideas around (e.g. a CIO conference).

I think there are both obvious benefits and challenges that would come along with a group of people with very different backgrounds digging deep into a wide array of topics. It might be worth exploring these types of round-table discussions at future TEDx events (I’m sure some light discussions happened at the after-party, but that’s not the same as a deep exploration of a topic).

All-in-all the event was a great experience. Kudos to Charlie Wollborg, Derek Mehraban, Catherine Juon, Jennifer Wright, and Terry Bean for putting it all together.

The conference had a definite undertone that could probably be described as something like: Do whatever it takes to get Detroit back on its feet. One quote that I absolutely love stuck in my head that I think sums it all up:

Hell, there are no rules here - we’re trying to accomplish something! 
- Thomas Edison

Sven Gustafson 

Do not adjust your TV sets: More than a dozen major national companies including AutoZone, Wal-Mart, Aldi, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chase Bank, and Tim Hortons are expanding in Michigan.

Companies are trying to capitalize on the growing demand here for lower-priced food, goods and services, The Detroit News reports. That means millions of dollars in new investment and badly needed new jobs as companies build anew or take over vacant storefronts.

Discount grocery chain Aldi expects to add seven stores in the next two years in Michigan, which is one of its top 10 markets nationwide, and has already been hiring in the Detroit area. Wal-Mart plans to open 13 stores here, expand others and move into urban markets such as Detroit. And Meijer will open stores next year in Grand Rapids, Rochester Hills and Petoskey.

"It is important to look at this and realize Michigan is still filled with a large population that needs to eat, shop and be entertained," Scott Watkins, senior consultant with the Anderson Economic Group, told the News. "With the right business model, you can make a lot of money."

Click Here for More Information and to Purchase Tickets

Save the Date for Detroit!

Days of our Lives has partnered with NBC affiliate WDIV Local 4 and the MGM Grand Detroit to hold its first ever talent and fan search in Detroit, Michigan, on Friday, November 13 and Saturday, November 14, 2009.

Fans and aspiring actors alike are encouraged to come take part in this historic occasion. The biggest Days fan will win a trip to Hollywood, California, with a visit to the Days of our Lives set. Promising actors will have the chance to win a role on the award-winning show. All of those participating in the search will have the opportunity to meet some of Salem's favorite cast members including Bryan Dattilo, James Reynolds, Nadia Bjorlin and Shawn Christian.

Days is collaborating with Gleaners Community Food Bank for events through the week leading up to the main function on Friday. Gleaners is the third-oldest food bank in the United States and their mission is to turn surplus food, which otherwise would go to waste, into millions of meals for hungry people. Those involved from the show will not only get to discover new talent, but will also have a hands-on experience helping the Detroit community. All participants are encouraged to bring a can of food or non-perishable donation to the event on Friday, November 13.

TEDxDetroit video: Poet D Blair performs 'Detroit (while I was away)'

Dear Fans of Positive Detroit,

I have a simple request of you: join with me and help make a world of difference for Detroit. We are all tired of the media's bad habit of picking on our area. I ask of you to help change the world's perception of the Detroit Area and one by one, we can do it!

My goal is simple with Positive Cities Detroit: To create a fun, interactive online media platform that gives the voice back to the people to decide how we want the rest of the world to perceive what's really going on in our own backyard. We cannot expect the world to speak kindly of us if we don't do it ourselves.

Here is our chance.

I was invited a few weeks ago by the website to raise money for Positive Cities Detroit, a Michigan Non-Profit.

There are 1,262 Facebook Fans of Positive Detroit and 2,308 Followers on Twitter.

If every fan pledges just $15 (that's just 5 days of Starbucks!) to my Kickstarter drive, I will achieve the monetary goal and the Positive Cities Detroit website will launch in early January of 2010.  Oh, and did I mention you get some great prizes along with your pledges!!!

If you think is great, just wait and see what I have in store for Positive Cities Detroit. It is like nothing you have ever seen before and I promise you will love it! Please help me make Positive Cities Detroit a reality, not just for me, but for all of you.

Thank You!
Erin Rose


Detroit woke up on Monday to find itself under siege by a foreign army.

The army arrived with camera booms, military trucks, massive pennants and green camouflage extras for a remake of the 1984 action film "Red Dawn," turning a normally lightly populated Motown intersection into a hub of activity.

Several blocks of downtown Detroit will be closed off for up to two weeks during the filming, which appeared to have little impact on traffic flow, but drew curiosity seekers on foot.

Michigan has wooed filmmakers to the state with incentives in a bid to diversify an economy that remains very dependent on the health of the still-struggling U.S. auto industry. Clint Eastwood filmed "Gran Torino" in the Detroit-area.

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer has been filming "Red Dawn" around the state for weeks. The filmmakers blew a car into the air near the downtown Detroit intersection on Monday and set off an explosion in a small Detroit building a week ago.

The original movie saw teenagers take to the hills to mount a guerrilla war after their small U.S. town was invaded by Cuban and Soviet soldiers in a Cold War theme.

In the new movie, the soldiers are from Russia and China, and Detroit serves as a kind of anytown USA stand-in for Spokane, Washington, and other places.

On Monday, passersby snapped cellphone pictures of military trucks and actors wearing green fatigues or officers uniforms reminiscent of past decades.

Paul Thomas, a student cycling to medical school, stopped to take a photo from the seat of his mountain bike. The street closings made his ride easier, he said. "They should shut it down more often."

The movie is planned for release in November 2010.

David N. Goodman
Associated Press

Detroit's $22 million ferry and Great Lakes cruise-ship terminal will help revitalize the area economy and is another fruit of the federal economic stimulus program, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said Monday.

LaHood, U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow, Reps. John Dingell and Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick and Michigan Transportation Director Kirk Steudel toured the facility. It will be fully operating next summer.
The passenger terminal and public dock on the Detroit River is getting $7.1 million in federal stimulus funds.
The project wouldn't be moving ahead as is without congressional approval of President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan, said LaHood, who thanked the Democratic lawmakers flanking him at a riverfront news conference.

"It's not an easy thing to vote for spending $700 billion, but it's working," he said.

The project consists of a two-story headquarters on the Detroit River near the Renaissance Center and a 200-foot-by-25-foot offshore wharf serving cruise ships, ferries and water taxis connecting to nearby Windsor, Ontario, and other sites along the river.

Plans have been on the drawing board for a decade, but officials didn't agree on a site until 2004.

It's part of a series of Detroit riverfront developments that gained momentum in 2007 with the opening of the Tri-Centennial State Park and the opening of 2 1/2 miles of what is to be a 3 1/2-mile Detroit RiverWalk from downtown east to the Belle Isle park bridge.

Michigan Transportation Director Kirk Steudel said the wharf and terminal will reinforce proposed light-rail and high-speed train service in spurring redevelopment of the region.

Levin, a former Detroit City Council president, said the project marks the culmination of more than half a century of efforts to open Detroit's shoreline to the public.

"What we're witnessing is the renewal of this riverfront," he said.

Earlier Monday, LaHood met with Ford Motor Co. officials. He's taking part in a series of briefings Monday and Tuesday on U.S. safety technology programs at Ford, General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC.
"We got to ride the new Taurus," LaHood told Dingell. "Great car. They're back in the business, I'd say."
On Tuesday, LaHood is scheduled to address the Detroit Economic Club to defend the stimulus plan.

The Detroit Pistons and presenting sponsor National City teamed-up with Samaritan’s Feet to tip-off their 2009-10 season by donating 1,000 pairs of new shoes and socks to pre-identified children from the metro Detroit area on Tuesday, October 20, 2009 from 4-7 p.m. at Boll Family YMCA (1401 Broadway, Detroit, MI 48226). The entire Pistons team will be on-hand to help distribute the shoes during the event.

“During hard times such as these, it is even more important we find ways to help children with basic needs such as shoes,” said Pistons forward Tayshaun Prince. “We are excited to participate in this event and give back to the Detroit community.”

Employees from National City, Fathead, Palace Sports & Entertainment and Pistons mascot Hooper will be volunteering during the event. This event is part of the NBA Cares “Week of Service” where every NBA team is giving a day of service to their local community. Fathead is also supporting National City and the Pistons to help provide the 1,000 pairs of shoes and socks. Parking accommodations were made possible by the Detroit Opera House.

Samaritan’s Feet, founded in 2003, is a humanitarian relief organization based in Charlotte, NC that puts shoes on the feet of children all around the world. With over 300 million children going without shoes everyday, their goal is to provide 10 million pairs of shoes to 10 million impoverished people in 10 years. To date, nearly one million pairs of shoes have been collected for children around the world.

President and Founder, Manny Ohonme, received his first pair of shoes at the age of 9 from a missionary. He started playing basketball and other sports with these new pair of shoes and earned a spot on a traveling basketball team and eventually his high school team. Upon graduating high school, he was offered a scholarship to play basketball at the University of North Dakota (Lake Region), where he received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees.

To learn more about their organization, or contact Todd Melloh at 317-417-3525.
I recently purchased a Souvenir of Detroit booklet which contains “a sketch of Detroit’s History, Resources and Points of Interest to Visitors.”

It was written in 1891 during the golden age of bicycling. Sure enough, the booklet contained this text on the city’s cycling scene:

The Detroit Wheelmen are the outgrowth of the two Bicycle Clubs, the Detroit and the Star. These, after several meetings, united in the spring of 1890, everything seeming favorable for re-organization. Wheeling up to this time, owning to many reasons, had been indulged in by but the few, and was looked upon as a pastime. Since that time the club has grown in membership, and among its members may be found many of the brightest and most energetic young men in the city.

The Club House, 64 Washington Ave., is cosy and comfortable, where any visiting wheelman finds a welcome. The twelfth annual meet of the League of American Wheelmen fell in good hands, and was the largest and most successful in the League’s history, and stamps Detroit as an important cycling center, around which the rider will find many delightful tours.

The booklet also highlighted Detroit’s early parks, including Belle Isle and Clark, and concludes that “the city is wonderously well provided with lungs.”

And while describing Belle Isle, it notes its “perfect roadbeds furnish facilities for wheelsmen and their ‘bikes’ not excelled anywhere.” It’s not clear why “bikes” is in quotes unless that was a newer term in 1891.

A Detroit-based shelter for homeless, runaway and at-risk youth will get a boost this fall from
Calling All Angels, a committee of local women passionate about ending the cycle of child abuse in Metro

Calling All Angels (CAA) will host its fourth annual fundraising event Nov. 6 at San Marino Club in Troy, with
100 percent of proceeds benefiting Covenant House Michigan.

“Although our foster care system was originally designed to provide temporary emergency guardianship, more
and more children enter it as infants or youngsters and remain until they reach adulthood,” said Laura Bostick, CAA co-creator.

“Thousands of children age out of the foster care system each year at age 18. We are honored to assist Covenant House Michigan this year in supporting youth who are homeless and in need of shelter and guidance.”

Covenant House Michigan, a faith-based non-profit organization, provides support, educational and programs, as well as other support services, to overcome hurdles such as homelessness, unemployment, education, violence, drugs and gangs. Since 2007, CHM has helped more than 35,000 Michigan teens.

Every night, thousands of young people roam the streets because they are homeless, were abandoned escaped an intolerable situation.

"The problem of homeless kids in Detroit is an invisible one," said Cynthia Adams, Director for Covenant House Michigan. "They go from house to house, 'couch surfing' or living in abandoned buildings or cars. Some sell drugs or their bodies to survive and try to maintain a 'normal' appearance. But they desperately
need unconditional love, support and an alternative to life on the street."

CAA is consistently successful in its efforts to help area organizations year after year and is eager to support
Covenant House Michigan this fall. Since its inception five years ago, CAA has raised $140,000 plus in-kind
donations valued more than $100,000.

Last November, Calling All Angels’ fundraiser raised $40,000 for the purchase and renovation of the Angels of Grace and Hope house in Pontiac, providing a transitional home for children aging out of the foster care system.

The 2007 fundraiser raised $50,000 to help build “House of Hart & Hope,” named for the late Christian radio broadcaster Rhonda Hart, who died in her sleep.

In 2006, the women reached out to Grace Centers of Hope, raising $50,000 to help pay off the mortgage for
Gracie House in Pontiac.

How you can help

Please take this opportunity to bring hope and joy into children’s’ lives by contributing to our cause. We thank you for your consideration with our whole hearts and know that many small hearts will be thanking you too!
Call 248-393-2086 to pre-order tickets or make donations for this year’s event.

Volunteers are needed to help with auction items, donations, sponsorships, program ads and ticket sales.

Visit or for more information.

Yelp Teams Up With Great Local Spas to Offer 50% Off Top Services, the site that connects people with great local businesses, presents Hawt on Yelp, a week-long promotion dedicated to giving consumers the chance to try great local spas at deeply discounted prices. The promotion will run from Monday, November 2nd to Sunday, November 8th.

Six Yelp-worthy local spas, salons & studios participating in the promotion include:

Balance Massage Therapy (Ann Arbor)
Curl Up & Dye (Midtown Detroit)
Main Street Massage Therapy (Ann Arbor)
Om Spa (Dearborn)
Salon Vertigo (Ann Arbor)
SprayChic Airbrush Tanning (Farmington)

These special offers are open to the public. Appointments must be made in advance by calling the business and mentioning Hawt on Yelp. No walk-ins! For more information about the special offers please see our list of specials (below/attached) or visit:

Hawt on Yelp will be running nationwide in 14 markets with 143 spas participating in the program. Other markets offering the promotion: Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, DC, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis, Orange County, Philadelphia and Phoenix, San Diego.

Come take a sneak peek at the newest Urbane feature...CO-WORK SPACE @ Urbane on Adams!  If you've seen the Urbane Offices, you know how snazzy we like it! If you live at Urbane, you get to use this space for FREE.  We're also small-medium companies to lease out part of the space for everyday use!

Urbane Residents attending the event will be entered to win 6 month FREE rent!

Not an Urbane Resident yet??...Rent a TRENDY one bed @ Urbane on Adams during the event and you too will be entered in to win 6 months FREE rent!

 If you are an artist and want to get in on the friendly competition, shoot us an email or give us a call!

1050 Adams Road, Birmingham
6:00-9:00 P.M., Thursday October 22

Nicole Brown
Woodward Avenue Action Association

On Friday, October 16 historic Woodward Avenue was designated a All-American Road (AAR), the highest honor for a road in the United States, by the U.S Department of Transportation. This important designation is administered by the Federal Highway Administration's National Scenic Byway program. The AAR status will now include Woodward Avenue in the international tourism marketing campaigns done by the FHWA of the prestigious AAR program.

The elite collection of 37 roads were selected because of their scenic, natural, historical, cultural, archaeological or recreational qualities that contributed to the America's story which could not be duplicated anywhere else in the country. The Woodward Avenue Action Association, a economic and community development non-profit submitted the application for the designation in January of this year with the full support of state and local goverment officials, community and business leaders.

For more information on the designation please visit: .

Sam Abuelsamid

Earlier this week, Brammo's director of product development Brian Wismann along with Dave Schiff of Crispin Porter Bugosky, began a ten-day journey meant to take them to Washington, DC.

The trip, which is being chronicled on the site, is intended to raise awareness of the company's new electric motorcycle, the Enertia, and electric vehicles in general.

The trek began at Zingerman's deli in downtown Ann Arbor, MI, which just happens to be a a few blocks from this blogger's office. Brian and Dave swung by the office for a visit to show off the bike – which they prefer to call a powercycle – and chat about what it can do.

Along the route to the capital, they'll be making plenty of similar stops, partly to demonstrate the bike but mostly out of necessity. While the Enertia is undoubtedly a neat ride, it underscores two of the major problems with EVs. They are expensive ($11,995 for the Enertia) and have limited range. This bike only has a 42-mile range and then takes four hours to charge. That means plenty of short hops to cover the 520 miles to DC. On the plus side, it should only take about $4 worth of juice to make the trip.

Hopefully sales will bring volumes that help bring the cost down. In the meantime, check out the video after the jump.

Screen Writing Basics 

Michigan may be best known for its auto industry, its college football teams, and its contributions to the art of office-furniture manufacture. The fact is, though, that this mitten-shaped Upper Midwestern state has made great contributions to American arts and culture-and all sorts of positive signs, from the growth of downtown Grand Rapids to the sudden explosion in Detroit-based visual arts, suggest that Michigan plans to remain one of the cultural capitals of the United States.

And that place is well-earned. After all, this is the state where Motown Records was founded, where punk rock pioneer Iggy Pop, filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, and author Nelson Algren hail from, where the classic Anatomy of a Murder was filmed, and where Ernest Hemingway set his first published story. Diana Ross, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Gilda Radner, and Lily Tomlin were all born here, Elmore Leonard calls the state home, and Sufjan Stevens made his name as the leader of West Michigan-based band Marzuki.

Michigan has an important place in film history, too. It provides backdrop for such films as The Evil Dead, Four Brothers, Grosse Pointe Blank, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, RoboCop, and 8 Mile. A recent bill enacted by the Michigan legislature ensures that the Wolverine State will continue attracting quality film productions, luring famous and unknown film artists alike with a forty-percent across-the-board refundable tax credit, a loan program, and other goodies. (A complete list and application are available from the Michigan Film Office.) This incentives package, coupled with the state’s unique geographic diversity that allows it to “stand in” for many kinds of locations (urban, mountainous, forested, coastal), makes Michigan one of the most attractive possible shooting locations in the United States. But filmmakers should also note the state’s lively film-festival calendar-a mere sampling of which is provided below.

In the Detroit area alone, we have a plethora. Royal Oak offers the results of the innovative 48 Hour Film Project every July, after teams of Detroit-area filmmakers spend a forty-eight hour period writing, shooting, editing and scoring an entire film, using just a prop, line of dialogue, character, and genre which must be included in the film. Similar projects are done in fifty-four other cities from around the world, and Detroit’s version features robust participation from area filmmakers.

And in December there’s Dearborn’s Annual Arab Film Festival, hosted by the Arab American National Museum. Given the impact that filmmakers from Arab cultures have had on the art form in recent years-Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami is regularly acclaimed as one of the great artists of world cinema, and films from the region are often cited as influences by such directors as Werner Herzog and Michael Haneke-this is one festival not to miss, since today’s Arab film festival entry may be tomorrow’s influential new classic.

Other possibilities for the discerning Michigan cineaste include the long-running Ann Arbor Film Festival. The lower-Michigan city of Ann Arbor is something of a regional cultural capital-it supports one of the world’s best research universities in the University of Michigan, and it has all the bookstores and museums you’d expect of such a place-so it’s no surprise that it’s also the home of one of the oldest, best-established, and most vital film festivals in the country, which continues to attract artistic experimenters from all over the world. Early work by Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas, Andy Warhol, and Gus Van Sant, among others, has appeared at this festival (one of Variety’s top ten “Festivals We Love”); it’s the place to catch works by tomorrow’s trendsetting young film directors-today.

For filmmakers and their personnel visiting any of the above festivals (and many more every year in places such as Traverse City, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Mt. Pleasant), the state offers an excellent transit infrastructure experienced in handling film and television productions. For example, Checker Sedan-the company that most recently handled transportation for SuperBowl XL, and the official transportation provider for the Detroit Metro Airport-has years of experience in dropping off dailies, picking up stars, and every other kind of work associated with film and television production.

The Gov Monitor

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that Detroit will host the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit organized by the Genetics Policy Institute.

The conference will take place October 4-6, 2010, at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.  It will be co-hosted by Michigan State University, the University of Michigan, Wayne State University, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

“We have been working to grow Michigan’s life sciences sector as part of our strategy to diversify the state’s economy and create jobs,” Granholm said.  “The World Stem Cell Summit is one of the most important life sciences conferences in the world.  The selection of Detroit to host the 2010 summit is positive recognition and support of our efforts here in Michigan in this emerging economic sector.”

“Hosting the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit will allow us to showcase the innovative research that is occurring in the city of Detroit and at Michigan universities,” said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.  “Scientists, researchers, government officials and industry representatives from around the world will see firsthand the great minds and facilities we have in Detroit.”

The summit will attract more than 1,200 of the most influential stem cell stakeholders from more than 30 countries, representing the fields of science, business, policy, law, ethics and advocacy.  There will be 150 internationally-renowned speakers, producing a unique international network designed to foster collaborations, economic development, technology transfer, commercialization, private investment and philanthropy.

“We are delighted to bring the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit to Detroit,” said Bernard Siegel, executive director of the Genetics Policy Institute.  “Michigan is fast becoming a biotechnology hub.  Michigan State University, the University of Michigan and Wayne State University all have world-class researchers and outstanding facilities dedicated not only to fundamental stem cell research but also to translating lab work into effective treatments and cures.”

Presidents of all three universities expressed enthusiasm about the summit.

“Michigan State University has a long history of working in a number of areas in the stem cell field such as bio-engineering, cancer biology, and toxicology,” said MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon.  “The 2010 World Stem Cell Summit will be an opportunity to showcase our work as well as continue, and establish new, collaborations with our University Research Corridor colleagues.”

“Stem cell research and discovery are of tremendous importance not only to scientists, patients and families but also to transforming our state’s economy,” said University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman.  “The University of Michigan is excited to welcome the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit to Michigan.”

“As a leader in life sciences research, Wayne State University is pleased to sponsor the 2010 World Stem Cell Summit with our University Research Corridor partners,” said Wayne State University President Jay Noren.  “With the planned opening of the Stem Cell Commercialization Center at TechTown, Wayne State’s technology park and business incubator, Detroit and Michigan are poised to assume leadership in research in this field of increasing importance to both the biomedical industry and pioneering clinical care.”

Covered at the summit will be all areas of stem cell science, disease models, drug discovery, tissue engineering, bioreactors and nanotechnology.  There will be progress reports on treatment for cancer, diabetes, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, ALS, neurological disorders and cardiovascular disease.  Panels will discuss commercialization, funding, economic development, regulatory agency perspectives, law and ethics.

The summit also will feature the 2010 Stem Cell Action Awards Dinner where the Genetics Policy Institute will recognize organizations and individuals who have most positively impacted the stem cell community.  At the 2009 summit dinner in Baltimore, two Michigan stem cell organizations won awards:  Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures won the Education Award, while Cure Michigan won the Grassroots Advocacy Award.

The 2010 World Stem Cell Summit will be the sixth annual conference organized by the Genetics Policy Institute.  Previous summits have taken place in Houston, Palo Alto, Boston, Baltimore, and Madison, Wisconsin.
Dave Bing - watch more funny videos

Mary Beth Almond
C & G Staff Writer

City Manager Tom Markus was not surprised when a representative from informed him that Birmingham had made their Best Places for a Healthy Retirement list.

“It’s a community that is safe, clean, healthy, and it has all the amenities, so I wasn’t surprised we were in there,” he said.

One of just 20 communities nationwide to make the list, Birmingham was the only town in Michigan to be recognized.

Cities made the list based on a variety of factors, such as population, the percentage of people over the age of 50, the number of doctors in the county, the number of hospitals within 30 miles, life expectancy at birth, and whether the city provides for an active lifestyle, according to the Web site.

The top 10 list included Anaheim, Calif; North Hempstead, N.Y.; Fort Lee, N.J.; Yonkers, N.Y.; Downers Grove, Ill.; Los Angeles; San Jose, Calif.; Natick, Mass.; Stamford, Conn.; and Seattle.

Birmingham was listed as No. 14. Birmingham’s description on the Web site stated “retirees can leave their cars behind and stay fit exploring this quaint, affluent Michigan town on foot.” noted that in Birmingham, the focus is on walking, although it’s just a half-hour’s drive from the hustle and bustle of downtown Detroit. The Web site went on to say that because of the city’s efforts, Birmingham is now considered among the top 20 walkable towns in the U.S.

Planning Director Jana Ecker said all of the city’s planning practices work towards walkability, and creating a lively and diverse atmosphere that will encourage visitors and residents alike to spend time downtown.

“We have several master plans across the city — the downtown, Rail District, Triangle District — that all require a mix of uses to create a live, work and play environment.  All of these plans are also form-based, in that there are regulations built in that mandate the form and location of buildings to create pedestrian-friendly, walkable streetscapes, such as requiring buildings to be built up to the frontage lines, hiding parking in the rear, requiring pedestrian-scaled architectural details along street facades, creating public gathering spaces, and enhancing sidewalk activity through outdoor dining, street furniture and special events,” she said. also noted the wide mix of shops, restaurants and entertainment available in the city’s downtown, as well as the abundant opportunities for recreation within the city’s 220 acres of parks, two community golf courses, several tennis courts and trails along the Rouge River.

In some categories, Markus said, he is considered a senior now. He sees the city as a great place to retire.

“It’s a wonderful town. It’s a civically engaged community, and people are passionate about their town,” he said. “We have had people come here specifically to retire — I know that, because I know some of them — but I think what’s equally impressive is people don’t leave to retire,” he said.

Mayor Stuart Sherman said it seems that the rest of the country is just now noticing that Birmingham is a great place to live and recreate.

“We have worked very hard to make Birmingham a premier community, and our work is paying off. This just confirms what the residents and visitors to Birmingham already know — with our walkable neighborhoods and downtown and our improved parks, Birmingham offers many opportunities for people to be active and enjoy the atmosphere,” he said.

The area's leading creators, catalysts, entrepreneurs, artists, technologists, designers, scientists, thinkers and doers will gather on Wednesday, October 21st to share what they are most passionate about — positive ideas for the world from Detroit.

TED is an annual event where the top minds in the world share, connect and inspire. TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design — three subjects that, collectively, shape our future. The event draws CEOs, scientists, creatives, philanthropists and extraordinary speakers including Bill Clinton, Jane Goodall, Frank Gehry, Sir Richard Branson, Philippe Starck and Bono.

This year, TED expands beyond its annual conference by seeding smaller, independent events throughout the nation, called TEDx. The first TEDxDetroit will emulate the spirit and ideals of the TED Conference.

TEDxDetroit will be held at Lawrence Tech's Science Building Auditorium in Southfield, Michigan, from 8:30AM to 6:00PM, Oct 21. Due to an outstanding response, the conference is full, but several surrounding events have been opened to the public in an effort to bring the entire community into the excitement.

Tuesday, October 20th
Pre-party Tweetup 7pm-9pm Bar Louie in Novi (Open to the public)
This is an informal gathering for attendees and friends to meet, connect and enjoy a cocktail in a relaxed setting the night before the event. The pre-party tweetup will be co-hosted by and take place at a popular nightspot Bar Louie in Novi (near the junction of I-275, I-96 & I-696).  This is a free event and open to the public.

Hotel Accommodations
If you are coming in from out of town, you may want to try the Embassy Suites Detroit Southfield which is a nice hotel just a stone's throw from Lawrence Tech and the after party.

Wednesday, October 21st
TEDxDetroit 8:30am-6pm
The moment you've been waiting for. Doors open at 8:30am. The program starts promptly at 8:48am. The event is sold out. If you have been notified that your application for attending has been accepted, please arrive early to claim your seat. Please bring $20 cash or a check payable to "Public Art Workz" for admission.
Lawrence Tech Science Building Auditorium

TEDxDetroit Lunch 11am-1pm PLEASE PRE-REGISTER (Open to the public)
We'll be breaking for lunch just after 11am. Our community partners LA2M and Motor City Connect are hosting a TEDxDetroit networking lunch. We encourage you to click the link below to register for lunch ASAP. This event will be open to non attendees as well and will sell out. Cost $20 in advance.
Copper Canyon Brewery
27522 Northwestern Hwy Southfield, MI 48034

TEDxDetroit Afterglow 6pm-9pm (Open to the public)
Reflect and connect with speakers, attendees and community leaders at this informal gathering. Light hors d'oeuvres  will be available. The venue also offers a full cash bar and a dinner menu which features items such as their famous gumbo. This is a free event (pay for your own dinner and drinks) and open to the public.
Fishbone's Rhythm Kitchen Cafe
29244 Northwestern Hwy Southfield, MI 48034
Each child who participates in the Marathon’s Kids Expo activities will receive a free ticket to Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Over The Top coming to The Palace Nov. 18 – 22.

Children from across metro Detroit will want to lace up their clown…uh, running shoes for the third annual Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon, Whole Foods Health and Fitness Expo, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Red Nose Run events on Saturday, Oct. 17 and Sunday, Oct. 18.

The fun begins in the Ringling Bros. kids area of the Whole Foods Health & Fitness Expo at Cobo Center on Saturday, Oct. 17, with different activities taking place every hour. All expo events are free and each child who participates in the featured Ringling Bros. activities will receive a free ticket to a weekday. performance of Over The Top, coming to The Palace of Auburn Hills next month.

Featured activities at the kids expo area provided by Ringling Bros. on Saturday, Oct. 17 include:

11 a.m. – Noon                Ringling Bros. CircusFit® Presentation – active fitness demonstration with Ringling Bros. Clown
Noon – 1 p.m.                  Activity Hour – juggling and balancing activities
1 p.m. – 2 p.m.                 CircusFit Presentation
2 p.m. – 3 p.m.                 Ringling Bros. kids races – open to all kids 12 and under
3 p.m. – 4 p.m.                 Q&A with CircusFit Representatives

“We are thrilled to partner yet again with Ringling Bros. to host the Red Nose Run and CircusFit events in conjunction with the marathon,” said Patricia Ball, executive director of the Detroit Free Press/Flagstar Marathon. “The Detroit Marathon is committed to the health of local residents and these Ringling events help us to encourage young people to lead healthy and active lifestyles in a fun and motivating manner.”

In addition to receiving a free ticket to a weekday performance of Over The Top at The Palace, each child who participates in the CircusFit activities will receive other Ringling Bros. goodies (while supplies last) and also meet a Ringling Bros. clown. CircusFit is a national youth fitness program from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey that encourages America’s youth to lead healthy, active lifestyles by combining the fun of circus skills with stretching, strength building and aerobic exercise. Free fitness plans and activities are available at

The fun will continue on Sunday, Oct. 18, at the 5K Fun Run/Ringling Bros. Red Nose Run. The run is the opportunity for children to experience the thrill of the race in this 5K precursor to the marathon. The run kicks off at 7:30 a.m. at the marathon start line. Adults and children may participate together in the 5K Fun Run/Red Nose Run. To register, go to and follow the registration link. Interested participants can also register in person at the Whole Foods Health & Fitness Expo.

All participants in the 5K Fun Run/Red Nose Run will receive an official short-sleeve wicking shirt, commemorative finisher’s medal goody bag and free admission to the Marathon Expo.

To find out more about the fun events surrounding the Marathon, please visit

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey presents Over The Top will play The Palace of Auburn Hills Nov. 18 through Nov. 22. One hour before show time, ticketholders are invited make their way to the arena floor to learn how acrobats stay CircusFit. Fans will also be able to clown around with Ringling Bros. performers; try their hand at circus antics, such as juggling; and meet the human and animal stars of the The Greatest Show On Earth®. It’s all part of the All Access Pre-show and FREE to every ticket holder!

Over The Top is a wacky and whimsical circus spectacular where audiences will experience maniacal mayhem as Ringmaster Chuck Wagner and clown eccentric Tom Dougherty compete for control of a magical top hat that brings to life their fantastical imaginations.

 Tickets to Over The Top range from $12.50 to $21.50. Additionally, specially priced VIP, Front Row and Circus Celebrity seats are available at The Palace Box Office, at all Ticketmaster locations, online at and by phone at1-800-745-3000 .

Over The Top show dates and times: Wednesday, Nov. 18 and Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Nov. 20 at 11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, Nov. 21 at 11:30 a.m., 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

HBO Comes to Oakland to Film Kevorkian Movie

Mike Martindale
The Detroit News

Home Box Office filmmakers for the Jack Kevorkian biopic "You Don't Know Jack" will be in town this week to film scenes for the movie already in production in New York City.

Both interior and exterior shots are planned at the Oakland Circuit courthouse off Telegraph Road in Pontiac, where the former pathologist, now 81 years old, was a frequent visitor in the years before being sentenced to prison in 1999 for second-degree murder in one of 130 deaths he claims to have assisted over a decade.

Actors Al Pacino, John Goodman and Susan Sarandon are just a few of the film's stars expected to be in town, according to Kevorkian attorney and friend Mayer Morganroth. Goodman is to portray Kevorkian's friend, Neal Nicol, and Sarandon will take the role of Janet Good, a right-to-die advocate and former head of the Michigan Hemlock Society, who befriended Kevorkian and also died with his help.

Pacino has the lead role of Kevorkian, but don't look for him and the man who became known as "Dr. Death" getting together during the shoot, Morganroth said.

"Pacino doesn't even want to meet Jack until the filming is done on this project," said Morganroth, a consultant on the film. Like several other principals close to the Kevorkian story, he will be interviewed for a behind-the-scenes "making of" the film expected to be released sometime next year.

Courthouse filming is expected to be shot Thursday and Friday. And for some who were around when Kevorkian made headlines here in the 1990s, the scene may be like travelling back in time.

In some of his last court appearances, the outspoken and always irascible Kevorkian strolled past sign-toting critics and supporters dressed in colonial-style garb, wig and even slipped his arms through a set of fake wooden stocks, a common punishment for running afoul of the law in the 1700s. It is expected Pacino may don some of the same type of paraphernalia for the film, directed by Barry Levinson, whose resume includes the Academy Award-winning "Rain Man."

Filming is also expected to take place at other Oakland County locations, including near places where Kevorkian lived and created his self-proclaimed "Mercitron" (assisted suicide machine) and where some of the assisted suicides occurred.

Kevorkian served eight years of a 10-to-25-year sentence and was paroled in June 2007 for good behavior. Jessica Cooper -- the judge who sentenced him with a terse "no one is above the law" and "consider yourself stopped" -- became the county's prosecutor earlier this year.

"I've had a conversation with the film's screenwriter, as has (assistant prosecuting attorney) John Skrzynski, who handled the case," said Cooper. "We've both been given the impression it will be balanced, and I guess we will just have to see. I can't think of anyone better than Pacino playing him."

Erin Rose

Sporting News Magazine just released its annual "Best Sport City" survey and Detroit landed on the #10 spot.  I personally think we are number one, but hey making the top ten is still pretty good.  Also, a word of caution to Wings fans who are still a bit sore from this year's Stanley Cup outcome: you may want to skip over the #1 pick.  

1. Pittsburgh 
2. Philadelphia 
3. Boston 
4. Chicago + Evanston 
5. Los Angeles 
6. New York 
7. Phoenix + Tempe 
8. Miami 
9. Dallas-Fort Worth 
10. Detroit + Ann Arbor + Ypsilanti 
11. Houston 
12. Nashville 
13. Atlanta 
14. Washington 
15. Tampa-St. Petersburg 
16. Minneapolis-St. Paul 
17. Raleigh + Durham + Chapel Hill, N.C. 
18. Denver + Boulder 
19. Salt Lake City + Provo 
20. Indianapolis 
21. Anaheim 
22. Cleveland 
23. Charlotte 
24. San Jose + Palo Alto + Santa Clara 
25. New Orleans 
26. Milwaukee 
27. Orlando 
28. Baltimore 
29. Cincinnati 
30. St. Louis 
31. San Diego 
32. Portland 
33. Oakland + Berkeley 
34. Columbus 
35. San Antonio 
36. Toronto 
37. Oklahoma City + Norman 
38. Austin, Texas 
39. Vancouver 
40. Buffalo 
41. Gainesville, Fla. 
42. Calgary 
43. Storrs, Conn. 
44. East Lansing, Mich. 
45. Montreal 
46. San Francisco 
47. Memphis 
48. State College, Pa. 
49. Kansas City 
50. Jacksonville 

Metromix Detroit

Ask metro Detroiters to describe Vietnamese food and you may get a shrug of the shoulder. It’s hard to place the blame - Vietnamese restaurants aren’t very prevalent in the metro area and most are accustomed to dining amongst the other Asian influences. Clawson’s Đà Nẵng restaurant is attempting to change that.

Open since March 6, 2009 and located at the corner of 14 Mile and Main Street (Livernois), Đà Nẵng is named after one of the biggest port cities in Vietnam. Owners Kim Dao Waldis and her sister Lan Dao have been busy educating customers on the balance and fresh flavors that Vietnamese food has to offer.

It’s certainly a unique style of cuisine boasting delicateness, subtlety and freshness while still finding influence from Chinese and French palettes. You won’t find an abundance of fried foods or the typical soy, or sweet and sour sauces. What you will experience is food that is both satisfying and delicious (without being heavy and tiring) in a pleasant and tranquil atmosphere.

Especially popular in Vietnamese fare, the Phở soup varieties are fantastic pick-me-uppers complete with a variety of ingredients and flavors. Try the Phở Tái, a thick rice noodle soup topped with thinly sliced top round beef served with fresh vegetables. Or the Phở Tái Nạm, a similar soup with beef flanks. The Phở Tái Bò Viên soup combines the round beef with house-made beef meatballs.

For vegetarians, the Phở Chay is a great choice mixing a thick rice noodle vegetarian soup with tofu and fresh vegetables.

New batches of the soup are made daily and are prepared with fresh basil, bean sprouts, fresh lime juice. They also come with a choice of additional sauces.

Try a grilled steak salad or enjoy a somewhat traditional sweet and sour chicken (traditional except that the sauce on this entrée is extremely light and full of flavors). Other staples include the Gỏi Cuốn (a fresh spring roll of shrimp, steamed pork, vermicelli and fresh vegetables rolled in rice paper served with house hoisin sauce and topped with peanuts), a variety of satays (chicken, pork, beef or shrimp) and a variety of noodle and rice dishes.

Quality is paramount at Đà Nẵng with particular emphasis being placed on the proper refining of the fish sauce exhibiting a clear appearance (versus a cloudy, unrefined sauce, causing its flavor to improperly linger). Equally important is the lack of the sodium salt MSG (Monosodium glutamate) in their dishes thus helping to preserve the foods freshness.

Don’t let the fact that Vietnamese kitchens are not the typical Asian dining destinations (at least in the metro area) fool you – one trip to Đà Nẵng and you’re bound to make it a regular stop to satisfy that need for freshness and hunger.

'Accidental Mummies' Making US Debut in Detroit

David Runk
Associated Press

Through a replica of cemetery gates, a new exhibition offers a glimpse into the lives of people whose bodies were accidentally mummified in the mining town of Guanajuato, Mexico, more than a century ago.

Thirty-six mummies on loan from Guanajuato's Museo de las Momias (Museum of the Mummies) go on public display Saturday at the Detroit Science Center as part of the "Accidental Mummies of Guanajuato" traveling exhibit.

The roughly $2 million project marks the first time the mummies have been shown in the U.S. Using scientific, historical and cultural research, the exhibit explores the lives of miners, soldiers, farmers and children whose bodies were mummified and stored in aboveground crypts.

"This is listening to these mummified remains tell their story," said Ronald Beckett, a professor emeritus at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut who studies the Guanajuato mummies and helped research the exhibit.
"Accidental Mummies" is designed to tell the story of Guanajuato, its culture and its people.

Past the exhibit gates — replicating the portal at the cemetery where the first Guanajuato mummy was discovered in 1865 — visitors walk through a room bordered with crypts, where they learn about Mexican traditions surrounding death. At one end, five mummies are displayed behind glass as they might have looked in their crypts.

Visitors then enter the main exhibition space, where 21 mummies — some positioned as if standing upright — are shown. Each mummy is accompanied by text in English and Spanish that gives his or her name, an estimate of the age at which the person died, and details about his or her life.

"Whether you worked in a mine or you were a soldier ... you had a significant place in making Guanajuato what it was at that period," said Martina Guzman, the exhibit's content developer. "All of these people were that."

According to local legend, the bodies were preserved because the city's water is rich with minerals and sulfur. But Beckett, former co-host of "The Mummy Road Show" on the National Geographic Channel, said researchers believe hot weather warmed the crypts, drying out the bodies.

Beckett and Quinnipiac colleague Jerry Conlogue have studied two-thirds of the roughly 110 mummies in the Guanajuato museum's collection. But preparations for the Detroit exhibit offered a closer look, including CT scans of seven mummies performed at a Dearborn imaging center.

With the scans, Beckett said researchers were able to learn more about medical problems of those whose bodies were mummified. Those findings were incorporated into the displays, and the scientific techniques used — from DNA testing to forensic facial reconstruction — are highlighted in the exhibit.

Former Mexican President Vicente Fox plans to attend a preview Friday of the exhibit, which is being produced by a Science Center subsidiary. Detroit is the first of the exhibit's seven planned U.S. stops over three years. The Science Center is in talks to finalize other stops.

"Death has been part of the culture of Mexico, and in particular of Guanajuato, for centuries," Guanajuato Mayor Eduardo Romero Hicks, who has encouraged researchers to study the mummies, said in a statement. "We want to make sure that their story is heard beyond our borders."

Join the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) as it teams up with Award-winning composer and pianist Dave Grusin for five performances from Oct. 8-11.

Grusin, joined by bassist Brian Bromberg and percussionist Will Kennedy, will showcase his film scores as well as jazz and traditional works in a concert event titled An Evening with Dave Grusin.

The performances, part of the DTE Energy Foundation Pops Series, take place Thurs., Oct. 8 at 10:45 a.m. and 8 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 9 at 8:30 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 10 at 8:30 p.m.; and Sun., Oct. 11 at 3 p.m. in Orchestra Hall.

The program features a wide array of Grusin’s original compositions from film scores to such movies as The Firm, Tootsie, On Golden Pond, Havana, The Milagro Beanfield War and The Goonies along with the jazz work “Mountain Dance” and traditional cowboy songs “Git-along, Little Dogies,” “The Colorado Trail” and “Cripple Creek Breakdown.”  Also highlighted in the program are Mancini’s Peter Gunn and Mr. Lucky, Bernstein’s Porgy and Bess Medley and much more.

Since the late 50’s, Dave Grusin has worked in the profession of music as an arranger, pianist, composer and record producer.  Born in Littleton, CO and educated at the University of Colorado, he holds honorary doctoral degrees from the University of Colorado and from the Berklee College of Music in Boston.  
Grusin has written over sixty film scores, including The Graduate, Tootsie, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Firm, Havana, Heaven Can Wait, and On Golden Pond. Having received eight Academy Award-nominations, he won an Oscar in 1988 for The Milagro Beanfield War. Most recently he scored Recount for HBO.

From 1976 to 1995, he was in partnership with Larry Rosen as owners of GRP records.  His life as a recording artist and producer has resulted in ten Grammy Awards and numerous nominations, including one for Two Worlds in 2002 and another for Amparo in 2008. These two projects with guitarist Lee Ritenour feature performances by Renée Fleming, Joshua Bell, Gil Shaham, Chris Botti and James Taylor, among others.  

He has also arranged for and/or performed with Quincy Jones, Gerry Mulligan, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Arnold Steinhardt, Bobby Mcferrin, Peggy Lee, Patti Austin, Diana Krall, Grover Washington Jr., Earl Klugh, Arturo Sandoval, Clark Terry, Sergio Mendes, James Taylor, Billy Joel, Andy Williams and Paul Simon.
In addition, Grusin is co-founder (with Rosen) of the National Foundation for Jazz Education, a philanthropic group dedicated to helping young jazz musicians. He is also a rancher and a dedicated environmental activist.


Tickets to An Evening with Dave Grusin range in price from $19 to $70 with a limited number of box seats available for $100 to $105.  Tickets may be purchased at the Max M. Fisher Music Center box office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit); by calling (313) 576-5111; or online at  Seniors (60 and over) and students with a valid student ID can purchase 50% off RUSH tickets at the box office 90 minutes prior to concerts based on availability.

For group discount information (10 people or more), please contact Chuck Dyer at (313) 576-5130 or

Old-Time Tigers Remember Glory Days of Detroit

Christine Brennan
USA Today

The game Sunday afternoon at Wrigley Field was meaningless, just the Chicago Cubs and Arizona Diamondbacks playing out the season. But the bench coaches for each team found themselves strangely engaged in the one division race that still mattered, drawn from their separate dugouts to watching the numbers change on the scoreboard, knowing just how much what they were watching unfold meant to their beloved former home of Detroit.

"I'm watching the scoreboard, watching the scores from the Tigers' and Twins' games, then watching Detroit go ahead, and saying, 'Gosh, I wish that was me,' " said Arizona's Kirk Gibson, who grew up in Michigan and helped lead the Tigers to the 1984 World Series title. "It's stress, but it's what we love, to still be playing, to still have a chance."

"People who are in this business know how tough it is to win a title," said Chicago's Alan Trammell, who played shortstop for the Tigers from 1977 to 1996, then later became their manager. "Obviously it would be huge if the Tigers can win (Tuesday), but those darn Twins, playing in the Metrodome, they find a way to get it done."

Gibson and Trammell's rooting interest in the Tigers is entirely natural; they were in Detroit last week to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the franchise's last World Series victory.

But they also are cheering on a metaphor. Nothing comes easy for Detroit these days. The Tigers had a seven-game lead with 26 games remaining. Kind of like the Big Three automakers all those years ago. Then the Tigers were three up with four to go last week but fell apart before winning their final game to salvage a tie for the division lead.

If the Tigers don't find a way to beat Minnesota today, won't their collapse be the mirror image of their poor city's?

"These are great sports fans and I feel for them," Trammell said in a phone interview Monday. "On Saturday afternoons in September when I was playing, we used to have 40,000 at Tiger Stadium, there would be 100,000 over at Michigan Stadium and then another 75,000 up the road at Michigan State. I don't know how many towns can say that. As far as sports towns go, there's none better."

Gibson grew up in Pontiac, a Detroit suburb, and went to Michigan State. He not only remembers the 1967 riots and the 1968 Tigers' World Series victory as a boy of 10 and 11, he links the two, as any good Tigers fan does.

"That was very significant in the healing process for Detroit," Gibson said over the phone from Arizona. "Then in the early '80s, things weren't very good in Detroit and I remember the feeling as I was playing that we could help people get their minds off their troubles, that we could rally people, that we could help them be optimistic and help them believe again.

"Detroit is such a tough town. There have been a lot of jokes and comments made about Detroit for years and years now, and our sports teams have been that mechanism to keep us grinding, to keep us pushing forward, to try to overcome those odds."

There is no doubt sports really matter in Michigan. Although Detroit truly is a baseball town first and foremost, it's not wrong to also call it "Hockeytown," as many do. And we cannot ignore the fact that the new Detroit mayor is former Pistons point guard Dave Bing.

Problem is, for every step forward Detroit takes on the field of play, it seems a step backward comes along all too quickly. The Michigan State men's basketball team made the NCAA title game at Ford Field in April, then lost miserably to North Carolina. The Red Wings lost Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals two months later. The Lions finally won a game last month, but are back to losing again.

"I think everybody agrees Michigan has been hit harder than any other state in the country economically," Trammell said. "Sports doesn't fix things, we all know that, but it can get your mind off your problems for a period of time, so that's a great thing."

Trammell, a native Californian, spent enough time in Detroit to learn that even in the bleakest of Midwestern times, unfettered optimism often flourishes. He has heard, for instance, that there's always tomorrow.

Even if it's today.

Click on Detroit

Detroit leaders and community members kicked off a new musical campaign Monday in the city called "Change Detroit For Good."

Leaders from the Detroit Police Department, the Motown Alumni Association, the Detroit Lions Club, the Black Women Lawyers Association, the Better Detroit Youth Organization and 3rd Circuit Court Judge Deborah Thomas are supporting the cause.

The campaign is aimed at creating a more positive relationship between Detroit youth and law enforcement officials.

"At this very critical time in our city, it is imperative that we engage, encourage and empower our youth, who are our leaders of tomorrow," Judge Deborah Thomas said.

As part of the effort, a musical competition has been created to challenge young Detroit residents between the ages of 8 and 22.

Judge Thomas said the contest is open to all types of musical creations.

“We are going to accept sounds everywhere from reggae to jazz to blues to spoken word to gospel,” said Judge Thomas.

Contestants are asked to write and perform a piece on how to make Detroit streets and schools safe.
Fifteen finalists will be chosen by local Motown music artists, and then the public will have the chance the final three.

The winner will be given the chance to perform live, appear in the Thanksgiving Day Parade and receive guidance from a nationally-known producer.

The competition runs through Nov. 26.

For more information on the campaign and complete competition rules: .

Ryan Dunn
For The South End

Local lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender activist groups successfully prevented reggae recording artist Buju Banton from performing in Detroit, but they could not stop him from performing in Michigan.

The Blind Pig, a live music venue in Ann Arbor, played host to Banton’s performance last Wednesday night after The Majestic Theater in Detroit opted to call off the original date.

The controversy surrounding Banton stems from his song “Boom Bye Bye,” which contains the lyric “Anytime Buju Banton come, faggots get up and run…they have to die.” Other lyrics in the song, which was recorded in 1992 at the age of 15, promote the murder and torture of gay men by pouring acid on them.

LGBT groups across the nation have protested his shows, leading concert promoters LiveNation and AEG Live to cancel all of their dates on Banton’s current U.S. tour.

That did not stop the Blind Pig from allowing Banton to play. In a statement taped to the front of their building, they defended their decision,“We have come to the conclusion that this artist does not support the point of view that he put forward in his controversial song.

And that, to the contrary, his current performances are celebrated by many because of the powerfully positive messages he puts forward at his concert.”

After scheduling the concert in Detroit, the Majestic Theater staff received emails from LGBT groups such as Affirmations (Ferndale, MI) and The Triangle Foundation. The show was then canceled and cost the Majestic Theater thousands of dollars.

“It is next to impossible to simply cancel a show without major financial consequences. Yet, that is what we have done. We feel that our decision to cancel the show is less about making a statement on free speech and more about continuing to provide a welcoming atmosphere for all people,” David Zainea, co-owner of the Majestic Theater center, said in a statement.

One Wayne State University student, Jonathan DeFrancesco, supported The Majestic’s decision to work with their community, but expressed reservations about possible censorship.

“This seems that the Majestic is acting out of a debt to the community it depends on, which is cool to see, and hopefully helps with the fight against hate,” DeFrancesco said, “but can just as easily be a slippery slope towards rejecting any controversial art from being performed.”

To help offset the Majestic’s losses, Affirmations and Transgender Detroit, among others, organized a benefit concert on three days’ notice to take the place of the Banton concert. The concert featured local groups including The Big Pink Black and Coup Detroit.

“The show went great. We had a super lineup of entertainers. It was great that the community came together on such short notice,”  Michelle Fox-Phillips, co-founder and executive director of Transgender Detroit, said.

Banton’s show may have found another venue, but Kathleen LaTosch, chief administrative officer for Affirmations, feels the efforts of the LGBT groups are still a success.

“In these times, Detroit could use some positive energy,” she said. “There was a lot of goodwill generated in the broader community, so it was a win-win-win.”

Nicolena Stephan
Positive Detroit Guest Writer

Milan, Paris, Los Angeles and New York City have one major thing in common: They’re fashion hubs. Detroit isn’t one of the first cities that come to mind when we think of fashion, and that’s exactly what the executive committee of Fashion in Detroit (FID) is trying to change.

The very first FID event took place October 1 – 2 at the Detroit Zoo. According to its Web site, FID is a bi-annual two-day fashion event created by Project Runway’s Joe Faris to put a fashion spotlight on Detroit and create a venue that fills the needs of many locally based designers and the Detroit fashion community. The executive committee’s goal of bringing this event to Detroit is to rival other Fashion Weeks across the country.

I had the opportunity to attend the October 2 runway shows as a Positive Detroit contributor (it was weird to be on the other end of the spectrum wearing a press badge!). Now, I won’t claim that I live and breathe fashion, or that I’m a devout fashionista like Angela from Angela’s Eye, but I do invest a lot of thought into creating a wardrobe that reflects the fashion trends of the season. I was beyond excited to experience this first-ever fashion event and share my thoughts on the spring 2010 collections from various designers.

After trudging through the rain and doing my best to avoid splashing mud on my suede booties, I ended up missing Joe Faris’ show. Here’s a breakdown of the remainder of day two’s runway shows:

Kevin Christiana – contestant on Project Runway season 4, head designer and partner of the labels CHRISTIANA ZINN and MYNT 1792. Kevin’s show featured some of his MYNT 1792 collection.
MYNT 1792 is a lifestyle brand created by New Yorkers and inspired by Gotham City’s culture. It includes a combination of unique fashion and well-tailored designs for men and women. This collection featured a lot of skinny pants and 1980s inspiration, like leather, spandex, Michael Jackson inspired cropped jackets and studded vests and jackets.

Thanks to the lovely Stephanie Casola, I got to go backstage and chat with Kevin about being at FID. Kevin and Joe Faris hit it off immediately when they first met, and Joe told Kevin he should be a part of the first ever FID. Kevin said while Detroit is best known for its contribution to the music industry, music and fashion go hand-in-hand, so it makes sense for Detroit to rise up the ranks of the fashion industry. Shorts are Kevin’s favorite item to design and sell because they’re always adorable and easy to shop for online. While in Detroit, Kevin checked out Mon Jin Lau in Troy and Chen Chow in Birmingham.

Carhartt – 120 years in business, located in Dearborn, MI, designer of workwear and outerwear pieces that are known for durability, comfort and quality of construction.

Carhartt showed off some of its items that weren’t the traditional workwear and outerwear pieces. The new line featured a lot of plaid, leather jackets, studded belts, dark denim and cargo paints (spiced up with gladiator style shoes), cropped and tall boots and vests. The pieces were relatively plain without a lot of intricate detail or design. These outfits gave off a comfy chic, semi-grunge vibe.

Femilia Couture – established by designers Fotoula Lambros and Emily Thornhill in January 2007, leans toward using natural based fibers and sustainable materials, locations in Detroit, Ferndale and Milford, MI.

This was the first time I’ve seen Femilia Couture clothing, and I fell madly in love with this label! Sheer and flowing materials, floral designs and layering dominated this line. The designs were very feminine and romantic. Ruffles, bunched dresses, angled cuts, fringe, jumpsuits and off-the-shoulder tops were also prominent. Femilia Couture is perfect for those who love beautifully crafted pieces that make you feel pretty.

Betsey Johnson – world-renowned New York designer with a long-standing fashion career. If you’ve never heard the name Betsey Johnson, then don’t even try to claim you’re into fashion. Betsey is known for injecting creativity into her pieces and making up her own fashion rules. This line was neck-in-neck with Femilia Couture’s as my favorite of day two at FID. The essence of the style featured in this line was funky and flirty.

The models even strutted with more sass and pizzazz when they showed off Betsey’s pieces. This line included bright colors, mixed patterns (floral with cheetah print or stripes), sequins, plaid, cropped jackets, layered necklaces and dresses and bold prints. I’m not sure if I’m brave enough to sport most of the featured pieces, but if you want to make a statement at a party or event, then Betsey Johnson is your go-to designer.

Made in Detroit – the most recognized logo in Detroit fashion history, owned by Detroit’s favorite bad boy Kid Rock.

Made in Detroit wrapped up FID with a bang. Being that Kid Rock owns the label, the show kicked off with his famous head banger, “Bawitdaba”. The colors black, white and red dominated this line. There was a NASCAR theme going on with a lot of stripes, checkers and patches.

Both the men and women’s clothing were tight fitting. Accessories like suspenders, hats and belts were prominent with the outfits. I started getting bored by the same three dark colors, but things perked up at the end with a few hues of blue and cute denim dresses with black cinch belts.

Combined with the high-end fashion shows were a $5,000 donation to Danialle Karmanos’ Work it Out program and a FID Lifetime Achievement Award presented to designer Linda Dresner.

I briefly spoke with Karen Buscemi, StyleLine editor and FID executive committee member, who said that while they didn’t fill the 500 available seats, everyone viewed FID as a success. Regardless of the number of people who showed up, creating an event like this in Detroit is a success in itself.

Mark your calendars for March 2010 when FID returns to the D. It seems like FID is here to stay, and I couldn’t be happier.