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.