Tiger Magglio Ordonez donates $200000 to Renovate St. Hedwig Park
Bill Shea
Crain's Detroit

St. Hedwig Park in southwest Detroit saw its two ball diamonds renamed Magglio Ordoñez Field today thanks to $200,000 in renovations made to the fields courtesy of the Detroit Tigers outfielder.

The money includes funding for maintenance and upkeep.

About 250 kids, along with Ordonez and Tigers officials, attended a rain-soaked dedication ceremony, including a community clean-up and barbecue, at the field this afternoon, the team said.

A new baseball diamond was built next to an existing field, which was renovated. A third field will be renovated this fall in time for play next summer, the team said.

The park is at 5680 Konkel Street.

The effort was made through the Detroit Tigers Foundation in cooperation with Think Detroit PAL.

The foundation has improved nearly 50 fields in cities across Michigan as part of its effort to improve youth/community ball fields suffering from financial hardship or neglect.

A Detroit public high school will receive needed repairs while being featured on a network makeover reality show expected to air this fall.

Executive Producer Denise Cramsey said Thursday that work on the exterior of the 481-student Communication & Media Arts building will run Aug. 1-7 as part of NBC's "School Pride."

The district says Communication & Media Arts was removed from a list of schools to be closed partly because of the renovations coming for the show.

Crews in Detroit on Thursday doing advance filming for the show captured student excitement after they were told about "School Pride."

Cramsey says the school was selected because its poor physical condition and passionate students and parents fit the show's profile.
Sun and Sand in the Great Lake State
Katie Glaeser

The sound of the waves helps me daydream as I watch the wind carry grains of sand across my toes. Seagulls circle the water, carefully watching their prey. My niece and nephew giggle as they build sand castles on the beach. And as I look to the horizon, sailboats speckle the water with mighty freighters in the distance.

This is my summertime resort -- miles and miles from the ocean.

Sure, many people head to Florida or Cape Cod for a summer getaway, but I head north to Michigan to play in the sun, sand and waters of Lake Huron. And this is just one of the state's aquatic attractions; visitors to the Wolverine State are never more than six miles from one of its thousands of lakes and streams.
People I talk to outside of Michigan don't seem to understand all the state has to offer and would never consider it a must-visit destination. But Michigan can provide some unique experiences for your summer vacation.

Lake Huron, the second largest of the Great Lakes, stretches along Michigan's east coast through small shore cities such as Lexington and Oscoda. It goes all the way up to Mackinac Island, a place that hasn't seen an automobile since they were banned there more than a century ago.

When you arrive to the island by ferry, it's like you have stepped into another time in history. The streets in Mackinac are filled with horse-drawn carriages and bikes. Historical buildings line the streets, including the Benjamin Blacksmith Shop, which offers live demonstrations, and the Grand Hotel, which boasts the world's largest front porch stretching 660 feet.

The perfect ending to a Mackinac Island trip is stopping in to have a sweet treat at Ryba's Fudge Shop. The island's booming fudge industry is celebrated in August during the annual fudge festival.

"Soldiers" offer re-enactments at Fort Mackinac, Michigan's only Revolutionary War-era fort.

For a quick day trip, head north from the island and cross over the Mackinac Bridge into the Upper Peninsula to experience the outdoors at places such as Tahquamenon Falls. A short drive away is Sault Ste. Marie, the state's oldest city. There you can watch as water levels are controlled to allow safe passage of boats into Lake Superior at the Soo Locks.

Travel to Traverse City, on the west side of the state, and sail the afternoon away on a replica of a 19th-century tall ship. A drive along the Leelanau and Old Mission peninsulas offers breathtaking scenery as vineyards overlook the blue waters. Stop in for tastings at one of the many wineries in the area; Ciccone Vineyard and Winery is owned by the family of Michigan's own pop sensation, Madonna. And if you're a fan of cherries, you're in luck because the fruit is abundant in the region.

A short drive from Traverse City, be sure not to miss the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Steep hills of sand rise 400 feet high above Lake Michigan as children and adventurers spend the afternoon climbing up and tumbling down. If you're not quite so thrill-seeking, you can park yourself atop the mounds and look out at the water. It's an especially beautiful site at sunset.

As you drive along the shoreline, stop to see an old military fort or a lighthouse; more than 100 of these attractions line the coasts of both peninsulas. They are full of history and most are inexpensive "field trips" that will thrill kids and kids at heart alike.

There are plenty of things to do along the water, but venture onto it and the possibilities are endless: sailing, water skiing, fishing or just lounging on a float. Loungers can get in on the action by pulling out a pair of binoculars to watch boats glide by. The annual Chicago to Mackinac race expects 3,000 sailors from around the world to cut through the waters of Lake Michigan this weekend.

So while other destinations may come to mind first, remember Michigan can offer summer fun, too. It is, after all, the Great Lake State.

Production has begun in Detroit on “Detroit 1-8-7,” ABC’s highly anticipated new drama set to premiere TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET), after the “Dancing with the Stars” results show.
What does it take to be a detective in one of America’s toughest cities? Follow one homicide unit as Detroit’s finest unearth the crisis and revelation, heartbreak and heroism of these inner city cops in this series shot entirely in Detroit, Michigan.

There’s the damaged but driven Detective Louis Fitch, a wily homicide vet who is the most respected — and most misunderstood — man in the division; Detective Damon Washington, Fitch’s new partner, who finds the first day on the job is a trial by fire, complicated by the imminent birth of his first child; Detective Ariana Sanchez, sexy, edgy and beautiful, who has emerged from a rough background to become a rising star in the department; narcotics undercover cop John Stone, a streetwise smooth talker, clever and quick with a smile made for the movies, who is teamed with Sanchez — a combustible pairing rife with conflict and sexual tension; Sergeant Jesse Longford, a 30-year veteran and sage of the department struggling with his impending retirement from the force and the city he loves, who, together with his partner, Detective Vikram Mahajan — a fully Americanized son of Indian immigrants — form an amusing mismatch of experience and enthusiasm, intellect and instinct, old school and new world, but whose combined skills have never encountered a case that couldn’t be cleared; and all are headed by Lieutenant Maureen Mason, a strong-willed single mom struggling to balance home and work. The unit works with the primary medical examiner, Dr. Abbey Ward, who has an unusual hobby in her off-hours—roller derby.

The men and women of Detroit Homicide are as smart and tough as they come. They have to be, as they struggle with their own inner demons, using only their sharp sense of humor to keep them grounded while working the neighborhoods of the historic Motor City.

“Detroit 1-8-7” stars Michael Imperioli (“The Sopranos,” “Life on Mars”) as Detective Louis Fitch, James McDaniel (“NYPD Blue”) as Sergeant Jesse Longford, Aisha Hinds (“True Blood”) as Lieutenant Maureen Mason, D.J. Cotrona (“Windfall”) as Detective John Stone, Jon Michael Hill (Broadway’s “Superior Donuts”) as Detective Damon Washington, Shaun Majumder (“24,”“Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle”)  as Detective Vikram Mahajan, Natalie Martinez (“Death Race”) as Detective Ariana Sanchez, and Erin Cummings (“Mad Men”) as Dr. Abbey Ward.

David Zabel (“ER”), Jason Richman (“Swing Vote”), Kevin Hooks (“Prison Break”), David Hoberman (“The Proposal”), and Todd Lieberman (“The Proposal”) are executive producers. “Detroit 1-8-7” is a production of ABC Studios.
Tamara Warren
The New York Times

Berry Gordy Jr., founder of Motown Records, claimed that Detroit’s assembly lines inspired the sound of his label’s music. The originators of techno dance music, which also got its start in the city, were subject to these surrounding influences, as well, though the mood of the town had changed dramatically by the early 1980s.

Underground Resistance Michael Banks, producer and co-founder of Underground Resistance. rarely shows his face in public.
“Detroit is a cold place with a heart made of metal,” said Michael Banks, a producer and co-founder of Underground Resistance, a politically charged techno outfit in Detroit.

“For me, the car industry affected techno music by its efficiency aspects,” Mr. Banks, who also records under the name Mad Mike, explained.

Juan Atkins, a Detroit music producer, is widely credited with inventing the techno genre. He coined the term in 1984 from the novel “Future Shock” by Alvin Toffler. That same year, Mr. Atkins released the song “Techno City,” a recording that popularized the word in Europe.

Mr. Atkins drew heavily from the influence of local car culture, creating tracks like “Night Drive” and “Cosmic Cars” under the recording names Cybotron and Model 500.

What made Detroit techno distinct from other forms of early electronic music was the industrial, methodical and soulful nature of the compositions. There was minimal use of vocals, which were created entirely on synthesizers. The mechanical pulse of techno resonated with the car industry.

Mr. Atkins and his peers cited the German synth-driven music group Kraftwerk and funk legend George Clinton, who periodically recorded in Detroit, as the impetus for their work. Kraftwerk also made textured dance tracks like “Autobahn” in 1974, experimenting with the blend of synthesizers and live instrumentation.

The second wave of Detroit techno producers followed suit with car themes layered both overtly and subconsciously in the music. For example, “Landcruising,” a 1995 album by Carl Craig, included a sample in the introduction from his BMW 318i engine.

It was during this time that Mr. Banks started Underground Resistance Records.
“Just as the automakers were constantly trying to improve quality and cut costs by adding robotics to assembly lines,” he said, “back in the ’80s I was searching for ways to get rid of annoying band members who complained too much, were always late for shows and always wanted all the money. Drum machines and sequencers were the answer.”

Mr. Banks works out of a recording studio that originally housed a labor union on East Grand Boulevard, several blocks from Motown’s origins. He counts car designers from Ford, General Motors and Chrysler among the fans who come to the building to buy vinyl.

“There have been times at our small store here in the basement of the building that some rather odd customers will come through,” said Mr. Banks, an avid Chrysler muscle-car enthusiast. In 1991, his label released “G-Force” as an homage to Detroit drag racing. “These people aren’t your average dance floor D.J.’s that usually buy our products. They are young automotive designers. They listen to our music so as to inspire progressive thoughts of what automotive transportation will be in the future.”

He added, “I’m proud they come to us here in one of the most depressed neighborhoods in a massively depressed city for inspiration of what could be.”

Introducing the America’s Favorite Art Museum Tourney!
Modern Art Notes

Have you ever sat around the house on a Tuesday night thinking, “America is a land of many wonderful art museums. I wonder which one of them her smartest, most handsome residents like best?” Well, if so, then we have the event for you!

Introducing the latest MAN summer spectacular, a tournament so big, so sea-to-shining-sea-to-oil-drenched-Gulf, so shining-amber-waves-of-Agnes-Denes’-grain that only you, our loyal readers, can determine its outcome: That’s right, it’s MAN’s America’s Favorite Art Museum tournament.

Here’s how it will work: Last week we convened the tournament seeding committee: former Newsweek art critic and “Sunshine Muse” author Peter Plagens, vice president of editorial (here) at Louise Blouin Media Benjamin Genocchio and me. We each ranked our favorite art museums from 1 to 64. I turned our combined rankings into the seedings.

What criteria did we use to make our picks? We picked favorites. (Remember: We’re not asking you to vote to pick America’s best museum, just the one you enjoy most, the one in which you’d most want to spend a happy Thursday.) For me, I weighted the experience of being in the museum, in its galleries, most heavily. I also considered big-picture things that go into individual visits: its collection (or in the case of a kunsthalle its programming record) and how active an acquirer of art it is. You may choose to consider its website, the quality of its scholarship, its ethical comportment, its Twitter feed, or its bathrooms. Pick favorites.

Hurry!  Voting ends this Sunday, July 25th!  Vote for the DIA HERE!


Microsoft Corp. and the Southfield Town Center announced Tuesday it would build a 16,927-square-foot Microsoft Technology Center in the 1000 Tower of the center.

When it opens this fall, the MTC will be one of only nine such Microsoft centers in the United States.

The Detroit MTC will provide large businesses and independent software vendors with strategy briefings, architecture design sessions, and  proof-of-concept workshops.

Microsoft said its lease of the space begins Aug. 1, and its opening is planned for late fall.

The MTC will occupy space adjacent to Microsoft’s existing Southfield office on the 19th floor of 1000 Town Center Drive.  The company has been a tenant of Southfield Town Center for 19 years, and with the addition of the MTC Microsoft, will occupy 57,364 square feet of space.

“Our new Technology Center is another expression of Microsoft’s longstanding commitment to the Detroit community, and we believe it will become a valuable resource for metro Detroit businesses,” said Drew Costakis, director of the  Microsoft Technology Center. “Because of its central location in southeast Michigan, the new facility is in an ideal location for customers throughout the region, enabling them to take advantage of all our technology offerings closer to home.”

Currently, Microsoft operates eight MTCs, in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Irvine, Calif., New York, Reston, Va. and Silicon Valley.
Lauren Sternberg

Build it and they will come. Well in this case, offer an irresistible film-incentive package and you’ve got the likes of Gerard Butler, Hugh Jackman and Courtney Cox hanging out in Michigan this summer because their movies are filming in Detroit.

Movies set to film in or around Detroit this summer:

A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas
Who/What: Both John Cho and Kal Penn return to the third in the Harold & Kumar series of movies. According to an article in Hollywood.com, Neil Patrick Harris will also return.

Locations: The production filmed in West Bloomfield for three weeks in July. It also filmed at the Somerset Collection and the Detroit Opera House.

Machine Gun Preacher
Who/What: Gerard Butler was in Detroit in July to star in a movie about Sam Childers, a former drug dealer/biker who helped Sudanese orphans. The movie also stars Michelle Monaghan.

Locations: According to several sources, the production filmed at several locations in Melvindale, including Hearthside Mobile Home Park, Allendale Elementary and Jakes Crossroads Bar. It also filmed at Red Holman Pontiac, Schoolcraft Community College in Garden City and Stockdale’s Bar on Michigan Avenue in Wayne.

More Information: According to MichiganActing.com, the production was also looking to cast “chubby babies” from the Metro-Detroit area.

Real Steel
Who/What: Hugh Jackman was about town in July to play a robot-boxing promoter in the futuristic movie Real Steel. The movie also explores the relationship between Jackman's character and his 11-year-old son.
Locations: The production filmed at the Detroit Fire Department Headquarters, Nicholson Terminal & Dock, and the gravel pits in Oxford.

Scream 4
Who/What: Courtney Cox, David Arquette and Neve Campbell are back in the latest installment of Scream.

Locations: The production filmed in July at Hutzel Women's Hospital in Detroit and the New Chapter Bookstore & Bistro in Northville, as well as Livonia, Ann Arbor and Dearborn. Downtown Plymouth stood in for the fictional Woodsboro on July 19th and 20th.

The Detroit Tigers have partnered with The Salvation Army for the 2nd annual “Christmas in July” at the 1:05 p.m. game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays, at Comerica Park in Detroit.

Comerica Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland in the heat of the summer. Fans will be greeted by the sounds of The Salvation Army’s famous brass bands and Red Kettle bell ringers at gates A, B, C and D. Hundreds of children with The Salvation Army’s day camps will also take to the field prior to the game in a festive “Prance Around the Park,” courtesy of the Tigers.

The event serves as a reminder that men, women and children of all ages are in need 365 days a year.

 The Salvation Army band will also perform the Star-Spangled Banner, and Corp. Jason Hale, a paratrooper with the Michigan Air National Guard, will deliver the game ball to the pitcher’s mound. Corp. Hale is a planned giving specialist with The Salvation Army.

Children from The Salvation Army’s various metro Detroit day camps, some attending their first baseball game; Corp. Jason Hale and The Salvation Army bands and bell ringers.

Thursday, July 22
Activities Begin at 11:30 a.m.
Children’s “Prance Around the Park” at 12:35 p.m.
Anthem at 12:57 p.m.

Comerica Park
2100 Woodward Ave.

Playboy Unveils List of America’s Greatest Bars
A Coast-to-Coast Roundup of the Nation’s Best Drinking Establishments, Best Dive Bars, and Best Late-Night Eats

Looking for a great place to have a drink?  Look no further than “Playboy’s Guide to America’s Greatest Bars” in the magazine’s August 2010 issue (available on newsstands and at http://www.playboydigital.com as of Friday, July 16).

From NYC to LA to all points in between, writer at large and nightlife aficionado Steve Garbarino, along with the Playboy staff, list the nation’s best watering holes and explain why it’s worth taking a seat at a bar stool in these must-see establishments.

In addition, the article also lists the country’s “Best Dive Bars” and “Best Late-Night Eats,” two uniquely American staples of nightlife culture.  Following is an alphabetical listing of Playboy’s top spots in the nation.  A complete round-up will be available online at HERE.

— Austin: The Continental Club
— Chicago: The Map Room
— Dallas: The French Room and Rodeo Bar & Grill at the Hotel Adolphus

Detroit: Cliff Bell’s

Contrary to popular belief, you can still find real panache in Motor City. Opened in 1935 by bar czar Cliff Bell, his eponymous cocktail lounge and jazz club was once the spot—before falling on hard times. Five years ago, however, respectful new owners restored the bar to its original luster, and the best combos in town have retaken its sunburst stage, ensuring that Cliff Bell’s still emits a pitch-perfect ring. Heed the call.

— Kansas: The Mutual Musicians Foundation
— Las Vegas: The Bootlegger Bistro
— Los Angeles: Dan Tana’s
— Los Angeles: The Roger Room
— Miami Beach: Mac’s Club Deuce
— Miami Beach: The Raleigh Martini Bar
— New Orleans: Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar
— New Orleans: The Sazerac Bar at the Roosevelt Hotel
— New York City: King Cole Bar at the St. Regis Hotel
— New York City: Jane Ballroom at the Jane Hotel
— Palm Springs: Starlite Lounge at the Riviera Resort & Spa
— San Francisco: Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Hotel
— Savannah: Planters Tavern in the Olde Pink House
— Seattle: King’s Hardware

— Austin: Mean-Eyed Cat
— Boston: Lucky’s Lounge
— Chicago: Cal’s
— Dallas: Lee Harvey’s
— Lompoc, California: Jasper’s
— Memphis: Ernestine and Hazel’s
— Miami South Beach: Ted’s Hideaway
— Nashville: Springwater Supper Club
— New Orleans: The Saint
— New Orleans: Snake and Jake’s Christmas Club Lounge
— New York City: Milano’s
— New York City: Subway Inn
— San Francisco: Specs
— Washington, D.C.: The Big Hunt
— Wichita: Kirby’s Beer Store

— Baltimore: Deep-fried Cheesesteak at Hot Tomatoes
— Chicago: Led Zeppelin Burger at Kuma’s Corner
— Hollywood: 101 Coffee Shop
— Las Vegas: Pho Kim Long
— New Orleans’s French Market: Beignets at Cafe Du Monde
— New York City: Burgers at Daddy-O
— Seattle: Poutine at Smith

Christine Lagorio

Joe McClure spent his childhood in Detroit buying cucumbers and dill at farmers markets. Now, he pickles professionally.

Company: McClure's Pickles

Age: 29

Year founded: 2006

Location: Detroit

2009 Revenue: $390,000

2010 Projected Revenue: roughly $800,000

Employees: 7

Website: Mcclurespickles.com Facebook Twitter: @mcclurespickles

As Joe McClure tells it, one hot late-summer morning each year throughout his childhood, his father, Mike, would wake him and his brother Bob at the break of dawn. It was pickling day, which meant a trip to the farmers market, from which the McClure men would return home with bushels of cucumbers and fresh garlic and armloads of dill sprigs. Over the course of the next 10 hours, the McClure clan would brine some 60 quarts of homemade pickles, which Mike gave to friends and colleagues around the holidays.

Fast-forward to 2006, when the sons, now adults, started missing the annual family tradition. Bob McClure, an actor living in Brooklyn, New York, flew back to Detroit, where his brother, Joe, and family still lived. The brothers dug up their grandmother's recipe and concocted a large test batch of garlic-dill pickles. Joe took jars to Michigan markets, and Bob began distributing pickles to bars in Brooklyn. Demand was strong, so the family used $50,000 in equity on a condo they owned to finance commercial kitchen space in Detroit. "We did farmers markets just to get the name out, and get some foot traffic," Joe McClure said. "We bought all our equipment on eBay and refurbished it. Bob had a friend who designed the label for us. The website was done by a friend."

Today, an estimated 70 percent of McClures sales of pickles – a second, spicy, variety as well as new products such as relish and Bloody Mary mix – comes from retail stores, with online and market sales comprising the rest. Since landing national distribution with Williams Sonoma and Whole Foods, the McClures – Joe, his mother, Jenny, father, Mike, and a couple employees, have been hand cutting and brining up to 800 jars of pickles each day. The family is committed to using as much local produce as possible, and the jars' labels are printed using vegetable inks by a press powered by hydroelectric and wind power.

Joe, who is studying for a doctorate in Physiology at Wayne State University, runs the Detroit operation from a 2,300 square foot commercial kitchen. On pickling days, the whole crew wakes at 3 or 4 a.m., so a batch of pickles can be completed before Joe heads to school at 10:30 a.m. to work on his thesis on the neurocontrol of circulation. Asked if he plans on staying in academia, Joe says: " I originally did, but right now I'm having more fun with the pickles."