Wonderfest Begins Tomorrow! Full Schedule Here!

 November 18 | 5 pm until 9 pm
Detroit City Tree Lighting

The tree will be placed in Detroit’s award-winning and internationally-acclaimed Campus Martius Park, at the majestic Woodward Fountain and adjacent to the popular Ice Rink. Continuing what the Detroit Free Press has called a “Great New Detroit Family Tradition,” the tree will be lit in a spectacular ceremony on Nov. 18.

November 18 | 4pm
Grand Opening

Come in and enjoy Detroit's Christmas Wonderfest with over 50 stores a carousel and a ferris wheel.

November 24th | 9 am
America's Thanksgiving Day Parade

For more information about America's Thanksgiving Day Parade go to TheParade.org

Christmas Fest Hours

Friday, November 18- 4pm until 10pm

Saturday, November 19- 10am until 10pm

Sunday, November 20- Noon until 8pm

Monday, November 21 - Noon until 8pm

Tuesday, November 22- Noon until 8pm

Wednesday, November 23- Noon until 8pm

Thursday, November 24- 9am until 1pm

Friday, November 25- 10am until 10pm

Saturday, November 26- 10am until 10pm

Sunday, November 27- Noon until 8pm.

November 18, 2011 |
Santa's Hours

Santa will be visiting with kids and families inside the Compuware lobby, directly north of Campus Martius Park.

Friday, November 18- 5pm until 9pm

Saturday, November 19- Noon until 8 pm

Sunday, November 20- Noon until 6 pm

Monday, November 21- 4pm until 8 pm

Tuesday, November 22- 4pm until 8 pm

Wednesday, November 23- 4pm until 8 pm

Thursday, November 24- Noon until 3pm

Friday, November 25- Noon until 8pm

Saturday, November 26- Noon until 8pm

Sunday, November 27- Noon until 6pm

November 18 |
Ride Hours


Friday, November 18- 4pm until 11pm

Saturday, November 19- 11am until 11pm

Sunday, November 20- Noon until 8pm

Monday, November 21- Noon until 8pm

Tuesday, November 22- Noon until 8pm

Wednesday, November 23- Noon until 8pm

Thursday, November 24- 9am until ????

Friday, November 25- 11am until 11pm

Saturday, November 26- 11am until 11pm

Sunday, November 27- Noon until 8pm.

November 18, 2011 |
Hofbrau Haus Hours

November 18, Friday: 4pm – 12am

November 19, Saturday:  10am – 12am

November 20, Sunday:  12pm – 12am

November 21, Monday:  12pm – 12am

November 22, Tuesday:  12pm – 12am

November 23, Wednesday:  12pm -12am

November 24, Thursday:  9am – 1 pm

November 25, Friday:  12pm -12am

November 26, Saturday:  10am – 12am

November 27, Sunday:  12pm – 8pm

Holiday Music
November 18-27 | Schedule TBD
Enjoy holiday music live on the Campus Martius Stage throughout the holiday season.

November 17 until March 6 | Varies

Ice skating begins on November 17th and continues through the winter season. Check campusmartiuspark.org for times

Click HERE for more information about Wonderfest!
Toby Barlow
The Huffington Post

 You may know this already, but the one thing I've learned since I moved here is that many, if not most, of the people who identify themselves as being from "Detroit" have really no idea what Detroit is like. That's because they really live in, say, Novi, Warren, even neighboring Redford, and haven't explored downtown in years. Holding onto mythologies perpetuated by a hysterical press over the past quarter century, they cling to the belief that there are no grocery stores in the city (we actually have 115) and still ask me where I get my dry cleaning done (for the last time, I get my dry cleaning done at the dry cleaners.) They've been to the Fox, to Comerica Park, and maybe waited in line at Slows, but they haven't been to MOCAD, Astro Coffee, D'Mongo's, Good Girls Go to Paris, Le Petit Zinc, Supino's Pizza or any of the other places that have popped up over the past half-decade.

People will say, "Oh it's not like it was," they'll say they can't bear what happened to Detroit, but they're simply blind to the possibilities of the present. Nostalgia for an old bygone Detroit is fine, but it's not relevant to what is happening on Michigan Avenue, on Woodward Avenue, and in Eastern Market right now. It's great that you still know the Faygo song, but do you know about the College of Creative Studies' massively incredible new Taubman Center? Who do you want to be? That guy hanging out at Starbucks sporting a Mark Fidrych t-shirt who has no idea where Cliff Bell's, Honest John's or the Russell Street Deli are (that last one's on Russell Street, by the way) or do you want to be really, actually, honestly, 100% from Detroit?

The lack of knowledge comes from a very specific history. The last two or three generations got out of Detroit during the enormous boom years, leaving the city limits for the American dream of a suburban house with two cars in the garage. In their wake, they saw Detroit go through an enormous upheaval of poverty, extreme racial division, and abandonment. The problems seemed too huge and too intractable so, out of frustration, they simply stopped looking. When they turned their back on the city, their children and their grandchildren did the same.

Click HERE to read the rest of this article!

Mentors Needed to Enlighten Detroit’s Future

Bob Hrtanek, mentor. mentee Josh Reece, 17, of De La Salle High School
Recently, the spirit of Detroit has been uplifted with dedicated, vibrant people who work hard on creating a positive change in the city. Young professionals, community builders, entrepreneurs, and artists alike are taking over Motown with their creativity and ambition. One organization, Student Mentor Partners, is searching for these great individuals to be a part of constructing and invigorating the future of the city: by mentoring Detroit’s youth.

They are looking for citizens that are passionate about Detroit, its youth, mentoring and/or education. Their ideal mentor is college educated, in the workforce or retired, and living in the Detroit area. Mentors commit to providing encouragement and guidance to a student for 4 hours a month through their 4 years of high school. Mentors attend free special events throughout the year with their student, such as Red Wings games, Detroit boat tours, Broadway shows, and more!  

For some mentors, like Bob Hrtanek, it is more than the games and shows, but being able to enlighten his student mentee to opportunities. He says, “New experiences, as well as our many one-on-one conversations, have helped him appreciate the need for a good education. I'm just happy I've been able to help give a young person a little bit of a better chance for success and happiness in life.”

At Student Mentor Partners, they serve Detroit area youth who struggle academically, and whose families struggle financially. They provide students with quality adult mentors, throughout their entire high school career. These mentors are a source of affirmative guidance for the youth. In addition, Student Mentor Partners provides tuition assistance for their students to attend private, college prep high schools. They also offer supplemental academic and life skills workshops. Students, who complete the intensive program, graduate high school. 99% of Student Mentor Partners’ graduates have also gone onto college!

This year they will enroll their largest class of new students into the program, so they are in great need of mentors to encourage them. With your help, these students will become strong young men and women. They will be critical in shaping Detroit’s future. Please consider helping to create the next breed of movers and shakers in Detroit. Even passing this mentor recruitment request onto others would be of great help.

For more information, please contact Tyler MacEachran, at tmaceachran@yahoo.com or call him at 586-445-6295. Also, please visit their website at http://www.studentmentorpartners.org.

Student Mentor Partners is a 501(c)3 non-profit that began in 1998. We invest in the future… one student at a time.

Craig McMorris, TV5 Anchor/Reporter

The Michigan Department of Transportation is looking for a consultant or consultant team to complete a high-speed rail plan from Detroit to Chicago.

The Request for Proposal (RFP) is aimed for the services of a qualified and experienced transportation (planning, environmental and engineering services) consultant or team to complete a Service Development Plan and a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Tier-1 Environmental Impact Statement for the corridor.

The FRA issued a Notice of Funding Availability on April 1, 2010, for the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program in the Federal Register. In response, MDOT submitted an application, which was selected by the U.S. Department of Transportation to receive funding to develop a Passenger Rail Corridor Investment Plan.

The 304-mile corridor between Chicago and Detroit/Pontiac is part of the Chicago Hub Network and is a federally designated High-Speed Rail Corridor. The existing corridor is also one of several major branches in the hub-and-spoke passenger rail system centered in Chicago, part of the Midwest Regional Rail Initiative.

In Chicago, construction started last month on the Englewood Flyover, a $133 million project to eliminate one of the Midwest's worst rail bottlenecks and reduce delays for passenger service. The project, made possible by $126 million in federal funding and $6.6 million in matching state funds, also will make preparations for additional tracks for expanded 110 mph service from Chicago to Detroit, Cleveland and the East Coast.

The deadline for individual firms or teams to submit responses to the RFP is Dec. 12, 2011.

More information about this project is available on the MDOT Web site on the Requests for Proposals page under Transportation Planning.
A pianist tickles the ivories at Cafe D'Mongos, a speak-easy that has reopened… (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

LA Times
Andrew Bender, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Reporting from Detroit—
"Where you headed?" asked the cheerful driver of the rental-car shuttle at the Detroit airport.

"Detroit!" I answered, equally cheerfully.

"Southfield, Birmingham or Rochester?" he asked, referring to well-to-do northern suburbs.

PHOTOS: Detroit's artistic side

"No, Detroit," I responded.

Silence, then a shrug as if to say, "Suit yourself."

Many Americans — even many Michiganders — see Detroit as a place to be feared: impoverished, decimated and down-and-out depressing. Sure enough, my drive into the city center took me past what a friend calls "desolation porn": eerie shells of onetime factories, warehouses, shops and office buildings, and block after block of overgrown lots that used to be comfortable working-class neighborhoods. During my visit, the local newspaper reported coyote sightings in the city.

Yet Detroit is evolving, not unlike late 1990s downtown Los Angeles. Cheap rents and an urban pioneering spirit are attracting young artists, and new restaurants, nightspots and even urban farms are serving this growing community and its hipster fans. It's still the early days, but change is palpable, even to the casual visitor.

"I tell my colleagues, 'Have your portfolio ready! There's a big spotlight on Detroit!' " said Gilda Snowden, an ebullient painter and professor of fine arts at the city's College for Creative Studies (one of the region's arts incubators, along with Wayne State University and the suburban Cranbrook Academy of Art). She pays $800 a month for a 2,500-square-foot studio with a kitchen and Jacuzzi.

There's plenty of inspiration in the designated Cultural Corridor, in the Midtown neighborhood just north of downtown Detroit. I stayed at the Inn on Ferry Street, a bed-and-breakfast in a cluster of Victorian homes off Woodward Avenue. It's just a couple of blocks to the Detroit Institute of Arts, by my reckoning America's most overlooked major museum: 658,000 square feet (more than 11/2 football fields) founded in 1885 and reopened in 2010 after a five-year renovation. I could have spent an hour ogling Mexican painterDiego Rivera's "Detroit Industry" frescoes (1932-33), but I was glad I made time for the collections of contemporary and African American art, and masterworks such as Pieter Brueghel's "The Wedding Dance" (circa 1566).

Within a few blocks' walk, the College for Creative Studies' student galleries exhibit skillful works of illustration, product and transportation design, photography and more. The campus sculpture park boasts pieces by Richard Serra,Alexander Calder and other 20th century luminaries. The nearby Scarab Club was founded in 1907, dedicated to artistic pursuits. Rivera, Marcel Duchamp and Norman Rockwellvisited its Renaissance Revival building (1928); on my visit, the exhibition "Family Ties" featured intergenerational works by Detroit artist families.

The problem for these artists, said Simone DeSouza, is that "Michigan artists don't sell to Michiganders." Local collectors might visit New York or Los Angeles to buy work made in Detroit. Aiming to change that, DeSouza opened Re:View Contemporary Gallery in 2008 in a loft-style building that could be at home on either coast.

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