Since April, we've been documenting pockets of innovation across America, under the premise that today's flux-driven economy can support entrepreneurs in any city, no matter how small and far-flung. In many ways, that underdog status is a boon, enabling outlandish ideas that wouldn't rate in more competitive markets, such as San Francisco and New York. Take Madison, Wisconsin, where progressive legislation is helping produce a new generation of tech startups, or Northern Arkansas, which has transformed into a hub for innovative retail companies in part because the biggest retailer of all, Walmart, is based there. The old barriers to starting and growing a business no longer abide. Here, we round up the best ideas emerging from some of the country's least likely places.

Detroit, Michigan 

Detroit Labs embodies the gonzo spirit of innovation that pervades Detroit. The one-year-old startup designs and builds mobile applications for big clients like Chevrolet and Domino's, but it also lets employees devote one day a week to totally independent projects. "Our goal is to empower the actual developers to become entrepreneurs," cofounder Dan Ward says.

Click HERE to read the full article on Fast Company!

Good news on several fronts. Our Olympic application for cornhole inclusion in the 2016 Rio games has been finalized and sent. Early hurdles include our “non-negotiable” that has to do with allowing individual costumes. We’re hopeful.

Until we hear back, the Detroit Cornhole Championship remains the world’s only sanctioned event. Which brings us to the best news yet…the registration link is up and we’re ready to throw some corn and crown the 2012 world champion on September 16th.

Sure “world champion” is heady stuff, but make no mistake, our chances increase if you can’t play well. Therefore, amateurs are heavily encouraged.

And, it’s not inconsequential that this year’s event is part of the R U Park Festival, with all proceeds going towards the all-important, ever-evolving Roosevelt Park. Future plans for park awesomeness include a skate park and much, much more, so it would be worth your expenditure even if you didn’t play. Let’s do this!

Just prior to publication of this very document, here’s what we’re able to confirm about the day:

• Pulled pork in the Slows tradition
• Fine, hand-selected beer
• Corn-themed live music provided some of Detroit’s finest bands
• A gallery of non-heckling cornhole fans from around the globe
• The greatest corn-bag tossing day on earth….ever How?
• Get your teammate and get in now, space is limited. Registration deadline is September 7th.

Register on-line with your team name and the name of both team members at http://tinyurl.com/8lns5wk (more information will be sent as we get closer to the event)

Show up. Drink beer. Toss well

Ships of the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy are scheduled to visit Detroit as part of the Navy’s Commemoration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812 and Navy Week, Sept. 3-10. The week will be packed with family-friendly special events recognizing the Navy for keeping the sea lanes free for more than 200 years.

Area residents will have the opportunity to learn about the Navy’s role during the War of 1812 and about today’s Navy’s capabilities and relevance to national security. Visitors will get a chance to see the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Guard and Canadian Navy firsthand through a wide array of community events and outreach activities. During the festivities, the public can visit Navy ships, attend concert performances by the U.S. Navy Band from Great Lakes, IL, view performances by the Navy Color Guard, and ride in the Navy flight simulator. Additionally, three U.S. Navy Admirals will be on hand for the festivities including Rear Admiral Sinclair M. Harris, Rear Admiral Gregory M. Nosal, and Detroit-native Rear Admiral John E. Jolliffe. The public will also get the chance to meet with active and reserve sailors and officers from the visiting ships, Navy Recruiting District (NRD) Michigan and Navy Operational Support Center (NOSC) Detroit.

"Just as last year, Detroit Navy Week 2012 will be our chance to demonstrate the mission of the U.S. Navy and our proud heritage; and this year is extra special as we commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 - a great Naval victory," said Rear Admiral Harris, commander of U.S. Naval Forces Southern Command and U.S. 4th Fleet. "America's Navy invites the city of Detroit to come out to see us as at the community events. We also look forward to performing various community service projects and engage with local corporate and community leaders."

Arriving at the city’s riverfront on Sept. 4 will be the coastal patrol ship USS Hurricane (PC 3), the frigate USS De Wert (FFG 45) and the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Katmai Bay, accompanied by the historic US Brig Niagara – a War of 1812 replica tall ship first constructed using the original wreckage salvaged from a Lake Erie bay in 1913. Also, the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Ville de Quebec will be pierside in Windsor, Ontario. All ships will be open for public visitation and private tours are available upon request.

Sailors and officers from NRD Michigan, NOSC Detroit, the visiting ships, as well as local U.S. Marines and Coast Guardsmen will participate in many community service and outreach projects, including volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, and interacting with youths at the local Boys and Girls Clubs and Detroit Children’s Hospital.

“This year, Navy Week is more important than ever as we commemorate the bicentennial of the War of 1812 and the writing of our National Anthem, the Star Spangled Banner,” said Rear Admiral Nosal, commander of Carrier Strike Group Two. “The U.S. Navy is our nation’s front line in war and peace, operating on, above and below the water. I look forward to our Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard team visiting Detroit and showcasing our ships as well as the men and women on watch 24 hours a day protecting our way of life.”

The War of 1812, also known as America’s second war for independence, is regarded by many as the conflict that started our country’s rise to global influence. From 1812 to 1815, the United States fought to expand to the north and west, and to assert rights to trade freely with other countries without interference from Britain’s Royal Navy ships on the high seas. America’s modern Navy and its role as a global maritime force are deeply rooted in the events of 1812 to 1815.

 Click HERE for the full event schedule.
Detroit resurgent? VentureBeat is coming to the Motor City in September

A month ago I wrote a snarky column about Detroit, the site of the first satellite location for the U.S. Patent office in its 200-year history.

The response was huge, and the response was immediate: Detroit is alive, Detroit is resurgent, and Detroit is kicking ass. And among them was an invitation … to come and see for ourselves.

“There are an enormous number of myths about Detroit,” said Josh Linkner, a venture capitalist at Detroit Venture Partners. “It’s really good to be here,” said Bill Emerson, the chief executive of Quicken Loans, the largest online loan company in the U.S.

So we’re coming. And we’re going to see.

VentureBeat will be in Detroit on Sept. 11-14, and we want to see all the cool startups. A sign-up form is at the bottom of this post. Tell us what you’re doing, why it’s cool, and why we should chat with you.

What we’re hearing right now is that downtown Detroit is nothing like the news stories and gloomy photo galleries that get so much national attention. That Detroit is vibrant, growing, and alive.

“We wanted to help rebuild Detroit through entrepreneurship,” says Linkner. “But it goes much father than just a social imperative — Detroit is a great place to be a technology entrepreneur.”

Detroit’s costs are very low he says, about one-third those at Silicon Valley or Silicon Alley. Engineers are 50 percent cheaper, and with the University of Michigan and Michigan State nearby, the region has big supply of talent. That’s important, since Detroit Venture Partners runs an accelerator in the newly renovated M@dison building.

“When we launched in 2010,” Linkner told me, “there were zero venture funds. Today there are 12 to 15 funds.”

Detroit Venture Partners is the most active with 15 investments so far, all in technology.

Click HERE to read the full article by John Koetsier on VentureBeat!
The 11th annual Tour de Troit, a bicycle tour through Detroit’s historic neighborhoods, will be held on Saturday, September 15 starting at Roosevelt Park. The event enables cyclists to explore the city while taking in many of its spectacular sights.

The event has continued to grow in participants over the years, and organizers are planning for 5,000 riders this year. The route will be closed to automobile traffic, a first for Tour de Troit. The City of Detroit has approved a closed course, blocking off the appropriate roads for the duration of the ride. Because no cars can enter the course streets, the cyclists will not need a police escort.

“We are so excited to once again give Tour de Troit participants the one-of-a-kind opportunity to see Detroit when riding along with thousands of fellow cyclists,” said Vittoria Katanski, Tour de Troit co-director. “This year, our riders will enjoy a new and exciting course taking them through wonderful neighborhoods and business districts.”

The event offers two routes – one for the more recreational rider and another for more experienced cyclists. The leisure course runs approximately 30 miles and the alternative course is a Metric Century, 62 miles. Registration and sign-in will begin at 7:30 a.m.; the Metric Century ride will depart at 8 a.m. with the main group departing at 9 a.m. Both courses start and end at Roosevelt Park in Detroit at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and 14th Street, Corktown. For a pre-ride pick-me-up, McDonald’s will supply yogurt parfaits and Great Lakes Coffee will be serving the java.

Registration costs $40 per rider and $35 for students. The cost increases on September 1 to $50/$45. Day-of registration costs $65 for all participants, but space is limited to 5,000 riders and participants are encouraged to register now. The Metric Century 62-mile option is sold out.

The Tour de Troit will be supported with approximately 50 sweepers and six support and gear (SAG) vehicles. Sweeper and SAG teams include experienced cyclists ready to assist participants with course instructions, changing flat tires or completing minor repairs on the road. If for any reason a rider cannot complete the course, the SAG team will take rider and bike back to Roosevelt Park. Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop, American Cycle and Fitness, The Hub of Detroit, Detroit Bicycle Co., Suicide Squad and Bikes and Murder sponsor the sweeper and SAG teams.

A rest stop, supported by Vitamin Water, Eastern Market Co. and Whole Foods, is located at the Detroit Boat Club on Belle Isle approximately halfway through the ride.

The ride culminates with a party in Roosevelt Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the shadow of Michigan Central Station featuring food and drink from local restaurants like Slow’s Bar B Que, Gonella Subs, Honeybee Market, Paul’s Pizza, Traffic Jam & Snug, Organaman and MillKing It Productions.

Flagstar Bank, a new Tour de Troit sponsor, covers maintenance fees and permit costs, allowing one hundred percent of participant entry fees to benefit greenways development in Detroit. The event has already raised more than $100,000 for cycling infrastructure in Detroit, including the Southwest Detroit Greenlink.

"Flagstar Bank is proud to be a sponsor of an event that helps financially support and build community awareness for our local greenways and bicycle routes,” said Mary Anne Parks, vice president, Event Management, at Flagstar. “We are committed to making a difference in Detroit and across Michigan, and Tour de Troit is a perfect match for our goals."

Advance registrations include a t-shirt; sizes are not guaranteed for day-of registration.

On-street parking is available at Roosevelt Park, but riders are encouraged to take the SMART bus or cycle to the event. Additional offsite parking is available at University of Detroit Dental School, Motor City Casino and Hotel and the State of Michigan Welcome Center, all of which are located within a ten-minute pedal of Roosevelt Park. Lodging partners for the event are Motor City Casino and Hostel Detroit.

To register and find out more information, visit www.tour-de-troit.org .

About Tour de Troit: The Tour de Troit is an annual event that raises funds to support non-motorized infrastructure in Detroit, including the Southwest Detroit Greenlink. The bicycle tour takes riders through the city’s historic areas, showcasing Detroit’s sites and landmarks.

Click HERE for the full article on Google's Blog!
My friend Jim's great aunt. Photo was taken in Detroit, circa 1961.
Erin Rose
Positive Detroit Original

I feel it is time the City of Detroit got a little creative with their crime prevention tactics.  What is Einstein's definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

I stress this is not a knock on the Detroit Police Department, Chief Godbee, or Mayor Bing.  This article is about getting creative and taking a look at what other cities have successfully done to lower/prevent crime without spending a lot of money.  I know this is hard for some people to grasp, but throwing more money at the problem does not exactly solve it, nor does saturating the streets with police presence.

Recently an article in Business Week paints a very realistic portrait of what is happening within city limits:  Midtown crime rates are going down while crime in other neighborhoods is going up.

To make matters worse, someone over at the Detroit News stumbled upon Google Maps somewhere between their power hour of Solitaire and agonizing over crafting the perfect someecard for their Facebook page and created the "Deadliest Crime Map."  Nothing says "Visit Detroit" like an online interactive map with up to the minute pins marking the most recent crimes.  Thanks for continuing to be a great ambassador of the city, guys.  So very 'Pure Michigan' of you.

So it looks like it is high time we roll up our sleeves, take matters into our own hands, and do something about this (and give certain publications some other uses for the internets).

Now before I present this list to you, I want to point out that there is no direct reliance on the said city government being solely responsible for the change.  It was a partnership and collective effort between residents, business owners, and the city government.  So instead of whining about Detroit's lack of funds and continuing to beat a dead horse, let's band together and make a change.

All in favor, read on.

Here is my list of three Creative, Inexpensive, and PROVEN ways Detroit can start lowering crime today:

1.  Play Classical Music

I see that eyebrow raise. Cue Gary Coleman's famous line, "Whatcha talkin' about, Willis?"

Playing classical music deters crime you ask.

The answer is a resounding "Yes."

Below are real world success stories to prove it.  Above is a video from the Library of Congress in D.C explaining the psychology behind it.  

2011, Los Angeles California  - Mayor R. Rex Pariss had 70 speakers installed along a half mile of Lancaster Blvd and for five hours a day, played a blend of classical music and bird songs (birds chirping).  Mayor Pariss believed the bird song and music combination would calm citizens and essentially deter crime.

After 10 months of playing the bird song/classical music combination:
  • Minor crimes fell 15%.
  • Major crimes fell 6%.
  • Maria Elena Grado, who runs the Lemon Leaf Café, says the area was "crime infested" when she opened in 2006. "Everybody laughed at the idea, but people don't even realize the things that make them tick."
2004, London England -  British Transport Police played classical music over loudspeakers in the most dangerous parts of London Underground stations.

After 6 months:
  • Robberies dropped by 33%.
  • Assaults on staff by 25%.
  • Vandalism of trains and stations by 37%.
2001, West Palm Beach Florida - Police mounted a CD player and speakers on an abandoned building and piped Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven 24 hours a day after Sgt. Ron Ghianda had learned about music being used for nuisance abatement in Texas at a seminar.

The corner had been a problem for 15 years and police occasionally increased patrols in the area for weeks at a time. Police Chief Ric Bradshaw demanded a permanent solution after a murder in the area in March.

They spent less than $500 for a CD player and speakers. The department also installed better lighting and cut down trees that provided shade in the daytime.

  • Drug-related calls dropped to four from February through June, compared to 20 during the same period in 2000, according to the police department.
  • Calls for service were down to 83 from 119 last year during those five months. 
  • According to Mamie Durham, 80, a 60-year resident of the neighborhood, "If someone ever told me Tamarind would look like this I wouldn't believe them. I remember when you used to have to walk in the street because (loiterers would) be on the sidewalk. It's cleaned up." 
Playing classical music also has deterred gangs of youth from hanging outside stores, reports of troublemakers and graffiti were dramatically reduced, according to a supermarket chain in the UK.

"It is mostly easy listening music that we are playing such as Bach, Tchaikovsky, Vivaldi and Mozart. It is a novel concept, but it does work and does move people on," said regional loss prevention manager Steve Hogarth. "The fact that youths hang outside the store is not a crime in itself, but the perception among staff and customers is that it is intimidating. It seems to make it a 'less cool' place to hang out if there is classical music playing."

Note: Studies conclude that the most effective classical music is from the Baroque period

Just imagine Detroit with the sounds of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra pouring into the streets.  They even make it convenient and inexpensive with their new app! Maybe this could be a new twist on the DIA's Inside|Out Exhibit and showcase different DSO concerts throughout the city.  Hmmm......

For those of you with a sense of humor:  Bust out the Barry Manilow.  Our friends from down under in Australia discovered that playing the sweet sounds of Barry on loop is unbearable to the ears of "delinquent  youth." It has officially been dubbed as the "Manilow Method."  So clear the cobwebs off your ghetto blaster and soon you will be humming this line with a smile "Well, you came and you gave without taking, but I sent you away, oh Mandy....."

2. Plant More Urban Farms

Oh, here is something Detroit is getting really good at!

In 2000, 54,000 lots were vacant in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society reclaimed 4,400 (8% of the existing vacant lots) planted trees and gardens along with erecting 3ft fences.

Over a 10 year span, The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society beautification and farming project:
  • Reduced shootings in the areas surrounding these lots.
  • People become more in touch with their neighbors and felt more connected with each other.
  • Calls from neighbors complaining of nuisance crimes (loitering, public urination, excessive noise) went up significantly in the immediate vicinity of the newly greened land, something that had not happened in the past.
  • Research has shown that if you diminish violence, people will be less stressed, and less-stressed people eat healthier.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has begun to look at greening as a tool for violence prevention.
This is also helping to combat violence in schools.  Principal Myra Sampson of Community Alternative Academy on Chicago's West-Side had a garden built to help squash the gun violence occurring at her school.  The garden has become a place where students AND the community come together. The dramatic increase of students becoming invested in each other and the project has led to Sampson to request 10 more vacant lots adjacent to her to school to be turned over for more urban garden and orchard projects. 

3.  Make Streets More Walkable

Photo From Wayne State University 

At the end of 2009, Rotterdam (Netherlands) police created an experimental project called "The Neighbourhood Takes Charge." 

This was a joint effort between the police and local residents, encouraging them to draw up a list of things that they wanted to see improved to make their community safer and happier.

The police then spent 16 hours per week solving the issues that were most important to local tax-payers.

Police of course expected local citizens to list the more serious crimes, like burglary or drugs, at top of the list.

To their surprise, these three items were the most popular:
  1. Street cleaning.
  2. Dog mess.
  3. Reducing traffic speeds. 
Nearly all of the most popular suggestions involved improving the street environment and making streets more walk-friendly.

Rather than neglecting serious crimes, they actually saw some dramatic reductions in all sorts of crime over a two year period.  The UK Government took note and sent the Policing Minister to Holland to see if this new approach could work in the UK.
  • Drug crime dropped by 30%.
  • Burglary dropped by 22%.
  • Vandalism dropped by 31%.
  • Traffic offences dropped by 19%.
  • Theft dropped by 11%.
  • Violence dropped by 8%.


The July RE/MAX National Housing Report has followed the trend on an improving housing market since the start of 2012. The trend continued in July, as home sales were 10.3 percent higher than sales last July and year-over-year home sales have now risen for 13 consecutive months. Median home prices have now reached levels higher than the previous year for six months in a row, with an increase of 3.7 percent over July 2011. Inventory is now becoming a serious challenge to this recovering market, with available homes-for-sale falling 26.8 percent lower than the same month last year. Home sales could be much greater if more inventory was available, especially in the lower price range, where most sales are now occurring. With increased demand and shrinking inventory, the average Days on Market of homes sold in July was 82.

The Median Sales Price of homes sold in July was $169,000. This price marks a 3.7 percent increase over the median of July 2011, but is off fractionally from prices seen in June, down 0.6 percent. The annual increase of 3.7 percent marks the sixth month in a row with year-over-year increases. Of the 53 metro areas surveyed for the July RE/MAX National Housing Report, an impressive 42 reported price increases over last year, with 12 metro areas experiencing double-digit gains, including: Phoenix, Ariz. +33.1 percent; Boise, Idaho +22.1 percent; San Francisco, Calif. +20.6 percent; Little Rock, Ark. +14.5 percent; Detroit, Mich. +14.1 percent; and Las Vegas +13.2 percent.

For all homes sold during the month of July, the average Days on Market was 82. This represents a drop of two days from the average in June and six days from July 2011. July represents the second month since September 2011 with a Days on Market below 90, and the lowest average since July 2010. The Days on Market average continues to fall in many markets due to low inventory. Days on Market is the number of days between first being listed in an MLS and when a sales contract is signed.

Click HERE to read the full report! 
Historic Pewabic Pottery is welcoming families with a creative flair to come out and experience the studio’s 5th annual Family Fun Day. The free-of-charge family-friendly day of artistic exploration features clay themed games such as fishing for ceramic goldfish, clay target practice and the building of a clay community.

In the courtyard, Pewabic artists will demonstrate the skilled art of clay wheel throwing and other fascinating techniques. A variety of “make-and-take” activities will be available for guests to create artwork of their own for $5 per project. Guests will also enjoy free face painting and guided tours of the historic building – scheduled for 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 2 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 21 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Pewabic Pottery
10125 E. Jefferson Ave. Detroit, MI
48214 (313) 822-0954

General Motors Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson plans to auction his 1958 Corvette with proceeds going to Habitat for Humanity Detroit and the rebuilding of the Morningside Commons neighborhood on the city’s lower east side.

Akerson and his wife Karin are active in Detroit donating their time, money and fundraising support to several charitable groups. They made a personal, cornerstone $1 million donation in February to help launch
“Leaders to Rebuild Detroit,” Habitat Detroit’s three-year, $25 million initiative to serve at least 500 families in Morningside Commons through house construction, rehabilitation, critical repairs and energy-efficiency upgrades.

 “A strong America is built on strong communities, and building those communities starts with one hammer, one nail and one person – and from there it’s contagious,” Akerson said. “My wife, Karin, and I want to see this effort to rebuild our headquarters city catch on, spread out and draw scores more volunteers and millions more in contributions."

For more information about the Corvette, click HERE

Detroit’s own Kid Rock is partnering with the Detroit Historical Society to help share the story of the city’s musical past and inspire its future.

The Kid Rock Foundation is donating $250,000 to the Society to establish what will be known as the Kid Rock Music Lab, an interactive gallery that covers more than 100 years of Detroit’s musical history. It will span a myriad of genres from jazz and blues to gospel, funk, rock, pop, techno and hip hop ­– all of which have defined Detroit in song.

The donation was derived from Bob “Kid Rock” Ritchie’s own love for the City of Detroit. As a result, everyone from Motown legends like Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson to rock gods like Iggy Pop, Alice Cooper and the MC5 will be represented in the gallery, as will Kid Rock himself. The performer’s music has evolved since his early days. As Kid Rock rose to international prominence, his own music has transcended boundaries. Known for experimentation, he fuses multiple musical genres that resonate with Detroit audiences to create a distinct sound all his own.

The Kid Rock Music Lab will offer more than a solid education in the history of these amazing artists. It will grant visitors a glimpse at the concert-going experience itself, a reminder of venues of past and present where musicians made their way to stardom, including the Grande Ballroom and Baker’s Keyboard Lounge. The Kid Rock Music Lab will explore the way in which song has inspired generations to demand R.E.S.P.E.C.T. and reflect the struggles of the era, including the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.

“We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to Kid Rock for making this lab a reality,” said Bob Bury, executive director and chief executive officer of the Detroit Historical Society. “Our intention from the beginning of this partnership was to showcase Detroit as a city with a rich musical history. We believe that is the sentiment that will emanate from the Kid Rock Music Lab as all genres and aspects of the Detroit music scene are represented. Our challenge in creating it has been managing to fit in as much of the city’s exciting and important musical past as possible.”

Visitors will not only see and hear stories of Detroit music – they will experience it for themselves. The music lab stays true to its name by offering this array of interactive activities meant to educate, entertain and inspire:

· Name That Artist – sample Detroit’s Greatest Hits and guess the singer.
· Kid Rock Picture Stop – Play in Kid Rock’s band and have your picture taken.
· Concert Stage – Feel what it’s like to be on stage, in concert with Kid Rock, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger or The Supremes. · Mix Your Own Music Station – Experiment with sounds and vocals to create your own song.
· Detroit Music Trivia – Test your knowledge.

 “We believe the Kid Rock Music Lab will be an inspiring new exhibit for museum-goers,” said Bury. “We envision our school groups will try out the interactive stations and leave with the notion that they not only understand the music of artists like Aretha Franklin and Kid Rock that much better, but that they will feel empowered enough to make their own music. The intention behind the new Kid Rock Music Lab is to help usher in the next generation of Detroit’s great musical artists.”

The quarter-million dollar donation supporting the Kid Rock Music Lab marks the Kid Rock Foundation’s largest outright charitable contribution to date. The lab, 1,400 square feet, will be located adjacent to one of the Detroit Historical Museum’s brand new galleries, the Allesee Gallery of Culture, which highlights the past century in Detroit pop culture.

These additions are part of the Detroit Historical Society’s $20.1 million Past>Forward campaign, an effort to renovate the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Detroit Historical Society collections. The upgrades represent the first major renovations to the museum since the 1960s.

On Nov. 23rd, the Detroit Historical Museum will reopen to the public, allowing visitors to explore new and expanded exhibits, enjoy technology upgrades and experience new educational offerings.

Jay Walljasper: Not Your Father’s Motor City

Cities are complex hives of human activity that highlight all that’s inspiring and troubling about modern life, often at the same time. Like any commons, they are made up of interconnnecting relationships that transcend our neat divisions into rich and poor, thriving and troubled.

New York’s revitalized districts sizzle with creative fervor yet other parts of town struggle with poverty and crime. Chicago’s Lakefront exudes prosperity while pockets of the West and South sides look like they’ve been bombed. Even an economically challenged city like Philadelphia sports charming, bustling Center City neighborhoods along with extensive post-industrial ruins.

We expect extremes in American cities–except in the case of Detroit, which all too often viewed as one, big, monolithic mess. Folks elsewhere can’t even imagine the existence of beloved spots in the city like the Riverwalk, Campus Martius square, Eastern Market, the Dequindre Cut bike trail, cozy neighborhood restaurants or hot music clubs. Ambitious downtown redevelopment projects come as shock. So does a housing shortage in the flourishing Midtown area–home to Wayne State University and two world-class medical centers, Detroit Medical Center and Henry Ford Health System.

And that’s only part of what people don’t know about Detroit. While the rebounding downtown and Midtown districts fit the usual pattern of urban progress–established institutions and developers guiding most of the changes — other parts of town are following a different playbook for revitalization.

The best example is Southwest Detroit.

Click HERE to read the full article!


Eight years ago, when my husband and his brother bought three buildings on a run-down block in Corktown, a mile southwest of downtown Detroit, the structures were such a wreck that you could stand in the basement and see the sky. 

Today, the entire block is bustling with new businesses. Charming side streets lined with candy-colored Victorians and a vibrant food scene -- including my brother-in-law's Slows Bar B Q and urban farms such as ACRE and Brother Nature -- are drawing a fresh wave of pioneers to the neighborhood, which was first established by Irish immigrants in the 1830s.

Last December, I opened a tiny inn above Slows called Honor & Folly. Here, a list of the don't-miss places I share with my guests.

Click HERE to read the full article by Honor & Folly owner and Corktown Resident, Meghan McEwen in Martha Stewart Living!
(Diego) Rivera Court 
Start your Detroit tour at DIA, the city's crown jewel. The Detroit Institute of Arts opened at its current location, near downtown, in 1927, during the post–World War I auto-industry boom that made Detroit one of the world's wealthiest cities. The museum's Beaux Arts building is massive, with more than 100 galleries, but if you choose carefully among the collections, you can be in and out in two hours. Check out the works by Degas and Cézanne and the collection of pieces by African-American artists; also, definitely see Diego Rivera's expansive mural known as Detroit Industry. Finally, spend a few moments to reflect in the Kresge Court, an inner courtyard and café.

DIA locates you in the center of Detroit's cultural scene, and there are other museums worth visiting in the area, notably the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, which houses the world's largest exhibit on African-American culture.

For lunch, walk — yes, people walk in Detroit, at least in this neighborhood — to a popular creperie nearby, Good Girls Go to Paris, or check out Wasabi Korean & Japanese Cuisine in the same building.

Click HERE to read Time Magazine's full list of things to do in Detroit (and where to stay and shop!)!  
Pewabic Pottery (Pewabic) today announced the launch of a new group aimed at targeting the next generation of cultural enthusiasts. Copper & Clay: Pewabic’s New Leadership Initiative is a committee of engaged, young professionals providing their leadership skills and experience in support of Pewabic’s mission.

The vision of Copper & Clay is to “engage, network, cultivate” with the goal of expanding membership among young adults. The committee is dedicated to growing Pewabic’s associate level membership for persons under age 35 by creating a rotation of events and cultivating the energy and passion of metro Detroit’s young professionals.

The group’s first event is a summer preview party which will take place Thursday, Aug. 16 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Pewabic courtyard. The networking event will feature hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and non-alcoholic beverages. The event is for adults age 35 years or younger.

Guests will enjoy giveaways, guided tours of Pewabic’s National Historic Landmark building and exclusive access to preview the annual summer sale featuring discounts of up to 50 percent on seconds, overruns and imperfects of Pewabic gift tile, vases and architectural tile.

Tickets for the summer preview party are $30, which include entry into the summer preview party and a year-long Pewabic membership at the associate level, or $15 for event entry only. Current associate level members can purchase tickets at a discounted rate of $5. Tickets are limited and must be purchased in advance.

To purchase tickets call (313) 626-2077 or email Lou at lcasinelli@pewabic.org. Tickets can also be purchased online at www.pewabic.org/summer-preview-party.

Pewabic Pottery is a non-profit arts and cultural organization and National Historic Landmark which is dedicated to engaging people of all ages in learning experiences with contemporary ceramic art and artists while preserving its historic legacy.

Pewabic is a historic working pottery which is open to the public year round and offers classes, workshops and tours to children and adults. Pewabic creates giftware, pottery and architectural tile, showcases more than 80 ceramic artists in its galleries, and operates a museum store that features pottery and gift tile made on-site. Visitors are welcome, free of charge, Monday - Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m. To learn more about Pewabic Pottery call (313) 626-2000 or visit www.pewabic.org. Pewabic Pottery is located at 10125 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit across the street from Waterworks Park.
Tacos at Taqueria Lupita's

Detroit is a fascinating place. It has beautiful architecture, a rich history and world-class art, including a stunning collection of floor-to-ceiling frescoes by Diego Rivera. Yet much of the city is deserted. Built for three million people, it housed about two million at its peak in the 1950s and now is left with only 700,000. Vast parts of the city are empty. Many areas feel post-apocalyptic, with beautiful homes, churches and schools that have been abandoned, their windows missing, anything of value ripped out by scrappers. Fortunately, all of that makes Detroit an even more interesting place to visit.

So does the food. A recent weekend trip allowed us to sample many of Detroit's fine culinary offerings, including authentic tacos in Detroit's "Mexicantown" and fantastic Middle Eastern food in nearby Dearborn. We were aided in that endeavor by a young entrepreneur, Andy Didorosi, whose Detroit Bus Company offers a cheap, easy and fun way to sample the city's finest bars and restaurants with an evening of unlimited hop-on-hop-off privileges (and food recommendations) for only $5. He even let us enjoy some beers on the bus and gave us the use of his megaphone.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

The 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series welcomesa stellar double-bill featuring The Sweet and The Tubes for the second to last concert of the series on the GM Riverfront stage, Aug. 10.The concert presented in partnership with Detroit’s Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM and the new Soft Rock 105.1 FM will rock the riverfront stage starting a 7:30p.m.

The Sweet rose to worldwide fame as one of the most popular glam rock acts, with a musical style that evolved from a bubblegum vibe to hard rock vocals. They achieved their first hit “Funny Funny” in 1971, androcked the UK charts with thirteen Top 20 hits during the 1970’s, including “Block Buster,” “The Ballroom Blitz,” “Fox on the Run,” and “Love is Like Oxygen.”

The Tubes catapulted into the rock and roll limelight during the mid-1970s and continued into the 1980s with classic rock staples. With top hits like “White Punks on Dope,” “What Do You Want From Life,” “Don’t Touch Me There” and their number one Billboard hit “She’s a Beauty,” the Tubes continued to evolve and ignite the rock world with their creativity.

The Sweet will open the show at 7:30 p.m. and The Tubes will take the stage at 9 p.m.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront will continue with the final show on August 17 featuring Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and Marshall Crenshaw. Located in the heart of the city, between the GM Renaissance Center and Detroit River, the concert seriesis a summer destination for dining and entertainment in Detroit.

Admission to the concerts is always free and no advance tickets are necessary. Viewing space is offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. In addition, boaters on the Detroit River are welcome to anchor near the riverfront and enjoy the shows from the water.

Andiamo Detroit Riverfront will provide refreshment and food concessions at several locations across the plaza. Outside food, beverages or coolers will not be permitted. Andiamo Detroit Riverfront and Joe Muer Seafood will accept dinner reservations before and after the concert and both restaurants offer outdoor patios overlooking the Detroit River and Rockin’ on the Riverfront stage.

Convenient parking is available for $5 per vehicle, starting at 5:00 p.m., at the GM surface lot at the intersection of St. Antoine and Atwater streets, adjacent to the GM Renaissance Center.

The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center is offering two viewing packages. The Andiamo Riverfront package includes a four-course dinner and overnight accommodations. The Joe Muer Seafood package includes a four course dinner, overnight accommodations and breakfast at forty-two degrees north. For reservations specify the package and call 1-800-352-0831 or visit detroitmarriott.com. Use promotional code D60.
Photo From The Twisted Onion (dot) com

The Shawarma at Bucharest Grill


They up the meat-and-pita game here by wrapping in cabbage and french fries and slathering on garlic paste. Good after a few pints of Motor City Brewing Works' Ghettoblaster ale, which you're likely to have drunk, since the Bucharest is located inside a bar. 2:00 A.M.; 2040 Park Avenue; 313-965-3111; bucharestgrill.com

Click HERE to read the full list!

The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation, a foundation dedicated to awarding scholarships to Michigan students who hold close to Mrs. Parks' ideals while demonstrating academic skills, community involvement and economic need, is honoring Joshua Smith with a $2,000 college scholarship. Smith, a 9-year-old from Detroit, captured the world’s attention when he set up a lemonade stand to help the City of Detroit recover from a cash crisis.

“The philosophy behind the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation is to give young people every opportunity to be prepared for the future, to engage youth in their communities, and to demonstrate the importance of civic involvement and the value placed on civic involvement,” said Delora Hall Tyler, president of the Foundation.
The scholarship dollars will go to Joshua when he graduates high school, as long as he meets the eligibility requirements, which include graduating from a public or private Michigan high school and maintaining a 2.5 or above GPA. Joshua’s mother, Rhonda Smith, was herself a Rosa Parks Scholarship recipient, in 1987.

Each year, the Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation awards 40 Michigan high school seniors $2,000 scholarships toward their college educations. The foundation, established in 1980 by The Detroit News and the Detroit Public Schools, has awarded over $2 million to more than 1,000 high school seniors. This is the first time that the foundation has granted a scholarship to an individual who is not a high school senior.

“Rosa Parks changed the world and inspired others to make it a better place for everyone. Special consideration for a scholarship was given to Joshua because at such a young age, he is an enterprising civic-minded young man who shares Mrs. Parks’ spirit of service and commitment to building a brighter future in his community. We look forward to fostering our relationship with him as he completes his education and becomes our leader of tomorrow,” said Tyler.

The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation is an autonomous entity and is not affiliated with the Raymond and Rosa Parks Institute for Self Development.

Since it was founded by The Detroit News and Detroit Public Schools in 1980, The Rosa Parks Scholarship Foundation has awarded over $2 million in scholarship money to more than 1,000 high school seniors. The Foundation awards approximately forty $2,000 non-renewable scholarships annually.
main_bannerTeam Joseph, a locally founded nonprofit focused on funding research to fight Duchenne MD, is pleased to announce that Detroit Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello will be supporting a new online fundraising campaign, “Strike Out Duchenne”, at www.TeamJoseph.info. The announcement was made by Marissa Penrod, who founded Team Joseph when her son Joseph was diagnosed in 2008 at the age of 5.

The project will run from August 1-September 19, 2012 with all money donated to be matched personally by Porcello, up to a campaign total of $10,000. Additionally, the top five fundraisers will receive two tickets to a 2012 Detroit Tigers regular season game including an opportunity to participate in an on-field check presentation with Porcello at Comerica Park. The online effort is being supported by the innovative Royal Oak-based CrowdRise philanthropic community.

“Rick’s generosity is heartwarming and inspiring,” said Penrod. “When Rick asked what he could do to help to raise awareness and needed funds, he never wavered in lending his name, time and star power while also reaching into his own pocket. The boys love him and so do we.”

“While most young boys are out running around and playing sports, those with this debilitating disease cannot – and that is a tragedy,” said Porcello. “I have been blessed, as an athlete, with the ability to perform to the best of my physical abilities. None of us should ever take that for granted.”

Duchenne muscular dystrophy is the most common degenerative muscle disease found in boys. As most kids are growing and gaining independence, boys with Duchenne are losing muscle function and mobility. One boy in every 3,500 will be diagnosed with Duchenne.

Donations can be made by individuals and through a team approach, which leverages online friends. A range of giving incentives celebrate Porcello’s jersey #48 and include autographed photos and baseballs at: www.TeamJoseph.info.

Team Joseph is a 501c3 non-profit organization with a mission to aggressively fund cutting-edge research to find a treatment or cure for Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Formed around the fight of Joseph Penrod, Team Joseph began with a mom who wouldn’t let her son be defined by his diagnosis, and with the support of family, friends and an army of volunteers, has evolved into the movement it is today. For more information about Team Joseph, visit www.TeamJoseph.info.

This final event of the Riviere28 summer series will begin with a yoga session by Yoga Shelter Midtown on the beautiful Detroit River, followed by brunch and a fun-filled day of classic lawn games including: Bocci, Cornhole, Chess, Checkers, Washertoss & Backgammon.

RAIN DATE: August 19

10 -11 AM: YOGA provided by the Yoga Shelter
11 AM - 3 PM: The acclaimed DJ Dez Andres will be spinning

Also enjoy Food Trucks, Lawn Games, Bloody Mary & Mimosa Bar

***Please note that this event is BYOB (bring your own beverages). We will, however, provide the mixers and ingredients for the Bloody Marys and Mimosas!!! Feel free to bring coolers, blankets, chairs, etc...

COST: $5 online registration / $10 at the door

Visit www.detroitriverfront.org/riviere28 to purchase your tickets today!

Link to event Location: http://goo.gl/maps/hj5U
Parking will be marked and available on the grass of the park

Photographer Noah Stephens will capture special moments from the event!

College campuses are ripe with innovation, as students grow through education and experimentation in school. To help foster this innovation, many colleges and universities have opened business incubators, helping students and others in their community to help make their innovative dreams a reality. Whether they’re offering tricked-out labs or incredible funding opportunities, these incubators offer a great opportunity for students who are smart (and lucky!) enough to participate. Follow along as we explore 10 of the most exciting college business incubators around today, and be sure to share your own favorites in the comments.


In the Motor City, technology startups can turn to the super-cool Tech Town incubator, a program created by Wayne State University to reignite Detroit’s entrepreneurial culture. Founded in 2000, Tech Town boasts an incredible list of resources for tech-minded entrepreneurs, including work space, access to capital, educational workshops, and guidance with business development programs, coaching, and mentoring. Entrepreneurs working with Tech Town even get access to Wayne State’s significant research, academic, and technology assets. Although decidedly urban in nature, Tech Town boasts 12 blocks, 43 acres, and a rich history: the TechOne building was once the Chevy Creative Services building, and the Corvette was designed on the building’s third floor. With nearly 300 companies working under its roof, participants in the Tech Town program contribute to the growth and livelihood of Detroit and the Wayne State University community. Even established corporations can’t resist the attraction of Tech Town: the Henry Ford Health System relocated its genetics labs to Tech Town’s research space.

Click HERE to read the full article on Best Colleges Online!