In 2011, an AMEX survey found 64% of homeowners planned to embark on a home improvement project, focusing on do-it-yourself projects and spending an average of $3,400. Eric Stromer will show homeowners they can demand everything and compromise nothing because home improvement can be easy and doesn’t have to cost a lot of money.

Eric Stromer is a popular name in home improvement with his roots as a 20-year veteran contractor, and is currently seen by millions of television viewers. This July, Stromer launches a new show on A&E, “Hideous Houses.” Stromer previously hosted the HGTV hit show “Over Your Head.” People magazine named Stromer one of its "Sexiest Men Alive."

Saturday, June 9 12:00pm -2:00pm
 Lowe’s Home Improvement
 2000 Metropolitan Parkway
Sterling Heights

The Gorilla Challenge, a nationwide competition, will be held in Detroit on June 16, 2012 and will charity spotlight the Gleaners Community Food Bank, an organization that works to fight hunger in the area.

The Gorilla Challenge will make it’s way to Detroit on June 16, 2012. The competition is a combination of both physical and mental challenge that entails decoding clues and racing through downtown in order to win prizes and competing in a food drive and costume contest. In addition, the event provides the opportunity for participants to support a local, charitable organization.

“The goal of the challenge is not only to race around for prizes, ” said Danial Abassi. “It’s all about getting the community involved and communicating about the causes and issues that are locally relevant.”

The Charity Spotlight of the race will be on The Gleaners Community Food Bank whose work over the last 35 years has helped alleviate hunger in the Detroit community by providing the equivalent of 85,284 meals per day to people who otherwise cannot afford the food they need.

Prizes will be awarded to the first, second and third place competitors who complete the challenge. The challengers who raise the most for the food drive as well as the winner and runner-up of the costume contest will also receive rewards.

The key to winning the challenge is solving the clues, mapping them out, and taking the shortest distance to each checkpoint. An optional costume competition will also be in full effect.

The starting point will be The Hard Rock Café on 45 Monroe Street. It is recommended that participants arrive at 9:30am for the 11:00am start of the 3-hour challenge.

Click HERE to learn more about Gorilla Challenge: Detroit.

About Gorilla Challenge: The Gorilla Challenge is an Amazing Race/Fear Factor mash up that provides competitors nationwide with a mentally and physically challenging competition while giving back to the city in which it is held through food bank donations and local Charity Spotlights.
50 best Chinese restaurants in the United States

You've been abroad. You know your way around a pair of chopsticks. Now where do you find the best Chinese food in the U.S.?


 26. Best China, Canton 

Best China really is the best in Michigan. With less than a dozen tables, it's a hole-in-the-wall, but the Shanghai-style rice cakes (nian gao) achieve the perfect level of chewiness without being gummy. There are two menus -- Chinese and English. As at any authentic Chinese place, adventurous eaters can ask for the Chinese menu (they’re usually differ slightly from the English menu) and get recommendations from waiters. 7233 N. Lilley Road, Canton, Mich.; +1 734 459 1688

Click HERE to read the full article on CNNGo (dot) com!

CNBC: Detroit, From Urban Blight to Tech Might

Can technological might reduce urban blight?

Business and civic leaders in Detroit certainly hope so.

The city’s troubles are well documented. The auto industry’s decline highlighted a population and brain drain that made Detroit one of the lasting symbols of the Great Recession.

In July of 2009, unemployment in the city touched 18-percent.


A stubborn 10.5 percent. But a whole lot better, and one reason for the positive trend: Technology jobs.

“The energy in the city, what’s happening, the things that are taking place, it feels like it’s not a tipping point. It feels past it,” said 38-year old Scott Aberle, who left San Francisco and Silicon Valley to work at Detroit-based Quicken Loans. “We’re really in the midst of a Renaissance.”

That’s right. He said Renaissance.

It might be laying it on a little thick … or maybe not.

Detroit native and chairman of Quicken Loans, Dan Gilbert, has been buying up just about all the viable commercial real estate he can find. And when he’s not remodeling what his company has purchased, Gilbert’s using his venture capital firm, Detroit Venture Partners, to seed a mini-boom in start-up technology companies.

“Technology as a whole can create value and wealth a whole lot quicker,” Gilbert said. “With manufacturing, it takes five to seven years from conception to building a plant.

“In the tech business, the time frame is shorter and the investment of capital is smaller.”

For example, the firm they simply call DVP recently took an old theatre’s office building and retrofitted it to be an avant garde space for early stage start-ups. It is named “M@dison”, and ironically, the homage must have worked because Twitter just took up some space there.

Click HERE to read the full article on CNBC (dot) com!

Please join the Belle Isle Conservancy in a gala fundraiser, "Race to Reopen the Belle Isle Aquarium" that will take place in the Aquarium on Thursday, May 31st from 7 to 11. 

Tickets are $50 and the money raised will go directly toward opening the aquarium regularly!

There will be strolling hors d'oeuvres from The Whitney and Union Street, music, entertainment, refreshments and a cash bar.


This inaugural gathering will feature live music, a delicious pig roast from Eastern Market, and tasty campfire treats surrounding a bonfire setting with the rippling river as the backdrop.

Come join us with friends or colleagues for the launch of Rivière28 and this unique opportunity to enjoy your Detroit Riverfront.

$15 online registration
$20 at the door


Parking is available on Atwater between Orleans St. & St. Aubin


This event is BYOBB (booze and blankets) you can come by boat and utilize one of the boat slips at Milliken State Park.  Think Pine Knob back in the old school days when you could bring coolers and blankets. Except at this event, food is provided!

In Detroit, a city where bad news has long outweighed good, a group of young urban pioneers is bringing the community together around excellent barbecue and fabulous coffee and cocktails.

Even without floors or glass in the windows, there is something quietly captivating about Detroit’s Michigan Central Station. Opened in 1913, it is a grand, imposing structure, with heroic Corinthian columns created by the architects behind New York City’s Grand Central Terminal. But like so many buildings in Detroit, it has been abandoned. When Amtrak moved out, Michigan Central closed in 1988. It has sat empty, slowly decaying, ever since.

Detroit is a place where bad news has long outweighed good. The city took a big hit when the Big Three auto companies moved their manufacturing plants out to the suburbs in the 1940s and ’50s, it was devastated by the riots of 1967 and it was hit again by the mortgage crisis and recession of 2008. It seems naive to think that anything as simple as good food could help reverse decades of decline.

Detroit Restaurants: Daisuke Hughes and Phil Cooley
Photo © Marcus Nilsson.

But just across Roosevelt Park from Michigan Central Station, on a single block of Michigan Avenue, that’s exactly what’s happening. Families from all over the state wait for a table at the excellent Slows Bar BQ; musicians hang out over meticulously made pour-over coffees at Astro Coffee; locals and suburbanites come for craft cocktails at The Sugar House. A good food-and-drink scene isn’t the only thing this community needs, but it’s one of them. “There is so much work to do here in Detroit,” says Phil Cooley, Slows’s co-owner. “But I thought, I’m gonna bite off a chunk of it.”

Cooley, 34, is one of a growing number of people who have come to Detroit in recent years, attracted by the potential they see in the vacant lots, abandoned buildings and bare-bones cost of living. After working as a model in Chicago and Europe, Cooley moved to Detroit in 2002, bought a loft in the Corktown neighborhood and made a living as a janitor and barback around town. The rundown building next door to his apartment was deserted, so he bought it for $40,000 with the idea of turning it into a restaurant. He and his brother Ryan, along with executive chef and co-owner Brian Perrone and sous-chef Michael Metevia, renovated the space for $300,000, using mostly reclaimed wood from the original building. “We built the kitchen first and then hung up a dust cloth, so Brian would test recipes while we were finishing the dining room,” says Cooley. “He’d bring out food for us to taste as we worked.”

Click HERE to read the full article on Food & Wine (dot) com!

Funding from Detroit SOUP helped a 5th grade class beautify a city park.

In our weekly Hustlin' series, we go beyond the pitying articles about recession-era youth and illuminate ways our generation is coping. The last few years may have been a rude awakening, but we're surviving. Here's how.

On a recent episode of the HBO show “Girls,” Hannah moans to her quasi-boyfriend over the phone from her Midwest hometown: “Why doesn’t everyone struggling in New York move here and start the revolution? It’s like we’re all slaves to this place that doesn’t even really want us.”

Hannah could have been talking about Detroit, which Salon recently dubbed “the official cool-kids destination,” part of a broader trend of educated Millennials moving to Rust Belt cities and towns. A few decades ago, it would have been unthinkable that such people would want to live in Detroit, where white flight, postindustrial decline, and the sub-prime mortgage crisis have resulted in nearly one-third of property sitting empty and boarded shut. But where there’s blight, there’s also cheap rent and vacant lots: ideal habitats for young creatives and their funky art collectives or urban farms.

But Salon’s writer, Will Doig, paints the new Detroiters as pursuing a “romantic fantasy” of “Rust Belt chic,” pointing to a hipsterish lust for “ruin porn.” He echoes many critics of Detroit’s recent “brain gain”: that job-creation, not an influx of creatives, is the real answer to urban decline.

There may be some “creative class” boosterism going on in Detroit, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t also authentic, sophisticated projects in motion. I recently visited Detroit for two weeks and met with some of its newcomers. Many are starting up social enterprises while others are working in creative sectors like advertising. And while they do appreciate the low rent and cost of living in the Motor City, these new, young Detroiters are far from self-absorbed hipsters. In fact, their work is having a meaningful impact on the city’s economy and culture.

Thirty-year-old Amy Kaherl was raised in Detroit’s suburbs. She spent three years in Los Angeles doing a master’s in theology, while living frugally in a shared one-bedroom apartment. When Kaherl finished her degree in 2008, unemployment was inching toward nine percent. Moving back to Detroit, where Kaherl knew life would be cheaper, she fell into a community of people like her, who wanted to have fun while being involved in innovative projects.

“The people here are cool, and the ego’s left at the door,” she told me. “I know New York, I know L.A. You gotta hustle. This is the place where you try to make something happen.”

Kaherl now runs Detroit SOUP, a monthly dinner that charges five dollars for a plate of home-cooked food to generate seed funding for a selected project that promises to positively impact Detroit. Projects funded by SOUP include a park clean-up day for schoolchildren, a homeless outreach program, and a community-run radio station. At first, Kahrel was volunteering, but as SOUP, and Detroit’s overall revitalization, attracted national media attention, a grant came in from the Knight Foundation that allowed Kaherl to fully focus on SOUP.

Click HERE to read the full article on Good (dot) is!