Coach Insignia was one of 50 restaurants nationwide to be selected in the Northwest Cherries Tree-to-Table campaign In celebration of National Rainier Cherry Day on July 11, Northwest Cherries has commissioned one iconic restaurant in each US state to create a unique menu offering featuring Rainier cherries. This famed cherry is regarded for its crisp bite and pale yellow flesh bursting with exceptional sweetness.

Coast to coast, Northwest Cherries is making sure everyone has the opportunity to indulge this once-a-year treat. From Rainier cherry-infused cocktails and brews to Rainier cherry compotes on perfectly prepared proteins, each chef has designed a special dish that not only showcases the cherries’ sweet, crisp flavor but also incorporates them into the cuisine for which the state is known.

Detroit’s Coach Insignia was one of 50 restaurants nationwide to be selected in the Northwest Cherries Tree-to-Table campaign for National Rainier Cherry Day, July 11. Each restaurant, one from every state, received approximately $400 worth of free rainier cherries to play with and incorporate on their menus for the month of July. From Rainier cherry-infused cocktails and brews to rainier cherry compotes, chefs all over the country got very creative in how to incorporate the sweet, Pacific Northwest super fruit onto their menus.

Chef Kevin Green created two delicious menu offerings in celebration of cherry season, Pan Roasted Chicken Breast with Rainer Cherries and Vanilla-Ginger Jus, as well as a Cherry Press-Gang cocktail, made of homemade espresso rum and rainier cherries. Both items are available at the restaurant through the month of July, during this peak cherry season.

The 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series is kicking off on the GM Plaza with an unrivaled double bill featuring Detroit’s Sponge and rock legend John Waite on July 13. 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 7:30 p.m.

Made famous across the nation, Sponge’s Vinnie Dombrowski, lead vocalist and founding member of Sponge in 1991, has played a very important role of Detroit’s rock and roll history with his powerful voice, heart-on-his-sleeve lyrics and full throttle stage presence. Sponge earned the #5 spot on Billboard’s Modern Rock Charts for both “Molly” and “Plowed,” two singles from their debut album “Rotting Pinata” which ultimately earned platinum status. The band continued to score top ten Billboard hits with their follow up album before sharing stages with many notable stars including Nickelback, Iggy Pop, Alice in Chains and KISS.

After big chart success and as a solo artist, John Waite is still performing and recording seamlessly with as much passion and talent as ever before. Waite has been in the music industry since 1975 and has rocked the charts with bands including The Baby’s, Bad English and The Boys. From slow trips down the road of love to huge rockers, John Waite has produces singles including “When I See You Smile,” “Rough & Tumble,” “Evil” and “Missing You”. Perhaps his most popular song, “Missing You” has been remade by many artists throughout the years.

Sponge will open the concert at 7:30 p.m., and John Waite will follow at 9 p.m.

Spanning six consecutive Friday evenings, 2012 Chevy Rockin’ on the Riverfront offers more than free concerts. Located in the heart of the city, between the GM Renaissance Center and Detroit River, the event has become a summer destination for dining and entertainment in Detroit. Upcoming shows include: Starship on July 20; Ace Frehley on July 27; Lou Gramm of Foreigner on August 3; The Sweet and The Tubes on Aug. 10; and Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and Marshall Crenshaw on Aug. 17.

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 Use promotional code D60.

For updates and information, visit and

When David Kappos took over the United States Patent and Trademark Office in 2009, he faced a seemingly insurmountable task: The office was dealing with a backlog of more than 750,000 patent applications, with an average wait time of three-to-four years.

So when President Obama stepped in, signing the America Invents Act into law, Kappos could breathe a sigh of relief. The legislation gave the office funding to open three new satellite offices outside of its Alexandria, Virginia, headquarters to deal with the patent backlog.

After an extensive search for its location, the USPTO found, what it believed, to be the best city to house its new patent office: Detroit.

The office will occupy 31,000 square feet at 300 River Place Drive. The building, situated on the banks of the Detroit River, is listed on the National Historic Registry and was the former home to Parke-Davis Laboratories as well as the Stroh's Brewery Headquarters. Come July, the office will hire 100 patent examiners with experience in intellectual property.

But why Motor City? Why not, say, San Francisco? Or Boston? Or New York? Patents are important to start-ups for a variety of reasons, so why not choose a place known for business formation and innovation?

Richard Maulsby, the acting chief communications officer of the USPTO, says that's exactly why Detroit was the perfect place for the office.

"The USPTO considered many factors before making its final decision to locate its first new satellite office in Detroit," he says. "The city fulfilled a number of critical criteria, including a high percentage of scientists and engineers in the workforce; access to major research institutions; a high volume of patenting activity; and a significant number of patent agents and attorneys in the area."

Click HERE to read the full article by Eric Markowitz on Inc. (dot) com! 
Time is running out for entrepreneurs to submit their business plans for the 2012 Comerica Hatch Detroit retail business competition before the August 1 deadline. The contest is open to anyone with an idea for opening a retail business within the City of Detroit. All applications must be submitted online at by August 1, 2012, at 11:59 p.m. EDT.

Hatch will narrow down the applications received to ten semi-finalists and then the public will vote for their favorite retail business idea. The winning entrepreneur will receive a $50,000 cash prize courtesy of Comerica Bank to help ‘hatch’ the business. The winner will also receive a package of services including, legal, marketing and advertising, and IT support.

“The response to this year’s competition has been outstanding so far,” said Ted Balowski, co-founder of Hatch Detroit. “We’re on track to surpass the number of submissions received last year, and we’re optimistic that we’ll receive additional quality business plans as the application period comes to an end.”

“Detroit is becoming a stomping ground for innovative entrepreneurs who want to be a part of the city’s resurgence,” said Thomas D. Ogden, president, Comerica Bank-Michigan. “The Comerica Hatch Detroit contest will give one of them the opportunity to make their retail idea a reality in Detroit.”

To submit a business plan, applicants must provide a summary that describes their business idea and its potential impact on Detroit, as well as background for each team member. For complete submission guidelines and contest rules, visit

Works by two artists who have long been favorites of the public will be on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). Picasso and Matisse: The DIA’s Prints and Drawings, on view July 11, 2012–January 6, 2013, will feature almost all of the works by Pablo Picasso (1881–1973) and Henri Matisse (1869–1954) in the museum’s collection, showcasing their revolutionary achievements that came to define much of 20th-century art. This exhibition has been organized by Detroit Institute of Arts and is free with museum admission. Support has been provided by Comerica Bank.

The story of Picasso’s and Matisse’s stylistic progression and artistic range will be told through more than 100 prints and drawings, including exceptional works such as Matisse’s 1919 drawing The Plumed Hat and Picasso’s 1939 gouache of The Bather by the Sea. Other highlights include Matisse’s famous series Jazz and Picasso’s etchings for the Dream and Lie of Franco, as well as many linoleum cuts by both artists. The DIA’s 13 paintings and two bronze sculptures on permanent display will be on view in the museum’s modern art galleries.

“We have such a rich collection of modern art, and are delighted to showcase nearly all our significant works by Picasso and Matisse,” said Graham W. J. Beal, DIA director. “In the early years of the 20th century, these two seminal artists engaged in a fierce rivalry, each trying to out-do the other and be seen as the premier Modern artist of the time. Once established, they went their separate, equally prolific, ways but continued to watch one another’s development from afar, this time, more in the spirit of a mutual admiration shared by seasoned veterans.”

Picasso and Matisse were ground-breaking visionaries who constantly experimented with techniques and materials. They were friends, colleagues, and rivals for half a century. By 1907, Picasso was vying with Matisse for leadership of the Parisian avant-garde art world but both men came to that position via very different routes.

Picasso began creating art when he was seven years old, trained by his artist/art teacher father. By age 13 it was evident that his talent would surpass that of his father. When he was 19, after studying art in Spain, Picasso went to Paris and within a few years became a favorite of prominent collectors and established entrepreneurs. His early realistic paintings and prints known as his Blue and Rose Period were well regarded, but it was his fractured studies of form and space known as Cubism that revolutionized artists’ attitudes about perception and vision and vaulted Picasso to the pinnacles of achievement in modern art.

His international influence, stature, and fame increased through the rest of his life as he worked through the major styles of each era, from a return to classical, realistic forms in the 1920s such as the lithograph Face, Surrealism in the 1930s and 1940s exemplified by the two etchings that form The Dream and Lie of Franco, and in an ever-growing body of innovative printmaking in all mediums well into the 1960s.

Matisse, 12 years Picasso’s senior, was born to a prosperous business family in northern France. He earned a law degree in Paris and was practicing back home as a court assistant when in his early 20’s he decided to change careers. He left for Paris to become an art student and by 1896 his work was in major Parisian exhibitions. His rise to prominence as a major artist was complete by 1905. Matisse’s lifework, while as broad as Picasso’s in exploring drawing, printmaking, painting, sculpture, and decorative arts, was far more focused as an intellectual study.

Matisse’s interest with pattern dominated his career, whether abstractly in thinking about lines as shapes or in thinking about brilliantly colored shapes playing off each other. He constantly tried to refine his subjects into their elemental linear components, as in The Plumed Hat. In the early 1940s, when poor health affected his dexterity, Matisse turned to what he called “drawing with scissors,” in which he cut forms out of brightly colored paper and pinned them together. Some of these stood on their own as artworks, and others served as models for more elaborate projects.

One such project is Jazz, which consists of a book and album, each with the same 20 prints. Two hundred and seventy copies of the book and 100 copies of the album were created, resulting in a total of 7,400 prints. A team of printers worked for years to create stencil prints from the collages designed by Matisse. The sheer level of skill, control, and dedication required to create Jazz is one of the reasons it is among the greatest achievements in printmaking. The exhibition will display 17 of the 20 prints from the Jazz album.

Hours and Admission Museum hours are 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m.–10 p.m. Fridays, and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Admission is $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for ages 6-17, and free for DIA members. For membership information call 313-833-7971.
Photo by Marvin Shaouni

Sue Mosey spends a lot of time telling stories. When I first met her, she breezed through two hours of narration about the behind-the-scenes practicalities of cultivating a vibrant center in the city of Detroit, a story she is clearly well-practiced at delivering to the many national journalists who come to her with questions. A few days after our meeting, I saw her again at Fourteen East, a Midtown café that opened one year ago after Mosey inspired the owner to host her new venture on Woodward Avenue, Detroit’s central corridor. Mosey was at the café to pose for photographs before meeting a potential funder for lunch, where her strategic storytelling was again called upon — this time, to inspire concrete commitments for the non-profit that Mosey leads, and which, in turn, is headlining the city’s revival.

Home to key anchor institutions — including the Detroit Institute of Arts, Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center — the Midtown neighborhood sits just north of the city’s downtown and riverfront. Throughout the last five years, the neighborhood has seen a remarkable revival, with independent businesses veering from national trends to open their doors and restore life in previously dark storefronts. New residents are moving into rehabilitated housing, and community gardens are thriving in what had been vacant lots. Indeed, almost no Midtown businesses were lost during the economic recession — incredible, given that Detroit entered the recession at what might politely be called a disadvantage.

Midtown’s vigor belies the narrative of Detroit as an utterly disinvested city. And coordinating the show is Midtown Detroit, Inc., a peculiarly influential community development corporation that has transformed nearly every aspect of the neighborhood. Founded in 1976 by community activists rooted in the affordable housing movement of the 1960s, Midtown, Inc. evolved along with the city. In the last two decades, the scrappy non-profit’s tactical collaborations with major anchor institutions in Detroit — including City Hall — have elevated it from the antiestablishment fringe and into the establishment itself.

While, historically, power in Detroit was synonymous with the auto industry and labor unions, both the decentralization and economic fluctuations of the car business has left space for Midtown, Inc. to make its mark on the city. These days, it provides landscaping on boulevard medians. It partners with Wayne State’s police department, which patrols the neighborhood beyond campus borders. It puts strings of lights in the trees along Woodward during the holidays. It is installing LED street lighting. And with its popular Live Midtown initiative, which offers financial incentives to employees of anchor institutions to buy or rent homes in the neighborhood, Midtown, Inc. is coming full circle, returning to the business of creating housing options. Even in a shrinking city with a high vacancy rate, Midtown’s apartments are 95 percent occupied.

The organization’s work moved Reuters to describe the neighborhood as “the centerpiece for Detroit’s revival” in an article about the construction of a 21,000-square-foot Whole Foods store on a vacant corner in Midtown. This is the first time the chain has set up shop in a distressed urban center. At the groundbreaking in May, company CEO Walter Robb told the Detroit Free Press that, “the richness that we discovered here was very encouraging. That’s special for me."

Click HERE to read the full article on Next American City!

The second event of The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy's summer series will take place on the Dequindre Cut Greenway offering:
Wine by U.S. Wine Imports
Signature cocktails by Blue Nectar Tequila
Appetizers by Epicurean
Vitamin Water
Live painting by Street Culture Mash
Live music by Will Sessions
Portraits by photographer, Noah Stephens
Kind Snack bars

This former Grand Trunk Railroad line is now a 1.35-mile greenway offering a pedestrian link between the Riverfront, Eastern Market and many of the residential neighborhoods in between. 

Come join us to enjoy this unique urban treasure!
RAIN DATE: July 19

 ***Kind Snack bars is hosting a bike valet for those who come by bicycle.

Parking is available at the corner of Gratiot and Vernor.
Click here for map. 

Register here $25 online $30 at the door
This summer Pewabic Pottery (Pewabic) will feature “Simply by Hand: Architectural Ceramics From Mary Stratton To Now” showcasing the work of contemporary ceramic artists from the United States and Europe along with a new work by staff designers. The exhibit kicks off with an opening reception Friday, July 13 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and runs through Oct. 14.

The show will feature drawings, sample boards, models and photographs for tile murals, and may also include small tile compositions, tiles produced for singular commissions or speculatively and vessel work. Visitors will also learn a little about the long history of architectural ceramics.

“We are pleased to showcase such a diverse group of ceramic artists and their work at Pewabic,” said Barbara Sido, executive director of Pewabic Pottery. “The Simply by Hand exhibition will display the contemporary aspect of Pewabic’s ongoing architectural tile work.”

Simply by Hand showcases the work of Christine Jetten, from the Netherlands, who developed the glaze used on the architectural tiles of the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. The ceramic expertise of Royal Oak native Laurie Eisenhardt, who designed a mural for Henry Ford Hospital, will also be showcased.

Artists featured also include Susan Tunick, a founder of the Friends of Terracotta in New York; Karen Koblitz, who has shown her work internationally, and who teaches in California; Diana Pancioli, who teaches in Michigan and got her start making tile murals while at Pewabic; Lubna Chowdhary whose murals can be seen throughout the United Kingdom, and Jason Green who teaches and whose architecturally inspired sculptures would not exist without the history of architectural ceramics.

In addition, Pewabic design staffer Mario Lopez will premiere a two-paneled work created expressly for the exhibition.

The exhibit is funded by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and is free and open to the public.

In his fourth novel, Detroit native Scott Lasser delivers a poignant story of rebirth in the unlikeliest of places. SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT DETROIT (W. W. Norton & Company; July 2, 2012; $25.95 hardcover) draws a gritty, complex portrait of Detroit as compelling as The Wire. An unexpected love story about family, second chances, and the meaning of home, this is also a gripping novel about the complicated urban politics of the twenty-first century.

Twenty-five years after his high school graduation, David Halpert returns to Detroit, a place that he and most of the people he grew up with fled long ago. At first, everything seems different, and not for the better. David’s mother has developed Alzheimer’s, and his normally stoic father pleads with him to move back to Michigan to help. David doesn’t have anything left in Detroit besides his parents, but by leaving Colorado he might be able to start moving on from the tragic death of his young son four years earlier and his subsequent divorce.

Once back in Detroit, trying to put the pieces of his life back together, David spots a newspaper story reporting that his high school sweetheart, Natalie, and her black half-brother have been shot and killed. This terrible catalyst begins David’s journey through Detroit’s white suburbs and black inner city as he and Natalie’s sister Carolyn reconnect, find solace in each other, and try to make sense of the mystery behind the murders.

SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT DETROIT takes place in a racially polarized, economically collapsing city, which itself becomes one of the novel’s most compelling characters. Lasser takes us on an in-depth tour of Detroit’s decaying urban landscape, setting a powerful tale of redemption and new hope in a neglected city that rarely finds itself as a backdrop for fiction.

Detroit may not look on the surface like a place of rebirth, but in an editorial in the New York Times earlier this year Lasser reminded readers that Detroit’s motto is “speramus meliora; resurgent cineribus”—“we hope for better things; it will rise from the ashes.”

A jarring, illuminating novel, SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT DETROIT speaks eloquently about the unlikely path to redemption of one man and, by extension, an entire city. As David and Carolyn journey throughout Detroit, they infuse its decaying urban landscape—with its complex, seemingly insurmountable racial and economic tensions—with new hope. The novel suggests a way forward for our bustling, complicated modern cities and, of course, for all of us living within them.

Michigan Book Tour Schedule:

Ann Arbor July 16, 2012
Nicola’s Books 7:00 PM
Westgate Shopping Center 

Detroit July 17, 2012
Temple Memorial Library 7:00 PM
7400 Telegraph Road Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301 

Lansing July 18, 2012
Schuler’s Bookstore 7:00 PM
1982 Grand River Avenue 
Okemos, MI 48864 

Detroit July 19, 2012
Barnes and Noble 7:00pm
6800 Orchard Lake Road 
Talk/Signing West Bloomfield, MI 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: SCOTT LASSER, a native of Detroit, has worked for the National Steel Corporation and Lehman Brothers. His nonfiction has appeared in magazines ranging from The New Yorker to Dealmaker Magazine. He is the author of three other novels: Battle Creek, All I Could Get, and The Year That Follows. Say Nice Things About Detroit has been optioned by Steve Carell’s production company, Carousel/Warner Brothers, and for it, Lasser and his screenwriting partner, Derek Green, have written a screen adaptation. Lasser currently lives in Aspen, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California.

BBC AMERICA’s General Manager, Perry Simon, has greenlit a new cooking expedition series, Chef Race: UK vs U.S., which will premiere in Fall 2012. Executive produced by Jamie Oliver, the new original unscripted series (10 x 60) follows sixteen chefs, eight Brits versus eight Americans, as they race across the United States from Los Angeles to New York City in hopes of winning the $100,000 prize.

Throughout the journey the chefs are accompanied by Michelin-starred London Restaurateur Richard Corrigan (Masterchef), who serves as a mentor and judge, and host Claire Robinson (5 Ingredient Fix). With no money and minimal resources, the chefs must rely on more than their cooking skills. Resourcefulness, ingenuity, leadership and finesse will be just as important on their 3,000 mile adventure. 

Episode #8 brought the teams to Detroit and one of the challenges took place at The Rattlesnake Club. Hosted by Food Network's Claire Robinson & London restaurateur Richard Corrigan, the Rattlesnake Club's Executive Chef Chris Franz joined them both at the judges table. 

Tune in in August to watch the series on the BBC! 

 Click HERE to learn more about Chef Race: UK vs US!


50 States of Shopping
Show your national pride by shopping in the country's best boutiques.

Michigan: Caruso Caruso

66 W. Maple 
Birmingham, MI

Why you'll love it: With hundreds of denim styles to choose from, Caruso Caruso is the go-to store for jeans.

What you'll find: J Brand, Mother Denim, Paige Denim, AG Adriano Goldschmied, Current/Elliott

Click HERE to read the rest of this article on Elle (dot) com!

Nine Days Without Water from Stephen McGee Films on Vimeo.

Detroit Big F Deal, a Detroit crowdfunding website, is launching a new fundraising campaign.

We are helping raise money to support the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, a local non profit that provides free physical (boxing) training, academic tutoring and community service opportunities to Detroit youth.

The Downtown Youth Boxing Gym is holding a charity boxing event at the Detroit Yacht Club, on Friday, July 20th, 2011 at 6:30pm.

The event will feature boxing, dinner and a silent auction. Proceeds from the event will go towards the financing the gym's operation.

Visit to buy tickets and support this great organization.

A combination of beaten down home prices and rising rents make these cities promising places to become a landlord -- just as long as you understand the risks involved.

#2 Detroit

Median home price in 2012: $78,000
Projected home price in 2015: $93,982
Projected annual rent in 2015: $9,016

It's hard to imagine that home prices could get any cheaper in Detroit.

Hit hard by the auto industry's financial troubles and the housing bust, median home prices in the area have been cut almost in half to $78,000 from a 2004 high of $157,000, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB).

And with rents on the rise -- up 5% over the past 12 months, according to Rent Jungle -- these beaten down home prices have created a nice opportunity for investors.

Even better, renters' incomes have become more stable. The auto industry has started down the road to recovery, giving a nice boost to the local economy. The metro area unemployment rate has fallen by 2.4 percentage points over the 12 months ended in April to 8.7%.

Winzer figures investors will earn 4.6-percentage-point higher return than the national average over the next three years.

Click HERE to read the full article on CNN Money!
Photo: Mike Hahn 

Detroit, MI, will make a comeback

After years of neglect and devastation--sinking so low that the state of Michigan threatened to take over the city--Detroit is poised for a comeback. According to a recent YPulse survey, more and more millennials are opting to live in small cities, like Detroit.

These young idealists are moving back to Detroit, breathing new life into the downtrodden city with their small businesses, many of which are socially and environmentally responsible. The Urban Innovation Exchange showcases Detroit’s growing social innovation movement, promoting small businesses, like Recycle Here! and Food Lab Detroit. This type of optimism and innovation makes Detroit a city to watch.

Click HERE to read the full list of cities on Business Insider (dot) com! 

detroit plaza

Declining, desperate Detroit is old news.

It's not that the city's economic woes, struggling schools, racial friction and crime have been magically solved. A glance at local headlines will tell you that.

But there are new stories to tell about Detroit today. Which doesn't mean the old stories are all wrong -- just that they're not the whole story anymore.

In recent years, for instance, Detroit has become a magnet for ambitious young people. Some grew up in the area; some move in from the coasts or other parts of the Midwest. Many are motivated by idealism or a sense of adventure, seeking to play a part in reviving a Great American City. Others, however, simply see an opportunity to fast track their careers.

You see them everywhere -- sporting events downtown, galleries in Midtown, pubs in Corktown, restaurants in Southwest, music clubs in Hamtramck, sidewalks on the East Side, soccer fields at Belle Isle park, vegetable stands at Eastern Market. But a lot of people inside Michigan and out still don't know about it.

This new story is exemplified by the Detroit Revitalization Fellows Program (DRFP), a Wayne State University project that connects rising mid-career professionals to organizations at the forefront of efforts to boost economic development in the city. Initiated by Wayne State Associate Vice President Ahmad Ezzeddine in partnership with the Kresge Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the Skillman Foundation, the project drew inspiration from a fellowship program in post-Katrina New Orleans. A wide majority of the 25 New Orleans Fellows stayed in the city after the program concluded, notes DFRP Executive Director, Dr. Robin Boyle -- a nationally known planning professional who chairs Wayne State's Department of Urban Studies and Planning.

"I still marvel over the fact that we had almost 650 applicants from across the country apply for 25 positions -- the opportunity to come to Detroit," says Rachele Downs, the DRFP Program Manager and a veteran commercial real estate broker. "These are people who are graduates of some of the best schools in the country with equally impressive professional experience."

Click HERE to read the full article by Jay Walljasper on HuffPost Detroit!
Now an incubator, Detroit's Green Garage used to be a show room for Model Ts.


More than 200 community volunteers came together to help design and renovate the Green Garage. In accordance with its eco-friendly mission, they used mostly reclaimed materials, generated just one-and-a-half Dumpsters’ worth of waste, and used passive means – a white roof, triple-glazed windows and extra-thick insulation – to cut the building’s energy demand by 90 percent. The remaining demand is provided by renewable means. (Thanks in part to a solar-powered system for climate control that circulates hot water through pipes below the floor, the heating bill for one year — harsh Michigan winters included — is about what a traditionally outfitted building one-twentieth of the Green Garage’s size would pay, Mr. Brennan said.)

So far, the 11,500-square-foot space has attracted more than 20 one- to five-person companies. Participants brainstorm together in small working groups. They share gardening chores in a newly greened alley alongside the building. Each Friday, they break bread with visitors from the community at large .

They lease their Green Garage work spaces at rates ranging from $50 a month for an open chair at one of the room’s shared tables to $1,000 for an office-size area that fits four to five people. The Brennans also plan to generate revenue by offering consulting services to outside businesses pursuing triple-bottom-line strategies.

A few of the in-house businesses, like Dickinson by Design, which makes furniture and renovates homes using recycled materials, are already established and humming along; the company’s founder, Chad Dickinson, moved to Detroit from Nashville and just hired his first employee. Other enterprises are new and finding their way, eschewing traditional means of financing – Mr. Brennan isn’t big on loans that burden still-developing plans with debt – and looking to the community for help, ideas and materials. One such start-up, De-tread, plans to harvest the thousands of discarded tires that are a blight and health hazard around the city and turn the rubber into new products, including floor mats for cars, a good match for automobile manufacturers that have started pledging to include recycled content in new vehicles.

Jason Peet, 34, who interviews potential Green Garage residents, is the founder of a start-up called Mend, which uses old-growth beams from Detroit homes slated for demolition and refashions them into tables and housewares, each accompanied by a historical account of the home where the materials originated. Before joining the Green Garage, Mr. Peet attended a seminar at another incubator for local businesses. “They had this whole fast-track program, it gets you to a business plan very quickly,” he recalled. At the time, however, Mr. Peet was going through a divorce, had a 6-year-old son, and didn’t want to take out a loan to get the capital he’d need for a speedy start.

He switched tracks after meeting Mr. Brennan, who gave him a job as a carpenter on the Green Garage’s renovations, a way to pay his bills while working to conceive Mend on the side. A year later, Mr. Peet said, he’s reached the prototype stage for Mend, while keeping his finances intact.

“I haven’t really come out of pocket for it,” he said, adding that he feels good about the slow and measured growth of his plan. “The core needs to be real solid before you go forward.”

Click HERE to read the full article by Jessica Bruder on NY Times (dot) com!

When you think summer in Michigan, you can’t help but envision its natural beauty – the Great Lakes. The state that’s also home to Detroit original, Buddy’s Pizza, claims the world’s largest collection of freshwater among its most treasured resources.

Now, 66 years since Buddy’s Pizza originated the Detroit deep dish pie on Six Mile and Conant, the local family-owned restaurants will lend a hand to the Mitten’s greatest resource. Buddy’s Pizza is joining forces with the Alliance for the Great Lakes to help further its mission to conserve and restore the five freshwater lakes through education, policy and citizen involvement.

For more than 40 years, the independent citizen’s organization has been fully devoted to protecting the Great Lakes against threats like pollution, invasive species - such as Asian Carp - and wasteful water use.

“Since 1970 the Alliance for the Great Lakes has worked 100% to protect and restore the Great Lakes, but cannot do it alone,” said Jonah Smith, sustainable business director at the Alliance for the Great Lakes. “Everyone from families and schools to policymakers and businesses play a role, and Buddy’s Pizza is a shining example of how a long-standing and successful business with a great product can in turn use their success to promote progress for all, through stewardship of our most valuable resource in the region – the Great Lakes.”

A business made famous in the Great Lakes State and known as “one of the best pizzas” according to Pure Michigan, Buddy’s Pizza is set to unveil its first Made in Michigan Great Lakes Pizza Collection. These brand new pizzas, inspired by the lakes themselves, each feature Buddy’s original crust and the Motor City Cheese Blend. The blend consists of Fontinella, Asiago and brick cheeses and made its debut in 2011 with the Motor City Pizza Collection and Kid Rock’s Badass Detroiter Pizza.

For each pizza from the Great Lakes Pizza Collection sold, Buddy’s will donate $1 to the Alliance for the Great Lakes to aid in efforts that support the health of a Pure Michigan environment. The pizzas are:

My personal fave: Lake Ontario

Lake Huron – Spinach and artichoke blend, roasted tomatoes, fresh spinach 
Lake Ontario – Fresh cilantro, Canadian bacon, grilled pineapple, Buddy’s BBQ sauce
Lake Michigan – Ground beef, carmelized onions, blue cheese, tomato basil sauce
Lake Erie – Red onion, roasted red peppers, salami, pepperoncini, tomato basil sauce
Lake Superior – Fresh basil, pine nuts, pepperoni, tomato basil sauce, Buddy’s spice blend.

“Buddy’s Pizza is proud to be not only a Detroit original but a Michigan made business,” said Robert Jacobs, president. “The health and welfare of our environment is and has always been important to us. Pizza is our business. There is no better way to help contribute to the future of our state – and support the protection of our Great Lakes – than to dedicate a collection of pizzas and portion of profits to an organization fully dedicated to those lakes. We are proud to partner with the Alliance for the Great Lakes and assist with their mission.”

On Saturday, June 23, each restaurant will celebrate Buddy’s Pizza Day and 66 years of service, by offering customers appreciation cards. Once a month through the end of the year, cardholders can purchase an 8-square cheese pizza for $6.60 and add extra toppings for 66 cents each. Appreciation cards will be available through June 30, or while supplies last.

Click HERE for more information about the 'Reveal Your Detroit' exhibit and viewing hours!

For more information, head on over to Apps For Detroit (dot) Org!

Hour Detroit Best of Detroit 2012 from Synergy Productions on Vimeo.

Join Hour Detroit as it showcases Detroit’s best restaurants, bars, style and entertainment during the 7th annual Best of Detroit Party, Friday, June 22, 2012. The event benefiting Karmanos Cancer Institute will be hosted at MotorCity Casino Hotel from 7 p.m. to midnight (VIP, 6 p.m. to midnight).

Guests will experience the flavors, sounds, and fashions of Hour Detroit’s Best of Detroit winners, as voted by Hour Detroit readers in the magazine’s 13th annual poll. In the extraordinary ballroom and Soundboard of MotorCity Casino Hotel, guests will groove to the infectious sounds and talent of The English Beat, Killer Flamingos, Kenneth Thomas and Shawn Michaels. Jay Towers of Fresh 100 and Fox 2 will emcee throughout the evening.

Tickets for Hour Detroit’s Best of Detroit Party are $85 for general admission and $125 for VIP access. Both types of tickets are available at or

Limited VIP tickets allow entrance into the main ballroom at 6 p.m. for the first tastes from the Best of Detroit winning restaurants and vendors. From 7 p.m. to midnight, VIP guests are invited to relax in VIP lounges in the Soundboard and sky boxes.

The night will feature an eclectic mix of Metro Detroit’s best restaurants, including Avalon International Breads, Beans and Cornbread, Beverly Hills Grill, Buddy’s Pizza, Capies Candies, Café Cortina, Da Nang, Doc Sweets’ Candy Company, Emagine Theatres, Giovanni’s Ristorante, Joe Muer Seafood, Just Baked, La Dolce Vita, Opus One, Palm Palace, Pegasus Taverna, Priya Indian Cuisine, Redcoat Tavern, Roast, Slows Bar BQ, Streetside Seafood, Superior Fish Company, The Lark, The Whitney, Toast, Vince & Joe’s Gourmet Market, Zoup! Fresh Soup Company and more.

The Best of Detroit party is sponsored by Lexus, Birmingham Estate Jewelry Buyers, Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council, Allied Printing, Oakland MRI, Movement Electronic Music Festival, Kozi Vodka, Indigo Salon, Franco Public Relations Group, Astute Artistry, Rock the Booth and Fox 2.

As part of its mission to foster and support jazz throughout the country, the Detroit Jazz Festival is now accepting submissions for two national competitions – saxophone performance and jazz arrangement – that will be judged by prominent jazz artists and educators, with prize money totaling $5,000 and the chance to perform at the Detroit Jazz Festival on Labor Day Weekend.

The Detroit Jazz Festival’s JC Heard Jazz Big Band Arranging Competition and Jazz Saxophone Competition are the first of the annual competitions designed to highlight a specific jazz composer and celebrate the artistry of the saxophonist and arranger by encouraging new works from young talent throughout the U.S.

“The inaugural jazz saxophonist and arrangement competitions help seek out talented artists that deserve recognition,” said Chris Collins, artistic director of the Detroit Jazz Festival. “It is important to help new and emerging artists establish a presence in the jazz world and continue developing their talents to hopefully become a permanent fixture. One of the definitive goals of jazz artists is to develop a highly individualized voice, and a goal of the festival is to positively contribute to jazz music and culture. This is one way we can merge these goals and make a difference.”

Arrangers will be asked to choose a composition from a significant jazz composer’s body of work, determined by the festival, and create an original arrangement for a designated ensemble. For the 2012 competition, individuals – 35 years and younger – are invited to arrange a Wayne Shorter composition of their choice for big band instrumentation with a featured soloist. Judges will include Collins; Terence Blanchard, 2012 Artist in Residence; Ellen Rowe, director of jazz studies, University of Michigan; and Russ Miller, department of jazz studies, Wayne State University. One grand prize winner will receive $1,000 and have the opportunity to see their arrangement performed at the Detroit Jazz Festival by the Detroit All-Star Big Band and a guest soloist. Two finalists will also be awarded with $500 each.

The jazz saxophonist competition seeks to recognize and provide performance opportunities to outstanding jazz saxophonists 32 years of age or younger. Applicants are asked to provide three tracks featuring a saxophonist with a rhythm section. Three finalists will be selected and scheduled to appear in Detroit to perform at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café on August 9, 2012, and at Cliff Bell’s Jazz Club on August 10, 2012. A panel of judges, including Blanchard, Collins and acclaimed Detroit saxophonist George Benson, will select the grand-prize winner and finalists. The winner will be awarded $2,000 and will be scheduled to perform a set at the Detroit Jazz Festival with the Detroit Jazz Festival All-Star Quartet. In addition, two finalists will be awarded $500 each.

“We are continually looking for the best ways to celebrate the jazz culture and its artists,” said Gretchen Valade, chair of the Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation board of directors. “The launch of these competitions, combined with the festival’s other efforts, provide a great foundation for developing future jazz talent. The festival has always been dedicated to acknowledging the importance of jazz within our communities.”

In addition to the events on Labor Day weekend, the Detroit Jazz Festival organizes year-round cultural and educational efforts, like the JC Heard Jazz Week@Wayne and the poetry slam series, to cultivate jazz in the community.

Artists can submit their applications online or by mail. To apply for the Jazz Saxophonist Competition, visit The submission deadline is July 15.

To apply for the Arranging Competition, visit The submission deadline is August 1.

To mail an entry, download an application at and send the completed form and score to: Detroit Jazz Festival, ­ 19900 Harper Ave., Harper Woods, Mich. 48225 (Attn: Sax Competition or Arranging Competition, respectively).

Finalists must submit copied parts by August 15.

Pewabic Pottery’s Passport to Pottery summer camps offer children ages 6 to 12 the opportunity to get creative while being introduced to different cultures and creating clay objects from those cultures. Each workshop concludes with an art show where participants share their creations with family and friends.

Summer camps are $95 per week per child. Clay and tools are provided by Pewabic. Each camp is offered in two sessions Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Guests may register for one week or all six weeks of classes. 

Pewabic’s Passport to Pottery summer camps dates and corresponding themes are: 

· June 25-29: Egypt 
· July2-6: Canada 
· July 9-13: Brazil 
· July 16-20: China 
· July 23-27: France 
· July 30-Aug. 3: Australia 

Camp sizes are limited. Guests may register online at, by phone at (313) 626-2000 or in person at Pewabic’s museum store. 

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

Pewabic Pottery is located at 10125 E. Jefferson Ave. in Detroit across the street from Waterworks Park