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!

Revitalization



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

Detroit

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.

TechTown:

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! 

Route77 Travelogue, Part 9: 'Why I Love Detroit'

r77_ddf.jpg

Excerpt:



Day 33 
Of all the cities I visited on my trip, I was most excited to see Detroit. However, it would be too easy for this article to reinforce the status quo when it comes to talking about Detroit. Sure, I could write about Michigan Central Station which has come to serve as the de facto symbol of Detroit's landscape of abandoned buildings. (It really is a sight to behold, especially when you come across it in the dead of night like I did.) I could write about the plan to shut down streetlights or that whole Robocop / Kickstarter thing. Instead, I'm going to introduce you to some of the absolutely amazing people I met in Motor City, because the new definition of Detroit is based on the people not the city.

I stopped by the Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3), housed in the College for Creative Studies, to understand the current context for design and designers in Detroit. The goal of DC3 is to spur economic development by "presenting assets that are uniquely Detroit," to advance Detroit creatives, and to leverage design to help solve the "deep challenges" of the city. In reality, this means the Center acts as one part business incubator, one part ambassador, and one part party planner. DC3 also happens to know everyone and everything involved in design in Detroit.

Back in 2006, Business Leaders for Michigan gathered to map the assets for Detroit and surrounding areas as a way of galvanizing the region. Creative talent was high on the list, but retaining and attracting that talent was a problem. Then 2008 hit. Although the atmosphere in the city "eventually stabilized," there are still physical and psychological barriers to developing the creative community in Detroit into a healthy and flourishing one. In order to take the first step in overcoming these challenges, Matt Clayson, Director of DC3, is asking the question, "What are the big deficiencies that prevent creative talent in Detroit from telling their stories?"

Perhaps the largest barrier is not actually in Detroit, but rather is how the media portrays Motor City as a post-apocalyptic wasteland that is a little too Escape From New York instead of Urbanized. Clayson recalled a story of how a group of politicians visiting from Algeria were scared stiff by their handlers by the time they arrived in Detroit. News stories on Detroit tend to originate from "someone who's never visited the city" or, if they have, perhaps the fact that the city is an "insider city" makes it difficult to penetrate the hard outer skin. For those who do live in the city, however, "two to three degrees of separation" creates more of a "shared experience," if not a survivor's culture.

And that's where programs like this September's Detroit Design Festival come in. "The Festival tells Detroit's story from Detroit's perspective," said Programs Manager Adrian Pittman. Designers, artists, technologists and the like can not only show off their work at the Festival but can also bring visitors into their studios and into a Detroit not yet fully visible to outsiders. Finding a balance between making Detroit "more consumable for outsiders," while maintaining that atmosphere of Where Everybody Knows Your Name, is tough, though. On the one hand, designers and artists can do their work purely informed by the city of Detroit with little "pressure from mainstream trends." On the other hand, DC3 knows that bringing "larger industry players" into the mix is crucial for transforming the city. "We don't want quick wins," said Associate Director Bethany Betzler. "We want things that will show results in the long run."

Click HERE to read the full story on Core77! 

Join the for a pre-election day Rally to Save the DIA!


  • Emceed by Spike from Mojo in the Morning (Channel 95.5) 
  • Entertainment by Urban Stringz Sign up and get involved to Save the DIA! 
  • Refreshments available for purchase at New Center Park. 

Directions:
http://www.newcenterpark.com/How_to_Find_Us.html

A community of local artists will distribute free art throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties on Friday, August 3 while also demonstrating their support for the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) on their front steps. The free art scavenger hunt organized by Free Art Friday Detroit (FAFDET) aims to raise awareness for the upcoming millage vote on August 7 which will help fund the DIA and provide free admission to Metro Detroiters. The scavenger hunt will kick off with an artists rally on the steps of the DIA at 10 a.m.

More than 30 pieces of art will be hidden in the neighborhoods and downtowns of the three counties as part of the event. Residents are invited to join the search on Free Art Friday Detroit’s Facebook page, where artists will post photo clues leading to the location of their art.

“As artists, we support the DIA 100 percent. Without museums to educate and inspire, we would not be the artists we are today. We want to preserve that possibility for future generations,” said Shawn McConnell, FAFDET artist. “I’m happy to do what I can to support an institution that has given me so much.”

Several pieces of art will be accompanied by a t-shirt emblazoned with the message “Art is for Everyone.” In keeping with this message and the potential for free admission to the DIA if the millage is passed, anyone who finds the art is free to take it home, though they are encouraged to post photos of the art in its new home on the group’s Facebook page.

“When we started Free Art Friday Detroit, we never imagined it being used like this. But our goal to celebrate art and support Detroit led us here,” said Skidmore Studio President & CEO Tim Smith, “As a design studio, we couldn’t hold back our support for the DIA.”

About Free
Art Friday Detroit Free Art Friday Detroit (FAFDET) is a free art scavenger hunt that was initiated in Detroit by Skidmore Studio in 2011. The mission of FAFDET is to promote creativity in the city, celebrate art in all its forms and encourage people to explore the great city of Detroit. The weekly public event is fueled by professional and amateur artists that donate their talents in support of this mission. For more information about FAFDET or to find clues to free art, visit facebook.com/FAFDET.

About the Millage Proposal
Voting for the proposed millage takes place August 7. The requested increase of 0.2 mils for 10 years and equates to approximately $15 per year for every $150,000 of a home’s fair market value. The increase is projected to raise $23 million annually.

About Skidmore Studio
Skidmore is a kick ass design studio based in Detroit’s historic Madison Theatre Building. A fun, fearless and fanatical group, Skidmore is dedicated to generating inspired ideas that translate to extraordinary results. Our team of designers, illustrators and strategists work best with those who appreciate design thinking and have a willingness to build their brand with bold strategy and design. To view samples of Skidmore's award-winning creative work, visit skidmorestudio.com.
In Detroit, Urban Flight in Reverse
Photograph by Theodor Barth/laif/Redux
Excerpt:


In midtown, 95 percent of the 5,884 housing units are occupied, more are being built, and 26 new shops and restaurants have opened in the last two years, according to Midtown Detroit, an economic development organization. A Whole Foods Market (WFM) scheduled to open by 2013 is the first national chain grocery the city’s managed to attract in years. It’s not far from the Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit Public Library, and Detroit Symphony Orchestra.

The result: safer streets. According to the Wayne State University Police Department, which shares patrols of the area with Detroit police, major crimes in midtown have dropped 38 percent from 2008 to 2011. That compares with a 16 percent drop for the city as a whole, FBI statistics show.

Businesses with offices downtown are trying to keep the renewal going. Nine large employers, including Detroit Medical Center, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Compuware (CPWR), and Quicken Loans have pledged $2 million a year for four years to pay employees to move to midtown and downtown. Workers get $2,500 in their first year of renting and $1,000 if they stay for a second. Those who want to buy get a one-time payment of $20,000. (The median home price was $9,500 in June, according to the multiple listing service Realcomp.) Just under 400 people are participating in the program so far, according to Midtown Detroit.

Click HERE to read the full article on Bloomberg Businessweek! 

Foxtown Food Rally Starts Tomorrow at 10 am!



Prior to its recently embarrassing period of decay, the Paris of the Midwest represented just the opposite: for decades, Detroit’s powerful heartbeat determined the nation’s innovation pulse. By stagnating, Detroit’s muscle found itself disrupted and Detroit entered a dark period chock full of corruption, greed, tunnel-vision, and crime. Revitalizing a carcass of what once was a thriving city has been nothing short of insurmountable, but incredibly, it’s happening anyway.

This reclaimed city from within, Detroit 2.0, has taken shape thanks in large part to a few powerful, dedicated individuals working tirelessly. People across the nation can recognize these names: Mayor Dave Bing, the man committed to rebooting the city’s woeful financial structure, Dan Gilbert (my friend and partner at Detroit Venture Partners), the champion behind 3 million refurbished square feet of office space encouraging a comprehensive downtown lifestyle, and Mike Ilitch, owner of two downtown sports teams and world-renowned pizza chain, bringing millions of people into the city annually for sporting events.

So what about the rest of our city? These powerhouses will be responsible for billions in revenue, but a city only truly thrives with “little guys” on board as game-changers too. I’m not Pollyanna here – there’s serious problems that won’t go away without monumental effort in numerous fields, but people are taking steps to fix issues affecting all of us – and lessons they’re teaching us here are applicable elsewhere.

Andy Didorosi of The Detroit Bus Company:
Instead of whining, pointing fingers and carrying on about Detroit’s lack of mass transportation, a 25-year-old entrepreneur started a company to connect neighborhoods. His bio-diesel powered bus service operates on Friday and Saturday nights from 6 pm until 2 am. For $5, riders can get on and off both lines interchangeably all night, drink in hand. Even more compelling is DBC’s “We Ride” program: for every seat purchased, they’ll provide another Detroiter in need a free ride to work. As it stands, thousands of people don’t have a reliable, affordable way to get to work, so this company offers a homegrown solution for people to keep their jobs, and their dignity in getting there.

Lesson Learned: There’s always a better way to connect the dots, even those on a map.

Click HERE to read the rest of this article by Josh Linkner on Forbes (dot) com! 

The 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series welcomes one of the most belovedrock personalities of all time,a founding member and lead guitarist of KISS, Ace Frehley, to the GM Riverfront stageon July 27.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.

An inspiration to musicians and music lovers around the globe, Ace Frehley has shocked us with his unique style both on and off stage. The mastermind behind the persona “Space Ace,” Frehley was a crucial member of KISS from its inception in 1973 until his departure in 1982. Returning to KISS bandmates in 1996 for the highly successful KISS Reunion Tour, Frehley also managed to launch a successful solo career with his own band, “Frehley’s Comet.” In 1988, Frehley returned to the studio once again with KISS to record “Psycho Circus” and completed his run in 2001 with the band’s “Farewell Tour.”

Frehley has continued to stay at the top of his game since his farewell to KISS in the early 2000s. He launched his solo career with “Anomaly,” debuting at number 27 on Billboard’s charts before touring the Unites States, Europe and Australia. As a solo artist, Frehley has shared the stage with artists including Slash and Pearl Jam.

Michigan band Finding Clyde will open the evening at 7:30 p.m. , and Ace Frehley will rock the stage beginning at 9 p.m.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront offers more than free concerts in its 2012 summer season spanning six consecutive Friday evenings. 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: Lou Gramm of Foreigner on August 3; The Sweet & The Tubes on August 10; Mark Farner of Grand Funk Railroad and Marshall Crenshaw on August 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 detroitmarriott.com. Use promotional code D60.

Fans are invited to watch FOX2 in the Morning every week to enter a FOX2 EXPOSED contest for a chance to win a VIP prize package, which includes two (2) VIP access wristbands and lanyards with front row seats, dinner for two (2) at Andiamo Detroit Riverfront in the Rockin’ on the Riverfront VIP section (the evening of the concert only), overnight accommodations for two (2) at The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center (the evening of the concert only), free parking in the Beaubien Garage located on Beaubien Street (the evening of the concert only) and a band meet-and-greet (if available). To enter, access the online contest entry form on the MyFoxDetroit.com and follow instructions. Questions for the Ace Frehley contest will be read on Monday, July 23.

For updates and information, visit www.facebook.com/RockinontheRiverfront and www.facebook.com/GMRenCen or www.gmrencen.com.



Positive Detroit Original - Erin Rose

As much as people talk about the things they do not want in Detroit (I will refrain from giving examples for the sake of this article and your sanity), I would like to provide you with a list of things I do want. I fully admit that this is a selfish list, though I have a sneaking suspicion I am not alone in my desires and could quite possibly inspire some new ones (crossing fingers).


This post just so happens to coincide with the final week to submit your business idea to the Comerica Hatch Detroit contest (watch above video).  Coincidence? Not really, just a little push to see some possible traction on the below list coming to life. Disclaimer:  I am on the executive board. 


For those of you interested in starting a business in Detroit and need some cold, hard cash to get started, you have one week left to submit to the Comerica Hatch Detroit 2012 contest for a chance to win $50K along with a matching value in business services (marketing, accounting, legal, web, photo ops with Joe Posch, etc). 


So without further adieu......

1.  Food Truck Park with a slew of amenities like seating, restrooms, wifi, bike racks, stroller valet, atm, live music stage, kid-friendly play area, gardens featuring local art and water displays, etc.  Not to mention a host of events like beer gardens, tailgates, themed parities, concerts, movie nights, private rentals.  The list goes on and on.  I think there may be a parcel or two of land available for development, maybe squeeze in next to the area of Brush Park that backs up to Eastern Market.  Just a thought......


Above is an example, the Soma Street Food Park in San Francisco that opened this year, which was inspired by Portland's Pods.

2.  Better Hours. Jimmy John's on Monroe and Griswald, I would really appreciate it if you extend your hours past the national AARP bedtime.  Same goes for you CVS.

3.  More Active Detroit. Take a look at the below picture.  Where was this taken?  Florida Keys? No. El Lay.  Err, wrong again.  Belle Isle Beach. Yeah, the one here in Detroit.


This beauty opens opportunities for kayak, canoe, paddle boat, and stand up paddle board (SUP) sales, rentals, and lessons.  Bike rentals to cruise around the island? Yes please. 


Photo taken 7/23/2012  by the lovely Michelle Srbinovich 



Personally, I would like to go back in time about a hundred years when Belle Isle looked like the below photos.  Of course in full color, 25 mega pixel, smart phone captured, HD Videoed, with more photos than Instragram can handle.


Just think:  it could be our very own Central Park, but way cooler because it is an actual island, not just on one.



*To help reopen the FIRST aquarium in the whole US of A that resides on Belle Isle, click HERE to donate (time and money, people).*

4.  Independent Health Food Store, ie The Natural Food Patch in Fab Ferndale (I would like a piece of my former life in the burbs to follow me here to Detroit).

5.  Roof Top Bars. Here is one example, The Empire Hotel in NYC, that was recently graced with a runway show by our very own Fotoula Lambros Design.  A pool would be a nice addition as well. 




6.  More Delivery!!!! Good News: Michelle at Woofbridge Feed + Supply will deliver dog food to my apartment.  Bad news:  Who else delivers besides Michelle, Sgt. Pepperoni, Bucharest, and a few chains after 4 pm? 


Actually, I think we should start with beer and then move onto food.  My neighbor's friend brings over growlers of beer on his skateboard.  Seems easy enough. 


P.S. If you do want delivery between 11 am - 4pm, Hot Spokes can help you with a myriad of choices.

7.  Art Boutique Hotels. Each room is designed by a different artist, catering to people who need a last minute room because they will be having way too much fun in Detroit and do not want to leave before sunrise.




8.  Art Street Vendors.  Since we are already on the topic of art, Detroit has a very talented artistic community. I would love to see the day that an area of Detroit was designated for people to display, sell, and create their art right on the city streets!

http://www.belozro.net
9.  Blow-Out BarYes ladies, this one is for you.  A "blow-out" bar is a salon that specializes in two things: blow-outs and cocktails.  So picture this scenario:  It's been a long day at work and the last thing you want to do is your hair for a night out in the city especially since it's 91 degrees with humility of 300%.  Blah. So how nice would it be to waltz on over to a salon after work, greeted by a friendly receptionist who hands you a cocktail, and quickly get your hair done by a talented hair-stylist?  Pretty nice, right?  You are now relaxed (Calgon who?), looking great, and do not have to worry about mother nature tampering your 'do.  Bonus, you get to leave all the baggage at home and no clean-up time. 


Best part:  It didn't break the bank at $35 smackers!  Nothing beats a night out on the town where you have the confidence in the way you look and can freely enjoy the company around you.

My favorite example is the Drybar.  Drybar hails from sunny California and has locations up and down the West Coast, Arizona, Texas, Georgia and The Big Apple.  I think its time to venture to the Midwest and open shop in Detroit, hint hint :).


10.  Mae's.  Real shocker here, right folks? Mae's serves up delicious breakfast and lunch in one of the most stylish locations in Metro Detroit. They are located in the 48069 and really, need to be in the proximity of 48226.  Not only does Mae's serve up yummy meals, but they clearly know how to run a successful business with a 300% growth in sales from 2010-2011.  As a new restaurant, beating the odds is an understatement.  Exactly what Detroit needs, a business that has longevity and prides itself on buying local. How many other restaurants do you know of that refuse to sell Coke or Pepsi and stick with Faygo?




Now, due to a "secret informant" (apparently Curbed Detroit has......one),  the owner's of Mae's aim higher and in addition to serving tasty breakfast and lunch, they would love to supply you with bottomless mimosas,  McClure's Bloody Mary's, and their own tasty concoctions on Saturday & Sunday.  Rumor has it thanks to the new law signed by Governor Snyder, it's way easier to get a liquor license in Detroit than the burbs.........

Jess's latest creation: Salted Carmel Cream Filled Chocolate Chip Cookies.
I'm sure they will be even more delicious in the 313.


11.  Fitness Studios. You cannot mention food without following it up with fitness.  Dear "Best of Hour" Five-Years-Running Nth Degree Fitness: Get your fine, well sculpted behinds down here already and give Charles Pugh a run for his money with your 6-pack abs!  You too Bikram Yoga and GoCycle!



12.  Somerset CityLoft opens up full time on Woodward, maybe on the former J.L Hudson site......... 


13.  Film Tours. Let's start highlighting all the Hollywood that Detroit has to offer! 





The weather has not been the only thing hot here this summer.  Check out all the action that's been going on in Detroit over the past few months.

Corktown:

Midtown
Downtown 
Highland Park

City News














TechTown's First Startup Soup is Friday, Aug 5th!




 The Yardbird will be one of the sandwiches competing for tops in the Great Lakes Region on this week's Adam Richman's Best Sandwich in America. See the show Wed night 7/25 @ 9pm on The Travel Channel.


Click HERE to donate to this project and get some really cool stuff! 

Excerpt:

Tolerance—the third of my 3Ts of economic development—provides a critical source of economic advantage that works alongside Technology and Talent. Places that are open to new ideas attract creative people from around the globe, broadening both their technology and talent capabilities, gaining a substantial economic edge.

The map above shows how metros across the U.S. score on the Tolerance Index, as it ranks U.S. metros according to three key variables—the share of immigrants or foreign-born residents, the Gay Index (the concentration of gays and lesbians), and the Integration Index, which tracks the level of segregation between ethnic and racial groups.

Even more than natural resources and native ingenuity, what has stood at the heart and soul of U.S. prosperity historically has been its openness to hard working, ambitious, and talented immigrants of all stripes—doctors, engineers, and uneducated laborers alike. Roughly half of Silicon Valley start-ups have a foreign-born person among their founding team, according to several recent studies. Careful studies by the economist Giovanni Peri of the University of California at Davis have found that immigrants add rather than detract from American prosperity, for the simple reason that "the skill composition of immigrants is complementary to that of natives." A "more multicultural urban environment," Peri concludes, "makes U.S.-born citizens more productive."

Openness to gays and lesbians similarly reflects an ecosystem that is open to new people and new ideas. It’s amazing how consistently people have misconstrued what my colleagues and I have had to say about the connection between gays and economic growth. They miss the point. A strong and vibrant gay community is a solid leading indicator of a place that is open to many different kinds of people. Ronald Inglehart, who has studied the relationship between culture and economic growth for some four decades, has noted that the lack of societal acceptance of gays is the most significant remaining bastion of intolerance and discrimination around the world. Accordingly, communities that have long been more accepting and open to gay people have an underlying ecosystem which is also more likely to be accepting of new ideas and different types of people, including the eggheads and eccentrics who invent new things and start new enterprises. As Bill Bishop put it, "where gay households abound, geeks follow."

Tolerance affects economic growth by shaping the flow of technology and talent. Most economists tend to see technology and talent as fixed stocks, like raw materials or natural resources, but the reality is that they are flows. Unlike seams of coal or natural harbors, talented people are mobile factors—they can and do move around. Of course talented people come from different racial and ethnic backgrounds - a substantial share of Silicon Valley startups were founded by people who hail originally from outside the United States - as well as different sexual orientations.The fact that some places are better attracting this flow of talent is associated with how open to different kinds of people they are.

Economists frequently note the importance of industries having low entry barriers, so that new firms can easily enter and keep the industry vital. Similarly, a place can benefit from low entry barriers for people—where newcomers from different backgrounds are accepted quickly into all sorts of social and economic arrangements. All else being equal, such communities have an advantage in attracting and retaining the diverse and different types of people who power innovation and growth.


Click HERE to Read the Full Article on The Atlantic Cities! 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/tinawebanalyst

The Cities With The Highest Income Adjusted For Cost of Living

Excerpt:

When we think of places with high salaries, big metro areas like New York, Los Angeles or San Francisco are usually the first to spring to mind. Or cities with the biggest concentrations of educated workers, such as Boston.

But wages are just one part of the equation — high prices in those East and West Coast cities mean the fat paychecks aren’t necessarily getting the locals ahead. When cost of living is factored in, most of the places that boast the highest effective pay turn out to be in the less celebrated and less expensive middle part of the country. My colleague Mark Schill of Praxis Strategy Group and I looked at the average annual wages in the nation’s 51 largest metropolitan statistical areas and adjusted incomes by the cost of living. The results were surprising and revealing.

One major surprise is the metro area in third place: Detroit-Warren-Livonia, Mich. This can be explained by the relatively high wages paid in the resurgent auto industry and, as we have reported earlier, a huge surge in well-paying STEM (science, technology, engineering and math-related) jobs. Combine this with some of the most affordable housing in the nation and sizable reductions in unemployment — down 5% in Michigan over the past two years, the largest such drop in the nation. This longtime sad sack region has reason to feel hopeful.

No. 3:
Detroit-Warren-Livonia, MI
2011 Adjusted Annual Wage: $57,016
Average Annual Wage: $53,424
Unadjusted Rank: 17

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



Nothing’s going to stop the 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront! The GM Riverfront stage will continue strong with the renowned band Starship featuring Mickey Thomas on July 20. 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.

Forming in the early 1980s, Starship scored major hits across the U.S.Lead singer Mickey Thomas made a name for himself in the 1970s with duel solo albums and collaborations with many rock and roll legends including his role as lead vocalist for The Jets. However, Mickey’s best-known achievements come from his harmonies with the Elvin Bishop Group; specifically, “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” a No. 3 single in 1976.

After a run on his own and with The Jets, Mickey joined both previous band mates and new additions to form Starship. They went on to perform several duets with Grace Slick, ultimately gaining greater influence in the band. Starship’s hit songs “We Built This City” and “Sara” from the album Knee Deep in the Hoopla reached No. 1 in 1985. Featured in the film Mannequin, Starship’s 1987 song “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now” also reached No. 1.

Local band Solid State will open the evening at 7:30 p.m. and Starship will rock the stage at 9 p.m.

Rockin’ on the Riverfront, spanning six consecutive Friday evenings beginning July 13, 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: Ace Frehley on July 27; Lou Gramm of Foreigner on August 3; The Sweet & The Tubes on August 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 detroitmarriott.com. Use promotional code D60.

Fans are invited to watch FOX2 in the Morning every week to enter a FOX2 EXPOSED contest for a chance to win a VIP prize package, which includes two (2) VIP access wristbands and lanyards with front row seats, dinner for two (2) at Andiamo Detroit Riverfront in the Rockin’ on the Riverfront VIP section (the evening of the concert only), overnight accommodations for two (2) at The Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center (the evening of the concert only), free parking in the Beaubien Garage located on Beaubien Street (the evening of the concert only) and a band meet-and-greet (if available). To enter, access the online contest entry form on the MyFoxDetroit.com and follow instructions. Questions for the Starship contest will be read on Monday, July 16.

The 2012 Chevrolet Rockin’ on the Riverfront concert series is sponsored in partnership with Detroit Classic Rock Station 94.7 WCSX-FM, the new Soft Rock 105.1 FM, Volunteer Energy, Belle Tire, Quicken Loans and WJBK FOX2.

For updates and information, visit www.facebook.com/RockinontheRiverfront and www.facebook.com/GMRenCen or www.gmrencen.com.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO) announced today that it will continue its new Mix @ The Max series with “Sin Hielo” on Thursday, August 9 at 7 p.m. Sin Hielo, a pairing of metro Detroit electric and acoustic guitarists Wayne Gerard and Sean Blackman, combines Detroit's grit and modern jazz with the heaviness of Flamenco and rock to form a Detroit jazz world music hybrid. Rick Beamon will accompany on percussion as well as other special guest performers.

Hosted in the intimate Music Box space within the Max M. Fisher Music Center, the performance features cabaret-style seating, a cash bar, and complimentary snacks provided by local food and beverage vendors. Mix @ The Max, premiered in April to a full house, is composed of concerts targeting a new generation of patrons. Acts could include music of any genre, including classical, contemporary, jazz and more.

Tickets to Sin Hielo are $25 in advance and $28 at the door, and may be purchased at the Max M. Fisher Music Center box office (3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit); by calling (313) 576-5111; or online at www.dso.org. Seating is general admission.

About Sin Hielo

Detroit-based musical greats Sean Blackman and Wayne Gerard are individually wildly successful.

But just last year, the two talents joined together to create a unique, powerful Latin/rock/jazz project titled Sin Hielo (pronounced "Sin Yellow”) - and the name represents both the hot sound they have created and the sexy clientele that has jumped on the band's massive touring party vardo. Sin Hielo is joined by world music percussionist Rick Beamon, known as the best in the business.

Blackman is the household name among music lovers in Detroit. In fact, he's so popular that when he played his sold-out show at Orchestra Hall, he received a standing ovation before even playing a single note. He's an award-winning, world music acoustic guitarist who has made his Latin sounds so popular that his concerts sell out based on his name alone.

Blackman has attracted international headlines - from Belgium to Colorado and in-between - as the visionary, composer and leader for the stunning 18-piece theatrical world music production In Transit, Travel the World Through Music & Dance that mixes traditional Brazilian, Armenian and Senegalese sounds with Detroit jazz and funk.

He is known for jaw-dropping, sultry, mesmerizing stage performances, National Geographic documentary compositions, and recently was invited for an exclusive private concert at the US embassy in Berlin.

Electric guitarist Gerard, whose extensive resume includes composing the full score for the motion pictures 'Waiting On Alphie', 'Dream House', 'Flowers for Norma' and 'The Verdict', is now writing for the new motion pictures 'Warsaw', which is in post-production and 'Audition', a comedy for director Juan Reinoso.

Gerard is an accomplished, respected, in-demand recording artist – with his ear to the ground in all new musical sounds, the top names in jazz are constantly seeking his musical expertise, as they together pioneer new sounds. He has recorded dozens of projects and tours regularly nationwide. His solo performances are so strong that he grabs standing ovations from audiences even when legends such as Stevie Wonder and Bob James share the stage with him. Also, an Internet musical pioneer, Gerard was one of the first artists to ever gain more than one million downloads on MP3.com His solo performances stun even the hardest-to-please jazz and rock fans.

Blackman & Gerard's Sin Hielo is unveiling glimpses of their new album during their summer tour - original pieces of Latin jazz, a unique version of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" and a few other interesting inventions and reinventions. These shows are where the crowd is on their feet dancing to the sexy, summer sounds. www.facebook.com/sinhielo
Segways2U is proud to announce their newest rental location in the heart of Detroit at the GM Renaissance Center. Founded by Detroiters Maureen Kearns and Keith Steele, Segways2U provides a unique way for people to get around Detroit.

Visitors and residents can easily zip along the Riverwalk, roll past the shops and restaurants, glide along the historic streets, or take a specially guided tour around Detroit.

A segway is a two-wheeled transportation device that operates on gyroscopic and fluid-based motion sensors, allowing the operator to control the device by leaning forward and back. The vehicle first appeared in the early 2000s.

"Our professional instructors give each rider thorough instructions on how to use their segway,” said Maureen Kearns, co-owner of Segways2U. “Each instructor is very patient, so that every level of segway rider feels comfortable and safe, while enjoying a great ride around the City.”

Throughout the summer months and into October, Segways2U will offer segway rentals by the hour or half-day from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Tours and private rentals are also available with reservation. For more information, call 855-U-SEGWAY or visit their website at www.segways2u.com.

For Keith Steele and Maureen Kearns, co-owners of Segways2U, the adventure began in 2009 with the purchase of 11 Segway PTs and a vision to provide people with a different way to explore the Motor City. The devices were purchased to be operated through Inside Detroit, the Detroit-centric tour nonprofit Kearns created back in 2006. When she moved on from the organization, Kearns and Steele decided to join forces and created Segways2U.

“We are pleased to welcome Segways2U as our newest tenant,” said Todd Pardon, Asset Services director for CBRE at the GM Renaissance Center. “Their presence will add more summer fun along the riverfront, starting at the GM Renaissance Center.”

For updates and information, visit www.segways2U.com, www.facebook.com/segways2u, or email info@segways2u.com.

Convenient parking and valet services are available at the GM Renaissance Center. For a complete list of parking locations, visit www.gmrencen.com/directions/valetparking.axis.

Segway® PTs do have some limitations, and each rider must meet the following requirements before registering: be at least 16 years old (a guardian may ride with children); weigh between 100 and 260 pounds; may not be pregnant; wear closed-toe flat shoes; and be capable of climbing a flight of stairs unassisted.


Take a hot dog from New York's famed Coney Island, throw in plenty of Greek immigrants and a booming auto industry, add some chili sauce, a steamed bun, chopped onions, mustard and an epic sibling rivalry and you've got the makings of a classic American melting pot story.

That story is told in Coney Detroit, a new book that serves as paean for what's become the quintessential dish of the Motor City. Coneys — a name that designates not just the dogs but the diners that serve them up — dominate the Detroit landscape. Where many other cities offer the chance to navigate by national chain (turn right at the third Starbucks), in Detroit, directions come in Coneys.

"I'm comfortable saying there are about 500 Coneys at any given time," in the Detroit region, says Coney Detroit co-author Joe Grimm, who has done some serious investigative digesting on the project — including visiting 100 Coneys in 100 days. (Proceeds from the book will go to Detroit's Gleaners' Food Bank.)

The history of Detroit Coneys harks back to the early 20th century, when thousands of Greek immigrants were streaming into the city's burgeoning Greektown. But first, they had to stop at New York's Ellis Island — not too far from the famed amusements of Coney Island, where Nathan Handwerker was already peddling his famous hot dogs.

Patrons pack in at American Coney in this undated photo. No one knows for sure who brought the Coney to Detroit, Grimm says, but everyone knows who made it famous: William "Bill" and Constantine "Gust" Keros. Nine decades ago (the exact date is in dispute), the two Greek brothers opened their hot dog joint, American Coney Island, in the heart of downtown Detroit — at the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Lafayette Boulevard, where it still sits today.

Click HERE to read the full article on NPR (dot) org!
Calvert Lithographing Co. in Detroit in 1895

Zak Pashak had heard a lot of negative stories about Detroit. Still, for some reason, the Canadian entrepreneur felt compelled to check out the city for himself. And after he visited in October 2010, Pashak realized that he really liked this place -- so much so that he picked up and moved from Calgary the following July.

And once he got here and bought a home in Boston Edison, his next challenge was even more radical -- opening a bicycle manufacturing plant in the city.

Now his business, Detroit Bikes, is poised to become more than an idea. On Monday Pashak closed a deal for a 50,000 square foot factory on the city's west side. He's put $500,000 of his own money into the venture and is excited about getting to work.

"I definitely want to get started as soon as possible," Pashak told The Huffington Post. "We're going to be making 50 bikes in the next month or so and giving them out to local Detroiters. They'll be testing them and giving out feedback."

Pashak's background is in the music industry, not manufacturing. He ran music venues in Vancouver and his hometown of Calgary and began Canada's popular Sled Island Music Festival. His interest in bicycling began when he ran for Calgary's City Council, when Pashak began investigating how alternatives to cars could benefit the city.

Ultimately, Pashak decided to start making bicycles because he couldn't find the type of bicycle he wanted -- one built for casual city use at a reasonable price.

His target customers are people who aren't hardcore cyclists but are still interested in bikes.The model he plans on producing in Detroit will be a lightweight steel three-speed with a tire that's thicker than those used for racing bikes. The bike will come in one color -- black-- and sell for a little under $500.

Click HERE to read the full article in The HuffPost Detroit!
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