“She’s (Veronika Scott) changing the world, one coat at a time.” 
-Caroline Kennedy 

Veronika Scott started a project in Detroit that hires shelter residents to sew coats for the homeless that convert into sleeping bags.

Stacey Abrams is the first woman to lead either party in Georgia’s General Assembly, a Democrat who’s known for working across party lines to pass legislation.

On Monday evening, both won public service awards bearing John F. Kennedy’s name in a Boston ceremony that included the late president’s daughter, Caroline Kennedy.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy presidency, it’s inspiring that my father’s call to service is still being answered by people like the two young Americans we honor today,” Kennedy said.

The annual New Frontier Awards honor those younger than 40 who have become role models for a new generation of public servants by showing qualities of civic-mindedness, pragmatism, vision and tenacity in finding and addressing public challenges.

The prizes are a collaboration of the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation and the Institute of Politics at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Scott, now 23, was a student at College for Creative Studies in Detroit when she launched her project by working on a class assignment with this direction: “Design to fill a need.”

“It’s amazing to be here and think of where this really started,” she said after the audience saw a short video about her work.

Scott spent months at a Michigan shelter getting to know the homeless. While there, she began working on a design for a coat prototype for the homeless that weighed 20 pounds and took 80 hours to make, earning her the nickname of the “crazy coat lady.”

But Scott streamlined her design. She now employs homeless women to work in a formerly abandoned warehouse where they use donated materials and equipment from General Motors and Carhartt to make warm convertible coats for the homeless. Scott expects that her nonprofit, The Empowerment Plan, will produce 800 coats by year’s end.

Click HERE to read the full article in the Washington Post! 

2013 Best Detroit Zagat List:

1. Supino Pizzeria, Detroit. Food score of 29 out of a possible 30 points.

2. Moro’s Dining, Allen Park

3. The Lark, West Bloomfield

4. Common Grill, Chelsea

5. The West End Grill , Ann Arbor

6. Union Woodshop, Clarkston

7. Texas de Brazil, Detroit

8. Roast, Detroit

9. Assaggi Bistro, Ferndale

10. The Hill Seafood & Chop House, Grosse Pointe Farms

After six months of renovations, the Detroit Historical Museum is set to re-open to the public Thanksgiving weekend with free admission. More than 70 percent of the museum’s exhibitions have been reimagined, marking the first major renovations to the facility since the 1960s.

The renovations and technology upgrades were made possible by the Detroit Historical Society’s $20.1 million Past&Forward campaign to support new and expanded exhibits at the Detroit Historical Museum, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum and the Detroit Historical Society’s Collection.

Among the new exhibits are The Allesee Gallery of Culture, the Kid Rock Music Lab, Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy,” and The Gallery of Innovation. Among the revamped and enhanced offerings are the Streets of Old Detroit, Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad and America’s Motor City exhibits.

Be sure not to miss these exciting interactive elements of the newly renovated Detroit Historical Museum:

· Visit the Innovation Station – Test your skills at mixing your own soda pop flavor in the Gallery of Innovation.

· Enjoy a “Rock” Concert – Take in the sights and sounds of Kid Rock’s 40th birthday concert at Ford Field in the Kid Rock Music Lab.

· Catch a Ball Game – Relive the Detroit Tigers’ 1984 World Championship Season in the Allesee Gallery of Culture.

· Hear the Call to Arms – Listen as President Franklin D. Roosevelt urges Detroit to become the “Arsenal of Democracy” in Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy.”

· Find Your Way to Freedom – Step across the Detroit River into Canada as you make your way along the Underground Railroad in the Doorway to Freedom – Detroit and the Underground Railroad.

· Enjoy a Taste of History - Step up to the counter at a replica of the first Sanders Confectionary store on Woodward Avenue during the 19th century in the Streets of Old Detroit.

· Go Hand to Hand with Gordie Howe – Match your handprints to that of more than 20 of Detroit’s cultural icons in the Detroit Legends Plaza.

· See the Motor City’s Finest – View a rotating display of some of our region’s most exceptional automobiles in our new Automotive Showplace in America’s Motor City.

· Become a Conductor – Control the model trains in the re-designed Glancy Trains exhibit.

Re-Discover Your Family – Visit the new Family Discovery Room and experience family life in 19th century Detroit with hands-on activities in the Streets of Old Detroit.

More information: detroithistorical.org.
This year, downtown Detroit will experience the kind of holiday season it hasn’t seen in decades.

“Winter Magic,” Campus Martius Park’s seasonal celebration, will kick off on Friday, November 16 at 5 p.m. with the traditional Detroit Tree Lighting Ceremony presented by the DTE Energy Foundation. Quicken Loans is the presenting sponsor of the Winter Magic Season.

“Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit” will bring retail back to downtown Detroit for the holiday season. The stores, sponsored by Quicken Loans and Somerset Collection’s CityLoft, will debut on Friday, November 16 and will be open Thursday-Saturday through December 22.

“We are thrilled to make our traditional Winter Magic celebration even better with additional activities during which Campus Martius Park and Woodward Avenue will be bustling with events for people of all ages,” said Robert Gregory, President of The Detroit 300 Conservancy, the non-profit organization that oversees Campus Martius Park.

Quicken Loans and Somerset Collection’s CityLoft are partnering to activate the storefronts on the 1200 block of Woodward, between Grand River and Gratiot.

“We are very excited to partner with Somerset Collection to bring new retail to downtown Detroit for the holiday shopping season,” said Dan Gilbert, Chairman and Founder, Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

Tree Lighting The season kicks off with the Tree Lighting festivities on Friday, November 16 at 5 p.m. in Campus Martius Park, sponsored by the DTE Energy Foundation. The tree will be lit at approximately 7:45 p.m. There will also be:

Ice skating shows
Activities for children
Horse-drawn carriage rides
Musical performances

 “The Detroit Tree Lighting has evolved into a holiday tradition for many Detroit families,” said Paul Hillegonds, DTE Energy senior vice president, Corporate Affairs. “The DTE Energy Foundation is proud to sponsor this event for the past nine years, and we are honored to usher in Winter Magic with a memorable, family-oriented celebration for the city.”

This year’s 55-foot tall tree weighs over 10,000 pounds and has a 30-foot span of branches that will be decorated with more than three miles of wire and 19,000 LED lights. An additional 170,000 LED lights will be installed on 78 trees throughout Campus Martius Park and 32 trees along the 1200 block of Woodward between Grand River and Gratiot.

Christmas Wonderfest Holiday Market & Holiday Cheer Garden Friday-Sunday from November 16 - November 25, Campus Martius Park will be home to the Christmas Wonderfest Holiday Market. More than 50 retailers will offer gifts including holiday imports, unique art and apparel, Detroit merchandise and more.

At the Holiday Cheer Garden, guests can enjoy craft beers, holiday wines, warm winter cocktails and more from popular bars and restaurants, including E.G. Nick’s, which will have a special eatery.

Woodward Retail Shopping

During Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit, the following retailers will open shop on the 1200 block of Woodward:

Somerset Collection’s CityLoft, an assortment of more than 40 stores from the upscale mall in Troy

Moosejaw, popular national outdoor retailer
The Detroit Shoppe, a store with Detroit-themed merchandise
Santa’s Wonderland, a shop where children can buy and wrap inexpensive gifts for family members
Detroit Art Shoppe, a market featuring original work from Detroit artists
Spinergy, a fitness studio with stationary bikes
Papa Joe’s Snack Rack, a mini-market with a sampling of products from Papa Joe’s

For more information about Winter Magic and Holiday DLight: Made in Detroit, please contact The Detroit 300 Conservancy at (313) 962-0101 or visit www.campusmartiuspark.org. For more information about opportunities in Detroit, please visit http://opportunitydetroit.com/.
Photograph Daniel Lippitt


“There are a lot of schemers that show up in this city who think they’re going to save Detroit,” says Zak Pashak. “Coming here and starting a business does a great thing for the city, but don’t say you’re saving it. This is a serious place to come to. It’s not frivolous. People are coming here to try and contribute to a really interesting community.”

To convey the spirit of his plan to make bicycles in Detroit, Zak Pashak feels a tour is in order. At the wheel of his worn Toyota Prius, the 32-year-old entrepreneur narrates as the sprawl of Detroit unfolds, revealing a city broken but not dead. We pass the obvious blights symptomatic of a long-depressed city: rampant vacancy, overgrown land and lots of people sitting on stoops with nothing to do. But there are also signs of life, including a patch of downtown streets that people have taken to walking again and new businesses spun from an emergent entrepreneurial spirit. Local leaders are hoping these seeds will help to pull the city out of its 40-year funk. It was partly this spirit, partly an “irrational fascination with Michigan” and partly a need for change that drew Pashak to the Motor City from his hometown of Calgary two years ago.

Many Calgarians will know him as a precocious bar owner and music promoter who lost a close race for city alderman in 2010. Pashak’s latest venture, however, has nothing to do with Calgary or concert spaces. It’s a company called Detroit Bikes. Pashak plans to mass-produce bicycles in a city that was once famed for auto manufacturing but is now known more for its murder rate and the sheer scale of its emptied neighbourhoods. Since the 1950s, Detroit’s population has dropped from nearly two million to roughly 700,000, shedding 25 per cent of its residents in the past decade alone. The decline runs deep, some say starting with the race riots of 1967, followed by a long history of corrupt local government, rapid suburbanization and the fall of car manufacturing, compounded more recently by the global recession.

As we cruise the wide, empty boulevards into the city’s grittier pockets, Pashak points out his favourite buildings, ornate vestiges of better times. There are at least two he half-heartedly considered buying (for practically nothing) and remaking into some kind of business, perhaps a concert hall. Unlike Detroit’s heyday as a boomtown, its utter blankness and thirst for revival is now attracting a new kind of industrialist, people like Pashak who have money, ideas and the audacity to carry them out.

Overdressed on this muggy day in long sleeves and oversized chinos, Pashak walks with small quick steps and talks about everything in the same even, unexcitable tone. It might be that he is someone who’d rather do than talk about doing, but when it comes to media attention he’s used to reciting his story. He comes from a well-known Calgary family: his father, Barry Pashak, was a local NDP MLA; his mother, Jackie Flanagan, is a philanthropist and founder of Alberta Views magazine; and his ex-stepfather, Allan Markin, is a wealthy oilman and the former chairman of Canadian Natural Resources. Pashak has also garnered his own attention: starting businesses in your twenties gets you in the papers.

At an early age, Pashak showed an interest in money and, particularly, how to grow it. When he was eight, he requested that the child-support money his mother had been saving for him be invested in his step-dad’s oil company. It was a sweet boyhood gesture that would spark a passion for investing. “Every morning I’d wake up and read stock reports and make investments,” Pashak says of his high school years. “I had brokers.” By the time he was 20 he’d made enough money to buy a house just before Calgary’s real-estate market took off. The well-publicized divorce of his mother and Markin landed her a sizeable settlement, of which she gave Pashak and his sister “a small amount,” he says, enough for him to open a music club in 2004 called Broken City. (He’s since sold it, but still owns a quarter share and the building.) “That ended up being a significantly helpful investment, just the real estate,” he says.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

Detroit Lions Standout Wide Receiver Nate Burleson is excited to host his 2nd Annual ‘Nate Burleson Celebrity Server Night’ presented by Quicken Loans. This is an exclusive fundraising event for Burleson’s CATCH Foundation at Morton’s Detroit (Troy), located at 888 W. Big Beaver, Ste. 111, on Monday, November 12, 2012 beginning at 7 p.m.

The evening will feature Burleson and many of his Lions teammates trading their pads for aprons and serve a four-course meal to guests for this special evening. Last year’s special servers included Calvin Johnson, Titus Young, Stephan Logan, Rob Sims, Drew Stanton, Maurice Stovall and more of the 2011 Detroit Lions Roster. The event will also include live and silent auctions.

"Last year was such a great time it seems like everyone is ready to participate in this event again. The guys had a blast serving all the guests, we were able to raise a lot of money last year which helped us adopt families in the Metro Detroit area for Christmas, take kids shopping for their holiday gifts and this year we hope to expand on that and continue to help more throughout Detroit this season,” said Burleson. “Again, I have to thank Quicken Loans for helping put on this event and Morton’s for the great venue. I hope we can sell this event out again and make it a huge success!”

The purpose of the Nate Burleson CATCH Foundation, which was started in 2009, is to reach and teach area children and their families by providing them with educational tools to succeed as well as enriching their lives by showing them how to care for others, themselves and their future.

Tickets for this exclusive event are $250/ticket (Sponsor tables of 8 are also available) and can be purchased by calling Sherrie Handrinos, Boost 1 Marketing, at 734-341-6859. For more information, please visit, www.nateburlesonfoundation.org.
The Detroit Historical Museum will re-open its doors for a grand evening of history-making during the Re-Opening Gala. The evening will serve as a first glance at the museum’s new and renovated galleries, as well as a celebration of Michigan history and roots through Detroit-centric food and beverages. Guests will also enjoy fabulous entertainment by The Contours, Ben Sharkey and Marion Hayden.

Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012
6 pm - 11 pm
Detroit Historical Museum 5401
Woodward Ave. Detroit, MI

A ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the reopening of the newly renovated museum with honorable guests: Mayor Dave Bing, Bob Bury, Maggie and Bob Allesee, Ann and James B. Nicholson and legendary Detroiters Tommy Hearns, Diana Lewis, Ted Lindsey, Martha Reeves, Devin Scillian and Paul W. Smith.

VIP soiree with live entertainment, a strolling dinner and Detroit legends.

An afterparty featuring live entertainment and dancing, as well as Detroit-themed snacks and drinks.

Those in attendance will include:
Mayor Dave Bing, mayor of Detroit and basketball legend
Tommy Hearns, boxing champion Ted Lindsey, hockey legend
Martha Reeves, Motown artist
Devin Scillian, veteran anchor at WDIV-TV
Paul W. Smith, emcee and WJR-AM radio host
Bob Bury, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Historical Society Members of the DHS board of directors


 Legend: VIP soiree and ribbon cutting - access begins at 6 p.m. for $1,000 a person.

Patron: Full access of museum and strolling dinner - admitted entry at 7:30 p.m. for $500 a person.

Next Generation: After-hours party and late night snacks - access begins at 9 p.m. for $150 a person.

The Re-Opening Gala is the first opportunity for the public to view the museum’s new exhibits, including The Allesee Gallery of Culture, the Kid Rock Music Lab, Detroit: The “Arsenal of Democracy,” and The Gallery of Innovation, as well as the revamped and enhanced Streets of Old Detroit, Doorway to Freedom and America’s Motor City exhibits, all of which are a result of the Detroit Historical Society’s $20.1 million Past&Forward campaign. Three levels of tickets are available, offering each guest access to exclusive event-going experiences, including: a VIP Soiree and ribbon-cutting; a Detroit Legends meet and greet with strolling dinner; and an after-hours party highlighting various Detroit brews, spirits and classic late-night snacks.
Having your brand name become part of the common lexicon is a marketing coup of the highest order. It’s debatable, though, whether or not that applies when the expression in question is "You don’t know shit from Shinola." But with the idea that any name recognition is good name recognition, the folks at Bedrock Manufacturing decided that Shinola, the popular mid-century shoe polish brand, was just the right mark to reintroduce for their new line of American-made watches, bikes, and other leather goods. As they’ve started putting their manufacturing operation in place, however, Shinola has proven not only to be a familiar name but also a reminder of how products can benefit from the stories behind them.

The brand revival started last year, when Bedrock set out to create a new line of high-end leather accessories. From the start, the venture was not only about the products themselves but where they would be produced: Here at home, in the U.S. In Bedrock’s eyes, the new company would be a throwback to a time when goods were built to last, when customers weighed price points with quality, and, most importantly, when those customers had an interest in who was building the products--and where.

It would be a company steeped in the values of an older era, and the founding team wanted a name to match. "We didn’t want to try to invent a name that had heritage and pretend there was history behind it," COO Heath Carr says, so they looked for inactive brands that were on the market. They eventually came across Shinola, along with the "ever-so-famous saying that comes with the name," Carr says.

Next came finding a new home. After looking at a number of cities, the team decided to establish the company in Detroit, the former manufacturing powerhouse and something of an American throwback itself. It’s a tidy fit that, like the Shinola name, Detroit too is in the early stages of a 21st-century reinvention.

In Detroit, the first order of business was finding a building to house their new watch factory, and the location they settled on was one that surprised everyone involved. The visiting Shinola team had been invited to tour the College of Creative Studies, a design school located in the historic (and recently renovated) Argonaut Building, simply to get a taste of Detroit’s young creative talent. An elevator malfunction, Carr recalls, lead to a serendipitous discovery: "The elevator, for unknown reasons, accidentally stops on the fifth floor. And the fifth floor is completely empty. And we looked around and said, 'This is perfect! You guys mind if we build a watch factory here?'"

Click HERE to read the full article! 

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) is pleased to announce that Mitch Albom has renewed the Detroit Dozen Challenge. Last year, Albom pledged $60,000 to sponsor CCS students and he put forth a challenge for other donors to join him. This past academic year, Albom’s challenge resulted in four new students receiving scholarships to attend CCS. He hopes to attract even more donors to support next year’s incoming freshmen.

“I am so encouraged by the progress of efforts to provide Detroit students with art and design education. We all know that talent is not the issue in Detroit, but access to an affordable education is a major obstacle to many gifted young people’s dreams,” says Journalist and Philanthropist Mitch Albom. “That is why it is so important that people with means join us as we provide resources to help young people with artistic aspirations. By fall 2013, I would like to see seven additional deserving Detroit students receive scholarships to attend CCS.”

Mitch Albom's Detroit Dream Scholars Fund provides scholarships for students from Detroit to attend CCS as undergraduates. Albom is challenging seven more people from the community to join him in the campaign. A scholarship may be funded for $15,000 per year for four years, or gifts of any size can be contributed to this initiative. Each scholarship recipient is required to create a piece of public art so that their work will benefit the community as a whole. Sherell Garrison, the 2011/2012 scholarship recipient, is a Fine Arts major at CCS and has, so far, participated in two community arts projects. It is important to Albom that all of the Detroit Dream Scholars give back to Detroit.

“It is not enough to be given an opportunity. Those of us who are fortunate, must also share that good fortune with others,” says Albom. “That is why each Detroit Dream Scholar is required to develop a piece of art that directly benefits the city of Detroit.”

The 2012/2013 scholarship recipients are: Illustration Freshman Kyle Jordan, Entertainment Arts Freshman Kellye Perdue, Interior Design Freshman Beverly Robinson, and Graphic Design Freshman Kevin Beltran. To donate to the Detroit Dream Scholars Fund, contact Mary Boyle at 313.664.7472.

The College for Creative Studies (CCS) is an integrated learning community located in Detroit. A private, fully accredited college, CCS enrolls 1,400 students pursuing Master of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. CCS also offers visual art opportunities for learners of all ages through its Community Arts Partnerships and Continuing Education programs. For more information, visit www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu.

Moosejaw Detroit Shop Opens TODAY On Woodward!

Moosejaw, the quirky national outdoor retailer, today announced it will open its first ever retail store in downtown Detroit for the holiday shopping season on Thursday, November 1. The store will be located at 1275 Woodward Avenue between Grand River and State streets, adjacent to Somerset Collection’s CityLoft.

The Moosejaw Detroit shop, which will remain open through December 22, will feature products from popular outdoor brands including The North Face, Patagonia, Arc’Teryx, Sorel, Timbuk2, as well as the newest line of outerwear from Moosejaw and many more. True to its famously unique and fun brand, Moosejaw’s Detroit shop will have a foosball table, disco-themed dressing room, mobile cash-free checkout, a living habitat in the window, and much more.

“Moosejaw is recognized as an innovator within the retail industry when it comes to our store concepts and marketing, so it only makes sense for us to open a shop in downtown Detroit - the country’s newest hotspot for creativity and innovation,” said Eoin Comerford, President and CEO of Moosejaw.

To celebrate its first downtown store, the company will hold a grand opening bash on Friday, November 2 from 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. The shop will serve a steady supply of beer to those 21 and older from Atwater brewery in Detroit, and give away Moosejaw SWAG. “We’ve been proud of our connection to the city ever since Moosejaw opened in metro-Detroit 20 years ago, so we’re thrilled to also now be located in downtown Detroit,” said Bryan Lively, Vice President of Retail at Moosejaw, referencing the company’s first location in Keego Harbor and current headquarters in Madison Heights, Michigan. “Distinctive retail is necessary to create a thriving urban core, so we’re happy to bring the Moosejaw brand to Detroit to help the city’s resurgence.”

Moosejaw’s lease was brokered by Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures’ full service real estate firm. Rock Ventures is the umbrella entity for Dan Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, investments and real estate.

“More than 60 companies have joined us in downtown Detroit since August 2010, and Moosejaw’s shop in the city is proof that momentum is building and national retailers want space on Woodward Avenue,” said Dan Mullen, Real Estate Developer at Bedrock. “Not only will Moosejaw’s Detroit shop help the city, it will be great for the company as downtown Detroit shoppers are eager for new and great retail options.” The Moosejaw pop-up shop will be open Thursday - Saturday from 12 p.m. - 9 p.m. through December 22.

For more information, please visit www.moosejaw.com/detroitshop.

Rock Ventures LLC announced today it will build 33,000 square feet of ground floor retail space and a 1,300 space parking garage in downtown Detroit's Central Business District.

Construction on the 535,000 square-foot Z-shaped retail and parking development will begin in November 2012, and is expected to be completed by December 2013. The structure will zigzag from the corner of Broadway and East Grand River to the corner of Library and Gratiot, occupying what is currently a surface parking lot. The parking/retail development will be a distinctive structure utilizing color, glass, and original artwork.

Rock Ventures is developing the property to help alleviate the area's parking shortage in and around downtown Detroit's Central Business District, and just as important, bring more unique retail and dining options to the area's fast growing tech and creative corridor and employee base, said Dan Gilbert, Founder and Chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans.

"Downtown Detroit's population is growing every day, as new start-ups launch and other companies move downtown. In two years alone, the number of people who work in the Central Business District has increased by more than 10,000 people. These folks need parking, and more places to eat and shop. Our new development will help meet some of this demand," said Gilbert.

Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity providing operational coordination and integration of Dan Gilbert's portfolio of companies, investments and real estate, has moved more than 6,500 team members into the Campus Martius area, many of whom will benefit from the added parking (some are currently being shuttled to their office, decreasing foot traffic vital to urban cores). Since August 2010, more than 60 companies have moved into or launched in Rock Ventures-owned buildings.

George Jackson, President, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, said this kind of development is exactly what the city needs to continue its revival.

"More parking, more retail stores and more restaurants….all of these conveniences and services are part of what is required to create a thriving urban core that people want to live in and visit," Jackson said. "We are very excited about this new development."

Bedrock Real Estate Services LLC, Rock Ventures' full-service real estate firm and developer for the project, will be responsible for managing the property and leasing the retail space. Bedrock is working with Michigan-based Neumann/Smith Architecture and parking consultants Rich and Associates Inc. to design the structure. Colasanti Construction Services Inc./Sachse Construction, a joint venture, are the construction managers for the project.

Vince Keenan

Do-it-yourself Detroit is on borrowed time. Working around the democratically elected government of the city isn’t a long term strategy. One day soon we’ll have to figure out how to address the future of this city that stretches out beyond the horizon of our lifetimes, past the excitement of this burst of energy, past the frustration and decline that has plagued Detroit for 50 years. Inspiration and desperation come in waves. Good government provides consistency over time; failing government erodes stability. At some point we are going to have to institutionalize our best ideas and noblest principles.

There are many stories about the positive energy in Detroit, from bright new enthusiasm to hardscrabble ingenuity. There are residents in communities that have every right to give up yet somehow find the reserve to keep things going. There are stories of large deliberate efforts and small but inspiring injections of hope. Not all of these stories get the same airplay, but many share the same theme: citizens doing it themselves.

Detroiters are finding ways to fill in gaps that shouldn’t exist. People are pulling together to solve problems, from rescuing parks to community patrols to informal business support groups to dynamic large scale and small scale investments that drive a vision for economic development. There is a resolve that excites us even if city government isn’t working the way we want. It is a resolve that says this city can come back. It’s good and necessary and ... fun. Today, we are focused on what we can get to work, to grow every spark into a flame and make sure every domino is close enough to knock down the next.

Click HERE to read the full article! 
Astro Coffee in Corktown, a Detroit neighborhood luring new businesses.

At the ragged corner of Michigan Avenue and Trumbull Street in the historic neighborhood of Corktown, where the Detroit Tigers played for 87 years, all that remains is a slice of an entrance gate, a flagpole and a barren field.

After the last out in 1999, the Tigers departed what locals call "the Corner," for the new Comerica Park downtown. The American League champions host baseball's World Series there this weekend. Back in Corktown, redevelopment proposals for the surrounding blocks foundered, and when Tiger Stadium finally was razed in September 2009, many feared the neighborhood would be lost to history. But Corktown is stirring again.

Young entrepreneurs have homed in on Corktown's main drag, which is now dotted with small businesses: a nationally acclaimed barbecue joint, a burger bar, a craft-cocktail nightspot and a hip coffee shop. A few boutiques selling sports apparel and vinyl records have sprouted along blocks that were once largely shuttered.

"When the bike racks are full, you know things are humming," said Dave Steinke, owner of the new Mercury Burger Bar, who plans to open an Italian restaurant on Michigan Avenue next month. "When you see some strollers on the street, you know they'll be back again and again."

Corktown—named for County Cork by the Irish farmers who settled there in the 1800s—isn't bustling, local boosters concede. But for Detroiters, the seeds of commerce in an area left for dead are sparking hope that some of the city's most forlorn neighborhoods can be resurrected. That hope hasn't touched other neighborhoods. New stadiums, office buildings and hotels have helped Detroit's downtown area recover from its gloomiest days. But farther out, residential and commercial corridors bear deep scars of population loss and business flight.

Click HERE to read the full article!

 6. Erebus Haunted Attraction in Pontiac, MI

Michigan is the haunted attraction capital of the world with more than 70 haunts in a 50 mile radius. Erebus prides itself as one of the most unique haunts in the country by building almost all of their own props in-house. This is not the haunted house you went to as a kid, but the one that makes you scream as an adult. Things will grab you, bite you, and land on top of you. Walk through a swamp. Be placed inside a room, door slammed, and get dumped on by 10,000 balls as you’re buried alive! How long can you hold your breath? Erebus, in Greek Mythology, is the son of Chaos and the brother of Night, this year they are bringing in the "Mother" - Chaos is coming fall 2012. Chaos is unleashing an all-out assault! She'll hit you from every angle with full on fear... and show no mercy.

Visit www.hauntedpontiac.com for more haunted house details.

Click HERE for the full list! 

When Detroit Labs co-founder Nathan Hughes recruits employees for his mobile and web app development company, he often faces resistance about the company's location.

"A lot of people have that hesitation," he says. "They're not sure about moving to Detroit."

The city, which has lost half of its population in the wake of the auto industry collapse, has a bad reputation. Many buildings are abandoned, and thousands of residents live in some of the most extreme poverty in the country.

But Hughes, a Michigan native, and his Detroit Labs partners saw the potential of the city as fertile ground for a thriving tech startup--and after visiting, their candidates do, too.

"We bring them down to our office in a beautiful old building," says Hughes. "We show them what's going on in the area, and they change their minds. People are really loving it here."

The city is home to a small, but thriving tech community, with companies including Quicken Loan, Compuware Ventures, and Galaxe Solutions based downtown. And while many storefronts are vacant, the local businesses that do exist are all worth visiting, says Hughes. "There aren't 50 or 100 restaurants to choose from, like you'd see in most cities, but the 10 or 20 that are there are very high quality."

Will McDowell, a recent grad working as a business analyst for Detroit Labs, lives downtown, as do many of the business' younger employees. "I think we have just as much fun here, and just as much to do at a lower price than in any other city," he says.

Click HERE to read the full article!