Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Event Starts at 5pm and runs through 1am
KIDS’ DROP at 6:30pm
“The Drop” will also take place at Midnight!

Campus Martius Park

This event is FREE for the public.

The fourth annual Motor City New Year’s Eve “The Drop” will be hosted on December 31, 2013 in Campus Martius Park. The free community event, sponsored by Opportunity Detroit and Bamboo Detroit, will take place from 5:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. and will include a unique Detroit-themed ball drop. Entertainment throughout the night will include DJ Tom T and the band The Strange. In addition to entertainment, attendees will be able to ice skate in the park and enjoy s’mores and other concessions.

New to the event this year, due to popular request from families throughout the region, will be a family friendly Kids’ Drop at 6:30 p.m., for those that want to bring their children out to experience this special event. This year the ball drop will come down from the Chase Tower, which faces Campus Martius Park, with the historic Penobscot and Guardian Buildings providing a breathtaking backdrop. Also new this year will be a food truck rally, featuring Detroit-area favorites such as the Mac Shack macaroni and cheese, Rolling Stones wood fired pizza, and more. Fountain Bistro will be having specials running throughout the event, multiple beverage centers will also be placed around the park that will have drink tickets, $10 for two beverages.

*Please contact us as we have parking blocked off at Campus Martius for Media.

For more information also visit: www.MotorCityNYE.com

"Make Your Money Matter" is a grassroots campaign introduced by 8 credit unions from across the country and PSCU that aims to educate a new generation of consumers about the wealth of benefits credit unions provide over big banks.

 To learn more about the benefits of joining your 
 Local Credit Union, click here

*This post is sponsored by Make Your Money Matter, in association with PSCU, though all views expressed are my own.*
Inner Circle Greenway Map
Construction is scheduled to begin next year on a number of projects designed to make roadways in the Detroit area more bicycle-friendly.

A focus on safety is part of what is driving the expansion of biking infrastructure in the area, the Detroit Free Press reported. Warren, Detroit, Ferndale and the Grosse Pointe communities are among those planning significant projects. In Warren, for example, the right lane in both directions of a more than one-mile stretch of Van Dyke will be converted to a bike lane with help from a $292,000 grant. Mayor Jim Fouts said it is a worthwhile experiment, although he knows some drivers might complain.

“I’m willing to take a chance. I’m a strong believer in outdoor activity,” Fouts said. Bill Gambill, Warren’s neighborhood services and grants coordinator, said a traffic study showed that seven lanes aren’t needed in that area. He said five through lanes and a turn lane should be enough for the volume of traffic on that portion of Van Dyke.

A 26-mile loop through Detroit, Hamtramck and Highland Park called the Inner Circle Greenway is expected to get funding for acquisition of more property. Bike lanes are planned on Detroit’s east side. And bike lanes also are planned in Ferndale.

In the Grosse Pointe communities, road signs and bike racks are planned. In addition to local efforts to build bike lanes and paths, the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and the Michigan Department of Transportation are looking at bicycling in their regional non-motorized plan for the seven-county region.

The plan in part will analyze existing and proposed on-road and off-road bicycle facilities. Barbara Teranes, 73, of Grosse Pointe, has been an avid bicyclist since she was a child, riding in Michigan, other parts of the U.S. and in Europe. Teranes and her 77-year-old husband, Paul Teranes, are members of the Easy Riders Bicycle Touring Club.

“The more people we have riding bikes, the safer it will be for bike riders,” Teranes said.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


But despite the bankruptcy, crime, urban desolation and despair, a different story is emerging. Slowly, the Detroit phoenix seems to be peeking from its very substantial ashes. Slowly, the Detroit phoenix seems to be peeking from its very substantial ashes.

The lunchtime walk from the MGM Grand is weird. It’s cold, there are no cars. It is reminiscent of Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, where everyone stays inside — only the crazy or naive walk. Across the Detroit river is Canada. The smokestacks and stacked aerials are the perfect setting for a Springsteen song.

But at 1555 Broadway Street, just across from the Detroit Opera House, a once-famous building has become the lodestone for the city's regeneration, a coworking space that houses startups — even a company known as Twitter.

The M@dison Theater was originally built in 1917 and was crumbling away until it reopened in 2011. It was purchased by Dan Gilbert, the chairman of Rock Ventures and Quicken Loans, the largest online retail mortgage lender in the U.S.

This followed Gilbert’s decision to move his Quicken Loans family of companies and 1,700 employees to Detroit in 2010. The M@dison’s purchase is part of a longstanding future commitment to the city.

“The Madison building project is another step in the … vision for a technology corridor of growth … in the heart of downtown Detroit," said Gilbert at the time of the M@dison’s opening. "This historic building will be molded into an exciting center where young entrepreneurial enterprises will collaborate, innovate and build the kind of 21st century businesses that our new economy in Detroit will be based upon."

In the interim two years, Gilbert’s vision has more than come to pass. Through Rock Ventures, the umbrella entity of Gilbert’s portfolio of companies, the company now owns more than 40 downtown properties, totalling nearly 8 million square feet. (Interestingly, one of those properties is the newly opened Greektown Casino.) Gilbert-owned businesses employ more than 11,500 people in the city.

Even on a bitterly freezing day, the M@dison building is impressive. Much of the original materials were used in its rebuild. Exposed steel beams add an industrial effect, and original graffiti graces the walls of the formerly abandoned site. There is also a cool rooftop area and a large event space, as well as the mandatory coffee machines and community games area.

The M@dison building has not only created a coworking space for tech entrepreneurs, its influence has become a household name: "the M@dison Effect." It's a phenomenon in which companies that have grown too big for the M@dison have moved into nearby offices. Block by block, Detroit’s tech scene is reviving a great city. Even Google moved in.

Click HERE for the full story! 
Detroit's Midtown neighborhood is reviving in the midst of the larger city's decline.

The streets outside Avalon Bakery in Detroit's Midtown are a snowy, slushy, mostly unplowed mess, and all these customers want to do is pay for their loaf of Motown Multigrain or Poletown Rye.

But Detroiters are a gracious, if weary, bunch. So when they see yet another reporter sticking a microphone in their faces, asking what they think of all this media attention, they answer politely.

And even if they're not always crazy about the way their city is portrayed, no one argues with the fact that Detroit had a newsworthy year.

"Whatever bleeds leads," says Jeff Reid, who moved to the area to take a job at Ford. "People like to show the dilapidation and the poor parts."

"It actually isn't surprising that the media has put so much attention on Detroit. I just wish it was positive," says Leslie DeShazor.

"It's become the stepchild city everyone likes to make fun of," says Jonathan Rajewski. "Everybody's done it — everybody's made fun of Detroit."

Its former mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick, was sentenced this fall to 28 years in prison for corruption. It's officially the biggest city in American history to file for bankruptcy protection, which it did this summer. And on CNN, food personality Anthony Bourdain compared its aesthetics to those of Chernobyl.

'The Most Pivotal Moment'

But Detroit's story is not just about astonishing corruption and dystopian landscapes.

There's also renovation — proven by a Whole Foods in Midtown, which opened over the summer to great fanfare. As the first Whole Foods to open in the city, it's part of the up-and-coming, hip, more affluent Detroit.

In the past year, this neighborhood and a few others have seen remarkable revitalization. Big companies are relocating downtown, bringing thousands of workers to the city's core. You can now find boutiques. New bars and restaurants. Nightlife. People.

Nancy Kaffer, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, is grabbing a grocery cart at the Midtown Whole Foods. She's picking up ingredients to make cookies for friends who are helping her move from the suburbs to the city proper.

"Our new cliche for Detroit is it is a tale of two cities," Kaffer says.

Kaffer says the fact that Detroit's story is so complicated makes it all the more fascinating: "Every year that I've been covering the city, we always say, 'This is the most pivotal moment; this is the biggest turning point in the city's history.' And it's always true."

Making Things Work

In large part, Detroit is the poster child for distressed cities. Its problems are bigger, its scandals more spectacular, but fundamentally they're the same problems facing dozens of cities. So how Detroit deals with its financial mess, as it strives to stem its decline, is something a lot of people are interested in.

"I would call the last year a cleansing year, and the beginning of a renaissance, says Reid, at the Avalon Bakery.

When he first moved to the area, he lived outside the city, "because I thought I'd get killed if I lived in Detroit," says Reid.

Then he visited and fell in love with it. He moved here a little over a year ago.

Click HERE to read the full article! 

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Locals call it the " Dan Gilbert effect," the recent buying spree of commercial buildings in downtown Detroit by the billionaire founder of Quicken Loans.

Now the phenomenon appears to be spreading.

Despite a fiscal plight that forced the city to seek Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection five months ago, the real-estate market has been picking up in Detroit's downtown core. Mr. Gilbert has led the charge by buying dozens of properties and moving in 3,800 of his employees from suburban offices and creating another 6,500 jobs downtown since 2010, according to the company.

But lately, other investors have begun buying trophy buildings and starting to develop apartments to meet the rising demand from workers who prefer downtown living. City officials estimate residential occupancy downtown is 97 percent.

The projects show that some real-estate investors are looking beyond the bankruptcy to an eventual rebound in Detroit. They are hoping that property values and rents will rise due to the region's resurgent automotive industry and the expansion of its medical community and nascent technology industry.

The city's economic development arm forecasts almost 1,000 new residential units coming on line downtown over the next five years. Next year, developers are expected to complete the renovation of the 19-story David Whitney building to house a boutique hotel, apartments, restaurants and a bar, city officials say.

The real-estate firm Schostak Brothers in September announced the planned construction of a 16-story office building for $111 million to house Meridian Health Plan, slated to open by 2017. The building would be downtown Detroit's first new high-rise since 2006. Company officials weren't available for comment.

In October, Dongdu International, known as DDI, paid a total of $13.6 million for two of Detroit's better-known buildings, including the former home of the Detroit Free Press, now slated for a residential conversion. The Chinese company is now under contract to buy a third, 10-story loft-apartment building for $2.77 million, an attorney representing the company said this week.

And just last week, the city's downtown development authority gave preliminary blessing to a proposed $450 million sports-and-entertainment arena backed by the Illitch family to house the Detroit Red Wings through a mix of public and private funding. The plan includes another $200 million in private investment for residential, retail and office space across a 45-block area.

Click HERE for the full article!


An under-the-radar city getaway that's closer (and cooler) than you realize

Why Go Now: A hip, new, cultural- and design-savvy Detroit is emerging from what remains of Motor City. Some compare it to hipster Brooklyn because of the microbreweries, coffee shops, organic bakeries, guerilla farming, forward fashion boutiques, and funky cocktail spots popping up all over town. Art is a big draw these days, especially as talk continues about whether the world-class Detroit Institute of Arts will have to sell off important works to pay Detroit's creditors. If you're interested in more avant-garde work, check out the many new gallery spaces, or the Heidelberg Project, a blocks-long outdoor art project where the houses are the works of art. Beer aficionados tout the quality and diversity of Detroit area microbreweries, while foodies love Detroit for its innovative new restaurants, and for the feast of artisanal food and local procedure that takes place every Saturday morning at the Eastern Market.

Insider Tip: Detroit's renaissance means there are festivals and special events most of the year, so plan to get out with the locals. Friday Night Live! is the weekly celebration organized by the Detroit Institute of Art, with music, workshops, and food. Every third Thursday, venues all over town stay open late with openings, exhibits, and all sorts of programs. Also of note: JetBlue is set to introduce a new direct Boston-Detroit route in March 2014.

When to Go: Late spring, summer, and early fall are the most popular time to visit Detroit, when the weather's fine and you can rent a bike to tour the city. Winters tend to be cold and less hospitable, with sudden snowstorms.

Plan Your Trip: Start planning using Fodor's Detroit Travel Guide. –Caroline Trefler

Click HERE for the full article!

Grand + Woodward Holiday Shop Kicks Off Today!

Pony Ride

Lots of rust belt cities boast of a burgeoning start-up economy, but entrepreneurship may face its greatest test in Detroit, a city battered by the auto industry's struggles. Start-ups are growing, what with cheap downtown office space, abundant talent, and "Made in Detroit" grit. The city has a dozen venture funds, and high-rise loft apartments beckon to software engineers. But downtown dwellers live among a soaring homeless population, and new tech companies sit down the road from three casinos, part of the city's regrowth strategy. The city is plagued by abandoned buildings and an exodus of residents. This gallery showcases that ongoing economic tug of war.­


A 30,000-square-foot warehouse designed for artists and entrepreneurs. One tenant is Veronika Scott, whose Empowerment Plan hires homeless women to make coats that double as sleeping bags. Rent: 10 cents to 20 cents per square foot Test Case: Developer and designer Phillip Cooley sees it as a study of how the foreclosure crisis can positively affect communities.


Quicken Loans founder and homegrown businessman Dan Gilbert's entrepreneurship accelerator, with 37 start-ups in its portfolio. Number of Local Ventures funded: 18 per year No Time to Lose: Bizdom hosts three accelerator sessions annually.

Broderick Tower 

Once one of the most notorious abandoned buildings in the country. A local consortium started a $53 million residential redevelopment in 2010, creating loftlike spaces for young professionals. Occupancy: 100 percent In Demand: Five days after the building’s opening, all 124 apartments were leased.

Click HERE for the full article!

Holiday Merriment & Market

Support local small businesses this holiday season

What happens when Ponyride hosts an annual small business holiday shopping event?

It starts a new trend called "Hot Pink Friday"!
(Hot pink because it's the color in Ponyride's logo. And we are a creative community)

This Friday, from 5-10pm, come eat, drink, and be merry. Shop handmade and edible goods from over 50 Detroit businesses while you tour the 30,000sq.ft. space of Ponyride.  Its a multi-floor holiday shopping experience where you'll be sure to find a few more holiday gifts for those on your list.

Come support the best of Detroit's creative community on Hot Pink FridayDecember 6th, from 5-10pm

DateFriday, December 6, 2013
Location: Ponyride, 1401 Vermont St, Detroit 48216

Participating Businesses

Abberations*      Anthology Coffee*      Batata Shop       Beard Balm*      Beehive Recording* 

Chain Chain Chained        Chez Chloé      City Girls Soap      Clay and Cloth     Craine & Jonson  

Curiously Lovable      Cyberoptix Tie Lab      Detroit Bulk Company      Detroit Cuff     Detroit Denim* 

Detroit Rose      Detroit SOUP*      Detroit Surf Co.      Dirt Label*      Edible WOW*   

Empowerment Plan      Floyd Table Legs     Friends of Detroit & Tri Counties      Gem Bakery    

Gentle Giant Detroit      Heavy Metal Boyfriend      Humons      Hunt & Noyer Woodworks     

Kathy Leisen      Line Studio Detroit*      MotorCity Skateboards*      Nicole Helegda Photography 

Order & Other*    Paul Karas Designs*     Pilar Cote*     Ponyride*     pot & box     Purifoy Collection* 

reFINDware      Sister Pie      Smith Shop*      Social Sushi      StickRmada      Stukenborg Press*  

TAKD design      Tender Moments      The Alligator Factory      The Green Pen      Trish's Garage

 Winner's Circle*     Wolf Moon Juice

*Ponyride Tenants
Ted Balowski, Joe Posch, Nick Gorga.  Hugh's Grand Opening. 

A new city guide iPhone app says it can garner all sorts of information about a place -- including the general happiness of its residents -- by analyzing millions of photos posted on the social networking site Instagram.

The free Jetpac City Guides app, launching today, undertakes a pixel-by-pixel examination of the contents of millions of photos to convey particulars about restaurants, attractions and more in 5,000 cities. Among the secrets it says it can divine from examining Instagram photos: bars women love, hikes only locals know about and dog-friendly spots.

But more about those happy cities and how Jetpac determines happy places vs. more down-in-the-mouth spots. One word: smiles. In analyzing millions of photos of people in various places, it awards a "smile score" based on the size of the smiles in Instagram photos.

The No. 1 smiling city, according to Jetpac: St. Louis, Mo., followed by Kansas City, Mo., and Columbus Ohio. In fact, seven of the 10 smiling-est cities are in the Midwest, including Detroit, at No. 9.

Click HERE for the full article! 

"Make Your Money Matter" is a grassroots campaign introduced by 8 credit unions from across the country and PSCU that aims to educate a new generation of consumers about the wealth of benefits credit unions provide over big banks.

To learn more about the benefits of joining your 
Local Credit Union, click here

*This post is sponsored by Make Your Money Matter, in association with PSCU, though all views expressed are my own.*

The 41st Annual Noel Night will take place on Saturday, December 7th from 5:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center Area. Over 70 institutions, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Detroit Public Library, amongst many others, open their doors to the public free of charge during this Cultural Center-wide holiday "open house." Activities include horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday shopping, family craft activities and performances by over 120 area music, theatre, and dance groups. The evening’s festivities culminate with a community sing-along on Woodward Avenue led by the Salvation Army Band — a long-standing Noel Night tradition.

Noel Night activities take place in and around Midtown Detroit’s Cultural Center institutions, primarily between Cass and John R and Kirby and Willis. Free shuttle service is offered between participating venues. Convenient parking is available in area lots.

 Noel Night is produced by the University Cultural Center Association, a nonprofit community development organization that supports economic growth in Detroit's Midtown district.

Call 313.420.6000 or visit http://midtowndetroitinc.org/events/noel-night/noel-night for additional information.

Unless you were born yesterday or just moved here from Brooklyn to open an art studio, all Detroiters should know who Mort Crim is. Even if you weren't around during his heyday, you should probably pick up the White Stripes' "Elephant" album and listen to "Little Acorns."

Crim anchored the nightly news on WDIV alongside Carmen Harlan from 1978 to 1997, where he retired. But before landing in Detroit, Crim anchored Philadelphia news broadcasts with Jessica Savitch, the tragic reporter whose career was cut short after a fatal car crash in 1983.

Click HERE for the full article!

Photo from the Freep.com

A down-on-its-luck Motor City has huge potential for a rebound and can bounce back as the auto industry did a few years ago, legendary investor Warren Buffett said Tuesday.

Buffett was here to help bring $20 million in loans, education and mentor programs to Michigan small businesses in a $500 million national Goldman Sachs initiative that aims to help entrepreneurs grow jobs and revenues.

"The resources are here to have a great, great city," he said at a news conference to mark the inclusion of Detroit as the 11th city in Goldman's 10,000 Small Businesses program.

The 83-year-old chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway and co-chairman of the advisory board for the Goldman program called the city an underutilized resource, which creates a great growth possibilities. He's so enthusiastic that he said he's ready to invest his own money if he finds a suitable company.

"I have a real love for the city, and the potential is huge," he said. "The United States with a flourishing Detroit is going to be a lot better than without one."

The message: Detroit's past industrial greatness is the base upon which a new generation of entrepreneurs can build a new economy.

"With practical business education and capital, small-business owners in Detroit have a much better chance of growing their businesses and contributing to the economic recovery of the city," said Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman Sachs chief executive.

Click HERE for the full article! 


1.   Pittsburgh
2.   Honolulu
3.   Washington DC
4.   Chicago
5.   Atlanta
6.   Miami
7.   Detroit
8.   Boston
9.   Seattle
10. Minneapolis

The survey ranks cities based on 30 factors such as healthcare, culture and environment, and education and personal safety.

Worldwide, the Canadian city of Vancouver topped the list for the fifth time in a row, scoring 98 per cent overall - a figure unchanged from last year. It was followed by Melbourne in Australia and Vienna in Austria. The rest of the top ten is dominated by other Canadian and Australian cities, with the exception of Finland's Helsinki, at number six, and New Zealand's Auckland, ranked at number ten. Pittsburgh came in at number 29 across the globe. Los Angeles moved up three places to 44th and New York held onto the 56th spot. 'Mid-sized cities in developed countries with relatively low population densities tend to score well by having all the cultural and infrastructural benefits on offer with fewer problems related to crime or congestion,' said Jon Copestake, the editor of the report.

Click HERE for the full article! 

Join the local Filipino-American community in raising support for the victims of Super Typhoon Haiyan. Striking central and southern Philippines on November 8, Haiyan has left in its wake nearly 4,000 dead and another 4 million displaced.

Next Monday, November 25, from 6-10pm, a fundraising event will be held at Firebird Tavern in Greektown to bring the Detroit community together in support of our Filipino family.

Visit our Patronicity crowdfunding page to learn more about our effort, and purchase tickets to attend our fundraiser, benefiting All Hands Volunteers, International Rescue Committee, and World Food Program USA.

If you are unable to attend, we would still be grateful for your donation of any amount.

Please help us spread the word and share this message with your networks.

Salamat! ("Thank You" in Tagalog)

Donate here on PATRONICITY

Did Warner Bros. Reveal Possible New Titles For Batman Vs. Superman? image

A Hollywood producer in charge of the new "Batman vs. Superman movie to be shot in Detroit revealed Tuesday intriguing details about the production.

Charles Roven told Variety the film will begin shooting in February and is convinced Ben Affleck will be a good Batman alongside Superman (actor Henry Cavill) - despite some online petitions against the casting.

“We wanted a guy who had a certain age and a certain gravitas to what he had done in terms of his recent work,” Roven told Variety.. “If you take a look at ‘The Town’ and ‘Argo,’ he plays a couple of serious guys in those movies.

"He’s a big man. He’s also a mature man. As you see him and Henry together, one definitely has much more experience just by looking at him. That’s what we wanted, particularly juxtaposed against our Superman.”

Click HERE for the full article!

Click HERE for more information!


And yet there is a Detroit beyond the decay. Glance at the map and you realise that here is a city framed by water – as it was in 1701 when founded by the French explorer Antoine Laumet de La Mothe. He appreciated his chosen location's position on the strait (now the Detroit River) that links lakes St Clair and Erie. The latter is, of course, one of North America's five Great Lakes. In summer, Detroit is a perfect launch-pad for a road trip north in search of two other members of the quintet, lakes Huron and Michigan.

Visitors prepared to tarry in Detroit for a day or three will also notice that this duckling of ugly reputation has swan-like tendencies. It is, after all, a city as ingrained in American folklore as New York or Los Angeles. It has been the proving ground for a raft of musical acts – the smoky blues of John Lee Hooker, the guitar-driven fury of the MC5, the White Stripes and Iggy Pop. It has been referenced by many – David Bowie's apocalyptic vision on 1973's "Panic In Detroit"; the goofy grins of glam-rock clowns Kiss on 1976's "Detroit Rock City". It brings out rage in some: "Look at y'all, runnin' your mouth again, when you ain't seen a mile road south of Ten," raps Eminem on 2000's "Marshall Mathers", a track informed by his tough background in the northerly district of Warren. It urges wistfulness in others: "Speeding on the highway in my little red Mustang. Things were a lot simpler in Detroit," replied Madonna in 1984, when asked what she missed about her home city.

Then there is the soul mother-lode. From 1959 to 1972, West Grand Boulevard hosted a musical revolution that was heard far beyond Detroit. Entering the Motown Museum, I briefly find it hard to equate this tiny structure with the indefatigable songs recorded here – "My Girl" and "Baby Love", "Dancing In The Street" and "The Tracks Of My Tears", "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" and "Mercy Mercy Me" – though evidence is everywhere: photos of Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder and Smokey Robinson on the walls; the switchboard that a pre-stardom Diana Ross once manned; Studio A, where alchemy was mastered.

The city's cultural side continues elsewhere – in The Henry Ford, a Dearborn museum that shelters historic artefacts accrued by the motoring magnate, including, macabrely, the 1961 Lincoln Continental in which John F Kennedy was shot and Abraham Lincoln's assassination chair from Ford's Theatre. And Detroit Opera House strikes a pose for music at its most elevated in the core of Downtown. Detroit Institute of Art, meanwhile, is one of America's top galleries. For now. Since bankruptcy, there have been whispers that parts of its collection of 60,000 works – which features pieces by Caravaggio, Van Gogh and Degas, as well as US masters such as John Singer Sargent – should be sold to help drag the city from the financial pit. This issue has become a literal hot topic. Last month, two young artists staged an inventive protest, bending scrap metal into the words "#Save The Art", and setting fire to the petrol-infused letters outside the Institute's wide entrance.

Such spirit shows that Detroit's heart still beats. This is certainly so when its helmets-and-headgear stars are in action – particularly the Detroit Red Wings, statistically the greatest American ice-hockey team, with 11 wins in the sport's totemic Stanley Cup. And their baseball counterparts, the Detroit Tigers, are enjoying a fruitful era. Last month, they just failed to make the World Series for a second year running, losing to the Boston Red Sox in the American League Championship Series (effectively the semi-final of US baseball).

There are mutterings about the Tigers when I walk into Plaka Cafe on Monroe Avenue, Greektown's restaurant drag. Two construction workers are mulling over the team's defeat by Boston in game three of the series, gloomily eating pancakes. The waitress makes little eye contact as she takes my order, flitting between tables like a hummingbird between flowers, but my corn-beef-and-cheese omelette, when it arrives, is thick and tasty, and my coffee cup scarcely troubled before she swoops in to replenish it.

You could barely describe this scene as a "green shoot" – but it is an intriguing picture of a struggling American city carrying on regardless. There are others: Lafayette Greens, an urban garden where fruit and vegetables burst forth and a farmers' market is held every Thursday on the site of the Lafayette Building – a 1923 office block, demolished in 2010 – and the Grand Trunk Pub, selling 23 Michigan-brewed beers in a former railway ticket office.

The key shard of rebirth, however, is the Guardian Building, a late Twenties skyscraper, lovingly refitted and dedicated to regional government. It is open to all, and when I peek into its Art Deco hall, I find shops and cafés. And Icarus. He is here again, perhaps, in the form of a 1928 mural by the artist Ezra Winter. It depicts a quasi-angelic figure standing tall over a Michigan where machines buzz profitably and mines are inexhaustible. Like Michigan Central Station, it is a sliver of broken time, conceived before the Wall Street Crash that would change everything. Yet, as locals swirl below it, sipping their coffee, buying lunch, it is difficult not to admire Detroit's resilience. Or its raw, bruised beauty.

Click HERE for the full article! 

Visit Detroit's Latest Video: A Vibrant Detroit

Midtown Detroit Inc. (MDI) President Sue Mosey accepted the Urban Land Institute's (ULI) Global Award for Excellence at ULI's Fall Meeting in Chicago on Friday morning on behalf of her organization and its partners. This year marks Mosey's 25th year as Midtown development leader.

 Widely recognized as the real estate industry's most prestigious honor, the award recognizes superior development efforts that go beyond good design, including leadership, community contribution, public/private partnerships and financial success. MDI joins six other Michigan-based projects that have won the prestigious award.

"ULI's recognition of Midtown is an important milestone in the district's development," said Sue Mosey, President of Midtown Detroit Inc. "This award represents a strong counter point to the national narrative that has focused on Detroit's challenges."

The award honors six development projects development projects, master plans and initiatives that have been spearheaded by Midtown Detroit Inc. and its partners. The winning submission recognizes the Woodward Garden Block development, the Sugar Hill Art District, The Ellington & Detroit Whole Foods Market, the Auburn, the Green Garage and the TechTown District Plan – which will begin implementation in 2014 with support from a grant from the Knight Foundation.

$122.5-million of investment is represented in the six projects that were part of the winning submission – 3.3-billion of public and private investment has been made in the Midtown District over the last decade. Twenty-four new businesses have opened in the past year with nearly a dozen more in the pipeline. Over the past three-years Midtown has sustained a 96% residential occupancy rate.

Partnership programs such as the Living Cities Integration Initiative and the Midtown Anchor Strategy forged with philanthropy and the district's higher education and healthcare institutions were key to Midtown's winning entry.

"Midtown Detroit Inc. has helped redirect the trajectory of Detroit's reimagination," said Rip Rapson, president of the Troy, Michigan-based Kresge Foundation, a long-time supporter of Midtown Detroit Inc. "It has been formative in transforming a significant geography in the heart of Detroit into the kind of dense, vibrant and diverse neighborhood that is essential to Detroit's renewed stability, health and growth. Its successes have not only altered Detroit's approach to urban development, but also hold the promise of informing the practices of countless other cities throughout the country."

"This award speaks to the importance of partnerships in transforming a district," said Omar Blaik, CEO of U3 Ventures, a Philadelphia-based advisory firm that has been working with MDI since 2009 to develop the Midtown Anchor Strategy, which included the successful Live Midtown housing incentive program. "The strategic alignment of philanthropy, anchor institutions, MDI and local developers has created a robust development environment that is altering the landscape of Midtown."

"This award recognizes the incredible local implementation capacity that exists within Midtown Detroit Inc.," said David Egner, President of the Detroit-based Hudson-Webber Foundation and the New Economy Initiative for S.E. Michigan. "For more than 25 years, Sue has been working tirelessly to transform Midtown and her commitment to the district speaks to the power of a community driven revitalization process."

Midtown Detroit Inc. is one of 12 recipients of the award from a global pool of nearly 200 entries. MDI was selected as one of 27 finalists for the award in June. Other Michigan-based recipients of the award over the years have been:

2012 – Accident Fund Holdings, Inc. New National HQs; Lansing Michigan; Developer: Christman Capital Development Company; Architects: HOK, Quinn Evans Architects

2008 – General Motors Renaissance Center; Detroit, Michigan; General Motors and Hines 2003 – Bay Harbor; Bay Harbor, Michigan; Victor International Corporation

1996 – Large-Scale Office: Comerica Tower at Detroit Center; Detroit, Michigan; Hines Interests Limited Partnership

1993 – Small-Scale Commercial/Retail: The Somerset Collection; Troy, Michigan; Forbes/Cohen Properties and Frankel Associates

1990 – Rehabilitation: Wayne County Building; Detroit, Michigan; Farbman Stein MDI would like to recognize its strategic partners that have made this award possible including: George N'Namdi and Zachary & Associates, Green Garage LLC, the Roxbury Group, Peter Cummings of Ram Real Estate, George Stewart and Michael Byrd, U3 Ventures, TechTown Detroit, Sasaki, the Kresge Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hudson-Webber Foundation, the New Economy Initiative for SE Michigan, the Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan, the Living Cities Integration Initiative, the Knight Foundation, Invest Detroit, NCB Capital, Detroit Development Fund, the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation, Henry Ford Health System, Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center.
This sign in a store selling Detroit merchandise was photographed on July 19, 2013, a day after the city's bankruptcy filing.

Detroit is a place whose story is often told by the numbers. It was home to 2 million residents at its peak, but now the city is down to roughly 700,000. And all of those residents live in a 139-square-mile city grappling with millions of dollars in debt that led the city to file for bankruptcy.

But 700,000 people still make their home here. There are square miles of the city that are empty, yes. But the rest of Detroit still has to live somewhere. And where they're living, they're really living. They're operating barber shops and beauty salons, they're working to build Jeep Grand Cherokees and Dodge Durangos at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant, they're going to see the Detroit City Football Club soccer team play at Cass Technical High School. E Beyond the abandoned train station and empty Packard Plant is a city slowly making its way back from the brink. What Detroit will look like in the years to come is anyone's guess, but it doesn't mean things have ground to a halt in the meantime.

So what do you do in Detroit?

Know that you haven't left civilization. Relax. You're in Detroit. It's a city, an American city. It's going through a tough time, sure. Detroit's problems show themselves more than other cities. But assess: Why are you in Detroit? For business? For pleasure? For curiosity? Regardless of why you're here, there will be something here you'll never forget. Welcome, and open your mind.

Savor African and African-American art. The great migration out of the rural South that began before World War I coupled with opportunities within the automotive industry made Detroit an enduring stronghold of African-American culture. The city of Detroit is home to one of the largest collectives of black artists, and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History houses one of the world's best-curated collections of art from the African diaspora. Also consider checking out the African Bead Museum, the Shrine of the Black Madonna bookstore and cultural center and pockets of mostly black-owned boutiques, galleries and eateries on the Avenue of Fashion along the northern portion of Livernois Avenue on the city's northwest side.

Tour Elmwood Cemetery. There are no more calming places anywhere than cemeteries, but Elmwood is special because of the haunting, Gothic monuments among lush, tree-lined paths. The founding fathers of Detroit -- and Michigan -- are buried here. And while you're on this side of town, head over to Indian Village, the city's premier historic district that once served as home to some of the area's wealthiest auto barons where houses still are maintained and occupied by many of the city's power brokers. Or stop for some coffee at one of the cafes in nearby West Village.

Walk Pallister Avenue. Even in a city built around the auto industry, there are hidden gems where your own two feet remain the best mode of transportation. Stroll down the brick-laid, American Foursquare-lined Pallister -- where no cars are allowed. While this residential pedestrian avenue takes you to a quieter, simpler time, it was developed by none other than the workhorses at General Motors.

The automaker had its headquarters nearby on West Grand Boulevard and sought to redevelop the area after a slow decline in the 1960s. While the plan didn't quite work out -- GM moved its headquarters downtown in the 1990s -- the residents there have maintained the original vision. And if you're feeling hungry, stop by New Center Eatery nearby for the best chicken and waffles in town.

Get hip to the latest pop-ups. The barrier of entry to entrepreneurship is lower in Detroit, and many budding business owners are taking advantage of the pop-up model to establish themselves. And other local talent finds them. Take The Taco Lady, for one: Wherever Detroit native Erica Class' traveling stand Two Dollar Tacos pops up, there's sure to be a good time. Class has connections with nearly all of Detroit's up-and-coming artists and musicians displaying their talents citywide. Look for @TwoDollarTacos on Twitter.

Sample culinary creations beyond the coney dog. Get some Asian Corned Beef. There are plenty of nooks and crannies hiding delicacies unique to Detroit that contribute to the city's flavor, and these handmade corned beef concoctions wrapped in egg rolls are hidden gems. True to many locally owned joints, Asian Corned Beef has one place on the west side (13660 Wyoming) and one on the east side (2847 E. Seven Mile).

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Few cities have experienced such a dramatic economic rise and fall of Detroit. In this episode of Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain explores the past, present and future of the Motor City.  Click HERE for more videos and episode information.

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metro wage growth detroit

  • Detroit

  • One-year pay increase: 2%
Detroit's economy has long hinged on the fortunes of the Big Three auto makers. And recently things are looking up.
Total auto sales rose 11% year-over-year in August to their highest level since the recession.
"Both GM (GMFortune 500) and Ford (FFortune 500) have outperformed profit expectations and, since 2011, Big Three wages have been rising strongly," said Bardaro.
That's some rare good news for the area, especially given that, in July, the city of Detroit filed for bankruptcy protection.
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When Detroit filed for bankruptcy in July, people wondered whether the once-great city could make a comeback. Looking at the blight, the shrunken population and the diminished public services, the picture looked grim. Detroit was an ailing, dying city.

 But that wasn't the whole picture.

On NPR’s “Fresh Air,” Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution gave us a more optimistic way to look at Detroit. “There’s no doubt that the city of Detroit faces supersized challenges because the city has shrunk from 2 million people in the 1950s to less than 700,000 today. There are tens of thousands of vacant properties. There are serious crime issues, school and educational performance. But we should not let those challenges overwhelm or crowd out what is some real economic potential in the core of the city,” Katz said, pointing specifically to the city’s downtown and its uptick in “small-batch manufacturing” and “market momentum.”

“What we’re seeing in Detroit is a network of business and philanthropic and civic leaders really building off these — this good platform, this solid foundation, grow businesses, attract residents,” Katz said. “We don’t want to be Pollyannish about Detroit — hard, tough challenges, the toughest in the country, but we shouldn’t overlook the assets and advantages that city has.”

That same month, Iain Lanivich, creative director of the ad agency Lowe Campbell Ewald, backed up Katz with this inspiring video: “We’re Moving to Detroit, and So Should You.” In it, he announced his company’s relocation to Detroit — with 600 employees in tow — and invited other creatives to follow along to the city that’s been reborn as a hotbed for “creativity, innovation and inspiration.”

“In Detroit,” Lanivich said, “you have the opportunity not just to make a product but to define the city’s future.”

That spirit of revival and reinvention hasn’t slowed. On Monday’s episode of “PBS Newshour,” senior correspondent Jeffrey Brown spoke to several community leaders pushing Detroit forward. Among them:

Sue Mosey, whose nonprofit, Midtown Detroit, “helps businesses get loans, brings in developers to rehab old buildings and assists would-be renters and buyers with down payments.” Now, midtown is an area “attracting young artists and professionals and sprouting the kind of shops and businesses — a Whole Foods and a coffeehouse — that will attract even more.”

Kirk Mayes, head of the Brightmoor Alliance, which is dedicated to reviving the city’s most blighted areas by tearing down abandoned houses and putting in community gardens. “A garden does more than you would think in inspiring people that their hope is not seeded in the wrong place. When people see people putting that kind of work in and it resulting in something that’s beautiful that everybody can share, it does start to make those little differences in people’s lives, that you will see, you know, yes, these are shuttered, boarded-up homes, but everybody’s grass is cut,” Mayes told Brown.

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Now there’s another reason to hang out in Campus Martius Park and Cadillac Square in downtown Detroit — free wireless Internet access.

The free network is called Opportunity Detroit and is sponsored by Bedrock Real Estate Services, the real estate arm of the Quicken Loans business empire of entrepreneur Dan Gilbert, and the Southfield data center and IT services provider 123.Net.

That means visitors to Campus Martius can now work or play on the Web while they check out the social scene.

Visitors will also have access to this network in the lobbies of Rock Ventures’ adjacent buildings — the First National Building, Chase Tower and the 1001 Woodward Building.

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The jury is still out on whether the maker movement could bring about a new American industrial revolution. But anecdotal evidence suggests it’s well on its way to reinventing retail.

Consider the craft maker whose merchandise got so much exposure through a recent Etsy-Nordstrom partnership that she and her husband both quit their day jobs to handle production and sales. Or take the math professor who sent his “rocket cup” design to Shapeways to produce a 3D ceramic tool for teaching students about paraboloids. After cup sales went gangbusters on Shapeways, a Fred & Friends wholesale order put it onto Urban Outfitter’s shelves.

The Etsy seller is just one of more than one million shopkeepers using the e-commerce website to sell handicrafts and vintage goods to 30 million registered users in 200 countries, according to CEO Chad Dickerson. Detroit alone is home to 1,200 Etsy sellers. In New York City, they now outnumber yellow cabs. And worldwide, local Etsy sellers have joined forces in more than 7,000 self-organized groups, Dickerson claims.

Shapeways, meanwhile, enables some 11,000 virtual shop owners to manufacture and sell their own designs by digitally delivering them to the company’s New York City 3D-printing factory and offering them in the Shapeways online marketplace, says co-founder Marleen Vogelaar. The platform enables members “to be entrepreneurs and have a life …producing beautiful, meaningful products” as well as to custom-craft unique, personal items such as wedding rings, she says.

Dickerson and Vogelaar joined Detroit Creative Corridor Center director Matt Clayson and Ford’s open innovation guru Venkatesh Prasad for a “maker movement” discussion moderated by McKinsey & Company principal Lou Rassey at the Techonomy Detroit conference last week.

“I find it a fascinating time we’re at right now, where tools for innovation have been so rapidly democratized once again,” said Ford’s Prasad. “Somebody can walk into a space, think of something, get on the network, get on the Internet, and get all the tools that you need to be able to shape your idea … to deliver what you have from an idea to a pretty good working prototype.”

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1. He was a winner. No matter where he went.


The uniform may have changed a few times over the course of his 27-year managerial career, but Jim Leyland’s facial expression and ability to turn talent into a team certainly hasn’t. He won NL Manager of the Year twice with the Pittsburgh Pirates. He won the 1997 World Series with the Florida Marlins merely five years after the expansion team came into existence. And he helped a Detroit Tigers franchise that hadn’t had a winning season in over a decade become one of MLB’s elite teams. He is 15th in all-time wins and a coaching legend — and we’re running low on legends.

2. No one gets ejected like Jim Leyland anymore.

 11 Reasons Baseball Is Going To Seriously Miss Jim Leyland

Getting thrown out of a baseball game is an art form, and Leyland was a master at it. He stood up for his players and his team even when he knew he was wrong. Leyland’s tantrums have earned him a spot on the Mount Rushmore of hot-headed managers alongside Bobby Cox and Lou Pinella.
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Free Art Friday May 2013 Event

This event brings The Heidelberg Project and Free Art Friday Detroit together in a workshop aimed to inspire the artist in all of us.

All ages and skill levels are invited to create art on the most inspiring street in Detroit.

During this workshop, attendees will create their own miniature versions of the homes that made The Heidelberg Project famous. Then they will place them respectfully around the city in the tradition of Free Art Friday Detroit. It's an incredible way for new artists to explore their creative side and share their love of art with the world.

Workshop attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about the work of The Heidelberg Project and Free Art Friday Detroit while touring the famous Heidelberg Street.

This event is free and open to the public. Guests must register to attend: https://heidelbergfafdet.eventbrite.com.

Saturday, October 19 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Tour of The Heidelberg Project: 11 a.m.

Art Workshop: 11:30 a.m.

Free Art Scavenger Hunt: 1 – 6 p.m.

Both the tour and the workshop will take place at The Heidelberg Project

3600 Heidelberg Street Detroit, MI 48207

The free art scavenger hunt will take place throughout the city of Detroit

Free Art Friday Detroit (FAFDET) is a free art scavenger hunt that was started 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 who donate their talents in support of this mission. For more information about FAFDET or to find clues to free art, visit facebook.com/FAFDET.