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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.

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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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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  • 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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