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The Leary Firefighters Foundation (LFF) presented more than $260,000 worth of new equipment today to the dedicated men and women of the Detroit Fire Department.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit Fire Commissioner Edsel Jenkins accepted the donation from acclaimed actor Denis Leary this morning at Engine Co. 9 on E. Lafayette in Detroit. Attendees included BURN Directors/Producers Tom Putnam and Brenna Sanchez, BURN Executive Producer Jim Serpico, Detroit Firefighters and participants in the film.

The state-of-the-art fire gear was purchased with proceeds from the highly acclaimed Detroit firefighter documentary, BURN.

“Each time we are blessed with the ability to donate funds which will help the brave and courageous firefighters of this country, we do so with gratitude and admiration,” said Leary. “Every dollar makes a difference. I've had the opportunity to meet and spend time with the firefighters featured in our film BURN and I know the circumstances they work under. I sincerely hope this gift can aid them and their fellow firefighters in making improvements on the job.”

Representatives from LFF and BURN worked with DFD officials to identify the gear needed most from manufacturer Mine Safety Appliances (MSA) and DFD’s local supplier Apollo Fire Equipment Company. The donation included Carbon Monoxide Detectors and Thermal Imaging Cameras, purchased through a partnership with MSA.

Inspired by the commitment made by LFF and BURN to the DFD, CMC Rescue Equipment and Kask America independently donated $15,000 of high-angle rescue gear.

“It is clear from their documentary and generous donation today just how deeply Denis Leary and his partners care for Detroit's firefighters and firefighters everywhere,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “The BURN documentary brought to the public's attention the challenges our firefighters face every day. These donations from the Leary Firefighters Foundation and others do something very real to help them in their life saving work.”

“We are very appreciative for all that the BURN film and The Leary Firefighters Foundation has done to be able to provide this generous gift to our department,” said Detroit Fire Commissioner Jenkins. “Our dedicated crews of men and women who risk their lives each day to serve the citizens of Detroit will make great use of this brand new equipment.”

“BURN is the firefighters’ story, we just helped them tell it,” said Putnam. “From the beginning, we knew we wanted to give back. But we never thought the give would be this big,” Sanchez continued. “When no one wanted to distribute BURN, we worked our tails off to self-distribute it. Independent films rarely make a profit. We made damn sure this one would, so we could make good on our promise to give back. We are eternally grateful to the men and women of the DFD for their tremendous trust and support in making this film.”

About The Leary Firefighters Foundation

The Leary Firefighters Foundation provides funding and resources for fire departments to get the best available equipment, technology and training necessary for the health and safety of firefighters and in turn, the public they serve.

Founded in 2000 by actor Denis Leary in response to the 1999 Cold Storage Warehouse fire tragedy in his native Worcester, Massachusetts, LFF has raised more than $10 million for first responders in Worcester, Boston, New York, New Jersey and New Orleans.

The Leary Firefighter Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization as designated by the Internal Revenue Code. Please visit the Foundation at www.learyfirefighters.org.

About BURN

BURN is an award-winning, action-packed documentary, told through the eyes of Detroit firefighters. Every shift, Detroit firefighters put their lives on the line for the city, resolved they can make a difference. The film was directed and produced by Tom Putnam and Detroit native Brenna Sanchez.

Detroit RiverFront Before & After Photos

Gabriel Richard Park

Gabriel Richard Park Before & After

Rivard Plaza

Rivard Plaza Before & After

Click HERE for more photos! 



WHAT YOU'RE DRINKING: The Cooper's Julep 
The deer head staring at you from the wall and the bartenders who're dressed much better than you instantly let you know that this Motor City joint is serious about its libations, an impression the lengthy menu backs up. Looking for something classic? They have 100 in their repertoire. Punch service for groups/really thirsty individuals? Check. But you'd be remiss not to test out their seasonal creations, like The Cooper's Julep, made of Courvoisier VS, balsamic-pineapple shrub, demerara, and mint, and laced with a touch of Smith & Cross rum.

Click HERE to read Thrillest's "The 33 Best Cocktail Bars In America!"
Detroit Tigers players, including Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander and Tori Hunter, pose in their Zubaz outfits May 18, 2014. 

Sports teams often adopt fashion styles, a way for the players to bond. Baseball’s Detroit Tigers are finding unity through flashy retro attire – Zubaz.

 Zubaz, clothing featuring colorful Zebra-like stripes, were popular during the early 1990s, especially for athletes. But eventually the fad ended, and people went back to wearing solid-colored pants and shorts and bandannas, and the world became a duller place.

 The Tigers are reveling in Zubaz fashion, making the clothing a locker-room necessity. It started with pitcher Joba Chamberlain, who bought pairs and pairs of Zubaz at the beginning of the month, right around the time the team held a “Zubazpalooza” event for fans.

Click HERE for the full article! 
Best Bacon Burgers in the US: Slows Bar BQ in Detroit

Detroit: Slows Bar BQ 

 Executive chef and co-owner Brian Perrone was reluctant to put a burger on the menu because he wanted to focus on barbecue. At the insistence of his partners, he came up with a patty-melt-style version topped with smoked Gouda, sweet house-made barbecue sauce, hot-sauce-spiked onions and house-smoked thick-cut bacon. It was an instant hit. slowsbarbq.com

Click HERE for the full article! 
Shinola is one of the luxury companies basing some of its branding on Detroit.Photograph: Mike Petrucci/flickr

It's Friday night in the heart of Detroit at the Red Bull House of Art, a 14,000-square-foot underground art gallery carved out of the basement of a 19th century brewery. Thousands of the young, the chic and the smart have gathered to celebrate a new cycle of local artists’ work. DJ Erika is spinning, champagne is flowing. Outside, a line of people hoping to enter winds around the block. 

Christopher Stevens, a good-looking 29-year-old car designer from California, is the host of the hottest after-party, in his loft above the brewery's back stairs. In the middle of the room casually rest two of his motorbikes, with a piano in one corner. Darko, the resident pit bull puppy, darts in between guests from one end of the room to the other.

“I love Detroit,” Stevens says, after declaring how depressing he finds the idea of suburbs. “Detroit is full of heritage and history. I came for its grittiness. It’s full of culture – old Americana culture.”

To Kirk Cheyvitz, CEO of New York-based advertising firm Story Worldwide, and a former Detroit Free Press award-winning reporter, companies coming to the Motor City for branding are “wrapping themselves around a mythology that is outlaw”.

“It is a safe way to be appealing to young people all over the country who embrace those kinds of feelings – of wanting to be outside of the mainstream while actually defining the mainstream,” Cheyvitz says.

Those wanting to live on the edge in Detroit might walk just a couple of blocks north-east of the Red Bull House of Art. There, after a bitterly cold winter, a few squatters have moved back into the tagged, abandoned buildings surrounding a former industrial railroad. The crumbling, urban ruins are just part of the landscape in a city where an estimated 78,000 structures are no longer formally occupied. Crime is part of that landscape; police chief James Craig went on record this year telling “good Detroiters” to arm themselves with guns against criminals and home intruders. It's a city where the homicide rate continued to take number one spot ahead of other large American cities in 2013, including Chicago. The median household income in Detroit was just $23,600 a year in 2012.

Yet, to an advertiser's eye, Detroit is cool. Gritty. Tough. Resilient. Authentic in its struggle. True in its American spirit of hard, honest work, ruins and all.

That's where it gets uncomfortable for Detroit, The Brand. Detroit, the American phoenix rising from the economic ashes, is sitting on a valuable natural resource: street cred. This has not escaped the notice of profit-driven companies see the city's rebirth as a chance to brand themselves and sell authenticity.

The airwaves and billboards are plastered with ads from Chrysler (a Detroit native), Redbull (from Austria), new vodka brand from the giant French Pernod Ricard group, Our/Vodka, and luxury watch and bicycle company Shinola. They present a romantic, nostalgic take on grit – a highly effective spin, which presents poverty and urban decay as cool. The nostalgia element is all the more evident in that ads by Shinola, Redbull and Our/Vodka are often filmed in black and white.

Shinola’s spot features bike riders and a beautiful, blonde, white female model hugging a (presumably local) young, black girl. Redbull’s spot aired during this year’s Grammy Awards features local artist Tylonn Sawyer telling a compelling story of beauty and resilience. Our/Vodka’s launching ad includes Detroit’s beautiful, eerie, abandoned Michigan Central Station, stating the brand is rooted in “people” and “community”.

These are brands that Detroiters, even the hip newcomers, likely can't afford. It's hard to imagine that many in Detroit could afford a $1,950 bicycle or a $900 watch, irrespective of whether or not the latter now comes with a lifetime warranty.

Click HERE for the full article! 

Dwell Magazine Loves This Detroit Shop

Detroit design shop Hugh sells vintage and vintage-inspired contemporary furniture, housewares, and grooming items.

When stepping into Hugh, a design shop in burgeoning Midtown Detroit, a slew of objects vie for your attention—the vintage Kalmar bar tools on a shelf laden with Tapio Wirkkala glassware, the George Nelson Bubble lamps overhead, and the library of books ranging from a monograph on Saul Bass to a tome on surfing at Echo Beach, to name a few.

To stock Hugh's shelves, proprietor Joe Posch relies on local resources: "I look anywhere there's a chance I'll find something—a garage sale, a Salvation Army," he says, "never online and I don't do Craigslist. The trick isn't that there's a single special source for vintage; the trick is persistence." The pieces are heavily 1950s and 1960s with a bit of 1970s thrown into the mix. Posch earned his retail stripes at Mezzanine, a shop he opened in the late 1990s in Ann Arbor. Mezzanine initially offered vintage goods and then moved to new pieces from Knoll, Herman Miller, and Modernica. Posch then relocated to Detroit in 2006. After the economy nosedived and the demand for high-end furniture waned, Posch dabbled in pop-up shops, a strategy he advocates for enterprising small businesses interested in operating in cities that face similar challenges as Detroit. "If your city has areas that are emerging but untested for retail, consider trying things out as a pop-up, if you can," he says. "Locate near friends or other people who are doing similar businesses. When it comes to community retail, two stores don't split the pot, they double it."

Hugh first began as a pop-up in 2009 and became the brick-and-mortar shop it is today after Posch won the first-ever Hatch Detroit Prize. One of the handful of initiatives and organizations that seek to advance local businesses and entrepreneurs in the city—such as Culture Lab Detroit and the Detroit Creative Corridor Center—Hatch awards grants to spur local redevelopment.

"There are many areas ripe for resurgence in the city and neighborhood businesses are the core elements in making these places great," Posch says. "Hatch Detroit does an amazing job promoting that ethos. Like most people who grew up here, moved away and then came back, I have a complicated relationship with the city, but the older I got the more I realized that's what I like about it. I have roots here. Aside from that, people here are very open and friendly and it was easy to make new friends. Those things, combined with the low barrier to entry and the boot-strappiness of the small biz community, are what drew me back to Detroit ten years ago and what make me want to stay today."

Next up for Posch: an online shop specializing in rare and vintage design books.

Click HERE for the full article! 

Click HERE to buy your tickets!

Check It Out! Detroit Made ANOTHER List!

For the past 89 years the College for Creative Studies (CCS) has transformed its campus into the ultimate gallery, showcasing more than 3,500 pieces of student artwork during the Annual Student Exhibition. For two weeks, beginning May 16 and ending on May 30, the public is invited to purchase many of these original and highly unique pieces with all proceeds from art sales going directly to the students to help jump-start their art and design careers. Opening Night, Friday, May 16, will feature a number of receptions to kick-off the festivities and help raise funds to support student scholarships and free art programs for Detroit youth.

“The Student Exhibition has long been recognized as CCS’s premier art event. Our institution transforms students from unfinished canvases into masterpieces, and this event allows us to showcase student talent across all of the College’s disciplines,” says CCS President Richard L. Rogers. “The remarkable level of interest that the Exhibition generates every year makes it clear that our community values the role that art and design play in our region’s economic and social vitality. We're grateful to everyone who visits the show."

Opening Night includes:

• The Collectors’ Preview and Private Reception, beginning at 5:30 p.m., provides an exclusive opportunity to enjoy a VIP reception and browse and buy exceptional artwork before the doors open to the general public ($350 per ticket)

• The Art Educators’ Reception, an invitation-only event, for local and national teachers

• The Alumni Reception, a private event for CCS alumni which is included for all alumni ticket purchasers (2 tickets for $60)

• The General Exhibition and Opening Sale, beginning at 7:00 p.m., for all general admission ticketholders ($50 per ticket)

• Included in all ticket prices are food from local restaurants, wine and beer and entertainment from local musicians, event concludes at 10:00 p.m.

The Student Exhibition is free and open to the public from May 17 until May 30. In addition to featuring CCS student work, the event will also feature work from students at Henry Ford Academy: School for Creative Studies (HFA:SCS), CCS’ public charter middle and high school. Hours are Saturday through Wednesday from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. and Thursday and Friday from 10:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m. The Student Exhibition is held at The A. Alfred Taubman Center for Design Education located at 460 West Baltimore in Detroit’s New Center.

To purchase tickets and get parking information for the Student Exhibition Opening Night, please visit www.collegeforcreativestudies.edu/seo or call 313.664.7464.

Downtown Detroit’s growing tech hub gained additional traction Tuesday when Microsoft announced it will be joining the M@dison Block, a burgeoning tech neighborhood known for its open and collaborative work environment.

Technical and business experts from Microsoft Ventures will work in the M@dison Building to engage with the neighborhood’s startup community and develop business partnerships in the region.

Microsoft Ventures is a program designed to support founders at every stage of the startup lifecycle.

“This partnership is an extension of Microsoft’s commitment to the Detroit community and to the state of Michigan, which aims to provide people with the technology and training skills needed for the growing economy,” said John Fikany, vice president, Microsoft Corp. “In addition, it is important for us to participate and contribute to the growing technology hub downtown where startups and established companies are collaborating on driving innovation and growth. There is a ton of energy going on in Detroit, and we are excited to continue to be a part of it.”

Click HERE for the full article! 
When you see pictures of Detroit you’re usually bombarded with images of broken-down houses and abandoned buildings.
But it’s not all like that. There are good things happening and buildings are being repurposed, built, and re-used.
Here’s some examples of that thanks to Google Maps and Detroit Urbex. Detroit Urbex currently has an amazing feature up about the rise, fall, and restoration of Detroit. Check it out here.

Kendrick Manufacturing Co. Then

Kendrick Manufacturing Co. Then

Kendrick Manufacturing Co. Now

Kendrick Manufacturing Co. Now
The Kendrick Manufacturing Co. was converted into a prep school in 2009.

Grand Army of the Republic Building Then

Grand Army of the Republic Building Then

Grand Army of the Republic Building Now

Grand Army of the Republic Building Now
Built in 1898, the Grand Army of the Republic Building was vacant since 1982, but is now being built into offices and retail space.
Click HERE for the full article!