The popular reality TV show “Shark Tank” highlights innovative start-ups pitching to investors. This past year, Michigan piloted a real-life version of this show, but instead of making profit, the idea was to demonstrate an innovative way to address poverty.

In 2013, Michigan created a competition to attract more than $1 million in new financial commitments to fund unknown change agents—people with innovative solutions to addressing joblessness, environmental problems, urban vacancy, and other issues.

As the nation focused on Detroit’s failure last year, it missed Michigan’s new strategy for actually moving the needle on poverty. Here’s what happened.

In a 2012 speech, Governor Snyder charged the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Corps, a local nonprofit under the leadership of Elizabeth Garlow, to develop the nation’s first statewide social entrepreneurship competition. The competition aimed to “bring together the best innovative minds to design sustainable solutions to address unemployment.”

The first task was to define social entrepreneurship—no easy task. Elizabeth Garlow and I ultimately came up with a simple five-point checklist:

The entrepreneur is a tenacious leader with a pragmatic vision. The solution addresses a clear social problem. The solution changes systems, not just symptoms of the problem. The model prioritizes social impact over financial gain. The model generates a sustainable funding stream.

Using the state’s existing annual entrepreneurship contest as a foundation, Michigan Corps set out to launch Michigan’s Social Entrepreneurship Challenge. The hope was that they would receive 30 or so business plan submissions, but the response was overwhelming. Grassroots Michiganders came out in droves to the first training webinar, which racked up over 100 participants. By the time the competition chose winners, nearly 300 people had registered for the competition and 150 business plans had been submitted.

As Michigan piloted the nation’s first, statewide social entrepreneur competition, partners and funders were initially skeptical it would generate any meaningful outcomes. “We were told it would be impressive to get 50 entries to the competition,” remembered

Garlow. ”Michigan, it turns out, is full of civic-minded social entrepreneurs who have been waiting a lifetime to share their ideas.” In fact, so many participants asked for coaching on their business ideas that Michigan Corps had to hold a solid week of half-hour coaching clinics to meet demand. By May, the competition team chose 10local change agents as winners.

Click HERE for the full article! 

Always on the road: Witnessing rays of hope in Detroit from Oliver Schrott Kommunikation on Vimeo.

Veronika Scott wears The Empowerment Plan's sleeping bag coat
Veronika Scott wears The Empowerment Plan’s sleeping bag coat

As we drive through Detroit, on the surface I see a city that’s been abandoned by its residents, filled with poverty and crime. But when we stop and meet store owners, artists and women who went from being homeless to employed, I see a city that’s energized with entrepreneurship, hipster creativity and potential. Suddenly I understand what Veronika Scott, the 24-year-old who is sitting in the driver’s seat, often called “the crazy coat lady,” means when she says, “I love Detroit.”

Veronika is empowering Detroit with a disruptive business model. She’s the CEO and Founder of The Empowerment Plan, a non-profit organization that employs homeless women and trains them to become full-time seamstresses who produce coats that turn into sleeping bags which are given to homeless individuals across the nation. She doesn’t just employ these women — she educates and equips them with the professional skills and knowledge needed to compete in Detroit’s new economy and evolving job market. “As this city continues to grow, we cannot forget about or leave behind those that have seen Detroit through its roughest time and are still out of work,” says Veronika. “We currently have 13 seamstresses working full-time at The Empowerment Plan and most of them have been able to transition out of the shelter system into their own home or apartment. We believe in giving second chances to those who want it, and providing warmth to those who need it.” (Disclosure: I am on the board of the Empowerment Plan.)

As I see more of Detroit, I ask Veronika, “Can you name five women (transgenerational) who are also passionate about saving Detroit, women who are making a difference, women we probably don’t know about, but should? I want to know what they think needs to be fixed and what they’re doing to fix it.” Following are Veronika’s picks, starting with their top 10 list of things that Detroit needs to fix:

Click HERE for the full article!
Toby Barlow and Sarah Cox are part of Write A House, a project whose goal is to acquire houses and give them to writers. CreditFabrizio Costantini for The New York Times

The message implicit in the prizewinning documentaries “Detropia” and “Searching for Sugar Man,” in Detroit’s declaration of bankruptcy in 2013 — in even a casual drive along Gratiot Avenue, past mile after mile of burned-out or boarded-up houses and stores — is that Detroit is in a pitiable state.

Yet when Toby Barlow reflects on Detroit, his adopted hometown, what he describes is potential, not pity — cheap real estate being the major reason.

“It’s fun to be here and be a part of those things that are re-emerging,” says Mr. Barlow, creative director at the advertising agency Team Detroit. “There are just a wealth of things that don’t exist in Detroit — and should.”

To create those things in the Motor City, Mr. Barlow, 48, who moved from New York to work on a Ford Motor account and stayed, has become an entrepreneur. He has opened a design store in Midtown, founded a nonprofit at Eastern Market that trains people in letterpress printing, and plans to open a restaurant in Corktown soon.

He has even found time to publish two novels since moving to Detroit from Brooklyn seven years ago. But his newest, headline-grabbing venture — with Sarah Cox, his partner in the project and another Brooklyn transplant — is one that aims to revitalize the city’s art community and potentially be a model for post-blight Detroit.

The project is called Write A House, and it is giving free houses to writers.

Click HERE for the full article! 
Detroit Institute of Arts


Where: Detroit
The Detroit Institute of Arts displays an impressive collection of African-American art, in addition to its holdings of American, European, Asian, African, Native American, and Islamic art. Look out for Diego Rivera’sDetroit Industry frescoes, which the artist considered his most successful work. The museum has occupied its home on Woodward Avenue since 1927, and contains more than 100 galleries, an auditorium, a lecture/recital hall, an art reference library, and a conservation services laboratory. A massive expansion completed in 2007 added 35,000 square feet to the museum. Established in 2000, the General Motors Center for African-American Art is one of the first curatorial departments dedicated to African-American art in a major museum.
Insider Tip: Don’t miss Van Gogh’s Self Portrait, which was the first Van Gogh painting to arrive in a U.S. museum collection.

Click HERE to see who made up the remaining 19!

The inaugural Freep Film Festival will showcase Detroit and Michigan-themed documentaries, along with film discussions, panels and a few other surprises. The curtain rises March 20-23 at the Fillmore Detroit and the Detroit Film Theatre at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
The lineup is now complete. Check out the full schedule with quick descriptions of every movie by clicking on "Films and schedule." 

The choir at the Detroit Academy of Arts and Sciences has a lot to be happy about.

Tuesday morning, the “Today” show called. Tuesday afternoon, the “Ellen” show called. Late Tuesday afternoon, a representative of “The Queen Latifah Show” called.

Representatives of all three shows want the 40-member school choir to perform their rendition of Pharrell’s “Happy” on air thanks to a video of them performing the catchy tune that went viral.

The two-minute video has been viewed more than 461,000 times on YouTube.

Click HERE for the full article!

The Best Cities to Find a Job

  WalletHub Job Rankings By Metric

1Fort Worth, TX21Tulsa, OK41Chicago, IL
2Washington, DC22Omaha, NE42El Paso, TX
3Tampa, FL23San Antonio, TX43Philadelphia, PA
4Arlington, TX24Santa Ana, CA44Portland, OR
5Dallas, TX25Nashville, TN45Indianapolis, IN
6Austin, TX26Columbus, OH46Sacramento, CA
7Seattle, WA27Boston, MA47Virginia Beach, VA
8Denver, CO28Wichita, KS48Albuquerque, NM
9Mesa, AZ29New Orleans, LA49Anaheim, CA
10Houston, TX30Miami, FL50Cleveland, OH
11Raleigh, NC31Atlanta, GA51St. Louis, MO
12Corpus Christi, TX32Louisville, KY52Oakland, CA
13Aurora, CO33Bakersfield, CA53Long Beach, CA
14Phoenix, AZ34Memphis, TN54Tucson, AZ
15San Jose, CA35Jacksonville, FL55Milwaukee, WI
16San Francisco, CA36San Diego, CA56Riverside, CA
17Las Vegas, NV37Baltimore, MD57Honolulu, HI
18Charlotte, NC38Detroit, MI58Fresno, CA
19Minneapolis, MN39Oklahoma City, OK59New York, NY
20Kansas City, MO40Colorado Springs, CO60Los Angeles, CA

Click HERE for the full article! 

Looks Like Jeopardy Is Also A Fan Of Detroit.....

Jeopardy Categories 3/13/2014 

ABC Entertainment News | ABC Business News

 Click HERE to vote for the Empowerment Plan!

Displaying 3.RunduNainRouge.jpg

The Run du Nain Rouge returns to Detroit’s Cass Corridor on Sunday, March 23 as a pre-cursor to the annual Marche du Nain Rouge parade. Race participants can help run the monstrous Nain Rouge out of town during this 5K, which starts at 11 a.m at the corner of Cass and Canfield (501 W. Canfield Street).

Tour de Troit is proud to bring back the Run du Nain Rouge for its second year after 500 runners participated last year. Participants can register for the 5K at; online registration is $35 through Thursday, March 20 but will rise to $40 on race day. Registration includes a t-shirt, and the top 15 finishers will be rewarded with a Nain Rouge-themed prize— while the slowest 10 will be punished with gifts selected by the red imp himself. Run times will be posted at

“We’re so excited to bring back this run,” said Vittoria Katanski, co-director, Tour de Troit. “We had such a great turnout for its inaugural year, that we just had to do it again. It’s such a fun event, especially because of all of the theatrics and enthusiasm that surrounds the Marche du Nain Rouge. We are happy to add to the tradition!”

Everyone is then encouraged to participate in the Marche du Nain Rouge, which begins immediately after the race. Named one of the 100 things you must do in Detroit in 2013 by HOUR Detroit, this spirited march will head down Cass Avenue and feature Detroiters in costumes warding off the evil Nain, who is rumored to have been haunting Detroit since 1701. The Marche will conclude at Cass Park, where revelers will banish the Nain Rouge and rid Detroit of its woes. For more details and updates on Marche du Nain Rouge festivities, visit

Sponsors Amicci's Pizza, Miller Canfield, Giffels-Webster, Plante Moran, Lovio George, The Majestic, Run Detroit

About Tour de Troit
The mission of the Tour de Troit is to promote and encourage bicycling and bicycle safety through education, public events, collaboration with community and government organizations and support for non-motorized infrastructure.

For more information visit
Rauhauser_Kresge File_2

At 95, photographer Bill Rauhauser is something of a legend in the Detroit arts community. He’s spent more than 60 years taking beautiful street images that reflect the vibrancy and history of the city’s past. In January, Rauhauser was named the 2014 Kresge Eminent Artist, an honor that comes with a $50,000 prize. Later this year, Kresge will publish a monograph of Rauhauser’s career.

 Rauhauser started taking photos in high school with a plastic camera he ordered from a magazine for 39 cents. He later traded a stamp collection for a 35-mm camera. Rauhauser started his career as an engineer and only thought of photography as a hobby until he saw a Henri Cartier-Bresson exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art on a visit to New York. “His work was so fascinating and so strong. I just fell in love with it,” he said. “That made me think it could be an art form.”

Rauhauser spent 30 years teaching photography at the College for Creative Studies, which gave him the ability to spend more time on his craft. Getting a great photo, he said, requires a combination of being at the right place, shooting at the right time, having a broad cultural awareness, and a bit of luck. “Photography was something that was in my blood. I was able to use the extra time and inspiration to walk the streets of Detroit at the time and build up a large body of work while it was still a really beautiful city,” he said.

Click HERE for the full article! 

Here is SpareFoot’s ranking of America’s Top 15 Apartment Boom Towns, in descending order.

San Jose, CA
Austin, TX
Houston, TX
Grand Rapids, MI
Nashville, TN
Dayton, OH
Portland, OR
San Francisco, CA
Dallas-Fort Worth, TX
Oklahoma City, OK
Seattle, WA
Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN
San Antonio, TX
Des Moines, IA
Detroit, MI

Detroit, MI
Apartments per person: 0.06
Average population growth: Zero percent
Percentage of people spending more than 35 percent of their income on rent: 46.4 percent
Average per-capita personal income growth: 2.6 percent
Average per-capita GDP growth: 3.8 percent
Average growth in per-capita construction permits for new apartments: 44 percent
What’s Up With Detroit?
You might be wondering how Detroit made the list. It beat out the likes of Charlotte, NC; Boston, MA; and even New York City, NY, for a couple of reasons.
First, we focused our growth analysis on 2009 to 2012, so the starting point for measurement of growth in Detroit was when the Motor City essentially hit economic rock bottom.
Second, while GDP and personal income in Detroit have grown, the population hasn’t. We focused on per-capita numbers to adjust for cities of different sizes, meaning that no population growth plus economic growth helped a city’s ranking.
Now, this doesn’t mean Detroit fails to qualify as an apartment boom town. It simply means Detroit’s economic gains are spread among the same number of people, while other cities’ gains are spread among a larger number of people. That aided Detroit’s ranking.
Click HERE for the full article! 

Here are 11 incredible ways Detroit has changed the world for the better.
1. When Martin Luther King Jr. previewed the "I Have A Dream" speech.
detroit freedom march
Before the March on Washington, 25,000 Detroiters gathered in Cobo Hall to hear a preview of Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech on June 23, 1963. Known as the "Detroit Walk to Freedom," MLK Jr. marched down Woodward Avenuewith Walter Reuther, the Reverend C.L. Franklin and 125,000 other civil rights believers. For the 50th anniversary in June 2013, thousands gathered to walk down Woodward Avenue in remembrance. Wendell Anthony, Detroit NAACP president, told WJBK that the march signified "that the work for freedom and justice must continue."
2. When the Red Wings won the first Stanley Cup in 42 years.
russian five detroit red wings
The Detroit Red Wings' journey to back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 1997 and 1998 ended one of the longest cup droughts in NHL history. A million people showed up to celebrate the team at a parade down Woodward Avenue in 1997. The Red Wings' first championship in 42 years gave some credence to the nickname "Hockeytown," that Detroit had adopted. It set the stage for greatness behind the Red Wings bench and on the ice (22 straight playoff appearances!), leading some to dub them the greatest franchise in pro sports. The team's integration of European and Soviet-style hockey strategies, best expressed by the famous Russian Five lineup, led the push to make hockey a truly international game.
3. When Hazen S. Pingree's potato patch inspired the nation to feed the hungry.
hazen pingree
He was the greatest mayor Detroit would ever know. Hazen S. Pingree, an avowed social reformer and enemy of major corporations and monopolies, fought during his 1890-1897 tenure to expose corruption and negotiate fair costs for Detroiters. But Pingree is best remembered for his potato patch. The Panic of 1893 hit Detroit hard, and by late 1894, there was no money left to care for the poor. Pingree mounted an unprecedented public works campaign and opened the city’s massive holdings of vacant land for garden plots and potato patches. "Pingree’s potato patches broke the back of hunger," the Detroit Free Press later wrote, according to Historic Detroit. "They were nationally acclaimed and copied. They revealed a city of boundless energy and industry unwilling to live on doles."

Click HERE for the full article! 

One Day in Detroit from One Day on Earth on Vimeo.

As much as I love being entertained by the drunk and disorderly every Corktown Parade Day, St. Patrick's Day and weekend before, this year I've decided to take the crazy from an 11 to say a 5 this holiday season. Call me lame, accuse me of not getting into the holiday spirit, whatever.  This Irish Lass just wants to enjoy her Guinness with Strongbow in peace, without the occasional ducking from airborne beer bottles (Parade Day 2010, Corktown Tavern), dogging the "Old vs. Young" Cat Fight while walking down Michigan Avenue (Parade Day 2011), or running into Charlie LeDuff post fistacuffs (Parade Day 2013) .

I do not believe I am alone in my sentiments, so I made the list below for all to enjoy.

Now I cannot guarantee with 100% accuracy that you will avoid being nailed in the eye by a swinging jager cup necklace while someone is in mid face plant or finally experiencing that seizure you have always wanted to have due to all those blinking beaded medallions, but I can guarantee you they will greatly lessen your chances by bellying up to the bar at the choice locations below.

I also know realistically that at some point you and your friends might get a craving for some choice people watching only supplied on this festive occasion, so I have listed with each location a place just a hop skip and a jump away that will satisfy that visual starvation.  Just keep your eyes peeled for the *.

Without further adieu, below is my list of places to been seen this St. Patrick's Day Season:

One Eyed Betty's Specials On St. Paddy's Day 2012

One Eyed Betty's
175 West Troy
Ferndale, 48220

You are killing two birds (or snakes?) with one stone.  I celebrated St. Paddy's Day 2012 here and could not begin to tell you how many times I've been back.

Budweiser, Coors, Miller, AND Green Beer have never sat behind the bar together and slurred "I loooove you man" to each other, which gives a high probability of avoiding the Ed Hardy and Tramp Stamp Dynamic Duos.  Only quality beers, whiskey, and bourbon are served.

The food is ahhhhh-mazing. How many bars do you know of that have an hour wait by 6:30 on a Friday or Saturday night? This one does and you can blame in on Emmele Herrold, One Eyed Betty's chef and winner of Detroit Burger Brawl 2013.  So your stomachs will be taken care of, I promise.

Also, check out the progress on the bottle cap mural while you are sipping on that pour of Jameson.

*Rosie O'Grady's*

Thomas MaGee's Sporting House Whiskey Bar
1408 E Fisher
Detroit, 48207

This will be the first St. Patrick's Day for Thomas MaGee's, opening just a few months ago in Eastern Market. This bar is beautiful inside, very low key, and is stocked with some of the finest beer and whiskey in town. Plus, plenty of parking outside.

The owner was quoted in a recent Detroit News article stating, “There’s an influx of people moving into this area from the suburbs, from other areas of the state, from other cities, who are now Detroiters.  Sometimes they get trapped into the bubble of ‘Gilbert-ville’ or amazing hipster land, but I think there’s a good percentage of those people, if they cross out of that box and come to a place like this, that solidifies this rebirth and rebuilding of Detroit.” Looks like you will be safe from fall down drunks and Hipsters. That's one winning combination.

Thomas MaGee's usually does not serve food, but for St. Patrick's Day 2014, they are hosting the first annual "Eggs & Kegs."

Doors open at 7 a.m. Breakfast until 10 am . Early riser beer specials: $1 beer from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. $2 beer from 8 a.m.-9 a.m. and $3 beer from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Important Note: Ignore the location pin on Google Maps.  Thomas MaGee's is located on the corner of the E. Fisher Service Drive (south side) and Russell Street, not next to the pole dancing studio.

*The Old Shillelagh*

Dick O'Dow's
160 West Maple
Birmingham, 48009

I have spent quite a few St. Patrick's Days here and I've been satisfied with each and every single one.  This place does it right, from the drinks to the food to the live Irish Band.  You cannot go wrong here.  It is also one of the few places that has a great mix of people, young and old, celebrating together.

*The Hot Mess District In Royal Oak (just follow the train tracks)*

O'Mara's Irish Restaurant
2555 12 Mile Rd
Berkley, 48072

There's a good chance you will run into your grandparents, but you can drink and eat safely here in good 'ol Berkley.

*Duggan's Irish Pub*

My friends Stephen and Josh At Nemo's Pre-Sean O'Callaghans, St. Paddy's Day 2010

Sean O'Callaghan's
821 Penniman Ave, 
Plymouth 48170

This was a random find St. Patrick's Day 2010.  My friend Josh grew up on that side of town and swore this was the place to go.  So we ditched Nemo's tent and headed west.  We were greeted at the door with a bagpiper mid song and walked into a full on St. Patrick's Day extravaganza.

The staff was great and super friendly, place was just entertaining enough, and the food was out of this world.

They also serve Johnny Walker Blue Label, so you know it's a classy joint.

The Gaelic League
2068 Michigan Ave,
Detroit 48216

The Gaelic League of Detroit is located in Corktown and is an Irish-American club dedicated to promoting and preserving Irish Culture and Tradition in the Detroit Area.

Translation:  This is the real deal, folks.  Authentic Irish fare, booze, and people!

Important Note:  They only take cash and do not have an ATM.

*Just walk outside on March 16th between the hours of 7 am - 3 pm*

The Belle Isle Conservancy has been selected for “Heart Your Park,” a program introduced as part of Macy’s “Secret Garden” campaign that aims to raise awareness and dollars for local parks across the country. From March 7 to March 31, customers at Macy’s Westland and Dearborn stores can donate $1 or more at the register, with 100 percent of the donations benefiting the Belle Isle Conservancy. To further spread the love, Macy’s will match the total customer donation across all stores, dollar for dollar, up to $250,000 in total.

Belle Isle Park is one of more than 550 parks nationwide that will benefit from Macy’s “Heart Your Park” this spring. In partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the national non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of community parks, recreation and conservation, Macy’s stores across the country have each selected a local park or green space in their community to support through the program. Donations will go toward making improvements, such as maintaining trails, playgrounds, and ball fields, and everything in between.

“We are thrilled to partner with Macy’s and NRPA for ‘Heart Your Park’ this spring,” said Michele Hodges, President of the Belle Isle Conservancy. “Even with the State of Michigan committing significant financial resources to Belle Isle’s revitalization, the Conservancy shares a tremendous obligation to fund improvement projects and cultural programs. Through this wonderful program and donations by Macy’s customers, we are excited about the increased awareness and additional funding for Belle Isle Park.”

“Heart Your Park” is part of Macy’s “Secret Garden” spring campaign that will come to life at Macy’s stores and on with an infusion of garden-inspired merchandise, special promotions and events. For more information on “Secret Garden,” visit For a full list of the parks benefiting from Macy’s “Heart Your Park,” visit

A Girls Guide to Detroit from 4exit4 on Vimeo.

Creative, ambitious, independent-yet-also-community-minded, oh my! This "Girl's Guide to Detroit" might make anyone who isn't a Detroit resident or a woman mighty jealous. In fact, if you're a man in Tampa, I'm not sure it's even safe to see this.

Click HERE for the full article!
Gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White at Medals Plaza on Feb. 18, 2014 in Sochi, Russia.(Photo: Paul Gilham, Getty Images)

Dancing With the Stars has rounded up another eclectic cast of celebrity characters for Season 18.

Competing on the show, which kicks off March 17 (ABC, 8 p.m.): Two Olympic ice dancing darlings (Charlie White and Meryl Davis), three singers (including Billy Dee Williams), former child TV stars from The Wonder Years and Full House, a double amputee snowboarding champ, a former pro hockey player (Sean Avery), distance swimmer Diana Nyad, reality star NeNe Leakes and comedian Drew Carey.

Also spicing up the mix: Bad-boy pro Maks Chmerkovskiy returns to the ballroom.

The stars and their pro partners will compete amid several changes to the show: Tom Bergeron's co-host Brooke Burke-Charvet was fired and replaced by Fox Sports' Erin Andrews. New bandleader Ray Chew joins the team, as Harold Wheeler and his gang exits.

Pro Derek Hough announced another twist on Good Morning America Tuesday saying that at some point the cast will all switch partners.

"You have to change things every so often to keep them fresh," says executive producer Conrad Green.

The show's audience was slightly smaller (averaging 15 million viewers) and older last fall. And while it is roughly tied with The Voice in total viewers, Dancing has only about half that show's young-adult audience. The median age of a Dancing viewer is 61.6, the second-oldest of any major-network primetime series.

"We have to be mindful of keeping hold of younger audiences," says Green, who admits, "Ours does skew a little older."

But he defends the show that has had so many years of success. "I think we've held our own remarkably well."

Click HERE for the full article! 
Slows Bar B Q, DetroitIts economy may have backfired, but foodie hotspots are getting Detroit motoring again, says local Meghan McEwen.

Once famed for motors, Motown and Eminem, Detroit has more recently gained a reputation for bankruptcy and urban decay. But look beyond the empty buildings and there is an alternate Detroit appearing - one buoyed by the creative energy of an art- and culture-fuelled renaissance. In its wake, inventive restaurateurs are emerging to feed the hungry crowds who are flooding back to the city.

One neighbourhood that's booming is Corktown, a previously near-deserted stretch of Michigan Avenue in the shadow of the abandoned Michigan Central Station. Now it's bustling with the likes of craft-beer specialist Slows Bar B Q, coffee shop Astro, and new Italian restaurant Ottava Via. Other newcomers include Two James (, the first distillery to open in Detroit since before Prohibition, which sells a range of handcrafted vodka, gin, bourbon and whiskey. Order the bourbon-based Corktown Flip at its industrial-style bar. Gold Cash Gold, a restaurant opening this summer in a former pawn shop, shows how far the area is transforming.

New ventures are popping up across town, too. On the border of Eastern Market, the oldest outdoor farmers' market in the USA, Joel Peterson and Rebecca Mazzei have recently added a café to Trinosophes (, their art and music venue that opened last spring, serving warm doughnuts, Vietnamese-inspired lunches and weekend brunch prepared by guest chefs. 'We apply the same ethos to the food as we do to the music and art - we let whoever do whatever,' says Mazzei.

A few doors down, artist Greg Holm is putting the finishing touches on his renovated Art Deco space, soon to house a French-inspired restaurant, Frontera ( The menu will feature reimagined traditional dishes such as turtle soup with sherry and crème fraîche. Later this year, look out for Craftwork restaurant in West Village, and Midtown's Standard on Selden. Detroit's favourite mixologist Dave Kwiatkowski, who brought the craft cocktail hotspot Sugar House to Corktown two years ago, will also open Wright Company, a booze-focused downtown gastro-bistro.

Click HERE to read the full article!
Artists paint the walls of Imagination Station, a house across from Detroit's abandoned train depot.
Artists paint a house near Detroit’s iconic old train station. Photograph: Melissa Farlow/National Geographic Society/Corbis

Last year Detroit became the largest city in US history to go bankrupt. But when you hit rock bottom, the only way is up. Jennifer Conlin explores an urban renewal in progress.

Picture Detroit today and the images that probably come to mind are of "ruin porn" (the now infamous term for beautifully shot photos of dilapidated buildings); urban exploring (the new craze of creeping around abandoned complexes as seen in Jim Jarmusch's new film Only Lovers Left Alive) and foreclosure frenzy (there are now nearly 80,000 empty homes to be torn down or fixed up in Motor City). Sadly, last year, another grim label – Broke – was stamped on Detroit's languishing landscape, when it became the largest American city ever to file for bankruptcy.

But there is another side to the city's desperate times. In its daily battle to stave off extinction, "the D", as it is affectionately known, has become a fascinating place to visit. This is a period when it's possible to get a glimpse of one of the world's edgiest, most exciting, urban enclaves – a place that is looking inventively and enthusiastically toward the future.

This mood is reflected in Jarmusch's movie, with its moody shots of the city and the prediction from Tilda Swinton's psychic vampire, on seeing the city for the first time, that "this place will rise again … this place will bloom".

Like in any city that has nowhere to go but up, it is the artists, activists and entrepreneurs who have created opportunity in adversity, pooling their creative resources and working together in an effort to bring the city back from the brink. And the roots of Detroit's revitalisation are now becoming visible. With one-third of the land mass in Detroit now vacant, the development plan for the city has been to first concentrate on building back "density" (for which read, "population") in four distinct neighbourhoods – all less than a 10-minute drive from one another – Downtown, Midtown, Corktown and Eastern Market.

Click HERE for the full story!