"If you go to Detroit, go to Cafe d'Mongo's Speakeasy... you're never going to go to a bar like that."Watch Best Bars In America: Detroit TONIGHT 9|8c on Esquire Network!
Posted by Best Bars In America on Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Yup, That's Me And Giant Containers of Nutella In Amsterdam 
Last September I was in Amsterdam for a few days en route to Rome.  Nutella was all over town, specifically featured in these amazing giant crepes (pancakes).  Nutella is popular in the States, but wow, the Netherlands took it to a whole new level.  They really love their Nutella.

Now, fast forward 8 months later and I found Nutella deliciousness in two new pastries from Tim Hortons: Chocolate Hazelnut Donut and sugar dusted Pastry Pockets filled with Nutella.  You can even get small packets of Nutella to spread on your favorite Tim Hortons bagel....or just eat by itself with a spoon :).

I joke bringing these to the office is a sure fire way to win friends and influence your co-workers. Let's just say a dozen of the Nutella Donuts and Pastry Pockets lasted about 5 minutes in my office.  

My personal favorite are the Nutella Pastry Pockets because they are crispy on the outside with a warm Nutella center.

Oh, and before I forget, CLICK HERE to get your very own Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella Donut FREE from your local Tim Hortons.  This coupon is good for a limited time, so act fast!

For those of you who Live/Work/Play/Study Downtown, Tim Hortons is located on the first floor of the Compuware Building and on Wayne State's Campus.

*This post is sponsored by Launch Farm, in association with Tim Hortons, though all views expressed are my own.*

When I’m asked about Detroit, the questions often circle around news headlines: bankruptcy and blight, crime stats, bus problems. Whether things in the city really are that bad. Until I first traveled there about a year ago, those were my trigger thoughts about Detroit, too. That and Megatron’s freakish football skills. But after spending a big chunk of 2014 in Detroit, kicking it at Astro Coffee in Corktown, roaming the beautiful Belle Isle, stopping into Shinola in Midtown, meeting entrepreneurs and artists, barbers and chefs and teachers — even a mortician — I’m convinced Detroit is beginning its third act in a great American comeback story. Or, as longtime poet laureate Naomi Long Madgett writes in City Nights, that the “grandchildren are upstairs dreaming.” There’s an engine of ingenuity at work in the Michigan city, with a forward-thinking, Midwestern hustle at the core.

In 2015, these are just a few of the reasons why I’ll definitely go back to Detroit........

Click HERE For The Full Article! 
Steven Spielberg, founder of USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education, will present William Clay Ford, Jr., executive chairman of Ford Motor Company, with the Institute’s Ambassadorfor Humanity Award at the organization’s annual gala, taking place this year in Detroit on Sept. 10. Ford will be recognized for his leadership and corporate citizenry around education and community. Mickey Shapiro, real estate developer and longstanding member of the Institute’s Board of Councilors, is the event’s co-chairman. The gala vice chairs and benefit committee will comprise leaders from the local community and from around the nation.

The September gala will provide the opportunity to highlight the Institute’s global work in making the 53,000 audio-visual interviews with survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides in its Visual History Archive a compelling voice for education and action.

USC Shoah Foundation has a long history in Michigan and with Ford Motor Company, which was the sole sponsor of the 1997 NBC broadcast of the Academy Award® winning “Schindler's List,”' the film that inspired the establishment of the Institute. The Institute collected 335 testimonies with Holocaust survivors and witnesses in the Detroit area, with local videographers and interviewers specially trained for the job.

The Visual History Archive is also available on two campuses in Michigan, University of Michigan - Ann Arbor and University of Michigan - Flint.

The event will also shine a light on the emerging partnership between USC Shoah Foundation and Ford Motor Company to expand the Institute’s IWitness educational platform in the Detroit area. IWitness brings the first-person stories of survivors and witnesses of genocide from the Institute’s Visual History Archive to students via multimedia-learning activities that are accessible via Macs, PCs, iPads, and tablet devices connected to the Internet.

Currently, 100 educators in Michigan – and over 6,500 globally – use IWitness. In addition, more than 250 educators in Michigan, and over 15,000 nationally, have been trained on Echoes and Reflections, a multimedia Holocaust curriculum developed by the Institute and partners, the Anti-Defamation League and Yad Vashem.

A significant portion of the proceeds raised at the gala will remain in the region, where the funds will be utilized for educational programs in secondary schools.

Steven Spielberg, founder of USC Shoah Foundation and chairman of the Ambassadors gala said, “Working with Bill Ford and Ford Motor Company to further explore ways to share the work of the Institute with the people of Michigan is a wonderful opportunity. Reaching people when they’re young is the key to changing the world with testimony. IWitness and its ability to deliver tolerance education to the Detroit region gives me great hope that together we can affect significant change. The commitment of Bill Ford and Ford Motor Company to support new approaches to learning, to provide scholarships, and to help deserving students attain higher education, makes him a great ambassador, and I am proud to recognize him for his efforts.”

“The USC Shoah Foundation stands as an enormous point of pride for USC, and has seen its efforts advanced greatly through the support of individuals and organizations that recognize its value as a truly transformational tool for education. Mr. Ford is a visionary leader who understands the contribution that USC Shoah Foundation makes to the world, and we are honored to recognize him for his corporate citizenry and leadership,” said University of Southern California President C. L. Max Nikias.

“I am so pleased that USC Shoah Foundation will be joining forces with Ford Motor Company and the local Detroit community to explore new ways to utilize IWitness as an educational tool, and endeavor to reach a growing number of educators and students across the Detroit region,” said USC Shoah Foundation Executive Director Stephen D. Smith.

For more information about the gala call the Event Office at 248-593-9743, the USC Shoah Foundation Benefit at 818-777-7876 or email ambassadorsgala2015@usc.edu. Donations are tax deductible to the full extent permitted by law.
Photo: LA Times

The artist who created the popular President Obama "Hope" poster will soon leave a mark on Detroit.

Shepard Fairey will spend the next two weeks painting a portion of the Compuware Building at One Campus Martius in downtown Detroit, according to a release from Dan Gilbert's Bedrock Real Estate Service.

Fairey plans to paint a portion of the back of the building along Gratiot Avenue, 184-feet tall and 60-feet wide.

The mural will be Fairey's tallest to-date.

Fairey will also paint a mural in "The Belt", the alleyway between the two wings of Gilbert's The Z parking garage just down the block.

*This post is sponsored by Launch Farm, in association with Tim Hortons, though all views expressed are my own.*

The Detroit RiverFront Conservancy announced details about Detroit’s unofficial kickoff to summer, the 9th annual GM River Days presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, happening June 19-21, 2015. General Motors has reaffirmed their commitment to this year’s festival by signing on as title sponsor for the third consecutive and fifth year combined of the festival. This year’s GM River Days will soar sky high with new programming including zip line rides, a Tuskegee Airmen Museum Airshow, an impressive lineup of national music acts and a special preview fundraising event called “River Nights” to support the continued development and operations for the Detroit riverfront.

“We’re excited to add these new enhancements to an already fantastic event,” said Mark Wallace, president & CEO of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. “GM River Days is about celebrating the Detroit riverfront and bringing people together.  It’s been a long winter.  GM River Days will get us back in the sun.”

“The riverfront has become an iconic symbol to the city of Detroit, and General Motors is pleased to support the Conservancy and highlight the beautiful space along the Detroit River during GM River Days,” said John Blanchard, director of local government relations, GM. “The beloved festival brings the metro Detroit community together, and GM is proud to be a part of it.”

 "We are incredibly grateful to General Motors and all of our partners whose generosity helps to make GM River Days possible,” said Matt Cullen, chairman of the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy Board of Directors. “We invite everyone to come to the event and support the Conservancy while enjoying all aspects of the riverfront throughout the weekend.”

Headlining National Music Acts

Sounds will rise above the international riverfront with headlining acts on the DTE Energy National Stage. This year’s festival boasts a jam-packed lineup, including Paul Rodgers, founding member of Bad Company on Friday night and the seven-time Grammy Award winner and Motown legend Gladys Knight on Saturday evening, in addition to R&B singer-songwriter Chanté Moore. Sunday’s main stage will bring rhythm and blues to the waterfront with celebrated R&B performers including Bell Biv Devoe, a trio of members from the 1980s act New Edition, Jagged Edge, Grammy-nominated R&B group and Dave Hollister, R&B vocalist and previous member of Blackstreet. VIP tickets will once again be available to purchase for premier seating during the headlining concerts. Tickets cost $35 and include entrance to the festival. Tickets can be purchased online through RiverDays.com. A full music lineup of more than 40 music acts across 4 different stages will be announced in the coming weeks.

New Programming and “River Nights” Fundraiser

This year’s GM River Days celebration will include an exciting new airshow over the Detroit River on Saturday and Sunday, June 20 and 21 starting at 1:00 p.m. each day. The show is being staged by the Tuskegee Airmen National Historical Museum. Scheduled to appear are two models of aircraft flown by the Tuskegee Airmen in World War II, a demonstration of precision formation flying by the museum’s own three-aircraft team, and aerobatics by world-class airshow performers. This will be the first time that Detroit has seen aerobatic demonstrations over the river in more than five years and this time it’s locally-organized and features many performers from Metro Detroit. The airshow will also feature emcees at all festival stages and music.

Daredevil festivalgoers will also get a bird’s eye view of the Detroit River from the Milliken State Park with rides on two new Zip Lines, one of which is provided by Oakland County Parks. Thrill seekers will get to fly 300-feet across the sky with the first-ever zip line in the state park. This new festival feature is the longest, fastest mobile zip line available and allows two people to zip simultaneously on two lines 34 feet in the air.  Tickets will cost $15 for one ride or two for $25.

Also added to the festival is a new fundraiser, River Nights, which will provide a special preview of the festival, on Thursday, June 18th from 6-10 p.m.  Attendees will get to enjoy a concert by The Spinners, the legendary R&B recording artists originating from Detroit. Guests of all ages can take advantage of many of the festival’s great features prior to the public opening, including free zip line passes from 6-8 p.m., free Diamond Jack river tours, live sand sculpting, carnival rides and complimentary food and beverages provided by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort, Coach Insignia, Riverwalk Cafe, Famous Dave’s BBQ and more. Tickets cost $50 and all proceeds will benefit the Detroit RiverFront Conservancy. Ticket sales open on Friday, May 15th and can be purchased online at RiverDays.com or by calling (313) 566-8200.

 Return of Festival Favorites

The Soaring Eagle Cuisine Machine will once again be the star of the Pepsi Taste of Detroit Food Court. In addition, more than a dozen eateries will present a wide array of dining options throughout the weekend, including Atwater in the Park, Bert’s Market Place, Coach Insignia, Famous Dave’s BBQ, Detroit Marshmallow Company, Eskimo Jack, Detroit Fish and Shrimp, RiverWalk Café, Baja Smoothies and more.

"Each year Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort looks forward to showcasing our outstanding cuisine and world-class resort during River Days,” said Raul Venegas, director of marketing & entertainment, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. “This festival gives us the unique opportunity to interact with people across the region while supporting a great organization.”

 Located on Rivard Plaza, The Flagstar Bank Kids Zone will keep kids laughing and playing all weekend long. Parents just need to pick up a free sticker from the Flagstar Bank booth at the festival.  The Kids Zone produced by The Parade Company will feature story time, magic and puppet shows, as well as face and hand painting with the Detroit Institute of Arts and recyclable crafts with Arts & Scraps. Children and families will experience an entertaining lineup on the Meijer Kids Stage. Rivard Plaza will also be the site of a 50-ton sand sculpture presented by Quicken Loans and designed by Team Sandtastic.

As always, festivalgoers can take advantage of great fun on the water with Diamond Jack River Tours, as well as tours of the Appledore IV Tall Ship presented by Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center docked at the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Dock. In addition, festival favorite Typhoon Tommy and his world-class jet ski team will use the Detroit River as their stage to perform big air jumps, flips and underwater dives for the crowds along the riverfront. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary will showcase rescue demonstrations and the opportunity to board and tour a Coast Guard cutter throughout the weekend.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will provide a variety of hands-on activities for children and adults throughout William G. Milliken State Park & Harbor during the festival. Guests can stroll along the RiverWalk and talk with wildlife and fish experts, foresters and conservation officers. Booths will be across the park to learn about Michigan’s birds of prey and reptiles. Festivalgoers will also have a chance to try their hand at archery, scale a climbing wall and other outdoor skill challenges.

The 2015 GM River Days presented by Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort kicks off Friday, June 19 at 11 a.m. and spans from the William G. Milliken State Park and Harbor to the Detroit/Wayne County Port Authority Terminal & Dock, just west of the Renaissance Center.

Festival Hours 
11 a.m. – 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday
11 a.m. – 10 p.m. on Sunday

The Conservancy will charge a $3 admission fee (and $5 after 5 p.m.) to help underwrite programming and operational costs for the festival.

Admission to the festival is free before 5 p.m. on Friday, June 19.

Click HERE for a full schedule of events and activities

The vibrant interiors of the design store Hugh.

4240 Cass Ave.; 313-831-4844; lovehughlongtime.com.

As inventive restaurants, sleek hotels, and forward-thinking galleries pop up among restored architectural landmarks, Detroit brims with excitement and optimism.

From Henry Ford’s Model T to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s Lafayette Park to Motown hits, Detroit has long been a driver of American ingenuity. “The Big Three carmakers basically invented auto design here,” says Andrew Smith, a global design director for Cadillac. “And because of that, Detroit maintains a deep respect for creativity and innovation.” Of course, over the past several decades, the city also became a poster child for urban depopulation and decay, problems that eventually resulted in its July 2013 bankruptcy filing. But from this crisis an interesting phenomenon has emerged: A new generation of entrepreneurs—chefs, artists, designers, curators, and developers—is turning the city’s once-all-but-abandoned core into a dynamic DIY laboratory. “There’s energy, passion, and excitement,” says native son John Varvatos, who opened an outpost of his fashion brand here in March. “The city is evolving rapidly, and I have no doubt it will once again be a must-visit travel destination.”

A prime symbol of these shifting fortunes is the 130-year-old Beaux Arts Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), whose iconic Diego Rivera murals join masterpieces by Caravaggio, Degas, and Van Gogh—treasures that, theoretically at least, faced the threat of forced auction to cover municipal debts. The works escaped this fate last year, when the DIA became a private nonprofit. “A British journalist asked me, ‘Wouldn’t selling the collection be like Detroit saying, “We give up”?’” recalls Graham W.J. Beal, the retiring director of the institute. “So geographically, philosophically, and morally, the DIA is now at the center of the Detroit revival.”

Indeed, the DIA’s midtown surroundings, long the city’s cultural hub, are now in the midst of a commercial renaissance. Helping lead the way is Shinola, a manufacturer of watches, bicycles, and leather goods founded in 2011. “In a very short time, Shinola has created more than 350 jobs that teach new skill sets,” says Richard Lambertson, a recently appointed design director at the company. “When I tell people I work there, it’s as if I’d said NASA. They’re so impressed.” Shinola opened its retail flagship in midtown two years ago and has since added a sister shop, the indie-fashion boutique Willys. The firm’s presence has attracted neighbors such as the conjoined design depots Hugh and Nora, where you can find everything from vintage-style Braun timepieces to elegant furniture by local Hugh Acton. “A shopper’s paradise” is how Motor City–born, New York–based fashion designer Tracy Reese describes the Shinola store. “For Detroiters it’s a point of pride,” she says. “I recently had dinner with Anna Sui—she’s also from Detroit—and we were both wearing the same Shinola watch.”

Though the DIA is typically Reese’s first midtown stop, she’s also a fan of the Cass Gilbert–designed Detroit Public Library, which features John Stephens Coppin’s vivid 1964 fresco Man’s Mobility. Down the street, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) is boosting the area with an education, outreach, and research initiative it has dubbed Detroit City; the museum also has a first-rate in-house restaurant, Café 78, run by chef Marc Djozlija and mixologist Dave Kwiatkowski, the duo behind downtown’s hopping gastropub Wright & Co. A block north of MOCAD, the N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art, established in 2010 by veteran gallerist George N’Namdi, has one of the world’s premier collections of work by African-American artists. For lodgings in midtown, Beal recommends the DIA–adjacent Inn on Ferry Street, comprising six restored Victorian-era homes and carriage houses.

Another midtown anchor is Selden Standard, a buzzy eatery whose rustic fire-roasted cuisine nabbed a 2015 James Beard nomination for chef Andy Hollyday. He previously ran the kitchen at Iron Chef America winner Michael Symon’s Roast, which opened downtown in 2008 and, Hollyday observes, “really elevated the food game in this town.” Stellar meals can also be had at the new Gold Cash Gold, occupying a converted pawnshop in the Corktown neighborhood and serving refined Southern classics. And in the Eastern Market area, the black-and-brass-accented Antietam is earning raves for its French-inspired menu, while Trinosophes, a café and art gallery, offers fresh fare from Detroit’s urban farms.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 

Last Photo - Detroit from Ivan Cash on Vimeo.

To learn more about the project: http://LastPhotoProject.com

Homesteading Detroit:

Applications Open for the Writing Residency of a Lifetime

Write A House is excited to announce that our 2015 round of applications is now open. They are a nonprofit that purchases vacant homes in Detroit, renovates them with the help of vocational training programs, and awards them to talented writers -- for keeps, forever, and with no strings attached. In 2014, they awarded our first home to Brooklyn-based poet-historian Casey Rocheteau. She is detailing her experience here, and her great advice on applying can be found here

Here is a photo of the home they will be giving away his year. It is a two-bedroom bungalow that is in the same Banglatown neighborhood where Casey lives. It has a bay window, front porch, and full backyard. See more (pre-renovation!) photos of the house here.

Details about our new application round here. A few things to note: 

·       Applications are open until June 5.
·       Apply by noon on Monday, May 11 to take advantage of the early-bird application fee.
·       Eligibility is expanded this year to include not just US citizens, but also US permanent residents (green card holders).
·       Applications are accepted in fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. Playwright and screenwriters apply under fiction. Journalists apply under nonfiction.

2015 Judges: 

·       PoetryBilly CollinsMajor JacksonMichael Stone-Richards
·       FictionToby BarlowMatt BellTamara WarrenSean McDonald
·       Nonfictiondream hamptonNancy KafferJohn Freeman 

2014 Heroes for Hope  Receipt Retire US Senator Carl Levin 

Focus: HOPE’s second annual “Heroes for Hope” gala fundraiser, sponsored by Lear Corporation, will be held on Friday, May 15, 2015 at Cobo Center. The event recognizes heroes in the fight for social justice. This year’s honorees are retired General Motors Corporation President Lloyd E. Reuss, former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing and retired Congressman John D. Dingell. Detroit Free Press columnist Tom Walsh will serve as the master of ceremonies for the evening.

During the presentation, Focus: HOPE will recognize Mr. Reuss with its first corporate leadership award. The award has been established in his honor and will be presented annually to a national corporate leader who helps advance social justice and equity.

Mr. Reuss helped establish Focus: HOPE’s Center for Advanced Technologies (CAT), which has awarded more than 300 associate and bachelor degrees in engineering to Focus: HOPE students. He is being honored for his many years of leadership and service to the organization and its mission of creating equal access to jobs, housing, food and education. Additionally, he helped lead Focus: HOPE’s two most recent capital campaigns, raising a combined $184 million. Mr. Reuss founded and chaired the Focus: HOPE Corporate Advisory Board for more than twenty years.

“Mr. Reuss has certainly set the standard for corporate leadership. As successful as he was in the auto industry, he has been equally successful in providing education and training opportunities to thousands of Detroiters. Many of them may not know Lloyd personally, but his efforts created opportunities that changed their lives,” said Focus: HOPE CEO William F. Jones, Jr. “We are grateful for his tremendous efforts in recruiting volunteers, soliciting leadership giving, and providing counsel and advice throughout much of Focus: HOPE’s history. It’s with great pleasure that we present him with this special honor.”

The event will honor retired Congressman John Dingell for his decades of service and leadership in the House of Representatives. Throughout his career, Congressman Dingell was a leading Congressional supporter of social welfare measures and civil rights bills. Former Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is being recognized for his role in helping to rebuild the city of Detroit and his commitment to helping disadvantaged minorities in Detroit find employment at the Bing Group of businesses. Currently, he is meeting the mentoring needs of young men of color through his Bing Youth Institute.

Lear Corporation is the presenting sponsor of the Heroes for Hope event, which pays tribute to the organization’s late co-founders, Father William Cunningham and Eleanor Josaitis, who were leaders in the fight against racism, poverty and injustice. The honorees have been selected for the work they have done to improve the lives of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised. Lear is one of Focus: HOPE’s largest corporate donors and Lear CEO Matt Simoncini co-chaired the non-profit’s $100 million Investing in Hope Campaign.

The black tie gala takes place from 6:00 p.m. until midnight in Cobo Center’s Grand Riverview Ballroom in downtown Detroit. The evening will feature a formal dinner, desserts, dancing and live entertainment. The after party event is sponsored by Plastic Omnium. Other notable supporters of the fundraiser include Ford Motor Company, JPMorgan Chase, Michigan.com, Johnson Controls, and Delphi.

Proceeds from the Heroes for Hope event will be used to continue the social justice initiatives at Focus: HOPE. Hundreds of thousands of individuals and families have benefited from the social services, job training and education programs offered by the non-profit organization.          

A limited number of tickets are still available and can be purchased online at www.focushope.edu/heroes or by calling 313.494.4750

Last year’s inaugural event was a sellout with nearly 500 guests. U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder, Jr. and now-retired U.S. Senator Carl Levin were the first recipients of the Heroes for Hope award. More than $500,000 was raised for Focus: HOPE’s programs and services.

Student Exhibition 2015 from College for Creative Studies on Vimeo.

For the past 90 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 15 and ending on May 29, the public is invited to purchase many of these original 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 15, 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.

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 General Exhibition and Opening Sale,  beginning at 7:00 p.m., for all general admission ticketholders ($50 per ticket or two for $60 for alumni)

•       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.

“Each year, the Student Exhibition is CCS’s premier art event. Through their studies, we transform ambitious students into masters of their craft, and this event gives us a platform to showcase their unbridled talent,” says CCS President Richard L. Rogers. “The remarkable interest we receive year over year is testament to the thriving art community in the Detroit area and how it continues to shape our region’s economic resurgence.”

The Student Exhibition is sponsored by Lear Corporation and is free and open to the public from May 16 until May 29. 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 CLICK HERE

Vote for America’s Best Town

One of these 64 towns can be called the “Best Town Ever.” Crowning the winner will be up to you.

Picking the locations in our fifth annual Best Town Ever contest wasn’t easy. We looked for places with great access to trails and public lands, thriving restaurants and neighborhoods, and, of course, a good beer scene—all while excluding the winners and runners-up from the past three years to make room for hidden gems, underdogs, and towns on the rise. Plus, for the first time, we added a wild-card round, letting our Instagram followers nominate their favorite towns—Port Angeles, WA; New York, NY; Saugatuck, MI; and Roanoke, VA came out on top to snag the final spot in each section of our bracket.

Who will advance in the tournament? The first five rounds of voting will last five days each, starting on May 4, 2015 (12 a.m. EST). You may vote once per round per matchup. The winners will advance until only two towns remain (May 29, 2015). The winner will be the town with the most votes on June 5.

Click HERE To Vote For Detroit!!!! 

Detroit’s dining scene, much like the city itself, is undergoing a period of rapid transformation. The food-obsessed from the suburbs and beyond are returning to the long-beleaguered downtown areas, with a new-found curiosity for exotic cuisines, flavors and ideas. Innovative pop-ups, homegrown distilleries, urban farms and a growing number of celebrity chefs (Michael Symon, Wolfgang Puck and soon, Roy Choi) have all helped to land the city at No. 3 on our ranking.

What to know

While New Yorkers or Angelenos might roll their eyes at the phrase “pop-up,” here it’s an incubator for some of the hottest chef talent. Revolver, a perma pop-up space of sorts in the Hamtramck neighborhood, is a training ground, having hosted chefs like Kate Williams and Andy Hollyday who use the space to test new menus. One of Detroit’s most famous pop-ups, Guns and Butter, plans on opening a permanent location in the future, bringing high-end, forward-thinking cuisine to Detroit. Motor City Wine, a newish wine bar located in Corktown has also been hosting pop-ups featuring some of the most innovative talent in town.

Click HERE For The Full Article! 
Photo: CBS Local

I say this because it’s true and because I just read a column by Aaron Foley that offered a bleak – if sarcastic – warning to New Yorkers attracted by the Move to Detroit billboards. He cites shoddy schools, rising rents — as well as beer gardens without kids’ menus – as reasons why New York parents should ignore those catchy billboards and cross Detroit off their list. And he makes some valid points (though not his points about beer gardens because who needs a beer more than a parent?) But as a mom of two who quit her job in New York last year and moved to Detroit to be a part of its future, I’m here to tell Foley he’s wrong.

It’s true that there are no public playgrounds in my downtown Detroit neighborhood and that school options here are extremely limited. In Detroit, I don’t have the elaborate parent network I had in Brooklyn from which I could get advice or borrow baby gear. But I’m sending two kids to preschool for roughly half of what that cost in Brooklyn. We’re living in an apartment that’s significantly larger than the shoebox we shared in Brooklyn, for a much lower price, and I’m no longer commuting long distances and working the kind of marathon hours that were required for me to afford my life in New York. In Detroit, I spend much more time with my children than I ever did in family-friendly Brooklyn because here I’m not working all the time.

Click HERE For The Full Article!