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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County

    CNN has a message to all prospective landlords: Head to Wayne County! Occupancy and rental rates are increasing, the report says, creating an opportunity for serious returns on investments. In fact, after comparing the median sales price of homes to average monthly rents in nearly 1,600 counties, RealtyTrac found that Detroit’s Wayne County offers landlords the best return on their investment in the nation. Investors who buy homes in the metro area can expect a 30% gross annual return from rents. That’s triple the national average of 10%. RealtyTrac, an online real estate information company, says the county offers investors low prices for larger homes — with a median price of $45,000. “We’ve got some steals here,” said Rachel Saltmarshall, a real estate agent and immediate past president of the Detroit Association of Realtors, told CNN. “There’s a six-bedroom, 6,000 square-foot home in a historic district selling for $65,000.” For more, read the entire report here.

    The post Here is why landlords could do well in Wayne County appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit

    This Saturday, audiophiles across the world will venture out to their favorite independent record stores in search of limited releases that quickly become collectors items. The third Saturday of April marks the fairly new international holiday Record Store Day. There are certainly dos and don’ts to know for RSD — like where to shop, and how to shop. That’s right, there is an etiquette to shopping on Record Store Day and violating that code makes you look like a real asshole. In my experience of celebrating Record Store Day, I’ve seen stores use a few different tactics as far as stocking the special releases. Some establishments will set up a table, somewhere in the store, where a few shoppers at a time can flip through records in a calm and contained manner. Other places will have a similar setup, with all the releases at a table, but shoppers ask the store employees for the releases they want. It’s like a record nerd stock exchange. This process gets loud, slightly confusing and incredibly annoying — this is where elbows start getting thrown. Then, there are places that put the releases on the shelves, usually categorized by size — twelve inches with the twelve inches, seven inches with the seven inches and […]

    The post The Record Store Day Guide for metro Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled

    The Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which was supposed to be making a triumphant return this year, has been canceled. A statement on the website says that the festival will be back in 2015. Back in November, Ford Field hosted an announcement party for DEMF, where it was revealed that a new DEMF festival would take place at Campus Martius Park in Detroit over the July 4th weekend. “I’m proud to be involved in the biggest and best electronic music festival in the world,” said Juan Atkins. “The future’s here. This is techno scene.” Not the immediate future, apparently. The DEMF people claim that the M-1 rail construction is partially to blame for the cancellation/12-month-postponement. Read the full statement here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: DEMF 2014 canceled appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards

    Despite a turbulent 2013 which saw Metro Times change owners, move buildings and change editors twice, we picked up eight awards at the Society of Professional Journalists Awards on Wednesday night. The big winner was Robert Nixon, design manager, who picked up a first place for “Feature Page Design (Class A)” for our Josh Malerman cover story, first for “Cover Design (Class A)” for our Halloween issue (alongside illustrator John Dunivant), and a second in that same category for our annual Lust issue. In the news categories, our esteemed former news editor and current contributing writer Curt Guyette won third in “General News Reporting” and third in “Best Consumer/Watchdog” – both Class A – for the Fairground Zero and Petcoke Series respectively. Music & Culture Editor Brett Callwood placed third for his Josh Malerman cover story in the “Best Personality Profile (Class A)” category, and former editor Bryan Gottlieb picked up a couple of Class C awards for “Editorial Writing” and “Headline Writing” (third and second, respectively). We were also pleased to learn that our investigative reporter Ryan Felton won first place and an honorable mention for work published while at the Oakland Press. The MT ship is steady now, […]

    The post Metro Times wins heavy at the SPJ Awards appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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The Detroit food pyramid

How to eat like a real Detroiter.

Photo: Courtesy photos., License: N/A

Courtesy photos.

Apologies to the USDA, but there are all manner of food pyramids. Beyond the simple triangles designed for mere civilians, there are pyramids for vegetarians, vegans, superfooders. Too often they’re imbued with a kind of subliminal scolding, that if only you could find the right fuel mix, you’d shed pounds and be able to do the 50-yard dash without pulling a ligament and throwing up all over the finish line. In these pyramid schemes, foods aren’t delicious or comforting; they’re things to be used, two or three times daily. In short, food pyramids are a drag.

So we endeavored to come up with our Detroit food pyramid. It comes with no health promises (and should probably be stamped with a big, red Surgeon General’s warning), but it will help you compose a daily diet of Detroit, healthful and otherwise.

Coney Dogs: Detroit’s diners, known throughout the region as “Coney Islands,” aren’t that much different from diners far and wide. They serve your usual greasy spoon fare, including burgers, fries and hash browns (no “home fries” here!), but the singularly famous confection they serve is the Coney Island hot dog, or “coney dog.” It’s an all-beef frank in a steamed bun, nestled beneath a mound of beef chili, showered with diced onions and given a topping of yellow mustard. As regional dogs go, the coney dog doesn’t get much national respect. That honor goes to Chicago dogs, Philly Po Boys, New York franks, Southwestern Sonorans and Hawaiian “puka dogs.” With the national media increasingly training its sights on Detroit in recent years, that may be changing. In 2012, Painted Turtle published a book by Katherine Yung and Joe Grimm called Coney Detroit, all about the coney dog and its history as a humble component of our local culinary heritage. You can get them almost anywhere, with large local chains such as National Coney Island dotting the map. But the burning question is downtown, where coney-hounds argue over which historic joint is better, American Coney Island (open since 1917) or Lafayette Coney Island (founded in 1924). Gird your stomach and take the taste test.

Detroit deep-dish pizza: Not as deep and gooey as Chicago-style deep dish, and squared off instead of round, Detroit deep dish is a metro Detroit tradition. Local lore says the creation was born at Buddy’s Pizza in the 1940s, when the former speakeasy was looking for a dish that would bring in more customers. How successful was it? The place is still there, on Conant in an otherwise disinvested area. It became so popular, in fact, that Buddy’s inspired a second generation of Detroit-style pizza joints, each slinging their own versions of the fabled classic. You can now get it at Cloverleaf in Eastpointe, Ypsilanti’s Tower Inn Café and at Loui’s in Hazel Park, where you can dine on it amid hundreds of empty Chianti bottles, amid waitresses who might still call you “hon.”

Better Made Chips: Among its many fabled virtues, Detroit has been known as the potato chip capital of the world — though we’re not sure by what measure, production or consumption. The city still hosts a number of potato chip brands, but they’re all distant runners-up compared to Better Made. Magician, comedian, author and potato chip expert Penn Jillette, writing for Maxim magazine, declared Better Made among the best chips in the country, writing “These are American chips exactly as they should be: not too crunchy, a little bit mushy. You can get a lot in your mouth at once. They also don’t have any ridges or added flavor … just salt and cotton-fat goodness.” They come in regular, barbecue, salt and vinegar, and more, but an even guiltier pleasure awaits: the “Rainbow” chips, cooked to a darker hue and slightly sweeter. Better Made churns out a whole lot of other bagged snacks, including cheese corn, popcorn and cheese doodles, but when you drive by the factory on Gratiot Avenue in Detroit, it’s potato chips you smell wafting into your car. Now that’s pure Detroit.

Faygo: Also on Gratiot Avenue is the Faygo Beverage company. Started by the Feigenson brothers, the flavors mimicked the cake frostings they also sold. The soda business took off, and Faygo has become a multimillion-dollar family business, one synonymous with Detroit picnics and the good old days. It’s also become synonymous with something else: the Insane Clown Posse. The local rap duo has turned Faygo into a countercultural sacrament, baptizing crowds in the sticky sweet soda pop — tapping an international market for the 2-liter bottles of Redpop or Rock and Rye so ubiquitous in local stores. Strangely, the Feigensons and ICP are at cross purposes, the hip-hop group evangelizing for the Juggalo lifestyle, and the Faygo folks hoping to appeal to another kind of “family” demographic altogether. “We wish they would do a limited-edition Faygo pop run with us,” Violent J once told Metro Times. “But whoever’s in charge now wants to steer clear of Insane Clown Posse. They consider themselves a family product. I guess they don’t make it to throw at each other.”

Boston Cooler: Named not for Boston itself, but for the historic Boston Edison district in Detroit, this soda float is another hometown innovation. You drop two scoops of vanilla ice cream into a tall glass and top it off with a generous pour of ginger ale, then attack it with a spoon and straw. You could make this treat with any old brand of ginger ale, but it was traditionally made with Vernors Ginger Ale. Created in 1866 at James Vernor’s Detroit pharmacy, it’s regarded as the oldest soft drink brand in the United States. According to lore, when he returned from service in the Civil War, Vernor discovered some syrup he’d accidentally left aging in a barrel was spectacular enough to sell. Sadly, the Vernors of today is a pale imitation of what it once was: a super-effervescent beverage that could induce a sneeze during that first drink from the can. For the ice cream, a classic Detroit brand, such as Stroh’s, will help score points for authenticity.

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