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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Best of Detroit 2012

Nutritional Value - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for dining in Metro Detroit

Best New Restaurant

Bella Piatti

167 Townsend St., Birmingham; 248-494-7110; bellapiattirestaurant.com

Far too many restaurants lose sight of the complete dining experience. Not Bella Piatti, this year's clear standout among newcomers. The shareable plates and upbeat space are fun, the food is consistently delicious, the wine, beer and cocktails are thoughtfully selected, and the servers are knowledgeable. It's pricey, but it's superb. And though it would be easy to write an entire paragraph just on the handmade pasta, if we had one piece of advice for first-timers, it would be to take advantage of the offerings that are otherwise uncommon to southeast Michigan: The grilled fresh sardine, the Kobe rib cap, and the perfectly executed honey and pine nut tart among them.

Best Ground Floor City View

Fountain Bistro

800 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-237-7778; fountainbistro.com

Everyone oohs and aahs over the views from such restaurants as Iridescence or Coach Insignia, where, at an altitude of several stories, diners are afforded the luxury of gazing out over the city, the river and the loveliness that is our neighbor Windsor. Dining at ground level, however, is usually a different story; restaurants often look out onto vistas of concrete, parked cars or the liquor store across the street. But acrophobics, fear not: Fountain Bistro offers the most charming street-level view in town. Situated adjacent to the fountain in Campus Martius, the restaurant's floor-to-ceiling windows and seasonal outdoor seating offer an ambience that is delightfully European, bringing to mind the sidewalk cafés of Paris or Rome. One of the most generous happy hours in the city makes this a natural choice for a post-work nosh and a glass of wine; come after dark and the fountain is illuminated for a romantic atmosphere.

Best Comeback

La Shish

22039 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-8400

The name, the look and the menu under new ownership are exactly the same. Portion control is still nonexistent. We don't know whether new co-owner Marwan Haidar has retained the same cooks that made the original La Shish the gold standard, but they're certainly using the same recipes. The chain that closed in disgrace in 2008 is now down to the Michigan Avenue flagship, but it's packing in customers just as before — for the warm puffed pita with creamy garlic sauce, the crushed lentil soup and tomato-based chicken noodle, mjadra generous with caramelized onions and yogurt, fattoush as the default salad, and lots of lamb (sadly not a given in every Middle Eastern restaurant anymore).

Best Menu Overhaul

Tallulah 

155 S. Bates St., Birmingham; 248-731-7066; tallulahwine.com

Overhaul might be a strong word, but there's no doubting that Tallulah Wine Bar in Birmingham has changed over the past year. With a new chef and a new sommelier has come a superior overall approach. At the bar, the drinks have improved mightily, embracing the movement (back) toward thoughtfully crafted cocktails. The wine list still has plenty of big California wines but seems to be branching out in different directions as well. And the food is superb and wine-friendly, from the charcuterie plate — featuring products from Edwards of Surry and La Quercia — to the somewhat more rustic, earthy main dishes.

Best Sea Change

Joe Muer Seafood

400 Renaissance Center, #1404, Detroit; 313-567-6837; joemuerseafood.com

While there are certainly references to the past — shrimp in an almond casino butter and Dover sole a la Meuniere, servers in white tuxedo jackets and tiered dessert carts rolling through the dining room — Joe Muer hasn't just been reborn, it's been reinvented. With an eclectic decor that blends old and new, sweeping views of the Detroit River, a menu that includes several Asian influences, and several chef's tables among its hundreds of seats, it's unquestionably a new restaurant despite the venerable brand name.

Best Pop-Up Restaurant

Komodo Kitchen

komodokitchen.com

Metro Detroit saw its fair share of pop-ups in 2011, but perhaps none was as focused, as successful or as delicious as Komodo Kitchen. Offering Indonesian fusion cuisine using a range of local and organic ingredients, Komodo serves up spicy but subtle dishes that generally showcase flavors common in (and unique to) Indonesian cuisine. Each dish at each of their initial events has been beautiful — elegantly plated, intoxicatingly aromatic and thoroughly delicious. For the time being, the team behind Komodo Kitchen is remaining cautious, planning one dinner at a time, but the fact that their March event at MOCAD sold out in 15 minutes would seem to indicate there's demand for more.

Best Urban Oasis

Le Petit Zinc

1055 Trumbull Ave, Detroit; 313-963-2805; lepetitzincdetroit.com

Corktown has its share of great dining options, expanding exponentially of late. Some of these even have secluded outdoor seating (Slows, Mercury Burger Bar, the Lager House) that allows you to overlook the fact that you're facing a large abandoned structure or a busy five-lane thoroughfare. But our favorite spot to grab a light meal or a café au lait and "get away from it all" is Le Petit Zinc. Walk through the wrought-iron gates and you find yourself in a pretty walled garden dotted with flowers and a small fountain. Tables have adjustable umbrellas in case the sun is too strong. The vibe is laid-back, and it's not typically too hard to snag an outdoor table despite the small size of the courtyard. Best of all, the menu offerings (crêpes, salads, sandwiches) are all less than $10, offering a respite for your wallet as well as your senses.

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