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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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Best of Detroit 2012

Real Deal - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for retail in Metro Detroit

Best Century-Old 

Business Reborn 

Under a New Name

R. Hirt Jr.'s retail store

2468 Market St., Detroit; 

313-831-2020

Longtime patrons of Detroit's Eastern Market got a good scare last year with the announcement that the venerable R. Hirt Jr. company, founded in 1887 and run by four generations of the same family, was closing its doors. As it turned out, fortunately for fans of the vendor of specialty goods, the store was actually closing for a mild renovation, passing back into the hands of another Hirt descendant, the man who ran it until recently, David DeVries. The renovations and renaming were to be done by March, but it seems early May is a more likely opening date. DeVries tells people, "The business is 124 years old; if we have to take a few months off, I think they'll understand." We're still hazy on what the renamed venture will be called, but the old-fashioned charm should remain, with a few updates. One wag in the know joked that "the store will be 'modernized' — from an 1891 format closer to a 1912 format." 

Best Place to Record 

Shop on Foot

Hamtramck

Crate-diggers, rejoice! Hamtramck has a clutch of three excellent record shops within walking distance of one another. On Caniff, there's Record Graveyard (2926 Caniff St.; 313-870-9647; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Saturday), which crams in a pretty comprehensive selection of rock, pop and jazz, as well as old show tunes, comedy, spoken word and soundtracks. They're in the midst of an incredible vinyl sale to help them sell off stock and move to a smaller space. Don't overlook the back room, which has thousands of 45 RPM singles worth digging through for gems. Just around the corner is Detroit Threads (10238 Joseph Campau; 313-872-1777; detroitthreadsstore.com; 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Friday-Saturday, closed Sundays), Mikel Smith's venerable store, which has been in Hamtramck for a dozen years now, selling a quirky selection of clothes, memorabilia, and around 50,000 records, give or take a few thousand. Finally, just down the street, is a new entry from vinyl-hound Richie Wohlfiel, Lo & Behold Records & Books (10022 Joseph Campau; 734-664-1186; noon-6 p.m. Monday-Saturday), selling old mags, art, clothes, but transitioning more into records and books. In fact, the store recently acquired most of WJZZ's jazz library, more than 108 milk crates' worth of records. Bargain-friendly and willing to trade, Wohlfiel would rather sell to locals for less than score big on eBay. 

Best Audio Store

David Michael Audio

4341 Delemere, Royal Oak; 586-244-8479; davidmichaelaudio.com

Famous punk rocker Henry Rollins said, "People can hurl any epithet they want about the snobbishness they think audiophiles retain. Let them drink their wine from boxes. The sound of my Bob Ludwig-mastered pressing of Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy coming through my system cuts through their contempt like Toshiro Mifune's katana blade!" True that. The best, most interesting way in this area to discover, or at least sweeten, your hankering for great recorded sound is through the two gents at David Michael Audio. They're a nonjudgmental pair who can easily set you up with a system that'll tap your mind, on pretty much any size investment you are willing to make. If you want to just come in and listen, that's cool too. Sometimes they even have LP events in which a whole album is listened to without interruption through what will be the finest playback system you've ever heard. They carry everything from Rega to Harbeth, from Luxman to Magico. Hours vary, so please call ahead.

Best Folks to Get Out 

that Damn Spot

Chet's Cleaning

26051 Dequindre Rd., Madison Heights; 

248-584-1819

Let's say you're clumsy enough to kick over a cup of coffee on the floor and dense enough to not notice that some of the coffee splashed into vertical fabric blinds ... like dense enough to not notice for a week. Let's say you frantically begin calling blinds shops for help. Not a service we found. Well, hope you're lucky enough to be thereby directed to Chet's, an outfit that's been saving folks like you since 1986. We can't vouch for their full array of services, which range from marble to upholstery cleaning and something called "wood floor enhancement" as an alternative to refinishing. Our Internet searching finds high praise for quality and some bitching about price, and since Chet's includes some get-what-you-pay-for references on its website testimonials page, they're clearly not marketing themselves as a budget service. We can report that Chet saved our blinds and butt — and on a rush job in time for a house full of guests for Thanksgiving dinner. And we didn't even worry about drunks spilling their drinks.

Best Place to Pretend You Live in Portland 

Rustbelt Market

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