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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 Way to Soap 

up Your Skin

DressGreen

dressgreen.net

This local purveyor of bath and body products creates luxury items free of harsh additives and unnatural ingredients. Instead, DressGreen uses high-quality, natural ingredients and essential oils that clean, moisturize and leave your skin as fresh as a newborn's. Along with your basic bar soaps, DressGreen products include body creams, lip balms, perfumes, eye cream, facial masks and shaving soaps. Especially luxurious are the shampoo bars, which cleanse hair without removing essential oils — meaning your hair is as shiny and soft as the chick's in a shampoo commercial, but without the unhealthy and environmentally unfriendly chemicals. Products come in a variety of pleasing scents, including pomegranate juice, coconut milk, mint vanilla and lemon sugar, and arrive at your door in pretty, recyclable packages tied with a bow. DressGreen products are available at City Bird in Midtown, but for the full line of items, see the website.

Best Retail Change Over

Nest

460 W. Canfield, Detroit; 313-831-9776; nestdetroit.com

If you're anything like us, you were saddened when Midtown's Bureau of Urban Living permanently closed up shop. Not only were we going to miss browsing the shop's diverse mix of home accessories, but also because we couldn't imagine walking in to the space and not seeing proprietor Claire Nelson behind the counter offering a friendly smile and the latest neighborhood scuttlebutt. But the melancholy was short-lived thanks to the quick remake of the spot into a new home goods store, Nest. Operated by the Linn siblings, who also own City Bird (Nest's next-door neighbor), the store offers a range of products sure to add comfort or flair to any urban dwelling. Sweet-smelling soy candles, eye-catching terrariums, stationery, art prints, bar accessories, mixing bowls, soaps and a wide range of other items, decorative, functional and, oftentimes, both. Many products are from Michigan manufacturers or independent and family-owned companies, and the beautiful shelves displaying much of the merch were salvaged from Cass Tech.

Best Retro Store with Retro Soundtrack

Regeneration

23700 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge; 248-414-7440

126 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-589-0500; regenerationclothing.org

The staff at Regeneration can be pretty tough, but not on their prices — a win-win, pretty much. Sure, they didn't want my dad's polyester button-up with its gaudily accentuated collar, or his tar-spotted pair of holey Levi's, but that's because they only let the best stuff out on their floor. Beyond fair prices and fairly cozy respite from the disturbing drone of megamalls and fried-food-flinging Target stores, one can be coaxed into loitering here extensively by the charm of the store's homespun soundtrack. Further research is required, but we've heard such pleasing and piquant mixes that included Talking Heads, Blondie, Massive Attack, Elvis Costello, Bo Diddley, Echo & the Bunnymen, the Kinks, the Smiths, Love, Beck, the Shirelles and even Chopin. What's that? Os Mutantes? When most stores along the strips of the suburbs seem content to dial in their satellite radio and zone-out, these folks take time to arrange playlists, thereby supplementing the store's already fetching style.

Best Place to Shop in Color

Scout

508 S. Washington, Royal Oak; 248-548-1065; ifounditatscout.com

This charming Royal Oak shop veritably pops with color, with walls painted a brilliant array of pink, teal and yellow and products grouped in attractive color-coordinated displays. Scout offers a seamless array of new and retro goods — from offbeat kitchen items and funky knickknacks to ceramics and fine art prints — with authentic vintage items sharing shelf-space with the hottest names in contemporary designs. It's often hard to distinguish the old from the new, and it's tempting to purchase a whole handful of goodies rather than disturb the owner's thoughtful, eye-pleasing arrangements. The knack for design and composition is further evidenced by the shop's striking window displays, which change to match the season or the holiday. Along with colorful decor, Scout also sells candles, lotions, perfume, art books, plush animals, T-shirts and jewelry.

Best Place to Put Up Visitors on the Cheap

Hostel Detroit

2700 Vermont St., Detroit; 313-451-0333;

hosteldetroit.com

Upon hearing the words "Hostel Detroit," travelers may be tempted to imagine a dark, drafty warehouse affording little comfort — but they couldn't be more wrong. Located in one of Corktown's historic corner storefronts, Hostel Detroit has a decidedly bed and breakfast feel — fresh flowers and potted plants line the windowsills — and it's quiet enough to curl up with a good book. Topping out at 22 guests, the hostel offers private ($47 per night), semi-private ($30 per night) and dorm ($25 per night) accommodations. As an educational hostel, Hostel Detroit prides itself on its ability to educate patrons about the city through in-depth conversation, tours and even pairing patrons up with like-minded individuals who are excited to show off hidden gems around town. If you're thinking of traveling to Detroit yourself or have friends and family looking to visit the D affordably, our staff agrees, Hostel Detroit is the place to stay.

Best Place to Shop, Cook & Stay

Honor & Folly

Above Slows Bar B-Q at 2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit; honorfolly@gmail.com; honorandfolly.com

Honor & Folly is the brick and mortar manifestation of Meghan McEwen's passion for design and travel. The freelance writer, blogger and former editor of design magazine CS Interiors has created a space that is part retail design shop, part boutique hotel and part classroom. Located above Slows, the two-bedroom inn comes complete with access to a fully stocked kitchen, and while it may not offer all the amenities of large hotels, it is sure to appeal to adventurous travelers who prefer access to vintage bikes over room service. The space is outfitted with handmade items from local designers, from cutting boards and bed linens to aprons and lighting, most of which are also available for purchase. Honor & Folly can also be rented out for parties and other small events, and it also offers cooking classes with Chef Tenley Lark, whose résumé includes stints at Roast, Slows and Le Petit Zinc. Most classes are $50 or $60, and include topics such as Southern classics and knife skills. To book a bedroom or two for your choosy out-of-town guests ($165 per night for one room), to purchase a handmade apron or for a schedule of classes, see the website.

Best Place for 

Kitchen Supplies 

Advanced Restaurant Services

13201 Prospect Rd., Dearborn; 313-945-5600; advancedrestaurantservices.com

Our big tip here is a concept. Typical consumers assume that restaurant supply shops are not for them, despite signs that say "Open to the Public." And thus most of us miss out on great buys, great advice and a great shopping experience. True, a place like Advanced in Dearborn sells freezers large enough to hold the entire kitchen of many a MT reader; we've seen shops where the smallest deep fryer needed a gallon of oil. But these stores have plenty of restaurant-quality items — from bamboo skewers to ramekins to knives and stock pots and bar stools — that can also work just fine in the home. And last time we checked, we didn't see any of those cool "Please Wait to Be Seated" signs at Williams-Sonoma. Advanced — founded in 1917 — is reputedly the largest of these outfits in the area, sprawling over an area roughly the size of an auto plant. Go in looking for a paring knife, and we guarantee you'll come out with more.

Best Detroit Gift Destination

Tulani Rose in the Spiral Collective

4201 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-832-2477

We found a number of Yelp commenters whose experience matched our own: we'd needed a gift and been saved by Tulani Rose, part of the Spiral Collective at the corner of Cass and Willis (the former sites of the Cass Corridor Food Co-op and Cobb's Corner for Detroit history heads, the bustling strip that includes Avalon Breads these days). Select clothing, accessories and jewelry, soaps, teas, incense are among the offerings. Bellocq's custom-blended teas, Saipua olive oil-based soaps, blank handmade books and reclaimed wood jewelry are some of the top goods currently, proprietor Sharon Pryor tells us. Adding synergy to a visit is that the collective of women entrepreneurs includes Source Booksellers (which focuses on nonfiction, including metaphysical-spiritual concerns, health and well-being, feminism and African-American culture) and Dell Pryor Galleries (whose exhibits have included artists as established as the late Romare Bearden as well as new discoveries). Although all three outfits go back much further (all the way to the 1970s for Dell Pryor), their collective is now celebrating a milestone 10th anniversary. 

Best Place to Get Wedding Photos that Pop

Stereoghost

661 Kensington Ave., Ferndale; 248-962-3339; stereoghost3d.com

It's becoming a widely accepted truth that everything is infinitely more awesome in 3-D — including those wedding or graduation photos you need to have taken. Stereoghost, a new company headed by local photographer and technical artist Chris Dean, offers custom 3-D photographs of anything you like, including people and architecture. Photo shoots start at a base rate of $300 plus variable costs of your particular requests. Two distinct processes are used: anaglyph, a trusted process that requires the viewer to wear those stylish 3-D glasses, and lenticular, which yields a hologram-like photo and does not require the glasses.

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