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  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

    The post Detroit area code 313 may be phased out appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

    The post James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at PlanetAnt.com. According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face 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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