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  • 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project

    By Amanda Mooney There’s a lot that goes into producing a film, and unless you are a filmmaker you really have no idea. Writing, casting, finding a location, shooting, and editing; each step of the process can take days, months, and sometimes years to complete. Can you imagine doing it ALL in just 48 hours? The 48 Hour Film Project is an annual competition that takes place all over the world in various cities. According to Mike Madigan, head of the Detroit 48 Hour chapter, the city is one of the largest participating in terms of the number of teams. The competing teams go in blind as to what kind of film they will be producing, with no creative planning beyond getting a cast and crew together, Madigan explained. “They pick a genre out of a hat, and they get a line, a prop, and a character. And they have to incorporate that within a short film, that’s usually between 4 to 7 minutes long. And they have the timeframe of doing it all within 48 hours,” said Madigan, “So all the creative process of it all has to happen within that 48 hour–writing a script, putting it together, editing–to […]

    The post 48 to film — behind the scenes at the 48 Hour Film Project appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Passalacqua debut dark new project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

    Church: Revival is the new project by local rap duo Passalacqua (aka Bryan Lackner and Brent Smith), but it’s more than just a new Passalacqua release. The rappers teamed up with siblings Jax Anderson (frontwoman of rockers Flint Eastwood) and Seth Anderson, who together form the songwriting team called Syblyng (naturally). The result is a cycle of songs that promises to be darker than Passalacqua’s material so far. The project will make a live debut on Saturday, July 26 at a brand new venue space at the Detroit Bus Co.’s building Eight & Sand, and they will premiere the Right Bros.-directed video for the track “Baptism” as well. Other performances include Tunde Olaniran and Open Mike Eagle, and DJ sets by Nothing Elegant, Dante LaSalle, and Charles Trees. We met up the two duos at Eight & Sand to check out the new space and to talk about the project with all parties involved. Metro Times: How long have you been working together? Jax Anderson: Seth and I are constantly writing songs together. We want to push in the direction of becoming songwriters more frequently. This is our first project that we took on to co-write everything together. We’re basically just a songwriting entity. We won’t play live that […]

    The post Passalacqua debut dark new project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals. Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is $25 plus a service fee. The Storefront Gallery […]

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  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

    The post Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Best of Detroit 2013

Nutritional Value - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for dining in Metro Detroit

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Best Makeover

Santorini Estiatorio

501 Monroe St., Detroit


Pan-global fusion joint Mosaic closed its doors for three months of remodeling to reopen as Santorini Estiatorio. It’s the first new Greek restaurant in Greektown in a long time, and it makes a wonderful addition. The new look is rustic island, and the stylish blown glass droplets above the bar (the only design elements from Mosaic that remain) fit perfectly with the new theme, as do the large paintings of serene ocean views done by local artist Blake Carmichael. Wicker lampshades that resemble fishing baskets hang from the ceiling, and the dining room is separated from the bar by what looks like the hull of a boat. It makes for a relaxed, comfortable atmosphere perfect for enjoying wonderful Greek cuisine.


Best Menu Makeover

The Emory

22700 Woodward Ave., Ferndale


With its distinctive design, friendly staff, good beer selection, and attractive twenty- and thirtysomething clientele, the Emory has been a favorite haunt for Ferndale locals since it opened in 2006. However, apart from the burger night special on Tuesdays, the venue has always seemed more of a destination for the bar scene than for dining. We may see that change in 2013, as the Emory has recently rolled out a rebooted menu. The burgers remain, of course, but they’ve added a pork & sage burger with apple slaw and a cilantro lime salmon burger to its traditional lineup. Numerous other tweaks have been made, but perhaps the most exciting update is the addition of sausages from Detroit’s Corridor Sausage Co. Make a difficult choice between the Vietnamese chicken, turkey red mole and garlic & juniper brat, all served on a freshly baked roll from Hermann’s and each with different complimentary garnishes, or come back often and try all three; this is bar food to get excited about.


Best Building Repurposed as a Restaurant

Vinsetta Garage

27799 Woodward Ave., Berkley


Before you even get past the door at Vinsetta Garage, you’ll notice details of the building’s past life incorporated into its new incarnation as a hip, mid-priced restaurant. The original neon sign and gas pumps remain out front; old lamps and service orders adorn the waiting area. Although the restaurant’s design was much-hyped and well-executed, we’re happy to say the joint is more than just a pretty face. The quality of both the food and service more than matches the effort surrounding the building’s redesign — in fact, they were qualified to win Best Pizza in a Non-Pizzeria for their excellent wood-oven pies.



Best Bar in a Restaurant

London Chop House

155 W. Congress St., Detroit


Since the London Chop House dusted itself off and reopened for business after two-plus decades, the restaurant’s buzz has centered on the “time warp” classic steakhouse ambiance of dim lights and well-polished wood. However, if $100-per-person tabs are not part of your everyday dining budget, you can still experience what all the fuss is about with a visit to the LCH bar. Nestled between the dining room and the dessert lounge, the bustling bar offers a chance to soak up the über-traditional midcentury steakhouse vibe while rubbing elbows with a blend of local businesspeople, WSU staff and out-of-towners. Cordial, genteel bartenders serve generous pours of top-shelf liquor, including an appropriately good selection of Scotch.


Best Restaurant for Ordering One of Everything

Green Dot Stables

2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit


There aren’t many non-fast-food restaurants where the majority of menu items are a) $3 or less, and b) worth ordering, let alone pretty outstanding. So when you go to the Green Dot, don’t hold back; bring a couple friends and order one of everything. How could you live with yourself knowing that you passed up the Coney Dog slider with venison chili, the Korean slider with peanut butter and kimchi, or (heaven forbid) the Mystery Meat? While you’re at it, order a side of the excellent skinny fries and a $3 specialty cocktail or two to wash it all down.


Best Budget Gourmet

St. Cece’s Pub

1426 Bagley St., Detroit


No higher praise than this: top-notch food on what chef Adam Verville calls “a working man’s budget.” At this lovely pub with a stone fireplace and house-infused spirits, you find influences from all over: Mediterranean to the Carolinas, France to Japan. The recipes show Verville cares about his offerings, like walnut squash cakes over crisp kale and rainbow trout with polenta and pomegranate seeds. A burger with caper aioli, roasted beet salad with shaved fennel — it’s all very tony, and yet the highest-priced item is $13; most dishes are less than $10. Saturday and Sunday brunches are almost as affordable.


Best Addition to Ferndale Dining Scene

Local Kitchen and Bar

344 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale


When Rick Halberg, long one of Detroit’s favorite chefs, set out to plan his latest venture, he chose Ferndale, a hip, bustling, tight-knit community. The stated goal of Rick and his business partner, Brian Siegel, was, “to be the kitchen table of our community; a notably comfortable place where friends gather regularly for exceptional everyday food, drink and camaraderie.” Thus was born Local Kitchen and Bar, which has fulfilled that goal, serving “well crafted-comfort,” both food and atmosphere, drawing crowds for the combination. The restaurant offers a 16-seat bar and a communal table for large parties or for strangers to share space, food and camaraderie. The menu is at once simple and innovative, with an emphasis on local, sustainable foods. There’s everything from burgers and steak to fried green tomatoes and fried chicken, with such sides as mac and cheese with candied bacon, brisket sliders and Sicilian meatballs. For vegetarians there’s a variety of salads, crostini and panini and a black bean burrito. The wine list is affordable and there are a couple-dozen beer choices on offer. Save room for Rick’s signature brownie or a seasonal cobbler.

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