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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 2013

Real Deal - Staff Picks

Our staff picks for retail in Metro Detroit

Photo: N/A, License: N/A


Best T-Shirt Shop

Goods Detroit

15 E. Kirby St., No. 108, Detroit

313-703-7754; goodsdetroit.com

Remember when every mall in America had a print-your-own-T-shirt shop? Remember how much fun it was to take in your favorite kitty-cat illustration and have someone put it on a shirt that you could proudly wear for your elementary school class picture? You can relive that magical moment again at Goods Detroit, where you can bring in your own design or choose from a selection of pre-made images. The pre-made images can be printed on-site. While you’re waiting for your shirt to be printed, shop around: The store also carries jewelry, art, soaps and other items made by local artists.

 

Best Place to Get a Hair Cut While Rocking Out

The Chop Shop

2980 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-546-2237

This place really is the shit. The whole room feels like a cross between an auto shop and a ’50s barbershop. Women are welcome, but the feel is one of a man’s man’s place. The owner, Jay, will talk to you about Morrissey for hours, while everything from Elvis to old surf rock will play in the background. All of the staff look like they just stepped off the Rebel Without a Cause set. The prices are reasonable, and the quality is top-notch. If you don’t live in Berkley, it’s worth a drive.

 

Best Place to Find an Old He-Man Figure That You Used to Have When You Were a Kid but Lost

Time Travelers

3277 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-548-7213

There are plenty of comic stores around town, and good ones too, from Wonderworld in Taylor to Detroit Comics in Ferndale and Green Brain in Dearborn. However, none are quite like Time Travelers. The place is appropriately named, because it kinda feels like stepping into the forgotten memories of your 12-year-old self. The shelves are stacked with toys of yesteryear, from He-Man and Transformers to Star Wars and Smurfs. Of course, Time Travelers sells comic books and game cards too, much like any other store of its type. But it is the nostalgic thrift store quality of the place that makes it stand out.

 

Best Sleaze-Free, Sex-Positive Place to Buy Sex Toys

Lover’s Lane

1527 Washtenaw Rd., Ypsilanti;734-487-9201

More locations at loverslanestore.com

We all know those poorly lit, sleazy adult stores on the seedy side of town. The ones that sell expressionless blow-up dolls and French ticklers. You don’t want to go there. You don’t even own a trench coat! You’re just looking for something to spice up sexy-time with your partner and add a little dimension to solo fun. Lover’s Lane has a friendly staff that offers information and encouragement to people of all genders, orientations and experience levels who want to explore their sexuality. There are testers of lubes and oils available for comparing slipperiness, taste and scents. Toys can be handled, to better evaluate feel and vibration intensity levels. Now there’s something you can’t do on the Internet!

 

Best Independent Toy Store

Adventures in Toys

250 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-646-5550

Big store and good selection are not mutually exclusive, and Birmingham’s Adventures in Toys proves that true. Hardly bigger than a breadbox (we are teasing, of course), the store is neatly stocked with toys that are designed to do more than enthrall for the moment. From science, art and engineering-themed gifts for both sexes, the owners’ persnickety demand for intellectual engagement seems to drive what’s for sale. Nary a Bratz doll in sight, the items tend to fall on the higher end of the price scale, but then quality also doesn’t come cheap. The free polka-dot giftwrap is a nice touch too.

 

Best Place to Play for Robot Nerds and Lego Maniacs

The Robot Garage

637 S. Eton St., Birmingham; 248-723-9100

The idea is one of sheer brilliance: Take one unused warehouse and spruce it up; fill it with all things Lego; hire some great, kind and kid-loving staff; charge premium prices for classes, parties, etc.; rinse, lather and repeat. The owners of this marvel in childhood entertainment offerings, who opened their doors less than 24 months ago in an old warehouse in Birmingham’s “industrial” district, have created a facility no kid can resist. With a top-notch crew who are hands-on and helpful, the premium charged to attend a class, camp or workshop does not come cheap. The venue is also a great place for birthday parties. The combination of robotics, Legos and education, all packaged in a low-key atmosphere make this the go-to place for us. (BG)

 

Best Indie Grocer in Hamtramck

Al-Haramain International Foods

3306 Caniff St., Hamtramck; 313-870-9748

Hamtramck has no shortage of small corner grocery stores but Al-Haramain is the best of them. The staff is friendly and if you shop there enough, they’ll remember you by name and let you know when your favorite fruit is first in-season and back in stock. Every square inch of the place is packed with fresh produce, candy from around the globe, bread, bulk spices, nuts, and olives, halal meats, and that one thing you didn’t know you needed until you found it. Best of all are the reasonable prices. Why does this ethnic market offer excellent produce at reasonable prices? It’s because Al-Haramain’s Yemeni customers demand high quality and low prices — and that’s a deal we all get to share in.

 

Best Retail Rebirth

DeVries & Co.

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 were complete last May, and shoppers can now find the same specialty products in an even finer-looking space than previously. The floors shine and a bit of order has been added to the checkout process, with two registers to check out patrons at the end of their shopping experience. Congratulations to DeVries for giving us a slightly updated version of an ancient Detroit classic.

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