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  • Once-controversial Diego Rivera murals now national landmark

    Oh, the irony — initially criticized as Marxist propaganda when Mexican muralist Diego Rivera painted them for the Detroit Institute of Arts in the early 1930s, Detroit Industry has now been designated as a a national landmark. The announcement was made Wednesday, according to the Detroit News by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis as part of National Park Week. The designation does not change the ownership status of the murals or grant any new protections or rights, leaving its place among the rest of the DIA’s art in possible bankruptcy negotiations in question. The work is considered the best of Rivera’s work in the United States (another mural Rivera had done in New York was destroyed by orders of Nelson Rockefeller). Rivera himself regarded Detroit Industries paintings as his finest work. In the midst of the McCarthy era, the DIA posted this sign outside the court: Rivera’s politics and his publicity seeking are detestable. But let’s get the record straight on what he did here. He came from Mexico to Detroit, thought our mass production industries and our technology wonderful and very exciting, painted them as one of the great achievements of the twentieth century. This came […]

    The post Once-controversial Diego Rivera murals now national landmark appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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? […]

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Best of Detroit 2011

Public Square - Readers' Choice

Our local riches, from media to politics to business and more, as judged by our readers

Photo: Photo: Marvin Shaouni, License: N/A

Photo: Marvin Shaouni


The bingo experience transcended: Bingo in the company of lovely drag queens draped in vibrant coloraturas at Five15 — a cafe and "media shop" located in Royal Oak — the first and last Friday of every month as well as every Saturday. It's essentially a comedy show, with a drag queen reading out the bingo balls. And prizes: usually a mug, T-shirt and a little gift from the drag queen's box. Depending on the night, games are at 8 p.m. or at 7:30 and 10 p.m. — check the website for info (and to see a video clip of what you're in for).

 

Best Place to Tailgate

Eastern Market
detroiteasternmarket.com

Easily accessible from I-75, I-375 and Gratiot and Mack, and about a 10-minute walk from Ford Field, it's got space to throw a football. If it's too cold, rainy, windy or snowy to be outside, Vivio's and Roma Café offer shelter, grub, drinks and shuttles to the game. For prices and a map of parking locations, see the website. For the best time before and after the game, see you at the market.

 

Best Beach

Metro Beach Metro Park
31300 Metropolitan Parkway, Harrison Township; 586-463-4332; metroparks.com

It's actually a peninsula, 750 acres jutting into Lake St. Clair. It's got a pool with waterslides, a white-sand beach, shaded bike paths, a par-three golf course, miniature golf, picnic areas, boat docks, volleyball, a nature center, a wooded trail and a pond where turtles sun on wooden rafts. It's got 1,600 feet of boardwalk. And the cross-section of metro Detroiters it attracts makes it equally interesting as a place to observe the parade of humanity. Gaze south to see the RenCen through the haze.

 

Best Place for a Picnic

Belle Isle
fobi.org

In case you were wondering about renting one of the 20 picnic shelters for a large group event, the number to call is the Belle Isle Special Events Office at 313-628-2081. But there are plenty of spots for spreading a blanket and uncorking your jug throughout the 1.5-square-mile island. This Saturday (April 30) you can even help make the island attractive by pitching in with the Friends of Belle Isle's annual cleanup. Meet at the casino at 9 a.m., bring boots and gloves and be prepared to work until noon when there'll be refreshments. Call 313-331-7760 or e-mail fobi@sbcglobal.net

 

Best Eastern Market Vendor or Shop

R. Hirt Jr.
2468 Market St., Detroit; 313-567-1173

Dating back to 1887, the store actually predates by four years Eastern Market's move from Cadillac Square to its present location. Pay attention to the space, with its wide aisles and high ceilings, and with a little imagination, you can get a feel of that earlier era here. Of course, folks come here first and foremost for the 300 or so varieties of cheese and a knowledgeable a staff to go with it. (Watch for the weekly specials.) There are pantry items galore: oils, coffees, teas, spices, pastas, chocolates, etc., etc. And the third floor has wicker items and a hard-to-describe assortment of things from oddball gewgaw toys to soaps and lotions to $300 wind chimes.

 

Best Farmers' Market in Wayne County

Eastern Market

At 43 acres, it is reputedly the nations's largest public market, and we've yet to take an out-of-towner who hasn't been impressed on a fair-weather Saturday when the place bustles with life, from the breakfast line snaking out of Russell Street Deli to the engaging buskers, from just-off-the-vine vegetables to specialty vendors like mushroom man extraordinaire Don Schneider. In recent years, there've been physical improvements and an influx of new vendors bringing all-natural and organic options, and more specialty items. But has it lost its character? If anything, it's been enhanced.

 

Best Farmers' Market in Oakland County

Royal Oak Farmers Market
316 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-246-3276

Located in the Civic Center of Royal Oak (near the library and the 44th District Court), the Royal Oak Farmers Market is itself a civic operation, put on by the City of Royal Oak itself. The selection here is outstanding, and the event makes for a great way to spend a Saturday (especially a sunny one). Among the variety of products that are sold are breads, pies, flowers, fruits, veggies and soaps.

 

Best Farmers' Market in Macomb County

Clinton Township Farmers Market
37685 S. Gratiot Ave., Clinton Twp.; 586-469-2525

Quality imbues every product here, from the veggies to the meats. It has everything one desires in a farmer's market, namely the sight of fresh produce stacked ceiling-high: scattered towers of melons, apples, oranges, tomatoes, green beans, etc.

 

Best Farmers' Market in Washtenaw County

Ann Arbor Farmers Market
315 Detroit, St., Ann Arbor; 734-794-6255

Located in the Kerrytown District of Ann Arbor, the A2 Farmers Market is, of course, full of fresh and voluptuous fruits and veggies, but is also full of delicious sweet treats, such as sweet potato pecan pies. The market is producers-only (to those interested in becoming vendors), and serves at the moment as a base for more than 100 producers.

 

Best Local TV News

WJBK-TV2
myfoxdetroit.com

Local television is notoriously competitive, never more so than in our "Best of Detroit" contest. But Fox 2 narrowly "edged" the others this year. Was it, we wonder, the addition of former Detroit News writer Charlie LeDuff, who brought his quirky, renegade investigative style to the Problem Solver team? Is it Fox 2 Morning, the only fully local morning show available after 7 a.m.? Or could it be the fast-paced evening newscasts that include such segments as "The Edge" and "Let it Rip," all-too-rare volleys of lively discussion and spirited debate on local TV news?

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