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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 2011

20110427_best-main_01.jpg

Photo: Marvin Shaouni

Public Square - Staff Picks

Super people, places and things, picked by our team of critics

 

Best New Event

ART X

The $1 million and other resources that Kresge Arts in Detroit has been using to prime the pump of the tri-county arts community went public earlier this month with 40 events over five days. They showcased the work of the two eminent artists (Charles McGee and Marcus Belgrave) and 36 fellows KAID has given grants to from 2008 to 2010. It was a stunning display of the vitality of arts in this community for an audience that topped 10,000, filling spaces from MOCAD to the Science Center. The audience response raises a question of whether what was intended as a biennial event might in fact need an annual component. The year 2013 seems a long time to wait for more.

 

Best New Art Space

N'Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
52 E. Forest Ave., Detroit; 313-831-8700

We started writing about this project in 2001, and last October a former auto repair shop finally celebrated a grand opening as a major addition to the city's artistic, cultural and social landscape. How big? Well, 16,000 square feet in all, including four exhibition spaces, indoor and outdoor performance spaces, an outdoor sculpture garden, and a movement/yoga center. Some of these are still in progress (the sculpture garden, for instance), and more elements, a restaurant-wine bar, notably, are to come. But the major spaces are open, and the current exhibition — New Departures and Transitions curated by Michael Stone-Richards — is the local must-see of the moment.

 

Best Way to Pretend You're Toulouse Lautrec

Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School
drsketchy.com/branch/Detroit;
facebook.com/Dr.sketchysdetroit

Costumed dancers, burlesquers, circus-style performers and other unusual folks model for sketchers of all skill and professional levels, sometimes in bars with lots of booze and music keeping everyone happy, as well as informal contests and artsy prizes. It started in New York, and the Detroit branch, founded in 2006, was among the first dozen or so; there are hundreds around the world now. It's currently run by Lushes LaMoan of the Detroit Dizzy Dames troupe (Readers' Award winners for Best Burlesque Troupe), with regular third-Thursday sessions set for the Scarab Club and additional sessions elsewhere (watch the website and Facebook for details).

 

Best Rock Revisionist

jessica Care moore

Her dozen years in New York made jessica Care moore a rarity in the poetry world: a star thanks to her prominence in Russell Simmons' Def Poetry Jam on HBO. Back in Detroit these last four years, the poet-performer-publisher keeps adding new roles to her hyphenated descriptor. She's exhibited as a visual artist (including collaborations with photographer Piper Martine Carter) and, perhaps most provocatively, she's put on two tributes to Betty Davis and other black women rockers, firing an Afro-distaff cannon at the white guys' club-of-rock canon. We're avidly waiting to hear her own debut rock album Black Tea, slated for release, "when it's finished."

 

Best Kept Secret at Metro Airport

You can get there by bus
smartbus.org

Surprise! There is mass transit from downtown Detroit to Metro Airport — but not rapid transit. For instance, 90 minutes (if it keeps to schedule) from downtown to the airport (daily), and comparable times to Fairlane, Romulus and Garden City (weekdays). Primarily servicing airport employees, these SMART lines aren't widely advertised, apparently so as to not raise unwarranted expectations among travelers. Still, given the costs and hassles of getting to the airport and parking, it could be an option (especially if you're coming home, not counting on making a flight). Stops are at the lower level, "International Arrivals" curb of the McNamara Terminal and at the far end of the arrivals curb — past the last terminal baggage claim exit door — of the North Terminal. The schedules are complex: Read closely.

 

Best Everyday Reminder of Kwame's Reign

Plastic streetlamp bases

Those pitiful plastic "shrouds" former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick spent $1.2 million in tax money on were ostensibly intended to keep metal scrappers at bay, but they were a useless waste of money from the get-go. Now, if they have survived at all, many of those that remain are smashed and jagged, much more of an eyesore than what it was they were supposed to be covering. Thanks, Kwame.

 

Best Hope for Detroit

People Power

It's part of Detroit the outside world rarely sees. Varied communities — geographic, political, cultural, spiritual, intellectual — strive to make this a better place. From urban gardeners to community patrols to recycling activists, they continue despite it all. It will be these folks, and not our leaders, who will save us.

 

Best Living Example of a Long Life Well Lived

Grace Lee Boggs

At 95 years old, Grace Lee Boggs has just published The Next American Revolution, written with U-M prof Scott Kurashige. As someone who has taken part of just about every major progressive movement that occurred in the past 80 years, she continues to help show us the way forward.

 

Best Detroit Nonfiction of the Last Year

The Color of Law: Ernie Goodman, Detroit, and the Struggle for Labor and Civil Rights

An essential document of another Detroiter's long life, well lived. Authors Steve Babson, David Riddle and David Elsila retell the city's and nation's progressive struggles through the life of attorney Goodman, who died at age 90 in 1997. Legal dramas unfold in courts from the Motor City, to the Jim Crow South, to the U.S. Supreme Court, to the upstate New York courtroom where the Attica uprising defendants were tried.

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