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  • Jumpin Jumpin: Police, fire fighters, and EMS workers to be honored at Sky Zone

    When we think of honoring the brave men and women who protect and serve the metro Detroit area, we think of trampolines.  We think they should jump on trampolines. And by trampolines, we mean an all-walled trampoline field where they can land in a pit of 10,000 foam cubes. They have to blow off steam some how. Sky Zone, the inventors of such a place, are hosting a special day at their Canton and Shelby Township locations that will be all about police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, and their families. On Tuesday, August 5 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. there will be free jumping for these folks. All metro Detroit police, firefighters, EMS workers and their families are invited to come, though an employee ID or professional organization ID will be required for admittance to 60 free minutes at the indoor park. The hour of free jumping comes with free pizza from Jet’s as well. This is the first event of its kind in Michigan.  Sky Zone Canton is located at 42550 Executive Drive Sky Zone Shelby Township is located at 50810 Sabrina Drive. Check for more information. 

    The post Jumpin Jumpin: Police, fire fighters, and EMS workers to be honored at Sky Zone appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times is getting a new website today

    Your favorite local alternative weekly is getting a digital facelift at around 4 p.m. today, and we need your help. If you, dear reader, spot anything amiss or notice that any of our regular features are not working properly, do give us a shout in the comment section below or on social media. If, on the other hand, you find that you positively adore our new design (which we surely hope you do!), we’d certainly enjoy hearing about that as well. Let the countdown to launch begin!

    The post Metro Times is getting a new website today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Best of Detroit 2011


Photo: Marvin Shaouni

What are you waiting for? Derby Girls are ready to be served at Roast (Readers' Choice for Best Happy Hour in Wayne County).

Spend the Night - Readers' Choice

The music venues and watering holes our readers treasure

If you've only been to Club Bart for breakfast, you're missing a whole different side of the Bart experience. On Honky-Tonk Night, the stage hosts some of the mainstays of metro Detroit's honky-tonk scene, including John Holk & the Sequins, Whitey Morgan & the 78's, Carrie Shepard, and — if you're lucky — you might come on a night when the Honky-Tonk Poetry Society is in full attendance. Eat it: The kitchen stays open late.


Best Irish Pub

Dick O'Dow's
160 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-642-1135

Birmingham is known for its bourgie boutiques and the like, so a trip to Dick O'Dow's always feels like somewhat of an escape. Cozy, the bar looks and feels older than it actually is, and there's something that suggests Tolkien more than Joyce, but still, it gives you an onslaught of Irish, from the beer to the food, and when there's soccer to be watched, watch out!


Best Karaoke in Wayne County - Tie

Big League Brews
20428 Ecorse Rd., Taylor; 313-406-6931;

LJ's Lounge
2114 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-0013;

Big League Brews is packing the place on Saturday nights to hear brave souls sing their hearts out. Hosted by Matt and his book of 90,000 songs, the bar rocks the karaoke tip from 9 p.m. to closing time. We hear the singers, who are as likely to pick rap as country, ain't half-bad. The lovable Corktown dive LJ's Lounge, sometimes referred to as the Slows Bar-B-Q Waiting Room, gets its karaoke rocks off on Thursdays for Terryoke. Terry has been in the biz for 10 years, and runs one hell of a night. Expect regulars and walk-ins to delight you with their renditions of favorites such as Seger's "Turn the Page" and "Sweet Dreams" by Eurythmics.


Best Karaoke in Oakland County

22740 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-591-3466;

Dino himself would be the first to tell you that karaoke is growing. It's such a popular attraction at this Ferndale joint that you can find host Michael Shea doing his thing every Wednesday and Friday. A total pro, Shea's been at it for seven years at Dino's, and 15 years before that. Dino calls him the consummate karaoke host king, because he keeps the night rolling smoothly, gets involved with the crowd, and is known to even joins in at times. In fact, it has become somewhat of a tradition for him to sing the Metallica classic "Enter Sandman," during which the crowd chants for him to take his shirt off! Not your mama's karaoke. Or maybe she's just awesome and it is?


Best Karaoke in Macomb County

MoonGlow Entertainment
Based in Eastpointe; 248-259-1917;

David Moon has been carrying the east side's karaoke community for 15 years. In the last 90 days, Moon says that his company, MoonGlow Entertainment, has entertained some 10,700 karaokeites. That's a lot of "Freebird." Tipsy McStaggers, in Warren, is bumpin' from Wednesdays through the weekend, when more than 150 boozers show up to watch, sing or both. Maybe they're vying for the current karaoke contest? First place gets $800 in cash! "The person who's up there singing is the most important person in the room," Moon says. "We're hired by the bar but we're working for the singers." MoonGlow not only handles karaoke at five bars in southeast Michigan, including Universal Lanes in Warren, but they also simulcast performances six nights a week at


Best Karaoke in Washtenaw County

Birdman Presents Hairy Karaoke at Woodruff's
36 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti;

First, if you will, a word about Woodruff's. If you've followed the Ypsi music crowd around town, then in recent months you've been playing hopscotch from the sorely missed Elbow Room to the ill-fated Savoy to Woodruff's. And what that really means is that you've witnessed a rare kind of patronage toward one man: Andy Garris. Say word? Word. As for the Birdman and his Hairy Karaoke? It's taking flight. Sorry — had to. It's replacing the Elbow Room Guitar Hero Karaoke nights of yesteryear. But it's even better. In fact, it's the best.


Best Happy Hour in Wayne County

1128 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-2500;

When Iron Chef Michael Symon opened this semi-swank eatery in late '08, it quickly became home to the hottest table in town. So, it's an obvious choice for weekend food adventures, but Detroiters are taking advantage of its decadent happy hour all week long. From 4 to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, Roast offers up a happy hour menu that not only includes affordable pints of kind beer or glasses of wine, but a rich crock of mac and cheese, Parmesan and truffle oil french fries, tacos filled with the "beast of the day" and what might be the best burger in all downtown.


Best Happy Hour in Oakland County

Kona Grill
30 E. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-619-9060;

You don't immediately think of national chain restaurants when you think happy hour specials. And, around these here parts, you don't think of Troy as a city in which you might save a few bucks on, well, anything. Kona Grill is evidently quite the exception. During happy hour, signature drinks and eats start at just $4 and don't rise much higher. Arrive anytime between 3 and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, or Saturday between 1 and 5 p.m., to find out what all the fuss is about.

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