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  • Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault

    The Metro Times is looking to hear your experiences will sexual assault on a Michigan college campus — from anything to how many sexual assault prevention programs, rape kits or crisis centers you may have had access to, to how the administration or local law enforcement handled your experience. If you, or anyone you know might be interested in talking to a reporter at the Metro Times, please email us at

    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Get ready for National Tequila Day!

    Thursday, July 24th marks National Tequila Day, and forget everything you know about the beverage. Those nasty old “tequilas” of yesterday were find for doing body shots, but tequila has become something of a luxury spirit while few were paying attention. Have you tried all the varieties of tequila? Can you tell the difference between blanco, joven, reposed, añejo and extra añejo?  If your local bar doesn’t have the stuff that will help you celebrate this important holiday, there are several bars that cater just to the tequila fan. There’s Aqua Rum and Tequila Bar in the MGM Grand Detroit Casino in Detroit, as well as Rojo Mexican Bistro in Novi, which offers more than 100 kinds of tequila, and Taqo Detroit, a new spot serving American-friendly Mexican fare and serving an astonishing variety of tequilas, more than 200 in all. Been waiting for a reason to drink up this south-of-the-border nectar? You got it. Guzzle responsibly.    

    The post Get ready for National Tequila Day! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs

    In light of worldwide attention on its efforts to cut water service for thousands of Detroit residents, the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department said today it would host a Water Affordability Fair on August 2nd to explain options available to those facing financial hardship. DWSD officials said in a news release today the fair will be take place from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the department’s Eastside Customer Service Center at 13303 E. McNichols. The move came on the heels of growing pressure from opponents of the initiative and criticism from the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Detroit’s Chapter 9 case. “Every customer that has come to DWSD with a legitimate financial hardship has not had their water service terminated,” said Darryl Latimer, DWSD deputy director, in a statement. “In cases where the water has been shut off, it’s been restored. We keep hearing at DWSD that there are poor people who are not receiving the assistance that they need, so we want to help them and we want to make it as easy as possible for the to receive that help. That’s why we created the Water Affordability Fair – ease of access and ease of assistance. We are here to […]

    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

Joel Landy's Detroit

The long-awaited renaissance is under way

Photo: , License: N/A

Landy at the former Burton International School, one of his many redevelopment projects.

The first time I saw Joel Landy I wondered if he had any trouble getting admitted to the restaurant he was sitting in. This was at Atlas, a swanky bistro on Woodward Avenue, where booming Midtown meets the Cass Corridor. Landy was Corridor, to the max. 

His hair was rumpled. His eyes were bleary. He was wearing a black T-shirt and some wrinkled pants that had seen better days, and he needed a shave.

He was there with my friend, the multitalented Bob Baldoni, a lawyer, gourmet cook and be-bop pianist, who just directed the best little movie you never heard of, Boogie Stomp!, a film that could make a stone troll fall in love with Bob Seeley and boogie-woogie.

Landy rambled on about this and that, and would only eat dessert, and not much. I decided the least I could do was treat him, when the bill came. But it never came. Landy shrugged. "Hey, I own this building. They owe me free food for a lifetime based on the break I gave them on the rent." I looked stunned. 

"Actually, I own all these buildings, three square blocks," he told me. It was clear he was telling the truth. He offered me a tour.

How could I refuse? We saw his home, a magnificent 1882 mansion, partly restored, partly gleaming, partly still in ruins.

We saw his unbelievable collection of model trains, including one that is big enough to sit on and ride around his compound. (I was past being surprised when he told me he laid the track himself.) 

We saw his roundhouse and his many workshops and a dazzling collection of head shop and underground posters from the 1960s, when Landy, then still a teenager, ran a business printing them.

Then we went to the former Burton School on Cass, which he also bought a few years ago. It was full of dozens of pre-schoolers, all colors, all races, half of whom were hard at work at my best subject, naptime. Elsewhere in the same building, he owns and operates the two-theater Cass Avenue Cinema, which just happened to be showing Eight Mile. My eyes were virtually bugging out.

This was someone whose thoughts on Detroit were worth hearing. Here was a man who had deliberately chosen to live where nobody once wanted to live, who is single-handedly creating a new form of community.

Not the failed Detroit of the last decades. Not some imitation gentrified Detroit that some suburban young "urban pioneers" say they are creating, in lofts they live in until the girls get pregnant and they scoot for the suburbs.

Landy's world is something different, and if you think he is a soft touch or a silly ancient hippie, notice the surveillance cameras, discreetly planted razor wire and alarm systems. He has proudly sent 17 (by his count) rip-off artists to jail for intruding on his turf.

What's more, he came by his money the old-fashioned way; he earned it and invested it. He grew up in Oak Park, dropped out of high school and moved to Chicago to be part of the counterculture scene. Sometime in his early 20s, he landed back in Detroit.

He had one talent befitting a true son of Motown: he could fix cars — foreign cars — when few other people could. He opened J&L Foreign Auto Center on Gratiot and Conner, and made some money.

Made it, and sunk it into real estate. He renovated the crumbling old Addison Hotel on Peterboro, the building Atlas is now in, into a beautifully restored apartment building. He bought the old Jefferson School that the city was about to demolish and made it home to a thriving charter school operation that makes him money.

Landy has put studios for urban artists and facilities for movie producers in another part of what is now called the Burton Center for the Arts. He believed in the Corridor when nobody else could, or did.

"I would always say, 'Where are the smart, aware people? Isn't anyone awake? Can't anyone see what is here?'

"Thirty years ago, I was buying a 23-room mansion filled with antiques and with two Packards in the garage for $4,500, and I thought, where is the rest of the world?" 

Landy's friends laughed at him. He and his girlfriend, Linda Morris, hunkered down and waited for the world to catch up. Meanwhile, they just kept investing in, and fixing up, property.

Today, it may be that fewer people than ever believe in Detroit, which politically is hovering close to bankruptcy, rule by emergency manager, or perhaps worse. But Landy sees something very different.

Joel Landy thinks that Detroit's much-predicted renaissance is here at long last. "I'm seeing it. This time it's real. Every day, 20 or 30 people are moving here and looking for housing downtown.

"What is that? Every week I see 10 or more people inquiring about starting a new business downtown, and what I see is only a small sample," Landy told me. During the real estate boom that ended with the crash of 2008, the developer himself gradually renovated "more than 100 quality dwelling units in Midtown and downtown.

"Now, for the first time, there is NO VACANCY in any of them," he said. "That's been happening for almost a year now.

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