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  • 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.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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After class

A guide to your college town's indie shops and services

Photo: , License: N/A

Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum in Ann Arbor, otherwise known as "The Arb." It's a DIY mind-refresher course.

Photo: , License: N/A


Leopold's Books 15 E. Kirby St., Detroit; 313-875-4677; leopoldsbooks.com: More of a book boutique than a traditional bookstore, Leopold's carries a small, somewhat quirky selection of publications. There's an emphasis on graphic novels, comic books, local authors, indie efforts and art mags. 

The Majestic Complex includes the Majestic Theatre, Majestic Café, Magic Stick, Garden Bowl and Sgt. Pepperoni's Pizza; 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; majesticdetroit.com: Wayne State is fortunate to have a world-renowned rock venue that's a hop, skip and a jump from campus, and it houses three separate performance spaces, a pizzeria, café and a bowling alley.

Mantra 3401 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-657-0728: Selling items ranging from "tasteful to tacky, kitschy to wacky," this resale shop is like a "best of" compilation of a thousand garage sales.

Marwil Bookstore 4870 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-832-3078; marwilbookstore.com: In business since 1948, Marwil specializes in textbooks for students, but also has a very good magazine selection

Motor City Brewing Works 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-832-2700; motorcitybeer.com: This brewpub has a quirky interior decorated with tile, a concrete bar, popular Wednesday-night art shows, and a sturdy menu of pizzas and small plates. For less than $10, you can get a pizza made with ingredients as local as possible. The excellent beers include classics and a rotating cast of summer brews, meads and more.

Northern Lights 660 W. Baltimore St.; 313-873-1739: A stylish bar and performance venue with a snazzy interior and solid bar fare, from burgers to salads to calamari. Kitchen closed on weekends.

Old Miami 3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830: Basically, it's your classic dive bar, but, given the Vietnam War memorabilia on the walls, the urban oasis out back, and the eclectic events, there's still much to recommend this joint.

Peoples Records 4100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-831-0864: This neighborhood vinyl store's stellar stock draws in locals and out-of-town collectors alike. What's more, the staff of local music-heads has collectively logged about a million needle-miles.

The Potato Place 107 W. Warren, Detroit; 313-833-8948: For more than 20 years, the Potato Place has served stuffed baked potatoes, soups, salads, sandwiches, subs, ice cream, and baked goods such as brownies and cakes all made in-house.

Re:View Contemporary Gallery 444 W. Willis St., Detroit; 313-833-9000; reviewcontemporary.com: This Midtown art gallery houses one-person and group shows, along the same strip as Avalon and Spiral Collective.

Seva Detroit 66 E. Forest Ave.; 313-974-6661; sevarestaurant.com: Detroit outpost of the fabled Ann Arbor eatery that pioneered vegetarian and vegan food. Menu choices are perhaps more enticing to those new to vegetarian dining.

Shangri-La 4710-12 Cass Ave.; 313-974-7669; midtownshangri-la.com: Quirky interior, attentive servers and excellent dim sum, those small plates that are something like Chinese tapas. 

Showcase Collectibles 3409 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-6397: A quirky and charming resale shop.

Showtime Clothing 5708 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-875-9280; showtimedetroit.com: Accommodating tastes from punk to rock, funk to rap, or whatever other sound Motown shoppers seek, Showtime can outfit customers for daytime and nighttime escapades. Mounds of color, sparkle and texture beg you to paw through them.

Slows to Go 4107 Cass Ave.; 877-569-7246: Where you can get Slows' nationally famous low-and-slow barbecue without the two-hour wait.

Sole Sisters 87 E. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-831-9013: Whether it's riding boots you'll wear with skirts all winter, strappy colorful sandals for spring weddings or animal-print clogs to throw on with jeans, the Sole Sisters have them.

Spiral Collective 4201 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-832-1155: A collective housing three female-owned businesses, including the Source — a nonfiction bookseller specializing in wellness, spirituality, metaphysics and history — the Tulani Rose gift shop, and the Dell Pryor Art Gallery. On the corner down the street from Avalon and Goodwell's.

Temptations 5260 Anthony Wayne Dr.; 313-832-4449; mitempt.com: Both prices and spices are quite mild at Temptations, clearly targeting Wayne State University students who may be new to Indian fare.

Traffic Jam & Snug 511 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-831-9470; trafficjamdetroit.com: The menu at Traffic Jam is diverse, catering to big meat eaters, vegetarians, drinkers and local flavor seekers. They keep many processes in-house, making their own ice cream, brewing their own beer, baking their own bread.

Union Street 4145 Woodward Ave. Detroit; 313-831-3965; unionstreetdetroit.com: Union Street has been a favorite spot for Wayne State students and staff for years, but the bar-restaurant is more than just a hot college spot. The bar offers 100 different bottled beers from around the world and a collection of quality, affordable wines.

Wasabi 15 E. Kirby St., Detroit; 313-638-1272; wasabidetroit.com: This restaurant serves a mix of Japanese and Korean cuisine. Yes, there's sushi, but also Japanese noodle dishes and proteins, as well as Korean bibimbap.

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