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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 […]

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  • 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 […]

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  • 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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College Guide 2011

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Cool spaces in local places

Wayne State University

Urban renewal

The Willis Street Strip: Avalon International Breads, Goodwell's Natural Foods, Flo Boutique, Spiral Collective, Re:View Contemporary Gallery Willis between Cass & Second avenues, Detroit: A couple of the freshest food spots in the D are sandwiched between a hip fashion boutique and two gallant galleries. Yes, the Willis Street Strip is indeed one of the funkiest few hundred feet in the city. You gotta get down to get up, kids. Cass Avenue won't bite, unless you want it to.

A cut above 

Curl Up & Dye 4215 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-833-5006; curlupanddyedetroit.com: You never know who you're going to run into at Curl Up & Dye, as this quaint yet punk full-service salon has become not only the most popular place to get a cut for Detroit's city-lovin' movers and shakers, but an accidental ground for networking too. They serve coffee, tea and water to your liking. Come for the free condoms — stay for the haircut. Hours change seasonally.

Mais oui

Good Girls Go to Paris Crepes 15 E. Kirby St. (entrance on Woodward Avenue), Detroit; 313-664-0490 goodgirlsgotopariscrepes.com: Opened by former French teacher Torya Blanchard, this little Parisian-style shop serves up 50 types of crêpes, fresh salads and fair-trade coffee. Tastes range from the savory "Vera," stuffed with bacon, spinach and Boursin cheese, to the more traditionally sweet, such as the "Libby," which comes with peaches, cream cheese and a generous bit of brown sugar. Cost for this quality won't break student bank accounts either, as prices range from $4.50 to $8.50, and the coffee is good and very reasonable. Having been featured in the likes of The New York Times, Good Girls is no hidden gem, so midtowners should be in the know. If you haven't been but want to impress that cute girl (or guy) who wants to go to the midnight showing of Eraserhead, just punch 15 E. Kirby St. into your GPS and act like you've been going for years.

Midtown melange

Cass Café 4620 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-1400; casscafe.com: Voted the "Best Bar to Take Friends from New York" by MT readers, this establishment is a Detroit staple. Part eatery, part bar, part art gallery, Cass Café is a lofty, open space adorned with the works of local artists. This is the spot for Warriors to get their culture on. Featuring live music, spoken word and other weekly events, Cass also sports a rich menu. From calamari steaks to the classic lentil burger, food is unique and healthy, complemented by a nice selection of Motor City brews. The Nut Brown Ale and Ghettoblaster beers are especially tasty, and well worth $4 a glass.

Artisanal appetites

Traffic Jam & Snug 511 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-831-9470; trafficjamdetroit.com: "Just like monks in ancient times, we utilize the same equipment for beer and cheese making." So reads the brewery page of the clean and welcoming Traffic Jam & Snug. At Canfield Street and Second Avenue, it's right off campus, painstakingly serving up plates ol'-school style. Low country crab cakes, deep-fried pickle spears and cheese platters with strawberries and fig or hazelnut compote ... just a few appetizers. The menu at Traffic Jam is diverse, full of homey dishes layered with exotic flavors. Catering to big meat eaters, vegetarians, drinkers, local flavor seekers, this place serves up inimitable three-courses and brews in-house. Grand Theft Pilsner genuinely satisfies, a soft Czech hop flavor, and at 7 percent, Bouvier Blanche packs a punch.

Get your kicks

Bob's Classic Kicks 4717 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-7513; 4717woodward.blogspot.com: Opened in 2004, BCK has proven a premier destination for sneaker-heads. Wayne Staters have been loyal and the store has grown, churning out Reebok, Adidas and the like, along with local brands and gnarly custom jobs. This Midtown shop also holds hip-hop shows and battle of the bands, showcasing rising emcees with the occasional local legend sighting.

Local fixture(s)

Bureau of Urban Living 460 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-833-9336; bureauliving.com: Located on the ground floor of the Canfield Lofts in midtown Detroit, Bureau of Urban Living calls itself a "modern-day urban general store." Wayne State students and staff looking to garnish a new dorm room or apartment will find stylish decorations ranging from Detroit-themed knickknacks to modern housewares. Bureau of Urban Living is the perfect place for anyone trying to avoid a Target-decorated dwelling.

See, be seen

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 and restaurant prides itself on being more than just a hot college spot. Union Street serves as a melting pot for Detroit social circles, attracting hip urbanites and suburban theater patrons alike. The bar offers 100 different bottled beers from around the world and prides itself on a collection of quality, affordable wines.

Fresh options

Wednesday Farmers' Market Cass Avenue north of Warren Avenue, in front of Prentis Hall: Eating right is tough in college, but the Wayne State Farmers Market brings fresh, locally grown produce to the Wayne State community every Wednesday. Vendors at the market range from urban gardeners to southeastern Michigan farmers, but all merchants raise crops with a special focus on sustainability, making the market popular among the environmentally conscious. The market is also perfect for the college budget: In addition to low prices, the market accepts the Michigan Bridge Card. Runs 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays through Oct. 26.

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