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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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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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