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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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Locally Produced Goods

These entrepreneurs make their great stuff here, in Michigan. Sweet!

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Tooth & Nail

See someone with a necklace made out of a raccoon jaw and you may question everything you thought you knew about fashion. But this hasn’t stopped local jewelry designer Stacy Dumoss from taking a leap in an eerie direction.

After attending the College for Creative Studies and living in metro Detroit for the last 10 years, you will now find Dumoss in her small boutique, Tooth & Nail, inside Ferndale’s Rust Belt Marketplace. “I’ve always been fascinated with anatomical art,” she said. And it definitely shows!

Whether it’s a necklace made out the jaw of a coyote or rat (Dumoss claims they have the perfect little jaws for a neat necklace), the essence of the natural world can be seen in her designs. A personal favorite are her Birch Tree Bracelets, which are treated, bent and attached to leather to form a cuff. It may be a little left-field for some, but Tooth & Nail is a must-see if you want to make a statement at the next dinner party you attend.

Detroit GT

Chris Gorski never imagined taking one vocational class in high school would eventually lead him to ownership of Detroit GT. In high school, Gorski learned how to make silk-screen T-shirts and began giving them away to friends and family as gifts; as demand picked up, a business was born. Gorski, a native Detroiter, started his company 10 years ago, slowly introducing his designs through consignment shops. Catchy phrases like, “I’ve got people in Detroit” or “Bitch, please, I’m from Detroit,” have made his product line a hot commodity. He hand draws a lot of his designs, finding inspiration from his car collection and the automotive world. You can find Detroit GT in Ferndale’s Rust Belt Marketplace, Michigan Artisans in Eastern Market, or Art Is In Markets in various malls.


Women love their hats, as any God-fearing Detroit churchgoer will attest. While milliners aren’t as prevalent today as they once were, local mom-and-pop team Stefanie and Tyrone Dickey know that a good hat is hard to find. Founding their Detroit-based store in 1992, the Dickeys distribute their well-heeled headgear to several retail outlets as well as maintaining a Stef-n-Ty Studio at 227 Iron St., No. 313, near Belle Isle along the city’s waterfront area.

Garden Fresh

There once was a little restaurant in Ferndale that ended up becoming so well-known for its fresh-made salsa that, after some prodding by the head honcho of a local upscale grocery chain, the Garden Fresh brand was born. Today, Jack and Annette Aronson’s enterprise not only makes one of America’s best-selling refrigerated salsas, their company also makes a leading tortilla chip and has expanded into hummus and other gourmet dips. The Aronsons’ secret weapon, which seems to be the same secret other gourmet foodstuff manufacturers employ, is a micro-batch approach, which ensures the artisanal taste people are willing to pay a premium for. Still based in Ferndale, Garden Fresh also invests in its human capital, its neighborhood and the environment. The company powers local school buses with biodiesel fuel made from its recycled tortilla chip oil, and has provided grants to University of Michigan hospital and Children’s Hospital of Detroit. To list the company’s distribution would be many more pages than we have. Walk into nearly any grocery and the Aronson’s salsa will be waiting for your next party; or check the company out at

Global Detroit Human

Jill Drnek’s store, Global Detroit Human, at 4240 Cass Ave. in the city’s Midtown district is getting a lot of hype. The entrepreneur brought 12 designers from all over the state under one roof to create an eclectic and edgy variety of clothing unlike the boring crap you’ll find at a mall. When asked “Why Detroit?” She responds, “I wanted to expand the accessibility of Michigan fashion. Detroit is, for a lack of a better term, in my blood. A city that never follows the rules and neither does fashion, so the two should get along well.”

Drnek hopes to forge a relationship melding Detroit’s long history of sewing and textiles with new up-and-coming designers.

Michele Saulson Designs

Michele Saulson is the classic example of the small-business love story. After taking a bead class three years ago in West Bloomfield, her bracelets quickly caught on among friends and family. Before long, requests were coming in and she realized she could turn her talent into cash. Saulson’s full-time job is a wife and mother of three, but between shuttling kids to friends or soccer, she has turned the sunroom of her house into its own little factory, cranking out a multitude of bracelets and necklaces.

Her jewelry features elements like antique buttons that make for beautiful pendants with a history and a story to tell. Her fall collection will feature highlights of copper, bronze and silver. Check her out at


The James sisters, all five of them, come from a tight-knit family in Plymouth. With a “united we stand” philosophy, the ladies have pooled their considerable talents to form a natural juice company called Drought. Using the Norwalk cold-pressed juicing method, the James sisters have honed their craft to create artisan-inspired beverages that cater to the health-conscious consumer. Using organic fruits and vegetables, all pressed individually, the raw juice ingredients are married according to recipe, and the final product is sealed in recyclable and reusable glass bottles. The cold press enables the extracted, pulp-free juice to be bottled and will maintain freshness for as long as 72 hours. One of Drought’s product lines is its “Wash” series, which are regimented body cleanses meant to be consumed over the course of one day. The company currently stocks its product line in specialty markets like Plum, and opened its first retail outlet inside the new Shinola store at 441 W. Canfield, between Cass and Second, in the city’s Midtown district. For more information, check out

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Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
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