Most Read
  • 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 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? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor

    Detroit home-girl Lily Tomlin will perform at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, June 14. A press release reads, “Get together with Lily Tomlin for an unforgettable night of fun and sidesplitting laughter. “Tomlin is amazing” The NY Times and “as always a revelation.” The New Yorker This unique comic artist takes her audience on what the Washington Post calls a “wise and howlingly funny” trip with more than a dozen of her timeless characters—from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann.” “With astounding skill and energy, Tomlin zaps through the channels like a human remote control. Using a fantastic range of voices, gestures and movements, she conjures up the cast of characters with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat.” NY Daily News “Her gentle touch is as comforting as it is edifying.” NY Time Out She has “made the one-person show the daring, irreverent art form it is today.” Newsweek Her long list of awards includes: a Grammy; two Tonys; six Emmys; an Oscar nomination; two Peabodys; and the prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Find more info here. Follow @City_Slang

    The post Lily Tomlin coming to Ann Arbor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor

    The Detroit Metro Times, Detroit’s award-winning alternative weekly media company, is proud to announce the recent hire of Valerie Vande Panne as Editor-in-Chief. An award-winning independent journalist and Michigan native, Vande Panne’s work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Daily Beast, and Salon, among other publications. Previously, Vande Panne attended Harvard University and was a regular contributor to The Boston Phoenix, and a news editor of High Times magazine. She has spent years covering drug policy among other subjects, including the environment, culture, lifestyle, extreme sports, and academia. “Valerie understands our business and what we expect to accomplish in Detroit. She has an excellent sense for stories that will move our readers, as well as experience with balancing print and digital content. I’m excited to have her at the paper and trust her leadership as we move forward,” said Detroit Metro Times publisher Chris Keating.

    The post Welcome Valerie Vande Panne, the new Detroit Metro Times editor appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’

    She welcomes you when you enter Detroit, from every direction, with the one word that might just be Detroit’s biggest philosophical question: Injured? Joumana Kayrouz is deeper than the inflated image watching over Detroit, peddling justice to the poor and broken of the city. This Wednesday, Drew Philp takes us behind the billboard and into the heart of the Kayrouz quest. (And all of Brian Rozman’s photos of Kayrouz have not been retouched.) Check out MT‘s cover story, on newsstands Wednesday!

    The post Joumana Kayrouz to cover ‘Metro Times’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt

    There was a fire in an upstairs apartment at PJ’s Lager House on Monday evening. No people were hurt, although three cats belonging to the tenants died after CPR. The fire broke out around 10:30 p.m. during a show featuring Zombie Jesus & the Chocolate Sunshine Band, Curtin, and Jeffrey Jablonsky. “We just smelled smoke and someone yelled everyone has to get out,” 33-year-old Nick Leu told MLive. On the Lager House Facebook page in the early hours of the morning, a post said, “We at PJ’s lager House would like to thank everyone for their care and concern. Also, a very big THANK YOU to all who stepped up to do what they could this evening. The fire was contained to the upstairs but due to water damage in the bar, we will be closed until it can be assessed. Everyone is safe and we will keep you updated.” A later update read, “Update from the big boss. Since there was no damage to the stage side of the bar, the show will go on tomorrow! You may have to enter through the back door and there may not be a large selection of booze but we are going […]

    The post Fire at PJ’s Lager House, no people hurt appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Culture Feature

Town Mouse Portaging

A city dweller’s guide to surviving — and enjoying — a canoe trip among the great outdoors.

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The majesty of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario reminds us nature is awesome.

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Me and my brother-in-law, Mark, rowin’ down the river.

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Poor Mark was beat after having stayed awake throughout the night, driving toward this yearly respite. At some point later in the day he ended up nodding off, his head propped up on a boulder.

As dusk settled in, Mark and his one friend set up their pup tents while his other friend and I searched for firewood.

That night, with our camp made and a fire lit, the bacchanalian steakfest commenced. The three friends enjoyed their meat while trading memories of funny moments from previous years’ trips. As a stranger in a strange land, I just took it all in — as well as a shot or two of the communal bourbon; some liquid courage and I felt sufficiently ready for what lay ahead.

The next morning I learned, first-hand, what the dictionary had weakly tried to describe. Rucksacks on our backs, the pairs of us grabbed our canoes out of the water and carried them — overhead — about one kilometer to the next launch point.

It was hot, muggy, and for anyone who has ever trekked in damp, bug-laden forest during summertime, add the weight of a rucksack and canoe, and you know this trip was not for the physically faint of heart. Yet, I also dug the appeal of its ruggedness. It was prototypical self-dependence. No valet was coming to carry the canoe. No tiki bar waiting at the next beach. Making it to the next leg of the journey, we headed off.

Mother Nature’s Opus

Algonquin is truly an amazing place. Pristine, expansive — the park covers 2,946 square miles — and bio-diverse. Its Earth science attributes include glaciofluvial landforms, formed by meltwater channels during past glacial drainage, according to the Friends of Algonquin Park website.

The park is an example of a typical ice stagnation environment, born from glacial encompassing and retreat; it holds surficial features like eskers, terraces, deltas, outwash plains, sand dunes, beach ridges, meltwater channels and boulder deposits.

According to park geologists, Algonquin also contains the largest kame-moraine complex in the region. There is also a fault canyon (Barron Canyon)and Brent Crater, which was formed by a meteorite strike.

The area’s latitudinal position resulted in southern hardwood forests merging with northern coniferous forests, creating a diverse presence of birds from both timberlands. Outside of New York’s Central Park, I don’t know another place in the Northeast where such diversity exists in such a concentrated area — more than 272 different species, according to park geologists.

More than 50 species of mammals have been recording within the park’s boundaries, too, most of which we thankfully had no encounter with. There was the thrill of seeing a brown bear cub picking berries adjacent to the shore during one of our canoeing commutes. The majority of game animals one could see include moose, white-tailed deer, beavers, black bears and wolves.

With all those mammles, the fear of becoming a news clip with the title, “When Animals Attack,” was never too far from any of our minds. Each night, after we’d let the fire die out, one of us would make sure our foodstuffs were securely hung by rope, along a tree branch, off the ground. However, those asshole raccoons reminded me there was little room for error when I left an errant orange in my rucksack one night.

While we never did any fishing, the park has more than 1,500 lakes, 930-plus miles of streams, and countless ponds and bogs. Park geologists say more than 50 different species of fish live inside Algonquin’s boundaries; the two largest fisheries are brook and lake trout but other species, such as

Smallmouth bass, lake whitefish, yellow perch, northern pike, muskellunge and walleye also call the park home.

After that first 24 hours, and my baptism by fire had concluded, I allowed myself to drink in Algonquin’s splendor. From the call of the loons during dusk to the amazing nighttime sky, where the absence of light pollution gives you an unrivaled view of the Milky Way, the trip became for me what my fellow portageniks had crowed about: wondrous, physically laborious and friendship-enduring.

I am still a town mouse, but by the end of the trip there was no question in my mind as to why my country mice friends looked forward to this trip each year. The sense of peace that nature instills, a feeling of accomplishment from tackling the physical demands that portaging asks, and the inherent education associated with living off the land, are all aspects of life no town mouse should ever go without knowing.

Would I do it again? Probably.

Would I recommend it? Without a doubt, yes.

Bryan Gottlieb is the editor-in-chief of Metro Times. Contact him at

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To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

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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