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    The post The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.

    It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit. While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though. This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also […]

    The post City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co. appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.

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Culture

Curtain call

Detroit Day School for the Deaf is about to close — here's what's being lost

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The students gather for one of their last class photos


"Because it shows students that have disabilities can still do things," says Moore-Patton, 42. "They can see that children who are different can do the same things as quote-unquote normal children."

So those wordless rehearsals began again.

 

The crowd streams into a west side auditorium on an April morning, and the sight of them has got the butterflies going in the actors' stomachs.

"They're nervous," Shepherd whispers of the kids about to perform, who are fidgeting backstage, signing to each other. "They're not saying that, but you can tell."

The room darkens but for the lights bathing the stage, and the actors step out. Just like in all those rehearsals, they pretend to be in a village, they break into dances, they rejoice in freedom. At the end, 11-year-old Davine Lowe steps to the middle and begins a solo dance. She sweeps in arcs, she jumps like a ballerina, she tumbles over in graceful somersaults. 

But her song has no beat for her to feel through her bare feet. It's a sweeping orchestral piece, carried only by melody, and yet she's somehow moving in time with the music. She practiced so much, focused so hard on memorizing her timing precisely, that her dance is miraculously perfect.

"She doesn't hear the music!" Shepherd marvels from the front row. The girl's performance draws gasps from a few kids in the seats.

Before the play had begun, Shepherd grabbed the microphone and spoke softly to the hundred or so kids in the auditorium. "If any mistakes are made, take all our mistakes for love," she implored the audience. It was a protective gesture. There are always some kids out there who make fun of disabled students.

But there were no wisecracks today, no snickers, no mockery from this audience. Some of them sit in wheelchairs, some have braces on their legs, most have disabilities not so easy to see. Each of these kids in the room has been made fun of at some point, or stared at, or laughed at for being different. And each of them instinctively gives the kids on stage the same kindness and courtesy they've craved themselves. 

At the end of the play, they break into genuine, unprompted applause for what they'd seen — dances set to music the actors can't hear, a story told by kids who can't speak, a public performance by children whose deafness left many of them shy and withdrawn before this. To be up on this stage means something not only for the actors, but for the kids in the audience too, who understand what they overcame to accomplish this.

That mutual kindness, the shared knowledge of what life is like with a disability, is why a program like this is important, Shepherd says. She wishes these kids could somehow be kept together for those reasons, and worries what will happen to them next year.

"We have parents that are hard-of-hearing," she notes. "And they say, 'I want my child to be here, not in a hearing school, because I grew up in a hearing school, and I was so lonely.'"

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