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  • Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio

    On Saturday we set out to check out the High Times Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio, Mich. — High Times did hold a Cannabis Cup in the Motor City back in 2011, but Detroit police flexing their muscles and making arrests at that event may have been to blame, at least partially, for the choice of a new host city. The event was held this year at the Auto City Speedway, (also known as “B.F.E.” to Detroiters). Nevertheless, the prospect of stopping at the Torch for the best burger in the Genessee County was compelling — and anyway, this was the Cannabis Cup we were talking about. Was it really going to be “work?” It turned out, just a little bit. An inexplicable lack of an on-site ATM meant hiking quite a ways up the road to the nearest gas station, and then waiting for an attendant to restock the ATM with cash. We spoke with plenty of Cannabis Cup attendees at the gas station — everybody knows that the local gas station is a stoner’s best-friend. The two-day festival, for which one-day tickets were sold for $40, was divided into two sections — a general area and a medicating […]

    The post Reports from the ‘High Times’ Medical Marijuana Cup in Clio appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list

    Yes, it’s true. Forbes says Detroit is one of America’s most creative cities: “We ranked these places based on four metrics: activity per capita on project-funding platforms Kickstarter and Indiegogo and music sites Bandcamp and ReverbNation. The goal was to capture organic creativity, since many artistic and musical types have “day jobs” outside of creative pursuits.” The Forbes list sandwiches #9 Detroit between #8 Seattle and #10 Oakland, Calif. If you are watching the art and culture explosion happening right now in Detroit, you probably think we should rank higher than #2 Boston and #1 San Francisco, if only for the fact that it’s actually affordable to create here and there is space for everyone to be creative. But hey, those metrics weren’t part of the equation. And there’s always next year.

    The post ICYMI: Forbes rates Detroit #9 on its “America’s Most Creative Cities” list appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Food trucks go to the dogs

    Today, starting at 10am, Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck will be swinging by the  Cherry Hill Village at Preservation Park on  N. Roosevelt St. in Canton. They’ll be serving the pups (“gour-mutts,” as Milo’s calls them) treats and the dog parents the opportunity of “family portraits.” Milo’s is on a cross-country food truck trip, promoting their “grilled burger bites” and “chicken meatballs” to pup parents from L.A. to NYC, with stops in between, including Chicago, Detroit, Pittsburgh, the Carolinas, and Arkansas. But watch out! Milo’s Kitchen Treat Truck markets “real chicken and beef home-style dog treats” that are are “wholesome” and “authentic” without “artificial flavors or colors-made right here in the USA.” Authentic, processed food that is. Remember what George Carlin said about “home-style”? Their treats are also packed with soy, TVP, wheat flour, tapioca, rice, and sugar–fillers that make the meat go far and aren’t the best for your pup. They’re also packed with preservatives, like sodium erythorbate, nitrates, BHA, sodium tripolyphosphate, and potassium sorbate. Small amounts are probably ok, and no doubt the pup will love it, the same way it’s easy for humans to love carb- and sugar- laden, processed and preserved, treats.  

    The post Food trucks go to the dogs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych

    Coming up on August 16, former Detroit Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt will team up with the Navin Field Grounds Crew and Metro Times‘ own Dave Mesrey to honor legend Mark “The Bird” Fidrych. The festivities, known as the annual “Bird Bash,” will be held at the infamous Nemo’s Bar & Grill, and will benefit The Bird’s favorite charity, the Wertz Warriors, and also the Mark Fidrych Foundation. For more information, check out their website or Facebook page.

    The post Former Tigers Dave Rozema and Ike Blessitt to honor Mark “The Bird” Fidrych appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • First Little League game at Navin Field today

    Today Navin Field (the Old Tiger Stadium) hosts its first Little League game on a new field made just to host the youngsters! Here’s a photo of the game happening right now, courtesy Tom Derry and Metro Times‘ copy editor extraordinaire, Dave Mesrey: Stop by the site (corner of Michigan and Trumbull) today to watch history in the making!

    The post First Little League game at Navin Field today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit

    Former American Idol contestant Vonzell Solomon weighs in on twerking, natural hair & CEO status. In 2005, recording artist Vonzell “Baby V” Solomon embarked on a journey that changed her life. At the age of 20, Vonzell made it to the top three on American Idol before she was eliminated. But that was not the beginning nor the end of her journey to stardom. Vonzell is one of more than two dozen artists on tour with YouTube sensation Todrick Hall, who is a former Idol contestant as well. Todrick gained notoriety for his fast food drive-thru songs and also for producing parody videos  —  based on popular Broadway musicals and songs. His tour, uniquely entitled Twerk Du Soleil (translation: twerk of the sun), is a combination of his popular YouTube spoofs. Both Vonzell and her ratchet alter ego,Boonquisha Jenkins, made an appearance in Twerk Du Soleil,which stopped in Detroit July 23 at Saint Andrews Hall. Boonquisha opened the show by facilitating a twerking competition among the audience. Next, Vonzell made a reappearance singing a fan favorite – Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Later, Boonquisha came on stage screaming “It’s so cold in the D! You gotta be from the D to […]

    The post Twerk du Soleil shakes up Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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How Dally in the Alley helps keeps that Corridor spirit alive

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Every fall, this block's back stairs are prime viewing seats.

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The Dally's live music (top) often packs in throngs on Forest (above).

A spliff's toss from the Wayne State University campus, Detroit's Cass Corridor has been one of the city's more turbulent, influential and creative neighborhoods. It was the home to all sorts of activist rock freaks in the '60s and '70s. Back in the day, the Corridor was a haven for writers, painters, sculptors and photographers. Black, white, gay, whatever. Just as long as you were on the level and bringing the funk. Joni Mitchell lived in the Corridor for a few years. In 1967, when Detroit set itself on fire, the Corridor survived. And in late '80s, when crack swept through the neighborhood like a contagion, many stood their ground and kept the boho spirit going. Just a few square miles, the Corridor maintained an international rep for the sheer number of auto thefts and carjackings throughout the '80s and '90s. 

Then, slowly, things started getting better. Retail shops, restaurants, bars, music venues, and cafés sprang up.

In the face of the robust effort to rejuvenate the area in the last five years, including a rebranding of the area that encompasses the Corridor as Midtown, we have to ask: What does a Wayne State incoming freshman know about the complex and resilient funk of the Corridor? 

It seems that some want "the Corridor" to go the way of Forest Arms apartments or old Cass Tech high. That is to say, up in flames or recklessly dismantled. 

Neither of those fates will be and we need only point to the Corridor's annual music, arts and culture festival Dally in the Alley for proof.

Celebrating its 34th year this weekend, Dally is said to have been born when a group of neighbors thought it'd be great to get a bunch of beer, throw a few bands together, and party. They thought, "Hey, maybe we should ask all our other neighbors if they're into the idea, and if they are maybe they'll throw in for beer and bands." The neighborhood dug the idea. In 1977, a community group, which called itself the North Cass Community Union, threw the inaugural Dally. And, this Saturday, more than 10,000 people will attend it.

Felix Sirls, 64, moved to the Forest Arms Apartments (undergoing rehab after a decimating fire a few winters ago) in 1999. "I could hear the noise and the music from my window. I could not believe this was happening at my doorstep," he says of his first Dally experience. 

"I wasn't here for the first Dally, but every year is a first Dally for me. It seems to be ageless and timeless. The spirit of joy, fun and people sharing fills the air. There is a freedom of spirit that seems to feed off the eccentric nature of the Dally."

He asked around and got involved the next year. Since then, Sirls has served as vendor chair for Dally. But this will be his last.

This year marks a passing of the torch, so to speak. A younger collection of Detroiters, one that's helped organize Dally for the last few years, have had the keys handed over to them. 

"I think new ways need to be tried, new directions discussed, then implemented," Sirls says. 

Along with co-festival directors Cass Higden, and Jenny Calhoun, Dally spokesman Adriel Thorton represents the new class of Dalliers. 

"We're still young, but everyone involved in Dally was connected to this area when it was only known as the Cass Corridor. And we do so with pride," he says.

Each is intent on infusing this year's festival with some fresh energy. "I know some people think Dally's just about a bunch of middle-aged people throwing a block party," Calhoun says. "It's really not." 

Fresh to Dally this year is a series of public art installations curated and partially created by artist Lauren Smith. There's also the much-anticipated resurgence of a music stage dedicated solely to electronic music. 

The concept was carefully thought out, with consideration as to the placement, size, and decibel output coming from the stage, as well as who would be performing on it. "There are so many types of electronic music — dance friendly four-four, dubstep, ambient — we wanted to give listeners the opportunity to hear multiple kinds throughout the day," Thorton says. "A real experience. What's hot about Dally is that people who aren't even counterculture can come be a part of it for a day, whether they know it or not."


The 34th Dally in the Alley is Saturday (and Sunday, kind of) Sept. 10; the festival happens between Second and Third avenues, and Hancock and Forest Street. Music performers include Will Sessions, Phantasmagoria, DJ Minx, Dethlab, The Octopus, The Hounds Below, Kelly Jean Caldwell, I Crime, and lots more. For info, go to 

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