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  • The Ypsilanti mystery pooper saga continues

    Ypsilanti police are still searching for the person dubbed the “mystery pooper.” Someone has been, as the Associated Press politely puts it today, “soiling slides at an Ypislanti playground over the last six months.” So, of course, someone purchased an electronic billboard along I-94 near Huron St. at exit 183 that delivers multiple calls for action: For instance,”Help us flush the pooper.” The company that purchased the billboard, Adams Outdoor Advertising, knows how to reach the world in the 21st Century, branding each billboard with a hashtag for the public utilize in its efforts: #ypsipooper. WJBK-TV says the billboard also toggles through other rich lines, such as: “Do your civic doody, report the pooper #YPSIPOOPER” Also, “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” Because you can have the runs, you can’t hide. They’re still looking for you, Mystery Pooper.

    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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Fall Arts Issue

Designing Detroit

Expectations and revelations from the inaugural Detroit Design Week

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Mind the Gap aims to connect Detroit's in-between spaces

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Street art is the name of the game in the alley at the TAP Gallery

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notebook doodles come alive via Whimsical Wheatpaste

The Detroit Creative Corridor Center (DC3) has been working hard behind the scenes organizing, qualifying and quantifying Detroit's robust yet splintered design community. 

Led by Matt Clayson (who was, before DC3, legal coordinator and promotion manager at the Michigan-based online promotion campaign group ePrize), the DC3 team was instrumental in helping coordinate and produce the Rust Belt to Artist Belt conference this April, which saw a few thousand artists and creatives convene in an attempt to better understand post-industrial cities — such as us, Cleveland, St. Louis, Pittsburgh — in transition. 

Then, in mid-July, the center announced its creative ventures program, in which 13 businesses were enrolled in an incubator and acceleration curriculum as ventures-in-residence at the DC3 campus, inside the Alfred A. Taubman building, home to much of the College for Creative Studies operations. The creative venture residents include fashion, graphic and interior designers, programmers, and an array of multimedia artists. 

(When Kickstarter CEO Perry Chen — the king of crowd-sourcing — visited Detroit, he held court at the DC3.)

For its third and perhaps most ambitious act of the year, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center will produce a weeklong Design Festival, a citywide celebration featuring a series of "happenings," installations, exhibits, workshops, fashion shows, film screenings, panel discussions, performances, parties and competitions. 

That week, Sept. 21-28, the DC3 will set the city abuzz with design engagements from New Center to downtown, Eastern Market to Woodbridge. 

We sat down inside the highly designed confines of the DC3's headquarters with Clayson, festival director Melinda Anderson and project coordinator Jakki Kirouac to get the 411 on the DC3 and this ambitious design throwdown.

Metro Times: Why does Detroit need a Design Festival?

Matt Clayson: It's important to begin to change the dialogue about the role of design and design-arts community in Detroit and the role they play in transforming the city's economy. Detroit has a higher concentration of industrial and commercial designers in the workforce than any other region in the country. Their work is taken for granted. It's time to expose that work beyond the community of creative practitioners.

MT: Is this weeklong affair the culmination of the work DC3 has done in the past year? What was the genesis for this event?

Clayson: As part of our initial framework in creating the Detroit Creative Corridor Center we talked with many practitioners within the creative community and asked them what kind of gaps needed to be filled, and what needs were not being met in the current landscape. We found there wasn't a real organic opportunity to connect a lot of what's happened and raise that in an authentic way to noncreative audiences. Design capitals all over the world have user-generated design festivals to feature the breadth of their design community. It's a global practice with a Detroit spin.

Melinda Anderson: We'd originally only planned for 15 or 20 events, but we left it up to the designers to dictate what the event would be, and, after a series of info sessions and work sessions, we're now looking at more than 60 events. Fashion design shows, furniture exhibitions, as well as design charrettes and competitions. It's refreshing. 

MT: Where in the city is this festival taking place? As far as timing and geography is concerned, what was the strategy?

Clayson: From a strategic perspective, the beauty of the festival is that it's driven by the community. There were 60-plus design projects pledged from around the city, and more than 20 venues. Melinda and project coordinator Jakki Kirouac worked hard to match the right events with the right venues. Then we began to cluster different activities on different days in different areas, from the North End to downtown. 

Anderson: Timing was very calculated. Detroit Fashion Week starts at the top of the week and the festival's span also shares time with Detroit Restaurant Week. We're not taking away time or attention from these other events; we actually proposed to collaborate with them and expose our audience to one another. There was excitement and energy for the most part. 

MT: On the website, I saw several city organizations got involved — who was maybe the most surprising co-collaborator?

Jakki Kirouac: Michigan State's been really great. They're relatively new to midtown but they've been great at opening some doors for us, encouraged us to book their venue on days they weren't typically open and — of course, this can't be the case with all venues — they even said they'd incur all necessary costs. 

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