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  • 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.

  • City Slang: Music review roundup

    Send CDs, vinyl, cassettes, demos and 8-tracks to Brett Callwood, Metro Times, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale MI 48220. Email MP3s and streaming links to The Sugar Clouds’ Partners Don’t Do That (They Watch and be Amazed) (Wax Splat) is a nostalgic look at the psychedelic days of ’60s grooviness. Even the album cover looks like a lava lamp. The male-female vocals have a sort of Jefferson Airplane feel, and the songs are blessed with both sugary sweet pop melodies and a garage-y earthiness. The story of the band’s formation is rather interesting; the two vocalists, Greg and Melissa Host, are a divorced couple who wrote the songs in their living room. The band is still together, so this divorce was a hell of a lot more civil than any we’ve ever known of. Steffanie Christi’an has friends in fairly high places. Her new Way Too Much mini-album is being put out by Nadir Omowale’s Distorted Soul label, and she is also a regular feature on Jessica Care Moore’s Black Women Rock revue. Maybe the choice of cover image isn’t the best – she looks a bit like a Tina Turner tribute act here. But that can and should be […]

    The post City Slang: Music review roundup appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’

      There’s at least one city councilmember who’s less than pleased with Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s plan to increase all parking violation fines. Councilman Gabe Leland, whose district represents the city’s west side, issued a statement today, calling Orr’s plan a potential “deterrent” to attracting people to the city. I don’t believe the argument to raise the parking ticket fines from $30 to $45 and eliminate the $10 early payment fine are justification for this action. The emergency manager’s order to increase ticket fines places city government inefficiencies on the backs of our residents who need to do business in downtown and other parts of our city. And, this will increase the barrier for people to frequent Detroit-based establishments; likely to be a deterrent for some to shop and dine in our city. Leland suggested implementing a plan that maintains current rates for fines and reduces operating inefficiencies to collecting parking fines. “In my view, generating revenue by increasing fines when residents from neighborhoods must go downtown to get licenses and permits, attend court appointments and do other necessary business, is the wrong direction,” Leland said. “…Additionally, generating revenue using fines when we are trying to grow this city and attract […]

    The post Detroit councilman: Increased parking fines an ‘anti-growth strategy’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Divine inspiration

How one woman's visions transformed a corner of the city

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Bringing the iconic stories of the Bible to a forsaken building on the east side of Detroit.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Kathina Carey, with sign painter Leon Goodin in the background, stands by the apartment building that she made into her canvas.

God speaks to her. She goes to sleep at night and by morning he tells her what he wants her to do. He told her to transform that empty apartment building across the street. He told her to clear the field where that little girl got raped. And he told her to take all those homeless people and prostitutes into her own home. 

"I speak to you just like he speaks to me," says Kathina Carey. "If you truly believe and trust in God, he's going to talk to you. It'll be just like somebody sitting beside you."

The 50-year-old lives on Goethe at McClellan on the city's east side in a crumbling area of waist-high fields and long-empty houses. This is a very old neighborhood, and her roots here run deep. Her great-great-grandmother lived just houses from where Carey does now, back when nearby Mack was a dirt road and horses trotted past their street. Her great-grandmother lived on the block too, as did her grandmother, and her mother after that. It's been Carey's neighborhood all her life, and she made it her duty to care for those in it.

"The prostitutes didn't have nowhere to stay or eat or none of that, so I just started asking God what to do, so they just started coming to my house one by one, needing clothes or showers," Carey says. 

But her guests have taken over her home. Strangers come and go at will and she lets them, despite the fact that they sometimes rob her blind or get in booze-fueled fights on her property, despite the fact that she shares the home with two 11-year-old sons and a 14-year-old one, and until recently a husband who became so overwhelmed by the invasion that he moved out, back to his parents' house.

"He don't want to deal with the people off the street," she says. "He thinks I'm crazy. My children are so upset because they don't have the same kind of love that I have for Jesus and people, and I've opened my house to people to the point where just strangers come now, and they really get upset sometimes because most of them be drug users and prostitutes and homeless people."

As she speaks, they swarm in the street around her. Several are seated under the shade of a tree in an empty field, drinking from brown bags. Young men loiter on the street corner. Neighbors wander over to say hi and hang out in her yard, because they know they always can.

Because Kat, as they call her, will never say no to anyone. If someone wants money, she gives it to them. If they're hungry, she gives them food. And if they want to treat her home as their own, she lets them. Without articulating it, she's trying to live a life of pure Christianity, of truly selfless giving of everything she has. Even if it brings harm to her.

"I was brought up in the church and I was taught to serve the people, because that was an important part of what Christ did, and in order to get in the kingdom of heaven you must, in God's light, walk the way that Jesus thought the Earth should come together," she says in her dreamy, lilting voice. "You must do some of those things in order to get into heaven." It wasn't long before God's words began visibly changing this block.

One night, not long ago, God revealed to her his biggest task yet. She began receiving visions of beautiful scenes from the Bible, and she was told to display these images to this fallen neighborhood. Suddenly, the drab apartment building on the corner was shining forth with brightly colored tableaus. And though these works are her doing, she insists they're not really her doing.

"I drew the pictures how God gave them to me," she says. "I go to bed at night and I pray. I ask God to show me what to do the next day. And he does."


God has been telling her things that needed doing in her neighborhood for a while now.

He inspired her to start mowing the grass on the empty lots within her sight, some nearly a block away. She cleared the alley of all the stray trees growing from the fence line. She made a community park out of the empty corner lot where a half-dozen homes once stood. It's got flowerbeds, lanterns hanging rustically from tree branches, and in the middle is the foundation of a pond that has yet to be finished.

Not long ago, the broken chunks of a long-gone home's foundation were scattered on it, making it impossible to mow, and no matter how many times she called the city for help in clearing them, she says, she got little response.

Then, one day, word spread that a little girl had been dragged there and raped in the tall grass growing around all those rocks. 

When Carey heard the news she was so angry, all she could think to do was grab a shovel and start furiously digging a hole in the middle of the lot, as if to single-handedly wipe clear the stain of the sin that just occurred there. 

"Before I knew it, I was in a hole this big," she says, spreading her arms wide. "I was just putting all the anger I had into that hole, and when I got up the next morning the Lord said, 'I'm gonna show you what to do with that hole.' He took me over to them bricks over there and I put those bricks around in a circle, and that's how that pond got started."

She also created a pond in front of her house, with fish swimming in it and wildflowers growing around it, making her yard an island of beauty on her weedy street. Soon, people started instinctively throwing coins into the water and making wishful prayers, like a form of folk magic. And just as instinctively, some of the same people started helping themselves to that money in the pond. Although she doesn't care about the money so much, Carey does draw a line when it comes to people's prayers.

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