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  • Jumpin Jumpin: Police, fire fighters, and EMS workers to be honored at Sky Zone

    When we think of honoring the brave men and women who protect and serve the metro Detroit area, we think of trampolines.  We think they should jump on trampolines. And by trampolines, we mean an all-walled trampoline field where they can land in a pit of 10,000 foam cubes. They have to blow off steam some how. Sky Zone, the inventors of such a place, are hosting a special day at their Canton and Shelby Township locations that will be all about police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, and their families. On Tuesday, August 5 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. there will be free jumping for these folks. All metro Detroit police, firefighters, EMS workers and their families are invited to come, though an employee ID or professional organization ID will be required for admittance to 60 free minutes at the indoor park. The hour of free jumping comes with free pizza from Jet’s as well. This is the first event of its kind in Michigan.  Sky Zone Canton is located at 42550 Executive Drive Sky Zone Shelby Township is located at 50810 Sabrina Drive. Check for more information. 

    The post Jumpin Jumpin: Police, fire fighters, and EMS workers to be honored at Sky Zone appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times is getting a new website today

    Your favorite local alternative weekly is getting a digital facelift at around 4 p.m. today, and we need your help. If you, dear reader, spot anything amiss or notice that any of our regular features are not working properly, do give us a shout in the comment section below or on social media. If, on the other hand, you find that you positively adore our new design (which we surely hope you do!), we’d certainly enjoy hearing about that as well. Let the countdown to launch begin!

    The post Metro Times is getting a new website today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Girls on film

How one man takes the city's prostitutes and gives them their 15 minutes of fame

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

John Juan takes photos of Sarah and Michelle inside their house.


There are two houses standing alone on this side street, surrounded by waist-high grass. Both are whorehouses.

John Juan is here for a photo session. A woman greets him at the door of the blue house on the corner. Her pimp watches from the porch of the white house next door. "He's like the house dad," she explains. "He's a sweetheart."

Two hookers are here today. There's Michelle, 41, the woman at the door. She smokes crack. And Sarah, who's 24. She likes heroin. Both offer the same, simple reason for their occupation. "Drugs," they say in tandem, then giggle. A little mirror with wisps of white powder on it sits on a table.

Several women live here rent-free, in a neighborhood that's become the city's most popular spot for street hookers. All they have to do is pay their landlord, the man on the neighbor's porch, $10 for every "date" they bring home, and they can stay there between johns. 

Their house is old and battered inside after years without house cleaning or basic repairs. It's sparsely furnished, with dingy old couches, a nicked-up dining room table, an old stove and fridge in the kitchen, yellowed curtains torn on their edges, and well-used mattresses in the bedrooms. "This is as ghetto as it gets," Michelle says.

She's blond, too thin and has scabbed sores covering her chest and stomach. She was a mom from Oakland County before her addiction sent her tumbling down to the John R hooker strip five years ago. She matter-of-factly talks about her 19-year-old son in college, and another who's a senior in high school. She doesn't see them much.

Sarah is 24, brunet, not at all skinny, and she's worked the streets for eight years. She's the one who invited John Juan here. Michelle never met him but didn't have any qualms about the photo session. "I don't care what it's for," she says. "No problem, honey." Neither ask him for money in return.

Their workplace is just feet from their front steps, along John R, where they stand and wait until someone stops, which doesn't take long because the road is swarming with single men cruising back and forth. 

Peak hours, the women say, are midnight to 4 a.m., when the drunks pass through; from 3-5 p.m., when everyone's on their way home from their jobs; and 5-7 a.m., when guys are heading into work. "That's the best time too," Michelle notes, "because they gotta be at work, so you can get quick blow jobs for $20 and you can turn them over really fast."

They've taken all their clothes off and stand before a dirty plaster wall, bending over, touching each other and themselves, pouting for the camera, giggling. John Juan shoots dozens of photos and a few videos; some on a camera, some on his phone. When he's done, after about 15 minutes, the two women come over for a look. "Aww, them are cute," Michelle says of the stark photos. Sarah smiles. Both thank him in sing-song voices. And John Juan packs up to go.

Outside, their landlord still watches suspiciously from the porch next door, and there's a tall, thin hooker in a black dress standing with him. As John Juan heads to the sidewalk, she follows him, and the two of them walk off together on a private adventure that, tomorrow, everyone can see for themselves.


Detroitblogger John is John Carlisle. He scours the Motor City for Metro Times. Send comments to

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