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  • Passalacqua debut dark new project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space

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    The post Passalacqua debut dark new project ‘Church: Revival’ at new Hamtramck performance space appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan

    #150207742 / gettyimages.com As locals continue to flood Detroit streets to protest the city’s ongoing water debacle, one national organization is hoping to be part of the solution — that is, for a dietary price. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, or PETA as the organization is more commonly known, has offered to pay outstanding water bills for 10 Detroiters who are willing to go vegan for one month. “Vegan meals take far less of a toll on the Earth’s resources,” PETA representatives said in a recent press release. “It takes about 2,500 gallons of water to produce just a pound of meat but only about 155 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat.” PETA President Ingrid E. Newkirk adds, “Vegan meals are also a cost-effective way to help prevent health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart conditions, the last thing that someone who is struggling financially needs to deal with.” Folks interested in participating are asked to send a copy of their most recent overdue water bill and their written pledge to go vegan for one month to PETA Attn: Detroit Water at 501 Front St., Norfolk, VA 23510 before Aug. 1.

    The post PETA offers to pay overdue water bills for Detroiters willing to go vegan appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Dinner Club Does Brunch

    Sure, The Dinner Club, a regularly occurring pop-up that takes places at the Storefront Gallery  in Ferndale (and other locations, occasionally), usually happens around dinner time, but this Sunday, July 27, there will be a special edition: Brunch Chef Matthew Baldridge, who’s resume includes stints at such Detroit greats as Cliff Bell’s, The Rattlesnake Club, and Seldom Blues, has crafted a menu of French-inspired items that employ locally procured ingredients. Brunch includes four courses where guests will be treated to such delights as cocoa, cinnamon, chili-spiced creamy grits with pickled strawberries, cocoa puffs and strawberry-infused syrup, a smoked gouda potato gallette with Faygo Root Beer braised pork belly, quail egg and Faygo Root Beer syrup, banana marscapone-filled French toast with fresh raspberries, whipped cream and balsamic syrup, and champagne-soaked strawberries. It is also important to note that brunch is BYOChampagne. Baldridge, along with The Storefront Gallery’s Derek John and Lilacpop Studio owner and artist Janna Coumoundouros, curate the event that includes an art show, a great playlist, and visuals. Brunch services are at 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. and last about two hours, only 20 seats are available at each service. The cost is $25 plus a service fee. The Storefront Gallery […]

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  • Jurassic 5 holds onto what’s golden

      By Ashley Zlatopolsky It’s been a little over twenty years since iconic ‘90s alternative hip-hop group Jurassic 5 first formed in Los Angeles’ Good Life club. Widely regarded as a pivotal influence in the decade’s underground hip-hop movement by critics and fans alike, the six-piece crew consisting of two DJs (Cut Chemist and DJ Nu-Mark) and four MCs (Akil, Zaakir, Marc 7 and Chali 2na) were well on their way to becoming one of hip-hop’s greatest and most powerful acts of all time, ranking alongside names such as Public Enemy and N.W.A. with socially-conscious lyrics and smooth beats paired with smart sampling. But in 2004, Cut Chemist left the group to pursue a solo career, and in 2007 Jurassic 5 completely called it quits after nearly 15 years of music. And that was it for the crew until 2013. After almost seven years apart (nine for Cut Chemist), Jurassic 5 reunited and re-emerged stronger than ever before with a new flair, seasoned attitude, and more vibrant energy at Coachella Music Festival, the group’s first show with the original six members since Cut Chemist split. During their performance, Jurassic 5 gave fans a memorable concert revisiting all the classic feel-good tracks […]

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  • Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks

    Dogs of Detroit have new territory to trot: Yesterday, the Detroit Riverfront Conservancy held a soft opening for a 20-acre westward extension of the Riverwalk. Part of a planned two-mile track of the West Riverwalk, the new span runs from the Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks Boulevard, says Mark Pasco, director of communications for the conservancy. “It’s going to be great,” Pasco says. “It’s a wide open green space. It’s going to be great for activities.” The endgame for the Riverwalk, Pasco notes, is to extend the walkway from the Ambassador Bridge to Gabriel Richard Park, just past the MacArthur Bridge — about a 5.5. mile route. The new westward expansion is wider than most of the walkway, about 30 feet, says Pasco — a decision made by the conservancy to accommodate fisherman that previously frequented the area. “We knew … once it opened up they’d want to fish there again, so we made the Riverwalk itself wider,” Pasco says. The conservancy will hold a grand opening in late September, which will include “food and music and activities,” Pasco says, though no official date has been set.

    The post Detroit Riverwalk west extension opens from Riverfront Towers to Rosa Parks appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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What happened when a woman used classifieds as a plea for her children?

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Christina Walsh and Danny Browning with Lyllie and Luther inside their apartment.


She was desperate. She had no job, and her boyfriend's small paycheck was barely enough to pay for everything. They'd sold the TV, and the couch they were sitting on was probably next to go. 

One night, the couple was going over their bills, projecting a budget through the rest of the year, and after subtracting for rent and water and heat and electricity, they saw what they'd have left over for her two kids' Christmas. 

Thirty dollars.

On impulse, she went online, logged onto Craigslist, and out of her burst the ramblings of a shot-in-the-dark plea:

My name is, Christina. I have two kids a boy 10 and a girl 6. I left their father last year. Things were really bad. He was hitting all three us and I had to go to save my babies. I ended up here in Detroit doing odd jobs. Mostly watching kids... I've been looking for a full time job but, no luck yet. I'm scared that I may not be able to pull off Christmas this year and my heart is really hurting for my kids. I just want to do right by them. If this email finds someone who can help me with phone #s or something that could help me maybe get a way to save Christmas for my kids. I can hardly keep the lights on let alone pay for a simple a pair of snow boots ... Please, I'm a good mom and I don't want to go back to that man. I'm at my wits end! Please ...

Some people are in far worse circumstances and might seem more deserving than Christina Walsh and her two kids. Others are better off, but they catch the right people's attention and wind up showered with donations or help. On the scale of need, the family falls somewhere in the wide, gray middle of simply not having enough.

She left her email address —  christinawalsh77@gmail.com — and logged off for the night. It didn't take long for the replies to come. 

They weren't what she expected.


Walsh, 34 lives in southwest Detroit, in the upper flat of an old apartment, with her boyfriend, 37-year-old Danny Browning, and her two kids, 10-year-old Luther and 6-year-old Lyllie.

Their apartment is clean and empty. The living room couch faces a bare wall where the TV once stood. There's little else in the place besides a dining room table. But this is better, Walsh says, than what she left.

She was 14 years old and living in California when she met her future husband. She was the well-off daughter of a schoolteacher and a vineyard owner. He was 29 and liked really young girls. He had a Mustang and drugs and pockets full of money.

"I thought he was the greatest thing since butter in a tub," Walsh says. "To a 14-year-old girl, getting taken on shopping sprees, getting your nails done, having money in your pocket, having that older guy with roses pick you up from junior high school and all your friends — 'Oh you're so lucky.' Yeah, till the hitting started."

She married him at 18, had three kids with him, became hooked on the meth he cooked and sold, and got smacked a lot, she says.

"He would be out of his mind and put a gun to my head and ask me where his dope was. He would put it away and lose it, and he would put a gun to my head and accuse me of stealing from him. His wife."

After more than a decade of this, she took the kids, moved to a battered women's shelter, got a restraining order against her husband, got a divorce, changed her name and moved with her two youngest children to Florida. Her oldest son, now 14, stayed behind with his grandmother. She went clean, she says, the night she was getting high in the bathroom and felt shame at the sight of her boy's little fingers reaching up under the door. 

She got work at a bar, then became a prison guard, a pretty good job. But state budget cuts led to prisoner releases, which led to layoffs, which led to her exhausting her unemployment checks, then her savings. And her ex wasn't paying child support. That's when she moved to Detroit, a place with even less opportunity, but a single hope.


Danny Browning grew up in southwest Detroit, and served in the Navy before returning to his hometown. "Danny is the epitome of the blue-collar hard worker," Walsh says. He works nights at AJM Packaging on Dix and Vernor by the knotty railroad tracks. They make paper bags, paper cups, paper plates. "Well, paper plates are a commodity these days," Walsh says. "At least you know he's going to have a job. Until the robots take over, I guess."

She'd met Browning online, they started talking, and fell in love. "He saved my life," she says.

"I was a lonely guy," says Browning. "I'd been in relationships and I had never felt anything for the relationships I'd had. She was the one that understood me the most."

She once took a 30-hour bus ride from Florida to see him in Detroit, and later he visited her there. "We were trying to plan to be together, but then she lost her job and it became a desperate situation. I was like, 'You know, I don't have much, but come up here. I've got a job here.' It took some convincing."

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