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  • 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.

  • Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval

    In this week’s Metro Times we took a look at the state legislature’s role in Detroit’s ongoing bankruptcy — in particular, how it must approve a $350 million pledge for the so-called “grand bargain” to remain intact. And, with last night’s announcement of a significant deal between the city and Detroit’s pension boards and retiree groups, the ball is Lansing’s court now. The new deal, first reported by the Freep, would cut general employees monthly pension checks by 4.5 percent and eliminate their cost-of-living increases. Police and fire retirees would see no cuts to monthly checks, while their cost-of-living increases would be reduced from 2.25 percent to 1 percent. Under the original offer, police and fire retirees cuts were as high as 14 percent, with general retirees as high as 34 percent, that is, if the groups rejected the “grand bargain,” an $816 million proposal funded by foundations, the state, and the DIA to shore up pensions. The sweeter deal for pensions, though, it must be noted, entirely relies on the state legislature approving $350 million for Detroit’s bankruptcy.  And while this broke after Metro Times went to press, that was the focal point of this week’s News Hits column — so, it’s worth repeating: The […]

    The post Detroit’s grand bargain still needs Lansing’s approval appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday

    This Saturday, April 19, is Record Store Day, and there is plenty going on in metro Detroit and Michigan. Of special interest to us is Chiodos’ 7” single “R2ME2/Let Me Get You A Towel,” Mayer Hawthorne & Shintaro Skamoto’s 7” “Wine Glass Woman/In a Phantom,” Chuck Inglish & Action Bronson’s 7” “Game Time,” Chuck Inglish & Chance the Rapper’s 7” “Glam,” Chuck Inglish & Chromeo’s 7” “Legs,” Chuck Inglish, Mac Miller & Ab-Soul’s 7” “Easily,” James Williamson’s 7” “Open Up and Bleed/Gimme Some Skin,” Black Milk’s 12” “Glitches in the Break,” Mayer Hawthorne’s 10” “Jaded Inc.,” Wayne Kramer & the Lexington Arts Ensemble’s 12” “Lexington,” and best of all, Ray Parker Jr.’s 10” “Ghostbusters.” We wrote about James Williamson’s release this week. Go shop. Follow @City_Slang

    The post City Slang: Local releases for Record Store Day on Saturday appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Savage Love

Holes and poles

Being a man has more to do with whether you have the right junk

Q: I'm a 22-year-old FTM. I will become a legal male this summer. WOOT. Useless hole but still no pole. My friends — all straight — don't know I'm FTM because I don't feel it matters. I don't know any other FTMs, and I really don't care to. However, I like men. I have never had a boyfriend or been on a date. I go to gay clubs and flirt, get hit on, dance, and make out with other gay men. But when I am up-front about being FTM, I never hear from a guy again. My question is, when do I tell a gay man I have been flirting with that I am not a bio male? I don't want to deceive them, but I at least want a chance for them to get to know me a little bit first. —No Pole, No Go

A: The first thing Buck Angel — trans activist, public speaker and porn star — wanted to say, NPNG, was congrats in advance on becoming a legal male. The second thing Buck wanted to say was your hole isn't useless.

"If he isn't familiar with my work, maybe he should check it out," said Buck (buckangel.com). "I get tremendous pleasure from my hole and I am comfortable sharing that with the world in my movies. Whether a transman plans on getting a penis or not, there still has to be a time that he realizes that what's between his legs does not define who he is."

It seems to me that time — the time you realized that you're not defined by what's between your legs — had to have come before you began transitioning, NPNG, otherwise you wouldn't be transitioning at all. As for how the guys you're meeting in gay bars now, post-transition, feel about what is or isn't between your legs, Buck has some advice for you about that too: "If he meets a guy and tells him about himself — which is the right thing to do — and he doesn't hear back, then that wasn't the right guy for him."

If you're not having any luck with messy face-to-face meetings or make-out sessions in gay bars, Buck suggests you consider online dating.

"If he's looking to hook up," said Buck, "here's a site where he can start: ftmlover.com. He'll see that there are tons — and I mean tons — of men out there who are interested in guys like us!"

But before you start meeting those guys, NPNG, Buck thinks — and I agree — that you have to become more comfortable in your own skin. "Be proud of your body," said Buck. "When you feel confident that you are a man, no one can tell you otherwise."

Do you know what might help you feel more confident? Getting to know some other trans guys.

"There are many reasons that someone might isolate themselves from other trans and gay people," said Ezra Goetzen, a mental health therapist and trans community activist. "Some folks identify as male-to-male, seeing their transition as a medical procedure rather than a path to a transgender identity. Others, due to the fabulously flattering cultural and media images of trans people in general, internalize the shame, indifference and disgust — and they don't want to be reminded of these feelings by hanging out with other trans people."

Whatever your particular reason for avoiding transmen, NPNG, you're doing yourself a disservice.

"Being isolated from other trans folks leaves little room to find support and role models for loving yourself," said Goetzen. "And it makes getting invaluable tips on how to get laid safely and carefully harder."

You know, invaluable tips like the ones Buck provided you with today. Want more tips like those, NPNG? Then get to know some of the guys out there who have successfully navigated the path you're stumbling along.


Q:
Getting married soon. We want to put a note in the invitation requesting donations to organizations fighting for marriage equality in lieu of gifts. Which organization is fighting the hardest/most effectively in your view? —Gonna Get Married

A: Freedom to Marry (freedomtomarry.org), National Center for Lesbian Rights (nclrights.org), and GetEQUAL (getequal.org) — and thanks and congrats, GGM!


Q:
I'm wondering whether you have any thoughts on the male tendency when sharing "naughty" photos to go straight for a close-up shot of the penis. U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner's tweeting disaster has brought to mind a number of recent cases where high-profile men — such as Kanye West and Brett Favre — sent other women similar shots in an apparent attempt to seduce them. However, the response I've heard from women to such offerings can be summed up as "Ew, yuck!"

Do you have any insight on why some men think this sort of overture would work? —Totally Confused Female

A: Some men think this sort of overture works, TCF, because sometimes it works.

Before we get into that, I want to say a few words about Anthony Weiner: Even before his admission, nothing the gentleman from New York said last week made him sound like a man who hadn't taken a picture of his cock at some point and sent it to someone for some reason. Nevertheless, I'm confident that Weiner is going to beat this thing.

Watching Weinergate unfold is like watching the voters-getting-over-politicians-who've-smoked-pot story play out all over again, only this time at warp speed and with sexting standing in for THC. With pot, we went from exposure resulting in an instantaneous withdrawal as nominee in 1987 (Supreme Court nominee Douglas Ginsburg) to a tacit admission being a survivable mini-scandal in 1992 (Bill "Smoked, Didn't Inhale" Clinton) to a collective shrug in 2008 (Barack "I Got High" Obama). With dirty pol pics, we've gone from instant resignation in February 2011 (Representative Christopher "Craigslist Congressman" Lee) to a full-blown admission that now looks like a survivable mini-scandal in June 2011 (Representative Anthony "Beat This Thing" Weiner). At this rate, we'll be shrugging off the dirty pics of a congressman-to-be-named-later sometime before Labor Day.

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