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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” “Help us catch the poopetrator #YPSIPOOPER.” You can have the runs, but 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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Holiday Gift Guide 2011

Low dough X-mas

A small bankroll can equal a high return this holiday season

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Holiday shopping is such a chore. It's not even the crowds or the long lines — it's just the plain monotony of staring at a shelf full of junk and trying to decide if any man ever really needs one more tie. The key, then, is to make shopping more of an activity. To make it an event. But how? 

It's easy, you dummy. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, a whole slew of events take place for no other purpose than to sell you nifty, one-of-a-kind gifts. They're mainly of the crafty, handmade, DIY persuasion, which is good because it keeps you away from mass-produced schlock, keeps your dollars local, supports all those creative types who deserve it and ensures you'll be able to find one really sweet tie.

Shop Detroit

First up is this annual event hosted by Inside Detroit and Detroit Synergy focusing on Detroit's mom-and-pop shops. Now in its eighth year, the event is geared for shoppers from the entire metro area who might not be familiar with all of Detroit's diverse retail offerings. This year, Shop Detroit is being held in conjunction with Small Business Saturday, an initiative spearheaded by American Express to encourage folks to take some time between Black Friday and Cyber Monday to support the indie businesses in their community. Shop Detroit enlivens the process with giveaways, specials and more. Participating stores include everything from longtime institutions such as John K. Kings Books to newer spots such as Goods and Leopold's Books to museum shops including MOCAD and the Charles Wright Museum. Shop Detroit takes place from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 26; check-in at the Inside Detroit Welcome Center, 1253 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-962-4590 or register in advance at


Low Dough Art Show

If you can only stomach shopping if you're also stomaching beer, then this barroom art fair may be your best bet. Local artists Rob-O, Beth Amber, Jerry Shirts and Amanda May offer up creative wares all priced to move at less than $50. Even better, Sharks Never Sleep, the McFlys and D-Day create the sonic accompaniment that make this 8 gazillion times better than visiting a mall. And for the broke and cheap, purchase a ticket for the art raffle for a chance to win, rather than buy, a gift. From 7 till 10 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 29, at PJ's Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-4668; $3 cover.


Detroit Urban Craft Fair

Next up is the granddaddy of the Motor City's handmade events, the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. Now in its sixth year, the DUCF packs together so many artsy and crafty types you just might need to go both days to see it all. Locally made ginger fizz soap, mojito-flavored lip gloss, Detroit-centric clothing, Marie Curie magnets, hand-drawn paper goods, repurposed vintage jewelry, purses, paintings, prints, candles, nightlights, hand puppets, shoes ... the list goes on and on. Basically, everything you never knew you wanted to buy for people who never knew they wanted it (but will love it). The DUCF takes place Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4 at the Masonic Temple, 500 Temple St., Detroit. For info, see



New last year, DIYpsi expands to a second day giving Washtenawers twice the handmade shopping fun. The show offers a diverse array of vendors slinging goodies sure to please everyone on your list. Even better, you can slam a beer or two while you peruse the various DIY offerings. Filling a definite hole in the West Side craft scene since the Shadow Art Fair switched up its winter event from an art fair to a costume ball, DIYpsi takes place Saturday, Dec. 10 and Sunday, Dec. 11 at the Corner Brewery, 720 Norris St., Ypsilanti; 734-480-2739; info at


Tiny Expo

Also returning for a second year is Ann Arbor's Tiny Expo, billed as the city's "biggest little indie arts & craft fair." Founded by four Ann Arbor-area artists, Tiny Expo features more than 25 vendors selling affordable and original creations, as well as offerings not typical of your average craft fair, from the likes of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Sobercove Press, J. Trees Wine, RoosRoast Coffee and more. Also expect lip balms, salves and other herbal goodies from Artemisia Herbals; singular floral arrangements and containers from Pot & Box; card and prints courtesy of Elevated Press; posters by the Silent Giants and plenty more. Food, libations and film screenings courtesy of the Ann Arbor Film Festival add to the festive atmosphere. Tiny Expo takes place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10, across from the Kerrytown Farmer's Market at 327 Braun St., Ann Arbor; for info.


Rock and Rummage 

Holiday Shopping Show

By now, a single theme is clear — if you want holiday shopping to be fun, make sure alcohol is involved. Rock and Rummage is perhaps Detroit's original boozy buying experience, a traveling flea market of rock memorabilia, vintage items and more, all hawked in various bars throughout metro Detroit. The holiday show brings together 17 Rock and Rummage vendors offering the usual rock 'n' roll fare, including records, DVDs, posters, retro collectibles, clothing, books, jewelry, handmade goods and all manner of hard-to-find, super-cool surprises. Each night of the two-night shopping extravaganza will feature a variety of different vendors, so you might want to stop in for a beer and browse both nights. Just sayin'. Friday, Dec. 9 and Saturday, Dec. 10 at the Painted Lady Lounge, 2930 Jacob St., Hamtramck; 313-874-2991.

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