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  • Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain

    The Planet Ant Theatre in Hamtramck will present a police drama called A Steady Rain May 2 through 24. Planet Ant veterans Ryan Carlson and York Griffith will star in the play, written by House of Cards and Mad Men co-writer Keith Huff. Tickets ($10-$20) are on sale now at PlanetAnt.com. According to the press release, “A Steady Rain by Keith Huff focuses on Joey and Denny, best friends since kindergarten and partners on the police force whose loyalty to each other is tested by domestic affairs, violence and the rough streets of Chicago. Joey helps Denny with his family and Denny helps Joey stay off the bottle. But when a routine disturbance call takes a turn for the worse their loyalty is put to the ultimate test.First produced at Chicago Dramatists, A Steady Rain appeared on Broadway featuring Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. The Planet Ant production of A Steady Rain is directed by York Griffith featuring Ryan Carlson and Andy Huff. This marks the return of two of Planet Ant’s founding members. Carlson and Griffith. Griffith has served as the theatre’s Artistic Director where he directed the critically-acclaimed productions The Adding Machine and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? […]

    The post Planet Ant presents A Steady Rain appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face

    There is no easy answer to the question regarding what should be done with Detroit’s abandoned homes. However, an Eastern Market company has a solution that could reflect Detroit’s possibly bright future. Homes Eyewear has set out to make the city a little more stylish, and do their part in cleaning it up by repurposing select woods from neglected homes for sunglasses. All of the wood that Homes uses is harvested from vacant houses with the assistance of Reclaim Detroit. A lot of work goes into prepping the wood to be cut and shaped into frames. Homes goes through each piece to remove nails, paint or anything else detrimental to their production (it’s a bit strange to think that your wooden sunglasses could have had family portraits nailed to them). In order to produce more durable eyewear, they salvage only hardwoods like maple or beech, which are difficult to come by as most of the blighted homes were built with softer woods like Douglas fir and pine. If you’re worried about looking goofy, or shudder at the thought of salvaged wood resting on your nose, you can rest easy. Homes currently offers frames in the popular wayfarer style and are developing their unique spin on the classic aviators. For as […]

    The post You can wear Detroit’s blight on your face appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • 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.

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The Gift Guide

Motor City seasonal

For Christ's sake, support your local mom & pop

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Handbags and other fabric goodies by Dang Argyle at D.I.Ypsi.

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Collectible snowflake ornaments from Pewabic.


In the consumerist orgy of the holiday season, it's important not to let the cries of "shop local" fall on ears deafened by endless demands and brains dulled by to-do lists, fiscal worries and yuletide cocktails. Patronizing indie businesses keeps more bucks in the local economy than visiting big-box retailers, and preserves the distinct, local character of neighborhoods and cities. In the past few years, the shop-local movement has steadily gained momentum — evidenced this year by the first Small Business Saturday, a counterpart to the traditional Black Friday mall madness. Spearheaded by American Express OPEN, AMEX's small-business unit, and supported by more than a dozen organizations, including the National Trust for Historic Preservation and Yelp, Small Business Saturday aims to get shoppers packing the mom-and-pops and spending locally on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. And in metro Detroit, there are plenty of opportunities to do just that — cherished local institutions, brand-new storefronts, gallery gift markets and community events all provide plenty of ways to keep your dollars in Detroit. Here's our annual shop local suggestions, just to get you started.


Pewabic Pottery
10125 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-822-0954; pewabicstore.org

The signature ceramics fired at this Detroit institution date back to 1903, when Mary Chase Perry Stratton founded what is now Michigan's only historic pottery. Pewabic's annual Earthy Treasures Holiday Show provides both newcomers and aficionados a prime opportunity to visit the pottery's quaint, cottage-like shop on Jefferson and peruse Pewabic's ceramic ornaments, vases and tiles decorated with images of animals, plants, geometric patterns, the Detroit skyline and more. Tiles can be snagged for as little as $13.95, while vases can approach the $200 mark. Along with Pewabic's signature items, works in a range of styles and prices by ceramics artists both local and national are displayed. For the 2010 holiday, the pottery introduced a number of special pieces, including a snowflake trivet, a six-pointed star tile and a series of collectible snowflake ornaments — priced to give at $18 each or $50 for the set of three. Slip one on a bottle of wine to jazz up a hostess gift or give it to the person you have to buy for but know nothing about (a brother's girlfriend, a picky mother-in-law) — if they know Pewabic, they'll appreciate the gesture. If they don't, explaining the local significance of the pottery will keep the conversation rolling.

Paint Creek Center for the Arts
407 Pine St., Rochester; 248-651-4110; pccart.org

Paint Creek's annual gift gallery features handmade gifts and artwork by artists from throughout the state. Items come in a variety of styles — for the traditionalists, there are hand-blown glass ornaments by George Bochnig and wood bowls by Jim Fuller. For those more prone to whimsy, check out wooden rattles by Sandra Westley, or the plush animals created from distinct fabric and patterns by Cassandra Schoneck. Other goodies up for grabs include jewelry, holiday decorations, toys, wood block prints, scarves, purses, ceramic items, handcrafted paper goods and more. Gifts come in a variety of prices; for a truly big-ticket item, consider signing up the amateur artist in your life for one of the center's classes, which cover everything from clay and painting to digital photography and collage, ranging in price from $100 to $190 for nonmembers. More than just an exhibition space, Paint Creek is truly a community arts center, offering studio classes for all age levels, hosting summer art camps for kids and spearheading a number of community arts initiatives, including Rochester's annual Art & Apples Festival.

GifteD: A Holiday Boutique
99 Monroe St., Detroit

If one-stop shopping has been your excuse for fighting crowds of frenzied shoppers at the mall, this pop-up shop will make you bite your tongue. Located in one of the Compuware building's retail spaces, GifteD has collected a range of Detroit retailers into one convenient spot. It's a boon for downtown workers, who can now take a short lunch-hour jaunt to holiday shop instead of spending their after-work hours waiting in lines and scouring parking lots for empty spaces. Open Fridays through Christmas Eve, GifteD features artwork courtesy of Re:View Contemporary Gallery, bikes and biking gear from Wheelhouse Detroit, and home and office supplies from Bureau of Urban Living. Others setting up temporary shop at GifteD include Leopold's Books, City Bird, Motor City Sewing and downtown clothing stores DSE@Grand and Rags. Onsite services such as dog training from Canine to Five, massage from Re:new Detroit and tailoring from Motor City Sewing are also available.

D.I.Ypsi
Dec. 11, at the Savoy, 23 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti; diypsi.com

Metro Detroiters are no strangers to the bar-based craft fair — there are old stalwarts such as Bar Bazaar and Rock 'n' Rummage, there's Handmade Detroit's stellar Detroit Urban Craft Fair, there's the relatively new It's a Craft Thing fairs and there's Ypsi's always kickass Shadow Art Fair. And now there's D.I.Ypsi. This one-day handmade spectacular features 29 local vendors slinging everything from clothing and jewelry to paper products and sculptures. The Ypsi artists behind the event — Cre Fuller, Sherri Green Carroll and Marcy Davy — hope to connect shoppers with indie artists they may otherwise be unfamiliar with, as well as to highlight downtown Ypsilanti as a holiday shopping destination. Highlights of the fair include bags, wallets and other items made from reclaimed fabric by Dang Argyle; cheeky greeting cards and stationery (one card reads "You put the ass in asshole." Enough said) from Junkmail Greetings; shirts, hoodies and bags sporting an outline of our great state, by Great Lakes Shirts; jewelry carved from reclaimed hardwoods by Four Chamber Forge; and beautiful handmade scarves by Ion(a)rt. Along with the local gifts, the family-friendly D.I.Ypsi will also feature local eats, free admission and of course, a full bar.

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