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    The post Metro Times seeking stories of college sexual assault appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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    The post Get ready for National Tequila Day! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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    The post DWSD to host water fair in wake of 15 day moratorium on Detroit water shutoffs appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation

    The folks at Thrillist have again compiled their annual list of the nation’s best burgers, and Southeast Michigan, it seems, is well represented. Ranking alongside joints in major cities such as New York and L.A., is Detroit’s own Motz’s Burgers, hailed specifically for its Double Cheeseburger Slider. Via Thrillist: There’s nothing remarkable about the façade of this SW diner… it’s just a diner, like the hundreds of others in the D. The staff’s been there for years… and so have the regulars, who can’t get enough of Motz’s legendary smashed burgers. The formula’s nothing revolutionary: smashed, griddled patties with oozy cheese and onions that melt into the burger itself as it cooks. But it’s that unmistakable flavor of a well-seasoned griddle — which has also been here for years — that makes the difference. You can score big burgers with accoutrements, but this isn’t really a place to say things like “accoutrements”. Grab the old-school slider (the double cheeseburger one), and prepare for three perfect bites of Detroit’s finest. Flint’s Torch Bar and Grill also made the cut, most notably for its Deluxe Torch Burger with Bacon. Tucked away in an alley beyond the brick streets that used to mark […]

    The post Thrillist Names Detroit’s Motz’s Burgers Among Best in Nation appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know!

    The Metro Times is looking for college students or graduates of Michigan colleges that used atypical means to pay for their schooling (i.e. sugar baby, selling underwear, military enrollment purely for school help, etc.). We are looking for personal anecdotes about the lengths you went to help pay for school, what came of it, your monetary situation, if the resource worked to get you through college and more. If you have utilized any one of these avenues, or know someone who has, please drop us a line at

    The post In what weird ways are you paying for school? MT wants to know! appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit

    File under “WTF” — attorneys representing former Psychopathic Records publicist Andrea Pellegrini announced Monday that they have subpoenaed Kid Rock to produce a glass dildo as part of Pellegrini’s sexual harassment lawsuit against the Insane Clown Posse’s record label. Pellegrini claims the glass dildo was given to her by Psychopathic Records employee “Dirty Dan” Diamond as part of a larger culture of constant harassment in which she was called “bitch,” made the target of explicit sexual advances by Diamond and other co-workers, asked to procure automatic weapons for a photo shoot, and even encouraged to “deceive government investigators from the US Department of Labor.” On Friday, Diamond admitted under oath that he told Pellegrini that he had “a fat cock” and that he would “fuck the shit out of her.” The dildo, though, was “a work of art,” according to Diamond, and should not be considered sexual harassment. Why is Kid Rock involved? Diamond says when Pellegrini declined his dildo, he gave it to Kid Rock instead (presumably as a “work of art” and not a sexual advance). So now, according to court orders, Rock has 14 days to produce the glass dildo so the court can better determine if it is art or, well, a dildo. We will […]

    The post Kid Rock ordered to produce dildo in ICP sexual harassment lawsuit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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One man's stand

A ragtag market becomes a fixture in a falling neighborhood

Photo: , License: N/A

Luther Fowler at his fruit market.

Luther Fowler sits in a foldout chair and watches the neighborhood pass before him.

He's seated inside the open bay door of a warehouse on the corner of Conner and Canfield, where he has a cobbled together fruit market and a full view of east-side life. His perch has given him an assessment of the mood out here.

"The spirit is low," the 59-year-old says of this area. "All the life seems to be leaving. There's just a sense of disappointment, not really giving a fuck, wanting to get the heck on out of here, leave Detroit and just go. Get up and just go."

This area isn't downtown, or midtown, or the riverfront, where there are exciting projects, new residents, signs of hope for the future. This is an old east side neighborhood, a remote place where a Church's Chicken or a dollar store is talked about as a major development, where more people travel by bus than by car, and where the old housing isn't being restored but instead just crumbles slowly.

He points to some teenagers meandering by. "I see it walking — pants down, look like they're forgotten children. They don't really have no upbeat tempo about them. They're like they just give up."

Fowler's fruit store takes up a small section of a big warehouse that once was Steve's Produce Plus — "The People's Market" as a painted sign declares. Some still call it Steve's. Some call it "Obama Fruit" because of the now-fading portraits of a then-obscure presidential candidate that a wandering painter put on the walls there years ago, next to the scrawls announcing this store's affiliation with the Michigan Coalition of Black Farmers.

But most simply call it "Luther's" because of the man who sits here almost every day, at unpredictable hours, looking out from the warehouse shade, selling fruit one apple or banana at a time.

A new Save-A-Lot supermarket opened down the street not long ago. It's got a huge selection of produce. Yet Fowler still draws customers because his offerings cost just a little less, but also — maybe even especially — because there's something idealistic about a man who opens up a little fruit market right by a national grocery chain he can't possibly compete with. That's the point, he says.

"This corner could do a lot for this neighborhood, it really could," he says of his store. "A little hope would brighten it up. I'd like the neighborhood to come on in here and stop and let them know we as a people can do something." 


Fowler used to be among those who shopped at the warehouse. He lives nearby, about a mile's walk away, and, like everyone else, he'd swing by sometimes for a single potato or a couple apples. Supermarkets have come and gone out here, but Steve's Produce was always a part of the community. Its commitment created loyalty.

Then the owner got ill, gradually reduced the amount of selling space to a small section on the warehouse's east end, and finally gave that up too. When Fowler heard it was closing, he saw an opportunity and asked if he could take over.

"He said, 'You wanna give it a try? Go ahead,'" Fowler says. "He wasn't going to give me the money to do it, so I had a couple hundred dollars, a couple of friends loaned me a couple hundred — I still haven't paid it back — I took it all and did this." He gestures toward the handful of half-filled boxes of fruit, the bottles of water lined up on a shelf, the potatoes in bags and the wrapped peppermint candies selling for a dime each.

Fowler moved here 30 years ago from Huntsville, Ala., a place whose inflections still color his words. His mother left his father, and he followed her north to Detroit. For years he was an auto mechanic, fixing transmissions before he got older and that work dried up. He didn't have much to fill his time after his mother died last year; the idea of opening his own grass-roots market came to him a few months later. 

"I ain't got nothing to do," he admits. "I don't really have a hobby, I really don't. I used to like to work on cars, but I don't have any car now, so I don't do that anymore. I don't have any transportation. I stay home, I shampoo the carpet. Like tomorrow, I'll probably get up about 5:30, 6, shampoo the carpet."

Then came his idea. He took what little money he had, bought a few boxes of fruit, opened his own market and found a new role for himself — as a determined sign of enduring life in a slowly dying neighborhood.

Not everyone shared his hopeful outlook. For a while Fowler's spot served more as a perch for neighborhood vagrants and the wandering homeless than the regular customers he'd envisioned attracting. The Capuchin Soup Kitchen sits next door, drawing clients who'd congregate on his lot while they waited for meals to be served. It took time to win their respect.

"They used to come over here and drink and throw their bottles up in here, but after I started cutting the grass and telling them what I was doing over here, I didn't have any more trouble. I just went out and talked to them. I asked them about the neighborhood — Don't they care anything about it? 'I'm trying to run a business here. What's wrong with you?'"


Soon they stopped leaving the empty bottles on his lot and went from loitering to just passing through, and in that small victory Fowler thinks he's done something to make this corner just a little better. 

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