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  • Once-controversial Diego Rivera murals now national landmark

    Oh, the irony — initially criticized as Marxist propaganda when Mexican muralist Diego Rivera painted them for the Detroit Institute of Arts in the early 1930s, Detroit Industry has now been designated as a a national landmark. The announcement was made Wednesday, according to the Detroit News by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis as part of National Park Week. The designation does not change the ownership status of the murals or grant any new protections or rights, leaving its place among the rest of the DIA’s art in possible bankruptcy negotiations in question. The work is considered the best of Rivera’s work in the United States (another mural Rivera had done in New York was destroyed by orders of Nelson Rockefeller). Rivera himself regarded Detroit Industries paintings as his finest work. In the midst of the McCarthy era, the DIA posted this sign outside the court: Rivera’s politics and his publicity seeking are detestable. But let’s get the record straight on what he did here. He came from Mexico to Detroit, thought our mass production industries and our technology wonderful and very exciting, painted them as one of the great achievements of the twentieth century. This came […]

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  • Detroit area code 313 may be phased out

    Hey, everybody from the 313, start thinking of new numbers to rally around– the longstanding Detroit area code may be phased out. Our friends over at the Detroit News report that pending a revised estimate next week, the North American Numbering Plan Administration will stop handing out 313 telephone prefixes on new phone numbers. Detroiters with existing cell phone lines would be able to keep their current area codes, while those with land lines would change. via Detroit News: The venerable 313 will ultimately become overtaxed. Even as Detroit’s population has fallen, cellphone usage has accelerated like one of those smoldering SRT Vipers that Dodge has been bolting together at Conner Avenue Assembly — which is, of course, comfortably within the confines of 313. … When the first five dozen area codes were assigned nearly 70 years ago, says NANPA’s Tom Foley, “that was expected basically to last forever.” Instead, somebody invented fax machines, and then somebody else came up with cellphones, and lots of somebody elses decided to give them to 10-year-olds, and meantime the population grew to 300 million. Now every telephone carrier is required to submit twice-yearly forecasts of its needs in each area code, factoring in […]

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  • Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council

    Unfortunately, we were unable to attend last night’s Neighborhood Advisory Council, which, in case you were unaware, is a 16-member board established to weigh in on the new Red Wings arena near downtown. About three dozen residents and property owners cast ballots by the 8 p.m. deadline on Wednesday inside the Block at Cass Park, The Detroit News reports. It’s the culmination of a handful of community meetings which began weeks ago. Councilwoman Raquel Castaneda Lopez facilitated the meetings, but emphasized at previous meetings that it’s up to the community to conduct business. According to the News, the 12 candidates selected include: Michael Boettcher, Richard Etue, Jason Gapa, Francis Grunow, Steve Guether, Paul Hughes, Ray Litt, Warner Doyle McBryde, Karen McLeod, Delphia Simmons, Melissa Thomas and Anthony Zander. Joel Landy, a land owner in the area, lost his bid. The City Council appointed four candidates last month. As we reported in this week’s issue, the Neighborhood Advisory Committee was negotiated after Olympia Development of Michigan, Detroit Red Wing’s owner Mike Ilitch’s real estate arm, balked on a proposed community benefits agreement.  The committee is charged with the task of offering input on the arena’s design, parking security and more.

    The post Final members selected for Red Wings arena Neighborhood Advisory Council appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets coming to the Magic Bag

    The Magic Bag in Ferndale will host James McMurtry and The Bottle Rockets on Thursday, May 28, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $20. A press release reads, “James McMurtry recently signed with the bourgeoning Los Angeles record label Complicated Game. The legendary songwriter will enter the studio later this month to start working on his first album in six years. “I’ve got a new batch of songs, organic and with no added sulfites, aged in oak for several years,” he says. “Francois Moret at Complicated Game seems to like these songs and (producer) C.C. Adcock thinks he can turn them into a record. Good times fixing to roll.” Label head Moret agrees. “In March 2013, when C.C. Adcock told me we were going to see James McMurtry at the Continental Club in Austin, I expected to see a good show,” he says, “but what I saw left me mesmerized! I immediately knew I wanted to sign him. As a European, it is an amazing opportunity to work with one of the most talented American singer-songwriters.” Evidence: McMurtry’s Just Us Kids (2008) and Childish Things (2005). The former earned his highest Billboard 200 chart position in nearly two decades and notched […]

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  • City Slang: Dead Kennedys to have a holiday in Detroit

    The Dead Kennedys, still with local boy Klaus Flouride in the ranks, will play St. Andrew’s Hall on Tuesday, June 24. Alongside Flouride and fellow original members East Bay Ray and DH Peligro, the current lineup includes singer Ron “Skip” Greer, taking the place of Jello Biafra. Downtown Brown will open that show, which starts at 7 p.m., with tickets priced $20-$25. Give Klaus a hero’s hometown welcome. Just over a week before that, strangely enough, Jello Biafra & the Guantanamo School of Medicine will play at the Magic Stick. It’s a weird coincidence, but one that DK fans should be happy to embrace. That show starts at 8 p.m. and tickets are $17-$19. Local hardcore vets Negative Approach play before Jello, with the Crashdollz opening the show. Follow @City_Slang

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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 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? […]

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Food Stuff

Local chocolate, sexy chicken and more

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Hearts and Flowers – With Valentine’s Day a month out, we wanted to remind our readers that you don’t need to buy some mass-produced box of chocolates. There are plenty of hardworking chocolatiers in town, all ready to wrap up that big day with a bow, or just to work on your own sweet tooth.

Perhaps no local brand is known better than Sanders, founded in Detroit in 1875. You can find nine Sanders Candy & Dessert Shops in the metro Detroit area, including Clinton Township, Birmingham, Livonia, Eastpointe, Novi, Grosse Pointe, Rochester, Wyandotte and Auburn Hills. For an added experience, drop in at the retail outlet attached to the candy factory at 23770 Hall Rd., Clinton Township; 800-682-2760;

Another local favorite is Gayle’s Chocolates (417 Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-398-0001;, a longtime fixture of the local chocolate scene. Around Valentine’s Day, they’ll have chocolate covered Oreos with hearts on them, chocolate-covered strawberries and crunchy peanut butter chocolate hearts. But the biggest seller would be the store’s “pizazz” boxes, large black boxes adorned with shiny red hearts full of Gayle’s chocolate truffles. They run $26 for a medium (13 pieces) and $50 for a large (28 pieces).

Another local fixture would be Sydney Bogg’s Sweet Essentials (233 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-398-7933; They’re known for their “turtles” — clusters of pecans, caramel and chocolate. This season, their heart-shaped turtles will come in three sizes, 2-1/2, 5 and 10-1/2 ounces, each poured into a heart-shaped box and decorated with appropriately romantic messages.

On the west side, there’s Truan’s Chocolates (22200 Ford Rd., Dearborn; 313-562-3880; 13716 Tireman St., Detroit; Founded in 1929, and now in its second generation of family ownership, the soda fountain on Tireman closed in 1985 but the company still churns out the sweetness. Mark Truan tells us they still sell plenty of heart-shaped boxes and foil covered novelty chocolates around the big day, but that the most ordered item is chocolate-covered strawberries, which they make and sell Feb. 13-14, with fresh batches each day. They sell the treats at both locations, but you may want to call and secure your order.

Finally, let’s not forget the young upstarts. Pete’s Chocolate Co., the small gourmet chocolate company headed up by Pete Steffy, who says that good chocolate is all about using simple, quality ingredients — and that’s how he makes a dozen different kinds of ganache-filled truffles. The chocolate itself comes from Belgium, but the hormone-free cream he uses comes from Calder’s Dairy. Steffy also uses natural flavorings and such fresh fruit as Michigan cherries. Chocolates are $1.50 each, or $6 or more for a box. Although Steffy doesn’t have a store, he sells at local markets and by order for events. He can get jammed up around big, chocolate-themed holidays, so get those orders in soon at 313-288-9046 or

Know of any upcoming food or drink events? Let us know! Call 313-202-8043 or email

Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook

by FL Fowler

Clarkson Potter, $19.99

Fowl call — Read about food long enough and you’ll notice that food magazines are loaded with titter-inducing double entendres, and some of the gushier food blogs are practically food porn. Finally, an author has given the whole phenom an uptown treatment. From FL Fowler comes Fifty Shades of Chicken: A Parody in a Cookbook (Clarkson Potter $19.99), a story that moves the action of the recent bestseller into the kitchen. The recipes are, naturally, stuffed with double entendres, right down to the names of such dishes as “Dripping Thighs,” “Sticky Chicken Fingers,” “Learning to Truss You,” “Mustard-Spanked Chicken,” “Erect Chicken” and “Chicken with a Lardon.” Enter the world of pulchritudinous poultry, if you dare! See for a juicy preview.

Can’t stand cooking? — Spend a few hours in the kitchen, standing on inflexible tile or hardwood, chopping, slicing, dicing, kneading and sautéing, and you can feel your lower back begin to ache, your legs get sore and a numbness attack your thighs. Most commercial kitchen floors are lined with mats that relieve fatigue while engendering better circulation and posture, alleviating some of the constant pressure found in every kitchen. Inexpensive, decorative mats can be found a cookware shops, but WellnessMats antifatigue kitchen mats, while more expensive, come highly recommended and rated. They have a nonslip surface, a nonskid bottom and no-trip beveled edges. The smooth antimicrobial surface is stain- and bacteria-resistant and puncture- and heat-resistant.

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