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  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through BuildingDetroit.com, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns transwomen

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns transwomen appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Use this widget to find your polling place for Aug. 5 primary election

    Reminder: the August 5 primary election is coming up. Where do you vote? What’s on the ballot? All these questions can be easily answered by simply typing the address you are registered to vote at into this handy widget created by Pew Charitable Trusts and Google: You can embed this widget on your own website with the following code, and more information can be found at the Voting Info Project.: <script type=”text/javascript” src=”https://voter-info-tool.appspot.com/js/loader.js”></script> <div id=”_vit”></div> <script type=”text/javascript”>vit.load({‘election_id’:’4034′, ‘suppress_voter_id_rules’: true});</script> Read up on MT‘s election guide for Wayne county executive here.

    The post Use this widget to find your polling place for Aug. 5 primary election appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Arts

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Courtesy photo.

An artist at work on the Z in Detroit.

Guide to outdoor art in Detroit

There are plenty of alternative places to see great art in Detroit.

Photo: Courtesy photo., License: N/A

Courtesy photo.

The Heidelberg Project’s “People’s House.”

Photo: Courtesy photo., License: N/A

Courtesy photo.

Jerome Ferretti posing with his "Monumental Kitty."


Are art galleries not quite your scene? Do you not care for wine and cheese? Something about the pretentiousness of staring at art in a white room? No worries: There are plenty of alternative places to see great art in Detroit. Here are some of our favorite outdoor works of art in and around town:

The Z
Having just opened this year, the Library Street Collective brought 27 artists from around the world to paint colorful murals on the walls of this 10-story parking garage. If you’re going to try to find a parking spot downtown, you might as well look at hip, contemporary art while you’re doing it. (Library and Gratiot, Detroit)

The Spirit of Detroit
Built in 1958, this green giant is perhaps Detroit’s most iconic statue, known to don outsized Detroit team jerseys when they make the playoffs. Once, some genius painted green footprints leading to the “Passo di Danza,” a nearby sculpture of a beautiful dancer. (2 Woodward Ave., Detroit)

The Heidelberg Project
People will endlessly debate whether or not Tyree Guyton’s neighborhood-wide outdoor installation is art, a protest or just an eyesore. But it doesn’t matter. What’s certain is that a walk through the neighborhood’s polka-dotted houses is a trippy way to spend a warm, sunny day. (Heidelberg and Mount Elliot, Detroit)

Monumental Kitty
You’ve got to love this cheeky statue. The brainchild of Corktown artist Jerome Ferretti,  this feline-shaped, 9-foot-in-diameter dome consists of 3,000 salvaged bricks. Located at the foot of a pedestrian bridge that used to lead to old Tiger Stadium. (I-75 and Cochrane, Detroit)

The Car Monster at Fourth Street
Found-item art decorates this tree-lined block, but the main attraction of this bohemian neighborhood at Fourth and Holden is a sculpture of a grinning monster fashioned out of an old car. (Fourth and Holden, Detroit)

The People Mover’s Art in the Stations
The People Mover may not really take you anywhere you can’t walk in five minutes, but it can take you on a fun tour of art. Each stop features an installation, and they range from a bronze sculpture of a man reading a newspaper to neon lights to murals made of Pewabic tiles.

Eastern Market Murals
Eastern Market is known for some great murals, like the iconic bull made out of veggies, or the guy who did his marriage proposal via street art. But more recently, the Detroit Beautification Project has added even more great murals to Eastern Market, as well as Hamtramck and beyond, from 25 big names in the street art scene.

The Uniroyal Tire
More than 80 feet in diameter, this giant tire was originally created as a Ferris wheel for the 1964-1965 New York World’s Fair that Jackie O and the Shah of Iran are said to have ridden. Unfortunately. it’s no longer a Ferris wheel, but it makes the drive from the city to the airport much more fun. (Best seen on eastbound I-94, east of the Southfield Freeway, Allen Park)

Joe Louis Fist
Perhaps Detroit’s second-most-iconic statue, “The Fist” was built as an ode to heavyweight boxing champ Joe Louis, but it makes an awesome black power symbol as well. To comment on the economic times, local art-prankster Jerry Vile rolled a giant can of Crisco in front of it last summer. (Woodward and Jefferson, Detroit)

The Dodge Fountain
Hart Plaza’s UFO-shaped fountain is mesmerizing … especially if you’re raving at the electronic music festival. (Hart Plaza, Detroit)

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