Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doin' It in Detroit: Dia de los Muertos


On Saturday November 1, Halloween will be over and it will be time to celebrate the dead, as the traditional Mexican holiday "Dia de los Muertos" begins. Wherever in the world Mexican culture is, Dia de las Muertos customs are continued. Religious rites, family reunions, and special foods and offerings are available for events. November 1 is All Saints Day and November 2 is All Souls Day; on November 1st, deceased infants and children (angelitos--little angels) are remembered, and on November 2 adults who have died are honored.

This Saturday, from 10 am until 5 pm, at the Compas, Center of Music and Performing Arts Southwest, Dia de los Muertos will be celebrated with mariachi music, food, and traditional folk dancing.


Compas, Center of Music and Performing Arts Southwest
8701 W Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(313) 554-0791
 
 
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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Shopping in Detroit: Sweets Divine and Just Brunch Catering

(Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press)



The holidays are coming and it's time to get some sweet-tasting desserts--but pie again? Good News! Right here in Detroit there are two sisters are offering something different--red velvet cheesecake! Danyell Gilliam and Mechelle White own Sweets Divine and Just Brunch Catering which they run from a kitchen in downtown Detroit. They have a growing client list that includes cafes and catering gigs. In addition to the cheesecake topped with red chocolate curls, they also have available on their 50+-item menu chocolate brownies, peach cobbler, and banana pudding cheesecakes.

Danyell and Mechelle left their longtime jobs in an auto plant to start their bakery, and although they have had the usual ups and downs of small business owners, they are pursuing their dream. The sisters, who admit they should have started with a business plan but didn't, still have five-year growth that includes opening a bakery downtown and one in the suburbs, selling their cheescakes in grocery stores, and having cooking classes for children.



Sweets Divine and Just Brunch Catering can be reached at 313-422-5547.
For a menu, send an e-mail to sweets nbrunch@gmail.com. Phone orders are accepted;
cheesecakes range from $18 to $45.


Monday, October 27, 2008

A Change is Coming!

It's almost November 4th!  Yes, we know what the polls say, but what do YOU say?

If you can vote early...vote NOW!

If you can vote absentee...vote NOW!

Check your voting location and check your registration!

Make sure when you do vote, that your vote is recorded and recorded correctly, 
especially if you are using a touch screen voting machine!


If you have to work or go to class, make arrangements NOW to make time to vote! The lines will be long and there may be registration questions or voter suppression attempts!  Be careful, be ready, be sure! Bring along photo I.D. just in case...especially if you are a new voter or haven't voted for a while.

 
Voting queue in  South Africa, 1990
Don't wait until the last minute.



The ONLY poll that counts is YOUR VOTE!!



For a hilarious way to "destroy" a fraudulent touch-screen voting machine, watch this video from David Alan Grier's Chocolate News cable show on "Brad's Blog"...


Shameless Plug: please read my husband's blog The "D" Spot...

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Detroit's Unique Neighborhoods: Highland Park Michigan

 The City of Highland Park Michigan is unique in that it is completed surrounded by the City of Detroit. Originally a farming community located six miles north of Detroit, Judge Augustus B. Woodward bought the farming ridge in 1818, and in 1825 and platted a village he called "Woodwardville". That village failed, and in 1836, Detroit Judge Benjamin F.H. Witherell, whose father James Witherell was a Michigan Supreme Court Judge, again tried to start a village; that attempt also failed. Finally, in 1889, a village called Highland Park was incorporated was a population of just over 400 residents.



In 1909, the village of Highland Park was chosen by Henry Ford for his automobile plant that featured the first assembly line in America which was completed in 1913. In 1918, Highland Park was incorporated as a city to protect the boundaries and keep it separate from the City of Detroit. With the Ford Plant, and the famous $5 a day wages being paid, the population of Highland Park exploded to almost 47,000 residents by 1920 and 53,000 people by 1930.  However, since the Great Depression, the population of Highland Park has continuously declined; the 2000 census recorded just under 15,000 residents.





 
In addition to having the honor of being the "Home of the Model T", Highland Park is also famous for having the world's first modern freeway, the Davison, which runs east-west through the city and was completely reconstructed in 1997. Highland Park was also home to the first headquarters of the Chrysler Corporation

Highland Park was also once known as the "City of Trees" because of the beautiful oak and elm trees which blanketed the area; however, many trees succumbed to "Dutch Elm Disease" in the 1970s. Highland Park is still known for its beautiful homes built in the early 20th century; especially those of the "Arts and Crafts" style. Beginning in the 1990s, Highland Park embarked on a renewal building process, with many new homes and retail shopping areas around Woodward Avenue.




Shameless Plug: please read my husband's blog The "D" Spot...


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Thursday, October 23, 2008

Doin' It in Detroit: Michigan Opera Theater and Detroit Opera House

The uncertain economic times have hit the Michigan Opera Theater especially hard this year; causing the cancellation of some productions and the shortening of other program schedules.

[I am happy to post this clarification directly from the Michigan Opera Theater: "(MOT)...is canceling only one spring opera production 'I Paglicacci' and one performance of 'The Elixir of Love' to generate additional revenue from the Final Four tournament that particular weekend..."]

 However, a Detroit favorite, "Margaret Garner", has returned this week for several performances at the Detroit Opera Theater. 
"Margaret Garner" tells the true story of an escaped slave who killed one of her daughters rather than see her returned to slavery. Margaret was recaptured and tried in court. The actual case was instrumental in the discussion of the Fugitive Slave Act and States Rights.  The opera, tells the story of Margaret's life before, during, and after her attempted escape.
The Detroit Opera House is home to the Michigan Opera Theater.  "Margaret Garner" is the kick-off production for the 2008-2009 Season.  Tickets range from $28 - $120; performance times vary. 1526 Broadway, Detroit. 313-237-7464. $28-$120. Also 6 p.m. Saturday, 2:30 p.m. Sunday and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 24-25. Gregg Baker and Denyce Graves star in this production.
History of the Detroit Opera House (courtesy of  The Detroit News)
The Detroit Opera House, originally opened in 1922 as the Capital Theatre, is one of several great movie and vaudeville theater palaces designed by Detroit-based architect C. Howard Crane. The venue deteriorated over the years until it was closed in 1985 with little hope of reopening. Needing a home, the critically acclaimed Michigan Opera Theatre purchased the building and adjacent property. The owners began the process of restoration, including over 70 percent of the building's plaster. In 1996, the $24 million project ended with an inaugural concert featuring Luciano Pavarotti.

Photo Credits

© July 2006. Woodward Avenue Action Association; Google Images

 

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