Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday Milestones: Wonderful Economic News for Detroit!

 Three great Milestones for this Monday! Amid all of the bad news and sad news of last week (June 21 - 27 2009), there was some WONDERFUL economic news for Detroit!

Orion Township GM Plant
Photo Credit: Detroit Free Press

General Motors will re-vamp the Orion Township Plant to build 16,000 new small cars per year; selecting the idled plant over similar plants in Wisconsin and Tennessee. Over 1,200 jobs will be saved for Metro Detroit.

 Artist's Rendering of the Shoppes at Gateway Park Project

Meijer, Inc. is negotiating to open an anchor superstore in the Shoppes at Gateway Park Project that will be opening near the Michigan State Fair Grounds at 8 Mile and Woodward. This will be the first store in Detroit for Meijer's, and the first big-box major grocery store to open in the City since Farmer Jack closed almost two years ago.

General Electric Corporation, begun over one hundred and thirty years ago by Port Huron's own Thomas Alva Edison, will build a $100M technology, manufacturing, and software research center in Van Buren Township near Belleville. The facility will employ over 1,200 scientists and engineers working on next-generation manufacturing and technology products such as renewable energy and composites.

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Old School Friday: RIP Michael (no last name needed...)

Nothing else needs to be said about any other parts of Michael...
His talent speaks it all for him.
One of my favs (besides "Thriller" of course) is "Bad"...
Who's "Bad"...Michael is still the "Baddest"...
 I LOVE this video of people in the Phillippines doing "Thriller"...

Please leave your kind memories of Michael in the Comments Section...

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Things to Do Thursday: 4th Fridays at Campus Martius

4th Fridays by Ford returns this year to Campus Martius! 
This Friday, the theme is "Celebrating 50 Years of Motown"!

6:00PM, features live music variety, drink specials and opportunities for networking in the beautifully landscaped Park.
From 6:00-7:30PM, the best of Detroit’s music and entertainment will be featured at the Park.
The Ford Half-Time Show, 7:30-8:00PM, will include give-aways and raffle prizes from 4th Fridays sponsor Ford Motor Company.
The 4th Fridays with Ford monthly headliners will take the stage at 8:00PM and perform until 9:30PM.
Contemporary film classics with musical themes, projected on the big screen in the Park, will close each month’s 4th Fridays with Ford celebration, beginning at 9:30PM. Bring your blanket or pull up a Park chair and enjoy the films.
Or, you might end the night of music on a free walking tour led by Inside Detroit. Each month will “spotlight” four restaurant or bar locations in a different downtown district, offering special 4th Fridays discounts. The tour will end at the official Inside Detroit After Party location with food and drink specials and insider fun.
Featured 4th Fridays with Ford events on June 26:
A sampling of entertainment during Lunchtime Arts, from 11:30AM- 1:30PM in the Park, will feature preview artists from Concert of Colors July event. 
A mix of music and dance is highlighted on the main stage, 6:00-7:30PM, including a Tribute to Motown’s 50th Anniversary featuring a powerhouse band led by Edward Gooch, road musician for The Miracles and The Four Tops, The Funk Brothers, musical director Robert Jones, and more performers to be announced.
From 7:30-8:00PM, a “Happy Anniversary Motown” cake-cutting will take place with the Motown Historical Museum, plus prizes for “Detroit Trivia” audience game players.
Making an appearance as the headliner is long-time Silver Bullet Band saxman Alto Reed, leading a band of Detroit Classic Rock all-stars including drummer Johnny “Bee” Badanjek and guitarist Jim McCarty, both formerly of Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels. This special evening marks the launch of Alto’s new classic Detroit Rock album, “Tonight We Ride.” Alto Reed and the Detroit Classic Rock all-stars will perform from 8:00-9:30PM.
Continuing with the Motown theme, “Standing in the Shadows of Motown, is the film classic that will be shown on the big screen at 9:30PM in the Park to culminate 4th Fridays with Ford
The featured downtown district and official after party location in June is Bookies Bar & Grille in North Downtown. The address is 2208 Cass Ave.
Find the complete poster here...
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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: Detroit International Fireworks!

51st Annual Detroit International Fireworks
June 24 2009
Detroit Riverfront
Celebrating Canada Day (July 1) and 
US Independence Day (July 4) 

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits: Djenne Beads and African Imports

 The International Center Waterfall

 Mahamadou Sumareh is the owner of the elegant and fascinating Djenne Beads and African Imports located inside of the International Center at the corner of Beaubien and Monroe in Downtown Detroit. Mr. Sumareh travels to Africa several times a year to stock his shop with African clothing, incense, beads, perfume oils, jewelry, furniture and decorating items. Djenne's faces the Greektown Casino and can be reached by the Greektown exit of the Detroit People Mover.

Djenne Beads and Art African Imports

1045 Beaubien, Suite No. 153 (International Building), Detroit

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday Milestones: Grace Lee Boggs

Grace Lee Boggs (1915-  )
Grace Lee Boggs was born Providence, Rhode Island in 1915 of Chinese immigrant parents. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Barnard College in 1935 and her Doctorate of Philosophy from Brywn Mawr College in 1940. Dr. Boggs has been an activist in the Labor Movement, Civil Rights Movement, Black Power Movement, Asian American Movement, Women's Movement, and Environmental Movement for over sixty years.

In 1953, Dr. Grace Lee moved to Detroit and married James Boggs, an African-American writer, strategist, and labor movement activist. They worked together building grassroots projects for over forty years until Mr. Boggs' death in July 1993. Their book, Revolution and Evolution in the Twentieth Century, was published in 1974. Her autobiography is titled Living for Change. It was published in 1998 and is still currently used in university classes on social movements and about Detroit Michigan.

 In 1992, along with her husband and fellow activist Shea Howell, Dr. Boggs founded "Detroit Summer", a youth program incorporating intergenerational and interracial programs to help to rebuild and redefine her adopted hometown of Detroit Michigan.

Dr. Grace Lee Boggs is still active with many grassroots groups and campaigns in Detroit, and writes a weekly coumn for the Michigan Citizen newspaper.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Old School Friday: "Dance with Me" The Nicholas Brothers

This tap-dance routine by Fayard and Harold Nicholas--the Nicholas Brothers, is the ABSOLUTE GREATEST dance number ever performed and filmed. It is taken from the 1943 Black Film Classic "Stormy Weather"; which also starred Lena Horne, Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, and Cab Calloway.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Things to Do Thursday: Detroit River Days 2009

June 19 - 21 2009

The 3rd Annual RiverDays Festival will be this weekend along Detroit's famed Riverwalk.

There are many activities available for the whole family; including a carnival, amusement rides, the Tall Ships, Pooch-a-Palooza, Riverboat Tours, and the Parade of Lights. Click here for a list...

The Detroit RiverDays Festival leads up to one of the largest Fireworks Displays in America:

The Target Fireworks will take place on the Detroit International River on Wednesday, June 24th. The RiverDays and Fireworks jointly celebrate the friendship and Independence Days of the Canada (July 1) and the United States (July 4). Detroit is the only place in the USA where you travel south to Canada!

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Things to Do Thursday: Juneteenth Celebration

One of Detroit's largest Juneteenth Celebrations will take place on Saturday, June 20 from 10:00 - 2:00 at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History. Click here for the flyer...

"The people of Texas are informed that in accordance with a Proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and free laborer."

Juneteenth is the oldest known celebration commemorating the ending of slavery in the United States. Dating back to 1865, it was on June 19th that the Union soldiers, led by Major General Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas with news that the war had ended and that the enslaved were now free. Note that this was two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation - which had become official January 1, 1863. The Emancipation Proclamation had little impact on the Texans due to the minimal number of Union troops to enforce the new Executive order. However, with the surrender of General Lee in April of 1865, and the arrival of General Granger’s regiment, the forces were finally strong enough to influence and overcome the resistance.

According to Tom Feelings, the author of The Middle Passage:
Juneteenth is a day of reflection, a day of renewal, a pride-filled day. It is a moment in time taken to appreciate the African American experience. It is inclusive of all races, ethnicities and nationalities - as nothing is more comforting than the hand of a friend.
Juneteenth is a day on which honor and respect is paid for the sufferings of slavery. It is a day on which we acknowledge the evils of slavery and its aftermath. On Juneteenth we talk about our history and realize because of it, there will forever be a bond between us.
On Juneteenth we think about that moment in time when the enslaved in Galveston, Texas received word of their freedom. We imagine the depth of their emotions, their jubilant dance and their fear of the unknown.
Juneteenth is a day that we commit to each other the needed support as family, friends and co-workers. It is a day we build coalitions that enhance African American economics.
On Juneteenth we come together young and old to listen, to learn and to refresh the drive to achieve. It is a day where we all take one step closer together - to better utilize the energy wasted on racism. Juneteenth is a day that we pray for peace and liberty for all.
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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits: Foran's Irish Pub

The interior and exterior of Foran's Irish Pub with restored Grand Trunk Railroad fixtures.
In the 1800s, the Grand Trunk Railroad extended from Portland, Maine to Sarnia, Ontario taking products from around the world from ships docked in Portland to distribute throughout the midwestern United States. The railroad line also linked many cities in Michigan, moving through Indiana to Chicago.

The Grand Trunk Railroad Depot Office in Detroit was located at Brush and Atwater Streets until the construction of the Renaissance Center. The Grand Trunk Railroad Ticket was located near what is now Campus Martius and thrived until Amtrak was begun in 1971.

The last Grand Trunk Railroad ticket office was located at 612 Woodward Avenue. Today, it is the home of Foran's Irish Pub, which has retained the historic style and furnishings of the old railroad office.

Foran's Irish Pub celebrates and supports the local economy by serving beer brewed at the Motor City Brewing Works, bread from Avalon Bakery, Faygo Pop, and meats and produce from the Eastern Market. Wi-fi is available.

Click here to visit the website for menu items and hours and to find out more about this great Detroit restaurant and bar.

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Monday Milestones: The End of Tiger Stadium?


Last July, I posted a history of Tiger Stadium. You can see that post here.

As of today, June 15 2009, the remainder of Tiger Stadium is being demolished, leaving another large undeveloped area in Detroit, in the historic Corktown neighborhood.

Another historic Detroit landmark will soon be gone. What do YOU think about the loss of Tiger Stadium?

Go to the sidebar to register your vote, and be sure to leave a comment so that others can weigh in on your ideas!

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Old School Friday: "Keeping It in the Family"

This Friday...honoring my sisters (The Hilliard Sisters of Detroit MI)...because we are definitely FAMILY!!
Yes, there are FOUR of us...can you guess who is who?
Pam, Amy, Gloria, and Wendy...not necessarily in that order in the avatar above...
"We are Family" by Sister Sledge...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Things to Do Thursday: Detroit Air Races This Weekend!

The Detroit Red Bull Air Race will be held this weekend (June 13-14) on the Detroit Riverfront!
What is Detroit Air Racing?

Detroit Air Racing is comprised of local business leaders and who came together with the mission of returning air racing to the City of Detroit. Given the popularity of Red Bull Air Racing (RBAR) and Detroit's pioneering history in aviation and motor sports, hosting a Red Bull Air Race in Detroit is a natural winner for everyone.  Following extensive research on the feasibility of hosting air races in Detroit, we invited Red Bull North America days before Thanksgiving in 2007 and we learned of an open slot for 2008 and they’re coming back this summer June 13th and 14th for the second round.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: R.I.P. Councilman Clyde Cleveland

Photo Credit: Detroit News
Clyde Cleveland, 1935-2009
Detroit City Councilman 1974-2001

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Tuesday Tidbits: Wayne State Farmer's Market

Wayne State University SEED Program Wednesday Farmer's Market 
 Fresh, locally-grown produce, plants, and flowers will be available in Midtown Detroit every Wednesday through October on the Wayne State University Campus!
  • Every Wednesday, 11 AM to 4 PM.
  • 5201 Cass Ave. (In front of Prentis Hall; across the street from the Detroit Public Library).
  • Market accepts cash, Michigan Bridge Card, and WSU One Card.
 For more information, contact Kami Pothukuchi at k.pothukuchi@waynedu

According to the SEED Wayne Website:
SEED Wayne is dedicated to building sustainable food systems on the campus of Wayne State University and in Detroit communities. 
SEED Wayne works in partnership with community-based organizations promoting food security, urban agriculture, farm-to-institution, and food and fitness planning and policy development.