Thursday, May 19, 2011

Train station vanishing act

Aaron Balcom, Lincoln Park native, plans to make my favorite building disappear (and reappear) in a magic trick of mega proportions!!! At least, this is the talk on the town, no date has been set yet for this "Mega Illusion".
Train station vanishing act
You can check out an article about this here . . .

Aaron calls himself a Rock & Roll Illusionist . . .

I think I will have to see him make the train station disappear before I am a believer in his magic. I will hold my opinion about his abilities until then. He is rousing some attention for Metro Detroit and hopefully it will be positive attention. I hope people will not just be talking about all the ruins in the city that need to disappear, that would not be a positive.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


The First Annual Motor City Bike Blessing is just around the corner . . . Saturday, June 4th . . . get your tickets now for only $10!!!








Johnnie Bassett performing "A Woman's Got Ways" on Fox 2 News

Check out Johnnie Bassett! He has a new cd, The Gentleman is Back.

"A Woman's Got Ways" performed by Johnnie Bassett

Monday, April 18, 2011

Curtis Fuller - Children of The Night Solo

Another Detroit great, Curtis Fuller!!!

Read more about the master trombonist here.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Michigan Central Station - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Michigan Central Station - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I have previously posted about Michigan Central Station in Corktown as it is my favorite building in the city of Detroit. Officially, the doors closed in 1988 but it has still been visited by many over the past couple of decades. I have visited on several occasions to photograph the beauty of the ruins that stand as a symbol and a reminder of what once was a bustling center in Detroit. The following photographs were taken by me on one such visit to the site and I wanted to share them with you today.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Metro Times - Arts: The art of seeing art

Metro Times - Arts: The art of seeing art
Charles McGee - Artist

I was introduced to the work of Charles McGee over the weekend and as it turns out, he has encountered some serious medical problems and has been hospitalized. SO, I wanted to take this opportunity to not only share his work, talent and passion with you but also to send out my hope that he will heal and return to his passion and his life very soon.
I know very little about Charles McGee at this point but am very impressed and inspired by what I have read and seen of the man, the artist and his work. So, I want to share some of what I have learned with you today.
McGee's work can be seen at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
His work is also exhibited in hospitals, as well as other museums. Read more about his life and work, his perspective and awards that he has received in his career as an artist in the following articles and websites:
'Spirit of Renewal' sculpture unveiling
ART X in Detroit and Charles McGee
Charles McGee: Metamorphosis and Kinetic Energy
Charles McGee at wikipedia
Detroiter Charles McGee Named First-ever Kresge Eminent Artist
Charles McGee Eminent Artist Bio Page at the Kresge Foundation website
Check out a video of Charles McGee with one of his sculptures in the VOICES exhibition.

Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Breaking News

Detroit Symphony Orchestra - Breaking News
Free Patron Concerts this SATURDAY & SUNDAY, April 9th & 10th. Contact the box office for more information.
--Call 313.576.5111 to reserve your free tickets--

New Downtown Detroit Grocery Store Opens for Business

New Downtown Detroit Grocery Store Opens for Business
It is exciting to me that new businesses are opening their doors in the city of Detroit. I heard about this new grocery opening up on Woodward in downtown Detroit and I find it to be hopeful news. It was also good to hear that the store owner's are saying that they are looking for local farmers that want to bring product to their store and that they want to cater to the needs of their customers. I really hope that these things hold true as time goes on. I think if we had more business owners like that in the city, willing to take a chance on growing a business there and being an asset to the community, great things can continue to happen for the city.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


I wanted to share a post from one of my other blogs, Absorbing The Wonder, because I think it is also fitting for those of you that are interested in Metro Detroit. Irish Hills is about 70 miles west of Detroit and boasts an impressive list of recreation areas, parks, lakes, nature areas, scenic drives, trails, etc.
I know that a lot of families are preparing their summer vacations and long weekends this spring. Irish Hills is a great destination! Check out the post on Absorbing The Wonder for more information and links to plan your trip today!

John K. King Used & Rare Books : Welcome : Michigan's Largest Used and Rare Book Store!

John K. King Used & Rare Books : Welcome : Michigan's Largest Used and Rare Book Store!

Here is a local gem, John King Used Books!!! If you love books, you can get lost for an entire day searching for your favorites in this four story treasure trove. King Books is very easy to find and is a great day trip to do with friends who also love to read or just to browse the shelves on your own. If you are looking for that special book, it is most likely at King Books!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book-Cadillac Hotel

File:Michavestatues.jpg - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The magnificent architectural detail of the Book-Cadillac building in Detroit is just one of many examples of early 20th century craftsmanship that adorn the city. This photo was taken in 2008 after restoration had been done.
This is truly one of my favorite buildings in the city. There is a website that I came across that has some really beautiful old photos of the Book-Cadillac, it is called Buildings of Detroit. Check it out!!!

The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit

The Fabulous Ruins of Detroit
This is an interesting tour of some of the ruins in Detroit and it makes me think more on what can help Detroit rise against that tide and revive itself. I truly believe that there can be a great revival in the city and this tour does not remind me of what has been lost but of how much growth has happened over time in the city and how growth can prevail in this great city once again.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Welcome to Cliff Bell's

Welcome to Cliff Bell's
This Sunday, March 27th from 6pm-7pm, the very talented Troy High School Jazz Ensemble will perform at Cliff Bell's. A great venue to see live jazz performances in Detroit will host this ensemble of "rising stars". The jazz session will continue on into the evening with jazz performances featuring the DSO Civic Jam Session. There is no cover charge for this event. For more opportunities to see the Troy High Jazz Ensemble perform, check out their calendar.

Brian P. Nutting, Director of Troy High bands, is a most devoted, spirited and vibrant teacher who really loves his work and it shows through the developed talent of the students whose hearts are really in the music for the long haul. I can only imagine how the music world could be forever changed if each student had the chance to be under the wing of a teacher with this kind of passion and devotion to his job. Check out more about the Troy High Colt Bands here.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

From Belfast to Blackthorn - Music - Detroit Metro Times

From Belfast to Blackthorn - Music - Detroit Metro Times
I have been picking up the Metro Times at different locales around the city of Detroit and the suburbs since my early teens. There was always an air of anticipation in finding one, seeing what the cover story might be, checking out the list of upcoming shows, reading the blurbs about upcoming events and perusing the classifieds with friends. In the beginning, I would have to run out on the weekly release date, hoping to grab a copy at my favorite record store and as time went on and life became more cluttered with things to do, I would pick up a copy of the Metro Times whenever I happened to see one.

Yesterday, I was reminded of the excitement that I had experienced many times before when scooping up my precious copy of MT as I noticed that the cover story is about one of my favorite local musical groups, BLACKTHORN!!! I looked at the cover and exclaimed, "It is Blackthorn!", with a great big smile on my face! It brought that simple happiness and enthusiasm to the surface that I had felt so many times before when discovering that I was fortunate enough to collect a treasured copy of MT for myself.

In this article, it quickly comes to light where Blackthorn's heart and core evolved through the eyes and times of Richard McMullan. His great many life experiences definitely developed into heartfelt and passionate lyrics and song. The life lessons and intimate stories are well developed both in melody and in the stories that are shared with their audiences between tunes at each performance.

Along with the recount of how MT can bring simple joy to my life is the importance of sharing BLACKTHORN with you. Blackthorn is a remarkably talented group of musicians that play in great harmony with each other creating a most cohesive unit that explodes with energy, fluidity, spark, vitality, beauty, grace and soulful enchantment. As a listener, you will journey to many places and experience stories full of life, humor, beauty, love, lessons, growth and so much more. Big on audience participation, Blackthorn really draws it's crowd in and pulls them into the harmonies and the explosion of layered melodies that build throughout their performances. Be prepared to not only sit back and enjoy their seasoned flavor but also to sink your teeth in and really experience the feast that is Blackthorn.

Blackthorn is a must see local band!!! Get out to see them as early as tonight, check out their schedule!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Better Made Chips

Detroit is certainly known globally as the Motor City but there are many other superb home grown products that are local favorites besides automobiles. One of those products is Better Made Potato Chips. As I was growing up, these were always a favorite in our household. I recall having those large tins of potato chips around that everyone would fight over. Also, I remember my parents driving us past the factory in Detroit. Whenever I crunch on those tasty chips, I am reminded of my childhood. Better Made is part of the tastes of home for many native Detroiters.
If you have not tried these tasty home grown snacks, get yourself a bag or two. You can read more about Better Made's history or their processing plant while you are enjoying your locally made snack.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grown In Detroit Documentary

Intriguing, heart warming, inspiring, hopeful, passionate and delicious.
See more about the film and make a donation to watch the full movie here.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Detroit Photo Art DETROIT PHOTO ART GALLERY - Jan Kaulins Photo Art Photograph Gallery

Detroit Photo Art DETROIT PHOTO ART GALLERY - Jan Kaulins Photo Art Photograph Gallery
Detroit's landmarks have evolved over the years and it is always a treat for me to peruse the images of Detroit through the window of time. It is always great to support local artists! Jan Kaulins offers a selection of Detroit photographs from then and now that really capture moments in time in a unique way. Take a moment or two to check out his work and find out more about Jan Kaulins.

Art X Detroit festival: The full schedule | Detroit Free Press |

Art X Detroit festival: The full schedule | Detroit Free Press |
Check out Art X Detroit Festival! Always good to see new things happening for the artistic community and Detroit! Check out more about the Inaugural Art X Detroit here. Marcus Belgrave, whom I spoke about in an earlier post, is also going to be a part of this festival.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Eminem Home and Home Blu Ray Interview + Behind The Scenes (HD Video)

Recovery . . . to me, means hope, enlightenment, possibility, effective change, positive energy and a bright light for the future driven by hard work with a passionate heart.
I see this kind of recovery settling in like a canopy of budding trees on a spring day reaching out over the city of Detroit, with new birth, growth, and life.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Art of Tyree Guyton

The Art of Tyree Guyton

In my last post, I highlighted The Heidelberg Project which is the artistic vision and creation of artist Tyree Guyton. Today, I wanted to share this link to highlight the artist himself. His work is passionate, motivated, inspirational and from the heart. Take a moment to learn more about him and his philosophy.

Belle Isle Revealed on Vimeo

Belle Isle Revealed on Vimeo

Belle Isle Revealed from Brian Kaufman on Vimeo.

Growing up in Metro Detroit, I have experienced Belle Isle in a variety of ways at different points in my life. However, I have never before experienced Bell Isle as I now have through the eyes of Brian Kaufman. This remarkable film project, Belle Isle Revealed, really gave new life to the island within the walls of my mind. It took me on a journey and filled me with great desire to return to the island and see it with a fresh set of eyes. This film is a great example to me of that strong, beating heart that gives life and breath to Detroit.

Friday, March 4, 2011

REGENERATING DETROIT: A Tour of the Heidelberg Project

I have been thinking about what I wanted to say about the ridiculous rantings of Glenn Beck. He recently compared Hiroshima to Detroit on that "F" network that is so famous for this kind of sensational, controversial "news". I am not a fan of him or the network and I do not want to give his words any more airplay than they have already had. SO, instead, I will take this time to share something completely unrelated to his antics that I feel is positive in the city. The people of Detroit know that what Glenn Beck is saying is no reflection of the city that they are proud of and I did find some videos on youtube where Detroit citizens are speaking up against Beck in support of their beloved city. See what Detroiters are saying.

So, in the next couple of posts, I will share some positive ways that Detroit is building itself up with the help of it's proud citizens and those who really love the city. I will start today by posting about The Heidelberg Project which you can find out more about here.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Bob Seger | Official Site | News > Downtown Train

Bob Seger is known for his roots in Detroit and his love for the city shines through often times in his lyrics. He has just released his own rendition of "Downtown Train" and I heard it for the first time today and enjoy it. I remember this song from my childhood and it is nice to hear this new take on it.Bob Seger | Official Site | News > Downtown Train

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Home - Believe in Detroit

Fin out how you can join the "Believe in Detroit" campaign and make a difference for our city!!!Home - Believe in Detroit

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Detroit Photography

I like this collage of photography of Detroit. Just a few of the sites that are included; The Michigan Central Depot, Comerica Park, Renaissance Center, old warehouses.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Historic Boston Edison Association, Detroit Neighborhood History

The City of Detroit is known for the automotive industry and certainly for it's music. Detroit is also rich in history. There has definitely been some history lost with the construction of new stadiums downtown. I think it is sad to see historic buildings that are not cared for or must be torn down. Still, progress is important and keeping the city alive with the construction of new buildings has it's definite rewards. I do enjoy the historic buildings and homes throughout the city and the Boston Edison District is one of my favorite historical sites. I have driven through the streets there on occasion just visualizing what those streets may have looked like as that neighborhood began to grow in it's early days. These stately mansions each have their own personality which makes me think that each original owner probably took great pride in their home and it's uniqueness. The Boston Edison District boasts over 100 years very rich in history and it permeates through the streets. You can read about the history of this neighborhood and much more here.Historic Boston Edison Association, Detroit Neighborhood History

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Marcus Belgrave - Detroit's Master Trumpeter and Mentor

A master trumpeter, composer, arranger, educator, recording
artist and producer, Marcus Belgrave is the co-founder of the Jazz Studies Program at The Detroit Metro Arts Complex and the Jazz Development Workshop in Detroit. He is a very seasoned performer and an amazing talent! I had the pleasure of seeing him perform on several occasions with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. You can find out more about Marcus Belgrave here.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Metro Times - Blowout 2011: Schedule

In Detroit, we take pride in music and local musicians! I have always enjoyed live music in Detroit and lucky for me, there are a lot of venues in Detroit to see great shows. We have venues of all sizes. We have venues that are in historic theaters, great little hole-in-the-wall dives, large capacity venues like The Palace (outside Detroit), concerts are even hosted at Comerica Park, The Hard Rock Cafe Detroit, and a host of other staples hosting musical acts. Some of the old staples are Paychecks, Harpo's, St. Andrews Hall and The Majestic.

An event that is coming up in early march, The Blowout, will showcase both the array of talented musicians in Detroit and a variety of venues that support the local music scene. This is a great event for the city and the area. This event is centered in Hamtramck where the nightlife will flow out onto the streets for several days in celebration of our vibrant music scene. Early March in Detroit would still be a time to find the streets a little quiet since the weather is still unfavorable but this is not the case during Blowout. The streets of Hamtramck will be packed with people milling between shows at different venues.
Check out the schedule and plan to catch some great local music! Metro Times - Blowout 2011: Schedule

Thursday, February 17, 2011

YouTube - Dally in the Alley Detroit 2007

This is a great event for Detroit by Detroit! This is a true display of a community working hard to stay vibrant and revive itself. Arts, Detroit goods, Music, People and helping a great cause, reviving Cass Corridor. Put this event on your calendar! YouTube - Dally in the Alley Detroit 2007

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Music of Brazil and the World

Music of Brazil and the WorldI had the pleasure of seeing this Detroit based group perform live in Royal Oak a few years back. I thoroughly enjoyed their performance and was quite taken with their very original flavor. They have a style all their own and they are passionate about their music! Check them out and see what you think . . .

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Michigan Central Depot

Detroit is rich with history. Some of the fascinating architectural history in Detroit lives in buildings that have been cared for and some lives in buildings that are only skeletons of what they once were. One such building is, The Michigan Central Depot. This is one of my favorite buildings in the city. When I look at it, I can just imagine all the people milling about and visualize what it looked like in it's prime. It is sad to see what has happened to the Depot over the years but I see it as not only a reminder of what once was but also a symbol of the potential that our city has for growth. Detroit was once a throbbing heart of activity and it was so vibrant. This building stands as a testament to where we have been as a city and a great reminder of what greatness lies just beneath the surface of this city. The Michigan Central Depot

Monday, February 14, 2011

Detroit Eastern Market - Detroit Eastern Market

Detroit Eastern Market - Detroit Eastern Market Whether you are in search of plants or flowers, fruits or veggies or you want to choose from a selection of locally made specialty food products, Eastern Market is the experience you are seeking! People have been flocking to this public market for over 100 years and with good reason. Saturdays at the market have become a tradition for many and a passion for others. In addition to the rich character of this open air market, is the selection of great restaurants nearby that include a wide variety of cuisines. Plan your Saturday at the Market and maybe it will even become a tradition for you.

Dutch Girl Donuts - Detroit, MI

Definitely the best donuts that I have ever had in the Detroit area!!! If you like donuts and you have not tried a Dutch Girl donut, it is time! Conveniently located at 7 Mile and Woodward . . . no time like the present. Share your reactions here after you try them.Dutch Girl Donuts - Detroit, MI

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Welcome to Lou's Deli

An amazing deli!!! I am not even a fan of Reuben sandwiches but they are out of this world at Lou's! If you are in Metro Detroit, don't miss out on the chance to eat at Lou's.

I am thinking about food a lot while writing this blog, I think it might be time to create my own top ten list of restaurants in Detroit. Wait, only 10?!? Okay, maybe 20, we will see. There are far too many to choose from. Welcome to Lou's Deli

First Annual Motor City Bike Blessing

This year will be the First Annual Motor City Bike Blessing and you don't want to miss it! Only $10 per bike which will include 1 raffle entry and the proceeds benefit, in part, The Friends of the Dearborn Animal Shelter and Kirk of Our Savior. The blessing will be at 1pm. Come on out and be a part of the first year for this great event in Detroit!

Events: Detroit Film Theatre — The Detroit Institute of Arts Auxiliary

A great venue for viewing Indie films. The theatre is beautiful, comfortable and historic with reasonable ticket prices. Plus, there are lots of great restaurants nearby for dining before or after the movie. Make a date! Events: Detroit Film Theatre — The Detroit Institute of Arts Auxiliary

Armandos Mexican Restaurant & catering | an authentic mexican food in the heart of detroit mexicantown

My absolute favorite Mexican restaurant in Detroit is hands down, ARMANDO'S!!! The food is so fresh tasting and the service is so fast at any time of day you will be amazed! There are certainly a ton of other good Mexican restaurants in Detroit's Mexicantown community but Armando's stands out amongst the rest. Armandos Mexican Restaurant & catering | an authentic mexican food in the heart of detroit mexicantown

Vicente's Cuban Cuisine

Talk about fresh, unique and memorable cuisine! At Vicente's in Detroit, you will find the best Cuban Sandwich EVER!!! Try it for yourself and see! Vincente's Cuban Cuisine

Detroit International Jazz Festival

The sights, sounds and flavors that fill the riverfront and the streets of Downtown Detroit attract thousands of music fans. It is one of the most amazing annual festivals in Detroit. The brilliant vibes of Jazz and Blues musicians echo through the heart of the city. Put this event on your calendar because you will not want to miss it! Detroit International Jazz Festival


Okay, this is definitely on my top 10 list of favorite restaurants in Detroit! Slows offers the most extensive selection of on-tap brews that I have seen plus a generous variety of wines. The menu offers are equally as tempting for your taste buds with ribs that fall right off the bone and melt in your mouth. Slows is located near the site of the now vacant lot that once housed the old Tiger Stadium. Check this place out! You will not be disappointed. SLOWS BAR BQ

Baker's Keyboard Lounge - Welcome to Baker's Keyboard Lounge, The World's Oldest Jazz Club

A legendary establishment in Detroit! A true gem in Detroit, having hosted performances by some of the most amazing jazz acts, such as; John Coltrane, Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Dave Brubeck, Pepper Adams, Earl Klugh and the list goes on. If you are from Detroit and have not experienced Baker's yet, check it out!! If you are planning to visit the area, put it on your itinerary. Baker's is rich with musical history! Baker's Keyboard Lounge - Welcome to Baker's Keyboard Lounge, The World's Oldest Jazz Club