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Detroit News Roundup for Paczki Day

Paczki Day!

Miss Michigan named new Miss America

She breaks the streak of Miss America’s coming from Oklahoma, and is the first contestant from Michigan to become Miss America since 1988.

After being named the first of 16 semi-finalists - which includes the people’s choice contestant Jill Stevens - Haglund survived the first round of eliminations before competing in the evening gown segment.

This article wouldn’t be complete without a picture. So here they are:
[via St. George Daily Spectrum]

Rolling out Paczkis for Fat Tuesday

Paczki have been popular in the American-Polish community for many, many years, but the traditional Polish doughnut has only been the star of “Fat Tuesday” for the past 25 years or so.

Today Paczki Day, better known to Polish Catholics as Fat Tuesday, is the talk of the town in places like Hamtramck, Sterling Heights and Clinton Township, which have high Polish populations. In Hamtramck, people celebrate Paczki Day with a parade, food and drink. Lines of people will circle many of the popular bakeries with customers buying anywhere from one to 100 dozen paczki.

[via Macomb Daily]

Fat Tuesday fills menus with paczkis, jambalaya

The unseasonably warm weather expected for today will give Mardi Gras revelers a chance to walk off their paczkis and jambalaya.

Weather forecasters predict a flirt with the 1962 record of 51 degrees as Fat Tuesday celebrants eat with abandon before the Christian fasting season of Lent.

[via Royal Oak Daily Tribune]

Top spots in ‘best new restaurants of 2007′ list nabbed by MGM trio

SaltWater — named 2008 Detroit Free Press Restaurant of the Year on Wednesday — is indeed set in a casino, but guests who venture to try it will recognize it as one of metro Detroit’s best fine-dining experiences.

Bourbon Steak has an edgy, contemporary look with a dining room that morphs from bright light and sparkly glass to salvaged bricks and industrial beams in the darker, more atmospheric areas in the back of the room. There, through a glass wall, you can watch the chefs searing thick steaks and chops over live wood fires.

[via Model D]

Michigan Wants To Make More Movies

LANSING, Mich. — A year ago, Michigan tried luring moviemakers to the state by giving them hefty tax rebates.

But it lost its competitive edge when other states started offering even better deals.

Now, state lawmakers and Gov. Jennifer Granholm are looking at increasing the size of the rebates and adding other incentives to leapfrog Michigan ahead of states such as Louisiana, New Mexico and Connecticut.

“Twenty percent isn’t going to do it. You really need to have a headline,” says Mike Binder, a Detroit native who wrote and directed “The Upside of Anger,” a 2005 film starring Joan Allen and Kevin Costner. Although the plot was set in a Detroit suburb, the movie was filmed in London.

There has actually been many movies recently filmed in Detroit including Transformers and the Island but if we can give more tax breaks to outside and local filmmakers we could increase the amount of money being spent in the state of Michigan and boost the local burgeoning film industry.
[via WDIV]

Salvaged items give home a sense of history

For a new home, this 2,200-square-foot ranch overlooking the Flat River north of Lowell boasts a lot of history.

Redwood planks come from a silo near Lansing, pine boards had been sitting in a Westphalia barn for some 40 years and heavy interior doors from Howell live on as an entertainment center.

Architectural Salvage Warehouse of Detroit, a nonprofit opened three years ago to salvage historical fixtures. Its inventory includes wood paneling, oak mantels, leaded glass windows, light fixtures and bathtubs.

Materials come from properties slated for demolition or remodeling, often old farm houses sitting on land more valuable than the house. carries an array of items salvaged from older homes in Southeast Michigan. Visit its Web site at aswdetroit.org or call 313-515-0399.

[via MLive.com]

Detroit a major exporter, US says

Much less noticed was a U.S. Commerce Department release of reports on exports from more than 360 metropolitan areas. The department reported that metro Detroit ranked fifth-highest in the nation for its merchandise exports, edging out Chicago and far ahead of such Sunbelt cities as Atlanta and Phoenix.

Metro Detroit exported $43.3-billion worth of goods in 2006, up from $40.3 billion in 2005. During 2006, the city ranked behind only New York, Houston, Los Angeles and Seattle in the value of its exports.

Despite these numbers the rest of the nation could care less about Detroit’s contribution to the national economy.
[via Detroit Free Press]

Information on Michigan and Great Lakes Vacations, Getaways and Guides

DETROIT — The casino floor buzzes with sound as scantily clad waitresses stroll by with trays of drinks. Steps away, high rollers sip $120 cognac while watching the action behind a sound-proof glass wall in an Asian-inspired restaurant.

This ain’t Vegas, baby. It’s Detroit.

[via MLive.com]

Winter getaways: Six offerings in the Midwest

Motown has had its ups and downs, but now things are definitely on the upswing. Spearheaded by an $800-million, 18-story hotel with 400 rooms, the newly opened MGM Grand Detroit complex includes a casino, spa, restaurants by celebrity chefs Wolfgang Puck and Michael Mina, five nightclubs and three casinos. Other major draws: the Detroit Institute of Arts, recently reopened after a $158 million, six-year renovation designed by Michael Graves & Associates, and the nearby Henry Ford museum in Dearborn that gives Washington’s Smithsonian a run for its money. The adjacent Greenfield Village, with the original homes of Robert Frost, Thomas Edison, Orville and Wilbur Wright, and George Washington Carver, is closed until April.

•The Inn on Ferry Street, Detroit Institute of Art package: $189, includes breakfast, museum admission and parking.

•The Dearborn Inn (Marriott), the Henry Ford package: from $179, includes tickets for two attractions and breakfast.

[via Kansas City Star]

Healthy airport food is not an oxymoron

Until recently, healthy airport food was an oxymoron. Most of it could raise your cholesterol faster than an MD-80 could reach cruising altitude. But 30 years ago, what it lacked in vitamins it made up for in personality.

According to a recent report by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, healthy choices at airports are taking off. Our own Chicago O’Hare International Airport tied for second place with Detroit Metropolitan International Airport with 93 points. Both airports offer some tasty alternatives to salty fries and greasy burgers. The Ciao Gourmet Market’s walnut and fruit salad is loaded with fruits and vegetables and tastes better than any of the for-purchase foods the airlines sell onboard.

When my cousin Lynne Johnston flies out of Detroit, she picks up a grilled vegetable sandwich from Max and Erma’s, which she says beats a bag of pretzels at cruising altitude any day.

[via Chicago Daily Herald]

Invite the lights, cameras

Just as corporate America seeks tax incentives to lure business, so, too, should Michigan work to lure the film industry (”Lights, camera, action … Michigan,” Jan. 22). Where some see unoccupied factories or urban grit, producers like Michael Bay (”The Island” and “Transformers”) see possibility and art in Detroit. They hire electricians and other skilled tradespeople; they stay in hotels; they hire location scouts, assistants and makeup artists.

Films can showcase Detroit’s interesting landscape to millions as a place to do business and visit. In the mid-20th Century, Detroit was a hotbed of the ad and film industry for commercial production, and films were shot here en masse.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Gold rush: Many sell off old jewelry

At Karagosian Jewelers in Sylvan Lake, co-owner Harry Karagosian has seen a 60 percent jump in the past year in the number of gold items customers are bringing in to exchange for money or to use as credit toward new gold jewelry.

The owners of Yanke Designs Fine Jewelry in Franklin are lowering their profit margin to keep their gold jewelry affordable. Already in the past year, prices have gone up 10 percent to 15 percent, and could go up as much as 50 percent more this year.

Metro Detroit businesses and consumers are joining the gold rush that has swept the country since the precious metal began its climb to new records in recent months. On Thursday, gold for February delivery closed at $922.70 in New York, after reaching a record high of $936.60 earlier in the day. Experts project prices will continue to climb, reaching $1,000 an ounce as early as the first quarter of this year. Over the past two years, the price has soared 67 percent.Metro Detroit businesses and consumers are joining the gold rush that has swept the country since the precious metal began its climb to new records in recent months. On Thursday, gold for February delivery closed at $922.70 in New York, after reaching a record high of $936.60 earlier in the day. Experts project prices will continue to climb, reaching $1,000 an ounce as early as the first quarter of this year. Over the past two years, the price has soared 67 percent.

What’s the future of gold? Will look dollar continue to slide down? Is it time to start demanding to be paid in gold? With how much the price of gold has increased in the past years it’s hard to imagine it increasing at the same rate as it would mean the dollar would become nearly worthless.
[via DetNews.com]

Downtown coffee shop aims for Ann Arbor feel’

A coffee shop catering to business people on the go has opened in the Edison Plaza in Downtown Toledo.

“I’m really looking for an Ann Arbor-Chicago feel, with people sitting outside, drinking a cappuccino and listening to music,” Beczynski said.

Ann Arbor and Toledo are very different cities but many people from Toledo visit Ann Arbor (as well as Chicago) and see what life could be like.
[via Toledo Free Press]

City’s plan to put foreclosed homes to use

Hit by a deluge of foreclosures in the past three years, the City of Detroit said it has found a tool to get some of the houses back into use.

A pilot program that city officials expect to launch soon would take advantage of a federal rule that allows cities to buy homes for $1 after owners default on loans from the Federal Housing Administration and if the federal government cannot sell the houses within six months. The houses would become available in eight months.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Mercedes plans $5M Ann Arbor expansion

The Smart Fourtwo, on display at the recent Detroit auto show, was tested by Mercedes in Ann Arbor.

Mercedes-Benz is considering adding product development capabilities to its Ann Arbor emissions laboratory as it makes plans for a $5 million expansion of the site.

[via MLive.com]

Detroit Science Center hopes to find a pot of gold as it lands a …

Nautical-lore lovers or those infatuated by the “Pirates of the Caribbean” trilogy, say “ahoy” to the new traveling exhibit “Shipwreck! Pirates & Treasure,” set to dock at the Detroit Science Center March 24 through Sept. 1.

The Science Center plans to announce today that Detroit is the first port of call for “Shipwreck!” which is currently at the Museum of Science & Industry in Tampa, Fla., through Feb. 10. The all-ages exhibit offers interactive games, photographs, pirate lore and facts, a tunnel that creates hurricane-force winds, and a robotic arm that retrieves buried treasure. In addition, there will be full-size, replicated portions of shipwrecks, such as the Civil War-era SS Republic that sank during a hurricane off the coast of Georgia in 1865, as well as a number of actual artifacts from the ship.

[via DetNews.com]

Punk Fitness Detroit class offers an alternative to hitting the gym

Punk Fitness Detroit is held at several different locations and times each week. It’s in Ferndale on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. at the Kulick Community Center at a cost of $58 per six-week session; in Huntington Woods, Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. at the Huntington Woods Recreation Center at a cost of $85 per eight-week session; in Detroit, Saturday nights at the Magic Stick on a drop-in basis at a cost of $5 per class; and in Hamtramck on Tuesday nights at the Belmont on a drop-in basis at a cost of $5 per class.

[via C Newspapers]

Cookies, delivered

Cookies, one of the most wholesome snack foods, have lost their innocence.

The sugary disks have joined the ranks of campus’s late-night drunken munchies thanks to the opening of an Ann Arbor franchise of Insomnia Cookies, a company committed solely to delivering fresh-baked cookies in student neighborhoods at night.

[via Michigan Daily]

Condo, loft sales surge in Detroit as prices fall

DETROIT — Tumbling prices for once-pricey downtown lofts and condos are bringing in a flurry of buyers, providing a surge in December sales not seen since the bygone era of easy mortgage financing.

“I tell most of my clients there is $100,000 wiggle room on certain units right now,” said Sabra Sanzotta, owner of the Loft Warehouse realty agency, which specializes in downtown properties. With that bargaining leverage, Sanzotta sold six high-end units in the past month, including a downtown penthouse for $200,000. Original price: $511,000. It was her best month of sales since 2003, Sanzotta said.

Although this may not bode well for near future investment in downtown real estate projects the bottom line is that it’s a great time for real people to move and live in downtown Detroit.
[via DetNews.com]

Hamtown ham

Hamtramck’s always held kind of an almost magical ambience for me. For as long as I can remember, the city’s had a great indescribable vibe to it — down-to-earth, never taking itself too seriously, and all about having fun. Hamtown’s always been a music mecca to my way of thinking, even if only cult heroes have ever come out of there. But that makes it all the cooler.

“It’s not so much that Hamtramck is more important than any other local scene,” says local publicist Becki Carr of Yarrr! PR, “but Hamtramck just has its own flavor. People who live in Hamtramck — or just hang out there and play shows there — tend to be pretty proud of the town. Going into Hamtramck is almost like going into a very small foreign country. Going back as far as the York Brothers’ ‘Hamtramck Mama” and all the way up to the Lili’s 21 and Paycheck’s punk scene and the Motor City techno scene, Hamtramck has been host to some pretty incredible musical history.”

[via Detroit Metro Times]

Detroit’s Winter Blast: A Taste of What You’ll See Feb. 8-10th

DETROIT — A line-up of all the entertainment, activities and restaurants for the fourth annual Detroit Winter Blast was announced Monday at a traveling press conference in downtown Detroit.

Participants at the meeting were the first to experience some of the music, food and fun before the actual festival weekend held on February 8-10.

[via AmericaJR.com]

Knight Foundation grants $7M to city initiatives

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has granted nearly $7 million to eight Detroit initiatives. “These grants are supporting the citys efforts to become the Next Detroit. We are supporting the city plan for neighborhood revitalization while partnering with other foundations and local leaders in order to move the city forward,” said Brenda Price, Knight Foundations program director for Detroit, in a statement.

[via Model D]

Mercury Coffee Bar to open in Corktown with focus on healthy food from local sources…

The Mercury Coffee Bar will open in Corktown this spring, bringing coffee, tea, pastries, salads and paninis to the corner of Michigan Ave. and 14th St.

The venture is being undertaken by Todd Wickstrom, who co-founded Heritage Foods USA after spending four years as a managing partner of Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor. Wickstrom decided to open a restaurant in Detroit after spending time on a Michigan Food Policy Council task force that examined the food desert issue. “The focus is to use food to drive economic development in the city,” he says. “We want to really use business solutions in a lot of areas that are typically the realm of non-profits and foundations.”

Wickstrom is working with local urban gardens and Michigan farmers to supply the restaurant and is dedicated to job creation and employee training. “Part of what we’re trying to do is create as many jobs as possible,” he says. “The thing with retail food is that you have to have people to make it work.”

The bulk of the first floor of the restaurant will be occupied by the kitchen and bakery, although there will be window seating — with views of the Michigan Central Station included, natch.

A new business in Corktown on Michigan Avenue, strengthening entertainment options along that stretch, creating jobs in Detroit and supporting local green initiatives. It’s a win-win in many ways.
[via Model D]

Rx: Dance at Oslo

What makes a Detroit dance club really rock? Is it the people, the place, the sound, or a combination of all three? Well, of course, it is. But then there are the intangibles, something rare that is not easily put into words.

Those rare intangibles are what made Oslo the premier spot for dancing the night away (not to mention supping on miso soup, asparagus-cucumber rolls and drinking sake at the sushi bar on the main level) the minute it opened in spring 2004. Back then, events at the basement club at Woodward and John R were promoted by Detroit-based Soft Curls (one of the promoters re-located to Warsaw, Poland), which parlayed its connections to Motor City techno titans Underground Resistance and Submerge Recordings, and the growing minimal scene in Berlin and Cologne, Germany, into sweaty, overflowing oh-so-much-fun dancefloor mayhem. European stars Michael Mayer, Superpitcher, Miss Kittin, Ellen Allien and former Windsorite Richie Hawtin all had memorable dates during Oslo’s first life, which lasted for nearly three years (trust us, an eternity in the crazy, hazy world of techno).

[via Model D]

Gourmet grocer to open inside lofts building on Woodward

“He heard me talk about the Charlevoix store at the bar and he tapped me on the shoulder and said I should try it in Detroit,” Warner said.

The market plans to open on the first floor of Belyue’s Crystal Lofts development at Woodward and Watson. The project will have 17 lofts ranging in size from 890 square feet to 2,200 square feet and range in price from $189,000 to $450,000. The first units will be ready in February, he said.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Outside investors hot on Detroit commercial real estate

Metro Detroit’s inventory of commercial real estate continues to provide hot prospects for out-of-town investors.

Seven of 2007’s 10 biggest sales were purchased by companies or investors outside metro Detroit. The area’s reputation as a risky place for investment has been both good and bad.

[via Crain’s Detroit Business]

Hip-hopping on Hamilton Row

Aaron Cohen, 24, of Birmingham, hangs out in Revive, his Birmingham store on Jan.12. Cohen is one of the youngest business owners in downtown Birmingham. The store carries clothing and shoes that are almost impossible to find anywhere else in metro Detroit: Custom-made, limited edition Nikes that can fetch $700 a pair; hooded sweatshirts and T-shirts by labels such as King Stampede that only the hippest connoisseurs of such items would know.

This makes three such sneaker boutiques in Metro Detroit, one and Royal Oak, one in Midtown, and now one in Birmingham. The new store, revive, sounds very promising and you can see what they have on their blog. They shipped worldwide!

[via Detroit Free Press]

Muskegon Film Festival a party for the eyes-Muskegon Chronicle

Admission: All-event passes are $50 for adults and $45 for students. A Saturday pass is $30 for both adults and students. Individual admission is $8 for adults and $6 for students. Tickets for Thursday night’s session in the Frauenthal Theater is $15, and included in the all-event passes. Passes available at all Star Tickets Plus outlets including the Frauenthal box office.

[via MLive.com]

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