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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Pewabic Pottery in Detroit

Mary Stratton created Pewabic Pottery in 1903. Indigenous to Detroit, their hues are easily recognizable and unique.  When you visit local historical homes or churches, this gorgeous tile is everywhere.   The museum, studio, classes and gift shop on Jefferson are open to the public seven days a week. You can take a very informative guided tour or just wander around reading the brochure and learn at your own pace.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Metrotimes Blowout

Billed as North America's Largest Local Music Festival, the Metrotimes Blowout takes place in several venues.  Last weekend it was in Detroit and Hamtramck and this coming weekend in Ferndale. Smalls was one of 11-12 places where live music was blaring all night long in Hamtramck at the corner of Caniff and Conant last Friday. They kicked it off with the band Twine Time at 9:30pm, followed by The Kickstand Band, Mod Orange, Timothy Monger State Park and finishing up at 1:30am with Hard Lessons. The action in Ferndale starts Thursday, May 2 on ten stages which include Cosmos (upstairs), the Ferndale Library, Found Sound, Go Comedy, New Way Bar, One-Eyed Betty's, Rust Belt Market, Sakana Sushi Lounge, The Loving Touch and Woodward Avenue Brewers.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bad Brad's Barbecue in Shelby Township

Word-of-mouth travels fast and that's how we came upon Bad Brad's in Shelby Township. We loved the ambiance and service, but the food was the pièce de résistance with sliders and ribs and a choice of delicious sides that does not end. The have a large selection of Michigan craft beers, too.  If that weren't enough, check out our dessert in the lower right hand corner.  You'd think you were at the Whitney! Hats off, cowboys. They have a second location in New Baltimore also.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Home Plate 2013 in Detroit

It was a beautiful thing to see and hear faith testimonies from current and past Tigers this morning at the event called Home Plate.  It began in 1987 and has been held not only at Comerica Park and Tiger Stadium, but other local sports venues as well. Their stories endeared the players to us even more and then they went out and beat Atlanta!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Old Shillelagh in Detroit's Greektown

It's recognizable by its green awning and green bus that shuttles people to sporting events in Detroit. The Old Shillelagh has been around for 38 years, having started and is still run by the Irish Brady family. Their rooftop is open year round and is especially nice in warm weather. Did you catch Chef Michael Sauer on Fox 2 New last week?  He was showing how he makes their very popular FAB burger.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

New Center Area in Detroit

Waking up to blue skies this morning in the New Center Area of Detroit.  It's been in the news a lot lately as a hot spot for activity ad real estate.  These overhead pedestrian tunnels connect the New Center One mall with offices, Hotel St Regis and the Fisher Building.

The Fly Trap - Ferndale

We enjoyed dinner at the Fly Trap on Woodward in Ferndale.  It had been visited by the TV show Diners, Drive Ins and Dives.   The Lemongrass Faux Bowl was outstanding as well at the Salmon Burger.   Each table has a unique ceramic salt and pepper shaker set (like Grandma's used to have).   The Fly Trap is open only until 9:00 PM. We visited Flytrap a couple of years ago and are so glad to say, it is still as good as ever!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Man About Town in Detroit

This silhouette of an orange man has been appearing on rooftops around Detroit....have you seen him? He was created by Brighton artist John Suave who calls him "Man in the City". He has hung out in NYC and other towns and we welcome him to our metropolis. Don't forget to look up.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Vince and Joe's in Clinton Township and Shelby

The Vitale family has been perfecting the gourmet market called Vince and Joe's for 30 years.  It's an experience to enter here. It's not just their house made pastries like the delicious fruit tarts above, but their breads, their stone oven pizzas, their seafoods and meat selections, deli, soups, vegetables and fruits, and the list goes on forever. Everything is so attractively displayed. Their first location is on Garfield and Canal in Clinton Township. The second one on Van Dyke and 25 Mile in Shelby looks like its own city. There is a seating area for you to eat your pizza slice right in the store and a self-serving wine bar. And don't forget some gelato for dessert!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Howelling Coffee in Howell

Howelling Coffee is a cute play on names for a coffee house in Howell.  The have a booknook and a fireplace and lovely décor and their java is excellent. Along with the ambiance, they have great service. Private parties are welcome here also. That's how we stumbled across this delightful place when they held a beautiful wedding shower here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

First United Methodist Church of Ferndale

On the first Monday of every month, the Detroit Historical Museum visits five historical churches. On June 3, the First United Church of Ferndale is on the docket and we will learn a ton about its history and development. It looms large on Woodward south of Nine Mile. Today, the Reverend Rony Veska is preaching about "The Circle of Life". On April 24th, they offer a free delicious home-cooked meal to the community.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Detroit Artists Market

Last night was the wonderful opening reception at the Detroit Artists Market for Line by Line: Drawing Explored, a group exhibition curated by Jennifer Seibert and Jack O. Summers. Amidst wine and plentiful hors d'oeuvres, art lovers mingled and talked about the displays. It was a great evening. Situated on Woodward, south of Warren, this contemporary art gallery has been showcasing and selling local art since 1932.  This particular show continues through May 24 with a special Gallery Talk on Saturday, April 27 from 2-4pm.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Maccabees in Detroit

There's a new unique eatery in Detroit on Woodward across from the DIA. Maccabees is located in an art deco building of the same name with a huge arching window overlooking the avenue. It's a great bar location where you can watch the world pass by in midtown and use their free wifi. We chatted with the owner who informed us that all the beautiful ornate lighting is one-of-a-kind and done by a local artist. The food is good-- very bistro like-- and they are open for lunch and dinner. Sunday's $12 brunch offering includes a mimosa or a bloody mary. Live jazz spices up Thursdays nights. Their $5 valet parking was very much appreciated.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cass City Cinema in Detroit

The former Burton International School on Cass Avenue was purchased and transformed into the Cass City Cinema by one energetic Joel Landy in 2009. Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey is showing tonight at 7 and 9pm as well as Emperor at 6:45 and Burn, which was filmed in Detroit, at 9:15. Searching for Sugarman will be projected tomorrow night. $5 tickets are available at the door. They offer popcorn with free refills and made in Detroit Faygo soda. An Earth Day Benefit is being held on April 22 --on Earth Day, of course!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit

The Henry Ford Health System employs 24,000 people making it one of the largest employers in Michigan. Their flagship medical facility is the behemoth Henry Ford Hospital on West Grand Boulevard in Detroit with beds for 800 patients. The floor logo in the main entrance lobby proudly displays that it has been there since 1915 when it was financed and built by the auto magnate, Henry Ford. HFHS is a national leader in research and education and clinical care.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Z's Villa in Detroit

On Piquette Avenue off Woodward in the New Center area you'll find Z's Villa in an historic home dating all the way back to 1892. The bar/grill venue is unique and popular and the food is very good.  We've eaten the nachos and the perch, hamburgers and chicken strips, fries, a slim jimmy, catfish and quesadillas.  Everything has been given our seal of approval. We think highly of the waitstaff, too.  It's family-owned and they just seem to have their heart in it. When the weather warms up, there is outdoor seating. They have a shuttle that will run patrons to various sporting events.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Hilberry Theatre in Detroit

The unique Hilberry Theatre in Midtown Detroit is located in a former church that is almost 100 years old. Wayne State acquired it in 1961 and transformed it into a stage theatre and named it after Clarence Hilberry, the president of the university. It is the only graduate repertory theatre company in the nation, presenting a quality selection of both modern and classical plays each year from September to May. Currently in its 50th season, the play opening this Friday, April 19th is Marat/Sade, about the French Revolution's assassination of Jean-Paul Marat by the infamous Charlotte Corday.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Cass Community United Methodist Church in Detroit

Founded in 1880, the Cass Avenue Methodist Church at the corner of Selden is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The square tower on the corner rises to 86 feet. Inside, there are rose windows installed by Tiffany and the church organ is perhaps the largest pipe organ in Michigan from the 1800's. The church has been renamed the Cass Community United Methodist Church and they hold services on Sunday at 11am. They also have a Warehouse Worship service at 12025 Elmhurst on Wednesdays evenings at 6:15pm. Their worship choir is called The Ambassadors.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Art X in Detroit April 10-14, 2013

These pink X's were in a park on Woodward and Warren yesterday and upon closer look, they say "Take Me"and are advertising Art X Detroit which has been taking place since Wednesday. Free to the public, works created by Kresge artists will be featured in fifteen different venues in the Midtown Cultural Center. It's the second year in a row for Art X with music offerings, art displays, dance presentations, video screenings, lectures, literary readings, workshops, etc. Check the Art X link for the schedule.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Hard Luck Candy Vodka made in Temperance

The new proposal by Obama includes taxing flavored vodka.  Better get your Michigan-made Hard Luck Candy vodka now! In production since 2009, it's made in Temperance and quite popular around the country, having won several awards in NYC last year in a flavored vodka tasting.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Royal Eagle in Harper Woods

We had such a memorable luncheon at the Royal Eagle within the grounds of the St Sabbas Monastery in Harper Woods.  The Russian borscht was outstanding! The various tea sandwiches were fresh and wonderful. The third course consisted of very delicious chicken on skewers with a green salad and homemade dressing. Even the desserts were  incredible with napoleons made on the premises and chocolate fudge cakes with fresh cream. The ambiance and the food made us pleasantly feel as if we were transported to a different time and era.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

St Sabbas Monastery in Harper Woods

Tucked away in a subdivision of Harper Woods is the surreal St Sabbas Monastery. Founded in 1999, this Russian Orthodox sanctuary is surrounded by gardens and fountains and includes a delightful little gift shop. Several services are conducted daily where visitors can observe the richly ornate decorations and icons throughout as well as hear beautiful traditional music.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Holy Cannoli's in Rochester

Have you been to Holy Cannoli's in Rochester? These wonderful creations are made fresh from scratch every day from a recipe that's been handed down for five generations. The three flavors the day we were there were cherry almond, key lime and traditional.  They were filled for us as we waited.  The little elves work at night to make the shells and in the morning they make the filling. You'll find them on Main Street close to University on the West side.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Charlie Maxwell: Ol' Paw Paw

Three cheers for Charlie Maxwell on his 86th birthday today.  Ol Paw Paw, the former Detroit Tiger, still lives in our state. This dedication plaque is located in --where else? Paw Paw.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bartertown Diner in Grand Rapids

The selections at the vegan/vegetarian Bartertown Diner were quite delicious today. They have a large following with a convenient downtown location in Grand Rapids Heritage Hill area. Their enticing hash bowl changes every day and very large burritos tempt the super hungry. A definite favorite though was the tofu omelette with a sunflower cream sauce. Can't believe we ate the whole thing!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Andrew's on the Corner in Detroit

If you are looking for a shuttle to the Tiger game against the Yankees this afternoon, there is always Andrew's on the Corner in the Warehouse District. A fixture in Detroit run by the Andrews family since the early 1900's, they have a secure parking lot (no charge) and the sports bar food is very good with a selection of burgers and salads, perch and strip steak, as well as homemade soups. There's an upper open deck on top in the back that overlooks Chene Park and the river.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Cadillac Place in Detroit

This grandiose structure in the New Center area is now called Cadillac Place.  Built by Albert Kahn and completed in 1923, it used to be GM's headquarters until 2001. Outside of New York City, it was the largest office building in the world. Its 31 elevators whisk people to their upper floor offices.  Today it houses lots of government agencies that represent the state of Michigan. Pedestrian overhead walkways connect it to New Center One and the Hotel St Regis across West Grand Boulevard.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Jolly Pumpkin Artisan Ales

Happy Spring from Jolly Pumpkin, maker of Michigan's most famous sour beers. Owner and brewmeister Ron Jeffries founded this brewery in Dexter in 2004. They have a restaurant café in Ann Arbor and a tasting room up in Traverse City. Ron says the magic occurs when the beer is put into his oak barrels. Men's Journal has named his Bam Bière the 21st best beer in the US. We like it--a lot.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Blue Pig Pottery in Elk Rapids

We met affable Matt the Blue Pig Pottery artist at his studio in Elk Rapids. Everything in their shop is original and created by hand. No two pieces are alike with a wide assortment of plates and bowls, teasets and mugs and rakuware. We had a hard time deciding what to buy. Their obvious passion is clay. Put the Art Beat Art Walk on your calendar for June 1. Blue Pig will be represented.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Farmer White's in Williamsburg

Somehow we'd gotten a hold of a jar of habanera pickles made by Farmer White's. They were so remarkable, we decided when the opportunity arose, we'd go to the source. We are happy to tell you they are alive and thriving in Williamsburg near Traverse City.  Mary, on the left, is the recipe creator for the family which has been in business for more than 50 years. They make jams in tons of different flavors. How can we buy generic brands of jelly when these divine creations exist right in our backyard? We walked away with lots of goodies....double cherry pies, chocolate covered cherries, cherry bombs, more pickles and of course, jams ;}

Monday, April 1, 2013

Dow Diamond in Midland

The Great Lakes Loons play baseball in Midland's Dow Diamond. This beautiful new stadium, opened six years ago this month and they will be throwing out their opening pitch this Thursday against Fort Wayne. For a minor league baseball team they have unique features like suites, firepits, fireplaces, free wifi and a 35 foot LED video board! Their mascot is Lou E Loon ;} Razor Shines is the manager of the team. Thanks for the photos, John Stanfield.