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OpEd: Why Oakland Schools Technical Campuses has a Working Relationship With Business

As Michigan reinvents its economy, educational institutions are getting in synch with employers' changing needs. Leaders from the Oakland Schools Technical Campuses discuss the importance of retooling to supply the state's emerging high-tech industries with new talent. 

OpEd: Closing the Gap Between Food Producers and Consumers

The biggest barrier to consumer access to fresh, locally-grown food is the distance between food providers and suppliers, says Rachel Leemis, founder of Monty's Beef Company, a Piedmontese beef retailer that keeps its own herd of cattle. But new state support for rural development is planting the way for the state's 52,000 farms to meet this growing trend. 

The Rise of Metro Detroit's Mixologists

Five years ago metro Detroit was barely a blip on the craft cocktail radar. Today it's considered one of the hottest regions for mixology, boasting bartenders and a scene that rival any in the U.S.  Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg charts our cocktail culture's recent evolution. 

Will Metro Detroit's Tech Community Ever Be Color Blind?

Metro Detroit has a long history of cultural silos and regional segregation. So how does its tech and entrepreneurial community create opportunites for greater racial and cultural diversity? There's no easy answer but places like Silicon Valley are implementing aggressive and sustained efforts to bridge a divide local business leaders barely acknowledge.

Motor City Free Geek Reclaims Yesterday's Technology

There's an awful lot of discarded technology out there. There's got to be a better place for it than the trash, right? The Royal Oak non-profit Motor City Free Geeks marshals hundreds of tech volunteers to refurbish computers and laptops, outfitting them with free software and selling them to the public for hugely discounted prices. It's like the Circle of Life for technology.

Urbanizing Metro Detroit's Suburbia

The lines between suburban and urban are finally blurring in some Metro Detroit communities. And none too soon. Though our region ranks last in terms of urban revitalization among the 25 largest metros, things are looking up. "You're moving in the right direction," says Christopher Leinberger, senior fellow at The Brookings Institution.

Data Driven Leadership: A Q&A with Mayor Kurt Metzger

When leaders change, new wishlists are written. Metromode talks with Kurt Metzger, the new mayor of Pleasant Ridge, on why Metro Detroit communities should cooperate across their borders. 

Why They Sit on Their Local School Boards

Let's face it, being a school board member can be a tough and thankless job, especially if you have kids enrolled in the very educational system you help to oversee. To get an insider's view, Metromode's Amy Kuras chats with parents of school-age kids who also serve as school board members in Dearborn, Northville and Royal Oak.

Back to the Future of Food Trucks

In the last two years, Metro Detroit has been playing catch up to the nation's mobile food vending scene. Now food carts and trucks are hitting the road, even serving as trial runs for brick and mortar restaurants. Nicole Rupersburg, Metromode's food cartologist, dishes with a few of these mobile chefs.

Where's the Beef in Metro Detroit? (& Lamb, Pork, & Duck)

Man does not live by gluten-free vegan cuisine alone. Some might argue that's not living at all. For all the love that's given to the how-green-is-my-garden folks, Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg feels it's time to give a big bloody hug to locals who want to put their incisors to good use.

MAD Inspiration: Alan Bernstein's Quest to Make a Documentary About the "Usual Gang Of Idiots"

Spy Vs. Spy. Snappy Answers To Stupid Questions. The Fold-In. For 60 years MAD Magazine has made hysterical sense of an insane world. Royal Oak filmmaker Alan Bernstein is making a documentary about the satirical mag with the help of a highly successful Kickstarter campaign.

Making Royal Oak Ground Zero for Film

Ed Stencel has been around the movie block. A Michigan native, he spent a decade and a half working his way into and around Hollywood. When the state's film scene caught fire he moved back, setting up shop in Royal Oak. Things may have cooled with cuts to the state's film incentive, but Stencel has remained passionate about building up the Metro Detroit film community.

Beyond Gaming Turns Video Game Competitions Into Cash

Some people take video games like Madden 360 and Call Of Duty very seriously. As seriously as say, golfers, pool hustlers, and card sharks. But how do online gamers put their money where their joystick is? Royal Oak's Beyond Gaming makes that possible. 

Walking The Talk: ISCG Creates Its Own Inspired Workplace

ISCG in Royal Oak has long been designing workplaces for clients with an eye toward rehabilitation and re-use. Last year the firm put its money where its mouth was and became its own client. The building? The discarded Royal Radio building on Main Street. The results speak for themselves.

Going Veggie in Metro Detroit

Metro Detroiters do not live by meat alone. For an increasing many, there must also be veggies, and nothing but. Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg offers up a guide to local restaurants devoted to vegetarian cuisine as well as places that include great meatless options.

Wedding Venues That Ring Cool

With one-third of engagements taking place between Thanksgiving and New Year's, winter is high season for nuptials planning. Metromode picks a bouquet of Detroit-area ceremonial destinations that take the cake.

A Dozen Game-Changing Buildings in Metro Detroit

Architecture can catalyze a neighborhood or change the way we think about our community. It can be inspiring, iconic, or even controversial. So which buildings rate as game-changers in Metro Detroit? We asked a quartet of prominent local architects to select twelve buildings worth paying attention to.

Shelter From The Storm

Amidst the stories of entrepreneurship, innovation, and creativity it's sometimes easy to forget that there are those who face profound hardship. For instance, Oakland County, for all its prosperity, must contend with teens who have left or been forced from their homes. Kim North Shine takes a look at the shelters and services that help struggling youth find a place in our community.

10 Things To Do In Metro Detroit Before Summer Ends

The countdown has begun, summer is winding down. And if you're like us, there's a list of stuff you meant to do while the weather was warm and the days were long. But where to start? Well, we've got some thoughts about that...

How Building Design Can Reflect A Community's Persona

In many ways, buildings are the face of the community. Through their design, materials, and placement they express the character of a place. So, what two buildings best represent the current values and personality of Ferndale and Royal Oak? Metromode takes a look.

Fests and Fundraisers Go local

If you want further evidence that locally sourced food and craft-brewed beverages are becoming the new normal, consider any local festival or fundraiser worth its salt. Michigan-made products have become event necessities, culinary carrots that are dangled in front of enthusiastic attendees.

Vectorform Breaks the Nerd-Human Barrier

Vectorform is Metro Detroit's stealth company, a Royal Oak-based tech firm that does its work on the down low. That work includes phones apps, games, and technological innovations that have a global reach. It has satellite offices in New York, Seattle, Germany and India. But shhhh, that's just between you and us, okay?

A Cupcake Supreme

Chocolate Salted Caramel cupcakes. French toast and bacon cupcakes. Are you salivating like Homer Simpson yet? Royal Oak's Taste Love Cupcakes (TLC) was just another Metro Detroit cupcakery ...until it proved it wasn't. Now it's a "Cupcake Wars" champion. And the hungry masses are coming.

The Art of Destination Dining

Every year lots of restaurants open in metro Detroit but few are able to distinguish themselves as dining destinations. What does it take to create an eatery that has its own sense of place? Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg chats with Hubert Yaro, co-owner of the iconoclastic Ronin and Commonwealth about the art of pioneering a stand-out business.

Metro Detroit's Monthly Moviemakers Club

Musicians have bars and nightclubs. Writers have salons and workshops. Poets have readings and slams. Where do local filmmakers go to show their work? The Mitten Movie Project. Since 2005 this monthly event has been bringing together movie makers of every stripe, showcasing their work at Royal Oak's Main Art and providing an informal networking scene.

For A Limited Time Only: 1xRun Innovates Art Buying

Apply Groupon-like marketing strategies to fine art and, voila, you get the highly successful 1xRun. The brainchild of 323 East Gallery and Ohm Creative Group owners Dan Armand and Jesse Cory, this Royal Oak-based company is bringing art (much of it local) to the masses (much of it international).

Double Lives: Ben Sharkey

Ben Sharkey leads a truly 3D life. A designer at visualization tech firm Real Time Technology, he moonlights as a  honey-smooth jazz vocalist. Okay, so he sings on the side, you say. Still, how many part time jazz singers do you know that boast YouTube fans in the hundreds of thousands?

When Avocation Becomes Vocation: A Q&A with Emagine's Paul Glantz

In what has to be the smallest sliver of a Venn diagram that includes the insurance industry, upscale bowling, and movie theater chains, sits Paul Glantz. As the CEO of both Proctor Financial and Emagine Entertainment, this native metro Detroiter is nothing if not entrepreneurial.

If Dallas Can Do It, Why Can't Detroit?

In Texas, Dallas is referred to as The Big D. And like our D, it's a sprawling metropolitan region ringed by suburbs and freeways, and deeply in love with its cars. We are talking oil country after all. Despite that, the city also has a growing light rail system with over 70 miles of track. So, why them and not us?

Metro Detroit YPs Get Game

A recent Knight Foundation study found that social offerings top the list of concerns for Metro Detroiters. Justin Jacobs answers that study with the question: "Got game?" From basketball to softball to kickball, his sports and rec company Come Play Detroit is becoming the go-to social organization for local young professionals. Next up? The world's largest dodgeball game.

What Makes Metro Detroit Stick?

Last winter the Knight Foundation and Gallup released a survey that found that cities do better economically when the people in them want to stick around. So, what do Metro Detroiters value most when it comes to place? Cultural amenities, education, and community openness. Metromode takes a deep dive into the survey's results.

Drag Queen Bingo: Or How Metro Detroit Learned To Stop Worrying And Love Five 15

It's not a GLBT-friendly community without the drag queens. Though Ferndale is singled out for its pink and lavender street cred, Royal Oak is home to Five 15, a cafe, gift shop, art gallery, and party venue that unabashedly embraces queer culture. And it's found incredible crossover success with its sold-out-weeks-in-advance Drag Queen Bingo.

Metro Detroit's Institutes Of Greener Learning

New and better ideas. Innovation. These are the things we associate with our institutes of higher learning. So, now that green technology and practices are becoming a way of life, how do Metro Detroit's universities and colleges fare when it comes to sustainability? Metromode's Kim North Shine checks out who's doing what to reduce their collective carbon footprint.

Beer's Better Half

Bet you didn't know that women account for nearly 25% of beer consumption in the U.S.. Surprised? The truth is, male dominance in the brewery world is a pretty recent thing. Before the Industrial Revolution the fairer sex was also the beerier sex. Metromode introduces you to a quartet of local women who are tipping back the balance.

Texts From Last Night: A Q&A with Ben and Phillip Bator

Texts From Last Night turned Ben and Philip Bator into accidental entrepreneurs. Now, with millions of followers, books, mobile apps and even a television show in development, these Metro Detroit natives are poised to conquer the world ...from their living room.

2010: A Year of Entrepreneurship And Innovation

If anyone doubts that Metro Detroit is a hotbed of invention, entrepreneurship and creative thinking they just haven't been paying attention. Metromode once again unearthed a treasure trove of people, companies and communities that are evolving our sense of place, building our new economy, and promoting innovation at every turn. As we ring out the year we look back at a baker's dozen of stories that inspired us!

Beer Is Fun! Q&A with entrepreneur Mike Plesz

Beer here now! If anyone knows the meaning of those word it's Mike Plesz. The serial brewpreneur has been launching local microbrew pubs since 1994. His latest endeavor --Rochester's Mind Body & Spirits-- is a successful sustainability-oriented restaurant. Plesz talks with Metromode about beer, local food production, green practices, and more beer. Bottoms up!

Metro Detroit's Pitmasters

To some it's cheap comfort food. To others, a highly nuanced cultural cuisine. Either way barbecue has become the go-to dining trend in Metro D. Whether it's Texas, Carolina, or Louisiana-style, local fans are passionate about their pit, rub, and sauce preferences.

Creating Creativity: A Q&A with ePrize's Josh Linkner

ePrize is arguably one of the most innovative companies in Metro Detroit, attracting a younger generation of creative professionals and techies. Metromode sits down with founder and CEO Josh Linkner to talk about creativity, entrepreneurship, and realigning the region's approach to its future.

The Art Of Business: A Q&A with Jesse Cory

Internet marketing or hipster art gallery? It's two great tastes in one. Jesse Cory is the brainchild behind both 323 East and Ohm Creative Group in Royal Oak. But the split identity doesn't end there. He also shuttles between Metro Detroit and Brooklyn, NY - doing business in both. Metromode caught up with him to talk entrepreneurship, street art and Kwame mugs.

Detroit Fashion: State of the Art?

When New York fashionistas ask designer Katerina Bocci why she's in Michigan, her reply is: "We are able to make beautiful cars... so why aren't we able to make fashion?" How true! Metromode gets the skinny on Metro Detroit's budding fashion industry - what's here, where it's going, and what it needs.

The 10 Things You MUST Do Outside In Metro Detroit This Summer

The poet William Carlos Williams once wrote, "In summer, the song sings itself." This week, Metromode hums along with a list of outside Metro Detroit places and events you must experience this summer.

Hungry For Success

Metro Detroit's young gun restaurateurs are thriving in an otherwise tough economy. Balancing style, location, and affordability, they've created popular eateries that cater to hip and enthusiastic crowds.

Sharing Woodward Avenue

Automobiles have done a lot of good for Michigan. But for Woodward Avenue, not so much. As the value of dense and vital downtowns becomes increasingly evident, leaders are rethinking the auto-only policies and practices of Metro Detoit's transportation spine.

Metro Detroit's Homeprenuers

As scary as the economy is, some smart and creative people are laughing in the face of fear and launching their own businesses from home. Meet three people who've created enormously cool jobs for themselves.

Back For (and To Do) Good

From Detroit to San Francisco and back again, Andrew Basile is rooting himself in Michigan in ways he never imaged. A successful lawyer, he's not only determined to bring Silicon Valley style-companies to the Motor City, he's established an incubator in Troy to make it happen. And as if that weren't enough, Basile has also become involved with evolving the Woodward Avenue corridor into a successful urban hub.

Michigan Hearts Wine

It's Metro Detroit's turn to wine (rather than whine). With Michigan now ranked 8th in the nation for wine production, wineries and wine bars are popping up around the region. Some are even winning medals. And that has inspired locals to get schooled in tasting and making their own. So, this weekend tip a glass to love... and the Mitten State.

Royal Oak's Second Story

Walking through Royal Oak's downtown, it's hard not to notice the bars, restaurants and shops that have popped up over the last decade. But do you ever wonder what goes on upstairs? Terry Parris Jr. visits Main Street's second story and discovers a community of new economy creatives. And lots of cereal boxes!

A Tale Of Two Downtowns

Many believe the key to rejuvenating Metro Detroit entails restoring and evolving our urban core. Metromode's Jon Zemke contrasts the actions of two communities - Lincoln Park and Royal Oak - and how they're developing their downtowns.

Metro Detroit: A Visitor's View

Long after the high-voltage North American International Auto Show rolls up the red carpet, tourism remains a nearly $5 billion a year economic plug for Metro Detroit. Are visitors mapping out the region's praises or issuing their own travel advisories? Metromode takes a look from their vantage points.

Turn Up The Heat: Salsa Dancing In Metro Detroit

Oh, the weather outside is frightful... but inside it's sweaty, sexy and shakin'. Welcome to Metro Detroit salsa dancing,  a nighttime dance scene that's pulling in locals of every class and color. From clubs to classes to a vibrant web-based community, Metro Detroiters are discovering the fun of becoming a fierce hot mess.

Turning Metro Green

With all the talk of going green and clean, just how sustainable is Metro Detroit becoming? Over the last year Metromode has run across a growing number of businesses, leaders, and initiatives that are nudging Michigan's economy and lifestyle toward the green end of the spectrum. This week we round up evidence that our region is putting its money where its mouth is.

The King Of Detroit Comedy

When times get tough people start looking for a reason to laugh. No one knows this better than comedy club veteran Mark Ridley, who's been busting the guts of Metro Detroiters for more than 20 years. And even in though credit is tight and the economy tighter, he's decided to renovate his storied Royal Oak Comedy Castle.

Frontier Spirit, Urban Ideas

Splitting her time between the Motor City suburbs and the Mile High City, Metromode's Tanya Muzumdar sees ideas and innovations ripe for importation. Maybe instead of going it alone, Metro Detroit should consider going West for some urban inspiration.

Photo Essay: Detroit Fashion Week

Haute child in the city! Metro D proves that fashion isn't solely the province of the coasts. Detroit Fashion Week celebrated local couture with stalwarts like Made In Detroit and Carhartt while impressing fashionistas with upstarts like Ferndale's Femilia. Marvin Shaouni got a a backstage pass to photograph the event and chat with well-dressed native son Joe Faris.

An Artistic Vision: The Red River Artists Center

Like many rustbelt communities River Rouge has seen better times. But one man's urban decay is another man's opportunity. Enter urban pioneer Rick Manore, co-founder of the former C-Pop gallery in Detroit. Working with municipal leaders, he's converted the former offices for U.S. Steel into the Red River Artist Center. The goal? To build an arts incubator that helps revive the city's downtown.

Metro Detroit's Crepe Expectations

New Orleans has gumbo and po'boys. Chicago has deep dish pizza. Phillie has the cheesesteak. Detroit has... crepes? Our Franco-Canadian origins aside, the Metro region is hardly a hotbed of French cuisine. And yet, Creperies are popping up like dandelions. Foodie blogger Nicole Rupersburg investigates le mystere.

Solid Dudes In The Kitchen

Welcome to the Bro-tisserie. It was only a matter of time before Millennials put their profane stamp on the whole cooking show craze. Meet Dave Graw and Derek Swanson, Metro Detroit's potty-mouthed answer to Ted Allen and Alton Brown. Could these web series upstarts be the answer to culinary GenX'ers and food-obsessed Boomers? Adult supervision suggested.

Got Apps?

Over a billion downloads can't be wrong! iPhone apps are the new gold rush of software development, turning backroom start-ups into overnight successes. And Metro Detroit is getting in on the action.

The High Life

You don't have to go to New York City or Chicago to get top-of-the-world views. Urban professionals are rethinking the traditional big house, big yard template of living, and moving into downtown high rises. From Royal Oak to Birmingham to Ann Arbor, Metromode gives you a sense of what it means to be "movin' on up" in Metro Detroit.

Upscale Markets In A Down-Sized Metro

In a region littered with Krogers, high quality, locally owned food markets are not only holding their own, they're attracting a loyal fanbase of Metro Detroit foodies.

The Next Generation In Invention

Meet the wunderkinds behind Titanium Expo Robotics, a company created by three high school kids from Royal Oak. Their land mine-detecting robot not only took top awards at Lawrence Tech's Robofest, it heralds a potentially game-changing industry for Southeast Michigan, while prompting deep ethical questions about where our technological innovations are headed.

Rethinking The Cineplex

Most people view multi-screen cineplexes as joyless movie warehouses with only one goal: To get you in and out with as much popcorn grease on your fingers as possible. Local movie chain Emagine is trying to remake the muliplex image by offering its audiences unexpected amenities and local outreach.

Under 30 And Involved

Barack Obama's presidency was due, in no small part, to an energized youth movement. And those same post-college professionals are taking their passion and ideas into local governments, earning seats on local boards and commissions.

Double Lives: Lisa Lisa

Yo, listen carefully and you'll understand her name isn't a repeat or skip of the record. Detroit DJ Lisa (Lisa) Orlando mixes law and lyrics in a double shift – and has the duplicate names to prove it.

Inside Metro Detroit

Metro Detroit is big. Really big. And not all scenes are created equal. Finding the right restaurant, the right nightclub, even the right place to buy naughty underthings can be daunting. Metromode feels your pain. That's why we created our Insider Guides. Come on in and we'll explain it all to you.

Metro Detroit's Hookah Scene

Smoky bars are nothing new in SE Michigan but ones that smell like apple and peach? Hookah culture is becoming more and more popular with young Metro Detroiters, and Dearborn, with its large Middle Eastern population, is ground zero.

A Secondhand Economy

Barter is back, resale has embraced upscale, and salvage goes green as Metro Detroit tightens its belt and widens its consumer options. Local businesses are successfully leveraging the Internet and up-to-the-minute trends to revive old tyme economic practices.

Metro Detroit's Seven Day Weekend

Thursday is the new Friday. Or was that Tuesday? In Metro Detroit it doesn't really matter. Great local music can be had every night of the week. From punk to pop, electronica to jazz, hip-hop to hard rock, Metromode offers up seven nights of tried and true sonic scenes.

Browsing By Design

Videos, Internet marketing, fine art and Kwame's mug: 323 East in Royal Oak has become one-stop shopping for creative inspiration. Home to the Ohm Creative Group, this storefront firm and art gallery is an ambitious (and successful!) merger of innovative business and unbridled expression.

Got DDA?

Grosse Pointe really wants a Downtown Development Authority. Three quarters of Metro Detroit's cities already have one. So, what do these governmental organizations do and why does it matter? Metromode takes a look at how Ann Arbor and Royal Oak leverage their DDA's to create a vibrant, healthy urban core.

To W2 or 1099? That Is The Question

Forbes says SE Michigan is among the 5 worst places in the US to find a job. W2 jobs, that is. Not only do 60% of businesses employ 1099 workers, their ranks are quickly growing --particularly in communities like Ann Arbor and Royal Oak. So, how does the state accommodate this new class of highly educated, independent employee?

A Wish List for Motor City Transit

What does our transit system lack that other cities have? We look at not just the obvious big things, like rail, but offer some little changes that would make getting around without a car easier in Detroit.

The Bus Stops Here: Tips for the Untrained Rider

Here is everything you always wanted to know about riding the bus but were afraid to ask. Or possibly you asked and couldn't find an answer.

Detroit, One Man, One Month, No Car

It wasn't like we asked him to eat exclusively at McDonald's or anything -- just take a month, leave the car parked in the driveway and ride the bus (and train and bike). Terry Parris Jr. discovered that the glass is half empty and half full when it comes to transit options in Detroit. And somewhere along the way, he found out he liked it.

Metro Detroit On Deck

Now that the waning days of summer are upon us, the opportunities to sip and sup by moonlight are dwindling. Metromode points you toward some of Metro Detroit's best patios, decks and balconies for outdoor drinking and dining.

Michigan Green Jobs

Everything's gone green around here. Architects, retailers, entrepreneurs, big buys, little guys -- they are all starting to look like Kermit. But it's no wonder. Companies that embrace green-thinking, make green products and offer green services are bringing in bucks and building jobs in Michigan.

An Appetite For Atmosphere

It's said that the average American eats 198 meals out a year, spending an average of $855 million per day. So, what makes a restaurant 'hot'? Food, yes. But also its sense of place. Metromode takes a look at a trio of Metro Detroit eateries that provide a feast for the eyes as well as the belly.

Design Democracy: The Next Evolution In Manufacturing?

The inalienable right to have furniture designed the way you want it. That's what Kerry And Bryce Moore are after. But that's not all that's behind their "Design Democracy" movement. The owners of Context Furniture intend to revolutionize Michigan's entire approach to manufacturing.

Could Life Sciences Become Michigan's Core Industry?

The handwriting is on the wall: SE Michigan's economy needs to develop new industries in order to thrive. Given the power and prestige of our local research universities and the fact that biotech startups are popping up like dandelions, some see the life sciences industry as our next best hope.

Rockin' The Suburbs

Come on feel the noize! Detroit's School Of Rock And Pop not only teaches adults to pump up the volume, they help them find bandmates to jam with. Whether it's power chords, bubblegum pop, head banging or groovin' to a funky bass line, think of it as rock and roll night school.

How Historic Preservation Can Help SE Michigan

Everything old is new again. And profitable. Historic preservation is more than just a longing for the old ways. It can be an economic driver for those SE Michigan communities that know how to leverage what they've got with where they're going.

Hollywood Rentals

The need for quality rental units goes beyond new urbanist ideals. It also means dollars where you least expect them. Michigan just passed one of the most ambitious film incentive packages in the nation. Hollywood's come calling. And guess what they're looking for? Modern rentals in walkable downtown settings.

Light Rail Would Mean Big Things For Woodward Corridor

Monday morning's big light rail announcement would mean great things for Metro Detroiters yearning for a transit alternative. If the plan comes to fruition, it would be boom time for the Woodward Corridor.

Boutique Sweets

No longer content to sup on artisanal wine, bread and cheese, SE Michigan's foodies have extended their quest for the authentic into the realm of desserts. From old world pastries to gourmet chocolates to high-falutin' cupcakes, Metro Detroit's sweet tooth has grown sophisticated. And a few smart cookies are cashing in on their cravings. 

SE Michigan Brews Mean Business

Black Lotus, Dragonmead, Jolly Pumpkin and Grizzly Peak. They're more than just cool names. Michigan's beer industry accounted for $133 million of the state's economy last year and, despite the current market, business is growing. Melinda Clynes chats with several of the region's microbrewers about what's on tap this season and where things are headed next.

Why No Respect For Rentals?

Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston do not thrive on home ownership alone. If you look at most successful cities in the U.S., a robust rental market is necessary for urban health (and attracting young talent). Here, however, rentals are what you end up with when you can't sell.  Should we rethink what it means to "live" in Metro Detroit?

Defending The Net

With the proliferation of personal info on the Internet today – everything from bank account access to your boyfriend's pet name – life is becoming a paperless open book. Metromode talks with some area experts who are helping to keep some of those pages from prying eyes.

The Metro Toddler

As Generations X and Y reach their childrearing years, they find few family-time options that reflect their desire to swim against the mainstream. From urban to urbane, there's a growing national trend for play spaces and social groups that cater to hip kids.

Two Wheel Revolution

Long intimidated by automotive roadhogs, cyclists are reclaiming their rightful place along the nation's highways and byways. From hilly Seattle to dense beyond dense New York City, bike lanes are becoming the urban standard. Metromode's Tanya Muzumdar looks at how Metro Detroit stacks up.

MODErn Living

Basho said, "Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home." Some Metro Detroiters are taking those words to heart and making their house the adventure.

The D Brand and You

The 'D' brand isn't just about pulling in conventions and tourists. With the D Brand Summit, branding gurus are showing us how the power of the 'D' can also attract more talent and business to the region.

A Hand Out

Looking for a New Year's resolution? Whether it's teaching kids to write or maintaining park trails, volunteerism is changing Metro Detroit for the better. As anthropologist Margaret Mead once said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has."

Building A Creative Corridor

Could Metro Detroit have its own version of Sand Hill or Research Triangle Park? Local business and political leaders along with Detroit Renaissance certainly think so. They see Woodward Avenue, with its cultural and educational institutions and string of developing downtowns as ground zero for a new economy sector dubbed, "The Creative Corridor."

Investing In Transit

If you view mass transit as merely a means of getting from Point A to Point B or as a social service for those who can't afford to buy a car, think again. Mass transit attracts investment. Big investment. Community changing investment. The kind of investment that could revitalize not only Detroit but most of southeast Michigan.

SE Michigan: Blog Style

Experience SE Michigan through the eyes of its best bloggers.

Michigan's Foodie Nation

Once upon a time ketchup was the most exotic spice found in Midwest pantries. No more. Foodie-friendly shops are are popping up all over SE Michigan to satisfy our new found craving for exotic, gourmet and artisan foods. Metromode points you toward a few of the best.

A Delectable Directory Of SE Michigan's Foodie Shops

Food, glorious food. What more could you ask for?

Size Matters

To touch the sky or keep things human size? SE Michigan's revitalized downtowns are struggling with the size of their buildings as young professionals look for a more urban experience, leaders see density as a way to combat sprawl and long-time residents worry their community's unique character is compromised.

The Michigan Growth Capital Symposium: More Than Money

Like American Idol, each year local startups strut their stuff at the Michigan Growth Capital Symposium, presenting in 'lightning round' pitch sessions for the attention of venture capital managers and angel investors. But support can mean more than just a quick infusion of cash, it can also spell success for Michigan's economy.

Michigan Music Fests: Mozart To Mosh Pits

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are." Clearly the man loved his polka. metromode offers up a Summer Music Festival guide worth singing about.

Guest Blogger: Maud Lyon

Our guest blogger for this week is Maud Lyon. Maud is the founding director of the Cultural Alliance, and a consultant for numerous nonprofit organizations.Check back here each week day to read Maud's thoughts on the state of arts and culture in Michigan.

Discipline Five: Get on Base

United Way president Michael Brennan examines the importance of continued success over time in the fifth installment of his series on a Community of Progress.

Guest Blogger: Tracy Koe Wick

Our guest blogger for this week is Tracy Koe Wick. Tracy is Principal of The Kirkwood Group, a real estate consulting firm that markets and promotes new mid-rise and high-rise condominium and loft communities. Check back here each week day to read Tracy's thoughts on the emerging trend of Live/Work residences in suburban Detroit cities.

RAZ Survey: Regional Transit

Mass transit is a hot topic at water coolers throughout southeast Michigan. United Way and Metromode are interested in your thoughts on our region’s transportation options.

Guest Blogger: Dan Gilmartin

Dan Gilmartin is our guest blogger this week. He is the youngest executive director in the 108 year history of the Michigan Municipal League. Dan previously served as the League's deputy director and as an advocate in Lansing and in Washington, where he concentrated on transportation, land use and urban redevelopment. Check back here each week day to read Dan's thoughts on regionalism and how we can build the kind of community that attracts knowledge-based workers.

Survey: Race Relations

While Metro Detroit has been identified as one of the most racially segregated regions in the nation, our growing diversity is one of our greatest strengths. Metromode, United Way, and New Detroit are interested in your thoughts on race relations in this community.

Michigan Freakonomics

"Conventional Wisdom is often wrong." Whether he's writing about abortion, crack dealers or penalty kicks in soccer, "Freakonomic's" author Steven Levitt raises eyebrows and blood pressures with his findings. After a recent lecture at WSU, the rogue economist trained his sights on the Mitten State.

Guest Blogger: Todd Palmer

Todd Palmer is our guest blogger this week. Todd founded Diversified Industrial Staffing, a company that provides staffing for manufacturing, construction and logistics businesses, and Diversified PEOple, a professional employer organization for small businesses. He sits on the board of directors for the Detroit Chapter of Entrepreneur’s Organization, and is a recent graduate of the Birthing of Giants class held at MIT. Check back each week day to read Todd's thoughts on keeping, identifying and attracting talent.

Fuelish Thoughts

As the buzz for biofuel grows, Michigan has the opportunity to capitalize on its rural and auto-based communities and emerge as a true innovator. Can a state historically dependent on mineral-based energy play a leading role in the national movement toward alternative fuels?  

Guest Blogger: Brian Balasia

Brian Balasia is our guest blogger this week. Brian founded Digerati Solutions while an aerospace engineering student at U of M. He currently sits on the board of directors for the Detroit Regional Chamber, WIRED, and the U of M Alumni Society.  Check back here each week day to read Brian's thoughts on attracting talent to SE Michigan and nurturing innovation.

The Nations Of Michigan

More than a necessary social good, diversity is an advantage in high-tech economies. With 30 different ethnicities and up to 40% of their businesses immigrant-owned, could communities like Hamtramck and Dearborn lay the groundwork for SE Michigan's cultural and economic transformation?

Three Big Ideas For Michigan

The time has come for Michigan to make bold choices about how to transform its economy, communities and culture. metromode offers up a trio of initiatives and ideas that challenge conventional thinking and dare the state to think big.

Home Grown

Food that travels 1500 miles to reach your table defies anyone's notion of "fresh." Isn't it time we traded in McDonald's for Old MacDonald?

Biting Into Downtown

Armed with only a saute pan and a vision, restauranteurs have become urban pioneers, transforming neighborhoods (even whole communities) one meal at a time.

Guest Blogger: Roger Gullickson

Roger Gullickson is our guest blogger this week.  Roger is the President and CEO of MVP Collaborative since 1996.  He moved to Michigan in 1989 to head FTD's Marketing Group after an international career with Tenneco and Case Corporation.

Check back here each weekday to read Roger's thoughts on Michigan's need for renewal and how it can achieve it. 


Running Michigan: Resources

If you've got two good legs, a few hours a week and a whole lot of willpower, SE Michigan has got pretty much everything you need to maintain a constant level of runner's high.

Guest Blogger: Dennis King

Dennis King is our guest blogger this week. Dennis is President of American Institute of Architects, Michigan and Chairman and CEO of Harley Ellis Devereaux, an award-winning, full-service archittecture firm. Check back here each weekday to read Dennis' thoughts on National Architecture Week and how design and architecture have a profound impact on quality of life. 

Urban By Design: Why Architecture Matters

In celebration of Architecture Week metromode chats with Royal Oak architect Frank Arvan about how architecture and urban design can improve Metro Detroit.

Pass the Torch of Leadership

To be a community of progress, the development of next generation civic leadership is a requirement of current leadership, says United Way for Southeastern Michigan president Michael J. Brennan.

Taking It Downtown

What separates one city from the next? After decades of suburban sprawl, communities in SE Michigan are starting to realize the importance of walkable, workable and liveable downtowns.

Guest Blogger: Pavan Muzumdar

Pavan Muzumdar is our guest blogger this week. Pavan is the CEO of MV Software Company and a coach for the Great Lakes Entrepreneurs Quest business plan competition.Check back here every weekday to read Pavan's thoughts about competing in the global marketplace. 

Guest Blogger: Brad Frost

Bradford Frost is our guest blogger this week. Brad works at United Way for Southeastern Michigan.  He recently moved to Detroit and currently lives in Mid-Town with his girlfriend. Check back here every weekday to read Brad's thoughts about reframing Metro Detroit’s problems and finding new solutions. 

Feel Da Noise

From Parliament-Funkadelic to the Stooges to the entire stable of Motown artists to today's techno pioneers, metro Detroit isn't the next anything, it is a musical force of nature. Panelists at a recent MOCAD event waxed poetic about our region's reputation for revolutionary sound.

Guest Blogger: Jim Townsend

Jim Townsend is our guest blogger this week. He is the executive director of the Tourism Economic Development Council, serves on the Board of Directors of the Michigan Suburbs Alliance, which he founded in 2002, and lives with his family in Royal Oak. 

Check back here every weekday to read Jim's thoughts about branding our region.


Living Here: The Survey Is In

Attracting and keeping talent here comes down to quality of life. United Way and metromode asked you what you thought of education, public safety, and arts and culture in SE Mich. Here are some of the first results from that survey.

The World Is Their Cubicle

Professionals across Metro Detroit are ditching their cubicles and "Office Space" culture for cafes, coffee shops and libraries. All these 21st Century professionals need is a lap top, a Wi-Fi connection and a hot cup of Joe to make their way in Michigan's new knowledge-based economy.

From Rust Belt to Green Belt

Metro Detroit has a rep for being more rusty than green around the middle, but sustainable initiatives are taking hold. The real question is not if S.E. Michigan can go green, but just how green it will go.

Architects as Urban Alchemists

Five S.E. Michigan architects discuss how the wood, steel, glass and concrete of our built environment reflect who we are, and where we are headed.

Guest Blogger: Kerry & Bryce Moore

Our guest bloggers this week are husband-wife team, Kerry and Bryce Moore. Designers and owners of Context Furniture in Royal Oak, Kerry and Bryce suggest that Michigan's manufacturing model is in need of a major paradigm shift.Check back here every weekday for new posts. And feel free to send your comments to feedback@metromodemedia.com

Guest Blogger: Lou Glazer

Here's Post No. 4 from Lou Glazer, the president of Ann Arbor-based Michigan Future Inc., a think-tank that is a resource of ideas for how Michigan can and should reshape its economy. Check back daily for more of Glazer's thoughts.

Design Evolution

The basic tenet of Darwinian evolution is "adapt or die." With today's expanding global market and its ever-shifting demands, the mantra for business survival could easily be "innovate or vanish."

Ann Arbor, Welcome Detroit

Ann Arbor needs Detroit. Detroit needs Ann Arbor. As much as these places are their own communities, they need one another more than ever.

Guest Blogger: Doug Rothwell

Metromode's guest blogger this week is Doug Rothwell, president of Detroit Renaissance. Here's what he has to say about transforming the region's economy.
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