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Three Woodward Ave. development trends we're excited about

Change is slow when it comes to metro Detroit communities. That's why we're excited about the innovative projects and thinking that has taken root in Ferndale, Birmingham and Pontiac. From mixed-use mandates to reimagined parking structures to entire city blocks being readied for redevelopment, these Woodward Ave. communities are embracing a more walkable future.

A more efficient beer: Metro Detroit's greenest breweries

When you consider what it takes to make your favorite microbrew, there's no getting around the fact that it is an energy- and resource-intensive process. Metromode checks in with our most green-minded breweries and what they're doing to make a more sustainable beer.

What AirBNB taught us about how metro Detroit sees itself

You can learn a lot about a community by listening to the way its residents sell it. So, we here at Metromode decided to dig into AirBNB and analyze what metro Detroiters talk about when they talk about themselves. What we found is that the more things change, the more they remain the same.

Fermenta galvanizes women in Michigan's craft beverage industry

Some clubs are created to exclude. Some clubs are created to nurture. Fermenta is a Michigan collective devoted to helping women craft brewers find their feet in an industry otherwise dominated by men.

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.

Distilling the Greatness of Michigan-Made Spirits

With all the enthusiasm for locally sourced products, micro-brew culture, and craft cocktails, it seemed inevitable that micro distilleries would be the next big thing. And with recent changes to Michigan's liquor laws it has. Nicole Rupersburg drinks in metro Detroit's growing (and award-winning) spirits industry.

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.

Metro Detroit's Hottest Home Markets

Houses are selling before they're listed. Buyers are getting into bidding wars. Sound familiar? No, it's not a return to the crazed real estate market of 2003... but a few metro Detroit communities are coming back with a vengeance. Why? Well, vibrant urban cores have a lot to do with it. 

From Up North to Your Door: Cherries & Grapes

There's little doubt that Michigan is the midwest's Horn Of Plenty. But how to wrangle all those delicious wines, ciders, jams, and treats from around the state into your pantry? The folks at Cherries & Grapes intend to make being a true-blue locavore as easy as a few clicks on your computer.

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.

A Brittle Game Plan

When you've been to the Super Bowl six times what else is there to do? For defensive tackle and Birmingham native Mike Lodish the answer was peanut brittle.

A New Breed of Restaurateurs - Pt 2

Metromode continues Nicole Rupersburg's two-part series on the region's new generation of restaurateurs and how they're changing Metro Detroit's dining landscape.

5 Questions with Michigan Chef Of The Year Brian Henson

What's next for Metro Detroit eateries? Where can you find the best local dining scene? If you can't ask the guy who was just voted Michigan's "Chef Of The Year" who can you ask?

GSTV Pumps Media Into the Mundane

Let's face it, pumping gas is a drag. Not just the price, but the physical act of standing around watching the little LCD monitor add more debt to your credit card. Well, one man's boredom is another man's business opportunity. Enter GSTV, a successful Birmingham company that wants to put a TV at every gas pump.

Movies By Moonlight

The popularity of the drive-in movie theater may have faded but come summertime Metro Detroiters still seem to crave the experience of outdoor cinema. Metromode takes a quick tour of communities offering movie nights in their parks and downtowns.

Has Fido Got Beer Bones?

Sometimes entrepreneurial success is a matter of being in the right place at the right time and recognizing an opportunity when you see one. In the case of Cohiba's Beer Bones it meant letting the family dog chow down on some accidentally spilled home brewery ingredients.

Birmingham Welcomes Its Lego Robot Masters

Anyone with kids knows that Legos are more than just a toy, they are a multi-colored, foot-impaling lifestyle... and the addiction of many a child. Meet Jonathan and Sarah Jacobs, the ultimate pushers. Realizing that kids need a makerspace of their own, the couple opened Birmingham's Robot Garage, a Lego and handmade robotics wonderland.

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.

Metromode Speaker Event: Michigan's Transportation Odyssey

Across the state, people are focusing on transportation initiatives to help move Michigan toward a vibrant, connected future. To accelerate that conversation, Transportation for Michigan will host the Michigan Transportation Odyssey, in which participants set off on a three-day voyage from Detroit Metro Airport to Traverse City using only Michigan’s transit systems. Metromode kicks things off with a speaker event on March 21st at The Reserve in Birmingham. Sign up now!

How Metro Detroit Is Helping To Rebuild Iraq

Still unsure of the economic opportunities that accompany Metro Detroit's Arab-American melting pot? Well how does a $5.5-billion contract sound? For the rebuilding and development of Iraq it's only the tip of the iceberg, and our region is uniquely poised to be a part of that reconstruction. But economic gain is only one part of the equation. With reconstruction comes stability, and with stability comes peace. Think of it as building a better Michigan by building a better world.

Selling Birmingham's Downtown Shopping District

For decades national chains, the stores most American shop in, have set their sites on malls and shopping strips. But the times they are a-changing. Every year the focus and enthusiasm for downtown living and shopping grows. So, how do you integrate and accommodate national retail into a city's core? Metromode chats with Julie Fielder, Birmingham's go-to gal for putting stores into its downtown storefronts.

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?

Bohemian Rhapsody: Metro Detroit's Coffee Chemists

Craft beers, heirloom produce, artisanal breads - not all foods are created equal. Now a network of local cafes are looking to get Metro Detroiters to reconsider that most sacred of beverages - the cup of Joe. Unconvinced? Consider this:  Wine has 750 flavor profiles; coffee has 1500.

Embracing Change: A Q&A with Marcie Brogan

From the smokey cocktail parties of the '60s to the caffeine and Facebook fueled world of the Internet, advertising exec Marcie Brogan has seen it all. More importantly, she has embraced rather than resisted the inevitable changes in her industry. Metromode chats with her about the state of Metro Detroit's advertising firms -- past and present.

Sacre Bleu, The French Are Here

Detroit was settled by the French and was once known as the Paris of the Midwest. So perhaps it's fitting that, mainly because of the automotive industry, there now exists a thriving French community in the metro area.

The Young & Entrepreneurial: A Q&A with Jon Citrin

Jon Citrin is not your everyday ordinary financial services guy. The 33-year-old entrepreneur has a distinctly next generation view of business that has grown his Birmingham-based office into a firm to watch. Metromode's Jon Zemke gets Citrin's opinions on building a business, creating successful internships, locating downtown, and evaluating Mick Jagger's economic acumen.

Early Adopt Or Die: A Q&A with Melih Oztalay

Birmingham-based entrepreneur Melih Oztalay is an Internet veteran. As the founder of SmartFinds Internet Marketing he's witnessed and survived the roller coaster effects of the web-based economy. Jon Zemke chats with Oztalay about innovating, investing, and incentivizing entrepreneurship in Metro Detroit.

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.

Birmingham's Second Story

Downtown Birmingham's buttoned-up rep for professional offices and trendy boutiques only tells part of the story. Amidst the doctors, lawyers and financial consultants, Old Woodward's second story houses a little-seen collection of new economy businesses. From sports agents to "an incubator on steroids" Terry Parris Jr. uncovers the people you might not meet every day.

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.

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.

Building An Economy From The Ground Up: Community Enterprise

Metro Detroit might want to look to the Basque region of Spain or Bologna, Italy for ideas on how to rejuvenate our local economy. Both communities have turned community-based enterprise into impressive long term successes.

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.

The Rail Thing, Is Metro Detroit On Track?

If you've never heard of transit-oriented development, it really needs a spot on your hot list. With a transit center planned for Birmingham and Troy, Metro Detroit is back to workin' on the railroad. But maybe the new D Train could take a lesson from the Santa Fe Express.

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.

Cheap Ways To Revitalize Your Downtown

From households to businesses to city government, everyone is in belt-tightening mode. But if there's one thing Metromode believes, it's that necessity is the mother of invention. A few Metro Detroit communities have come up with innovative and inexpensive ways to revitalize their downtowns. Time to take notes!

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.

Metromode Radio: Ivoire Guitar

Michigan is not exactly known for its multi-culturalism, but in this Obama age, stereotypes can be broken. A jazz and pop master from the Ivory Coast is playing Dick Odowís Pub in Birmingham Friday night. He also played in a 14 year old kid's basement in Birmingham this week. Michigan Now's Chris McCarus was there.

Metro Detroit's CineMagic

While there's no shortage of big box multiplexes in Metro Detroit, the region also boasts a handful of vintage and offbeat movie houses that make a trip to the theater all the more magical. Not only do these venues offer a wider range of cinema, we at Metromode swear the popcorn tastes better.

Reinventing The Mundane: Detroit Design Center

Most designers want to make bold statements, to put their signature on high profile projects. Brothers Erik and Israel Nordin of Detroit Design Center have more modest goals. They want to make their mark in the mundane, reinventing the functional design of components in residential and commercial spaces while bringing a new aesthetic to Metro Detroit.

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.

Metro Detroit Spins

Despite the all-encompassing digital age, vinyl has gotten its groove back, filling a high-end niche that CDs and MP3s just can't seem to scratch. Metromode crunches the numbers, charts the trends and points you toward Metro Detroit's best (and still thriving) LP peddlers.

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. 

A Cultural Center

Southeast Michigan's community art centers not only offer locals the opportunity to experience and express artistic inspiration but also to score a budding Monet or Picasso at bargain prices. 

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.

Write Where You Know

Southeast Michigan is replete with literary talent, drawing from the corridors of its hallowed halls of higher learning, the working class experiences on the shop floors and the rough edges of its gritty inner city. 

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, itís 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.

Downtowns Become Boomertowns

As Gen-Xers become homebuyers and baby boomers become empty nesters, seniors are reconsidering their suburban retirement options and choosing downtown living. These "ruppies" bring more than just money to urban neighborhoods, they also bring a commitment to getting involved.

A Delectable Directory Of SE Michigan's Foodie Shops

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

Place Matters

Job, schmob. Location is where it's at. More and more young professionals are settling into communities that match their lifestyle, then finding jobs that complete the picture.

Summer On Ice

Forget air conditioned movie theaters and malls. Why not beat the heat and burn a few calories while you're at it? Southeast Michigan is home to three world-class ice skating facilities, training both national champions and Olympic competitors.

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.

Green Urbanism

Green and urban. More than a contradiction in terms, they're now a movement. Local architects and developers are starting to adopt 'bioregional' philosophy that asks: What does it take to build a sustainable city?

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 regionís 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 Entrepreneurís 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.

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?

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. 

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.

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. 

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.

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: 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.

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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