Metro Detroit communities struggle with the legacies of the past, the demands of the present, and the needs of the future. Some do a good job of balancing those concerns. Others, not so much. Our newest series points to the good and bad choices local communities make and what we can learn from them. In the cross-hairs this month: Ann Arbor and Grosse Pointe.
With 65% of voters in SMART communities voting to increase taxes to support and maintain bus service, along with plans for rapid transit on Detroit's major corridors, it's obvious that transportation choices are a priority for Detroiters. Megan Owens, executive director of Transportation Riders United, discusses what to expect by the 2016 elections.
The city of Detroit is encouraging the rehabbing of delinquent homes through initiatives such as Neighbors Wanted, but funds are limited and the work timeframe too short. Detroit landlord and Castle CEO Max Nussenbaum offers up more realistic financing ideas.
Detroit is not exactly NYC, Chicago, or L.A., but the local improv scene, which has produced national talents like Keegan-Michael Key, is thriving thanks to dedicated performers and theaters like Planet Ant and Go Comedy!.
The auto industry has rebounded but the ad industry is in a state of flux. So what does that mean for metro Detroit firms? Metromode sits down with Team Detroit's Toby Barlow to get his thoughts on where things are, where they're headed, and how local agencies fit in.
Feeling a bit like you're doing the same old, same old in metro Detroit? Looking for something a tad less obvious to do or see? Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg gives you the down low on places, events and venues that are off the beaten path, under the radar, or just plain under-appreciated.
"Make new friends and keep the old..." is more than just a nice sentiment, it can be a smart business strategy. Pairing the energy and creativity of young entrepreneurs with the experience and contacts of elder business leaders has proven to be a powerful tool for several metro Detroit firms.
Beer, mead, spirits... with the rise of Michigan's craft breweries and distilleries it was inevitable that hard cider would follow suit. And with summer sliding into fall, wouldn't you like to know who's making what in metro Detroit? Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg has the answers.
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.
Social entrepreneurship has a double bottom line: profit and the greater good. Romy Gingras, president of Gingras Global, and Elizabeth Garlow, former executive director of the Michigan Corps, discuss how and why social enterprise solves both business and societal needs.
From their Royal Oak basement to the stages of Lollapalooza and Bonnaroo, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is yet more evidence that metro Detroit is both the destination and birthplace for contemporary music. The indie duo explains why our local music scene continues to rock, pop and rap with the best of them.
Yes, it's very possible to travel daily around Detroit without touching a steering wheel. Year-round bike/bus commuters Melissa Damaschke and Julie Funke share their experience and opinions on the better integration of Detroit's bus systems, People Mover, and the future M-1 Rail.
Hey metro Detroiters, the Motor City is more than just an occassional stop for baseball games and museum visits. There's a living breathing culture in Motown and we think you might be missing out. To wit, our good friends at Model D have put together a list of Detroit weekend events for you to fill the rest of your summer with. They've got you covered, now through Labor Day.
Some metro Detroiters sit behind a computer all day. Others see patients, clients, customers, what-have-you. Irina Cotfas defies gravity. For a living. If you ever wondered what it would be like to run away with the circus, this Ferndale aerialist is your answer.
Could Detroit create its own Sundance Film Festival? The Cinetopia International Film Festival is hoping to do just that, bringing over 50 movies to both Motown and Tree Town (aka Ann Arbor). Festival Director Russ Collins offers up suggestions for the best way to fest.
Over the years there have been several attempts to create a truly regional film festival, one that bridges the gulf between Ann Arbor and Detroit. With 50 films screening in Tree Town and 40 in Motown, the third year of Cinetopia might just be the film festival "to bring them all and in the darkness bind them."
Over 1,300 downtown professionals are making the journey to Detroit this week for the National Main Street Conference. Ferndale will be in the house, learning what Motown has to teach about revitalizing downtown development and, in turn, educating the Motor City about its Main Street successes.
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.
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.
Vacant property demolition often leaves cities with big holes in their landscapes -- and lost opportunties. Max Nussenbaum, Venture for America fellow and co-founder of Rebirth Realty, says restoration is key to Detroit's ongoing revitalization.
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.
Consider it a sign of the times. Lowe Campbell Ewald got its start as a Detroit ad agency back in 1911, relocated to the suburbs in 1978, then moved back to Motown last month. Creative Director Iain Lanivich wasn't only excited about the move, he created a video love letter to Detroit that ended up going viral. He heads to SX*SW next month to talk about the virtues of living and working in the D.
The new year offers up the opportunity to act upon old resolutions, or to make new ones. Courtney Randolph, program manager and volunteer coordinator at nonprofit 826michigan, outlines all the reasons to get involved in the community by volunteering at a host of worthy organizations.
The recent launch of the Write-a-House program in Detroit is an example of how the literary arts are a creative force reshaping the city. InsideOut Literary Arts Project Writer-in-Residence Norene Cashen explains why the Detroit community should embrace and support its young scribes.
The birth of the Regional Transit Authority shows that Metro Detroiters are banding together around mass transit. So what's next? Bus rapid transit and a single-fare system are options that Michigan Suburbs Alliance Communications Director Hayley Roberts says we may get movement on in 2014.
How does a company's sole owner and founder transition to the power-sharing structure of executive leadership? That's the challenge that faces Billhighway, a Troy-based firm that's looking to enter its second stage of development. Metromode's Jon Zemke looks for lessons from successful (and less-than-successful) local businesses.
Having more women in tech leadership positions isn't just about equity, it's about economic vitality. Metromode's Natalie Burg connects with a trio of prominent local women to get their ideas on how to unlock a new generation of female technology chiefs.
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.
Issue Media Group is excited to partner again with the Revitalization and Business Conference to present "IdeaLab," a fast-paced, two-hour session with a stellar line-up of Detroit innovators. Hosted by the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business, this Dec. 6 event is free and open to the public. Sign up now!
Museums are repositories of the past, but they're not getting buried by new technology. Melinda Weinstein, a professor of English at Lawrence Technological University, gets a snapshot of why and how the leadership at Detroit's premiere museums is carving a digital future.
It's Halloween, and our dark sides are face-up. Novelist, horror writer, and producer Kathe Koja says why darkness is good for Detroit souls.
If you're looking for a local company that represents what's next in renewable energy innovation, Zerobase is probably your best bet. The firm specializes in off-the-grid power logistics for inhospitable environments. Luckily, it has found its new digs in downtown Ferndale to be just the opposite - a perfect community for its high tech employees.
Heard any good stories lately? If you live in Metro Detroit there's no excuse for you haven't. Between TED talks and MOTH story competitions and Nerd Nite show and tells, locals have been telling tales worth listening to. Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg rounds up who's yammering where.
Since 826michigan, a nonprofit writing and tutoring center, opened its doors in Detroit it has not only assisted elementary- through high-school students, it's also made a difference for the adult volunteers donating time and smarts to their community. 826michigan Executive Director Amanda Uhle elaborates.
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.
Of interns offered full-time employment, nearly 90% of them are still on the job after one year, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. Regina Bell, executive director of Intern in Michigan, discusses why internships are a proven way to keep Michigan young.
From restoration to creation to innovation, Rocky Martina's life is centered around glass. If you've been to the Fox Theatre, you've seen his stained glass work. And like many self-made entrepreneurs, this Oakland County artisan is expanding his interests by helping to launch a new masonry coating start-up.
Metro Detroit is inching ever closer to being criss-crossed not just by roads, but a network of trails, or greenways. The Community Foundation of Southeast Michigan has made over 150 grants to this end. Greenways Initiative Director Tom Woiwode maps out the where and why of this greenway network.
There's been a lot of discussion about the fates and fashions of young African American males. For Edmund Lewis, however, the topic has been his life focus. Only 27 years old, he has found a way to connect a masters degreee in social work, a fashion consulting business, and his mentorship non-profit, Minority Males for Higher Education, into an impressive campaign for change.
Co-working spaces are hardly breaking news in metro Detroit. What's exciting, however, is how they've grown in scope, services, size and availability over the last few years. Submitted for your approval: a roundup of the region's more interesting shared work spaces.
To some, fringe theater is a kind of creative canary in the coalmine, a clue as to whether your art scene offers a nurturing environment for performing artists to experiment and explore. So, how does metro Detroit stack up? Metromode's Patrick Dunn checks in with a handful of local companies to get the lay of the land.
Barbeque. Swimming pool. Bike rides. Local summer festival. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Same old, same old. Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg has some different ideas for what makes summer special in Metro Detroit.
Graffiti and monsters. For many, those are two words that bring with them negative connotations. But in the hands of Wyandotte street muralist Brian Melvin (aka Deco 23) they are colorful and vibrant additions to otherwise drab landscapes. Now in his 40s, the graffiti artist reflects on what his work means and where he'd like to see it go.
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.
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.
Unlike many other cities that have long been in their heyday, Detroiters have the potential to reshape their landscape. Martin Williams, a graduate student in real estate at NYU, gives his perspective on Detroit from afar, and how a new design hotel could work in the city.
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.
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.
Be it resolved for Detroit 2013: street-level economic rebuilding will continue. Brian Hurtienne, executive director of Villages Community Development Corporation, writes about a greenway for Kercheval Avenue and how a pop-up to permanent strategy is building the retail trade.
We are a community with a history for making things. And that tradition goes beyond auto plants and IT firms. How about a machine that measures mental concentration? Or an update to the 19th Century Stirling Engine? Or an innovation that may change the entire glass-blowing industry? Whether it's in garages, school workshops or makerspaces, Metro Detroit inventors are concocting some pretty cool stuff.
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.
Last week Affirmations help celebrate National Coming Out Day with an event that introduced Metro Detroit to the next generation of LGBT leadership. The room was packed, the speeches and stories were inspirational, and Metromode's Kim North Shine was there to take it all in.
It's an app app app world. Metromode's Jon Zemke quizzes some of Metro Detroit's CEOs on which business apps they can't live without, which apps others should use, and which locally produced apps are worth checking out.
This point cannot be labored enough: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office affirmed Detroit's growing manufacturing and knowledge economy by opening its first-ever satellite location in Detroit. Metromode examines the U.S.P.T.O's activities in the region, and what its presence means for the area's economy.
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.
NoHam joins Farmington Hills and Ann Arbor in the Metro Detroit skatepark movement. Filling a vacant lot with a bowl, quarter pipe, bank, and hip is only Phase I for the nonprofit organizers of Power House Productions. These urban innovators envision a sustainable, skatable sculpture park that will become a destination for local boarders and BMXers.
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...
Beer. Bicycles. Two great tastes that taste great together. Or so the slogan goes. With the ever-growing popularity of breweries and cycling, it was inevitable that Metro Detroit (like many other parts of the country) would figure out a way to combine the two.
Unless you've been living in a cave you've probably heard the many green-minded arguments for why you should make your home more energy efficient. But what you might not realize is that there are compelling reasons beyond reducing the size of your carbon footprint. How about comfort? Better living has inspired one Ferndale resident to become an envangelist for Michigan's BetterBuildings program.
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.
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.
Where do local mad inventors and DIY creators go to plan and conceive their next off-the-wall invention? Whether it's custom mopeds, road-ready cupcakes, or gladiatorial assault courses, hackerspaces have become ground zero for folks who are compelled to create. Dave Lewinksi captures this rare species of iconoclast in its native habitat.
Metro Detroit's chefs may not be dominating episodes of Chopped and Top Chef but that doesn't mean they don't shine where it counts. So what about our next generation of kitchen masters? Metromode's Nicole Rupersburg introduces you to a quartet of local culinary up-and-comers.
Any one who picks up an issue of HOUR Detroit immediately notices the photography, images that lovingly capture both the energy of today and the vibrancy of our past. George Bulanda, the magazine's managing editor, has just released The Way It Was, Part 2, a collection that captures Detroit between 1869 and 1980. Metromode chats with George about the pictures he chose and why.
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.
They're like the Brigadoons of cuisine, restaurants that appear for one night then vanish into the ether, leaving their fans hungry for their next appearance (which is usually far less than 100 years). Pop-up kitchens are... well... popping up around Metro Detroit, giving budding restaurateurs their first taste of what it's like to run an eatery.
Join Metromode and Model D Feb. 29 at the newly renovated M@dison Building, home to Detroit Venture Partners and a growing family of companies, for a conversation about getting from startup to second stage. Registration begins now.
Establishing a sustainable and vibrant market for local food is a challenging mix of production, distribution, community engagement, and entrepreneurship. Detroit's Eastern Market is meeting those challenges head on. With 100 years of history and experience, this innovative institution is breaking new ground with its focus on developing a stronger regional food system while encouraging the success of smaller growers.
Metro Detroit's got pickle pride! This humble, homegrown, and oh-so tasty snack has a long history in Motown, and now a new generation of briners and picklers are ready to carry the torch ... or wield the jars, as the case may be. From gherkins to kimchi to sauerkraut and all points between, food fermentation is our new black.
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.
Itai Ben-Gal is in it for the long run. An anomaly in start-up culture, the co-founder of iRule isn't actively pursuing acquisition but is instead looking to build a company that lasts. That's meant a focus on local investment. And not just friends and family. Ben-Gal's start-up counts Compuware as one of its angels.
Lots of people love to travel, but few take the time to engage with the cultures they encounter. While hiking in places like Indonesia and Peru, Mallory Brown noticed that people were desperate for clothing. In the act of literally giving them the clothes off her back she stumbled upon an idea: World Clothes Line -- a philanthropic business that provides new clothes to those in need.
Though technology and big box retail have taken their toll, there's still a place for the downtown book store. Some Metro Detroit businesses are pushing past the traditional browse and buy forumla to create a third place for art, events, and socializing.
As the "placemaking" approach to development gains momentum across the country, cities from Detroit to Pittsburgh offer strong case studies for giving local residents and stakeholders a voice in shaping their cities' futures. Can the future of our communities be crowdsourced?
It's where the academic rubber meets the real world road. U-M's "Semester In The D" program places 25 students in Motown for a semester to learn how Detroit defines Michigan's past and its future.
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?
The argument against mass transit in Southeast Michigan has always hinged on the region's lack of density. But that hasn't stopped sprawling metros like Phoenix and Salt Lake City from building highly successful light rail systems. Metromode reruns a story that's as relevant today as it was four years ago.
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?
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.
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.
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.
There's little doubt about Metro Detroit's place in music history. We are a bottomless cauldron of rock n roll innovation and invention. And Movement is part of that...er, well, movement. Metromode chats with producer Jason Huvaere about electronic music's role in that legacy and the business of making it part of our region's future.
Five stages. A hundred techno and electronic music artists. Crowds that swell to nearly 100,000. A whole lotta sweat. The Movement Festival hits Detroit May 28-30th and we want you to be there! Find out how inside.
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.
Despite his company's huge successes, John Gongos doesn't consider himself an entrepreneur. The veteran market researcher does, however, have strong opinions about leadership, developing talent, and taking a smart approach to business growth. Metromode's Jon Zemke get's the skinny.
From a short-lived deal with Mercury Records to an ancho BBQ burrito locals crave, Steve Zuccaro is not your everyday average Metro Detroit success story. After a teenage stint as a dishwasher, the Grosse Pointe rocker vowed to never work in a restaurant again. Today he owns three popular eateries.
Spring is... well, on the way. Even though the flowers haven't popped up yet, Detroit Restaurant Week will be in full bloom starting April 1st. No foolin'. It's 10 days of food, drink and prix fixe fun. Metromode would like to help sate your appetite.
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.
Jim Miller is restless... In that fingers-in-many-pies sorta way. Not only is he Metro Detroit's go-to guy for marketing and PR as a member of Franco's Leadership Team, he's also a children's book author. As Nikka Costa sings, "everybody got their something".
Here, there, everywhere. It's not a coincidence that Henry Balanon got into the mobile application business. For this young entrepreneur, mobility is a way of life. Metromode chats with the founder of Bickbot about co-working, phone apps, blogging, iPads and what they mean for Metro Detroit.
In the shadow of this past weekend's Big Chill hockey extravaganza, The Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition --an American Idol-style contest for start-ups-- was held in Ann Arbor. More important than the $1 million in cash and support handed out was the collaboration exhibited by regional business leaders. Is there a new age of cooperation dawning in SE Michigan?
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 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!
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.
Everyone and their granny has a blog. But how many web-based wordsmiths know how to earn a buck for their efforts? From blog-based record labels to Internet journalists to movie deals for embarrassing text messages, some Metro Detroit bloggers are turning their passions into paychecks.
Whether you're a techno veteran or a newbie, it's hard not to notice Detroit's notoriety for beat-matching talent. But how to encapsulate a music scene that we export all over the world? Metromode offers an A-Z primer for those who are looking to wrap their heads around the sounds that make us spin round.
If you're looking for proof that Metro Detroit's economy is in a period of evolution, take a gander at Motor City Denim - a partnership between an old school auto industry supplier and new school fashion designer. The brainchild of Joe Faris (of Project Runway fame) and TD Industrial Coverings, this all-local enterprise is a declaration of and commitment to Metro Detroit's resiliency.
Eric Brown not only discovered his entrepreneurial muscle later in life, he also discovered his new urbanist, social media leanings. As CEO and co-founder of Urbane Apts, Brown has his finger on Metro Detroit's rental pulse, and has found success in a market that traditionally caters to home owners.
Metro Detroit does Halloween right, but how about you? Metromode offers up an extended installment of FilterD, pointing you to the best in outre spookiness and insider ghoulishness for All Hallow's weekend. Read on, go out, have fun... if you dare!
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.
"When it comes to U.S. job growth, startup companies aren't everything. They're the only thing."-Kauffman Foundation study on U.S. job growthJoin us October 13 at the Max M. Fisher Center to learn about innovative new initiatives fueling start-ups in Detroit. Mahendra Ramsinghani will talk about a unique partnership between Invest Detroit, TechTown and Ann Arbor SPARK. We'll also hear from Brendan Calder, an innovation expert and venture capitalist from the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto.
To establish a successful creative scene you need a critical mass of topnotch artists and performers, a dedicated local audience and savvy event promoters. Metro Detroit's got plenty of the first but struggles to effectively attract the second because there are only a few of the third. Or so says Walter Wasacz, FilterD's editor and Metromode's cultural connoisseur.
Metro Detroit's indie rock labels aren't after gold and glory (though both would be nice). They're pressing vinyl, booking shows, and producing CDs because the local music community is what sustains and inspires them. This is lo-fi entrepreneurship with heart, a real rock effort to seed the ground with Motown's next generation of bands.
University presses have found a unique niche in the publishing world, producing books by local writers with a decidedly local focus. Dennis Archambault looks at how Wayne State and U-M are evolving their imprints in the age of shrinking higher ed funding and digital innovation.
"Game changing technologies". "Thinking outside the box". "Bucking the status quo". Business is big on innovative jargon, but what does it really take to remake the economic landscape? Whether it was the automobile a hundred years ago or last year's iPad, disruptive thinking is more than just risk-taking entrepreneurship, it's the business of course-altering creation. And the financial impacts are staggering.
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.
Business has long operated on the Darwinian principle: evolve or die. Though Metro Detroit's manufacturing sector has taken a beating these past few decades some local companies are not only weathering the storm but actually growing. Dennis Archambault talks with a new generation of leadership about their high-tech plans to diversify
Architects look at things a little differently. Where we see empty space or blight, they see the potential for something inspiring, innovative, or grand. It should come as no surprise then that the trio of young architects Metromode spoke to are excited about both their own and Metro Detroit's future.
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.
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.
What's in a name? When it comes to Metro Detroit microbrews a whole heckuva lot. From Bam Biere to Ghettoblaster, Luciernaga to Final Absolution, Melinda Clynes gets the skinny on where the names and wonderful beer labels come from for some of our favorite local libations.
"Creative Class" researcher and professor Kevin Stolarick will speak at Model D's Speaker Series on May 12 at the Book Cadillac. The topic will be how higher education institutions play a role in transforming cities. It is free to attend, but you must register in advance.
Take a cup of culinary love, add a tablespoon of entrepreneurship and bake in Metro Detroit's DIY business culture. What do you get? A trio of locally-based food companies that are starting to land their products in markets across the country.
Developers and Detroit development officials have big dreams and big hopes for the Capitol Park area downtown. From a restoration of the park to new offices, lofts to places of cultural interest, this could be the city's next development hot spot.
It's about innovation and invention, not stealing your credit card info. With a trio of open-source, boundary-pushing hackerspaces opening in the last year, Metro Detroit has joined the international ranks of hackerdom. More than gadget-obsessed misfits, these make-geeks are out to make our world a little bit better... and more interesting.
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.
Burning Man. Maker Faire. The Ford Rouge Factory. You might be saying to yourself, "One of those things is not like the others." Not if you're Cynthia Jones. Whether it's her job as manager for The Henry Ford factory tour or her role as a regional contact for the famed desert festival, Jones is one of Metro Detroit's more impassioned creatives.
From deli sandwiches to digital advertising, some Metro Detroit companies are reinventing the employer-employee relationship. The result? A happy band of brand experts ...and evangelists.
Detroit property is cheap. Not just cheap, it's really, really cheap,
and abundant. The Euro is stronger than the dollar and that bodes well
for foreign investors. They can pick up property along the riverfront or
right downtown for the price of a small car.
His labor is a chant, His idleness a tune; Oh, for a bee's experience Of clovers and of noon!-Emily DickinsonSpring will soon be sprung and local fields will be busy with more bees than ever. Metro Detroit bee keepers are growing their hobby into a honey of an industry.
Are we making Detroit a place where young and talented people want to be? The Michigan Front Page, Model D and Fusion are joining forces to get some answers at our Speaker Series this month, Feb. 25
With Michigan's debilitating term limits and our current climate of partisan politics it's almost impossible to imagine how anything can get done. Enter the Michigan Political Leadership Program, a fellowship dedicated to teaching aspiring politicos how to play nice... and more importantly, how to serve the needs of the state first, and party second.
Innovative ideas? Check. Enthusiastic management team? Check. Capital? Er... working on it. For all Michigan's talk of developing a new economy, its start-ups still need local investors. More specifically: Angel investors. Now, a few VC-savvy players are trying to encourage a new way of thinking in the state's old world entrepreneurs.
After a century of aggressive industrialization, Metro Detroit is seeing the intentional and unintentional benefits of the downturn - the return of nature. From greenways to land conservancy, our region is getting greener and wilder. Metromode's Dennis Archambault explains why that's a good thing.
Michigan's blossoming film industry is expanding its reach in ways no one imagined. Case in point: Metro Detroit's Y Arts Program, which teaches at-risk youth media arts and skills while helping to build the next generation of local creative talent.
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.
Not only does stem cell research offer a lifeline to patients with life-threatening diseases, it may also provide an economic lifeline to Southeast Michigan by growing our life sciences industry.
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.
For young professionals struggling to build careers, families, or an adult life for themselves the idea of mentoring probably seems too daunting to consider. But some organizations have discovered it's about quality, not quantity, and have developed convenient and effective programs that make it easier to make a difference.
Happy Horror-ween! Though Metro Detroit is hardly known for our tales of terror (not counting the economy and the Lions, of course), Metromode digs up a pair of local writers who want nothing more than to give you nightmares.
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.
No soup for you! There's something strangely satisfying about the the culinary war wounds you earn from restaurants that specialize in great food and bad service. Metro Detroit has more than its share of inglorious joints, places where even Seinfeld's Soup Nazi might feel right at home.
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.
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.
Forget traditional notions of affordable housing. If Metro Detroit wants to end the brain drain, attract new economy workers and revitalize its communities it needs to pay better attention to the housing needs of 20 and 30somethings. What does that mean? Affordable rentals, downtown condos and hip, walkable neighborhoods.
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.
Kayaking the Detroit River and the canals that run through the East Side offers a brush with nature and an up close look at the city's architecture, all in one. Green Space's Kelli Kavanaugh grabs a paddle and experiences Detroit from the other side of the shore.
Curbside recycling is not a new fangled idea. Communities across the nation have commited themselves to the practice. So, why is most of Metro Detroit lagging behind? Metromode looks at where we are, where we're going and who's on board.
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.
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.
With all the buzz around the fate of Tiger Stadium and Detroit's Lafayette Building, Model D asked two outspoken members of the preservation and development communities to share their points of view. Metromode believes the city's historical identity and legacy are issues that are important to all of Metro Detroit.
Making good and making a buck are not necessarily contradictory ideas. Metromode introduces you to a quartet of green collar companies who are trying to do right by both Michigan's economy and the environment.
Largely citified Metro Detroit has been lauded for its soul food, and lately, for its slow food. Rooted in locally grown, sustainable, healthy foodstuffs, the national leader in urban gardening is fertile grounds for the slow food supporters cropping up around the region.
Dear Detroiters: Why do you stay? What will keep you here? GLUE (aka the Great Lakes Urban Exchange) asked people to fill in the blank at a recent party kicking off its regional campaign. Will local leaders listen to their answers?
A new currency is making the rounds in Detroit businesses. It's called "Cheers". And it's the ultimate commitment to buying local. Meet the businessmen behind the idea and learn how they hope to stimulate both spending and morale.
A cicerone is to beer what a sommelier is to wine. There are only 17 in the U.S., and Annette Bardallis of Allen Park is one of them. In fact, she's the only female cicerone in the nation. How does her husband Michael feel about that? Proud. He's one too.
With Michigan's new film incentives, everyone's talking about Hollywood actors and production crews. But what about the guys and gals behind the scenes, the ones who create all those memorable movie soundtracks? Three local composers weigh in on where they see the state's burgeoning film industry is headed.
Model D and Next American City magazine are teaming up for a special speaker series on April 8: "Who Moves To Detroit?". Sign up now.
Detroit area businesses are all atwitter about social networking websites like Facebook and LinkedIn, which are the interactive pages in the corporate brochure. Metromode links up -- makes friends -- and messages with high-profile denizens of the online scene. The word? Socializing on company time makes good business policy.
Phones are ringing off the hook. ABC and NPR want the scoop. Artists the world over want in. The hubbub is over what Mitch Cope and Gina Reichert are doing to a few property purchases that totaled roughly $5,000 (including a house for 100 bucks). But you can't put a price tag on their ideas or the potential impact on their corner of Detroit.
They're where new businesses are hatched. Where start-ups start up. Southeast Michigan's business incubators offer everything from office supplies to professional mentorship,& helping new economy companies to stand on their own two feet.
The economy is struggling. Real estate is in a spiral. How do you make the case for green building when businesses are just trying to survive? And what about those who want to go green but can't quite reach LEED standards? Is there any consideration for their eco-friendly choices? Metromode looks at how the future of sustainability is coping with the challenges of today.
Can't we all just get along? Yes, we can! ...if the Michigan Political Leadership Program has anything to say about it. With the state facing one of the most challenging economies in history and partisanship undermining everything, the MPLP hopes to cultivate good government through its 24 fellows, who come from both sides of the aisle and aspire to hold major leadership positions.
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.
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 Odow’s 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.
Interest in transit for Southeast Michigan is gaining ground but no ground has been broken. Even with plans for easy on and off trains from Detroit to Pontiac and Ann Arbor to Detroit no one seems to be able to close the deal. Michigan Now’s Chris McCarus compares Michigan's lack of action with Boston's investment in rail and its $16 billion big dig.
Cullen was instrumental in getting the RiverWalk done, and now the
Quicken Loans exec is helping to usher in the Woodward streetcar
project. But does he think Detroiters will really buy into mass transit?
For generations getting around Metro Detroit meant one thing: four wheels. Local leaders are pushing hard to give Detroiters the option to travel on two rails. The Woodward light rail and Detroit-Ann Arbor commuter rail lines are tantalizingly close to becoming reality. Metromode takes a look at the viability of these projects and their potential impact 10-20 years from now.
won't find it on your FM dial, but WDET has found a home for music --
even local music -- once again. Having an HD radio station means that
even folks without one of those newfangled devices can catch the
programming. All it takes is the Internet and a click.
Piles of snow. Narrow streets. While cyclists brave subzero winds, motorists grudgingly share the road. Metro Detroit's "car is king" sentiment needs to be dethroned if alternative transportation is to become a reality. Jon Zemke takes a street level view of what local cyclists have to face and why they remain committed to a car-less commute.
nonprofit Recycle Here! center is slammed with Detroiters unloading
their unwanted paper, plastic and glass, but soon many Detroiters will
have a curbside option, too. Green could be very "in" in Detroit in '09.
The race is on! States around the Union are looking into alternative energy strategies big and small. And Michigan is no exception. With all the talk of wind power and alternative fuels, discussions of solar have been pretty absent. Is it our notoriously grey winters? Kelli Kavanaugh checks out who's looking to let the sun shine in in Metro Detroit.
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.
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.
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.
Evolve or perish has become the mantra for Michigan's economy. But what to do with generations of workers who flourished under the old system? To borrow a recent slogan: "We are the change we have been waiting for". Metro Detroit's universities have some ideas about how to make that change.
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.
As corporate radio blands out the airwaves with lowest common denominator programming, local college radio remains the last bastion for original and ecclectic soundscapes. And with the Internet, these student-run shows are finding listeners all over the globe.
Smart, savvy start-ups are proving to be key to keeping the young and the restless in Metro Detroit. Model D's Speaker Series looks at who's building businesses and retaining talent. It'll be on Thursday, Nov. 20. Sign up today.
In the race to produce cheaper renewable energy, one U-M professor is looking to harness electricity from the Detroit River using experimental cylinders. Chris McCarus has the story on Metromode Radio's latest podcast.
From advertising to automotive to film, the College for Creative Studies' influence on the design world is far and wide. More importantly, its students exactly represent the kind of creative class professionals Michigan will need to transform its economy.
papier-mâché noggin capital of the world is right here in Detroit,
housed in an old East Side industrial complex. A volunteer group wants
you to put one on and march with them in the Thanksgiving Parade.
buzz, buzz. Detroit's Russell Industrial is a hive of activity, and now
even more so. The new Russell Bazaar, an eclectic market of independent
artists and unique retailers, is set to open this weekend, doubling the
number of tenants in this former industrial complex.
Pryor knows something about the good a little unity can do for Detroit.
The veteran art dealer brought together women entrepreneurs under the
Spiral Collective roof, and in turn made a mark on the Midtown
neighborhood and cultural scene.
travel in packs and zip through the city streets, only slowing down for
a libation at a skate friendly watering hole. Rollerblading enthusiasts
argue theirs is the best way to take in Detroit, from the smooth
pavement of the nearly finished Dequindre Cut pathway to the bumpier
ride on neighborhood sidestreets.
Now's Chris McCarus takes us inside the beautiful St. Albertus Church
near Eastern Market, just in time for the annual fundraising festival
held to help preservation efforts.
Pryor knows something about the good a little unity can do for Detroit.
The veteran art dealer brought together women entrepreneurs under the
Spiral Collective roof, and in turn made a mark on the Midtown
neighborhood and cultural scene.
Rich Homberg wants public television to speak to Detroit's two identities -urban and suburban- while deepening its commitment to local issues, local programming and new media technologies. Metromode's Dennis Archambault sat down to discuss with him the future of DPTV.
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.
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.
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.
There's a lot of talk about Tech Transfer but not everyone understands what it is, and what it could mean to Michigan's new economy. Metromode gives you the lowdown along with a snapshot of how U-M, WSU and Lawrence Tech intend to leverage their innovations into marketplace successes.
Colin Hubbell taught many people how to love Detroit. A father, husband, real estate developer, teacher and avid city biker, he was also a mentor, volunteer, great supporter of local business and inspiration to those who knew him. The city was his home, his office and his playground. Model D's editor Clare Ramsey offers this tribute to Colin, who died last week at 49.
city officials to local business people, Colin Hubbell touched many
with his warmth, positive energy, passion, and often frank advice. Or
all of the above. Here are some words from people who knew him well and
worked with him over his long career as a city servant, real estate
developer, teacher and mentor.
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.
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.
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.
Model D's Speaker Series is back from a summer break with a look at the burgeoning film industry in Detroit. What does Hollywood have to offer the Motor City? Sign up today to attend the Aug. 21 event.
It wasn't what Gil Scott Heron envisioned, but the revolution just may yet be televised. As YouTube becomes the place to be seen, Metro Detroit's savvier rock bands are using Internet video to create their own scene.
The old philosophy was knock it down and build anew. But what do you do with polluted or blighted land no one wants to take responsibility for? Creative economic incentives are transforming these unwanted brownfields into successful (and sometimes unexpected) properties.
stretching and shaping molten glass into all manner of art and objects
sound cool? Learn how from the masters at Furnace Design Studio,
bringing art, learning and stewardship to a corner of Southwest Detroit.
It's going, going, but not quite gone. At
a Corner steeped in memories, a smart, creative reuse and scaled back
version of Tiger Stadium would be an incredible victory for the city.
Francis Grunow urges Detroit to act smart, and think outside the box
before it's too late.
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.
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.
is what happens when you mix silver paint, noise and lots and lots of
cardboard. The UFO Factory produces some unusual sights and sounds in
University students, no longer content with working yet another McJob, are pursuing internships as their path to a new economy career. While smarter local companies and leaders are getting the hint, there's still a lot more that can be done to keep these top talents in Michigan after graduation.
Model D is celebrating its 3rd year with a special speaker series, music and party on June 20 at the Max -- in conjunction with the DSO's 8 Days in June. Sign up for the free event, now. And as our b-day gift to you: Readers get a discount on that evening's 8 Days in June show.
The times they-are-a-changin', and 8 Days in June shows that the grand old DSO is still kickin'. The innovative festival is still classy, still quality, but it will challenge your perceptions of what an old guard classical music institution should and can be.
Toss that bag of Funyuns. Instead, grow some real onions! Area agriculture gurus offer up some sage advice on how and why Michigan's second largest industry should get its fair share of attention.
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.
The next Model D Speaker Series is next week — April 23. Sign up today. We'll look at how Southwest Detroit is growing; attracting businesses, new immigrants and investment to the city.
What's new on the RiverWalk this year? We check in on a few brick-and-mortar projects that will get
off the ground to move it a little closer to completion. Also bikes, planes, boats, lights, and more. Walk on, Detroit.
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.
Are you part of the Creative Class? Richard Florida has become the bell of the new urbanist ball, dividing the world into "spiky" mega regions with psychological personalities all their own. Translation: Where the nation's best talent chooses to live says as much about you as it does about them. So how does southeast Michigan stack up?
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?
The Model D Speaker Series is going green. "Building a Green City: Sustainable Urbanism in Detroit" will be the topic of the next event — to be held March 19 at the Detroit Yacht Club. It's free, but you must RSVP.
Okay, it's more like 61 miles. Nevertheless, Metro Detroit offers a world of gastromomic pleasures, if you know where to look. Let food writer Jeff Broder act as your compass, pointing the way to a savory quartet of ethnic restaurants.
After years of lagging behind the west coast of the state, SE Michigan is turning green in leaps and bounds. Climb aboard for a discussion of what the green building standard LEED actually means, and check out some prime examples of its application here in Metro Detroit.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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."
Balancing family life with work ambitions can be tricky, especially for women. Some Metro Detroit companies are recognizing that in order to attract and keep the best talent it pays to be innovative when it comes to work-life issues.
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.
If the thought of plummeting temps and skyrocketing heating costs make you want to bury your head in the sand, maybe you should dig a little deeper and start drilling for energy. Geothermal heating systems have long been touted for their "green" benefits. Who knew its supporters were referring to cold hard cash?
An outspoken and resolute defender of the environment, Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has used his legal prowess to champion the health of waterways the world over. Given Michigan's unique access to four of the five Great Lakes, Kennedy had much to say to metromode about the importance of water in our state's future.
Whatever your opinion, there's no denying that bloggers are dismantling the wall between the public and the press, creating a virtual underground for ideas and opinions. And SE Michigan has more than its fair share of citizen journalists, armchair politicos, cultural pioneers and cranks just sportin' for a fight.
Experience SE Michigan through the eyes of its best bloggers.
From fresh veggies to healthier neighborhoods; SE Michigan's communities are learning that when it comes to the benefits of community gardens, food is just the beginning.
They're building up but not knocking down — area developers are choosing to redevelop and retrofit Southeast Michigan's historic buildings, and there are more than just tax incentives behind the trend. A look at why the hottest real estate in metro Detroit involves recycling old spaces and what that means for local communities.
October offers a feast of autumn colors. It's also the season of the witch. What better way to experience fall's spectacular burst of decay (while indulging in a little pre-Halloween creepiness) than to stroll through Michigan's historic cemeteries?
Power planting at power plants! Chris Lehr does more than create attractive landscapes for his corporate clients, he makes things environmentally right where nature has been wronged.
It's not just about French and Spanish anymore. Today's global economy demands students learn once-exotic languages like Arabic and Chinese to prepare for the future –-and a few southeast Michigan school districts are rising to the challenge.
For more than a century, Michigan's esteemed universities have exported their best and brightest to the rest of the world. But some are asking, why aren't we preparing these future inventors and innovators to set up shop here?
As Michigan evolves its economy, innovative high-tech companies are successfully planting their flags in uncharted territory. For job seekers, however, it means applying for a position that didn't exist five years ago. Kimberly Chou takes a look at three local companies and the cutting edge jobs they're creating.
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.
Rack 'em, stack 'em and move 'em underground. As southeast Michigan communities build better, more compact downtowns new ideas about parking are being put into place.
Judy Ravin has helped people speak clearly for 15 years, but her accent reduction business is booming as the world gets smaller and the workforce gets more diverse.
Green spaces are not only good for quality of life, environment and recreation, they can also boost the local economy. Think of them as a way to increase your bottom line while reducing your bottom size.
In this collection of images, Metromode/Model D photographer Dave Krieger
captures the vitality of Detroit where the city meets the water — from bucolic walks along the new RiverWalk in summer to the majesty of the Renaissance Center at night.
Since the decline of the Big Three, it's become clear Michigan businesses need a new model. As technology firms pop up, and global communications allow small companies to compete internationally like never before, more start-ups are realizing that it pays to be David when you're battling Goliaths.
Marcel Proust once said, "The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." To wit, Michigan's smaller universities are expanding their commitment to research, understanding that high-tech talent and innovation are needed to remake the state's economic landscape.
Southeast Michigan is alive with the sound of music... and the silence of mimes. If you want a barometer of how happening your neighborhood is, check out who's playing on the corner. More than just local color, buskers are a leading indicator of downtown vibrancy. After all, when's the last time you saw a drum circle at the local stripmall?
Taking their cue from economic incubators popping up around the region, a Hamtramck collective has adopted the idea to create its very own arts incubator. Can organizations like these breed the kind of creativity, energy and beauty needed to remake our cultural landscape?
Dr. Ron Suarez is our guest blogger this week. Ron is a serial entrepreneur and Arbor City Councilmember and founder of Promovuz
, a company offering digital music promotion, statistics and sales.
Check back here each week day to read Ron's thoughts on media, technology and how to do your own podcast.
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.
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.
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.
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 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?
When we talk about quality of life issues, who considers the region's sizable teen population? Ann Arbor's Neutral Zone is setting the bar for teen community centers, making use of the latest technologies and trends while nurturing the kind of homegrown talent Michigan desperately needs.
Cities follow businesses and businesses follow transportation. In a freshly global economy, highways, railroads, and seaports are making room for air travel. Get ready for the 'aerotropolis,' Michigan's newest urban model.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"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.
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.
ECD Ovonics challenges the notion that Michigan is the corroded buckle of the rust belt. On the cutting edge of solar-cell technology, hybrid car batteries and hydrogen energy development, this greener than green hi-tech pioneer should be the face of Michign's future.
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?
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.
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?
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.
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?
We've come a long way from the days of Pac-Man and Space Invaders. Computer games brought in $14 billion in revenue last year and several Michigan companies are claiming their stake in this ever-expanding technology.
Armed with only a saute pan and a vision, restauranteurs have become urban pioneers, transforming neighborhoods (even whole communities) one meal at a time.
Danialle Karmanos is our guest blogger this week. Danialle is Chairman of the Board of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), a boardmember of the Detroit Opera House and video producer. Her husband, Peter, is the chairman and CEO of Compuware Corporation. Check back here each weekday to read Danialle's thoughts on the importance of arts and culture in shaping Detroit's identity.
Pick a path and pound the pavement. From novice joggers to world-class sprinters, Southeast Michigan has everything you need to maintain a constant level of runner's high.
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.
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.
Michigan's economic forecast may be chilly but a trio of local ad agencies just see it as reason to stoke the furnaces of innovation and flex their creative muscle.
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.
In celebration of Architecture Week metromode chats with Royal Oak architect Frank Arvan about how architecture and urban design can improve Metro Detroit.
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.
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.
40 years, Harriet Saperstein has been a living, breathing model of
community involvement. In March, Saperstein retired as president of HP
Devco, the economic development organization that is helping Highland
Park turn itself around. Maureen McDonald profiles the woman who never
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.
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.
Second only to Alaska in miles of shoreline, Michigan's blue belt may be one of the nation's best-kept secrets. Is it any wonder we're poised to become a kayaking mecca?
Playing a tourist in your hometown? Entertaining out-of-town guests? Tell us where you go — and what you think of what metro Detroit has to offer visitors.
Tired of 'big box' fashion and assembly line design? In Ypsilanti, a group of underground entrepeneurs have found a way to brand personal expression and build businesses that cater to the cult of authenticity.
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.
Could Traverse City or Saugatuck be the next Cannes? As Michigan becomes home to a growing number of film festivals, an enthusiastic band of cineastes are bringing Hollywood to the heart of 'fly-over' country.
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.
Paris. Milan. Detroit? Local menswear mavens, Sarah Lurtz and Sarah Lapinski (of Wound fashion designs) dream of turning their DIY sewing factory into Detroit's premiere clothing manufacturer.From Scratch puts the spotlight on individuals and companies in SE Michigan that are building their businesses from the ground up. They are true pioneers in the new economy, reinventing the state's identity and laying the foundation for Michigan's future.
Southwest Solutions is making real progress, changing individual lives and the entire Southwest Detroit community with education, counseling, homeownership and redevelopment programs. Read on to learn more.
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.
Jacob Corvidae is our guest blogger this week. He is is the Green Programs Manager for WARM Training Center and co-founder of Sustainable Detroit. Not one to mince words, Jacob offers his thoughts on the challenges our region faces now and in the future.Check back here every weekday for Jacob's thoughts.
Want to join the conversation? Please send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Some neo-realism with your money market account? How about fairy dust with that root canal? Local businesses are partnering with artists to help sculpt an identity that stands out against a landscape littered with cookie-cutter chainstores.
It's a small world after all. As Southeast Michigan plugs into the global marketplace, it finds a world of investors, partners and corporations interested in setting up shop here.
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.
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.
Getting involved in the community is key to building a great region. Focus: HOPE is one organization that can use your skills, talent and time.
Ann Arbor has become a leading advocate for regional mass transit, lobbying hard for a pair of commuter train lines that could connect key parts of Metro Detroit and be an important part of the region's transformation.
Detroit-based filmmakers want to get their DIY postapocalyptic sci-fi series InZer0 on a major cable network, sure, but the show's creators also hope their project will inspire and transform the local film industry.
Detroit's entrepreneurial incubator, TechTown,
is more than a place to just do good business. From top to bottom, grade school to post-grad, it's also about the business of learning.
This is the final post from Matt Clayson, our guest blogger this week. Matt is a Detroit resident and an attorney for a local tech company. Check back daily for his thoughts on how to develop the region to meet demands of the next generation. Send your comments to email@example.com
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.
What drives the economy? The real Big Three — the big universities in Detroit, Ann Arbor and E. Lansing, bringing in hundreds of millions of research dollars, and fostering jobs and start-up companies.
Surrounded by the slick and shiny cars at the auto show, the Rustbelt doesn't seem quite so rusty. It's a perfect time to recognize the creative talent that drives our region.
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 needs Detroit. Detroit needs Ann Arbor. As much as these places are their own communities, they need one another more than ever.
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.
The world of Second Life is like MySpace meets the Matrix — a 3-D online community. It's also where a group of metro Detroit enterpreneurs are staking a claim and hoping to hit it big.