Friday, July 30, 2010

Greening of Detroit Volunteer Day

It's not everyday that painting a liquor store means doing some good for your city. As part of our work volunteer day, we painted an abandoned liquor store in order to convert it into a garden shed. We had a lot of fun working with Greening of Detroit. They are doing a lot of cool projects all over the city and it was nice to be a part of one of them.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Handmade Detroit

Lish Dorset (pictured right) and Bethany Nixon (pictured left) became friends over a mutual love of hand made crafts. Dorset explains, “I’ve always been making things and when I came back to the area after college it was hard to find like minded folks with my interests.” Then she met Nixon, a fellow art enthusiast. They started to form meetings with other crafters, where they discussed sewing tips, their love of vintage, and everything handmade. In 2005, they formed Handmade Detroit, a community for local artists.

Through their hosting of craft fairs and events, crafters from all over Michigan are able to meet and sell their work. Some crafters use these events to test their products and see if they can make a personal business from them. Dorset explains, “We’ve been able to help people test out whether or not they want to get into a business. They starting selling and realize that people like their work and what they are doing. Nixon added, “It’s been a great thing to see a lot of our vendors do so well.”

To meet theses fine ladies of Handmade Detroit as well as other vendors including Chris Gorsky, visit the Maker Faire this Saturday and Sunday at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Say Nice Things About Detroit

Chris Gorsky loves Detroit, and he wants everyone to know it. That's why he created Detroit GT a t-shirt and design business. All of his amazing shirts and objects celebrate Detroit and it's culture. You may see Chris driving around this summer in an ice cream truck converted into a mobile store. If you don't catch him that way, you can also purchase items from his website and Etsy shop.

Bobble Head Buster

My dog will do anything if he thinks he's about to get a treat.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Turning Motown into Growtown

Detroit is in the unique situation of having too much land. In the 1950s Detroit's population soared to 1.8 million people. Now the city is faced with a population decrease to about 900,000 residents. The question on everyone's mind is what to do with the vacant lots. One popular idea and movement is to turn the empty spaces into urban gardens.

Urban Farming was founded by Detroit singer and former Prince protégé Taja Sevelle. The organization is dedicated to turning vacant land over to food production, providing a healthier diet to city people who either go hungry or have poor nutrition.

I had the pleasure of working with Urban Farming to plant a garden in a vacant lot on Knodell Street near the Linwood neighborhood. Volunteers work to plant the garden and the nearest fire department waters the garden if rain water is not enough. Residents are allowed to help themselves to whatever they need. Detroit has no major supermarkets and few stores that carry fresh produce so a garden movement like Urban Farming can be essential to the community.

To learn more about Urban Farming read this Guardian article entitled "Detroit gets growing" or this Guernica article entitled "Food Among the Ruins."

Monday, July 26, 2010

¡Feliz cumpleaños a ti! ¡Mi Chica Favorita!

dear sister alissa, here are 10 reasons why i'm so happy you were born:

1. you speak spanish which is helpful when I need a dirty rap lyric translated

2. you are the only girl that could ride a motorcycle from guatemala to mexico and survive

3. you have dad's ability to wake up super early to workout but you fall asleep during action movies and at loud bars

4. you have a more extensive knowledge of wine than any midwesterner should ever have

5. you love fútbol even when you have no one to watch it with

6. you travel the world and have amazing stories

7. you forget to eat sometimes and can survive on a handful of walnuts

8. you are incredibly smart and have good advice for everything

9. you have great taste in clothes and you are an amazing gift giver

10. you have a big heart and you are going to save the world one day

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Coco Before Chanel

I'm so inspired by the French film Coco Before Chanel. Audrey Tautou is absolutely stunning and the costumes are spectacular. The film focuses on Coco Chanel's early life—from an orphanage, to a singer, to being a mistress for a wealthy man. She despises the Victorian fashion of the day and wishes to change the styles for simple, chic, and comfortable clothing. C'est magnifique!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Mad Men Premires this Sunday!

I'm catching up with Season 3 of Mad Men to brace for the premiere this Sunday. Can't wait!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

My Favorite Tag in Detroit

Located in the Cork Town district of Detroit this tag is right next to Slows BBQ and you can't miss it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jenny & Johnny

Jenny Lewis has teamed up with her boyfriend Johnathan Rice to form the band Jenny & Johnny. Their album, I'm Having Fun Now will be out August 31. The Daily Candy is offering a free download of their song "Big Wave" if you give them your email address.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Artist Profile: William Irving Singer

I had the opportunity to meet and photograph painter William Irving Singer back in May. I wanted to share the results of our session as well as his perspective on being a young artist living in Detroit:

Detroit may not be first place that comes to mind for a recent college graduate to start his career, but it is for painter, William Irving Singer, 24. “It's a great place to get started," he told me while giving a tour of his large $238/month studio in the Cass Corridor near downtown. "Detroit's got a bad rep, but spend a month here, and you'll realize it's not as bad as people say." Singer found that Detroit also has a lot of open doors when it comes to finding a studio and locating supplies. “My landlord made it easy for me to move in and was open to my suggestions.” Singer was also surprised at how many friends and neighbors stopped by his studio to drop off antique books and photographs for inspiration. “You can really do what you want here, and people will support you."

To view Singers work visit or stop by Stella Cafe in the Fischer Building to see it in person.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

In Heavy Rotation: Coconut Records

I'm crazy obsessed with Jason Schwartzman. Not only has he starred in fantastic films like The Darjeeling Limited, I Heart Huckabees, & Rushmore, he also stars in the hilarious HBO series Bored to Death. AND he formed the band Coconut Records. I love this video for the song "Microphone." Somehow he manages to rock a t-shirt of himself.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Detroit People Mover

Detroit's mass transport system, the People Mover was built in 1987 and runs in a 2.9 mile circle around downtown. I hadn't take the DPM before—opting to walk instead, but since my sister was in town we decided to pay the 50 cent fare and try it out. We ended up seeing Detroit with a really great view.