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Pizzendämmerung

Monaghan and Ilitch barely know each other. The Domino’s founder says in an interview he can’t recall ever tasting a Little Caesars pizza, “though I must have a long time ago.” A sculpture hanging in the archives at Little Caesars’ headquarters makes fun of a Domino’s slice as having “hard, tasteless crust, topped with artificial, flat, and runny cheese.” It’s a fluke that the chains emerged from the same corner of Michigan at roughly the same time more than 50 years ago. Yet, in different ways, Domino’s and Little Caesars changed the way Americans eat pizza, helping to make it one of the country’s most popular foods. The pizza barons were great at selling pies. Now one wants to save Detroit, and the other wants to save everything else.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 8, 2014 - 36 comments

Water is a Human Right

Welcome to Detroit's water war – in which upward of 150,000 customers, late on bills that have increased 119 percent in the last decade, are now threatened with shut-offs. Local activists estimate this could impact nearly half of Detroit's mostly poor and black population – between 200,000 and 300,000 people. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on Jun 26, 2014 - 39 comments

Free, streaming Detroit (style) hip-hop from DJ House Shoes and friends

While the name Michael “House Shoes” Buchanan remains unknown to most, he's been involved with the Detroit hip-hop community since '94, producing some beats for an (unreleased) EP by Elzhi in 1998, plus a few other projects in the 1990s, but he really started making noise in the 2000s, finally releasing his own album, Let It Go, in 2012, which he then offered as a free download in 2013. All the while, he's continued to act as "Detroit's Hip-Hop Ambassador to the World," promoting other up-and-coming acts through various channels, including his on-going series, "The Gift," in which he promotes new artists. [NOTE: NSFW lyrics throughout the music] [more inside]
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 1, 2014 - 4 comments

GooBing Detroit

GooBing Detroit: chronological photosets of houses and streets in Detroit from 2009 to 2013, made with the aid of Google Street View and Bing StreetSide. [more inside]
posted by Pruitt-Igoe on May 28, 2014 - 30 comments

Rain rain go away

Rain falls on the now vacant Pontiac Silverdome, once home to the Detroit Lions and the Detroit Pistons. [slyt] [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle on May 17, 2014 - 47 comments

Robbing the Banksy

Was the pilfered painting worth it? Detroit's 555 Gallery saved a stencil from scrappers, but now wants to sell it.
posted by klangklangston on May 15, 2014 - 22 comments

Woodward is Elmore’s ‘Heart of Darkness’

Elmore Leonard's Detroit. With map. Part of Grantland's Detroit Week.
posted by xowie on Apr 16, 2014 - 5 comments

Detroit: Then & Now

The latest project of detroiturbex.com is Detroit: The Evolution of a City, showing incredible then and now photographs with a sliding interface, so you can see the changes (good and bad) across the decades. It's broken up into five sections: A Growing City, Deindustrialization, Unrest, Decay, and Revival. Previously from detroiturbex: Cass Tech superimposed photos. [more inside]
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective on Apr 1, 2014 - 11 comments

I wanted something nobody wanted, something that was impossible.

Why I Bought A House In Detroit For $500
Detroit is the true 20th-century boomtown, the most American of stories. In 100 years, we went from a backwater hamlet to one of the richest cities in the United States. Referred to as the “Paris of the Midwest,” it was the city with the most theater seats in the U.S. outside of Broadway, the silicon valley of the ’60s, the highest rate of homeownership in the nation. We boomed and we busted, hard and early, and like an alcoholic drunk on 20th-century capitalism, we hit rock bottom first and hardest.

posted by still_wears_a_hat on Jan 10, 2014 - 43 comments

Tracing Skylines

Detroit urban skiing. Poor Boyz Productions takes advantage of Detroit's abandoned buildings and spaces.
posted by HuronBob on Jan 4, 2014 - 29 comments

You have to warm up to the idea that you will look like an idiot.

With AWESOMeFEET you have to warm up to the idea that you will look like an idiot. Detroit resident Marty Stano, minimalist, filmmaker, oddball, makes a joyous video in celebration of winter. [more inside]
posted by QuakerMel on Dec 28, 2013 - 12 comments

"How important is eating?"

Detroit ruling on bankruptcy lifts pension protection. (NYT) U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes ruled Tuesday morning that yes, Detroit is eligible for Chapter 9. The shocker for retirees — Rhodes also ruled that city pension benefits won’t receive heightened protection in bankruptcy and may be cut. (Detroit Free Press) Firefighters, along with police officers, don't qualify for Social Security, while other city workers do. (Detroit News) Previously. Previouslier. [more inside]
posted by sio42 on Dec 4, 2013 - 286 comments

Workalcoholics

"We pressed up Infinite. We might have pressed up maybe five hundred, a thousand records tops. We couldn’t give them away. Nobody was feeling it. We don't know why. Then Marshall, I think he was sitting on the toilet making a poop, and he came up with the alter ego. He came into the studio, talking about this alter ego that he has now."
An interview with Jeff Bass
, who, along with his brother Mark, produced and co-wrote Eminem's first two albums (plus Lose Yourself from the 8 Mile soundtrack).
[more inside]
posted by mannequito on Nov 6, 2013 - 25 comments

Not a decrepit defunct ghost town

No, THIS is Detroit is an Imgur photo album by a Detroit resident fed off with seeing their city objectified as "exploitative ruin porn".
posted by MartinWisse on Oct 7, 2013 - 69 comments

How Detroit Went Broke

The Free Press investigates the causes of the Detroit bankruptcy. From 13th checks to Kwame's gamble, the story of Detroit's bankruptcy is surprising and often counter-intuitive.
posted by klangklangston on Sep 15, 2013 - 61 comments

"Big waste country, the U.S."

To a Chinese Scrap-Metal Hunter, America's Trash Is Treasure: Johnson Zeng is a Chinese trader who travels across the U.S. in search of scrap metal. By his estimate, there are at least 100 others like him driving from scrap yard to scrap yard, right now, in search of what Americans won’t or can’t be bothered to recycle. His favorite product: wires, cables, and other kinds of copper. His purchases, millions of pounds of metal worth millions of dollars, will eventually be shipped to China. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 7, 2013 - 29 comments

“This is like the weighing of souls.”

Christie's Auction House is set to appraise The Detroit Institute of Art's holdings as part an accounting of Detroit's assets. According to Art Market Monitor, the danger of the appraisal now taking place ... is that it will reveal a much greater value than the $2.5bn bandied about recently. Todd Levin, a Detroit-born art adviser and director of the Levin Art Group in New York, said the value of the museum’s entire 60,000-piece collection would have to be significantly higher — “at least in the low to mid-11 figures, In other words, at least $10 billion to $20 billion. (Previously)
posted by R. Mutt on Aug 20, 2013 - 61 comments

Detroit

"A man walked past our bench holding a single cucumber." A letter from Detroit by Mark Benelli walks you through today's Detroit. [more inside]
posted by HuronBob on Aug 15, 2013 - 41 comments

diddally​diddally​diddally​diddally​diddally​diddally​diddally wawp wamp

If you're not already in the mood for bacon fat, you might find yourself craving it anyway, just as soon as it hits the pan. Cause it's a slow simmering, juicy slab of swamp doo wop just right for easing across the kitchen floor to. Or the juke joint floor. Or just about any floor. Aww, have mercy! By the way, I mean this kind of Bacon Fat. Mmmm-mmm! Hungry for more? Alright then, there's... [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Aug 15, 2013 - 11 comments

Detroit Unbroken Down

The Story interviews photographer Dave Jordano, a native of Detroit and long-time resident of Chicago, who has returned to his hometown to make portraits of people who did not leave. In his online exhibit “Detroit Unbroken Down,” he passes up the grand spaces in ruin or crumbling homes that have become symbols of the Motor City, but focuses on the faces of the city.
posted by Bistle on Aug 8, 2013 - 8 comments

Never Tell A Canadian What He Cannot Do

John Morillo of Windsor, Ontario, Canada, will apparently not turn down a dare, even if it causes an international incident and racks up fines in the five figures. For instance, if you tell him he can't swim from Windsor to Detroit across a busy shipping lane, he'll do it (with the assistance of eight beers). And he'll swim back, too, as evidenced by the fact that the U.S. Coast Guard found him on the Canadian side. As Morillo said, "If I’m going to be in the paper, I’d at least like them to say I actually made it, even though I got in trouble and everything." [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Jul 24, 2013 - 83 comments

Grace Lee Boggs on reimagining work, food, and community

Philosopher Grace Lee Boggs speaks on reimagining work, food, and community in Detroit. [more inside]
posted by HuronBob on Jul 19, 2013 - 5 comments

Detroit Files for Bankruptcy

Detroit, the cradle of America’s automobile industry and once the nation’s fourth-most-populous city, has filed for bankruptcy. (NYT) The decision to file for bankruptcy makes this "the largest municipal bankruptcy filing in American history in terms of debt." (Previously) [more inside]
posted by Roger_Mexico on Jul 18, 2013 - 143 comments

It's Better Up There

District 9 director Neil Blomkamp talks to WIRED about Elysium, District 10, Halo, his desire to buy a skyscraper and almost casting Eminem or Ninja from Die Antwood in Elysium's Matt Damon role.
posted by Artw on Jul 18, 2013 - 50 comments

A Plant, a Perch, and a Prophylactic

Charlie LeDuff Canoes the Rouge River through Detroit. [more inside]
posted by Toekneesan on Jul 7, 2013 - 18 comments

Free at last

Thank God almighty... One hundred and one years after Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and two months before the march on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. spoke to 25,000 people in Detroit, and made it clear to America that "the Negro is now determined to be free". This speech in Detroit became the foundation for King's speech in Washington...."I have a dream..." On June 23rd we celebrate the 50th anniversary of that speech in Detroit.
posted by HuronBob on Jun 21, 2013 - 4 comments

Detroit Mayoral Race Loses a Front-Runner

The race for one of the worst jobs in America took a sharp turn this week as Mike Duggan was removed from the ballot for the Detroit mayoral election. [more inside]
posted by Etrigan on Jun 13, 2013 - 48 comments

You’ve got a billion dollars worth of art sitting over there.

Detroit Institute of Arts collection could face sell-off to satisfy Detroit's creditors Detroit emergency manager Kevyn Orr is considering whether the multibillion-dollar collection at the Detroit Institute of Arts should be considered city assets that potentially could be sold to cover about $15 billion in debt.
posted by R. Mutt on May 24, 2013 - 87 comments

The Fight For Fifteen

In what could be the largest strike of its kind, hundreds of fast food workers in Detroit walked off their jobs on Friday, echoing the rallying cry heard (or not?) across the country that the currently underpaid workers deserve $15 an hour and the right to form a union without retaliation. Friday's strike in Detroit comes on the heels of similar actions in other cities—Wednesday and Thursday in St. Louis, and in Chicago and New York City last month.
posted by SkylitDrawl on May 12, 2013 - 110 comments

This is what happens, Larry.

This is what happens when you pay a stranger to kidnap you.
posted by gauche on Apr 5, 2013 - 58 comments

"Internet in a Suitcase"

The Commotion Wireless Project is a free, open-source (but still early beta) software platform for creating decentralized wireless mesh networks. [more inside]
posted by Westringia F. on Mar 20, 2013 - 22 comments

Motor City Sadness

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder to appoint an emergency financial manager for Detroit.
posted by still_wears_a_hat on Mar 1, 2013 - 52 comments

Side A Side B

Out of the ashes of 1970's Detroit rock came Sonic's Rendezvous Band. One part Iggy and the Stooges and one part MC5, they only released one single, same song on both sides of the record.City Slang [more inside]
posted by Sailormom on Feb 24, 2013 - 23 comments

Lewis Cass Technical High School, Then and Now

Detroit's Lewis Cass Technical High School, Then and Now. Period photos superimposed over the historic building's abandoned interiors, presented by detroiturbex.com.
posted by milquetoast on Dec 10, 2012 - 19 comments

We now return to Kidbits

Airing before the Saturday morning cartoons on Detroit's WDIV, Kidbits (Optical illusions pt. 2, pt. 3) delivered snappy science from the Detroit Science Center, along with a handy venue for PSAs and goofy local ads. [more inside]
posted by klangklangston on Dec 6, 2012 - 5 comments

The Times They Are a-Changin'

In 1962, fifty years ago this month, striking union printers shut down four New York City newspapers in resistance to computerized, automated technologies that were being introduced in newsrooms across the country. Five other area papers shut down voluntarily. The strike lasted 114 days and sounded the death knell for four newspapers. For a brief period, New York was a laboratory that demonstrated what can happen when newspapers vanish. Today, new technology is again shaking American newspapers as the Internet drains away more and more advertising revenue. Is this The Long Good Bye? [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 30, 2012 - 25 comments

"Don't call it a comeback/I've been here for years."

Jay Walljasper covers Detroit: Not Your Father's Motor City, The Surprise Behind Detroit's Emerging Comeback, Young People’s Fascination With Motor City is Only Part of Detroit Revitalization, A Food Commons Grows In Detroit. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 27, 2012 - 31 comments

Colder than.......

Sonny Eliot celebrated 50 years in television back in 1997. Sonny, a B52 bomber pilot who was shot down and spent months in a POW camp in Germany, returned to Detroit after the war and began accepting any position/role he could in local TV. [more inside]
posted by HuronBob on Nov 16, 2012 - 16 comments

Around the Corner

Around The Corner: How Differential Steering Works (9:31) is a brilliantly simple explination of the deceptively simple concept of differential steering by the Jam Handy Organization in 1937. It makes a great introduction to this more advanced modern explination (4:44) for the layman. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 6, 2012 - 27 comments

The Detroit Industry Murals

In the early 1930s, William Valentiner thought the Roman Baroque courtyard at the Detroit Institute of Arts needed to be spruced up. With a commission from Edsel Ford, he hired Diego Rivera to paint two large murals of "some motif suggesting the development of industry." The end result was the Detroit Industry Murals. [more inside]
posted by Turkey Glue on Aug 29, 2012 - 21 comments

Nuke me, baby

Homebuilding a 474mm tall model of "Robocain" from 1990's Robocop 2, complete with a working head. Clips of Robocain and the other Robocop prototypes from the movie. All photos from the project. Bonus music link: Front Line Assembly performing the Robocop 2 sampling Mindphaser live.
posted by Artw on Aug 8, 2012 - 20 comments

Resurget cineribus

Historic Detroit - some urban architectural history in a nice online format. [more inside]
posted by Miko on Jul 11, 2012 - 6 comments

Detroit 1982 (Single link Flickr)

A fun photo set of drunk 20 year olds touring the Motor City in 1982 and taking pictures.
posted by zzazazz on Jul 9, 2012 - 45 comments

Keeping Detroit Beautiful

Renowned L.A. based graffiti crew The Seventh Letter and affiliates have been working on the Detroit Beautification Project (Vimeo link). [more inside]
posted by broadway bill on Jun 29, 2012 - 6 comments

Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom

Louder Than Love: The Grande Ballroom Story. While not as famous as Bill Graham's Fillmore Theaters, from 1966 to 1970, Detroit's Grande Ballroom hosted national acts such as Cream, The Who, Led Zeppelin, The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Jeff Beck, and Pink Floyd. The brainchild of Russ Gibb, with help from activist John Sinclair, the Grande provided a stage for local bands like The MC5, SRC, The Rationals, The Amboy Dukes, The Frost and the The Stooges. The Grande had it's own psychedelic poster artists Gary Grimshaw and Carl Lundgren. Leni Sinclair took pictures. Local boys from the Grande that went on to national prominence included The Bob Seger System, Alice Cooper, and Grand Funk Railroad. [more inside]
posted by marxchivist on Jun 20, 2012 - 8 comments

Pillars of the Abandoned World

5 Pillars of the Abandoned World is a tour through lost landscapes and shrugged off citadels. From the Gothic, Disney villainness ominousness of Miranda Castle to the distant splendor (photo by Cédric Mayence) of the abandoned Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Don't feel left out, North Americans: the US has plenty of holy, holey structures to sweep you off your feet. Fan favorite for urbane decrepitude, Detroit has lots to see. The St. Agnes Catholic Church is the place to be for the religiously inclined ramshackle rambler. Need a place to put up your feet? The Book-Cadillac offers a cozy spot to spread out your tour guide and relax. When you're ready to move on, just head over to Michigan Central Station and hop on the last train to forever. The world's an awfully big stage. There's a lot to take in, but don't worry about a thing. Just enjoy the show. There's no hurry; what's already gone isn't going anywhere. [more inside]
posted by byanyothername on Jun 13, 2012 - 6 comments

Detroit in black and white

Tumblr of Photos from the Detroit News archives.
posted by klangklangston on Jun 9, 2012 - 23 comments

1,564 games later.

I've been dreading this day since I became manager in 1997," Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. This day, today, Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom retired from the game of professional hockey after 20 NHL seasons. Lidstrom is considered to be one of the best defenseman ever to play the game. [more inside]
posted by kbanas on May 31, 2012 - 25 comments

American lights go out

American cities going dark. Detroit is the poster child, 40 percent of the 88,000 streetlights are already broken, but under a new plan half the city is going permanently dark in an effort to get citizens to move. “You have to identify those neighborhoods where you want to concentrate your population,” said Chris Brown, Detroit’s chief operating officer. “We’re not going to light distressed areas". Other U.S. cities have gone partially dark to save money, among them Colorado Springs; Santa Rosa, California; and Rockford, Illinois. Bonus: 360-degree photo tour of abandoned rail station in Detroit.
posted by stbalbach on May 25, 2012 - 115 comments

The Fauxtopias of Detroit's Suburbs

"These historic parks are perfect symbols of the romantic small-town fantasy most people first thought they would get when they moved out of the city." [more inside]
posted by enn on Apr 26, 2012 - 13 comments

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