Archive for May, 2008

IRS Cheque Guilt

I just received my economic stimulus cheque in the mail.  I felt a little guilty as this money could have been put to good use in social programs in city.  I feel even worse about the money spent on two mailings to let us know that the cheque was on the way.  However, we do not always get to decide exactly where we want our money to go, so I suppose if I could always give to the social program of my choice.  However, I decided on actually using this money for what it was intended to do: stimulate the economy.  I will use this money to help open my own business.  This will hopefully have a lasting positive effect on the local economy versus a one time purchase. 

DIA! WTF?

Where should you be Thursday night? Here’s an acronym-onious answer: DIA.

Why?

Boxers and Mexican masked wrestlers fight live at an art museum.

Not convinced yet? Well, then you’re crazy. Then maybe two more words to help: The Bang.

Anyone else think they’ll be calling in “sick” on Friday morning?

I can’t believe this is actually happening.

Soil to Till: MI City Home Toolkit

I absolutely adore my haven in the sky overlooking the city and river; however, it would be delightful to own some soil to till.  The MI Toolkit seems like a really good place to start.  The Toolkit, counter-intuitively, is an event versus an impersonal package of literature and glossy promises.  The MI City Home Toolkit is a recurring event one Sunday of each month through October.  Each event focuses on a given area/neighbourhood.  The first is scheduled for Sunday, June 8, 2008 and focuses on “the Villages,” for which I will be taking some time out of the Festival of Arts to attend.  These events appear to be free but you have to register.  Per the website these events will feature home-buying and ownership experts (realtors, contractors, mortgage brokers) and will feature home-buying incentives such as NEZ property tax discounts and historic tax credits. 

Summer is Here: Ditch Your Car

Ditching one’s car in the Motor City takes some serious mental preparation.  It is an automatic reaction to grab for your keys if you need to go to the pharmacy or grocery store.  I have done so many a time only to realize that the taking People Mover ($0.50/ride) or walking (free and healthy) would be less infuriating as the city fills with summer visitors.  This increased saturation means that the only parking available is from some shady person for $20 attending a field-passed-off-as-a-lot that clearly is not his/her property.  There are many non-shady options, but they too are ridiculously expensive.  I have turned right back around many times to the only parking I could find downtown – back at home.  The just shy of $4/gallon gas prices helps the process of ditching keys right along.  Bottom line: try something different – walk, bike, skateboard, rollerblade, Segway, rent a tandem-bike from Wheelhouse – because the cost of driving and parking are not going down any time soon. 

Cowboy Hats and Marines: Downtown Hoedown

The Detroit summer festival season was kicked off this weekend with the Downtown Hoedown.  I am not a connoisseur of country music but I do like a little country now and then; I also have a fascination for cowboy hats and the people that sport them.  This year was my first at the largest free country music festival in the nation.  Overflow from the Wings and Tigers games on Saturday contributed to the sea of attendees and packed People Mover.  One could only navigate the festival grounds with the ebb and flow of the crowd.  Local retailers were packed with out-of-towners eating and purchasing supplies to make it through the weekend.  It is going to be a grand summer in the city.  The thing most disturbing to me at the festival was the presence of the Marines’ tent.  Young men were stepping up to the challenge and parade of completing as many chin ups as possible for the city to see.  While men and women in uniform are much appreciated, the reminder of active recruiting for this war is frightening.  My fear is that it will not stop any time soon.     

Going Greek: Caesars Windsor

The highways leading into Detroit city are now peppered with distinctive burgundy, black, and gold billboards advertising big name acts to be appearing at “Caesars” Casino.  I was horrified and excited all at the same time that the Detroit-Windsor area was getting another casino to add to its collection of four.  Across the river one can see the Caesars name across two of the tallest buildings in Windsor – one being formerly labeled Casino Windsor.  Casino Windsor is being re-branded and expanded as Caesars Windsor.  Our collection remains stagnant at four.  I am pleased that this new venue will host shows to draw a crowd more diverse to the area.  I hope Cirque du Soleil makes a stop at some point. 

Thanks for the memories

After being a volunteer author on Detroit Metblogs for over two and a half years, I have decided it is time for me to move on to something new. As such, this will be my last post on the site. Before I go, I want to say thank you to the readers of the site, and to the crew at Metroblogging HQ for sharing their wisdom relating to blogging and life in general. A very special thanks goes out to the volunteer authors and captains that have come and gone since the site first launched; I enjoyed working with all of you and wish you nothing but success and happiness in the future!

It has been a fun and illuminating experience, metro Detroit. In the words of Fall Out Boy (or Bob Hope, if you’re Old School): Thanks for the memories.

Urban Bean Company: Techno with Coffee

Griswold and Grand River has been adorned with orange, coffee, and techno courtesy of the Urban Bean Company (UBC).  The two story space is retro comforting with its brown on brown carpet and stylish with its loft set up, copper bar, and orange and glass exterior framing and showcasing its offerings.  Last night a techno DJ was spinning, which was perfect as I had walked into purchase Movement (Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival) tickets.  The Urban Bean Company is the only outlet in the city selling tickets; weekend passes are for sale: $40, cash only.  Advanced tickets online are $45.20 once you pay out the mandatory processing fee.  I would suggest supporting Detroit Techno and Detroit Coffee by heading to the Urban Bean Company dropping $40 on the ticket and $5.20 saved on coffee.    

Big Pants; Good Cause

I have been sharing my pleasure with the Weight Watchers program on this blog from time to time, especially since HAP covers this program as part of its heath insurance package.  I am happy to report that there is now a branch at the Harbortown plaza.  I have now reached my weight goal and am very scared I am going to put all the weight back on.  So, I decided to do something good for my mental and philanthropic state.  I got rid of all my big clothes as well as all the ridiculously small ones that I thought I would “fit into one day”.  The Salvation Army Store at Fort Street and 6th Street is a favourite haunt of mine.  I love VHS, buying old CDs I couldn’t afford in my youth, and finding tattered old books.  Sunday the store is closed, but it accepts donations.  Just pull up to the loading dock off Fort Street, ring the bell, and hand your stuff up to the attendant.  I was so excited to make some space in my closet that I didn’t ask about getting a receipt.  The website has all the tax deduction info.  

Bravo! Bravo! vs. Brava! Brava!

I wonder why Bravo! Bravo! chose the French route instead of the Italian: Brava! Brava!  Either way, Bravo! Bravo! is certainly worthy of its congratulatory title.  The fundraiser for the Michigan Opera Theatre is being held this Friday at the Detroit Opera House.  Tickets are $65 in advance and $85 at the door.  High priced VIP tables may also be reserved.  I went with the $65 ticket.  The price is well worth its weight even if philanthropy is at the bottom of your list.  Last year the opulence of the Opera House surrounded a couple thousand guests dining on the most delicious strolling supper catered by the finest restaurants in the city.  The DJs were skilled and scattered throughout the venue.  The people-watching alone is well worth the money.  I would suggest buying a ticket ahead of time because you don’t want to miss out on a minute of this evening.   

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