Pantano’s People.


 It was the first time standing in the middle of an art exhibit that all the eyes were on me.  And I was forced to look back into them.   Four walls of unfamiliar faces staring at you.    At Patrick Pantano’s latest art exhibition, you are forced to look into the eyes of all sorts of unfamiliar characters.  In his artistic statement he notes:


To relax the subjects and try to bring them to a place where their expression did little to inform the tone of the image; to shoot them all with the same minimal lighting and the same film, camera, and processing to hopefully create some sense of similarity. That said they are all so different!” 


           It’s true. No matter how we try to compartimentalize people and things, what is it that makes every stare so unique?  At first, the room is quite abrasive.  How often are we so at ease to stare, this closely,  into someone’s eyes?  For most this experience is to be avoided.  Presentations, family parties, bitter exes and prick bosses.   But here, your purpose is to stare. By the end, you are among friends.  After all that ogling, the stares seem so familiar, they haunt you and you swear, I’ve seen that person somewhere before.  A party or something.joe













Pantano’s Exhibition, “Heads Shot”, is running from May 8-July 3, 2009 @ the CAID.






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mayday, mayday – get off your ass!

you have no reason to complain this weekend of boredom. if you watch the next item on your netflix queue this weekend you’re eating a big bag of chips called “FAIL”.

you have sooo much going for you, can’t you see?! or are you blinded by the possibilities and options??????

it is the first of may and there is already sooooo much to do tonight and tomorrow night and even Sunday!!!

tonight you should go here.  drink here or here .

the next night you should GAWK AT these kids and these kids.  the former will make you feel like a child prodigy. the latter will make you feel unaccomplished and old – but not bored or pathetic – like if you had sat on the couch instead.

and if that doesn’t tickle your fancy go to the Belmont and see the amazing line up they have there Sat. nite.

you can recover from your vicious hangover at Goldfish Tea from 7-9pm no cover and listen to Jesse Calcat play traditional Chinese instruments and chill and drink something a little less rough on the body. LAPSANG on the rocks, bitches…

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Tweet tweet, Detroit

I realize I’ve been slacking with posting on here and I’m going to make a conscious effort to post more. The economic slowdown is affecting us all. Like many of my fellow Michiganders I’m finding myself unemployed – spending lots of time sending out resumes I never get callbacks on and the rest of my time is spent at the gym, the library, and on social networks.

Social networks like Twitter.

While cruising around the site I’ve found there are quite a few Detroit related tweeters(?) as well. Among them are the Detroit News, Free Press, even DTW. A simple search for “Detroit” turns up tons of accounts, so I’ll spare you all the details and allow you to decide which is most interesting. But you can get everything from cutting edge news to mundane updates from your neighbors. As I mentioned, you can even find me on there. Of course, I might not be all that interesting to most of you cats, but you’re welcome to follow me just the same.

Go ahead, Detroit. Explore your digital surroundings… and leave a comment with your Twitter account if you’re already connected. Let your fellow Detroiters connect with you!

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Tim Horton’s + Detroit = Dream Come True

Well, the weather outside is frightful to say the least.  The river is moving at a snail’s pace, hampered by the sheets of ice that have formed on top of it.  The thought of venturing out is scary, but there is a bigger incentive at hand.  A dream of mine has finally come true, with no doing of mine.  Detroit has its first Tim Horton’s and it is so conveniently located at the Millender Center on the People Mover route.  I had been writhing with jealously for the past few years as locations had popped up all around the city but not yet in the city. Thank you former Detroit Piston Derrick Coleman and his business partner Walter Bender for opening Tim Hortons’ 500th restaurant here in Detroit city.  This particular location took over a space that was abandoned by a Starbucks.  I am now getting greedy, and it would be great if Tim Horton’s could take over the other location abandoned by Starbucks, at the Belle Isle bridge, on Jefferson.  I am about to walk out the door and get myself a cup of deliciousness.  



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Drop it like it’s hot w/ Handmade Detroit

With the Big Three on their death bed and the economy being in the crapper, there is still a place where all your Christmahannaukwanzikah dreams can come true!

Mosey yourself down to the FILLMORE theater (which some of us still want to call State) on Woodward, tomorrow from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.  I’ve gone to this banquet of crafts for 3 years in a row and always find something great for friends.  And if I don’t find what I want, I leave with a bagful of inspiration – like last year when I melted a record album into a sweet fruit bowl. Because frankly, these products are brainchild’s of a Martha Stewart with a full sleeve, after 3 screwdrivers. They are ultra unique and one of kind – and not busting the bank!  YAY for people who are crafty that I can buy from and make my own taste look far better than it actually is!

Tree Lighting Scare

Yesterday I was driving down Woodward and saw the snowflake adornments for the lampposts for the first time this season.  I was hoping I was not to late in regards to seeing the tree lighting; I was happy to see that the tree was just being assembled.  However, as I was driving down Woodward this evening, my heart sank to see that the tree was lit.  Every year I want to make the tree lighting and it looked like it was too late.  I must have just seen a trial because the official lighting takes place on the 21st of this month.

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Hello Detroit Metblogs, and thank you for the opportunity to share me with you.

I have been reading the Metblog for almost a year now. I have long had the itch to express myself, so when I saw the post asking for new writers I felt it was the perfect time to give a little of my observations, thoughts, opinions and a little of myself.
I have been in and around Detroit mostly all my life. I was born in October of 1970, and brought home to a little house in Highland Park. I lived there with my Mother and Father until the age of 14 when they divorced. after that I bounced arond quite a bit, from Highland Park to just south of the Wayne State area. I even had a short stint in Novi. I ended up going to high school in Detroit at the now closed Murray Wright.

I have had many jobs in my life, most in the bar and restaurant industry. I even owned a small bar on the east side of Detroit. Now I work in construction, and bartend on the side. Without turning this into a drawn out, overly fact filled bio, I hope I have let you know about me.

Here I am.

Looking forward to writing for you

Clint Eastwood’s new film trailer now online

“So what does this have to do with us?” I hear you asking. The answer is simple… it was all shot in and around metro Detroit. This new flick, Gran Torino, is rumored to be Eastwood’s last on-screen appearance too so if you’re a fan you might not want to miss this one.

For more details on the film, I suggest visiting the listing at IMdB. Or you could just go watch the trailer.

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The war on the market

I’ve been watching a war this summer. No, not that never ending Orwellian one; nor the nauseating rises and fall of the economy either. It’s a struggle of man dominating nature, nature struggling back, and some street artists stopping in to admire the view. It took place in what the artists refer to it as “the market”, others know it as the Dequindre Cut.

A rail line skirts the east edge of downtown Detroit. This rail line, long abandoned by humans to the vagaries of urban tolerant wildlife, cuts a deep swath. Nestled in its embrace is an urban canvas. Hobos, debris and the occasional dog walker all gathered on this pathway that ran from the Eastern Market to the Detroit river. That was until the MDOT, encouraged by the noble rails-to-trails, came up with something a wee bit more family friendly.

With a surprising quickness the construction crews toppled the foliage and replaced it with sterile woodchips and manicured rows of flowers. The artists stubbornly persevered. Each night every newly erected surface received a complementary coating of paint. Every day towering construction vehicles craft new surfaces and the spiraling dance goes on today. For a glimpse into the past of the cut, stand at the mouth of the Gratiot bridge and stare north.

Entrepreneurial Detroit: E2 Detroit


 The E2 conference was held early last week on Wayne State University’s campus.  The conference boasted record numbers and was a very well run conference.  The focus of the fourth annual conference was business in the Detroit region.  Conference goers were inspired by stories of successful business and entrepreneurs in the region.  My two favourite speakers were Mary Ellen Sheets, of Two Men and a Truck, and David Brandon, CEO of Dominos Pizza. 


Mary Ellen was so touching in her presentation of her struggles to make ends meet after her husband left her with a houseful of teenagers.  She confided that her husband left to get some bread and never came home; “a 23 year old loaf of bread.”  Her story was a winding road to success.  Her family was instrumental in getting the business by during tough times and being guinea pigs in franchising.  She divided her first thousand between her 10 favourite charities.  Today Mary Ellen is a multi-million dollar success with an international franchise empire under her belt. 

David Brandon of Domino’s was beyond charming.  He told a tale of working in a Domino’s store on New Year’s Eve before Y2K (does anyone even remember that?) because he did not want to tell his employees to work this monumental day and not do so himself.  Everything from the cardboard-like uniform pants to the difficult prosciutto pizza topping was a challenge and an eye-opening experience.  Today, he lives by the Dave rule.  If he cannot make a product or get through a process, it is not going out the door. 


We in Michigan are losing jobs left, right, and center; however, we still have the power to create.  What better time than now? 

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What LA neighborhood would you fit in?

I don’t know if I mentioned it before in my intro post, but I spent the past year or so living in lovely Los Angeles. The city was great and I loved practically every single thing about it. I moved back because, well, I was about 2,000 miles away from everyone and everything I have ever known. Hey, Im young and I’ve got time to do foolish things like that.

But that’s all beside the point. I found a neat tool online that lets you compare your neighborhood to other neighborhoods in well-known cities across the country. Needless to say, I promptly looked up to see where I fit in with my LA folk and if I did an upgrade or downgrade (but I didn’t see Warren or my old LA ‘hood listed… so I’m kinda shady on where I stand still). For example: Detroit to LA, Detroit to NYC (Manhattan), or Detroit to Chicago just to name a few of the examples you can do.

Check it out and see where you would fit in if you lived somewhere else – you might be a little surprised.

Call for Entries – Pecha Kucha Night Detroit, Volume 2

Do you have a passion for your work or hobby?  Well, Pecha Kucha Night just may be the perfect forum for you to share it with the others.  The format is pretty simple – you will have 20 seconds for each of 20 slides to give your presentation.  That is 6 minutes and 40 seconds of fame for you!  The first Pecha Kucha Night Detroit was held in August at Atwater Block Brewery and it was a packed house.  This is a call for designers, artists, and other creative types to entertain, inform, and delight the Detroit community.  You’d better hurry though, the deadline to submit your entry is October 24, 2008.

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Hey Detroit!

Let me introduce myself.  Nicola is my name and I was born and raised in the D, currently residing just outside the city limits.  My free time is spent roaming the street with my DSLR, hanging out with my gal pals, surfing the ‘net, and listening to about a gazillion podcasts.  I’d like my contribution to this blog to include the culturally cool & hip things going on in and around Detroit.  Most people are surprised how many events there are going on everyday in this place we call home.  So, get ready for fun times! 

Detroit Ties


This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending a friend’s wedding in Maine.  The bride is the reason this site exists and the reason I write for this site as well.  She was the one who opened my eyes to this city, for which I will be forever grateful.  The bride is originally from Maine and the couple lives in the Detroit area.  Even out in Maine, her home-state, my girl made sure to represent.  The groomsmen were wearing ties by local Detroit artist Bethany Shorb who silk-screens ties through the Cyberoptix TieLab.  All the wedding party was wearing one colour of tie while the groom had a distinct colour of his own.  It is going to be tough choosing which ties to give to the men in my life.  I might have to ruin the surprise and have them choose themselves.   

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No White in Sight.

Is it fair that a part of me went to this concert because I believed the rumors that Meg White, drummer of the White Stripes, was to make an appearance?
Scruff-ball folk rock singer, Ray LaMontagne, showed up at the ROMT last night. It was the first concert I have ever been to where after leaving I thought, “his shit sounds better in my car…”.
Even the opening act musician, Leona Naess, tells the truth on her MySpace. It didn’t help she ended her set with demanding, “shut the fuck up,” from a crowd she insisted be quiet to hear her. If you have to convince a crowd to listen to you, are you really WORTH listening to? Everyone who came out to the show last night had ulterior motives. No one was there to listen. The women in attendance only knew LaMontagne’s hit singles, screaming out all the words, to the point of drowning out the miked singer. The men brought their lady friends to score extra points. I think the majority of men were at the bar. After having a few “yagers”, they came back to stand like uncomfortable cattle and proceeded to obscenely yell “Ray, I love you!” or my favorite, “Ray, YOU are a GOD!” all of which sounded insincere. After much bantering from the ill-behaved crowd, LaMontagne said,

“you guys have to be quiet for this next song. you gotta be real quiet. I mean, look, this night is all about you guys anyway, so if you wanna drink and be loud and party then that’s fine, and if you wanna listen that’s fine too, but if you’re gonna wanna hear this next one, you’re gonna have to be quiet,”… *yelling continues* “even quieter”.

It was as if the bar at the back of the ROMT had taken over the actual show.
If LaMontagne wanted a venue where he would get an intimate connection with his audience, he should have investigated further. I do not think I have ever been to a “quiet folk concert” at the ROMT. I believe with its main floor standing, it’s accessible bar, and it’s acoustics, it is a great place for rock concerts. But for folk…head down to the Ark.
Most disappointing was the lack of knowledge from the Detroit public in attendance about the huge crush LaMontagne has on Meg White. On his new album, he actually has a love song to her, entitled after her namesake. When he played the song last night there was complete disinterest. You would think with Meg White being from Detroit and all, the crowd would have at least given a nod. Instead they just bought more drinks.

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