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Vol. 37 | Issue 29 | April 26-May 2, 2017

News............................................. 14

Publisher - Chris Keating Associate Publisher - Jim Cohen Editor-In-Chief - Lee DeVito

Politics & Prejudices.................... 18

EDITORIAL

News & Views

Stir It Up....................................... 30 What’s Going On........................ 36 Feature: Best of Detroit................42 Arts and Music ................................44 Bars and Clubs.................................54 Best Bet.............................................66 Drinks................................................70 Food...................................................80

Managing Editor - Alysa Offman Senior Editor - Michael Jackman Music Editor - Mike McGonigal Staff Writer - Violet Ikonomova Dining Editor - Tom Perkins Web Editor - Jack Roskopp Contributing Editors - Larry Gabriel, Jack Lessenberry Copy Editor - Esther Gim Editorial Interns - Rachel Bidock, Chloe Michaels, Daniel Siwka, Kay Sumner Contributors - Sean Bieri, Stephanie Brothers, Doug Coombe, Kahn Santori Davison, Aaron Egan, Mike Ferdinande, Cal Garrison, Curt Guyette, Mike Pfeiffer, Sarah Rahal, Dontae Rockymore, Shelley Salant, Dan Savage, Sarah Rose Sharp, Rai Skotarczyk, Jane Slaughter

ADVERTISING

Sports and Rec.............................. 118

Associate Publisher - Jim Cohen Regional Sales Directors - Danielle Smith-Elliott, Vinny Fontana Senior Multimedia Account Executive Jeff Nutter Multimedia Account Executives Drew Franklin, Cierra Wood Account Manager, Classifieds - Josh Cohen

Adulting......................................... 122

BUSINESS/OPERATIONS

Pampering........................................94 Public Square................................ 102 Retail and Services....................... 104

Personal Bests............................... 130

Business Office Supervisor - Holly Rhodes Controller Kristy Dotson Staff Accountant Margaret Manzo

CREATIVE SERVICES

Food Detroit’s best barbecue joints... 134

Graphic Designers - Paul Martinez, Haimanti Germain, Christine Hahn

CIRCULATION Circulation Manager - Annie O’Brien

Music

EUCLID MEDIA GROUP

Mother Cyborg............................. 146 Little Dragon................................ 150 Review: Phat Kat......................... 152 Livewire...................................... 158 Culture Arts............................................. 162 Savage Love............................... 166

National Advertising Voice Media Group 1-888-278-9866, voicemediagroup.com Detroit Metro Times 1200 Woodward Heights Ferndale, MI 48220-1427 www.metrotimes.com

Horoscopes with Cal Garrison.... 178

Editorial - (313) 202-8022 Advertising - (313) 961-4060 Fax - (313) 964-4849

On the cover: Tommey Walker of Detroit vs. Everybody Photo: Marc Nader Concept: Mercenary Creative Group Art Direction: Drew Newbold

The Detroit Metro Times is published every week by Euclid Media Group

Printed on recycled paper Printed By

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Chief Executive Officer – Andrew Zelman Chief Operating Officers – Chris Keating, Michael Wagner Human Resources Director – Lisa Beilstein Digital Operations Coordinator – Jaime Monzon www.euclidmediagroup.com

248-620-2990

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EUCLID MEDIA • Copyright - The entire contents of the Detroit Metro Times are copyright 2015 by Euclid Media Group LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Prior written permission must be granted to Metro Times for additional copies. Metro Times may be distributed only by Metro Times’ authorized distributors and independent contractors. Subscriptions are available by mail inside the U.S. for six months at $80 and a yearly subscription for $150. Include check or money order payable to - Metro Times Subscriptions, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale, MI 48220-1427. (Please note - Third Class subscription copies are usually received 3-5 days after publication date in the Detroit area.) Most back issues obtainable for $5 at Metro Times offices or $7 prepaid by mail.


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NEWS & VIEWS Cafe controversy? The debate over the young, white, hip El Club owner’s plans to expand in Southwest Detroit by Violet Ikonomova

The 25-year-old entrepreneur behind El Club is hoping to transform the blighted building next to his Southwest Detroit music venue into a cafe and community center that will offer affordable practice space for musicians and free art classes to students enrolled in nearby schools. Graeme Flegenheimer on April 17 launched a Kickstarter seeking $50,000 to help fund the $300,000 endeavor. Within a week he had received more than $13,000. But he’d also received something less desirable: a social media skewering reflective of the dynamics at play in a “resurgent” city comprised mostly of have-nots. Flegenheimer comes from money, and apparently, some Detroiters do not like seeing people with money ask for money, even if the contributions are voluntary and will be rewarded with some sort of prize. His Kickstarter effort offers donors things like posters and pizza parties, depending on how much they contribute. People took to Facebook to express their disdain for the funding model, with one woman writing, “Wow. A for-profit entity is asking the public to pay for a development project that they will financially benefit from.” Others were less polite: “Lmao donate your hard earned money to a family that has more money than you’ll ever fucking dream of.” Flegenheimer, who recently moved here from LA and is a descendent of the family behind Pioneer and Big Chief Sugar, says the crowdsourcing campaign is necessary because he cannot get a loan or fully self-finance the effort. (He did not make clear why this is the case, but businesses usually have to be open a year to become loan-eligible, and El Club has only been open since last May.) Flegenheimer will also seek grants to

A rendering of the proposed Vernor Cafe.

help cover the remaining $250,000 he estimates it will cost to build out the space. He says he’ll apply for the Motor City Match, which awards grants of up to $100,000. Flegenheimer responded to backlash over the funding effort by describing the Vernor Cafe expansion plan as an effort to do good and give back to the community that has played home to his music venue next door. He said it is not intended to be a money-making venture. But the Kickstarter controversy has opened up a broader debate over the role of new businesses established by outsiders in neighborhoods with strong ethnic identities like Southwest Detroit. One resident who spoke out on social media described El Club as a place where most members of the local community feel they don’t belong. Another said the venue serves a clientele that finds coming to Southwest Detroit an “adventure.” There was also concern over cultural commodification regarding El Club’s decor, which at one point included a mural depicting a drunk-looking mustachioed cartoon taco. Such tension over the business exists because, according to lifelong Southwest resident and Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights race and

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journalism fellow Martina Guzman, many in the community view El Club and its expansion as a harbinger of the gentrification wave that’s gobbled up whole neighborhoods throughout the city in recent years. “I’ve seen Latinos who’ve grown up in this neighborhood and want to get out of their parents’ house and rent a place be completely priced out,” says Guzman. “They’ve seen this happen in other neighborhoods, they’ve seen [part of their] neighborhood start to be called Corktown ... so they see this encroachment, and when you begin to erode identity, it’s very problematic.” She and other locals note that Flegenheimer is not necessarily a part of the problem. He has done some great things for the surrounding ethnic community, they say, by booking local and national Latino acts and hiring some Latino locals. Elena Herrada, an activist who has lived in the area since birth, says Flegenheimer is also generous with the use of El Club, by hosting neighborhood groups and throwing benefits. But Guzman says with the community center and cafe expansion, she would like to see Flegenheimer go a bit further than he has with the venue. “One of the big issues in Detroit

is that people build things thinking they’re great, but they don’t take the community into consideration,” says Guzman. “You [have to ask] does the community want this, will they be involved in the construction or will they be employed there. If only one group of people is benefiting, then that’s not fair to the community in which the business sits. And that kind of inequality is what creates tension in the city of Detroit.” She says she’d also like to see the Vernor Cafe hire Latino staff specifically for front-of-the-house positions to help locals feel welcome. Flegenheimer says he’ll take such concerns into consideration as he moves forward with the project. He hosted a public meeting on April 24 to hear what community members want from the space. But those who aren’t willing to join the conversation, he says, should avoid rushing to judgment about him and his intentions on social media. “It’s funny,” he says in an email to Metro Times. “People just want to be mad and envision their own narrative of me and not budge ... But I am open and want to serve the neighborhood.” news@metrotimes.com @violetikon

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NEWS & VIEWS Politics & Prejudices

Reverse racism and liberal hypocrisy by Jack Lessenberry

When a federal grand jury

indicted State Senator Bert Johnson on two felony charges a couple of weeks ago, it was a big surprise to anyone who knew good old Bertie. OK, that’s a lie. It was, in fact, about as much of a surprise as rain in April. Johnson has long had an unsavory reputation as someone who doesn’t pay his debts. He often doesn’t bother to show up to vote in the legislature either. And you know what? To an extent, this is the fault of white liberals — and the Democratic Party establishment. They enabled Johnson and other black politicians guilty of bad behavior, out of cowardice, fear of losing votes, and perhaps patronizing reverse racism. And they need to be called out on it. Now before you go ballistic — I haven’t gone through a political conversion. I believe Bernie Sanders is closer to getting it right than any politician today, and wish he were 55, not 75. I think Barack Obama was in many ways the best and most honest president of my lifetime, and that the Republican Party is, to paraphrase Bill Maher, mostly a party of racists and haters who are total dicks every chance they get. But let’s tell the truth here. On the federal charges, Bert Johnson is, of course, entitled to the legal presumption of innocence until actually proven guilty. People have, indeed, beaten federal charges. And yes, in bygone years, some charges were clearly politically or racially motivated. But that doesn’t seem to be the case here. The indictment charges that Johnson borrowed $10,000 from Glynis Thornton, a corrupt vendor who pleaded guilty to paying kickbacks to a corrupt Detroit school principal. You have to wonder now if Bertie knew about that scandal before the rest of us did, because he hit her up for a $10,000 loan. She paid; he didn’t pay back. She got demanding. Finally, according to the feds, Bertie got a bright idea: He’d let the

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poor chumps who live in the Great Lakes State pay her. He put glamorous Glynis on the state payroll at $22 an hour, and kept her there until she’d taken home more than $23,000 — payback with a great rate of interest. She didn’t have to work very hard, or at all. Matter of fact, she never showed up at the office. Eventually, some bean-counter started asking questions, and ... boom! went Bertie Johnson’s house of cards. Five years ago, when he fooled himself into thinking he could beat U.S. Rep. John Conyers in a Democratic primary, Johnson, now 43, tried to sell me his personal heroic narrative. As most folks know, back when he was 19, Johnson was convicted of armed robbery. He did his time, and told me and everyone else he was a changed man. He never quite made it through college, but got a job as an office manager and then chief of staff to then-Rep. Bill McConico. When term limits caught up to McConico, Johnson followed him, and from there he went to the Senate. That was a wonderful and inspiring story, and held up till I actually talked to people about dealing with Bertie. “Bert Johnson bounced a $7,500 check to me — twice,” one of the state’s most prominent female lawyers told me. Then, she said, he lied like a rug about what could possibly happen. Ironically, Johnson had hired her


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NEWS & VIEWS because he was in a fight against a primary opponent who was living outside his district and lying about it. “Very sad that this is what the residents of Detroit have representing them,” she said. Well, agreed. But did the lawyer do anything about it? Make a public stink? Go to the Democratic caucus, or sue him? Well, ah, er… no. “I was on the verge of filing charges against him,” she said. “But I assumed everyone in the party would hate me if I did.” But the irony was insane. “Here he wanted me to challenge the unethical acts of a state rep. just as he was writing bad checks to me,” the lawyer said. “Where do these people get the chutzpah?” Feeling grumpy, I growled, “Possibly because they can bank on white liberals like yourself never calling them on it.” The lawyer, a civil rights crusader who is, in fact, one of the most honest people I know, owned up. “Probably. I will own that,” she said. She did finally send the good senator an email, which she shared with me, politely requesting payment — or even a small settlement. She warned him that if he didn’t respond at all, she’d have no choice but to “file a complaint with the Detroit Police Department,” for his giving her a bad check — a two year felony. But she never did. Nobody knows how many other people were stiffed by this creature, who is paid $71,685 a year by the taxpayers, before the federal grand jury did its work. Johnson, however, is not alone. Longtime readers of this column will remember the adventures of Virgil Smith, Jr. a man whose last name is important — his father was a legislator before becoming a circuit judge. Two years ago, Junior, who was also in the state senate, shot up and destroyed his ex-wife’s car on a residential street in Detroit after a sordid sexcapade went wrong. You might have thought he would have been denounced by the Democratic leadership, or at least asked to resign. The district is safely Democratic, and he could have been replaced by somebody less likely to be a total disgrace. But nope. They took his committee memberships away, but Virgie didn’t care; he mostly did what the

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Republicans told him to do for the next nine months till he had to report to the slammer. Then, of course, there was Mr. “Felonies Galore,” State Representative Brian Banks (D-Harper Woods.) I don’t know if voters have elected anyone with eight felony convictions to the legislature before. I do know Banks is the only member who, within months of arriving in Lansing, was accused of forcing a male staffer to let Banks suck his dick. Yes, my language is vulgar, but that’s nothing compared to what he did to the citizens. Paying for Banks’ lawyer and paying off the victim cost taxpayers almost $100,000. But did anyone suggest not reelecting him? Democrats, once again, stood strong for the felon. Mayor Mike Duggan even disgraced himself by campaigning with him. Banks was, sadly, re-elected, but he must have known the end was near. He was facing four more felony charges for loan fraud when he resigned Feb. 6, to avoid a long prison stretch. His voters have no representation in Lansing now… but did they anyway? Give GOP leaders credit: They quickly took action to throw Todd Courser and Cindy Gamrat out of the legislature, once it was learned they’d used state resources to try and cover up their cheesy and tawdry affair. But none of the state’s top Dems breathed a word against Banks. Are they scared of alienating black voters? Is this a kind of patronizing “what can you expect from those people” reverse racism? You tell me. First time tragedy, second time farce: Speaking of the devil … when Virgil Smith Jr. signed a plea bargain agreement last year, he agreed not to hold any office for at least five years. But keeping promises are not important to Big Gun Smith, who has now taken out petitions to run for Detroit City Council. The courts are deciding whether his promises are binding. If he is allowed on the ballot, it is my fervent hope that anyone who votes for him gets exactly what they deserve. letters@metrotimes.com @metrotimes

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ick f D ets et On roi Sa t P le ar No t w y

Bes T tO

Come celebrate the winners with us!

Best of Detroit is our chance to recognize the people and businesses that drive the renaissance of this amazing city. And when we asked you to help us pick the best of the best, you didn't disappoint. You know this city better than anyone else. You are, after all, what makes Detroit.

Enjoy local bites, funky cocktails and some of our best local entertainers

Friday, May 12 | 7:30pm-11:30pm Tickets onSale Now MTBestOf2017.com Insurance Services

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Mark Swieczkowski


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NEWS & VIEWS Stir It Up

Why are we still obsessed with 1967? by Larry Gabriel

It was the summer of love in

San Francisco, but in Detroit 1967 it was a summer of rebellion. If you don’t know that we are marking the 50th year since that pivotal Motor City moment, then you’ve probably been avoiding all media the past several months. We’ve been rehashing this big-time since last summer, and there will be plenty more rehashing until we get past July. But even then, we will not have gotten past the civil disturbances of 1967. It may take another half-century for that. It has become such a legendary event and issue that we can’t even agree on what to call it. I won’t get into the “riot or uprising” debate, but I do want to explore why it still looms so large in our thinking. If 1967 was notable for the amount of death and destruction that took place, then some things need to be put in perspective. The killings of 43 people during the July 23-28 disturbances were irreconcilable tragedies that I don’t wish to belittle. When those things happen to families there’s never true recovery. But the Detroit homicide total for 1967 was 281 deaths. The total for 1974 reached 714. In 2016, it was 302 — but when you consider that there were about a million more people here in 1967, last year’s total looks more horrific. Regarding the destruction of property, it’s harder to parse. Some online sources report some 2,000 buildings burned, but the New York Times, usually a more reliable source, reported in 1997 that 683 buildings in Detroit were damaged or destroyed. Estimates put the economic losses between $40 million and $50 million. That’s a lot, but consider that in 2012 there were reportedly 70,000 abandoned buildings, 31,000 empty houses, and 90,000 vacant lots in

Detroit. I can’t total the economic losses that befell the city since 1967, but consider that the city declared bankruptcy in 2013 and you get the picture. When you look at it based on the death and destruction factor, a lot more has happened to Detroiters and their city between then and now. Even in the past 15 years with emergency managers, bankruptcy, the public schools crisis, the mortgage crisis, Kwame Kilpatrick, and more, it’s hard for 1967 to rival the more recent maladies. The events of July 23-28, 1967 took place across the city, but the actual destruction was rather contained. My west side neighborhood wasn’t touched. After the rebellion it looked just like it did before the rebellion — a little middle-class neighborhood with well-kept houses and tidy lawns. Go look at that same neighborhood today and literally 50 percent of the housing stock lies in ruins. So much more has happened since then. Dr. Melba Boyd, distinguished professor of African American studies at Wayne State University, contributed to the upcoming release Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies from Wayne State University Press. “We

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NEWS & VIEWS The popular legend in the city is that the police were a racist occupying force and had to be opposed. can’t even begin to estimate how much loss there’s been to property, whole neighborhoods, the decline of the city’s tax base,” she says. “You can’t even begin to compare 1967 to what has happened in the last 15 years or so.” So why does 1967 loom so largely in our minds? The majority of regional residents weren’t even around when it happened. It seems to be the myth of race that we can’t seem to get over. The popular legend in the suburbs is that things were just fine in Detroit until 1967 when the black people went crazy and burned the place down. The popular legend in the city is that the police were a racist occupying force and had to be opposed. The legend in the suburbs is that Young told the white people to get out of town. The legend in the city is that racist white folks fled because they couldn’t deal with a black mayor... and so on. It’s a convoluted mess that is more mixed up with myth and paranoia than it is with facts and sober thinking. It was about race, but there was a lot more. “It was not ever all about race,” says Boyd. “But race is a critical component to it because the initial confrontation was the consequence of an overwhelmingly white police force, and ongoing police brutality, and oppression of black people. It’s also class, obviously because of the setting where we are and, I think, probably more race than class. The initial confrontation was race. When you see the looting that becomes more about class.” There was also the question of who we are and who we want to be. The Vietnam War was still raging. In fact, the incident that started it all was a police raid on a welcome home party for a couple of veterans who’d just got back from Vietnam. Just a few months earlier, Civil Rights leader Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “We must undergo a radical revolution of values.” In that speech he talked about shifting from a thing-oriented society to a personoriented society. It was part of King’s shift, a redefinition of the struggle

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he had been involved in for the past decade. Previous to that, King’s vision had been to get a piece of the pie for black people. His new approach was to question the quality of the pie itself in opening himself up to the antiwar movement and union organizing. He wanted to fight racism, materialism, and militarism. Unfortunately, he was killed before that new orientation was fully developed. “We haven’t undergone that revolution in values, a realization that you are dealing with human beings here who actually have rights and values, and a lot of people died just so we could get that,” says Boyd. “I think we are more materialistic now than we ever were. Militarism in general is an ever looming problem because the current president of this country is all about military might. It’s an unfortunate American value that might is right.” And maybe that is a key as to why we are still transfixed on five days in 1967 rather than the bigger issues of why it happened, how we recover, and where we go from here. We like the violence. It’s the same reason that, although the crime rate is lower than it’s been for decades, crime is still what we see splashed across the media every day. What happened in Detroit happened across the United States. During the 1960s there were violent rebellions across the land. What happened to Detroit happened to most other big cities when people and money just got up and walked away. The 1967 rebellion is still a festering sore that has not healed. The same could be said for America. This isn’t simply a Detroit problem. But getting over it could be a Detroit solution — if we can have that radical transformation in values. Like everyone else, I’ll pay attention as we drag 1967 over the coals again. But I only value that as a way to light a fire under folks about the issues of today. It’s a much bigger struggle today than it was back then. letters@metrotimes.com @gumbogabe

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UP FRONT What’s Going On:

A week’s worth of things to do and places to do them by MT staff

SATURDAY, 4/29 Glass International Exhibition @Habatat Galleries

The largest glass studio art exhibition in the whole wide world takes place right here in Royal Oak. That’s kinda cool, right? There will be 500 works of contemporary glass art by more than 100 artists from 30 different countries. Wowza! Additionally 50 local and national artists will be in attendance at the show’s opening night. According to a press release, glass art collectors fly in from all over the place to buy art from this annual exhibition. It’s a big deal, guys. This year’s exhibit will also include a new feature called Glassotic, which features wearable glass works from 14 artists.

Starts at 8 p.m.; 4400 Fernlee Ave., Royal Oak; 248-554-0590; habatat.com; free.

Check out that glass.

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THURSDAY, 4/27

THURSDAY, 4/27

FRIDAY, 4/28

FRI, 4/28-SUN, 4/30

Om at the Max: Techno Edition

Lunafest Film Fest

Detroit Gin and Vodka Festival

Midwest Media Expo

@ Max M. & Marjorie S. Fisher Music Center

Om at the Max is super special because it only happens every few months, but this time around is even more out of the ordinary than the usual, you know, yoga practice inside a historic Detroit theater. This Om at the Max will feature techno music by DJ Kyle Hall and keyboardist Jonathan Dixon. Held inside the Cube, this practice is led by certified yoga instructor and Detroit Symphony Orchestra librarian Ethan Allen. It’s $25 for the hour-and-a-half class, but they’ll pass out vouchers for the next class at the end of practice.

Starts at 6:30 p.m.; 3711 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-5765111; dso.org; tickets are $25.

@ Turning Point Macomb

@ Edward Village Michigan Hotel

@ Eastern Market Shed 3

Established almost 20 years ago by a company that makes nutrition bars for women, Lunafest is a film festival that tells women’s stories, seeking to connect us to one another despite our age, race, and religion through smart humor and thought-provoking themes. It’s a traveling show and this weekend it’s stopping at Turning Point Macomb, a center that offers services and programs to women hoping to escape domestic abuse. This year’s event will include nine featurettes: Another Kind of Girl, Free to Laugh, Ninera, Partners, The Third Dad, Join the Club, The Honeys and the Bears, Family Tale, and Nkosi Coiffure.

Starts at 6 p.m.; 31 N. Walnut Rd., Mt. Clemens; 586-464-0785; turningpointmacomb.org; tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for students.

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Do you love gin? What about vodka? We love both of these things, so the inaugural Detroit Gin and Vodka Festival seems like our jam, plus it’s held at Eastern Market, inside Shed 3, so really, what could be cooler about this tasting extravaganza? According to a Facebook event synopsis, patrons will experience a multitude of “spirit tasting stations” that will offer a choice of mixed cocktail or “straight taste” of each brand, while schmoozing with liquor reps. Admission comes with 12 tickets, each redeemable for a beverage sample. Food costs extra, so carb loading in advance is recommended.

Starts at 6 p.m.; 313-7572412; 1445 Adelaide, Detroit; ginandvodkafest.com; tickets are $45; 21 and older only.

A sister convention to Youmacon, the Midwest Media Expo is home to all things geek. You’ll find roleplaying, comics, sci-fi and fantasy panels, workshops, film screenings, and guest programming at this celebration of all popular media — animation, television, film, literature, video games, tabletop gaming, comics, and internet culture. There will be a huge exhibition component that invites guests to shop for paraphernalia and, of course, cosplay is welcome.

Runs noon to 9 p.m. on Friday, 9 a.m.to 7 p.m. Saturday, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday; midwestmediaexpo.com; weekend pass is $50 at the door.


SUNDAY, 4/30 Steel City Kitty Burlesque & Variety Show @ Cliff Bell’s

Promotional materials for this traveling act include an attractive woman twerking while nipple tassels adorned her butt cheeks. Is your interest piqued yet? We’re no expert when it comes to burlesque, but it does appear this show won’t be your typical extravaganza. There will be men dressed in head-totoe sparkly blue spandex and bunny ears. Someone will probably wear a dolphin mask at some point. It’s a little bizarre, but it looks like a lot of fun. Also, confetti.

Doors at 8 p.m.; 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; eventbrite.com; tickets are $20-$30. Kat De Lac of Steel City Kitty Burlesque.

COURTESY PHOTO

FRI, 4/28-SUN, 4/30

SAT, 4/29-SUN, 5/28

SUNDAY, APRIL 30

TUE, 5/2-WED, 5/3

Chris Rock

8oth Detroit Public Schools Community District Student Exhibition

Listen to Your Mother

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the NightTime

@ Fox Theatre

I’m sitting here trying to remember the last thing Chris Rock starred in, or even stuff he starred in when I was young, you know, in the ’90s. And he’s totally been in stuff (Lethal Weapon 4, for instance), but is mostly known for his stand-up, which has has basically been doing since the dawn of time. The funnyman is also a vocal critic of racial profiling, and often makes the subject the forefront of conversation. In an episode of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, he and Jerry Seinfeld two were pulled over for speeding. He later admitted that he would have been scared had Seinfeld not been in the vehicle.

Shows start at 8 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday, and 7:30 p.m. Sunday; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-3200; olympiaentertainment.com; tickets are $50, $70, and $125.

@ Detroit Institute of Arts

Interested in getting a glimpse into the psyche of a Detroit Public Schools Community District student? Head into the Detroit Institute of Arts this weekend for the 80th annual exhibition of DPS student art work. It will include hundreds of imaginative works created by kindergarten through grade 12 students, ranging from paintings, prints, drawings, photography, ceramics, videos, jewlery, and more. It’ll be on display until May 28 in the Special Exhibition Galleries South.

Exhibit on display all day Saturday and Sunday; 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900; dia.org; free with admission.

@ St. Andrew’s Hall

Being a mom is tough. The mommy wars are real. There seems to be no appropriate way to mother without offending someone. And then you have to deal with creatures, created in your likeness, who just don’t want to listen to the amazing advice you try desperately to impart. This poetry/spoken word production promises to take its audience on a “well-crafted journey that celebrates and validates mothering through giving voice to motherhood — in all of its complexity, diversity, and humor — in the form of original readings performed live on-stage by their authors.”

Doors at 2 p.m.; 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; ticketmaster.com; tickets are $15

@ Fisher Theatre

What happens when an incredibly intelligent, but socially awkward young man is accused of killing his neighbor’s dog? Well, he sets out on a quest to find the true culprit and his whole world is turned upside down by his findings, naturally. This show, based on Mark Haddon’s novel, has won Tony awards, Drama Desk awards, Outer Critics Circle awards, and accolades from publications such as The Chicago Tribune, Entertainment Weekly, Hollywood Reporter, Time, The New York Times, and more. It’ll be in town until May 14.

Shows start at 8 p.m.; 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; 1-800-9822787; ticketmaster.com; tickets start at $35.

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BEST OF DETROIT

Certified Detroit

Readers give their stamp of approval by Lee DeVito

Nothing in the Motor City comes easy. It’s winter, seemingly, for half the year. People here are skeptical of hype, and rightfully so. Detroiters can be a tough crowd, and you have to be Detroit-tough to survive and thrive here. It’s no minor feat to be Detroit-approved. Once again, we wanted to find out who is leading the pack. So we’ve quizzed readers in our annual Best of Detroit Poll, tallying the winners across 10 categories: Arts and Music, Bars and Clubs, Casinos, Drinks, Food, Pampering, Public Square, Retail and Services, Sports and Recreation, and Adulting. This is the Motor City’s best of the best, according to you. Take for example Detroit vs. Everybody — voted both Best T-shirt Company and Best Detroit Brand. There’s a reason the slogan resonates with people here: It speaks to that Detroit-tough mentality. Truly, if you can make it in Detroit, you can make it anywhere. We’ve also included some of our own “Personal Bests,” some sincere, some tongue-in-cheek — taking a few jabs at some of the most notorious newsmakers and stories of the past year. Enjoy. 42 April 26-May 2, 2017 | metrotimes.com


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Making a spectacle

Detroit’s not your average arts capital — and that’s what makes it great by Lee DeVito

Recently, a student from

Windsor, Ontario interviewed me for a documentary she was working on for a school project about Detroit. Specifically, she wanted to talk about the impact of Detroit’s art scene on the city’s revitalization. I told her I was skeptical of her premise. I told the student I thought Detroit was a great place to make art, but perhaps not a place to make it as an artist. There are a lot of galleries, but not necessarily a lot of people buying art. And there’s no real arts district here, so to do a gallery crawl you’ll have to hop in your car and drive around the metropolis. After the camera stopped rolling and the student thanked me for my time, I kept thinking about the interview. And I started to feel like maybe I was taking what we have here in Detroit’s art scene for granted. Detroit isn’t New York. Detroit is Detroit. For example, take the infamous Heidelberg Project, voted the best public work of art. After three decades of tired “art or eyesore” debates, it’s easy to take for granted that Tyree Guyton took what was becoming a forgotten neighborhood and turned it into one of the most unlikely international tourist destinations in the city, or quite possibly the world. (Case in point: every single time I’ve ever been there, I met someone from another country.) And the site has taken on a renewed interest now that Guyton has announced he is consolidating it

into a more permanent installation. In this case, art has had an impact on the city’s transformation — a modest one, but a tangible one. Maybe it’s not the “normal” idea of what an international arts district would look like, but what is normal, anyway? It’s also easy to forget how many artists in Detroit work so seamlessly across genre and medium. See our reader’s pick for Best Artist, Sheefy McFly, who works in both the visual and musical realms. As a musician, McFly has worked in hip-hop, techno, ghettotech, and rock. This Memorial Day weekend, he’ll take the stage at the annual Movement Electronic Music Festival, which highlights the city’s role as the birthplace of techno and a pillar in electronic music. And you can see his colorful and creepy paintings as part of 1xRUN’s Murals in the Market festival, which has grown over the past two years of its existence into an event that attracts artists and spectators the world over. It has also helped transform Eastern Market into not just a culinary feast but a visual one as well, with murals, street art, and other installations on display year-round. Of course, there’s much more to the artistic offerings available here. For example, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, voted the Best Art Fair, is one of the nation’s largest. And the Ann Arbor Film Festival, voted the Best Film Festival, is one of the oldest experimental film festivals in the country.

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One of Eastern Market’s murals. MARC NADER

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BEST OF DETROIT

Sheefy McFly

Best Art Fair Ann Arbor Street Art Fair 721 E. Huron St., Ann Arbor; 734-994-5260; artfair.org Best Art Gallery Tangent Gallery 715 E. Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-873-2955; tangentgallery.com

EMAD RASHIDI

Best Place for Live Local Theater Stagecrafters 415 S. Lafayette Ave., Detroit; Royal Oak; 248-541-6430; stagecrafters.org

Best Rock Club El Club 4114 Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-436-1793; elclubdetroit.com

Best Local Music Equipment Store Third Wave Music 4625 2nd Ave., Detroit; 313-312-0995; thirdwavy.com

Best Place to See an Indie Film Detroit Film Theatre 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-3237; dia.org Best Folk Venue The Ark 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-1451; theark.org

Best Metal Club Token Lounge 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; 734-513-5030; thetokenlounge.com

Best Cover Band Killer Flamingos killerflamingos.com

Best Art Supplies Blick Art Materials 28878 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-548-7679; dickblick.com

Best Graffiti Seen in Metro Detroit Eastern Market Eastern Market, Detroit; 313-833-9300; easternmarket.com

Best Public Work of Art The Heidelberg Project 3600 Heidelberg St., Detroit; 313-974-6894; heidelberg.org

Best Haunted House Erebus 18 S. Perry St., Pontiac; 248-332-7884; hauntedpontiac.com

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Best Hip-Hop Club Niki’s Lounge 735 Beaubien St., Detroit; 313-964-1400; nikisloungedetroit.com Best Indie Club Marble Bar 1501 Holden St., Detroit; 313-338-3674; facebook.com/marblebardetroit Best Local Film Festival Ann Arbor Film Festival 734-995-5356; aafilmfest.org

Best DJ DJ Godfather djgodfather.com Best Poet M.L. Liebler mlliebler.com Best Artist Sheefy McFly sheefymcfly.com letters@metrotimes.com @metrotimes

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The “Vari-Tips� bracelet in silver and 18k gold with interchangeable gemstones. Perfect for color coordinating your wardrobe and jewelry for a great fashion look.

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BEST OF DETROIT

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Lose yourself

When it comes to an interesting nightlife, Detroit has it in spades by Mike McGonigal

Necto. TONY LOWE

Detroiters know how to let loose, and how to do it in style. This was true back in Prohibition times, when gin shacks catered to factory workers getting off their shift, to the glorious nightclubs which flourished in the Paradise Valley Entertainment District in the 1940s and ’50s. The same goes for establishments that cater to live music, whether it be the Grande Ballroom, showcasing the loudest bands of the late 1960s; the Freezer Theatre, hosting hardcore shows in the 1980s; or the Gold Dollar in the Cass Corridor, which served as ground zero for the garage-rock revival in the 1990s. And that’s just a few rock clubs; simply mention the Hip Hop Shop, the 20 Grand, Menjo’s, L’uomo, or the Factory to folks of a certain age, and you will cause wide smiles to appear. (Menjo’s thrives to this day, of course: It was voted once again as the Best Gay Bar.) Much is made about the well-orchestrated economic revitalization occurring in the Cass Corridor and New Center, and skyrocketing real estate in Corktown and Indian Village. But what about the club scene — isn’t that just as valid a barometer for a city’s well-being? If folks have the means to support new venues, and keep the older ones going strong at the same time, surely that means times are looking up. “I think the future portends well for most clubs and bars in the downtown Detroit area, [but] I believe that there is still room for growth,” Paul “PJ” Ryder says. The owner and operator of Corktown’s PJ’s Lager House just expanded his venue, bar, and restaurant to include a full-service record store in the basement. PJ’s keeps it simple. “Good vibes, good food, good drink, and good music,” he says. “The introduction of pop-up restaurant nights at local bars continues,

and (there’s an) interesting symbiotic relationship between bars and great food.” It’s too early to declare victory just yet, but in the last three years we’ve witnessed the birth of Corktown’s classically outfitted, instant rock-and-roll fun machine, the UFO Factory; the very partyready and aptly named dance, pop, and hip-hop-saturated Marble Bar in New Center; and the incomparably booked El Club in Detroit ­— plus the excellent Otus Supply in Ferndale, which regularly books bluegrass, folk, and discerning post-hippie music for aging Deadheads. The EDM-themed Populux came and went, but a re-energized Magic Stick returned to take its own spot back in the Majestic Theatre Complex. We hear of other exciting developments both near downtown and the exurbs, but are sworn to secrecy. Zach Tocco, who helps run the Majestic Theatre Complex, bemoans “bands skipping the market or withdrawing from shows for lack of ticket sales,” but that’s nothing new in Detroit. Tocco sees a change in how things happen behind the scenes, with “more venues being filled by third-party promoters, a move away from a purely in-house talent buying model.” And as to the health of nightlife? “I think there needs to be more independent venues at every level for the scene to be ‘thriving,’ but it’s definitely heading in the right direction,” he says. Electronic music continues to be a mainstay of nightlife, and both Pontiac’s Elektricity and the Grasshopper in Ferndale attract top local and international underground dance music every weekend. Grasshopper owner Troy Ramroop is buoyed by the scene. “Detroit’s nightlife has become more vibrant,” he says. “There are more options for people to experience, with the occupancy of the

city becoming younger and the influx of young professionals. The restaurant scene is booming: Craft cocktail bars, small plates, and nightlife as a whole has grown exponentially from where we were eight to 10 years ago. Competition is at an all-time high, [and] maintaining a consistent packed club is a great challenge. I’m excited to be part of this growth of our city, and blessed to have a business that caters to those who love music.” El Club has brought sophisticated sound and light gear, and substantial talent-buying heft, to southwest Detroit. “We have been building this club from the ground up, and really working to provide solid entertainment, education, and provide services to the community,” co-owner and manager Graeme Flegenheimer says. He is particularly excited about reggae events at El Club, and how packed nightlife is across the city, with “too many good shows happening the same night,” and he remarks that there are more diverse, weird types of shows going on, whether that’s electronic, rock, or jazz bands. The craft cocktail scene continues to dominate the bar world. And we love taking out-of-town friends to these spots, especially Corktown’s Sugar House, as the bar seems super motivated to provide an interesting and fun experience to all (plus, a night out isn’t half a paycheck). We feel the same way about Cafe d’Mongo’s Speakeasy — always one of the best reasons to try to park downtown. But we’re extra interested in places that consider the history of their current location, and don’t try to impose new hip products and concepts just for the sake of it. Most people (ourselves included) refer to these spots as “dive bars,” but why use any word that

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BEST OF DETROIT sounds like a slur for the place you feel the most relaxed at? The Kit Kat Klub, Tony’s Sports Bar, Crossroads Pub, and the Old Miami — it’s so hard to choose between them, as they’re all ideal places to kick off work early and slide yourself into a booth until gravity really takes hold. Bumbo’s in Hamtramck is a new bar in an old space (Hank’s) and it feels like an instant classic. Co-owner and manager Tia Fletcher Krawczyk says that Detroit’s nightlife is thriving, but adds that “as long as I can remember it’s been great, there are just more places to go now.” “People feel more comfortable coming to the city,” she says. “I’m seeing more of a mix of people coming in from elsewhere interested in what’s going on, and less intimidated to do so. We haven’t had investors, grants, designers, or managers, and have done it all ourselves from day one. We have a small cocktail list but nothing’s over $8. Nothing takes too long or feels intimidating.” A similar concept animates the minichain Art and Jakes, which shows that it’s harder than you’d think to be a proper sports bar. (Props as always though to Ciccarelli’s, 24 Seconds, Wolverine Brewing, Hockeytown, and the Hub Sports Bistro — who also get it right.) Up for karaoke? A lot of local spots

have great nights, but you can basically never go wrong with belting it out at Sneakers, whether you have pipes like Aretha or sound like a dying alternator when you open your craw. When it comes to non-bar venues for music, we’re really excited about Third Man Records Cass Corridor (which doesn’t host events every night, but already scores best in show for a few events — the first ever area show by San Francisco’s beautifully belligerent Mummies). Upcoming events include a rad music-centric film series, a gospel showcase for this year’s Concert of Colors, and tranced-out Tuareg guitar genius Mdou Moctar. And it might not be set up for live shows, but Midtown’s Griot Music Lounge, a lively little spot with a thoughtfully-curated selection of vinyl records played on the sweetest hi-fi, puts a black Detroit spin on a trend that’s thrived in Japan for decades. “Good times with good people, in a shared setting,” is how proprietor John Taylor describes the spot. Be sure to take friends from out of town there, and if you’re lucky you might get the raddest discourse about the importance of the Tribe collective on Detroit’s thriving avant-garde jazz scene in the 1970s — all while enjoying a tasty adult beverage.

Best Bar Art and Jakes 14741 23 Mile Rd., Shelby Twp; 586-532-9600; artjakes.com

Best Bar for Classic Cocktails Cafe d’Mongo’s Speakeast 1439 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-961-2543

Best Bar Before a Lions Game Nemo’s 1384 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-965-3180; nemosdetroit.com

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Best Bar on the Water Brownies on the Lake 24214 Jefferson Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-445-8080; browniesonthelake.com

Best Bar Before a Red Wings Game Anchor Bar 450 W. Fort St., Detroit; 313-964-9127; facebook.com/AnchorBarDetroit

Best Bottle Selection (Macomb) Three Blind Mice 101 N. Main St., Mount Clemens; 586-961-6371; threeblindmiceirishpub.com

Best Bar Before a Tigers Game Firebird Tavern 419 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-782-4189; firebirdtavern.com

Best Bottle Selection (Oakland) CK Diggs 2010 Auburn Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-853-6600; ckdiggs.com

Best Bar Decor Otus Supply 345 E. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-291-6160; otussupply.com

Best Bottle Selection (Washtenaw) Wurst Bar 705 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti; 734-485-6720; wurstbarypsi.com


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Exodos.

Best Bottle Selection (Wayne) Ye Olde Tap Room 14915 Charlevoix St., Detroit; 313-824-1030

Best Dive Bar (Oakland) Tony’s Sports Bar 23500 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-545-2920; tsbferndale.com

Best Bottle Service The Annex 24 W. Adams Ave., Detroit; 313-687-4350; theannexdetroit.com

Best Dive Bar (Washtenaw) Crossroads Pub 517 W. Cross St., Ypsilanti; 734-340-5597; facebook.com/crossroadsypsilanti

Best Brewery Taproom The Great Baraboo Brewing Co. 35905 Utica Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-792-7397; greatbaraboo.com Best Comedy Club Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak; 248-542-9900; comedycastle.com Best Dance Club Luna 1815 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-298-6875; lunaroyaloak.com Best Day Drinking Renshaw Lounge 210 E. 14 Mile Rd., Clawson; 248-616-3016; renshawlounge.com Best Distillery Tasting Room Grand Traverse Distillery Tasting Room Multiple locations; grandtraversedistillery.com Best Dive Bar (Macomb) Kit Kat Klub 55140 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb; 586-781-3171; facebook.com/RudysKitKatKlub

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DONTAE ROCKYMORE

Best Dive Bar (Wayne) Old Miami 3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830 Best Draft Selection (Macomb) Brown Iron Brewhouse 57695 Van Dyke, Washington; 586-697-3300; browniron.com Best Draft Selection (Oakland) One Eyed Betty’s 175 W. Troy St., Ferndale; 248-808-6633; oneeyedbettys.com Best Draft Selection (Washtenaw) Ashley’s 338 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-996-9191; ashleys.com Best Draft Selection (Wayne) HopCat 4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-769-8828; hopcat.com/detroit Best Electronic Music Club Elektricity 15 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-599-2212; elektricitymusic.com


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Otus Supply.

MARC NADER

Best Martini Bar The Whitney 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700; thewhitney.com

Best Patio for Drinking (Macomb) Madison’s Pub 15 N. Walnut St., Mt. Clemens; 586-468-7777; madisonspubmtclemens.com

Best New Bar (Macomb) Johnny Blacks Public House 35000 Moravian Dr., Sterling Heights; 586-553-9513; johnnyblacks.com

Best Patio for Drinking (Oakland) Rosie O’Grady’s 279 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-591-9163; rosieogradysirishpub.com

Best Handcrafted Cocktails Sugar House 2130 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-0123; sugarhousedetroit.com

Best New Bar (Oakland) J’s Penalty Box 22726 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-398-4070; jspenaltybox.com

Best Patio for Drinking (Washtenaw) Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery 311 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-913-2730; jollypumpkin.com

Best Happy Hour for Drinks Cornerstone Barrel House 1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-338-3238; cornerstonedetroit.com

Best New Bar (Washtenaw) Curtain Call 203 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-997-5399; curtaincall.pub

Best Patio for Drinking (Wayne) Northern Lights Lounge 660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit; 313-873-1739; northernlightslounge.com

Best Irish Pub The Old Shillelagh 349 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-0007; oldshillelagh.com

Best New Bar (Wayne) Whiskey’s on the Water 2903 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-720-9738; whiskeysonthewater.com

Best Karaoke Bar Sneakers 22628 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-545-8243; Facebook.com/SneakersPubFerndale

Best Place to Drink That Is Haunted The Whitney (Ghostbar) 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-832-5700; thewhitney.com/ghostbar

Best Night Out Five15 515 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-515-2551; five15.net

Best Rooftop Bar Exodos Rooftop 529 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-962-1300; exodosrooftop.com

Best Lesbian Bar Necto 516 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-994-5436; necto.com

Best Old-School Bar Jukebox Gusoline Alley 309 S. Center St., Royal Oak; 248-545-2235

Best Sports Bar (Oakland) 24 Seconds 3071 12 Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-336-0024; 24secondsbar.com

Best Family Entertainment Complex Dave & Buster’s 19375 Victor Pkwy., Livonia; 734-452-4600; daveandbusters.com Best Gay Bar Menjo’s 928 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit; 313-863-3934; newmenjoscomplex.com

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Best Sports Bar (Macomb) Ciccarelli’s 46793 Hayes Rd., Shelby Twp; 586-247-2223; ciccarellis-22-sports-bar.com

Best Sports Bar (Washtenaw) Wolverine State Brewing Co. 2019 W. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor; 734-369-2990; wolverinebeer.com Best Sports Bar (Wayne) Hockeytown Cafe 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-965-9500; hockeytowncafe.com Best Trivia Night The Hub Sports Bistro 16780 21 Mile Rd., Macomb; 586-226-3399; thehubsportsbistro.com Best Wine Bar Motor City Wine 1949 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-483-7283; motorcitywine.com

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BEST OF DETROIT

A jackpot

A fun night at the casino is no gamble in Detroit by Lee DeVito

When it comes to Detroit’s other “Big Three” — the casinos — all have

their merits. According to readers, the Best Casino Hotel is MGM Grand Detroit, which also lays claim to the city’s Best Players Club. MotorCity Casino Hotel’s Iridescence emerges as the Best Casino restaurant, and it electric live entertainment earns kudos for Best Casino to See a Show. Meanwhile, Greektown Casino Hotel boasts the Best Buffet. And while Detroit’s casino’s are plenty of fun, readers say the Soaring Eagle Casino in Mount Pleasant is worth a trip, too.

Best Casino Buffet Bistro 555, Greektown Casino Hotel 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit; 313-223-2999; greektowncasino.com

Best Players Club MGM Grand Detroit 1777 3rd Ave., Detroit; 877-888-2121; mgmgranddetroit.com

Best Casino Hotel MGM Grand Detroit 1777 3rd Ave., Detroit; 877-888-2121; mgmgranddetroit.com

Best Poker Greektown Casino Hotel 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit; 313-223-2999; greektowncasino.com

Best Casino Restaurant Iridescence, MotorCity Casino Hotel 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-237-6732; motorcitycasino.com/Iridescence

Best Slots Greektown Casino Hotel 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit; 313-223-2999; greektowncasino.com

Best Casino Table Games MotorCity Casino Hotel 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 866-782-9622; motorcitycasino.com Best Casino to See a Show MotorCity Casino Hotel 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 866-782-9622; motorcitycasino.com

Best Up North Casino Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort 6800 Soaring Eagle Blvd., Mount Pleasant; 989-775-5777; soaringeaglecasino.com letters@metrotimes.com @metrotimes

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Stroh’s Bohemian-Style Pilsner. MARC NADER

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Best Beer Selection in a Store 8 Degrees Plato 611 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-808-6477; 3409 Cass Ave, Detroit; 313-888-9972; 8degreesplato.com

High spirits

From distilleries and drinks, metro Detroit grows even more sophisticated

A whole professional

Best Bourbon Motor City Gas 325 E. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-599-1427; motorcitygas.com Best Craft Beer Bell’s Brewery 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo; 269-382-2332; bellsbeer.com

by Michael Jackman

press is out there to cover the national drinking scene, and a simple web search can explain why, say, Bacardi beat out Captain Morgan this year, why Corona beat out Labatt, or why a blended Jalisco tequila like Maestro Dobel or a gluten-free Texas vodka like Tito’s find favor. (Or why Johnnie Walker wins every year.) But what most excites us is our local drinking scene, which wouldn’t be half as interesting without the creative local brewers and, lately, distillers who keep surprising us. Of course, some of our most stubborn winners are cut from the same cloth, and just have been at it longer, such as craft pioneers Bell’s, small-batch distillery Valentine, and informal home of the Bloody Mary, Vivio’s. Really, five years ago we had only a few microdistilleries. Now we have strong votes for B. Nektar Meadery, farm-to-bottle whiskey from Detroit City Distillery, even bourbon from Motor City Gas and New Holland. (Bourbon can come from Oakland and Ottawa counties? When it’s this good, it can!) Even Batch Brewing Company, which we called “under the radar” last year, is now well-known thanks to bus tours and its neighborhood loca-

Best Bloody Mary Vivio’s 2460 Market St., Detroit; 313-393-1711; viviosdetroit.net; 3601 E. Twelve Mile Rd., Warren; 586-576-0495; vivioswarrenmi.com

tion in Detroit. And all the attention the city is getting even played a role in bringing back Stroh’s BohemianStyle Pilsner, which profits from the glitter factor of having an old brand resurrected. Other standouts included Griffin Claw’s Dan Rogers, and Leelanau Wine Cellars, which markets a variety of wines all over the state. Who knows what’s next for our state? Will we one day oust even Jack Daniel’s and Tanqueray from their top spots? When it comes to shopping for all of this alcoholic goodness, we have a tale of two traders. First, the stalwart Red Wagon emporium. With two locations, more than a thousand liquors, and even glassware for sale, some things just get better with time. And then comes the relatively new arrival, 8 Degrees Plato. While the Ferndale shop is given over to tastings most Fridays, the drinking goes beyond special occasions at the Detroit location, where 16 taps dispense crafts and imports, and usually a good mix of styles, from sours and IPAs to malty brews. Add a few tables and a bring-your-own food policy, and this joint explodes, as it’s within crawling distance of Slows to Go and the Peterboro.

Best Meadery B. Nektar 1511 Jarvis St., Ferndale; 313-744-6323; bnektar.com Best Michigan Beer Stroh’s Bohemian-Style Pilsner Strohbeer.com Best Michigan Bourbon New Holland Beer Barrel Bourbon 66 E. 8th St., Holland; 616-355-6422; newhollandbrew.com Best Michigan Brewer Dan Rogers, Griffin Claw 575 S. Eton St., Birmingham; 248-7124050; griffinclawbrewingcompany.com Best Michigan Gin Valentine Liberator Gin 161 Vester Ave., Ferndale; 248-629-9951; valentinedistilling.com Best Michigan Liquor Valentine Vodka 161 Vester Ave., Ferndale; 248-629-9951; valentinedistilling.com

Best Michigan Vodka Valentine Vodka 161 Vester Ave., Ferndale; 248-629-9951; valentinedistilling.com Best Michigan Whiskey Detroit City Distillery 2462 Riopelle St., Detroit; 313-338-3760; detroitcitydistillery.com Best Michigan Winery Leelanau Wine Cellars 231-386-5201; leelanaucellars.com Best Microbrewery or Brewpub Batch Brewing Company 1400 Porter St., Detroit; 313-338-8008; batchbrewingcompany.com Best Gin Tanqueray tanqueray.com

Best Imported Beer Corona corona.com Best Rum Bacardi bacardi.com Best Scotch Johnnie Walker johnniewalker.com Best Tequila Maestro Dobel maestrodobel.com Best Vodka Tito’s Vodka titosvodka.com Best Whiskey Jack Daniel’s jackdaniels.com Best Wine Selection in a Store Red Wagon Wine Shoppe 1613 Livernois Rd., Troy; 248-404-9999; redwagonshoppe.com

Best Michigan Tequila Cabresto tequila-cabresto.com

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8 YEARS RUNNING

OPEN LATE

2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 HOURS: MON-WED 11AM-9PM | THURS-SAT 11AM-11PM | SUN (BRUNCH) 10AM-3PM

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A dish from Grey Ghost. MARC NADER

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Fine dining

Detroit’s culinary scene heats up byTom Perkins

While unscientific, Best of Detroit voting can provide a pretty good picture of the Motor City’s culinary drift. It’s an undeniably exciting time in the region’s dining scene, especially in greater downtown, where it’s a challenge to stay on top of all of the city’s new menus. Despite that, one fact remains: Michiganders still love the region’s classics. Of the roughly 100 food categories, only around 15 restaurants that opened in the last three years are represented (excluding the Best New Restaurant category). That’s not necessarily a bad thing, and and it’s likely because southeast Michigan’s restaurateurs have offered up some damn good eateries for decades. Among that list are household names like Zingerman’s (Best Sandwich, Best Deli in Washtenaw), Joe Muer (Best Seafood), Avalon International Breads (Best Bakery), Fleetwood (Best Diner in Washtenaw), Slow’s Bar BQ (Best Barbecue), Green Lantern (Best Round Pizza and Best Macomb Pizza), Bangkok 96 (Best Thai in Wayne), Bucharest (Best Shawarma), Buddy’s (Best Pizza in Oakland and Wayne), Andiamo (Best Dessert in Oakland), Red Coat Tavern (Best Burger in Oakland), Toast (Best Brunch in Oakland), and Mudgie’s (Best Deli in Wayne). That’s a formidable roster of old schoolers. It was also their ilk that dominated the Best Steakhouse category: Clawson Steakhouse, Knight’s, London Chop House, and Mr. Paul’s — all of which are deserving, though that’ll be an interesting category to check next year after the Caucus Club and Prime and Proper get rolling. Of the new-ish kids on the block, it was no surprise to find Mabel Gray’s James Rigato took Best Chef for his refined, well-crafted modern American fare. The Morrie, with dishes like Kung Pao Cauliflower and Brisket Mac, and Bobcat Bonnie’s, purveyor of spicy fried pickles and Queso Fundido, won Best Happy Hour in Oakland and Wayne, respectively.

GreenSpace Cafe, which is the newest of the region’s vegetarian and vegan shops with a range of creative offerings like carnitas burrito mojado or Salsicce, a flatbread with seitan sausage, took the Best Vegetarian honors. O.W.L., which quickly built up a reputation for its wonderful marriage of American diner food and mexican fare, won in the Best Diner and Best 24 Hour/ Late Night categories, and Pop’s for Italian, with its Neapolitan pizzas and classic pastas like baked ziti and fettuccine alfredo, won Best Italian in Oakland. The Best New Restaurants category saw no real surprises given the amount of chatter and excitement each generated. That includes Black Rock (Macomb), Otus Supply (Oakland), Mikette Bistro & Bar (Washtenaw), and Grey Ghost (Wayne). Perhaps the most passionately debated dish in Detroit is the coney dog, and the hottest contest in that mix is between Lafayette and American in downtown Detroit. This year, it’s Lafayette that wins the contest, while National Coney Island takes the honors in Oakland and Macomb, and Uptown Coney Island wins in Washtenaw. American Coney Island’s crunchy taters are considered the Best Fries in town, according to our readers. Another lively conversation is that on the best Detroit-style pizza. Is it the style’s creator, Buddy’s, that deserves the award? Or do one if its break-offs, like Loui’s, Shields, or the new up-and-comer, Detroit Pizza Company, do it better? None of the above, say our voters: They selected metro Detroit chain Papa Romano’s as the best Detroit Style/Deep Dish pizza. In Washtenaw County, readers say NeoPapalis makes the best pizza pie, and Supino Pizzeria — with its New York-style thin crusts that include options like the Affumicata with smoked gouda, mozzarella, smoked prosciutto, chopped parsley, and roasted garlic — wins in the Most Creative Pizza category. Metro Detroit also holds a long list of respectable restaurants with international

flavors. According to our voters, the best tacos are not found in the heavily Mexican southwest Detroit, but at the popular Imperial in Ferndale, which serves up varieties like papas con rojas, a chorizo, potato, and queso fresco taco. Readers also say Shangri-La, a hip Midtown Chinese eatery that specializes in dim sum, is the region’s best option for Chinese food. Corktown anchor Slow’s Bar BQ wins for best barbecue, but Smoke Ring, with its Kansas City-inspired barbecue and amazing brisket, is the best of Detroit’s thriving food truck fleet, readers say. And for Italian, our readers pointed to fan favorite Giovanni’s, a classic restaurant that trades in homemade pasta, fresh ingredients, lots of tangy tomato sauce, and homemade pasta. If it’s fresh fish that you crave, our readers say to head to Ichiban in Sterling Heights or Canton, a sleek, hip eatery with all of the classic rolls and inventive specials like the Spicy Girl, with crunchy spicy tuna, yellowtail, and salmon covered in spicy mayonnaise and caviar. But with all those good dishes to eat, which restaurants stand out above the rest? Which are the best in their respective counties? In Wayne County, readers say it’s Selden Standard. The hip Midtown spot sets the bar for seasonal small plates and works closely with local farmers to find the best ingredients for dishes like Cauliflower Fritters or Rabbit Porchetta. In Oakland County, Bistro 82 is what many consider the “crown jewel” of the area’s dining scene for its French-inspired menu, attention to detail, and execution. In Macomb, readers selected Luciano’s, a mainstay since it opened in the 1980s. It’s your classic upscale Italian experience with white linens, soft lighting, and a menu of old-fashioned northern and southern Italian cuisine that’s made with fresh, natural ingredients. And in Washtenaw County, voters say Aventura, an Iberian eatery heavy on the olive oil, seafood, chorizo, and manchego is the Ann Arbor area’s best restaurant.

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BEST OF DETROIT

Best Bagel New York Bagel 23316 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-548-2580; newyorkbagel-detroit.com Best Bakery Avalon International Breads 422 W. Willis St. , Detroit; 313-832-0008; avalonbreads.net

Best Cajun (Oakland) Howe’s Bayou 22848 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-691-7145; howesbayouferndale.net

Best Bar Food Common Pub 5440 Cass Ave. , Detroit; 313-285-8849; commonpub.com

Best Cajun (Washtenaw) Mac’s Acadian Seafood Shack 104 E. Michigan Ave., Saline; 734-944-6227; macsinsaline.com

Best Barbecue Restaurant Slow’s Bar BQ 2138 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-9828; slowsbarbq.com

Best Cajun (Wayne) Louisiana Gumbo 13505 W. 7 Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-397-4052; detroitgumbo.com

Best Breakfast/Brunch (Macomb) The Pantry 34220 Van Dyke, Sterling Heights; 586-939-1370; thepantryrestaurant.com

Best Chef James Rigato, Mabel Gray 23825 John R Rd., Hazel Park; 248-398-4300; mabelgraykitchen.com

Best Breakfast/Brunch (Oakland) Toast 23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-398-0444; eatattoast.com

Best Chicken and Waffles Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles 19345 Livernois Ave., 313-861-0229; kuzzoschickenandwaffles.com

Best Breakfast/Brunch (Washtenaw) Sava’s 216 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-623-2233; savasrestaurant.com

Best Chinese Shangri-La 4710 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-974-7669; midtownshangri-la.com

Best Breakfast/Brunch (Wayne) Parks & Rec Diner 1942 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-446-8370; parksandrecdiner.com Best Burger (Macomb) Irish Craft 36759 Mound Rd., Sterling Heights; 586-264-9500; theirishcraft.com Best Burger (Oakland) Redcoat Tavern 31542 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-549-0300; facebook.com/RedcoatTavern Best Burger (Washtenaw) Sava’s 216 S. State St., Ann Arbor; 734-623-2233; savasrestaurant.com Best Burger (Wayne) Millers’ Bar 23700 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-565-2577; millersbar.com

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Best Cajun (Macomb) Gator Jake’s 36863 Van Dyke, Sterling Heights; 586-983-3700; gator-jakes.website

Best Coffeehouse (non-chain) (Macomb) Che Cosa 24394 Crocker Blvd., Clinton Twp.; 586-477-1200 Best Coffeehouse (non-chain) (Oakland) Commonwealth 300 Hamilton Row, Birmingham; 248-792-9766; gocommonweath.com Best Coffeehouse (non-chain) (Washtenaw) Roo’s Roast 117 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-369-2494; roosroast.com Best Coffeehouse (non-chain) (Wayne) Red Hook 220 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 313-458-8761; theredhookcoffee.com


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BEST OF DETROIT Best Coney (Macomb) National Coney Island 15555 Hall Rd., Macomb; 586-566-9558; nationalconeyisland.com Best Coney (Oakland) National Coney Island 1812 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-398-6111; nationalconeyisland.com Best Coney (Washtenaw) Uptown Coney 3917 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-665-5909; uptownconey.com Best Coney (Wayne) Lafayette Coney Island 118 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-964-8198 Best Corned Beef Bread Basket Deli Mulitple locations; breadbasketdelis.com

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Best Cuban Vicente’s 1250 Library St., Detroit; 313-962-8800; vicentesdetroit.com Best Deep Dish/Detroit Pizza Papa Romano’s Various locations; paparomanos.com Best Deli (Macomb) Bread Basket Deli Mulitple locations; breadbasketdelis.com

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248-549-3663

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586-285-5450

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Best Deli (Oakland) Bread Basket Deli Mulitple locations; breadbasketdelis.com Best Deli (Washtenaw) Zingerman’s Delicatessen 422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3354; zingermansdeli.com Best Deli (Wayne) Mudgie’s 1300 Porter St., Detroit; 313-961-2000; mudgiesdeli.com Best Desserts at a Restaurant (Macomb) Vast Kitchen and Bar 52969 Van Dyke, Shelby Charter Twp.; 586-991-6104; vastkitchenandbar.com Best Desserts at a Restaurant (Oakland) Andiamo 129 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-582-9300; andiamoitalia.com

Best Diner (Macomb) Orange Peel 13522 22 Mile Rd., Shelby Charter Twp.; 586-726-7335 Best Diner (Oakland) O.W.L. 27302 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-808-6244 Best Diner (Washtenaw) Fleetwood Diner 300 S. Ashley St., Ann Arbor; 734-995-5502; thefleetwooddiner.com Best Diner (Wayne) Dime Store 719 Griswold St., Ste. 180, Detroit; 313-962-9106; eatdimestore.com Best Fish & Chips Terry’s Terrace 36470 Jefferson Ave., Harrison Charter Twp., 586-463-2671; terrystime.com Best Food Truck Smoke Ring Detroit; 248-974-5745; smokeringdet.com Best Fries American Coney Island 114 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-7758; americanconeyisland.com Best Greek Restaurant Pegasus 558 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-964-6800; pegasustavernas.com Best Gyro (Macomb) Olga’s Kitchen 43201 Garfield Rd., Charter Twp. of Clinton.; 586-416-0300; olgas.com Best Gyro (Oakland) KouZina 121 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-629-6500; gokouzina.com Best Gyro (Washtenaw) Ahmo’s 1425 Washtenaw Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-390-9090; ahmos.com Best Gyro (Wayne) Golden Fleece 525 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-962-7093; goldenfleecedetroit.com

Best Desserts at a Restaurant (Washtenaw) La Dolce Vita Ann Arbor 322 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 888-456-3463; thechophouseannarbor.com

Best Happy Hour Food (Macomb) Butter Run Saloon 27626 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586-675-2115; butterun.com

Best Desserts at a Restaurant (Wayne) Rock City Eatery 4216 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-265-3729; rockcityeatery.com

Best Happy Hour Food (Oakland) The Morrie 511 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-216-1112; themorrie.com


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BEST OF DETROIT Best Happy Hour Food (Washtenaw) Bona Sera 200 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-340-6335; eatypsi.com

Best Happy Hour Food (Wayne) Bobcat Bonnie’s 1800 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-962-1383; bobcatbonnies.com Best Hibachi Kyoto 1824 W. 14 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-288-6666; kyotoroyaloak.com Best Indian Restaurant Cardamom 1739 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-662-2877; cardamoma2.com

Best New Restaurant (Wayne) Grey Ghost 47 Watson St., Detroit; 313-262-6534; greyghostdetroit.com Best Piano Bar 526 Main Dueling Piano Bar 526 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-591-9000; 526main.com Best Pizza (Macomb) Green Lantern Pizzeria 48848 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb; 586-221-2768; greenlanternlounge.com

Best Irish Conor O’Neill’s 318 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-665-2968; conoroneills.com

Best Pizza (Oakland) Buddy’s Pizza 2612 N. Squirrel Rd., Auburn Hills; 248-276-9040; buddyspizza.com

Best Italian Restaurant (Macomb) Da Francesco’s 49624 Van Dyke Ave., Utica; 586-731-7544; dafrancescos.com

Best Pizza (Washtenaw) Neo Papalis 500 E. William St., Ann Arbor; 734-929-2227; neopapalis.com

Best Italian Restaurant (Oakland) Pop’s for Italian 280 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ste. #2, Ferndale; 248-268-4806

Best Pizza (Wayne) Buddy’s Pizza 17125 Conant St., Detroit; 313-892-9001; buddyspizza.com

Best Italian Restaurant (Washtenaw) Mani Osteria 341 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-769-6700; maniosteria.com

Best Polish Polish Village 2990 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-874-5726; polishvillagecafe.us

Best Italian Restaurant (Wayne) Giovanni’s 330 Oakwood Blvd., Detroit; 313-841-0122; giovannisristorante.com Best Juice Bar Beyond Juice 270 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-594-7078; beyondjuicedetroit.com Best Late Night/24-Hour Restaurant O.W.L. 27302 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-808-6244

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Best New Restaurant (Washtenaw) Mikette Bistro & Bar 1759 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-436-4363; mikettea2.com

Best Poutine Vinsetta Garage 27799 Woodward Ave., Berkley; 248-548-7711; vinsettagarage.com Best Raw Bar Cacao Tree 204 W. 4th St., Royal Oak; 248-336-9043; cacaotreecafe.com Best Restaurant (Macomb) Luciano’s Italian Restaurant 39091 Garfield Rd., Clinton Twp.; 586-263-6540; lucianositaliancuisine. com

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant Al Ameer 12710 W. Warren Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-8185; alameerrestaurant.com

Best Restaurant (Oakland) Bistro 82 401 S. Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak; 248-542-0082; bistro82.com

Best New Restaurant (Macomb) Black Rock Bar & Grill 12515 Hall Rd., Utica; 586-488-1747; blackrockrestaurants.com

Best Restaurant (Washtenaw) Aventura 216 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-369-3153; aventuraannarbor.com

Best New Restaurant (Oakland) Otus Supply 345 E. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-291-6160; otussupply.com

Best Restaurant (Wayne) Selden Standard 3921 2nd Ave., Detroit; 313-438-5055; seldenstandard.com


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BEST OF DETROIT Best Romantic Restaurant Sapori 6067 26 Mile Rd., Washington; 586-786-4674; saporirestaurant.com Best Round Pizza Green Lantern Pizzeria 48848 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb; 586-221-2768; greenlanternlounge.com Best Saganaki Pegasus 558 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-964-6800; pegasustavernas.com Best Sandwich Zingerman’s Delicatessen 422 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 734-663-3354; zingermansdeli.com Best Seafood Joe Muer 400 Renaissance Center, Detroit; 313-567-6837; joemuer.com Best Shawarma Bucharest 1623 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-965-3111; bucharestgrill.com Best Sliders Joe’s Hamburgers 3041 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-285-0420; joeshamburgers.net Best Soul Food Beans and Cornbread 29508 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield; 248-208-1680; beanscornbread.com Best Specialty Pizza Supino 2457 Russell St., Detroit; 313-567-7879; supinopizzeria.com Best Steakhouse (Macomb) Mr. Paul’s Chop House 29850 Groesbeck Hwy., Roseville; 586-777-7770; mrpaulschophouse.com Best Steakhouse (Oakland) Clawson Steakhouse 56 S. Rochester Rd., Clawson; 248-588-5788; clawsonsteakhouse.com Best Steakhouse (Washtenaw) Knight’s Steakhouse 600 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-887-6899; knightsrestaurants.com Best Steakhouse (Wayne) London Chop House 155 W. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-0277; thelondonchophouse.com Best Sub Shop Jersey Mike’s 23058 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-291-5808; jerseymikes.com

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Best Sushi Ichiban 44955 Hayes Rd., Sterling Heights; 586-580-2546; Best Tacos Imperial Bar 22828 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-850-8060; facebook.com/imperialonwoodward Best Thai (Macomb) Bangkok Cuisine 2149 15 Mile Rd., Sterling Heights; 586-977-0130; bangkokcuisines.com Best Thai (Oakland) Sy Thai 459 E. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-817-2694; sythai.com Best Thai (Washtenaw) Marnee Thai 414 S. Main St., Ste. #130, Ann Arbor; 734-929-9933; marneethai-restaurant.com Best Thai (Wayne) Bankok 96 2450 S. Telegraph Rd., Dearborn; 313-730-8161; bangkok96.com Best Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant GreenSpace Cafe 215 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-206-7510; greenspacecafe.com Best Wings (Macomb) Tilted Kilt 44935 Hayes Rd., Sterling Heights; 586-799-4135; tiltedkilt.com/sterling-heights Best Wings (Oakland) Buffalo Wild Wings 500 Main St., Royal Oak; 248-744-4470; buffalowildwings.com Best Wings (Washtenaw) Red Rock BBQ 207 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-340-2381; redrockypsi.com Best Wings (Wayne) Sweetwater Tavern 400 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-2210; sweetwatertavern.net letters@metrotimes.com @metrotimes

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BEST OF DETROIT

Taking care

When it comes to treating yourself, these spots are tops by Alysa Offman

In a Rust Belt city like Detroit —

especially one that’s staging a comeback after a devastating economic collapse — pampering tends to be the last thing on our minds. Many of us don’t treat ourselves to designer fragrances, our trips to the salon are farther in between than perhaps they ought to be, and our cuticles scream for better care. Yet, some aspirational individuals can see past our Midwestern tendency toward asceticism, and they’re working to provide metro Detroit with not only rest and relaxation, but some muchneeded beautification. Jeph Wright is something of a big fish in a small pond. Voters regularly recognize the Black the Salon owner as the best stylist in the area, and he’s won national acclaim after being named a top stylist by Allure magazine in 2010. This year, Wright and his salon won in three of only nine pampering categories. That’s got to say something. Wright’s empire is expanding, too. The salon’s Royal Oak location opened in 2009 and, after years of success and careful consideration, Wright branched out to open a Corktown location in 2016. The secondary shop shares a building with Metropolis, a new bike store. It’s also a neighbor to Detroit Artifactry. Across the street you’ll find Slow’s, Sugar House, and Astro Coffee. Wright has described the neigh-

borhood as rock ’n’ roll and “on the forefront” — something he also aspires to be. Speaking of on the forefront, Detroit’s comeback is no more evident than in the fact that flotation therapy centers are opening here as the relaxation trend unfolds on a national scale. Good Morning America did a spot on the sensory deprivation chambers, and in the same week Motor City Float seemed to appear out of nowhere in Clawson. Then, somewhat startlingly, a new category appeared in our Best of Detroit voting list, with voters naming Sapphire Springs the best place to float in all of metro Detroit. Janée Angelique is yet another example of an entrepreneur who’s capitalizing on Detroit’s self-care service drought. She’s the careful hands behind Detroit’s Brow Bottega. She’s built her clientele the old-fashioned way — by doing good work and honoring her clients. After establishing herself while working at local salons, she decided to go into business for herself, opening a brick-and-mortar business earlier this year. Similarly, Detroit’s about to get a new blow out bar, and although we’re not sure how we feel about the name, the opening of Detroit Blows proves more and more Detroiters are willing to drop some of their hard-earned dough in order to get a little gussied up.

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Black the Salon.

MARC NADER

Best Barbershop Gentlemen First 949 S Military St., #1, Dearborn; 313565-8300; gentlemenfirst.creativejones. com

Best Salon (Washtenaw) Douglas J. Salon 500 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-2225416; douglasj.com

Best Flotation Therapy Sapphire Springs 31166 Haggerty Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-702-0990; sapphire-springs.com

Best Salon (Wayne) Black the Salon 2127 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-8005184; blackthesalon.com

Best Mani-Pedi Eco Nails 2881 W. Maple Rd., Troy; 248-326-6245; econailssalon.com

Best Spa Margot European Day Spa 101 Townsend St., Birmingham; 248-6423770; margots.com

Best Salon (Macomb) Blo Salon 45318 Market St., Shelby Twp.; 586-5667700; theblosalon.com Best Salon (Oakland) Black the Salon 314 W. 4th St., Royal Oak; 248-5658786; blackthesalon.com

Best Stylist Jeph Wright from Black the Salon 314 W. 4th St., Royal Oak; 248-5658786; blackthesalon.com

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BEST OF DETROIT

Hear ye, hear ye

When it comes to city life, the people of Detroit have spoken by Michael Jackman

When it came to selecting the best

candidate for governor, the winner was candidate Gretchen Esther Whitmer, although a close contender was “Anybody but Snyder,” which doubtless tells some of the backstory. Some alert readers named other actual announced candidates, including Dwain Reynolds of the Democratic-Socialist party and rising star Abdul El-Sayed. Others named contenders who haven’t thrown their hats in, such as Candice Miller and 87-year-old Dale Kildee (of course, they meant his nephew Dan; we get them mixed up too sometimes). Other names ranged from longtime Royal Oak mayor and current state Rep. Jim Ellison to right-wing nut-job Dave Agema. Our voters even put forward a candidate who can’t run: Rick Snyder himself. A few voters chose such plutocrats as Roger Penske and Dan Gilbert — but why should this country’s rich hold office when they can influence policy with fistful after undisclosed fistful of U.S.-minted, legal tender free speech? In other news, celebrities put forward as potential guvs included Geoffrey Fieger, Michael Moore, Marshall Mathers, Willie Nelson, and — Jeebus help us — Kid Rock. No surprises in the Detroit Mayor category, with the winner being the various spellings taken to mean Mayor Mike Duggan. The politician known as Coleman Young Jr. came in as a distant second, accompanied by such potential candidates as Detroit Councilmember George Cushingberry Jr., disgraced Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, radio legend the Electrifying Mojo, Pistons radio analyst Rick Mahorn, acid rapper Rashaam “Esham” Smith, and toothy challenger of Sander Levin in 2014, George Brikho. Sadly (for some), treacly sports writer and picket line-crosser Mitch Albom may not meet the mayoral residency requirements. Also, were we

MARC NADER

supposed to take the vote for “that young girl” as an endorsement of Ingrid LaFleur’s candidacy? We feel that our readers need to brush up a bit on the Detroit City Council. It’s not the chaotic but entertaining council of yesteryear, of Monica “Shrek!” Conyers and Kay “17 Pounds of Sausage” Everett fame. There’s no reason “none” should get more votes than Mary Sheffield, Brenda Jones, Raquel Castañeda-López, James Tate, Janeé Ayers, and André Spivey. The person whose answer wished for “an informed person, not bought by big business” might have looked at some of these names more closely. Just because a majority of our readers literally saw no reason to oust Big Mike from office (except “so he can become governor”) doesn’t mean they were without cavils. Complaints included “arrogance,” “broken promises,” not declaring Detroit “a sanctuary city when he had the chance,” “water shutoffs,” a perceived opposition to “marijuana freedom,” and a “lack of investment in local communities that actually need it.” That was best summed up in the answer: “Cuz he wack, crooked, and don’t care about real Detroit folks.” The idea that Michigan’s emergency manager law is unconstitutional may not sway courts (the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals says your right to vote is sacred, but that the winning candidate doesn’t have a right to wield power), but it’s a narrow winner in this year’s poll. Unsurprisingly, the No. 2 answer was “Flint.” Other contenders included “it’s against the will of the people,” and in the end it “costs too much,” while “it doesn’t fix the financial crisis.” Other answers included that “it’s unfair to citizens and municipal retirees” and “it’s stealing from the people who worked hard.” In a popularity contest between Detroit’s super-rich, Dan Gilbert would obviously

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win with our readers, with Mike Ilitch being a posthumous second banana. But Peter Karmanos and Roger Penske only get one vote apiece? (And, no, Kid Rock is not a billionaire — yet.) Meanwhile, if Bill Schuette’s efforts to delay Michigan entering gay-marriage-land hadn’t done enough to repulse our readers, consider that NORML executive director Allen St. Pierre said Schuette “may be single most anti-marijuana attorney general in the country.” Rather than “cleaning up” Michigan’s political scene, our readers seem to feel the poor little rich kid from Midland should have his hands in the filth, offering up new job suggestions like “garbage collector,” “janitor,” “street sweeper,” and “sewer

cleaner.” Many of the rest of the answers were unprintable — even for us! While plenty of readers felt longtime Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson should start a new life holding doors, greeting superstore customers, picking up garbage or dog poop, or rotting behind bars, most people agreed: It’s simply time for Brooksie to retire. After six terms as CEO of OC, he’s become too much like an embarrassing grandpa who cracks jokes about “Injuns” and “A-rabs” after one too many Boilermakers. To paraphrase those who offered details, Brooks should retire to become the recreational director at a nursing home where people still laugh at such threadbare material, hopefully in faraway Florida.

Best Candidate for Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan

Best New Job for L. Brooks Patterson Retirement

Best Candidate for Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Best Detroit Billionaire Dan Gilbert Best Detroit City Council Member “None” Best Local Nonprofit Detroit Dog Rescue Best New Job for Bill Schuette Custodial arts

Best Reason Jim Fouts Should Resign Racism Best Reason to Get Rid of the Emergency Manager Law It’s unconstitutional, illegal, and undemocratic Best Reason to Vote Duggan Out of Office “None” letters@metrotimes.com @metrotimes

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SHOP WHERE YOUR BUSINESS MATTERS

THANK YOU METRO TIMES READERS 2017

Mount n Repair AFFORDABLE LUXURY

S I LV E R

JEWELRY

BEST JEWELRY REPAIR

Mount n Repair METRO DETROIT’S LARGEST SELECTION OF STERLING SILVER JEWELRY 205 PIERCE ST | BIRMINGHAM | 248.647.8670 M O U N T N R E PA I R . C O M metrotimes.com

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John Varvatos. MARC NADER

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Counter culture

Because shopping in metro Detroit is unique and surprising by Alysa Offman

I recently visited the North End Collective in Detroit, a shared-space boutique that’s home to the Traveling Pants Company, Purple Love, Bath Savvy Naturals, and UnitedFront. Each of the businesses is owned by a woman of color. The space itself is curated by Midtown Inc. — they own and manage the building — but the women are the heart and soul of the business. When I met with the women of North End Collective — Jordette Singleton, Brittany Chanel, Deidra Hogue, and Shannon Reaves — they seemed like a tight-knit group whose dynamic is built on empowering one another, leaning on each others’ strengths, and just having fun. Other than Reaves, each of the women also holds down a full-time 9-to-5. Their hustle is admirable. It’s a hustle we see mirrored in countless locally owned enterprises in Detroit’s bustling shopping scene. OK, some of you may take issue with that last sentence. Maybe you’re not so keen on that word, “bustling.” But, as someone who’s written about shopping in Detroit for the last five years, I can tell you things have dramatically improved. In Eastern Market, places like Rocky’s, Eastern Market Antiques, and Savvy Chic have thrived, creating an environment conducive to new shops like Detroit vs. Everybody, the Detroit Mercantile Co., 3 Dogs 1 Cat, and Germack Coffee Roasting Co. Late last year, Cyberoptix TieLab owner Bethany Shorb opened a boutique called Well Done Goods on the same block as Trinosophes and Antietam, adding even more appeal to the shopping and dining destination that is Eastern Market. Meanwhile, on Cass Avenue in Midtown, another shared-space boutique called Cass Collective is the latest to open on a block that’s home to La Feria, Thrift on the Avenue, Treat Dreams, Avalon International Breads, Tulani Rose, the

Spiral Gallery, Source Booksellers, and more. Just around the corner, you’ll find two high-end corporate stores — Shinola and Filson — mirroring locally owned lifestyle boutiques City Bird and Nest. As of late, downtown Detroit has attracted national businesses like Warby Parker, Nike, and Moosejaw. A cruise down Woodward will take you to Kit and Ace, John Varvatos, and a new Bonobos shop — all of these shops opened within the last three years. Travel farther down Woodward and you’ll find Rachel Lutz’s Peacock Room and sister store Frida inside the Park Shelton, along with Busted Bra Shop. In Corktown, Eldorado General Store, opened in 2014, helped pave the way for newer shops like Detroit Artifactry and Mama Coo’s Boutique. Each of these shops sells a collection of both new and used items — some are locally crafted, and some were handpicked from vendors on cross-country merchandise-finding expeditions. Each are owned and operated by a woman who’s realized her retail dreams in a downtrodden city that’s continuously finding ways to make reveries reality. As Detroit’s retail offerings continue to expand, those in the suburbs aren’t shrinking. This year voters named Birmingham the Best Downtown Shopping District, and there is no questioning the well-curated nature and upscale provisions available in the area. With shopping, dining, two movie theaters, a yoga studio, practically famous bridal shops, jewelry shops like Mount-N-Repair, Astreins, and more, the stretch of Old Woodward and connecting thoroughfares are ripe with activity. Shopping districts such as these are integral to a thriving local economy: They add to the beauty of metro Detroit’s retail offerings. There’s really no need for competition among them.

Outside of the world of boutiques (the world I prefer to live in), Michigan is home to the manufacturing of products like Better Made Potato Chips, Faygo, Garden Fresh, and Vernors, all of which contribute to our retail and services economy. We have a thriving record store community with tendrils reaching across the metro area. It includes shops like Dearborn Music, Found Sound in Ferndale, Melodies and Memories in Eastpointe, Encore Records in Ann Arbor, Hello Records in Corktown, Underground Sounds in Ann Arbor, and UHF in Royal Oak, plus many more. Decades ago, our economy was built on the financial might of automotive companies, but these days that’s shifting. That’s apparent when we analyze a list of this year’s Best of Detroit winners. Sure, there are a few corporate names present. Kroger did win best grocery store. However, we’re inspired to see folks loving on (and voting for) independent businesses whose cornerstone is nothing more than blood, sweat, and tears shed by passionate entrepreneurs — not just those who are new, but those who’ve stood the test of time. John K. King Used & Rare Books is a perennial Best of Detroit winner. The towering monolith on W. Lafayette Blvd. is a staple in this city, garnering national attention for its strange and enormous stock of used and rare books. It’s the kind of place wide-eyed young college students marvel at and old Detroiters treat with a special reverence. King has expanded and shrunk, but it’s managed to hold on, to persevere despite economic upheval, changing tastes, and, hell, even the internet. It’s an endgame of sorts, something businesses owners can aspire to — dogged integrity and endurance.

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BEST OF DETROIT

Best Appliance Store ABC Warehouse 15253 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-584-5300; abcwarehouse.com

Best Detroit Brand Detroit vs. Everybody 400 Monroe Ave., #340, Detroit; 313-638-2980; detroitvseverybody.com

Best Attorney Geoffrey Fieger 19390 W. 10 Mile Rd., Southfield; 248-558-2315; fiegerlaw.com

Best Downtown Shopping District Birmingham 151 Martin St., Birmingham; allinbirmingham.com

Best Auto Repair Wetmore’s 23459 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-544-2100; wetmorestireandautorepair.com Best Bicycle Shop (Macomb) Macomb Bike & Fitness 28411 Schoenherr Rd., Warren; 586-756-5400; macombbike.com Best Bicycle Shop (Oakland) Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop 163 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-439-1892; downtown-bikeshop.com Best Bicycle Shop (Washtenaw) D&D Bicycles and Hockey 3780 Jackson Rd., Ste. J, Ann Arbor; 734-707-0130; ddbicyclesandhockey.com

Best Eyewear SEE 160 S. Old Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-723-1900; seeeyewear.com Best Eyewear Boutique Optik 247 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-646-6699; optikbirmingham.com

Best Bicycle Shop (Wayne) Metropolis Cycles 2117 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-818-3248; metropoliscycles.bike

Best Farmers Market (Macomb) Mount Clemens Farmers Market 135 N. River Rd., Mount Clemens; 586-493-7600; mountclemensfarmersmarket.com

Best Bookstore in Detroit John K. King Used & Rare Books 901 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-0622; rarebooklink.com

Best Farmers Market (Oakland) Royal Oak Farmers Market 316 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-246-3276; romi.gov

Best Bookstore in the Suburbs The Book Beat 26010 Greenfield Rd.,Oak Park; 248-968-1190; thebookbeat.com

Best Farmers Market (Washtenaw) Ann Arbor Farmers Market 315 Detroit St., Ann Arbor; 734-794-6255; a2gov.org/departments/ Parks-Recreation

Best Comic/Collectibles Shop Comic City 42727 Ford Rd., Canton; 734-981-3561; comiccity.com 7366 Haggerty Rd., West Bloomfield Twp.; 248-592-3049 466 N. Telegraph Rd., Pontiac; 248-334-4139 3410 West Rd., Trenton; 734-692-7060 Best Consignment Shop ReDesign Home 32801 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-439-6040; redesignhomeconsignment.com Best Dentist Dr. Dipilla 600 N Old Woodward Ave., #201, Birmingham; 248-646-0442; drdipilla.com

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Best Engagement or Wedding Ring Tapper’s Diamonds and Fine Jewelry 2800 W. Big Beaver Rd., Troy; 248-649-2000; tappers.com 6337 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield Twp., 248-932-7700

Best Farmers Market (Wayne) Eastern Market Eastern Market, Detroit; 313-833-9300 Best Flea Market Dixieland 2045 Dixie Hwy, Waterford; 248-338-3220; dixielandfleamkt.com Best Gift Boutique The Rocket 23147 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-556-5084; 122 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-483-2291 shoptherocket.com Best Grocery Store Kroger Various locations; kroger.com


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Tommey Walker.

Best Grow Shop (Macomb) Cultivation Station 46912 Gratiot Ave., Chesterfield; 586-949-7453; tcs-hydroponics.com Best Grow Shop (Oakland) Northern Lights 29090 N. Campbell Rd., Madison Heights; 248-439-6269; northernlightshydro.net Best Grow Shop (Washtenaw) The Grow Show 4095 Stone School Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-677-0009; thegrowshow.org Best Grow Shop (Wayne) Hydro Giant 21651 W. 8 Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-387-7700; hydrogiant.com Best Gym (Macomb) Snap Fitness 42918 Schoenherr Rd., Sterling Heights; 586-532-7800; snapfitness.com

Best Jewelry Repair Mount-N-Repair 205 Pierce St., Birmingham; 248-647-8670; mountnrepair.com Best Jewelry Store Astrein’s 120 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248-644-1651; astreins.com Best Local Modeling Agency 7 Stone 4 N. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 734-845-9950; 7stonemanagement.com Best Local Shopping Experience Eastern Market Eastern Market, Detroit; 313-833-9300 Best Local T-shirt Company Detroit vs. Everybody 400 Monroe Ave., #340, Detroit; 313-638-2980; detroitvseverybody.com Best Men’s Clothing John Varvatos 1500 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-437-8095; johnvarvatos.com

Best Gym (Oakland) Planet Fitness 288 John R Rd., Troy; 248-588-0141; planetfitness.com

Best Michigan Made Product Better Made Chips 10148 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 800-332-2394; bettermadesnackfoods.com

Best Gym (Washtenaw) Washtenaw Health and Fitness 4833 E. Huron River Dr., Ann Arbor; 734-975-9950; wccfitness.org

Best Movie Theater Emagine Various locations; emagine-entertainment.com

Best Gym (Wayne) Fitness Works 6525 2nd Ave., Detroit; 313-972-4040; fitnessworksclub.com

Best Moving Company Men on the Move 12400 Merriman Rd., Livonia; 734-744-9547; michiganmovers.com

Best Hardware Store Detroit Hardware Co. 6432 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-875-0838; detroithardwareco.com Best Insurance Agent Mark Swieczkowski Troy; 800-836-8842; mipia.com

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MARC NADER

Best New Business Third Man Records 441 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-209-5205; thirdmanrecords.com

Best Pawn Shop American Jewelry & Loan 546 N. Telegraph Rd., Pontiac; 248-409-5626; pawndetroit.com


MADE IN MICHIGAN // SINCE 1951

20411 FARMINGTON RD. @ 8 MILE • LIVONIA • MI • 248.476.1262

WWW.SCOTTCOLBURNWESTERN.COM metrotimes.com

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BEST OF DETROIT

Peacock Room.

Best Pet Supply Pet Supplies Plus Multiple locations; petsuppliesplus.com Best Place to Buy a Motorcycle Biker Bob’s Harley-Davidson 14100 Telegraph Rd., Taylor; 734-947-4647; bikerbobshd.com Best Place to Buy Art (tie) Rust Belt Market 22801 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 810-441-0956; rustbeltmarket.com Art Leaders Gallery 33086 Northwestern Hwy., West Bloomfield; 248-539-0262; artleaders.com Best Place to Buy Sneakers Mr. Alan’s Elite Multiple locations; 313-893-8216; mralans.com Best Record Store (Macomb) Melodies & Memories 23013 Gratiot Ave., Eastpointe; 586-774-8480; facebook.com/melodies-memories

Best Record Store (Oakland) Found Sound 234 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-565-8775; foundsoundvinyl.tumblr.com

ANASTASIA CHEATHAM

Best Record Store (Washtenaw) Encore Records 417 E. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-662-6776; encorerecordsa2.com Best Record Store (Wayne) Dearborn Music 22501 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-561-1000; dearbornmusic.net Best Specialty Market (Macomb) Randazzo’s 13441 E. 13 Mile Rd., Warren; 586-979-1010; randazzofreshmarket.com Best Specialty Market (Oakland) Holiday Market 1203 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-541-1414; holiday-market.com Best Specialty Market (Washtenaw) Plum Market 375 N. Maple Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-827-5000; plummarket.com Best Specialty Market (Wayne) City Market 575 Brush St., Detroit; 313-222-0000; citymarketdetroit.com

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Best Tattoo Artist Mark Heggie Ferndale; 586-323-3115; markheggie.com Best Tattoo Shop (Macomb) Elite Ink 32750 Mound Rd., Warren; 586-838-4027; 247tattoos.com Best Tattoo Shop (Oakland) Signature 230 W. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale: 248-439-0021; signaturetattoo.com Best Tattoo Shop (Washtenaw) Name Brand Tattoo 514 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 735-623-0553; namebrandtattoo.com Best Tattoo Shop (Wayne) Eternal Tattoos 27590 Plymouth Rd., Livonia; 734-425-0428; eternaltattoos.com Best Thrift Store (Macomb) Salvation Army 45250 Northpointe Blvd., Utica: 586-254-5674; usc.salvationarmy.org

Best Thrift Store (Oakland) Value World 22130 Coolidge Hwy., Oak Park; 734-728-4610; valueworld.net 600 N. Telegraph, Rd., Pontiac;

734-728-4610 25646 W. 8 Mile Rd., Southfield; 734-728-4610 Best Thrift Store (Washtenaw) Value World 1410 E. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; 734-728-4568; valueworld.net Best Thrift Store (Wayne) Salvation Army 2300 Venoy Rd., Westland; 734-722-3660; usc.salvationarmy.org Best Tire Store Sucher Tire 3641 E. Davison St., Detroit; 313-891-5640; suchertire.com Best Women’s Clothing Peacock Room 15 E. Kirby St., Detroit; 313-559-5500; facebook.com/peacockroom

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BEST OF DETROIT

Joe Zainea, proprietor of the Majestic Theatre Complex, at the Garden Bowl.

Can’t be beat

Why Detroiters take sports and recreation seriously by Alysa Offman

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With Little Caesars Arena on the brink of opening, bringing the formerly Auburn Hills-based Pistons to Detroit, soon all of Detroit’s major league teams will be housed within city limits. Oh, and Dan Gilbert’s proposing a major league soccer stadium, too. But, as evidenced by our Best of Detroit Sports and Rec results, Detroiters are so much more than just fans of televised feats of athleticism. Detroit’s home to Detroit City FC, and their rabid fan base has proved that Americans really can care about soccer. The Detroit Lions had a guerrilla cheerleading team before it had a league-sanctioned squad. We just do things differently here. We go bowling differently, that’s for sure. While many of the nation’s independently owned bowling alleys are seeing a downturn in league participation and overall patronage, the Majestic Theatre Complex’s Garden Bowl continues to thrive (maybe only slightly due to the fact that Lady Gaga prefers to bowl there while she’s in town). Detroit’s favorite place to relax on a warm summer afternoon, Belle Isle, is certainly a treasure, with people flocking to its grassy fields, casino, and beautiful conservatory to say their

vows. The island park is filled with historic structures, including the Albert Kahn-designed Belle Isle Aquarium. The once shuttered building offers a cool respite from the sun on weekend mornings. The green glass-tiled ceiling makes the interior appear to be a fresh water tank all its own. Inside you’ll find turtles, electric eels, and other aquatic creatures available for close inspection. But we’re not all about leisure in Detroit, although we do seem to be constantly searching for our breath and our center, which is why we love the vinyasa of a good yoga class. Detroit and her suburbs are home to a slew of yoga studios, including Citizen Yoga, Bikram Yoga, Yoga Shelter, 359° Yoga, and many more. And when we throw our back out from trying too hard at wild child pose, we can visit great chiropractors like Dr. Zachary Ward. Detroit is home to beautiful, historic buildings like the Guardian Building, the Fisher Building, the Masonic Temple, the Inn on Ferry Street, and the Inn at St. John’s. Some of these places are great for a wedding reception, some are just a great place to stroll around on a Saturday morning — all of them are beautiful in their own way, and add to the rich architecture of the city.


MARC NADER

Best Aquarium Belle Isle Aquarium 900 Inselruhe Ave., Detroit; 313-402-0466; belleisleconservancy.org Best Bed & Breakfast The Inn on Ferry Street 84 E. Ferry St., Detroit; 313-871-6000; innonferrystreet.com Best Bowling Alley Garden Bowl 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700 ext. 205; majesticdetroit.com Best Chiropractor Dr. Zachary Ward, Life in Alignment Chiropractic 2757 University Dr., Auburn Hills; 248-598-4002; liachiro.com Best Cider Mill Yates Cider Mill 1990 E. Avon Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-651-8300; yatescidermill.com

Best Outdoor Wedding Venue Belle Isle Park Multiple venues; 313-821-9844 Best Skatepark Modern Skate & Surf 1500 N. Stephenson Hwy., Royal Oak; 248-546-7275; modernskate.com Best Visitor Experience The Henry Ford 20900 Oakwood Blvd., Dearborn; 313-982-6001; thehenryford.org Best Wedding Banquet Hall The Inn at St. John’s 44045 5 Mile Rd., Plymouth; 734-414-0600; stjohnsgolfconference.com Best Yoga Citizen Yoga 500 S. Washington Ave., Royal Oak; 248-268-2160; citizenyogastudio.com

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Best buds

From adult stores to medical marijana, this is the best of the grown-up stuff by Michael Jackman

If this category seems like a

bunch of odds and ends, it kinda is. But to those who love or need these things, they’re medicine for the body and soul. For our readers, the doctor is “in” at Lover’s Lane, and the best place to get that toy that jump-starts your sex life is at Noir Leather. These are longtime hits, of course. Another stubborn winner, praised for its service and great food, is the Penthouse Club, which reigns supreme on Eight Mile. But the Best Menu honors go to the food at the Coliseum, perhaps best summed up by the Yelp reviewer who wrote that he “expected truck-stop egg salad sandwich” and instead got “one of the best steaks I have ever eaten.” As for the burgeoning business of medical marijuana — despite the hostility of the state’s more retrograde law enforcement — not only does the business survive, it’s blowing our minds with the creative products and services it offers. For instance, look at our winning budtenders at Code Green: Buyers walk into a clean, professional atmosphere, a place where the staff is open to any questions, and ready to cater to all kinds of customers, whether new to medical marijuana or longtime experts asking hard questions. That kind of savvy extends to the whole staff at Fuego, which is known not just for having a friendly staff, but a wellversed one. An old-fashioned product that persists today is the “pre-roll.” Our readers favor Depot Town, a dispensary proud to supply rolled smokes that are no filler, all “bud shake” — the stuff that falls off while processing the weights — from tip to end. Hey, sugar leaf and trim are fine for edibles or concentrates, but you should only get in a pre-roll what you’d find in your kief catcher. While we’re at it, the shop’s medical medley pre-rolls are made of a potent variety of strains to help keep you healthy and happy.

Best Adult Store Lover’s Lane Multiple locations; loverslane.com Best Budtender Code Green 15500 E. 8 Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-649-2755 Best Concentrate House of Dank 3340 E. 8 Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-305-4040; houseofdank313.com Best Dispensary ADA East 16555 Harper Ave., Detroit; 313-571-3108 Best Edible Peoples Choice Alternative Medicine 2245 W. Liberty St., Ann Arbor; 734-369-8573; peopleschoiceofannarbor. com Best Food in a Strip Club Coliseum 11300 E 8 Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-527-6969; coliseum8mile.com Best Head Shop Tha Head Shop 737 E. 9 Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-677-0178; thaheadshop.com

Best Place to Purchase a Sex Toy Noir Leather 124 W. 4th St., Royal Oak; 248-541-3979; noirleather.com Best Pre-roll at a Dispensary Depot Town 35 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti; 734-340-2941; depot-town.com Best Smoke Shop The Station 25940 Michigan Ave., Inkster; 313-561-7969 Best Strip Club Penthouse Club 20771 W. 8 Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-541-7000; penthousedet.com Best Vape Store Independent Vapor Company Multiple locations; independentvaporcompany.com Most Knowledgeable Dispensary Staff Fuego 12632 E. 8 Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-821-4350

Best Place for Sexy Lingerie Adam and Eve Multiple locations; adamevestores.com

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The Station. KELLEY O’NEILL

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BEST OF DETROIT Personal bests

Some standouts of our own by MT staff

OK, you had your say, now it’s

our turn. The Metro Times staff put our heads together and came up with our picks for our own awards — some of them winners, some of them losers. Best Agency to Re-evaluate Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality Once upon a time, the Department of Natural Resources watched over the extraction of the state’s riches. Gov. Engler separated out the DEQ to “balance” environmental protection with corporate exploitation. Gov. Granholm reversed that decision, and one of Gov. Snyder’s first acts was to separate DEQ out again, giving it a guiding principle to be “partners in economic development.” The agency was disgraced for its involvement in the Flint water crisis, after which top officials resigned. Since then, we’ve seen the DEQ has been on the verge of approving several more permits, including Nestlé’s plans to pump more water out of Michigan and U.S. Ecology’s plans to dramatically expand a toxic waste facility in Detroit. Best Marketed Neighborhood That Doesn’t Exist The District Detroit Are you young, interested in city life, walkability, and a dynamic neighborhood that doesn’t sleep? Well, have we got a marketing campaign for you! The District Detroit showcases a set of five neighborhoods, all of them walkable, livable, mixed-use, and world-class. The only thing is that they don’t really exist yet. In fact, a recent promotional video spot seems to function on the belief that if you pack enough contemporary beats and millennial whoop into the soundtrack, nobody will notice that you’re using stock footage that doesn’t even show Detroit. If only we had a “Balls of Solid Steel Marketing Award,” we’d rush it right to whoever came up with this campaign. Best New Magazine Riverwise At the end of 2014, when we lost The Michigan Citizen, it was a sad day for Detroit journalism. Bear in mind, we at MT didn’t always see eye-to-eye with the paper’s reporting over the years, but if you wanted to lay your finger on the pulse of Michigan’s progressive black intelligentsia, you could do much, much worse than peruse an issue of the Citizen. That’s why the appearance of the first issue of

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Riverwise is cause for celebration: Not only does it publish with the imprimatur of the Boggs Center, the majority of writers are African-American: The lead article is by regular MT columnist Larry Gabriel, and there are pieces by former Citizen writer Eric Campbell and Adrienne Maree Brown, editor of the recently published Octavia’s Brood. Best Illustration that the Region’s Transit Thinking is Trapped in the Past $3 billion expansion of I-75 and I-94 Thanks to SEMCOG and MDOT, the region is embarking on a $3 billion, 30-year plan to expand I-75 and I-94. The construction project will require rerouted interchanges, continuous service drives, demolished buildings, and additional lanes, all in the hopes of helping speed traffic through the inner city. But as critics have pointed out, widening a freeway isn’t an effective way to reduce congestion. In the end, motorists change their living, working, and driving patterns to occupy the new roadway, with the result being that the road is soon just as clogged as it ever was. This is common knowledge in the highway planning business, and yet “easing congestion” is a refrain MDOT officials keep returning to. Such promises, however, get laughed at elsewhere: The Washington D.C.-based United States Public Interest Research Group has labeled MDOT’s I-94 widening project a “boondoggle,” and said the project “might even make Detroit’s economic recovery more difficult.” But, hey, if you can get from Grosse Pointe to Livonia faster, who cares, right? Best Political Demonstration Yet to Come Juggalo March on Washington Man, this is going to be great! If you think the situation in Washington, D.C. is surreal today, wait until September. We believe tens of thousands of Juggalos will take over the nation’s capital in protest of the FBI’s designation of their fans as a “gang.”That struggle against the FBI’s designation is also driving a court case, but the “family” is taking it to the streets as well, hoping to show that no gang has this much motherfucking clown love. May the Juggalos convince the feds that their hearts are as pure as clown white, and may the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool turn crimson with Redpop. letters@metrotimes.com @metrotimes

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FOOD

late 1970s. “He was from Texas, so he was the ‘Texas Man,’” she says. The Lee’s chain closed down, but Poole recently revived the Fenkell and Schafer location where she slathers Lee’s ribs and chicken in the family’s tangy sauce. And whatever you order for dinner, don’t forget to cap off the meal with her homemade sweet potato pie. 14001 Fenkell Ave, Detroit; 313-452-4940

Vicki’s. TOM PERKINS

Where there’s smoke A taste of Detroit’s historic neighborhood barbecue joints by Tom Perkins

Slow’s Bar BQ is arguably the restaurant that kicked off Corktown’s restaurant revival, and, for that, is synonymous with “Detroit barbecue.” But decades ago, small neighborhood barbecue joints of a much different vibe — like Nunn’s, Vicki’s, Lee’s, and Park’s — turned Detroit into a barbecue town. The old-schoolers are plexiglass divided restaurants that are fragrant, small-ish, and often carryout only. Your meals arrive with slices of limp, white bread used to sop up the excess tangy, sweet, or hot sauces, as is standard in the south. Each of the shops are owned and operated by people who come from a long line of barbecue masters with deep Southern roots, and each caters to the city’s love of ribs and chicken. As Park’s BBQ owner Roderick Parks put it several years ago when we asked about the new wave of hip barbecue restaurants: “Most of them are restaurants that sell barbecue, or bars that sell barbecue, like Slows, which is a bar that sells barbecue. It’s not a barbecue joint.” Here are a few of our favorite neighborhood “barbecue joints”: Vicki’s Vicki’s is one of Detroit’s barbecue old-timers that’s up at the top of the list in any conversation on our barbecue heavyweights. That partly owes to the St. Louis-style cut ribs that Vicki’s cooks over an open pit (though you can also get them smoked). But the highlight in

what’s basically a highlight reel meal is the vinegar and tomato-based sauce. Though there’s a heavy dose of acidic vinegar, this isn’t Carolina-style, but perhaps a unique composition that mixes in the best of several barbecue worlds. Could you call it Detroit-style? Perhaps. Also worth noting is the packaging — the ribs come tightly wrapped in cellophane and sit in a nest of fries soaking up the pool of excess sauce that you won’t want to leave behind. 3845 W. Warren Ave., Detroit; 313-894-9906; vickisfoodsinc.com Sterling’s Old Style BBQ Sterling’s is just about the only neighborhood barbecue joint in Detroit where you’ll encounter a plate of brisket. Why is that? As co-owner Will Worthy explains, it’s a cultural thing. He traveled to the nation’s barbecue capitals before opening Sterling’s and found a direct correlation between how far out in the suburbs he traveled and how much brisket landed on a restaurant’s plates. But Sterling’s decided to buck that trend at its west side restaurant, and the brisket is certainly worth a look. Ditto for the large, sinewy ribs, which are some of the meatiest in town and stained red from hanging out for hours in one of Sterling’s three puffing smokers. Each dish receives a generous application of the flavorful, garlicky barbecue sauce enlivened with spices that Worthy wouldn’t reveal. The slightly charred

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black and yellow corn on the cob side is a nice touch, and all the other sides are solid. Worthy opened the restaurant with partner and chef Quentin Pearson. 18241 Plymouth Rd., Detroit; 313-4939495; sosbbqdetroit.com Parks Old Style Bar-B-Q The sauce at Parks is a different animal than its Detroit counterparts. It’s done in a thinner-but-lively and acidic vinegar-based sauce, not too unlike what you’ll find in the Carolinas, though it’s clearly Detroit born and bred. Choose from three varieties: the sweet pairs well with the ribs. However, you don’t want to miss the hot option, but be forewarned: This isn’t “Livonia hot” — this is “North End Detroit hot,” and the cayenne powder-dusted chicken isn’t for those who normally opt for the mild or medium spice levels. Edward Parks opened the restaurant in 1964, endured the neighborhood’s ups and downs, and cooks up between 2,500 and 3,000 pounds of ribs weekly. It’s a destination, as is evidenced by 90 percent of Parks’ clientele traveling from outside the North End. 7444 Beaubien St., Detroit; 313-873-7444 Lee’s Texas Style Barbecue When you think of Texas, you think of big steers and giant slabs of spicerubbed brisket, but the ribs and the chicken are the specialty at Lee’s, along with seafood and all the made-fromscratch soul food sides like the rich five-cheese mac and cheese. Co-owner Felicia Poole tells us that the “Texasstyle” is a reference to their process, which involves slow-cooking ribs and chicken over charcoal instead of roasting on a spit or via any other short cut. Poole says that’s how her granddaddy did it, who opened five Lee’s locations in the

Joe-Ann’s Joe-Ann’s is one of the longestrunning barbecue operations in Detroit (if not the longest-running), first serving up its delicious ‘cue 65 years ago. If you go to Joe-Ann’s bright yellow building that’s decorated with a picture of a grillin’ pig and a proclamation that the restaurant is the castle of Detroit’s “BBQ Queen,” then you won’t go wrong with the ribs. The best place to start, however, is the chicken. The BBQ Queen knows her bird, which is moist and falls off the bone in a manner that isn’t common in Detroit’s barbecue joints. 3139 Jerome St, Detroit; 313-366-3775 Uptown Uptown, a barbecue and soul food legend, sits on Livernois between the Lodge and the University of Detroit. Even if you’ve never been there, you might have caught a whiff of its huge, black smoking cans parked out front of the shop. The puffs reach the Lodge when the wind blows south, offering hints of the meaty ribs left scarlet from the smoke treatment. Uptown’s racks come coated in a thick glaze of deep red, slightly sweet sauce that’s wrapped up neat in your carryout container. Mention Uptown in conversation and the sides will invariably come up. Don’t miss the mac and cheese and black-eyed peas which are, as MT’s resident barbecue aficionado Michael Jackman put it, “the unsung heroes of the meal.” 15700 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-862-7427 Nunn’s Bar-B-Que II Nunn’s is another of the pit-style Detroit classics, and the meat from the ribs and chicken slide off the bone without much encouragement. Down the menu, the potato salad is a zesty side that’s among Nunn’s best, and the vinegary greens are a fan favorite. For dessert, check out the kenta cake, a mildly sweet frosted pound cake that seems to be a Nunn’s original. 19196 Conant St., Detroit; 313-893-7210; nunnsbbq.com

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Voted Best Polish Restaurant

Finest Food West of Warsaw 2990 Yemans • Hamtramck • MI • 48212 313.874.5726 • polishvillage.us metrotimes.com

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FOSSILS • CHIROPRACTOR • GLASSWARE • 5 DISCOUNT JEWELERS • COMICS •

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MUSIC Mother Cyborg has landed

Diana Nucera’s electro-soul debut dances into the digital ether by Ana Gavrilovska

Diana Nucera aka Mother Cyborg. ARA HOWRANI

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The robots have arrived, but

here’s the thing: We’re the robots, and Mother Cyborg is prepared to lead us into a future where we embrace — as opposed to fear — the technology that has already engulfed our lives. Mother Cyborg — born in Chicago, raised in the tiny town of Frankfort, Indiana, and transplanted to Detroit about a decade ago — is also 36-yearold Diana Nucera, who is the director of the Detroit Community Technology Project and DJs under the same name; you may recognize her monthly gig at Temple Bar, appropriately named Temple of Cyborg. On April 29, three years of hard work and a lifetime of experience culminates in the release of her debut album, Pressure Systems. A trip through Nucera’s multifaceted musical influences — from Chicago-style footwork to house and global bass to Cumbia — the album is her vision of a cyborg’s journey to consciousness. It’s as grand as it is cellular, a moving opus to the power of both personal self-realization and the science of cell regeneration as it occurs in a moving body — all in the context of science fiction, the perfect genre to explore the tech-infused world of electronic music. In terms of sound, the album is a bit of an exercise in genre-blending, though mostly in the electronic realm, with the majority of tracks created using synths and computers. “Cyborg” stands out as a haunting, melodic rock song, with guitar, drums, and bass performed by Kinga Osz-Kemp, one of Nucera’s first musical collaborators and the person she credits with helping her find her musical voice. Nucera also plays cello on the album, but it is her gorgeous voice, swelling and diving through the sonically computerized landscape, that injects a sense of humanity and grounds the songs. The overarching style is what Nucera has coined “cyborg soul,” a unique combination of techno’s cold, harsher side with the spirit and emotional resonance of soul and R&B. In her daily life with the Detroit Community Technology Project, Nucera’s identity is intimately connected with that of Mother Cyborg, as her main focus is teaching community members how to build and maintain their own wireless communications infrastructures — in other words, teaching people how to build their own internet — as well as demystifying technology in general and working to create what she calls a healthy digital ecosystem. “Most people think of it as bridging the digital divide, but technology is integrated in our lives in such complex ways that it’s not as simple as a bridge,”

Nucera says. With so much time spent thinking about how technology can be accessible to anyone, and how it influences our relationships and connection to the planet, it’s plain to see how Mother Cyborg the entity, DJ, and performer is an entirely organic extension of Nucera the human. A record release party for Pressure Systems is taking place on April 29 at El Club. The event is presented by feminist collective Seraphine Collective and is also a fundraiser to help the group match their 2016 Knight Arts Challenge Finalist funding. Through the Knight Arts Challenge, the collective plans to grow and sustain a series of workshops known as Beatmatch Brunch, designed to train and build community among femaleidentified DJs and taught by none other than Nucera. In anticipation of the release show, Metro Times spoke with her about the birth of Mother Cyborg, the Midwest’s deep influence on her, and how to create the future you seek — among other things. Metro Times: When was Mother Cyborg born? Diana Nucera: October 31, 2011. I first used the name at a Halloween show at the Old Miami. I was going to dress as Lady Gaga, but I was getting frustrated about how mainstream that was. I had all these tech parts around because I learned tech by taking it apart. I would use those to make Halloween costumes, and in the process of doing that my friend Darby just called me Mother Cyborg. I was like, “Whoa, that’s amazing.” I teach tech, so it made sense on so many levels. As time went on, the name also became this defense mechanism, being a woman in technology and DJing, where if you walk into a club and say, “You can call me Mother Cyborg,” men start off the conversation by calling you mother. They’re more likely to have a little more respect for you. It became this amazing entity that I could also use to protect myself. MT: DJing is obviously very straight male-dominated. How has it been for you, as a queer woman, to work in this scene? Nucera: It’s been an intense emotional rollercoaster. I was lucky to find the Cupcake Collective [a local collective of mostly queer DJs] and work with them when I first started, so I had a learning community. Without that, I don’t think I would be doing what I’m doing now. Meeting other women DJ collectives and having people to call and process some of the scenarios we deal with, like people undermining you and questioning your equipment, was really important.

As far as my sexuality goes, it’s played a role in how I see space and how I create space with music. Being a marginalized woman — I’m queer, I’m large, I’m brown — I was really critical about my own experience walking into a party, and what it takes for me to be comfortable. I just want a space in which I can feel freedom, because the dance floor is where I first felt freedom in my life. How can I recreate that? The music that is playing plays a role in that … so I believe that my identity has shaped what I play and how I play it. I searched for my Latin roots through Cumbia, I play a lot of women and queer artists, and I refuse to play music with lyrics that are derogatory to anybody. I also like to try to mix it up. I think about the dancer. I believe the dance floor is sacred and that it has potential to organize and transform lives. MT: How did growing up in small town Indiana inform you? Nucera: The idea of cyborgism came from there. My mother is from Colombia, my father is from Sicily, I’m a first-generation American along with my sister, and growing up was just weird in a small town that didn’t really understand. I lost my language because people harassed me for speaking Spanish. I am trying to pick it back up now, and that’s why Cumbia is so important to me. My culture was stripped away because of the homogeneity of Indiana, but [at the same time], I experienced the Midwest DIY punk movement [within Chicago-based ‘zine Punk Planet and events like the More Than Music Fest, among other things], and that changed my life. That led me to the first Allied Media Conference, which at the time was called Midwest Zine Fest, in Bowling Green, Ohio, when I was 17. We were punk kids that would go around and find other political punk kids, follow bands, look for ’zines, organize shows. That is most certainly the foundation of who I am today. I don’t regret it at all, and when I do go back to Indiana, there are moments when I really appreciate the countryside, but I also know its cruelty, so it’s kind of a mixed bag of emotions. MT: To move to the musical side of the album, what can you say about the influence of the Detroit scene? Nucera: The Underground Resistance in particular influenced me as this collective group that refused to show their identity. That was so radical. How they organized people to get their rights back when their music was stolen and how they created this movement without climbing a musical ladder.

MT: How does Detroit fit into the picture more broadly? Nucera: Detroit has been informative in my life since I was a teenager, [but] within the time I’ve spent here, Detroit has influenced the way in which I see and think about the future, mainly because people are working with what they have, envisioning a future that they literally have to make themselves. Maybe it’s because I came out of the DIY punk movement, but that feels good to me. I’m like, “Let’s make our own future and not have Apple make it for us.” MT: One thing I really liked about the album is that it feels both haunted and haunting. Can you speak to this at all? Nucera: Sometimes I feel a little witchy so maybe that’s why. The album is about a cyborg coming to consciousness and realizing what they are in this world — that is really intense. Oppression is very intense and haunting. Coming into understanding yourself is a struggle. The idea was to take you through this personal transformation and that is by no means easy, so I wanted to be raw, vulnerable, and honest about real feelings, even if they are in the context of science fiction. I wanted to make something that gets people to think about difference and how intense difference can be, whether you are experiencing it or whether you are causing it. This whole idea about cyborgism is that we all are cyborgs, with our devices. It’s fascinating how we still believe it’s something way ahead in the future, but we’re practicing it right now. When I first say my name, some people look at me and are really into it, and some people are really scared by it. There’s this interesting perception around the future of technology and the future of humans intertwining with one another, and I hope, as the mother of cyborgs, to really help people walk into the future with a mindfulness when it comes to tech, when it comes to relationships, and when it comes to caring for the land. Pressure Systems is out via Londonbased Pink Lizard Music on April 29. Catch Mother Cyborg at El Club with special guests MPeach, Britney Stoney, DJ Ripley, and Techno Poetics on Saturday, April 29; doors at 8 p.m.; 4114 Vernor Hwy., Detroit; elclubdetroit. com; $10 advance, $15 door.

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on sale friday:

coming soon:

upcoming concert calendar

5/1 – clean bandit

w/ zara larrson, starley

5/2 – mike posner w/ adam friedman

june 9

st. andrew’s

royal blood

presented by wrif

may 19

st. andrew’s

yngwie malmsteen

w/ ignoring the echoes, tiles

5/3 – mona @ the shelter w/ flagship 5/4 – jelly roll @ the shelter 5/5 – ooh la la lucha w/ jessica hernandez & the deltas

5/6 – grits & biscuits 5/7 – the black angels

w/ a place to bury strangers

july 23 jaymes young the shelter

decades collide may 20 80s vs. 90s st. andrew’s feat. dj biz markie

5/10 – veil of maya @ the shelter 5/13 – emo night brooklyn: detroit 5/13 – ab-soul @ the shelter 5/14 – choking victim @ the shelter w/ pure hiss, j. navarro & the traitors

5/18 – bleeker @ the shelter w/ beware the darkness, badflower

5/24-5/25 – Seether presented by wrif

w/ letters from the fire, kaleido

5/26 – dreamcar w/ superet 5/28 – com truise & clark @ the shelter

oct. 31

brujeria

w/ voodoo glow skulls, st. andrew’s pinata protest

5/30 – marian hill w/ opia 6/1 – urban cone & nightly may 22 wale st. andrew’s

@ the shelter

6/2 – jackyl

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ism and finding different highs. Love and music and working out, stuff that makes you forget the every day. MT: Do you have a favorite song on the album? Wallin: That’s a hard one. It’s like choosing your favorite kid. But “Don’t Cry” is a great slow jam. MT: How does your experience touring the U.S. differ from touring Sweden, or other places? Wallin: The U.S. is so big and has so many different vibes and people. They aren’t shy about expressing their feelings, dancing, and letting go. Whereas in Europe, sometimes, if it’s not a Friday or Saturday, people will be more reserved and just stand and listen. MT: So people in the U.S. cut loose more easily? Wallin: Yeah, definitely. And that’s more fun for us. Every experience is brilliant in its own way, but when you feel the energy of people dancing and shouting, it’s very nice.

Little Dragon.

COURTESY PHOTO

Leaning into sweetness

Sweden’s Little Dragon touches down at the Majestic by Amy Oprean

Little Dragon is a band of sugary

highs and sultry lows. Since their 2007 debut, the foursome from Gothenburg, Sweden, has created catchy electro-pop and lush R&B that conveys a sort of heightened reality, where glittery, fantastical elements overlay the dreary everyday. These sweeteners come in the form of synths and chimes, textural electronic and analog combinations, and a skillful mix of pop hooks and slow-burning tracks. Singer Yukimi Nagano, bassist Fredrik Kallgren Wallin, keyboardist Hakan Wirenstrand, and drummer Erik Bodin met as teenagers in mid-’90s Sweden and began releasing records as a band with their self-titled album in 2007. Their subsequent work includes their 2011 album Ritual Union and 2014’s Nabuma Rubberband, as well as collaborations with Gorillaz, Big Boi, and Future. On their fifth album, Season High — released on April 14 — Little Dragon shows a more self-assured version of their signature palette. There’s “Celebrate,” the album’s exuberant pop opener, “High,” a hazy, slow jam, and “Sweet,” the synth-

drenched dance banger — and that’s to speak only of the singles. As part of their U.S. tour supporting Season High, Little Dragon plays the Majestic Theatre on Wednesday, May 3, with special guest Goldlink. Metro Times spoke with Kallgren Wallin about the creation of the album, how touring the U.S. is different than other countries, and their evolution as a band.

you don’t touch the cake anymore or put any more frosting on it. But other times it’s like, “Can we put some more on there? Strawberries, maybe?” We also brought in two producers, (Arctic Monkeys producer) James Ford and (Charli XCX, Lana Del Rey producer) Patrik Berger, for the first time. They came in late in the process, it was almost done, but they brought some clarity.

Metro Times: What was the process of making Season High? Did you do any writing while you were touring for Nabuma Rubberband? Fredrik Kallgren Wallin: No, we were back in Sweden. We’re the kind of people who need a day-to-day routine; going to the studio is part of the process. Gothenburg can be boring and dull and cold, and it’s nice to go into your bubble in the studio.

MT: What elements did they bring to the mix that weren’t already there? Wallin: Patrik comes from a very pop background. With “Sweet,” we were fine with the groove, but he arranged it with a little more structure. And James, with him it’s a really fine touch that made it sound even better. He also had a fresh perspective on the songs. We’re so used to it just being the four of us. When someone else comes in, it’s a new thing and the group dynamic changes. He was very good with feeling the energy, pushing to do things a little differently.

MT: So was this album similar to how you wrote your previous ones? Wallin: With this one, it wasn’t really clear when the album was finished. Sometimes you just feel it, “that’s it,” and

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MT: Does this album have any themes? Wallin: It has a strong theme of escap-

MT: Is the U.S. your biggest fan base? Wallin: Definitely, yeah. It’s funny; we don’t play that much in Sweden. It’s grown a little bit in the last few years, but we’ve kind of been unknown. MT: I read that when you guys met as teenagers, you were really into hip-hop groups like A Tribe Called Quest. Is that what you bonded over as younger people? Wallin: Nah, I mean, me and Erik went to the same class in high school, and I was more into instrumental music, jazz and electronic and classical. And Erik was very much into hip-hop, so he kind of opened that door for me. But it was mostly, like, De La Soul and A Tribe Called Quest — the soulful, positive stuff. MT: How has your style changed over the past decade of being a band? Wallin: It sounds boring to say we’ve matured, but, it’s kind of like the process of boiling something; the essence becomes stronger. We understand more what we like, and we’re a bit surer of our aesthetic and our mission. We don’t want to compromise on that. Little Dragon performs at the Majestic Theatre on Wednesday, May 3 with special guest Goldlink; doors at 7 p.m.; 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; Tickets start at $29.75.

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Phat Kat raps his ass off

A review of Phat Kat & DJ Dister’s The S.O.S. Project by Kahn Santori Davison

Phat Kat (also known as Ronnie

Euro by the cool kids overseas) has been a player in the rap game since the late ’80s, and is perhaps best known today for collaborating with J Dilla. So at this point in his career, you have to understand that this Detroit-born emcee isn’t going to give you any trendy shit. There will be no mumbling here, nor any meaningless tall tales. To be blunt? Phat Kat raps his ass off. Enter The S.O.S. Project. The S.O.S. Project (which stands for “So Old School”) is a collaboration between Kat and Berlin native DJ Dister. This project is simply an album containing hardcore boom-bap beats and gritty but lyrical bars, starting on a high note with “S.O.S,” a grandioso track highlighted by Kat’s lyrical wordplay. “The rap game full of babies they need a sitter/ Niggaz so hood, bed bugs and critters/ If you think about trying something reconsider/ I lace you with them cement 1s and toss yo’ ass in the river,” he raps. In “Revolt for Change,” Kat turns a Detroit tragedy into a politically conscious rap. “They killed Aiyana Jones trying to make a TV show/ They kicked in the door of her

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home, cops gun discharged/ She was seven, mistrial, he didn’t get charged,” he raps. DJ Dister keeps it going with “The Monument,” a groovy head-nodder cut with guest bars courtesy of DJ Dez: “Now every mic get blazed up/ Say you from the D now they fixing they face up/ We made that happen facilitating the ruckus/ While still explaining to others/ Dedication to the suckas.” “Smoke,” “Shots,” and “Jazz,” are melodic instrumentals while “W.T.N.” is a hard-hitting posse cut which features La Peace and Ron D. In short, this album wins because of its phenomenal lyrical content, stellar production, and the lack of gimmicky, made-for-radio content. Note: Last week, Metro Times hosted an exclusive premiere stream of The S.O.S. Project. It’s still up there for you to check out. The album was released by Below System Records on April 14 and is available at area stores and online outlets, including digital formats. music@metrotimes.com @metrotimes

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MUSIC Livewire

This week’s suggested musical events by MT staff

The Pretty Ghouls

SATURDAY, 4/29 Pretty Ghouls Record Release

COURTESY PHOTO

FRI, 4/28 - SUN, 4/30

THURSDAY, 4/27

THURSDAY, 4/27

Totally Awesome Fest

NØMADS

The Chainsmokers

@ UFO Factory

@ Downtown Ypsilanti

@ Third Man Records

@ Joe Louis Arena

With a sound like Lesley Gore trapped in Night of the Living Dead, the Pretty Ghouls are easily the best trio in Detroit, and will totally rock your world as they release not one, but two 45s. The band — made up of powerful, haunting lead singer Asia Mock, guitarist Sarah Stawski, and drummer T.J. Ghoul — has been at it for years now, earning a reputation for being one of the city’s best rock acts, and with good reason. Seeing them is always such a great time, but it’s even more worth it now because this show is all they have slated so far for 2017. Joining the Pretty Ghouls are creepy synth band Real Ghosts, and goth-y, riotous rock band, Primitiv Parts.

For the lucky 13th consecutive year, Totally Awesome Fest will take over downtown Ypsilanti to provide pancakes and entertainment to the public for free. This year, venues include Dreamland Theater, which is, of course, the best puppetry studio in the state of Michigan, and their whimsical performances are always sure to enchant kids. Grove Studios is another awesome venue on the list. It’s a creative space for artists and musicians, with a super rad homemade stage that you’ll definitely want to see some cool bands perform on. The House of Mole will also serve as a venue, and an awesome one at that. This year’s performers include Crime Victim, Queen Louie, Rebel Kind, Deadbeat Beat, Wraiths, Little Traps, and more.

NØMADS, comprised of Nathan Lithgow and Garth Macaleavey, are a two-piece Brooklyn, N.Y.-based noise rock band that definitely knows how to make fantastic, hard music. They’ve been releasing a song a month since the start of 2017, and will release the full 12-song album, Phobiac, in early 2018. So far, what they’ve released has been rad as hell. Every song is named after a specific phobia, and the songs perfectly encompass what the fears are all rooted in. I mean, sounds like it’ll be a fun show for sure.

EDM pop duo the Chainsmokers have, for better or worse, become incredibly successful in the last year. Since their formation in 2012, Alex Pall and Andrew Taggart have brought the future bass genre to a wider audience, most notably with the song “Roses.” Their collaboration with Coldplay,’ “Something Just Like This,” became a major hit in February 2017. Their album Memories...Do Not Open just came out on April 7, and fans have eaten it up.

Doors open at 9 p.m.; 2110 Trumbull St., Detroit; ufofactory.com.

Doors open at 5 p.m.; Downtown Ypsilanti; dreamlandtheater.com; Event is free.

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Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; 441 W. Canfield St., Detroit; thirdmanstore.com; Tickets are $7.

Doors open at 7 p.m.; 19 Steve Yzerman Dr., Detroit; olympiaentertainment.com; Tickets are $26-$79.


Bishop Briggs

JABARI JACOBS

THURSDAY, 4/27

FRIDAY, 4/28

SATURDAY, 4/29

TUESDAY, 5/2

Dave Hause

Rock Roulette Detroit

The Damned

Bishop Briggs

@ Saint Andrews Hall

@ Majestic Theatre

Because the Damned has been legendary since 1976 (arguably releasing the first punk single with “New Rose”), it shouldn’t take much to convince people that this show is more than worthwhile. The Damned is celebrating its 40th anniversary, and word is that these shows are sick. As with Wire, expect a band that is way better than they have any right to be, or need to be, at this late stage.

Since her first performance in a Tokyo karaoke bar at the age of four, Bishop Briggs, a British indie pop artist, has known that performing is what her life is meant for. Best known for her fantastic single, “River,” Briggs has toured as the opening act for both Coldplay and Kaleo. She’s appeared on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon, and has amassed a lot of fans due to her versatile indie pop and alternative rock.

@ The Shelter

@ PJ’s Lager House

Singer-songwriter Dave Hause has played in a bunch of Pennsylvania punk and hard rock bands, but solo he plays a lot of folk rock and Americana. While he still has his rock band, the Loved Ones, Hause has been very successful since launching his solo career in 2011. As a solo artist, he’s toured with Social Distortion, the Bouncing Souls, the Gaslight Anthem, and Chuck Ragan. Lyrically, Hause is not afraid to be introspective and insightful, creating melodies that everyone can relate to.

In conjunction with the fabulous Girls Rock Detroit, PJ’s Lager House will host Rock Roulette Detroit for the second year in a row. Girls Rock Detroit, a week-long musical summer camp for girls ages 8-14, uses this show as a way to raise money for the camp and to get some awesome women from the Detroit rock scene all together in one place. This year’s show will feature eight bands, all formed on March 5 to ensure equal competition for fundraising (and the chance to record their music professionally): the Floodlights, the Maw Maws, Lowbrow, Hissyfit, Persnickety, the Cherry Blossom Effect, McDougall Cellophane & the Nasty Hands, and Nature Vs. Her.

Doors open at 7 p.m.; 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; saintandrewshall.com; Tickets are $17.

Doors open at 7 p.m.; 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; saintandrewsdetroit.com; Tickets are $23-$129.

Doors open at 7 p.m.; 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; majesticdetroit.com; Tickets $18 in advance and $22 the day of.

Doors open at 8 p.m.; 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; pjaslagerhouse.com; $10 donation suggested. metrotimes.com

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ARTS Out of the woods

Cranbrook graduates have big ideas for annual student show by Lee DeVito

Fundamentally, metro Detroit’s two most prominent

art schools — the College for Creative Studies and the Cranbrook Academy of Art — couldn’t be more different. While both are located off of Woodward Avenue, they’re worlds apart: CCS in the city’s core, and Cranbook in leafy, suburban Bloomfield Hills. Of course, an environment inevitably informs an artist’s work, and it’s easy to see this with Cranbrook’s annual graduate student exhibition. While CCS’s student work may have more of an emphasis on technical virtuosity, Cranbrook’s student art tends to be — much like its wooded campus — sprawling, often featuring elaborate, large-scale installation work. This year’s show features the work of the 64 graduates from Cranbrook’s two-year Master’s program. The school has 10 departments,with fewer than a dozen students in each. Cranbrook’s is the only completely studio-based program in the country — there are no classes. Students live and work on campus, working directly with their respective department’s artist-inresidence. The small number of students means that the community is tight-knit. Setting up a show like Cranbrook’s is a lot of work, with students helping each other construct the elaborate installations. In one room, sculpture student Philip Košćak directs students to help erect a foil-covered arch. It’s easily a five-person job. The small program size also means the work is often interdisciplinary. For example, student Brandon Bullard says he studied drawing and painting as an undergrad at Colorado State University. While at Cranbrook, he was able to embrace fiber and installation art. For Cranbrook’s show, he has constructed a hollow, oversized Rubik’s cube. The exterior panels are made from similarly colored garments — donations from Value World. On the inside, Bullard is putting the finishing touches on square-shaped videos that will be projected on a wall of white panels. Compiled from found footage, the videos show garments at various stages of production — from

Cranbrook Academy of Art graduate student Philip Koš ćak installs a sculpture for the annual student exhibition.

the creation of the textiles to foreign sweatshops to transportation to point of sale. “A lot of my work has had to do with experience, and a person's body moving through space, and getting different perspectives,” he says. He says the piece deals with “issues of labor and feminism” by forcing the viewer to confront the story behind the garments. Outside, architecture student Elise DuChard is constructing a model of a house on an elevated platform. Similar to Bullard’s piece, it’s an experiential work — viewers are invited to duck underneath and stick their heads inside the house. DuChard says it’s a faithful simulacrum of an actual abandoned house she purchased at auction in nearby Pontiac. Originally from New Jersey, DeChard studied architecture in upstate New York, and worked as an architect in New York City for seven years before decided to come to Cranbrook for grad school. “I wanted to do more creative things, where I was the stakeholder, so I could invent a project and create it and see what happens — as

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opposed to just client-based work,” she says. “That's kind of the amazing thing about Cranbrook's education, is you have this opportunity to make something a real thing, that continues beyond just the thesis show.” Throughout her time at Cranbrook, she has renovated the house, with plans to open it as an experimental art space called Tessellate. Its garage will serve as an art gallery, she says, and the house will host international artist residencies in the summer months. The installation of the show is overseen by Laura Mott, Cranbrook’s curator of contemporary art and design. Throughout the year, Mott works on the art museum’s exhibitions, typically working out logistics for work that already exists. But for Cranbrook’s graduate show, she is tasked with helping the students execute a work of art from conception to installation. Planning starts six weeks before the show goes up. Mott says that entails one-on-one studio visits with the students to work out logistics and advise. Generally, students are given an 8-footby-8-foot space within the galleries.

LEE DEVITO

Based on the proposals, Mott says her job is to figure out a layout that works within the space. Of course, sometimes plans change. “That’s just the nature of being an artist,” she says. That’s what she says is so interesting about the student show. “It's a moment, a combination of showcasing what our students are doing, and what each department is up to,” she says. “It's really interesting to kind of take the temperature on contemporary art and what young thinkers are making — it’s a gauge to see where the contemporary art and design world is at.” The 2017 Graduate Degree Exhibition of Cranbrook Academy of Art runs through May 14 at Cranbrook Art Museum; 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; 248-645-3320; cranbrookartmuseum.org; admission is $10; free for members. The campus will host open studios from 1 p.m.-4 p.m. on Sunday, April 30 where the public can tour the students work spaces and purchase art. ldevito@metrotimes.com @leedevito

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CULTURE

SHUTTERSTOCK

Savage Love

Restless by Dan Savage

Q:

I’m a 31-year-old gay male. I’ve been with my fiancé for three years, and we are getting married in the fall. I’ve got a question about initiating sex in my sleep — I read somewhere that “sexsomnia” is the “medical” term, but maybe the internet invented that? According to my fiancé, I have initiated or performed some kind of sex act in the middle of the night and then gone right back to sleep. The next day, I don’t remember anything. This freaks me out for a couple of reasons: My body doing things without my mind being in control is concerning enough, but it feels kinda rapey, since I doubt I’m capable of hearing “no” in this state. My fiancé doesn’t feel that way; he finds it sexy. The other thing — and maybe I shouldn’t have read so much Freud and Jung in college — is that I’m worried my body is acting out desires that my conscious mind doesn’t want to acknowledge. According to my fiancé, the last time I did stuff in my sleep, I rimmed him and told him how much I wanted to fuck him. Rimming isn’t a typical part of our sex life (although I’d like it to be), and my fiancé has never bottomed for anyone (I’ve topped guys in prior relationships, but in our relationship I’ve only bottomed). Is my body doing things that my mind won’t admit it wants to do? Is there a way to prevent it from happening? —Sexsomniac Hoping Eventually Eager Trysts Stop

A:

Sexsomnia is a real and sometimes troubling phenomenon, SHEETS,

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and not something the internet made up like Pizzagate or Sean Spicer. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine says sexsomnia is real — a real clinical condition — but they prefer the fancier, more “medical” sounding name: sleeprelated abnormal sexual behaviors. Dr. Michel Cramer Bornemann, a lead researcher at Sleep Forensics Associates (sleepforensicmedicine.org), describes sexsomnia as “sleepwalking-like behaviors that have sexualized attributes.” And sleep-rimming your delighted fiancé definitely counts. “Sexsomnia may be expressed as loud, obscene vocalizations from sleep (that are typically uncharacteristic of the individual while awake), prolonged or violent masturbation, inappropriate touch upon the genitals, buttocks, and breast of a bed partner, and initiation of sexual intercourse,” said Dr. Bornemann. “The vast majority of sleep disorders are not reflective of a significant underlying psychiatric condition.” So your unconscious, late-night gropings/initiatings/rimmings don’t mean you secretly desire to be an ass-eating top. And there’s no need to drag poor Sigmund or Carl into this, SHEETS, since you’re not doing anything in your sleep that you don’t desire to do wide awake. You wanna rim your fiancé, you’ve topped other guys and would probably like to top this one too — so neither of the examples you cite qualify as desires your “conscious mind doesn’t want to acknowledge.” (Unless you

wrote me in your sleep.) Like all sleep disorders, sexsomnia is just something that happens to a very small number of people, SHEETS — there’s no need to endow it with deeper meaning. Take it away, Dr. Bornemann… “The brain is made of approximately 100 billion neurons, or electrical connections that allow effective communication between brain subunits. As with all electrical systems, errors in transmission may occur — these are called ‘switching errors.’ In sleep, switching errors may activate previously quiescent areas of the brain while other areas remain off-line. In sleep-related behaviors, it is thought that deep-seated subunits near the sleep-wake generating center become triggered, which activate primal automatic behaviors. Simply stated, electrical switching errors in sleep may unleash the animal that actually lies within us all — sometimes to an extent that may have unintended criminal or forensics implications.” In most cases, sexsomniacs will hump a pillow or jerk themselves off. The sexsomniacs who tend to make the news — the ones we hear about — are the “unintended criminals” Dr. Bornemann alluded to, i.e., people who’ve sexually assaulted someone while asleep. Luckily for you, SHEETS, your fiancé is okay with your “primal automatic behaviors.” But you might wanna watch Sleepwalk With Me, an autobiographical film by Mike Birbiglia, a comedian with a sleep disorder. Birbiglia wasn’t initiating


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CULTURE In most cases, sexsomniacs will hump a pillow or jerk themselves off. The sexsomniacs who tend to make the news — the ones we hear about — are the ‘unintended criminals.’

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sex in his sleep — he was jumping out of windows. A danger to himself and others, he sought treatment and is no longer jumping out of windows in his sleep. You’re not a danger to yourself or others currently, SHEETS, but if you got a new partner or your current partner’s feelings about surprise, middle-of-thenight rimjobs were to change, you could be a danger. So you should chat with a doctor now about drugs and/or other interventions. “My catch-all advice is to read this book called The Promise of Sleep by Dr. William C. Dement,” said Birbiglia in an email after I shared your letter with him. “He’s sort of the father of sleep medicine. He talks about sleep hygiene extensively, i.e., how to have the best night’s sleep possible by avoiding TV, eating heavily, drinking, etc., a few hours before bed. I know this isn’t exactly an answer to SHEET’s specific question, but getting a better night’s sleep could probably help him across the board in ways that he doesn’t even realize.”

Q:

My boyfriend wants to visit a private gay sex dungeon in Europe this summer, but we only want to play with each other. Any tips on getting to play in an actual dungeon without having to put out for the guy whose dungeon it is? — Requests A Curious Kinkster

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Put Berlin on your itinerary, RACK, google “SM Apartments” or “Hoist Basements,” break out your credit card, splurge, and send pics.

Q:

I’m a straight married male. My wife has a very close male friend who happens to be in a poly marriage. Recently, my wife said she would like us to be able to date others, have sex, romance, etc., but still remain a married couple. She specifically wants to date her friend. I am struggling. I am not closed off to having a conversation about nonmonogamy, but I struggle with the thought of her having a boyfriend. I want to be able to give this to her, but I feel like my mind and body are not letting me.

Any advice is so much appreciated. — Help Understanding Spouse’s Blunt And New Demand

A:

“Introducing nonmonogamy into an existing monogamous relationship can be tough, especially when it wasn’t your idea,” says Cunning Minx, host of the Polyamory Weekly podcast, who has been providing poly news, advice, and insights to the masses since 2005 at polyweekly.com. “It’s even more stressful when there is a potential partner waiting in the wings! Yikes!” While Minx is a poly activist and advocate, HUSBAND, she thinks both parties need to be on the same page before going poly. And before you take that step — if you take that step — Minx thinks you need to ask yourself some questions. “HUSBAND should do a fear inventory,” said Minx. “What is he afraid of? What would it mean to him if his wife had a boyfriend? What if she wanted to love a woman — does the penis make a difference? If so, why? Then he should sit with his wife and take stock of the health of their current relationship.” You can say no to opening up your marriage, HUSBAND, but your wife may decide she wants out of the marriage if no is the answer — basically, this is a circumstance where one of you is going to have to pay a pretty steep price of admission. Either you’ll have to accept polyamory, or your wife will have to drop it. There isn’t really a middle ground here — or is there? “It’s perfectly acceptable for HUSBAND to self-identify as monogamous while his wife practices polyamory,” says Minx. “It’s a difficult path, and will require a high level of internal security and self-awareness on his part, but ultimately your self-identity is your own decision.” On the Lovecast, a deep dive into the world of cuckolding: savagelovecast.com. mail@savagelove.net @fakedansavage

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Horoscopes

CULTURE ARIES (March 21- April 20):

by Cal Garrison

LEO (July 21-Aug. 20):

You keep thinking you need to have this all handled, when in fact, it’s already said and done. This time, it comes down to knowing enough to stand and wait. Going back and forth between people, places, and things will start to make sense once you get out of your head and find a way to stay current with whatever’s going on. Eyeing up new digs, new people, and new possibilities is part of the deal. Moving on, up, and/or “out” is a huge theme. Between the past and the future, the present moment is where everything lives. Pay attention to that and things will go fine.

So far so good. This isn’t exactly what you had in mind, but you’re willing to see how it plays out. Others are showing up with too much, or too little — and you’re not interested in playing games. With no chance of making your influence felt, in the shadow of overpowering influences and out of control emotions, you’d do well to retreat until the coast is clear enough to warrant taking another run at this. In the meantime, there is more to life than this and thank God for that. New projects and people are about to show up and take you to a much more fulfilling place.

TAURUS (April 21 -May 20):

VIRGO (Aug. 21-Sept. 20):

The emotional piece is in high gear. This is feeling good or bad, depending which end of the stick you are on. Others have their own fish to fry. If this comes as a surprise, you should have known that they weren’t here for the duration. Look into your past for the answers. On a plain and simple level, you invested too much in what you thought was going on. You thought you had something, and it fell through: Welcome to the human race. For others, the story is totally different. As far as you are concerned things are on an upswing, and you are ready for anything.

You aren’t too sure about this. As the scenery transforms, wondering what you’re supposed to do about it will become more of an issue. Learning to live with the idea that everything comes and goes would help. Those closest to you have no idea that you feel lost. Time will clarify what is currently too hard to decipher. New relationships, along with new possibilities and new ways to approach everything in your life, are about to stir the pot. The spark of inspiration that has been lost for so long will soon be reignited by serendipitous changes that you could not foresee.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20):

How you navigate the intricacies of your current situation depends heavily on your ability to turn on a dime. Nobody needs to know what to expect from you. Things are too complex for the tried and true method to make sense. Others are up in the air about how they feel. There is nothing you can do to change their mind except “be yourself.” At the end of the day it’s that, that they have to learn how to love. And when they can accept you as you are, the things that have made no sense will get clear enough for everyone to see that despite your differences, you want the same thing. CANCER (June 21-July 20):

You have every reason to expect things to work out. After a long period of going back and forth between the bank and the poor house you have finally learned how to keep things balanced enough to afford what’s happening right now. It’s not as if all your ducks are in a row, but you are free of enough BS to head out on your own. Changes in the larger forces that run the world around you are having an indirect impact on the timing of things; have respect for those influences. I see you being on your feet and ready for anything by the time the seasons change.

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LIBRA (Sept. 21-Oct. 20):

You keep getting feedback that makes you feel kinda shaky about some of your choices. None of it is right or wrong. At this point all you can do about all this well-meant advice is: Consider the source and file it. Nobody knows better than you do how much is at stake. You have every right to go your own way and pursue your own methods. Even if the odds suggest that you don’t have a prayer, the odds are something that are about to teach you how to redeem a situation that has gone too far afield. You can do this. It’s just a matter of getting real and staying true to yourself. SCORPIO (Oct. 21-Nov. 20):

I wish I knew what to say to you. On the other side of any breakthrough, there is a release that changes everything. You guys have been putting your best effort into things that will continue to work, as long as you don’t get too hung up on the fact that whatever’s been going on is about to turn around in surprising ways. The people, places, and things that you have met in your travels are a source of blessings and possibilities that weren’t there two weeks ago. As you consider offers to do this and that, don’t let yourself be blocked by thoughts that stymie your higher guidance.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 21-Dec. 20):

When life gets like this, it’s hard to know where you’re going to pull it from. The only thing one can do is remember that whatever happens, it’s all coming from you. The idea that you have to be totally on top of things is less important than your ability to grok the fact that being in control is always an inside job. For sure, it helps to tie your Camel — but when you’re shopping for a miracle, the bigger piece can’t weave itself into being without a little help from the Ascended Masters. Keep it real and stay focused on remaining true to the best part of whatever got you this far. CAPRICORN (Dec. 21-Jan. 20):

Too many people and things have gone under the bridge for you to be dwelling on anything but what’s in front of you now. The slate is clear and you’re starting out fresh. Some of you are totally certain about where to direct your energy and will be on a roll for the next three months. Your plans will pass or fail depending on their relevance. Those of you who have no clue what lies on the road ahead, or what form things will take, never fear. This is one of those times when you don’t need to have a plan. Just keep paying attention and trust your gut to show you the way. AQUARIUS (Jan. 21-Feb. 20):

You’ll get through this. The hard part is usually the place where we get the lesson, so figure out how to relax about whatever putting your shoulder to the wheel might involve. Nobody but you is going to come to your rescue. Once you wake up to the fact that you have multiple options, everything will begin to seem more doable. As far as your relationships are concerned? Don’t let anyone tell you what to do. They don’t have to live your life and they have no idea what it’s taken for you to get this far. Be patient with their good intentions and keep doing your own thing. PISCES (Feb. 21-March 20):

As things come to a climax, you don’t know if you’re coming or going. With this much turmoil, it’s for sure that a lot of adjustments are being made. Others are not on the same bandwidth. Either that or they’re not there at all. You’ve had more than your share of pressure and are just about ready to pop — but you won’t because that’s not the way you’re made. I can’t tell you what to do, but if I were in your shoes I could only handle it by taking one thing at a time, and making sure that my head is on straight enough to see more about other people’s BS than I do about my own.


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