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Vol. 38 | Issue 29 | April 25-May 1, 2018

News & Views

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

News..................................... 14 Politics & Prejudices............ 24 Stir It Up............................... 30


EDITORIAL Senior Editor - Michael Jackman Staff Writer - Violet Ikonomova Dining Editor - Tom Perkins Music and Listings Editor - Jerilyn Jordan Contributing Editors - Larry Gabriel, Jack Lessenberry Copy Editor - Sonia Khaleel Editorial Interns - Mallary Becker, Malak Silmi, Anthony Spak, Miriam Marini, Jack Nissen Contributors - Sean Bieri, Doug Coombe, Kahn Santori Davison, Mike Ferdinande, Cal Garrison, Curt Guyette, Mike Pfeiffer, Dontae Rockymore, Dan Savage, Sara Barron, Jane Slaughter


The Best of Detroit.............. 39


Associate Publisher - Jim Cohen Regional Sales Director - Danielle Smith-Elliott Senior Multimedia Account Executive Jeff Nutter Multimedia Account Executive Jessica Frey Account Manager, Classifieds - Josh Cohen


Bites.................................... 100

Business Manager - Holly Rhodes Controller - Kristy Dotson

CREATIVE SERVICES Art Director - Eric Millikin Graphic Designers - Paul Martinez, Haimanti Germain

What’s Going On.............. 106 Fast Forward...................... 114

Music The Coathangers............... 118

CIRCULATION Circulation Manager - Annie O’Brien

EUCLID MEDIA GROUP Chief Executive Officer - Andrew Zelman Chief Operating Officers - Chris Keating, Michael Wagner Creative Director - Tom Carlson Art Director - Eric Millikin VP of Digital Services - Stacy Volhein Digital Operations Coordinator - Jaime Monzon National Advertising - Voice Media Group 1-888-278-9866, Detroit Metro Times 30 E. Canfield St. Detroit, MI 48201

Arts & Culture

Editorial - 313-202-8011, Advertising - 313-961-4060 Circulation - 313-202-8049

Film: I Feel Pretty.............. 122

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

Savage Love....................... 128

Verified Audit Member

Horoscopes......................... 142

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EUCLID MEDIA • Copyright - The entire contents of the Detroit Metro Times are copyright 2018 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 American woman

Stormy Daniels’ visit to Detroit shows she’s beating Trump at his own game By Jex Blackmore

The DJ’s voice echoed throughout the club, which dripped in neon, mirrors, and nude women — “Are you ready to meet the most famous woman in the world?” The slew of Detroit police who had just raided the club to verify cabaret licenses had finally left and the crowd was anxious to see the woman who had rocked the world by taking a stand against the president of the United States. A congregation of fans from the packed room swarmed the glowing red, white, and blue catwalk and erupted in cheers as Stormy Daniels appeared draped in a short red cape and g-string and began to grind up on the stripper pole to Lenny Kravitz’s “American Woman.” Daniels possesses the kind of marketing genius that Trump fans admire, leveraging the current controversy to book jobs and appearances including her “Make America Horny Again” tour at strip clubs across the country, which is how she found herself at Truths Gentleman’s Club on Eight Mile and Mound Road. After canceling two previously scheduled appearances due to an illness and travel issues, Daniels was finally in Detroit. Every booth in the club was full of admirers, from apparent Trump fans wearing MAGA hats who said they were there to “enjoy what Trump enjoys,” to the local Liberty Riders motorcycle club, and the die-hard fan who drove three hours one way to get his personal Stormy DVD collection signed by the star. She graciously received each person who paid $20 to meet her (a fee the club keeps, according to Daniels’ security), and offered bracelets to supporters that read “Standing up to bullies is kind of my thing. #TeamStormy.” It’s a message that provides some insight into the political drama Daniels has walked into outside of her life as an adult entertainer. Daniels, who was born Stephanie Clifford, is an award-winning adult film star, actress, stripper, screenwriter, and director who says that she engaged in a consensual sexual relationship with Donald Trump more than a decade ago and is suing to nullify a nondisclosure agreement she signed on Oct. 28, 2016, eleven days before the presidential election. In

addition to the agreement, Trump Organization lawyer Michael Cohen personally paid Daniels $130,000 for her silence and has claimed that neither Trump nor his campaign knew about the payoff. Trump has consistently denied the affair, despite photographs showing the two together at the golfing event where they allegedly hooked up. In a recent 60 Minutes interview, Daniels said that she accepted the money and agreement because she was concerned about her career and her family. Her concern stemmed from a confrontation she had with an unknown man who threatened her the first time she tried to sell the story of the affair to In Touch Weekly in 2011, which was scrapped after Cohen allegedly threatened to sue the outlet. Despite the threats, Daniels decided to go to the press and tell the truth about the encounter, to, in her words, “set the record straight.” While Daniels persistently claims that her public allegations are about “telling the truth,” rather than the money, there’s certainly room to believe that the motivation for Daniels coming forward is a combination of both. After all, she might need all that cash considering that Trump’s lawyer is going after her for an outrageous $20 million in damages for violating the hush-agreement. But as she raises her profile with a national tour, the adult film star claims to want nothing to do with politics. Last night, as Daniels greeted fans, she steered clear of an eerily convincing Trump impersonator brought in by the club. Earlier in the day, she told told Fox 2 Detroit that she was looking forward to her show but wanted “no politics” involved. While her evasion of the “political” at her performances seems unrealistic considering her new brand of patriotic eroticism is tied to her ongoing legal battle with the president of the United States, Daniels doesn’t want to be defined exclusively as Trump’s mistress. Nor should we reduce her to as much. When she hits the stage topless and in a g-string, and dozens of men make it rain around her, it’s not because Trump slept with her — it’s because she’s beating Trump at his own game, and doing it on her own terms. Unlike Trump, Daniels is a self-made

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“The most famous woman in the world.”

success who hustled to the top by gaming a system that typically exploits women to the benefit of men. Trump, a billionaire with every advantage and opportunity handed to him, allegedly used his influence and wealth to persuade a woman half his age to sleep with him by making false promises about a potential opportunity on TV. When he learned that she was going to discuss their affair publicly, something she has every right to do, he allegedly ordered someone to physically threaten her and employed his team of attorneys to impose a gag rule upon any outlet that considered giving her a voice. Eventually, his lawyers believed they’d silenced her with a payoff and nondisclosure agreement that Trump himself was too ashamed to sign. It’s a deal that consistently took advantage of Daniels to the benefit of powerful, manipulative men. Normally, the story would end here and we could just toss it in the fire alongside Trump’s 19 allegations of sexual misconduct we’ve essentially ignored as a country. However, Daniels decided that enough is enough. At great risk to herself, her family, and her career she took on one of the most powerful men in the world. Daniels went on national television in front of 22 million viewers and told them that the president likes to be spanked, is bad in bed, and so afraid of her that he sends his cronies to threaten her — quite a blow to a man who brags about his sex life, uses missiles as a metaphor for his penis, and claims to be the toughest president on world powers such as Russia. In addition to publicly embarrassing him, she’s bringing down his lawyer and


fixer, who represents some of our country’s finest scumbags and has inspired a call for a federal investigation into the legality of Trump’s campaign financing practices. All of this while she launches an anti-bullying campaign (one of Melania Trump’s social issues), and promises to donate the $130,000 of hush-money she received to Planned Parenthood. Not only has she one-upped America’s most famous troll, she is virtually unfazed by online harassment that has tormented the thin-skinned president. She has flipped the script on the abuse of power and is unapologetically making it work for her and her career. This is why Stormy Daniels matters. Not because she was the president’s mistress. Not because of the controversy, and not because she’s a porn star. But because she speaks truth to power. Despite the vicious attacks from the president of the United States, court proceedings, online harassment, death threats, and a Detroit police raid, Daniels worked for the American people last week. She commanded her audience with the finesse of a true master, rolling around in cash that was showered upon her atop a floor lit up in red, white, and blue. Eager men lined up with money in their teeth and Daniels crawled over to each and every one of them, placed their heads in between her magnificent breasts, and sucked the money from their mouths with her hard-earned cleavage. God bless Stormy Daniels. @jexblackmore


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NEWS & VIEWS News Hits

Money behind them

Democrat women lead in fundraising ahead of midterm elections By Violet Ikonomova

If money means anything this

early into the primary election season, Michigan’s Congressional delegation may look a lot more female come next year. Three Democrat women running for U.S. House seats raised the most money of any Congressional candidates in the state last quarter, according to campaign finance reports filed with the federal government by this week’s deadline. The news comes after Michigan Democrats endorsed female candidates for two of the top three state-level offices at a convention last weekend, and as the party’s lone female candidate for governor leads in polls and endorsements. The money for the Congressional candidates came from across the country and Michigan. Rashida Tlaib, who is vying for the 13th District spot left vacant by John Conyers, pulled in $589,000 between Jan 1. and March 31; Ellen Cogen Lipton, who is hoping to replace Congressman Sander Levin in the 9th District, raised $501,000; and Elissa Slotkin, who is running against Republican Mike Bishop in the 8th District, brought in $801,000. They’re among 20 Congressional candidates from Michigan who’ve raised more than $500,000 so far, according to data compiled by the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. The latest batch of donations puts each of the candidates well ahead of, or in line with, their closest opponents in terms of fundraising. In the 13th District race, where about

From left: Elissa Slotkin, Ellen Cogen Lipton, and Rashida Tlaib.

10 people have indicated they will run, Tlaib has outraised her closest opponent by a roughly 5-1 margin. “The motivation for people across the country to support me as a Muslim and a progressive has been, ‘If we want to send a message to Trump and his supporters, it’s to send you to Congress,’” says Tlaib. Tlaib is a former state representative from Detroit who has fought polluting corporations and tax breaks for billionaires. Her views, which include support for single payer healthcare, are in generally in line with those of Conyers. Her contributions, she says, have come from 1,7000 different sources, putting the average donation at about $350. But the battle for Michigan’s 13th District is contentious, and Tlaib, who is Arab-American, will have to overcome major hurdles like name recognition and racial bias in order to win. The district, which covers parts of Detroit and suburban Wayne County, is majority African-American and has drawn at least five black candidates. Two of those candidates — John Conyers III and Ian Conyers — are related to the former representative and have the benefit of name recognition. Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones, who has been endorsed by Mayor Mike Duggan, is also seen as having a strong shot at winning, and Detroit mayoral candidate State Sen. Coleman Young II has also entered the race. Westland Mayor Bill Wild, meanwhile, may have a shot at picking up the district if he consolidates support among suburbanites

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while the African-American vote splits between his opponents. Michigan’s 13th Congressional District. In light of those dynamics, Tlaib has said she is determined to run the most aggressive door-to-door campaign of any of her opponents. “We’re not underestimating the importance of direct human contact,” she says. “It’s important that the voters have some contact with and recognize the people who they’re voting for on the ballot.” As for race, she thinks she can break through with all voters based on “how I make them feel and my sincerity about wanting to protect them and to serve them.” Tlaib’s closest competitor in terms of fundraising, meanwhile, is Wild, who has raised $139,000. Ian Conyers has raised $88,000. Brenda Jones has raised $39,000 and Coleman Young II has raised close to $16,000. John Conyers III, who is 27 years old and has no political experience, is in the hole $600. The race in Michigan’s 9th has some parallels to that of the 13th in that Andy Levin, Sander Levin’s son, is seen as having a good shot at winning. The roughly $500,000 Lipton raised in the first quarter of this year puts her in line with his fundraising totals. In Michigan’s 8th meanwhile, Elissa Slotkin is widely expected to make it on the November ballot to take on Bishop. She recently moved back to Holly after holding various intelligence and national defense posts in Washington, and has picked up support from former


Vice President Joe Biden. Slotkin has outraised Bishop in each of the last three quarters.

Get your protest signs ready — Trump is coming to Macomb County

Anti-Trump organizers are coordinating a protest to coincide with Trump’s visit to Washington Township this Saturday, April 28. An event called Protest Trump: No Hate In Our State, will be hosted by the Metro-Detroit Political Action Network, Great Lakes AntiFa, By Any Means Necessary, and several other groups. That gets underway at 5 p.m. outside the Total Sports Park, where Trump supporters are to gather starting at 4 p.m. for the president’s evening speech. “Macomb County is once again being targeted as the GOP turning point for Michigan,” the “No Hate in Our State” event invitation reads. “We all will be showing up in demonstration that most in our state do NOT support the Trump agenda. All decent people regardless of political affiliation have reason to attend and speak out with a unifying voice: NO HATE IN OUR STATE!” On his first visit to Michigan as president last March, Trump was met by hundreds of protesters who braved freezing temperatures to chant and wave signs. The sports park is located at 65665 Powell Road. @violetikon


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w/ the catching, the timbre of cedar

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NEWS & VIEWS Politics & Prejudices

Hot dogs, the CIA, and Congress By Jack Lessenberry

Elissa Slotkin, who is wag-

ing an extremely impressive campaign for the Democratic nomination for a seat in Congress, was once a proud CIA agent who served three tours of duty in Iraq. Once, that alone would have been enough to turn me off. I also have to confess that I was reluctant to meet her, in part because so many people told me the 41-year-old Slotkin was the best and most remarkable candidate for any office they’d ever seen. That’s what I’d been told about Jennifer Granholm, who turned out a howling ineffectual disappointment. (When I first interviewed her, she cooed, “You didn’t have to wear a tie just for me,” and I knew we were in trouble, especially when it was painfully clear that she didn’t have a clue how power worked in Lansing.) When I wrote my worries about Granholm, I was attacked as a hopeless sexist. I was also attacked by both her and her husband (the “first gentleman”) when I wrote about his habit of having places where she had worked pay him to do leadership seminars. Eventually, toward the end of her second wretched term, people started asking me why I hadn’t warned them about her earlier. So I went to see Slotkin prepared to be underwhelmed — and was stunningly surprised. Sue Marx, the shrewd Oscar-winning filmmaker whose judgments about people I’ve learned to trust, summed Slotkin up this way: “She’s the real deal.” She is indeed. Warm, brilliant and understated, she is a genuine foreign policy expert who, in her 30s, served with distinction in both the Bush and Obama administrations, rising to become acting assistant secretary of defense for national security affairs. Yes, she is about as savvy as they come about defense and international affairs, and I’d sleep better if I thought the creature with the orange hair had half her knowledge. Slotkin, who speaks both Arabic and Swahili, is also something else unusual; an authentic patriot. She was in her second day of graduate school at Columbia in New York, thinking she might like to become head of an NGO somewhere.

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That, however, was Sept. 11, 2001. “I just felt I had to do something in service to my country,” she says. She thought of enlisting, but decided she could make a better contribution with her mind. Thanks to a well-connected professor, she was soon in the agency, where she ended up doing three tours in Iraq. Interestingly, she says she wasn’t in favor of the invasion itself. But “when it is your country, you want it to do well, regardless.” While in Iraq, she met her husband, U.S. Army Colonel Dave Moore, now a retired Apache helicopter pilot. “When I was in Iraq and in the White House, nobody asked if I was a Republican or a Democrat,” she says. It was clear to her, however, that she couldn’t work in an administration that had no respect for international agreements or diplomacy, so she came home to Michigan. But it wasn’t anything international that caused her to run, but health care. Nine years ago, her mother had been stricken with ovarian cancer, but had let he health insurance lapse. “She was lying on an MRI gurney and they made us write a check for $8,000 before they would treat her,” she remembers. Judith Slotkin died just as the Affordable Care Act kicked in. Then, last May, she turned on TV to see Mike Bishop happily smiling because “he had just voted to kill Obamacare with no replacement in place. I looked at my husband and said ‘This will not stand.’” “In the military, this is called dereliction of duty,” she says. “We decided to fire him that day.” Slotkin does have an opponent for the Democratic nomina-


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NEWS & VIEWS tion; MSU Criminal Justice Professor Chris Smith, who believes he is the true progressive in the race. But so far, she has not only heavily outraised him, but has been outraising Bishop, despite not accepting corporate PAC money. Frankly, it would be worthwhile helping pretty much anyone against the two-term incumbent in the Eighth Congressional district, Mike Bishop, the former State Senate Majority leader who was more interest in obstructionism than in getting things done. (A faithful lackey of Matty Moroun, Bishop happily took his money and did whatever he could to block a new bridge from being built.) The district is an irregular rectangle that stretches roughly from Rochester Hills west to Lansing. It was designed for Mike Rogers of Brighton, who was first elected in 2000 in the closest congressional race in the nation that year. Legislative gerrymandering has made it basically Republican country — but not hopelessly so. In fact, it should be considerably easier for a Democrat to win here than it was for Conor Lamb to get elected to Congress in Pennsylvania last month. Bishop won last time by a strong 56 to 39 percent, but that was after the debacle in which Democrats recruited Melissa Gilbert, the former Little House on the Prairie TV star, only to find she owed the IRS big time, perhaps from selling Pa’s fiddle. She then claimed migraines and withdrew, and the Dems plugged in an inept placeholder. But Trump only won this district by six points, and Bishop has been a lazy officeholder not given to showing up in the district. He’ll certainly have a hard time getting away with the usual smear that Slotkin is unpatriotic. Indeed, if any further proof of her Americanism is required, her immigrant great-grandfather founded Hygrade Foods, and her grandfather invented Ball Park Franks, specifically for the Tigers. If there’s any kind of blue wave in Michigan, these voters ought to reap the benefits. And then keep your eye on Slotkin. I have a hunch that she is indeed the real deal.

But we still have Matty Moroun — the socially parasitic owner of the shoddy Ambassador Bridge, and loser of endless court decisions — who still keeps coming at us, trying to prevent the badly needed Gordie Howe International Bridge from being built. Moroun’s latest ploy? He’s appealing to Donald Trump, and may have found a shrewd way of doing so. Up to now, signals were that Trump was just fine with the new bridge. Especially since Canada is footing

Dispatch from Moroun World: When I was a little boy in

the 1960s, you could go to the Radio City Theater in Ferndale on Saturday afternoons to see monster movies for fifty cents. There was one creature that, no matter how many times you killed it, would keep coming at you, slithering out of the ooze. Radio City’s shoddy art deco splendor is only a memory now.

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the entire bill. But now, Moroun, or his pet dog Dan Stamper, is appealing to Trump’s protectionist and Obama-hating sentiments. President Obama granted the Canadian government an exception from the requirement that they use American steel, and Moroun wants that canceled. It would take a lot of chutzpah to do that, especially since Canada is paying for the whole thing. But with Trump, you never know. Moroun used to claim the Ambassador

Bridge was a “federal instrumentality” and therefore not subject to local and state regulation, until a succession of judges told him that was nonsense. Trump could be easier to convince. Yet if that all fails, Moroun could still try the secretary general of the United Nations and the Pope ... or the United Federation of Planets. I know for a fact William Shatner is looking for work. @metrotimes


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Mulenga’s space invasion By Larry Gabriel

There stood Mulenga Ha-


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


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rangua, over by the food truck where Coriander Kitchen and Farms was handing out free stir fry and mandarin beet salad samples to the assembled crowd. He was chomping down with some of the other folks who were there picking up transplants and seeds at Keep Growing Detroit’s Cold Crop distribution last week at Earthworks Urban Farms. My own proclivity for beets led me over there to grab a sample too. It was a surprising culinary pleasure. “This mandarin beet salad is great,” I said as I sidled up to Mulenga. “Mmmph,” he replied shaking his head in the affirmative. “I’m surprised to see you out here in the open for everybody to see,” I mentioned. Mulenga smiled and spread his arms as though hugging the entire area where Detroit gardeners gathered the beginnings of their spring gardens, took a hard swallow, and said, “That’s because this is a friendly space. It’s a welcoming space. Look around, all kinds of nice people doing something positive. Affirming life of all kinds.” Well, there were a lot of people walking around and they were alive. Old people, young people, big people, small people, bald people, and hairy people munched on food, picked up their transplants and seeds, chatted, and visited with each other. “Well this does seem to be a friendly space,” I said. “Ain’t nobody telling anyone else to leave,” said Mulenga. “Ain’t nobody calling the police. There are probably some police picking up their crops.” “I got a feeling that you’re going someplace with this,” I demurred. “Oh, I’m going someplace all right,” he said. “I’m thinking about those two brothers in Philadelphia who got the cops called on them at Starbucks. They went into a white space and got arrested for it. They was there for just two minutes when the manager called the police. It’s like it’s an offense for us just to be here. Next thing you know we won’t even have the right to have water or breathe the air.”

“Well, we certainly don’t get to breathe clean air with that trash incinerator here,” I said. But Mulenga was building up steam and wasn’t about to spin off onto another subject. “They went into a white space without their white guy,” Mulenga said. “That’s a serious oversight.” “Well they had a white guy coming but they beat him there by 10 minutes,” I pointed out. “Leave it to a brother to get in trouble for showing up early for a meeting.” “That’s the way negrophobia works,” Mulenga said. “It can strike anywhere at any time.” “Negrophobia?” That was a new one to me, although I knew exactly what he meant. “What else could it be?” Mulenga said. “They weren’t doing anything but taking up space. Here’s another incident. Just a couple of days after that one I heard about a couple of brothers who got kicked out of an LA Fitness in New Jersey. One brother was a paying member and the other was his guest. They told him to leave and didn’t give them a reason. When they refused, the manager called the police. The first cops didn’t do anything and the manager called again. The second time five cops came.” “They didn’t come in with guns blazing?” I asked. “Seems like the second time the police showed up to the same situation would be mighty dangerous.” “Usually that’s the case,” Mulenga agreed. “I’m kind of wondering how

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NEWS & VIEWS those brothers managed to not get shot.” “It looks like the gym guy should have brought a white friend along with his black friend,” I said. “He knows he needs a passport when he goes into a white space.” “Sometimes you can’t find a white guy when you need one,” Mulenga said. “Unless you got the right one maybe you don’t want one at all.” Then I saw Mulenga’s I-got-a-greatidea face flash. “Maybe I can start a business,” Mulenga beamed. “The space passport. I could put the office on the edge of town. Whenever a brother wants to head out into a white space he can rent a white guy to ride along. Then I could have some brothers in there too. When white guys want to head into black space they can get a brother to ride with them. Make them feel a little safer.” I had to give that a little chuckle. “I’ve got to say that some white folks just don’t feel comfortable around black people when they are the only one.” “Now Mayor Duggan, he knows how

to do it,” Mulenga said. “Everywhere he goes he brings somebody black with him. That’s because he knows that even though there are pockets of white space, Detroit is still mostly a black and brown space. Of course they’re trying to shrink the brown space with that deportation thing.” “As off the wall as that sounds it’s pretty much right on target,” I said. “Now the issue with space is that folks of all kinds are starting to defend their spaces with guns when they feel that it is threatened,” Mulenga went on. I let him. He is definitely more expert on the subject of space than I am. “That whole protect your home, stand your ground thing has spread out,” he said. “That Starbucks lady was protecting corporate space — ostensibly for the making of money. That’s what corporations are for — when protests jump off, the police come out to protect property. Property has more rights than people sometimes.” “And corporations?” I prodded. “Yea, and corporations,” Mulenga picked it up. “That whole corporations-are-people thing is crazy. Corporations have free speech rights

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‘Maybe I can start a business. The space passport. ... Whenever a brother wants to head out into a white space, he can rent a white guy to ride along.’ when it comes to political spending. Corporations have invaded the political space and their big money is allowed to speak louder than a person. That’s a space that poor people aren’t even allowed to enter.” “Well, it’s getting less and less like poor people are allowed to enter certain areas of the city anymore,” I added. “The Cass Corridor used to be a poor people space, but some other folks decided they could make money there.” “The long game with all these corporate and property rights and space invasions is that rich folks are trying to make us their property,” Mulenga said. “I know what’s up. Pretty soon you are going to have to be property before you have any rights.” “Isn’t that what you call slavery?” I asked. “What else would you call it?” Mulenga replied.

“Well at least here is some pushback,” I said. “Police let the brothers go and Starbucks is giving some training to employees so that it doesn’t happen again.” “We’ll see where that goes,” Mulenga said ruefully. “It’s going to take a lot more than that, especially the way things are going these days.” Mulenga paused and looked around with a yearning-to-be-free look in his eyes. “I think it’s about time for me to space out of here.” “When will I see you again?” I asked. “I can never say when I want to be seen,” Mulenga said. “Maybe May 17, when Keep Growing Detroit distributes its hot crops.” I heard a popping sound and suddenly he wasn’t there anymore. Just air and space, no Mulenga. @gumbogabe









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Get in gear

Our readers pick the components that keep us tricked-out, souped-up, and fully loaded If you think

of Detroit as a device, it’s the sum of more than its parts. Some of it is just naturally supercharged: a great location surrounded by fresh water, an international metropolis, sited right where the energy flows freely. A lot of it is in the brand: No matter how gritty it gets, it’s home to people who put their hands in the crankcase every day to make sure we get the high-

est performance. Some of it is pure aftermarket: the add-ons, mods, and downloads that help personalize all that power. And everything that makes it the best? That’s just what keeps you moving, whether your ride is all Mopar and muscle or a sleek, quiet, next-generation electric whip. It’s the powerhouse that makes it all go. It’s that arts scene that makes the wheels of your mind spin. It’s the

music that keeps your head bobbing in the bars and clubs where the drinks provide another kind of fuel. It might be odds in your favor as you roll the dice at the casinos, or cheer for your home team downtown. Maybe it’s the gym or spa that keeps your motor toned and purring, or the culinary creations that keep it running. Heck, maybe you need a little pinch of additive to keep those gears from grinding — and you can

find that here too. Basically, our Best of Detroit issue is a peek under the hood of the Motor City and the people, places, and products that keep it running full tilt. You voted, and we listened, and took the time to delve a little deeper into the details of what you put over the top. Maybe you’ll find something here you didn’t know about (or forgot about) to keep you all revved up. —Michael Jackman

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BEST OF DETROIT Arts and Music Best Art Fair

Best Metal Club

DIY Street Fair Sept. 21-23;

The Token Lounge 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; 734-513-5030;

Best Art Gallery Detroit Institute of Arts 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-8337900;

Best Musical Artist

Best DJ

Best Place for Live Local Theater

DJ Danny D

Anna Burch

Best Folk Venue

Planet Ant 2357 Caniff St., Hamtramck; 313-3654948;

The Ark 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-7611451;

Best Place to See a Jam Band

Best Club for Hip-Hop

Otus Supply 345 E Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-2916160;

El Club 4114 Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-2797382;

Best Place to See an Indie Film: Cinema Detroit 4126 Third Ave., Detroit; 313-482-9028; Just because Cinema Detroit is Detroit’s only independent movie house doesn’t lessen the honor conferred upon it by our readers. The little theater on Third Avenue is up against some stiff competition: the recently restored Maple Theater in Bloomfield, with its stadium seating, in-house restaurant, coffeehouse, and VIP club; the historic Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor; the Main Art Theatre nestled amid the hustle and bustle of Royal Oak. So why did our readers give the nod to Cinema Detroit, a small theater run for the last five years by husband-and-wife team Tim and Paula Guthat? Must be the top-notch programming, which includes not just eclectic first-run films but more mainstream art house fare backed by major studios, from such directors as Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, and Nicole Holofcener. Into that mix the Guthats add indie features from smaller distributors, new restorations, tributes, genre films, and even question-and-answer sessions with filmmakers when available. “Many times we’re the only theater with a film on screen in the metro area,” Guthat says, “sometimes in all of Michigan or the Midwest.” —Michael Jackman

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Best Visual Artist: Brian Raynard Nickson

Best Musical Artist: Anna Burch

It’s been a transformative past couple of years for Brian Nickson, whose illustrations and paintings often incorporate celebrities (like his portrait of O.J. Simpson, which he says was inspired by a Jay-Z song) and other pop culture references (like a recent painting involving the child from H&M’s recent racially charged viral faux pas). Nickson, 31, says he only started pursuing art full time last year after what he describes as divine intervention. He says he had been making money from his art since 2014, selling prints off of his website. It was during one trip to the post office while off from his day job working at Chrysler’s Jeep plant in Toledo when he decided to take the plunge. “I was in my car and I thought, ‘God, if I’m not supposed to be working at this plant, just give me a sign,” he recalls. “As I pulled out of the post office, my exhaust pipe cracked in half.” Nickson says he never looked back. You can see Nickson’s work at the upcoming Black Identification exhibit at the Carr Center in June, and the Palmer Park Art Fair in August. —Lee DeVito

We wouldn’t be doing our job if our readers weren’t hip to the musical stylings and happenings of indie angel Anna Burch. Burch, who landed a spot on our “Bands to Watch” roundup in 2017, became a Metro Times cover girl earlier this year, and is riding the wave of her successful debut record Quit the Curse with an extensive U.S. and European tour. What makes Burch’s music special, aside from her candid and confessionary storytelling, lo-fi sensibilities, and infectious hooks? The girl has a voice that surges with warmth even when putting an ex-lover on blast or calling herself out. “I was insecure for a long time about writing about heartbreak and relationships,” she told MT. “I didn’t want to fit into this trope of the broken woman. I kept feeling like, what do I have to even sing about? The world of the emotions is all there really is. I think writing the record I had to get over that feeling. I haven’t looked back since.” Looking ahead, Burch’s forecast is looking bright. We expect Burch and company to take the world by storm — or at least hold the umbrella while we cry because goddamn her lyrics cut deep. —Jerilyn Jordan

Best Place to See an Indie Film

Best Place for People Watching

Cinema Detroit 4126 Third Ave., Detroit; 313-482-9028;


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Best Rock Club

Best Visual Artist

Saint Andrew’s Hall 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-9618961;

Brian Raynard Nickson

| April 25-May 1, 2018


BEST OF DETROIT Bars and Clubs Best Bar (Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti)

Best Electronic Music Club

Wolverine State Brewing Co. 2019 W. Stadium Blvd., Ann Arbor; 734369-2990;

Marble Bar 1501 Holden St., Detroit; 313-338-3674

Best Bar (Detroit)

Menjo’s 928/950 W. McNichols Rd., Detroit; 313863-3934

Standby 225 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-736-5533;

Best Bar (Suburbs) 5th Avenue 215 West Fifth St., Royal Oak; 248-629 9423;

Best Bar for Classic Cocktails Bad Luck Bar 1218 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-657-9177;

Best Beer Selection HopCat 4265 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-7698828;

Best Happy Hour for Drinks (Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti)

The Last Word 301 W. Huron St., Ann Arbor;

Best Happy Hour for Drinks (Detroit) Roast 1128 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-9612500;

Best Happy Hour for Drinks (Suburbs)

Best Bottle Service

Kapones Sports Tavern 24301 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores; 586200-5242;

Level Two Bar & Rooftop 535 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-420-1990;

Best Irish Pub (Detroit)

Best Comedy Club

The Old Shillelagh 349 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-964-0007;

Go Comedy! Improv Theater 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-3270575;

Best Dance Club Luna Royal Oak 1815 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-2986875;

Best Day Drinking The Old Miami 3930 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-831-3830

Best Distillery Tasting Room Detroit City Distillery 2462 Riopelle St., Detroit; 313-338-3760;

Best Dive Bar Gusoline Alley 309 S. Center St., Royal Oak; 248-5452235

Best Draft Selection CK Diggs 2010 W. Auburn Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-853-6600;

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Best Gay Bar

Best Irish Pub (Suburbs) Danny’s Irish Pub 22824 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248546-8331

Best Karaoke Bar Mutiny Bar 4654 Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-4064043;

Best Martini Northern Lights Lounge 660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit; 313-8731739;

Best New Bar Nightcap 220 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-3696070;

Best Patio for Drinking Mudgie’s Deli and Wine Shop 1300 Porter St., Detroit; 313-961-2000;

| April 25-May 1, 2018



Best Club for Hip-Hop: El Club

4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-279-7382; While this Southwest Detroit music venue is perhaps better known for booking indie rock, a close look at El Club’s calendar shows acts from just about every musical genre under the sun are well-represented — and that includes plenty of great hip-hop and R&B. Some highlights from the past year or so include Ghostface Killah, Kelela, Lil Xan, Nightmares on Wax, Kitty, Milo, Shamir, Ravyn Lenae, and Detroit’s own Sam Austins, who made his headline debut earlier in April. “I think what our room does best is intimate,” El Club owner Graeme Flegenheimer says. And that intimacy, Flegenheimer says, translates especially well for hip-hop shows. “Hip-hop is the new punk rock,” he says. “That’s what people mosh to now. They don’t mosh at rock shows anymore!” —Lee DeVito

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Best Karaoke Bar: Mutiny Bar 4654 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313406-4043; When you hear “Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take you to/ Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama,” then it is likely that the Beach Boys have successfully transported you to Kokomo — a place where all your troubles are left upon the shore. Mutiny Bar in Southwest Detroit might be the new kid on the block, but it is the closest damn thing to a tropical getaway the city has got. The kitschy tiki decor is just the tip of the volcano, as the exotic drinks (a la the Scorpion Bowl) at dive-bar prices and laid-back atmosphere set the perfect stage for frills-free karaoke with hostess Shantasy Island. Not only does she come with a stacked 28,000 song catalogue to choose from each Thursday night, but she’s got a set of killer pipes to drown even the most insufferable “Margaritaville” renditions. “Hosting karaoke in a tropical environment is like a paradise,” Shantasy says. “Everyone relaxes a bit more and let’s their freak flag fly.” Not sure what to sing? Don’t sweat it. After all, you’re on island time. —Jerilyn Jordan

Best Thai (Suburbs): Bangkok 96 2450 S. Telegraph Rd., Dearborn; 313-730-8161; The origins of Bangkok 96 read like an adventure spanning the globe: Owner and operator Genevieve Vang is from Laos, and spent much of her youth visiting Thailand with her family. She finally fled there with her family when the Laotian government fell, spending a few years in dreary refugee camps. One bright spot in this story was Genevieve’s blossoming love affair with Thai cuisine, which she continued to cultivate even after her family escaped to Paris. There, she met her husband, Guy Vang, and they came to the United States. After working at the only Thai restaurant in Wayne County, Bangkok Tiger, the couple decided they were ready to strike out on their own, and in 1996 opened Bangkok 96 in a small space on Telegraph Road in Dearborn. Today, the Vangs serve delicious Thai food that has people coming from miles around. The sweet and sour soup is ridiculously good. In fact, the kitchen seems to have a knack for making Thai food richer and therefore more appealing to U.S. diners. A case in point might be the remarkable tofu kra tiem. Not only is the brown sauce rich and the tofu fried, it almost seems infused with the sauce. It’s this kind of evidence of effort that helps a restaurant win the undying respect of repeat diners. —Michael Jackman

Best Rooftop Bar

Best Sports Bar

Best Trivia Night

Best Wine Bar

Exodos 529 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-962-1300;

J’s Penalty Box 22726 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248398-4070;

Patrick J’s Irish Pub 3052 Twelve Mile Rd., Berkley; 248-2683909;

Cork Wine Pub 23810 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge; 248-544-2675;

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Best Electronic Music Club: Marble Bar 1501 Holden St., Detroit; 313-338-3674 Almost as soon as it opened two and a half years ago, Marble Bar became one of Detroit’s premier places to party. And yet, it somehow took three Metro Times “Best Of” cycles for it to win the title of “Best Electronic Music Club.” That may be because the club is known as a versatile venue that features acts ranging from comedians to live bands — but a recent uptick in the number of techno and electronic music bookings seems to have drawn the attention of MT readers, and catapulted the club to number one in a category near and dear to the hearts of many a music aficionado in Detroit. The club has begun regularly hosting events in partnership with the likes of Paxahau, the production company behind the annual Movement Electronic Music Festival, as well as more niche and original electronic promoters like Texture and Freakish Pleasures. Also critically important is the club’s new-ish sound system, installed by the acclaimed Detroit-based Audio Rescue Team behind the sound at events like Movement and Jazz Fest. A laid-back vibe is also a boon for techno heads who are into going out for the music — Marble has no dress code and is not overrun by bottle service. At the same time, it does feature a limited cocktail menu for those who seek a slightly more upscale drinking experience, and the club’s aesthetic is tasteful. The bar is — obviously — marble, some walls are covered with lovely reclaimed wood paneling, and gilded mirrors and a minimalist mural help round out the decor. Also refreshing is the now-covered outdoor area lined with shipping containers, where partygoers can briefly rest their bones on blocks covered in astroturf. In the summertime, the patio allows the club to host multiple acts at once, which proves critical during Movement, the unofficial kickoff of the season. Marble Bar is the place to party ‘round the clock during the festival, with world-renowned DJs gracing its stages during various showcases from Friday through Tuesday. —Violet Ikonomova

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Voted Best Polish Restaurant

Finest Food West of Warsaw 2990 Yemans • Hamtramck • MI • 48212 313.874.5726 •

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Best Bloody Mary: Vivio’s Food & Spirits 2460 Market St., Detroit; 313-393-1711; What makes a Bloody Mary great? In a city where Bloody Mary aficionados have a bevy of beautiful bloodys to choose from, why did Vivio’s Food & Spirits take the gold? Two words: Meat. Straw. OK, so we’ll need more than two words to describe the bountiful monstrosity that is Vivio’s Big D. At 32 oz., your best bet is to bring your face to the mug, as lifting it risks injury. Yes, this bad boy comes with plates and silverware — you’ll have to eat your way to the bottom, as the Big D is topped with a colony of bacon, a crispy lettuce leaf, spicy asparagus spears, prosciutto-stuffed olives, sliced provolone, that aforementioned meat straw, pickle spear, and even a hard boiled egg nestled among the jungle of flavor. —Jerilyn Jordan

Drinks Best Beer Selection in a Store Red Wagon Wine Shoppe 2940 S. Rochester Rd., Rochester Hills; 248-852-9307;

Best Bloody Mary Vivio’s Food & Spirits 2460 Market St., Detroit; 313-393-1711;

Best Michigan Beer Griffin Claw Brewing Co. 575 S. Eton St., Birmingham; 248-7124050;

Best Michigan Bourbon New Holland Brewing 66 E. Eighth St., Holland; 616-355-6422;

Best Michigan Whiskey Two James Spirits 2445 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-9644800;

Best Michigan Winery Sabrosa Sangria Sabrosa Sangria; 52588 Van Dyke Ste. C, Shelby Charter Twp.; 586-884-8411

Best Microbrewery or Brewpub (Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti)

HOMES Brewery 2321 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-9546637;

Best Microbrewery or Brewpub (Detroit)

Best Michigan Brewer

Motor City Brewing Works 470 W. Canfield St., Detroit; 313-8322700;

Founders Brewing Co. 456 Charlotte St., Detroit; 313-335-3440;

Best Microbrewery or Brewpub (Suburbs)

Best Michigan Vodka

Kuhnhenn Brewing 5919 Chicago Rd., Warren; 586-9838362;

Valentine Distilling Co. 161 Vester Ave., Ferndale; 248-629-9951;

Best Wine Selection in a Store Kakos Fine Wine, Beer & Spirits 1555 E. 14 Mile Rd., Birmingham; 248644-1916;

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Food Best Bagel New York Bagel Baking Co. 23316 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248548-2580;

Best Bakery Apple Fritter Donut Shop 741 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-5457295

Best Breakfast/Brunch (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti) Zingerman’s Roadhouse 2501 Jackson Ave., Ann Arbor; 734-6633663;

Best Breakfast/Brunch (Detroit)

Best Bar Food

Dime Store 719 Griswold St., #180, Detroit; 313-9629106;

The Morrie 511 S. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-216-1112;

Best Breakfast/Brunch (Suburbs)

Best Barbecue Restaurant CAYA Smokehouse Grill 1403 S. Commerce Rd., Wolverine Lake; 248-438-6741;

Toast 23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248398-0444 203 Pierce St., Birmingham; 248-2586278;

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Best Restaurant (Detroit): Takoi 2520 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-855-2864; In just four years, the hip Corktown Thai-fusion restaurant known as Takoi has had enough ups and downs to fill decades at any other eatery. Initially a food truck associated with Two James Spirits, it went brick-and-mortar across the street in 2016 and quickly won praise from local reviewers, even being nominated as a semifinalist in the Best New Restaurant category of the prestigious James Beard Awards. Then the restaurant suffered a break-in and suspected arson in February 2017, and the restaurant was so badly damaged it took six months to re-open. But during this interval, people began to come forward to complain that the eatery’s name was a slur: The term “katoi,” they explained, is used as an insult for transgender people in Thailand. In the final days before re-opening, the trio who owned the restaurant changed the name to Takoi, and took down a few other gags critics had deemed offensive. They also put up some imposing fences to keep out wouldbe thieves and arsonists. But once you get past those imposing fences (and any earlier hurt feelings), you’ll likely agree with our readers that Takoi is a chic, modern restaurant with a distinct atmosphere, that chef Brad Greenhill’s take on Thai fusion is exciting, and that everything else is now water under the bridge. —Michael Jackman

| April 25-May 1, 2018


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Best Burger

Basement Burger bar 1326 Brush St., Detroit; 313-818-3708;

Best Cajun Howe’s Bayou 22848 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248691-7145;

Best Chicken and Waffles Kuzzo’s Chicken & Waffles 19345 Livernois Ave., Detroit; 313-8610229;

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

Best Coffeehouse (nonchain)

The Dovetail 29200 Hoover Rd., Warren; 586-5760317

Best Coney (Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti) Uptown Coney Island 3917 Jackson Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-6655909;

Best Coney (Detroit) American Coney Island 114 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-9617758;

Best Coney (Suburbs) National Coney Island Various locations; nationalconeyisland. com

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Best Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant: Soul Cafe

5586 Drake Rd., West Bloomfield Twp; 248-788-7400; Soul Cafe has been building a loyal following since it opened in 2016 — for both its food and its mission. Part of Friendship Circle’s Soul Projects, the café provides work opportunities for adults with special needs, teaching trainees skills like food prep, dishwashing, hosting, and serving, and enabling them to go on to get full-time jobs. But its food is equally as outstanding as the service it provides. Soul Cafe serves up wholesome vegetarian and vegan favorites for breakfast and lunch, and is also kosher, with several Jewish items on the menu. Its Mediterranean bowl is a delicious blend of energy-boosting foods like eggplant, cauliflower, avocado, quinoa, sunflower seeds, and green tahini. Another plate that will make you feel as good as it tastes is the ancient grain salad, which features dates, green apples, seeds, caramelized onions, sweet potatoes, greens, and vinaigrette. Its veggie shakshuka recipe lends a hint of sweetness to the Middle Eastern favorite, with sweet potato, cauliflower, and feta added. Sandwiches, pastas, pizzas, and Jewish specialties like blintzes and lox plates help round out the menu. A small wine list helps elevate the dining experience. Items range from $5 to $25. —Violet Ikonomova

| April 25-May 1, 2018



Best Chinese: Shangri-La 4710 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-974-7669; This Midtown establishment has a lively bar scene, partly thanks to its location on the campus of Wayne State University, and partly due to mind-bending concoctions such as Whisky Business, made with Jameson, apricot brandy, honey, and lemon. Between the two, it stays busy from lunchtime to closing time. The always hospitable staff is almost certain to have whatever Chinese fare it is you’re searching for. One menu is of the Cantonese-American classics we all know, from almond boneless chicken to General Tso’s everything. They also serve some very good sushi, which, these days, is almost as familiar as ABC. But the more venturesome fare appears on the dim sum menu, with such choices as deep-fried squid with spicy salt or steamed chicken feet. “Try a really small, tiny bite. Even just a small bite is pretty good,” Raymond Wong, who still patrols the small eatery a few days a week, suggests. “Try everything. If you don’t like it, it’s not your fault. But if you never tried it, and you don’t realize you like it, whose fault is that?” —Michael Jackman

Best Corned Beef

Bread Basket Deli Various locations;

Best Cuban Vicente’s 1250 Library St., Detroit; 313-962-8800;

Best Deli Stage Deli 6873 Orchard Lake Rd., West Bloomfield Twp.; 248-855-6622;

Best Desserts at a Restaurant (Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti)

Bistro 82 401 S Lafayette Ave., Royal Oak; 248542-0082;

Best Diner Whistle Stop Diner 24060 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge; 248-632-1311;

Best Fish & Chips Scotty Simpson’s Fish & Chips 22200 Fenkell Ave., Detroit; 313-5330950;

Best Food Truck

La Dolce Vita 322 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 888-456-3463;

Smoke Ring BBQ 248-974-5745;

Best Desserts at a Restaurant (Detroit)

The Greek 535 Monroe Ave., Detroit; 313-209-6667;

The Whitney 4421 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-8325700;

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Best Desserts at a Restaurant (Suburbs)

Best Greek Restaurant

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2010 • 2011 • 2012 • 2013 • 2014 • 2015 • 2016 • 2017 HOURS: MON-WED 11AM-9PM | THURS-SAT 11AM-11PM | SUN (BRUNCH) 10AM-3PM

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Best Gyro KouZina Greek Street Food 121 N. Main St., Royal Oak; 248-6296500;

Best Italian Restaurant (Suburbs)

Best Happy Hour Food

Luciano’s Italian Restaurant 39091 Garfield Rd., Charter Twp. of Clinton; 586-263-6540; lucianositaliancuisine. com

Bar Louie Various locations;

Best Juice Bar

Best Indian Restaurant

Beyond Juice 2501 Russell St., Detroit; 313-818-3502;

Cardamom Restaurant 1739 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-6622877;

Best Italian Restaurant (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti) Gratzi 326 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-6635555;

Best Italian Restaurant (Detroit)

Best Late Night/24-Hour Restaurant O.W.L. 27302 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248808-6244;

Best Mac and Cheese Rock City Eatery 4216 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-2653729;

Ottava Via 1400 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-9625500;

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Best Middle Eastern Restaurant: Al Ameer 12710 W. Warren Ave., Dearborn; 313-582-8185; Dearborn’s Al Ameer Lebanese restaurant consistently runs at such a high level that the James Beard Foundation chose it in 2016 for its America’s Classics Award, which goes to eateries that “have timeless appeal and are cherished for quality food that reflects the character of their community.” But many Metro Times readers have known about it long before the national exposure. It opened in 1989 at Warren Avenue and Miller Road just as Dearborn’s Lebanese population spiked. It’s best known for bright dishes like its peak fresh kibbeh; char-grilled chicken breasts with blackened edges that arrive in a small puddle of a lemony, garlicky “gravy”; and kafta packed with allspice, parsley, onion, cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Founders and chefs Zaki Hachem and Khalil Ammar were chefs in Lebanon before meeting in Dearborn and launching the restaurant, and the Hachem family’s continuing hands-on involvement keeps the ship tight. The restaurant opened its own halal butcher shop next door some time in the early 2000s, and it can’t be overstated what a difference an in-house butcher can make in terms of freshness and quality. There’s also experience in the kitchen, where longtime chefs, some of whom have been with the restaurant since the beginning, man the vertical spits on which dozens of layers of beef, lamb, onion, and spices baste in the meat’s own fat and juices to produce what’s among the fullest, richest shawarma you’ll find in Dearborn. —Tom Perkins

| April 25-May 1, 2018


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Best Corned Beef: Bread Basket Deli Multiple locations; Owner Al Winkler tells us that when he opened his first Jewish deli during the mid-1960s, corned beef houses like his were nearly as common in Detroit as the coney island. As the Jewish population in the city migrated to the burbs, the deli landscape changed, and while there are far fewer delis than there used to be, a strong corned beef culture remains in place. Each week, Bread Basket rolls through more than 24,000 pounds of corned beef, which Winkler tells us is the most of any restaurant in the nation. But not all his corned beef ends up in sandwiches. There’s also the corned beef roll, which is what it sounds like — a deep-fried, egg roll wrapper vessel holding a small pile of razor-thin, salted, and cured beef. The snack is on the cusp of becoming a regional dish like Detroit-style pizza, or the coney dog, and Bread Basket Deli is a great place to get acquainted with one. —Tom Perkins

Best Middle Eastern Restaurant

Al Ameer 12710 W. Warren Ave., Dearborn; 313582-8185;

Best New Restaurant (Detroit) Lady of the Houseotus 1426 Bagley Ave., Detroit; 313-818-0218;

Best Pizza (Suburbs)

Green Lantern Pizzeria 4326 S. Rochester Rd., Royal Oak; 248298-3005;

Best Polish Restaurant Polish Village Cafe 2990 Yemans St., Hamtramck; 313-8745726;

Best Poutine

Best New Restaurant (Suburbs)

Green Dot Stables 2200 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313962-5588;

The Conserva 201 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-2916133;

Best Restaurant (Detroit)

Best Pizza (Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti) Jolly Pumpkin Cafe & Brewery 311 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-913-2730;

Best Pizza (Detroit) Buddy’s Pizza Various locations;

Takoi 2520 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-8552864;

Best Restaurant (Suburbs) Otus Supply 345 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-2916160;

Best Romantic Restaurant (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti) Logan 115 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734327-2312;

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Best Wings: Sweetwater Tavern Best Romantic Restaurant (Detroit) Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails 15 E Kirby St., Ste. D, Detroit; 313-8183915;

Best Romantic Restaurant (Suburbs) Mr. Paul’s Chop House 29850 Groesbeck Hwy., Roseville; 586777-7770;

Best Seafood Voyager 600 Vester Ave., Ferndale; 248-6584990;

Best Shawarma Bucharest Grill Multiple locations;

Best Sliders

Joe’s Hamburgers 3041 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte; 734-2850420;

Best Soul Food

Beans & Cornbread 29508 Northwestern Hwy., Southfield; 248-208-1680;

Best Steakhouse (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti) The Chop House of Ann Arbor 322 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-6699977;

Best Steakhouse (Detroit) Capers 14736 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313-527-2100;

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400 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-962-2210; For many years, Sweetwater was just down the street from Metro Times’ offices, and many an MT editor was drawn down to the ancient building on the corner of Brush and Congress streets, the better to commune with the joint’s vinegary, spicy, charred-but-moist chicken wings. Where lesser kitchens would make sure the wings came out with lots of salt or spice, the wing gods at Sweetwater know about balance. That is to say, they know how to produce a piquant wing that lives up to the hype. They’re well spiced with a combination of seasonings for a savory flavor that has a heat-kicked finish, and served with a blue cheese sauce to keep the heat kick in check. We once inquired about their secret, and were told that the wings were delivered daily from Eastern Market, dredged in spices, then marinated for 24 hours before being cooked to perfection with a crispy skin and juicy meat center. Even if you’ve never been a true fan of chicken wings, you may be more than pleasantly surprised at just how good Sweetwater’s wings are. And the hospitality of the staff, which seems to know just what you need, suggests that Sweetwater knows how to treat its customers. It certainly showed in the way a server brought our meal in timely stages, though we had ordered them all at once. —Michael Jackman

| April 25-May 1, 2018






Al’s Famous Bread Basket Deli 32906 Woodward Ave.








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Best Steakhouse (Suburbs)

Best Thai (Ann Arbor/ Ypsilanti)

Novi Chophouse 27000 Karevich Dr., Novi; 248-305-5210;

Marnee Thai 414 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-9299933;

Best Sub Shop

Best Thai (Detroit)

Ernie’s Market 8500 Capital St., Oak Park; 248-5419703;

Go Sy Thai 4240 Cass Ave., Ste. 103 Detroit; 313638-1467 1226 Griswold St., Detroit; 313-638-1467;

Best Sushi Inyo Restaurant & Lounge 22871 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248543-9500;

Best Thai (Suburbs)

Best Tacos

Bangkok 96 2450 S. Telegraph Rd., Dearborn; 313730-8161;

Mr. Miguel’s Mexican Cantina’s & Grill 26837 Ryan Rd., Warren; 586-754-1500;

Best Vegan/Vegetarian Restaurant

Best Tapas (Suburbs) Aventura 216 E. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734369-3153;

Best Tapas (Detroit) La Feria 4130 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313-285-9081;

Soul Cafe 5586 Drake Rd., West Bloomfield Twp.; 248-788-7400; cafe

Best Wings Sweetwater Tavern 400 E. Congress St., Detroit; 313-9622210;

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Best Late Night/24-Hour Restaurant: O.W.L. 27302 Woodward Ave., Royal Oak; 248-808-6244; The world’s best food usually isn’t served at 3 a.m., but we’ve all found ourselves hungry at that hour for one reason or another. Unfortunately, that usually means your options are limited to coney islands or fast food. But there are a few noteworthy restaurants that stay open all night, and among them is Royal Oak’s O.W.L. The small Mexican-inspired diner opened in the former Onion Roll Deli spot several years ago and quickly developed a large fanbase. You’ll want to check out O.W.L’s fowl play, and one of the best options is the chicken fried chicken sandwich. It’s bird is brined in buttermilk and Frank’s hot sauce, and encased in a crispy, greaseless thin crust. The sandwich’s condiments — crunchy pickles, and a slick of mayo — balance well with the chicken. The package is tucked between crusty cemita buns, which are sesame seed rolls common in the Mexican state of Puebla. Macha wings — marinated in olive oil, ancho peppers, and garlic — are another winner. O.W.L. cooks them crisp with a complexity of flavors not typically encountered in a chicken wing. If you crave an early or late breakfast, an excellent place to start is the chicken and gravy, which arrives under a healthy coating of poblano cheese “gravy.” Add eggs to make it a breakfast dish. If you’re not looking for bird, try the chilaquiles, a dish built off a double layer of house-fried tortilla chips that are wetted with tomatillo salsa, yet remain crunchy. Top them with two fried eggs, and O.W.L. jumbles in fresh chopped cilantro, red onion, crunchy jalapenos, and thin-sliced radish before crowning the mound with a dusting of salty Mexican cotija cheese. Another solid option is the spicy chorizo sandwich, which arrives with two cemita rolls holding a puck-sized chorizo patty that’s blanketed with white, mild Chihuahua cheese. Adding the habanero bacon to any breakfast dish is a wise idea, and any breakfast option pairs perfectly with the cilantro-fried potatoes. —Tom Perkins

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Best Thrift Store: Value World Multiple locations, There is perhaps no thrift store so vast, so well-organized, and so wellpriced, as a thrift store in the Value World chain. Each of Michigan’s 14 Value Worlds stands at more than 10,000 square feet, housing home goods, accessories, and thousands of articles of clothing. And much like any reliable chain, Value World has streamlined the experience of rifling through stuff that once belonged to someone else by ensuring that all of its stores adhere to the same organizational pattern. Split down the middle by gender — men’s stuff to the right, ladies’ to the left — with racks broken down by article of clothing and color, each aisle at Value World presents a rainbow of opportunity. Looking to score a trendy silk top on the cheap? Ditch the trip to Urban Outfitters and hit the intimates section in the back corner for a wide selection, all for $5 or less. There are no dressing rooms, however, so be sure to wear some kind of tightfitting coverall if you wish to try before you buy. —Violet Ikonomova

Retail and Services Best Attorney Geoffrey Fieger 19390 W. 10 Mile Rd., Southfield; 248558-2315;

Best Auto Repair O’Briens Service 242 W. Marshall St., Ferndale; 248-5412500

Best Insurance Agent Legacy Partners Insurance Services Multiple locations; 313-530-1698;

Best Bicycle Shop Downtown Ferndale Bike Shop 163 W. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-4391892;

Best Comic/Collectibles Shop Comic City 42727 Ford Rd., Canton; 734-981-3561;

Best Engagement or Wedding Ring Astreins Creative Jewelers 120 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248644-1651;

Best Eyewear SEE 160 S. Old Woodard Ave., Birmingham; 248-723-1900;

Best Eyewear Boutique

Best Bookstore

Optik Birmingham 247 W. Maple Rd., Birmingham; 248646-6699;

John K. King Used & Rare Books 901 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-9610622;

Best Farmers Market (Detroit) Eastern Market 2934 Russell St., Detroit; 313-833-9300;

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Best Farmers Market (Suburbs) Royal Oak Farmers Market 316 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-2463276

Best Flea Market Dixieland Flea Market 2045 Dixie Hwy., Waterford Twp; 248338-3220;

Best Gift Boutique The Rocket Candy and Novelties 23147 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248556-5084;

Best Grocery Store Plum Market Various locations;

Best Local T-Shirt: Detroit Hustles Harder

1353 Division St., Detroit; 313-285-8887; When Brendan Blumentritt and J.P. O’Grady started slinging T-shirts out of their backpacks more than 10 years ago, they had no idea they were embarking on careers. But it was a single slogan that sealed their fate: Detroit Hustles Harder, a phrase that has grown so ubiquitous it is often mistaken as the name of their company, Aptemal, and has become somewhat of an unofficial slogan for the city. Also placing Aptemal a cut above the rest are its collaborations with various local artists, which began about three years ago. Detroit sculptor, painter, and designer Chris Turner has designed bold, pop-art-style images to grace the company’s T-shirts, and Detroit artist Ouizi’s signature flowers are embroidered on the back of its satin jackets. Aptemal began to shift from putting the Detroit Hustles Harder slogan front and center on its gear, in a move that lets the clothes speak for themselves. On the brand’s newer windbreakers, jackets, hoodies, and sweats, you’ll find the DHH logo in smaller text, placed tastefully on a breast or kangaroo pocket. —Violet Ikonomova

Best Bookstore: John K. King Used & Rare Books

Best Jewelry Store

901 W. Lafayette Blvd., Detroit; 313-961-0622; While big box bookstores shutter by the numbers and mom-and-pop operations struggle to compete with Amazon and, well, the fact that most people these days seem to digest information in 140 characters or less, one iconic Detroit establishment is king — John K. King Used & Rare Books, that is. If you’re headed downtown on the freeway, it’s hard to miss this literary giant. Since 1965, John K. King has become a labyrinthian treasure trove that houses a collection of 1 million books in more than 900 subjects. Upon entry, visitors are greeted with a map detailing the contents of each of the four stories. While you may go in with a list of must-find titles, the more seasoned bookworms will tell you that titles will find you. More than the collection itself though, what John K. King offers is an experience. From the coveted old-book mustiness, and the charming handmade cardboard aisle descriptions and illustrations, to the walkietalkie equipped staff who are ready to assist you in even the most impossible of searches, when you visit John K. King you are bound to leave with something special. —Jerilyn Jordan

Tapper’s Diamonds & Fine Jewelry Various locations;

Best Grow Shop Northern Lights Hydroponics 29090 Campbell Rd., Madison Heights; 248-439-6269;

Best Gym Planet Fitness Various locations;

Best Local T-Shirt Company Detroit Hustles Harder 1353 Division St., Detroit; 313-285-8887;

Best Men’s Clothing Todd’s Menswear 520 W. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-8659963;

Best Michigan-Made Product Faygo Faygo; 3579 Gratiot Ave., Detroit; 313925-1600;

Best Mobile Device Repair Best Hardware Store

Detroit Hardware 6432 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-8750838;

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Best Jewelry Repair

Mount-N-Repair Silver Jewelry 205 Pierce St., Suite 101; Birmingham; 248-647-8670;

Fix a Fone 28859 Orchard Lake Rd., Ste. A, Farmington Hills; 248-893-6410

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BEST OF DETROIT Best Movie Theater

Emagine Various locations;

Best Pawn Shop American Jewelry & Loan 20450 Greenfield Rd., Detroit; 313-3454000;

Best Place to Buy a Quintessential Detroit Gift Pewabic Pottery 10125 E. Jefferson Ave., Detroit; 313-6262000;

Best Place to Buy Sneakers

Best Pet Supply

Motivation 1203 S. University Ave., Ann Arbor; 734769-2260;

Pet Supplies Plus Various locations;

Best Record Store

Best Piercing Studio

Dearborn Music 22501 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; 313-5611000;

DV8 Body Art 1531 Union Lake Rd., Commerce Charter Twp.; 248-363-8882;

Best Place to Buy a Motorcycle

Best Tattoo Shop Elite Ink Tattoo Studios 8602 N. Telegraph Rd., Dearborn Heights; 313-565-1467;

Wolverine Harley-Davidson 44660 N. Gratiot Ave., Charter Twp.; 586-463-7700;

Best Thrift Store

Best Place to Buy Art

Best Tire Store

Tangent Gallery & Hastings Street Ballroom 715 E. Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; 313-8732955;

Sucher Tire Services 3641 E. Davison St., Detroit; 313-8915640;

Best Place to Buy Lingerie

Peacock Room 15 E. Kirby St., Detroit; 313-559-5500

Lover’s Lane Various locations;

Value World Various locations;

Best Women’s Clothing

Pampering Best Barbershop

Best Salon

Gentlemen First Barbershop 949 S. Military St., Ste. 1 Dearborn; 313-565-8300;

Black the Salon 2127 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-8005184;

Best Spa Om Day Spa 22070 Michigan Ave., Dearborn, 313565-9686;

Sports and Rec Best Bowling Alley

Best Skate Park

Garden Bowl 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-8339700;

Modern Skate and Surf 1500 N. Stephenson Hwy., Royal Oak; 248-545-5700;

Best Cider Mill

Best Visitor Experience

Blake’s Orchard 17985 Armada Center Rd., Armada; 586784-5343;

Belle Isle 313-331-7760;

Best Race

Citizen Yoga Detroit 1224 Library St., Detroit; 313-502-5450;

Turkey Trot

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Best Yoga

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BEST OF DETROIT Best Bet Best Casino Buffet

Best Players Club

Assembly Line at MotorCity Casino Hotel 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 866-7529622;

Greektown Casino-Hotel 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit; 333-2232999;

Best Casino Hotel MGM Grand Detroit 1777 Third Ave., Detroit; 877-888-2121;

Best Casino Table Games MGM Grand Detroit 1777 Third Ave., Detroit; 877-888-2121;

Best Casino to See a Show Sound Board Theater at MotorCity Casino Hotel 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-3094700;

Best Poker MotorCity Casino Hotel 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 866-7829622;

Best Slots Greektown Casino-Hotel 555 E. Lafayette St., Detroit; 333-2232999;

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

Adult Best Adult Store

Best Stripper Agency

Uptown Adult Bookstore 16401 Eight Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-8360647;

Royal Delivery Company Strippers 35560 Grand River Ave., Ste. 256, Farmington Hills; 248-270-5973;

Best Strip Club Penthouse Club 20771 Eight Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-5417000;

Pot Best Budtender

Best Head Shop

Erbacare 8680 E. Eight Mile Rd., Detroit; 313-7070994

Tha Head Shop Smoke Shop 737 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; 248-6770178;

Best Concentrate

Best Smoke Shop

Green River Meds 24363 Grand River Ave, Detroit; 313-2466912

The Station 25940 Michigan Ave., Inkster; 313-561-7969

Best Dispensary (Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti)

Independent Vapor Company 27251 Gratiot Ave., Roseville; 586-2855119;

People’s Choice Alternative Medicine 2245 W. Liberty Rd., Ann Arbor; 734369-8573;

Best Dispensary (Detroit) ADA East 16555 Harper Ave., Detroit; 313-571-3108

Best Edible Sweet Stone Candy gummy bears

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Best Vape Store

Most Knowledgeable Dispensary Staff Green Cross 14239 Eight Mile Rd., Detroit; 888-4202790 @metrotimes


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Wahlburgers opens a new Taylor location Edited by Tom Perkins

Mark Wahlberg’s Wahlburgers opened its second Michi-

gan location on April 19 in a former Big Boy in Taylor. Why Taylor? Wahlberg offered some insight when he visited the location last weekend. “We are excited to be here. It reminds me of home, [of] good hard-working people,” the actor and musician told Southgate’s News Herald. His national chain’s first Michigan location opened in Greektown in 2016. A third location is in the works in Royal Oak’s Beaumont Health Center at 13 Mile Road and Woodward Avenue. It’s expected to open sometime in 2019. Wahlberg also says he’s looking into launching locations in Flint and Lansing.

Vegan food truck Shimmy Shack will launch a brick-and-mortar space in August

Vegan food truck Shimmy Shack is planning an Aug. 1 opening for its new brick-and-mortar location near Ann Arbor and Haggerty roads in Plymouth Township. Owner Debra Levantrosser says the new space will be a fast food concept with counter service, dine-in seating, and a 1950s vibe. “Our restaurant will pay homage to the cool style of the 1950s, and of course feature our mascot, Shimmy, in all her glory,” says Levnatrosser, or “Shimmy Mama,” as her fans know her. Shimmy Shack is metro Detroit’s only 100-percent vegan and gluten-free food truck. It launched in 2013 and was named one of the nation’s top five trucks by PETA. Plans also include a small vegan marketplace at which customers can make gift baskets. That space will be available for birthday parties, speakers will be brought in for special presentations, and Detroit-based vintage company the Velvet Tower will hold a regular vegan vintage pop-up (no wool, silk, leather, or fur). The food truck’s menu includes

One of Mark Wahlberg’s Wahlburger burgers.

items like a coney dog smothered with black bean chili, mustard, and onions on a warm gluten-free hot dog bun. It also offers burgers like the Southwest Burger, with a house-made black bean and rice patty that’s topped with guacamole and salsa, and the Classic Burger — its version of a fast food cheeseburger. The truck also serves french fries, sweet potato fries, chili fries, and chili cheese fries with special sauces, as well as shakes that come in chocolate, pumpkin, strawberry, and cookie monster. “We know that Michigan loves our healthier fast food options because we prove that vegan and gluten-free comfort food can be tasty, filling, satisfying, sassy, and leave you wanting more,” Levantrosser says. “Every time you eat at Shimmy Shack, you know you are being compassionate toward animals, nice to your body and kind to the environment. We show that living a vegan lifestyle just makes sense.”

Another Michigander sickened by romaine lettuce E. Coli outbreak

Folks: Stop eating romaine lettuce for a minute. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that a second Michigander was sickened by romaine lettuce contaminated by the E. Coli bacteria. On April 18, the department reported an outbreak had caused 53 people across 16 states to become ill. This outbreak is different from one that sickened 66 people and killed one person across North America in late 2017

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and early 2018. The CDC has yet to identify the outbreak’s source, but it suspects that it’s related to chopped romaine lettuce from the Yuma, Arizona region. “No common grower, supplier, distributor, or brand has been identified,” the department reports. “Consumers anywhere in the United States who have store-bought chopped romaine lettuce at home, including salads and salad mixes containing chopped romaine lettuce, should not eat it and should throw it away, even if some of it was eaten and no one has gotten sick. If you do not know if the lettuce is romaine, do not eat it and throw it away.” The agency is also asking retailers and restaurants not to sell or serve romaine lettuce, and most of those who were sickened reported eating chopped lettuce at restaurants. The source of E. Coli is typically animal poop from an infected animal. While E. Coli can survive a good scrubbing, the idea that animal poop makes it onto your lettuce should be enough to prompt you to keep your leafy greens under the faucet for at least a few extra seconds. Severe cases can lead to kidney failure and symptoms include stomach cramps, fevers, bloody diarrhea, and vomiting. Food Safety News reports there have been nearly 80 E. Coli outbreaks linked to leafy greens since 1995. States that have reported people infected with the E. Coli strain now include Connecticut, Arizona, Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Missouri, Illinois,


Ohio, Montana, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New York, New Jersey, Michigan, California, and Louisiana.

Cass Corridor shipping container food hall set for late May opening

Cass Corridor shipping container food hall Detroit Shipping Co. will open in late May, likely around Memorial Day. When it’s completed, 21 repurposed shipping containers will compose the roughly 12,000-square-foot space. Its tenants include Motor Burger, Bread Meats Bread, Brujo’s Tacos and Tapas, Coop, Bangkok 96, and nitrogen ice cream and coffee maker Minus 320. The space was supposed to open in October but the crew ran into some setbacks, and weather has primarily delayed it this year, says Petro Drakopoulos, Detroit Shipping Co.’s director of operations and Brujo’s owner. “The construction schedule got pushed back a bit and the weather is not helping, but it’s one of those situations where we’re pushing to open as quick as possible,” Drakopoulos tells us. “We’re shooting for Memorial Day and we might be doing some events here and there before that.” The project is a product of owners Jonathan Hartzell, James Therkalsen, and architect Dominic Walbridge, who started work on it in 2015. They recently brought on Drakopoulos — who also owns Berkley’s Republica — to help manage the operation. @metrotimes


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What’s Going On

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

Stars On Ice, Saturday, April 28 at Little Caesars Arena.

FRIDAY, 4/27

FRIDAY, 4/27


FRI., 4/27- SUN., 5/6


Soccer Mommy

No Age

Shrek: The Musical

Kid Koala

@ The Pike Room


@ Redford Theatre

@ El Club

MUSIC Twenty-year-old Soccer Mommy frontwoman Sophie Allison doesn’t want to be “your fucking dog,” or so she barks on the band’s debut record, Clean. Sonically, Soccer Mommy flirts with bedroom pop, with sparse fuzz rock packed densely with taboo confessions and vulnerable pleas to be cool — when in fact, Allison and company are the epitome of effortlessly cool. Reminiscent of fellow sorrowful songwriters Phoebe Bridgers, Julien Baker, and Katie Crutchfield’s Waxahatchee, Allison has sharper edges than her contemporaries, which makes her debut even more searing.

MUSIC Indie noise rock duo No Age released its fourth studio record Snares Like a Haircut back in January, and it just so happens to be the band’s best work yet. Together Randy Randall and Dean Allen Spunt have spent the better part of the past 13 years deconstructing rock into freshly packed piles of neurosis. “Doesn’t matter where you are/ the shoe fits, you’re just the same/ unless your mind has grown again,” Spunt sings on “Cruise Control.” MOCAD makes the perfect stage for No Age’s brand of fuzz. Detroit retro-rockers Moonwalks are also on the bill.

MUSICAL Move ogre, there’s a new musical in town. Since its 2001 release, the animated fairytale Shrek has charmed children and families, and has become the source material for dank meme culture at large. From Smashmouth’s legendary soundtrack contributions, the ridiculous animation, and the heartwarming moral of self-acceptance, Shrek manages to appease a wide range of audiences who may or may not be under the influence of a variety of intoxicants. Bring the kids or pre-game with your vape — this live rendition of the classic swamp-to-castle story is sure to make you laugh yourself green.

DJ Don’t let the name, or fleece onesie, fool you. Eric San, aka Kid Koala, is not fucking around. The 43-year-old Kid Koala is a vinyl turntablist DJ, musician, and graphic novel author from Canada. He’s a member of alternative hip-hop supergroup Deltron 3030, and he’s performed with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Lovage, and Gorillaz. Aside from his ambitious collaborative efforts, San has made a career out of his ability to transform the turntable into a melodic instrument. This isn’t your typical rave, deep-house set. Among his many genrebending skills, this dude can make Sinatra’s “Moon River” sound hip AF.

Doors open at 7 p.m.; 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333;; Tickets are $10$12.

Doors open at 8 p.m.; 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-8326622;; Tickets are $15 and $12 for MOCAD members.

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Friday, Saturday, and Sunday performances at 8 p.m., and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.; 17360 Lahser Rd., Detroit; 313-537-2560;; Tickets are $15-$20.

Doors open at 8 p.m.; 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; 313-2797382;; Tickets are $20-$25.

friday 4/27

allman brothers band tribute w/ brett lucas & kris kurzawa saturday 4/28


wsg: sektor z thursday 5/3

billy brandt & the sugarees friday 5/4

lindsay lou tuesday 5/8

Perpetual groove wsg: the Pocket wednesday 5/9

Prine time:

tribute to john Prine friday 5/11 Modest Mouse, Wednesday, May 2 and Thursday, May 3 at the Fillmore.

SATURDAY, 4/28 46th International Glass Invitational Award Exhibition @ Habatat Galleries

ART Are you ready to kick some serious glass?! Wait — we didn’t mean literally. The 46th Glass Invitational Award Exhibition returns to Royal Oak as the largest glass exhibit in the world, featuring a dazzling display of over 100 works of art by renowned artists from all over the world. In addition to the general admission festivities opening night, VIP members are invited to partake in the world famous MasterWorks Auction and the opening of a brand new space dedicated to glass at the Flint Institute of Arts, as well as demonstrations and lectures.

Opening begins at 8 p.m., exhibit remains on display until Friday, June 22; 4400 Fernlee Ave., Royal Oak; 248-554-0590;; Admission is free.



WED., 5/2 & THUR., 5/3

Stars on Ice

Modest Mouse

@ Little Caesars Arena

@ The Fillmore

SPORTS Sequins, spandex, a blur of twirls, jumps, and spins — there’s nothing quite like the sensational recurring spectacle of Stars on Ice. A rare up-close glimpse into the visual genius of the U.S. Olympic figure skating team, Stars on Ice was founded by Olympic Gold Medalist Scott Hamilton and has since remained America’s premiere figure skating tour. Performing both individual and ensemble routines, Ice Dance gold medalists Meryl Davis and Charlie White, three-time national champion and 2016 world silver medalist Ashley Wagner; and national champion and huge crowd favorite, Jason Brown, are among the roster of stars slated to perform.

MUSIC Fourteen years after its initial release, Good News for People Who Love Bad News remains one of the most beloved indie rock records. And though Modest Mouse’s last release, Strangers to Ourselves, is three years in the rearview, our favorite rodent rockers are hitting the road and they're doubling up on shows at the Fillmore. If you have any doubts regarding the band's staying power, take a moment to reflect on all the indie mavericks of the era that have since vanished. Modest Mouse has outlived the mainstream trap, and while indie acts flounder, Modest Mouse continues to float on and on, and on.

Performance begins at 7:30 p.m.; 2645 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-7000;; Tickets start at $30.

the whiskey charmers + craig brown band wsg: scott fab saturday 5/12

thick as thieves wsg: kids under the carpet thursday 5/17

the way down wanderers FOR TICKETS & DINNER RESERVATIONS


Doors open at 6:30 p.m.; 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313961-5451;; Tickets start at $42.50+. 345 E 9 MILE RD

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THIS WEEK Wednesday, April 25

Lord Huron 7 p.m.; Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; $33-$58.50.

Camila Cabello 7 p.m.; The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $45.99+.

No Age 8 p.m.; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $15.

Jeff Rosenstock 7 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $15.

Odonis Odonis 8 p.m.; Trixie’s, 2656 Carpenter St., Hamtramck; $8-$10.


Kevin Morby 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $15. Kim Richey 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $20. Moneybagg Yo 7 p.m.; The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $20. Sirenia 7 p.m.; Harpos, 14238 Harper Ave., Detroit; $20. Spartan Youth Jazz Program 7 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; free.

Thursday, April 26 Born Ruffians 8 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $15. Counterfeit 7 p.m.; The Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $13-$15. Crimson Alchemist 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $10. Desmond Jones 8 p.m.; Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $10 advance, $12 day of show. Dumbfounded 6 p.m.; The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $2o. Peyton Miller Quintet 8 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; $10. Sam Amidon 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $20.

Friday, April 27 The Cactus Blossoms 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $22. The Center for Youth and Family Develop.m.ent presents: AN Evening of Jazz and OSul Part 2 7 p.m.; Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; $20. Friday Night Live: Danilo Brito and Joao Luiz 7 p.m.; Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; free. Froggy Fresh 7 p.m.; Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $15-$18.

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Planet D Nonet 9 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; $10. Red Stone Souls 8 p.m.; PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; $8. Soccer Mommy 7 p.m.; The Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $10-$12. Tom Misch 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $18.

Saturday, April 28 Experience The Legends 6 p.m.; Masonic Temple, 500 Temple St., Detroit; $69. George Ezra 7 p.m.; Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; $27.50-$45. Heywood Banks 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $25. Kaleido and Super Bob 7 p.m.; Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; $10-$15. King Krule 8 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $25. Painted Shapes 9 p.m.; Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $7-$10. Super Bob 7 p.m.; Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; $10. Tiles 8 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $15. X Ambassadors 6:30 p.m.; The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $26+.

Sunday, April 29 Jimmy Webb 7:30 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $26-$46. The Mavericks 7 p.m.; Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; $35- $65. Rain: A Tribute to The Beatles 7 p.m.; Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $26+. Vinyl Theatre 6 p.m.; The Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $15.

Monday, April 30

Jaden Smith 6 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit;

Frances Luke Accord 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $20.

Jeff Cuny Trio 5:30 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; No Cover.

Liza Anne 7 p.m.; The Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $10-$12.

Camila Cabello, Wednesday, April 25 at the Fillmore.

Michael Jackson Tribute 6 p.m.; Saint Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $22+.

Dennis Coffey 8-11 p.m.; Northern Lights Lounge, 660 W. Baltimore St., Detroit; No cover.

Yung Gravy 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $14-$16.

The Happy Fits 7:30 p.m.; Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $5-$8.

Tuesday, May 1

On Your Feet ; Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; $39+.

Alexis Lombre 8 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; No cover.

Panda Bear 8 p.m.; Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $20-$25.


Sofi Tukker 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $19. The Suffers 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $15.

THEATER H.M.S Saturday, 2:30 p.m.; Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St., Detroit; $15-$35; 313-961-3500.

| April 25-May 1, 2018



46th International Glass Invitational Award Exhibition, Saturday, April 28 at Habatat Galleries.

King Lear April 27-May 13; Hilberry Theatre, 4743 Cass Ave., Detroit; 313577-2972; theatreanddanceatwayne. com/king-lear. Kolobok Sunday, 2 p.m.; The Music Hall, 350 Madison Avenue, Detroit; $10$15; 313-887-8503.

COMEDY All-Star Showdown Fridays, Saturdays, 8 & 10 p.m.; Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $18; 248-327-0575. Dustin Diamond Thursday 7 p.m.; Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; $20; 734-513-5030;

FILM Deep Red Friday and Saturday; Main Art Theatre, 118 N. Main St., Royal Oak; $7; 248-263-2111. Erroll Garner: No One Can Hear You Read Thursday, 3 p.m.; Detroit Film Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit; free; 313-833-2323. Sound + Vision Thursday, 6 p.m. and Friday 6 p.m.; Red Bull House of Art, 1551 Winder St., Detroit; free.

ART Adventures in Wonkaland Saturday 9 p.m.; Tangent Gallery, 715 E. Milwaukee Ave., Detroit; $15-$25; 313-873-2955.

Female Hysteria Wednesday 9 p.m.; Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $10; 248-3270575.

Al Held: Luminous Constructs: Paintings and Watercolors Through April 28, David Klein Gallery, 1520 Washington Blvd., Detroit; 313-8183416.

Sammy Obeid Thursday 7:30 p.m., Friday 7:15 p.m. and Saturday 7 & 9:30 p.m.; Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, 310 S. Troy St., Royal Oak; $18; 248-5429900;

Carlos Rolón: Buscando America Through June 2; Library Street Collective, 1260 Library St., Detroit; 313-600-7443.

Sunday Buffet Sundays, 7 p.m.; Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $10; 248-327-0575.

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Cassi Namoda: Bar Texas, 1971 Through June 2; Library Street Collective, 1260 Library St., Detroit; 313-6007443.


Exposures: Photography ‘18 Through April 27; Thursdays-Sundays, 6 p.m.; Lawrence Street Gallery, 22620 Woodward, Suite A, Ferndale; 248-5440394. Heloisa Pomfret: Threshold Through June 9; N’Namdi Center For Contemporary Art, 52 E. Forest Avenue, Detroit; 313-831-8700; nnamdicenter. org. Inner Fragments: Exhibition of Iranian Women Art TuesdaysSundays, 6 p.m.; Norwest Gallery of Art, 19556 Grand River Ave., Detroit; Lounge: Object And Place Mondays-Sundays.; Scarab Club, 217 Farnsworth St., Detroit; 313-831-1250; Play Ball: Baseball at the DIA Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 am; Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-7900. Tom House: The Work and Life of Tom of Finland Through May 19, 2018. Mondays-Sundays, 6-9 p.m.; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD), 4454 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $5 suggested donation; 313832-6622. @metrotimes


| April 25-May 1, 2018


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| April 25-May 1, 2018









The Old Miami

3930 Cass • Cass Corridor • 313-831-3830

Fast Forward Ms. Lauryn Hill Freedom Hill, July 20, $27+

Dr. Dog Majestic Theatre, May 4, 8 p.m., $30

Harry Styles Little Caesars Arena, June 26, 8 p.m., $29.50+

Daryl Hall & John Oates Little Caesars Arena, May 20, 7 p.m., $49.50+

Paramore and Foster the People DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 29, 7 p.m., $25.50+

Vance Joy Fox Theatre, May 22, 7:30 p.m., $25.50+ Dave Matthews Band DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 6, 8 p.m., $41.50+ Paul Simon DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 10, 8 p.m., $31+ Thirty Seconds to Mars DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 12, 6 p.m.; $25.50+ Kendrick Lamar with SZA DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 13, 7:30 p.m., $81+ Okkervil River El Club, June 13, 8 p.m., $20 Shania Twain Little Caesars Arena, June 15, 7:30 p.m., $49.95+

Jethro Tull Freedom Hill, July 1, 7:30 p.m., $26+ STYX, Joan Jett, and Tesla DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 6, 7 p.m., $25.50+ Beck Fox Theatre, July 6, 8 p.m., $35+ Arcade Fire DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 7, 6:30 p.m., $26.50+ Evanescence and Lindsey Stirling DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 9, 7 p.m., $21+ Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 11, 7 p.m., $25.50+ Pixies & Weezer DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 13, 7:30 p.m., $21+

Whoopi Goldberg Sound Board, June 15, 8 p.m., $57+

Barenaked Ladies DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 14, 7 p.m., $21+

Jack Johnson DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 15, 7:30 p.m.; $31+

Panic! at the Disco Little Caesars Arena, July 14, 7 p.m., $30.75+

Sam Smith Little Caesars Arena, June 22, 8 p.m., $35+

Foreigner DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 15, 7 p.m., $21+

Three Stacks Music Festival REO Town, Lansing, June 23, 2 p.m., $30-$35

Kesha & Macklemore DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 18, 7 p.m., $26.50+

Jill Scott Fox Theatre, June 24, 8 p.m., $49.50+

Ms. Lauryn Hill Freedom Hill, July 20, 6 p.m., $27+

Outlaw Music Festival with Willie Nelson DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 24, 6 p.m.; $25.50+

Stone Temple Pilots, Bush, and the Cult Freedom Hill, July 24, 6:30 p.m., $21+

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From left: Stephanie Luke, Meredith Franco, and Julia Kugel.


Still pissed

The Coathangers’ Julia Kugel talks safe spaces, punching people in the face By Sara Barron

Atlanta-based punk band the Coathangers is going on 12 years of creating fuming, booze-fueled rock ’n’ roll, and it’s celebrating by releasing a live album, recorded over two days at Alex’s Bar in Long Beach, Calif. Guitarist and singer Julia Kugel — aka Crook Kid Coathanger — says in some ways, the live record finally captures the true soul and sound of the band, known for its raucous live performances. “Making records in the studio is cool, but you have so much time to think,” says Kugel. “This is such an instinctual, honest representation of who we are. It almost feels like our first record in a weird way.” However, the band has evolved substantially since its first, self-titled record released in 2007. Originally bred from a shared loathing of conventionality and a love for partying, the Coathangers never really thought they’d be career musicians. Now, more

than a decade later, Kugel says she can’t think of a way the band hasn’t grown, aside from the fact that she plays the same guitar. Kugel even says that the group had become considerably less angry than they were when they started cranking out songs in their early 20s — until the election of President Donald Trump, that is. However, instead of making music that is overtly political, Kugel says the bandmembers use their lifestyle to project a political stance. “The personal is political,” says Kugel. “Instead of talking about it, we just do it. I think that’s our political statement. We got into music because we don’t want to be told what to do, because we’re all a bunch of shitheads.” Throughout the years and the band’s varying levels of angst, the Coathangers’ refusal to take any type of shit and the band’s appreciation of a good time has survived. Just when fans thought

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the California Coast might have mellowed the band out, the group released Parasite, a five-song EP with a blaringly agro title track. “I don’t want parasites/ eating me from the inside out/ I don’t want parasites/ they’re gonna make me lose my mind,” Kugel hypnotically howls into the mic. While the song takes on a literal meaning — all three band members contracted parasites on their 2016 tour — Kugel says it took on a metaphorical meaning as they were writing and recording it during the 2016 presidential election. More than anything, the band wants to create a safe space where it’s kosher to scream at the top of your lungs and sing about punching people in the face. “All we basically want to do is create a catharsis, a place of safety at our show where you can let it all go,” says Kugel. “I get to stand and scream on stage for an hour. Do you know how important that is to my mental health? So to who-

ever’s listening, I hope it’s helping their mental health as well.” In terms of actually punching anyone in the face, like multiple songs suggest, Kugel admits the band has gotten entangled in its fair share of fights back in its scrappier days. “We used to be wilder,” says Kugel. “But it’s more just the fantasy of it. Don’t you just want to tell somebody, ‘I’m going to punch you in the fucking face,’ even though you know it’s not right and you might go to jail?” The Coathangers open for Minus the Bear on Thursday, May 3 at the Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; 248-858-9333;; Doors at 7 p.m.; Tickets are $25 advance, $38 the day of show. @metrotimes


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| April 25-May 1, 2018


CULTURE Pretty problematic By BJ Colangelo

When the trailer for the Amy

Schumer-driven body image satire I Feel Pretty debuted online, the internet was furious. The film looked like a gender-bent version of Shallow Hal with internalized misogyny in contrast to old-fashioned male chauvinism. Luckily, I Feel Pretty is not nearly as offensive as the trailer would make the film out to be, but it’s still a problematic clusterfuck that has absolutely no concept of how the real world works. Amy Schumer stars as a woman named Renee who has been gaslighted to the point that she believes she’s too unattractive and uninteresting to ever be successful. Playing a self-loathing woman living in a world where everyone appears to be smarter, faster, thinner, and prettier allows for audiences to immediately identify with the character, because I’ve yet to meet a woman in my life who wasn’t also painfully insecure and feeling destroyed by society’s unrealistic standards of beauty. However, all of this changes when Renee hits her head at a SoulCycle class (because of course it had to be fucking SoulCycle) and suddenly perceives herself as the most gorgeous woman in the world. Nothing physically about Renee has changed, but this newfound confidence has offered her a new lease on life and a new perspective of the world around her. I can already hear the undeserving “Yaaaas Queeeeen!” chants from here. I Feel Pretty isn’t unique in its Big/13 Going on 30/Freaky Friday/17 Again-style body-swap storytelling, which is disappointing considering the script comes from Never Been Kissed’s Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein. I commend the duo for creating a film that focuses more on self love than on changing to appease the world around you, but I Feel Pretty still misses the mark on what could have and should have been an incredibly influential film. Once Renee begins living with her Beyoncé-esque attitude, everyone around her seems to be perplexed by her actions. How can she be so confident with that figure? Given that Schumer is not the bridge-troll she once believed herself to be, the reactions of everyone around her are laughably unbelievable. With the revolutionary start of the body positivity movement and the popular #EffYourBeautyStandards mantra

I Feel Pretty Rated PG-13 Run-time: 110 minutes adopted by many plus-size women, it’s not a surprise that Renee’s friends and coworkers can’t possibly understand why she’s suddenly sowing her wild oats and feeling herself. These people also live in a world that constantly tells them they’ll never be good enough, so there’s a lot of projection of their own insecurities in their confusion over why someone deemed “lesser than” is acting like they’re anything but. The projection, however, feels inauthentic and fails to build up the “love thyself” message. The moral I Feel Pretty is desperately trying to deliver doesn’t even make it out the door. Is it important to preach confidence to women living in a society that tells them to hate themselves? Yes. Is it empowering to see a woman owning her appearance? Yes. Is self love and confidence the key to happiness and success? Hell fucking no. Telling women that “all you need is confidence” is just as unrealistic as telling children “when you grow up, you can do anything.” The only reason Renee feels so confident is because she’s convinced she’s the hottest babe on the planet. Her confidence is achieved because she’s still feeding into the cycle of “look a certain way and you’ll finally be happy.” It doesn’t matter that she still looks the same way she did before her brain injury, she believes she’s a knockout and lives in that truth. I Feel Pretty also never addresses the privileges already afforded to Schumer for being only slightly less conventionally attractive than the standard. Had this movie starred a larger actress like Melissa McCarthy or an actress of color like Tiffany Haddish, Renee’s experiences in the work environment would be a hell of a lot more difficult whether she was confident or not. Renee’s life does seem to turn around once she comes out of her shell and starts living her life to the fullest, but they’re all opportunities of circumstance. The beauty company she works for has realized they have to start marketing to “normal people,” and therefore promotes Renee to a position. This isn’t some great achievement earned, this is a token filler that she happened to fit.

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Amy Schumer feels pretty in I Feel Pretty.


Michelle Williams plays Schumer’s boss Avery LeClaire in what is arguably the best comedic performance of her career. She steals every scene she’s in, largely due to the fact that she’s the only comedic presence that isn’t hashing out the same “LOL Y U SO CONFIDENT, CHUBBY LADY?” joke that overwhelms the entirety of the film. For die-hard Williams fans, this is a refreshing change of pace for an actress often pigeon-holed as a distraught lover. Renee’s romantic interest is played by the completely adorable and endearing Rory Scovel, who delivers

a masterful leading-man debut. I Feel Pretty is a movie I desperately wanted to champion, but I cannot in good faith hail it as the feminist masterpiece it so fiercely tried to present as. Despite what mouth-breathing Redditors have to say about Amy Schumer, she is a revolutionary comedic performer. Unfortunately, I Feel Pretty does her no favors and her talent cannot save her from a jumbled script and repetitive jokes. @metrotimes


| April 25-May 1, 2018


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| April 25-May 1, 2018


Savage Love


I’m a straight male in my 30s. I’ve been with my wife for 12 years. I have had several affairs. Not one-night-stand scenarios, but longer-term connections. I didn’t pursue any of these relationships. Instead, women who knew I was in an “exclusive” relationship have approached me. These have included what turned into a one-year affair with a single woman, a three-year affair with a close friend of my wife, a seven-month affair with a married coworker, and now a fairly serious fourmonths-and-counting relationship with a woman who approached me on Instagram. On the one hand, I do not regret my time with any of these women. On the other hand, I have been deceitful and manipulative for almost my entire adult life. I am

By Dan Savage

the un-self-aware emotional sadist. You a terrible husband in this respect. Also, say you love your wife, but you also say I’m going to get busted eventually, right? she’d be crushed — destroyed — if she Finding out about this would crush my discovered what you’ve been doing. Be wife. I love her, we get along great, and the honest, ASSHOLE, just this once: Is the sex is good — if I wasn’t such a lying piece of shit, you could even say we make a pret- destruction of your wife a bug or is it a feature? I suspect the latter. Because ty good team. We are also very socially cheating on this scale isn’t about sucand financially entangled. I don’t want cumbing to temptation or reacting to to leave, but I suspect I should. And if so, neglect. It’s about the annihilation of your I need help considering an exit strategy. partner — a (hopefully) subconscious Part of my motivation for writing is that desire to punish and destroy someone, I am particularly attached to the woman anyone, fool enough to love you. I’m having an affair with now, and both of The tragedy is how unnecessary your us fantasize about being together openly. 128choices have been. There are women I’m a liar, a cheat, a user, and a manipulaout there who aren’t interested in motor — and it just keeps happening. nogamy, there are female cuckolds out —A Seriously Shitty Husband On Losthere (cuckqueans) who want cheating ing Everything husbands, and there are masochistic P.S. I’m expecting you to rip me to women (and men) out there who get off shreds. on the thought of being with a person who would like to crush them. So long as It doesn’t “just keep happening,” those desires are consciously eroticized, ASSHOLE, you keep doing it. And these fully compartmentalized, and safely exwomen didn’t “turn into” one-year, threepressed, you could have done everything year, seven-month, and four-monthsyou wanted, ASSHOLE, without harming and-counting affairs on their own. You anyone. turned them into affairs by continuing So what do you do now? to show up. And while you claim that It seems like you want out, and your each of these women pursued you wife definitely deserves better, so cop to despite knowing you were in an exclusive one affair, since copping to all of them relationship, it doesn’t sound like you ran would crush her — or so you think. from any of them. At best, you broke into People are often way more resilient than (or slowed to) a trot, which allowed each we give them credit for, and convincing one of these lady predators to overtake ourselves that our partners can’t handle you. the truth is often a convenient justificaThe first step toward holding yourself tion for lying to them. But on the off accountable for your appalling actions — chance it would crush your wife to be a close friend of your wife? really? — is told everything, just tell her about Ms. doing away with the passive voice. Don’t Instagram. That should be enough. ask yourself, “How’d that happen?!?” as P.S. Get your ass into therapy, ASSif the universe were conspiring against HOLE. you somehow. You weren’t hit by a pussy meteor every time you left the house. You did these things. You had these affairs. I’m a 42-year-old gay man. I’ve You. been with my husband for 21 years. We Zooming out: If all it takes for some met in college and, except for a six-month rando to get her hands on your otherbreak, we’ve been together ever since. wise committed cock is to DM you on I made an open relationship a requireInstagram, you have no business making ment at the start. While my husband had monogamous commitments. If you’d jealousy and trust issues, he hooked up sought out a partner who wanted an open with others regularly. After a few tense relationship — a wide-open one — you years, we started couples therapy. During could have had concurrent, committed, therapy, my husband revealed that he nonexclusive relationships and avoided was never in favor of the openness. After being “a liar, a cheat, a user,” etc. trying some new arrangements — only Seeing as you’re a reader, ASSHOLE, together, only at sex parties, DADT — he I suspect you knew an honest open realized he wasn’t comfortable with any relationship was an option — that ethical situation. He told our therapist that every nonmonogamy was an option — but time I hooked up with someone, he was you didn’t pursue that. And why not? retraumatized because it reminded him Maybe because you don’t want to be of the time I broke up with him for six with a woman who is free to sit on other months 20 years ago. I agreed to a modicks. Or maybe the wrongness and nogamous relationship, and I’ve gone a the self-loathing — the whole bad-boyyear without hooking up with anyone else. on-the-rack routine — turn you on. Or He seemed genuinely relieved and said he maybe you’re the wrong kind of sadist: felt more secure. But almost immediately,


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128 April 25-May 1, 2018 |


he began talking about how he wanted to hook up with others. I’m at a loss. I feel tremendous guilt for even thinking about splitting up, so I keep hoping we’ll stumble on the thing that will work for us. I don’t know what to say when he says I should be monogamous to him while he gets to hook up with others. He says this would be best, since my hooking up triggers him. We are at an impasse. It sucks that we could break up over this. —Gay Marriage Having Crisis


I’ve written about a few gay couples — and a few straight ones — where one half gets to hook up with others while the other half doesn’t. But they were cuckold couples, GMHC, and the half who didn’t “get to” hook up with others didn’t want to hook up with others. The cuck half of a cuckold couple gets off on their partner “cheating” on them. While people outside the relationship might perceive that as unfair — one gets to cheat, the other doesn’t — what’s more ideal than both halves of a couple getting just what they want? But if an eroticized power imbalance — an honestly erotized one — doesn’t turn you on, the creepily manipulative arrangement your husband is proposing certainly isn’t going to work. Which means it’s both ultimatum and bluff-calling time. So long as your husband thinks he can dictate terms by pointing to his triggers and his trauma, GMHC, he has every incentive to continue being triggered and traumatized. So with your couples therapist there to mediate, tell him your marriage is either open or closed. You’re not interested in being his cuckold and he can’t point to his trauma to force you into that role. You’re a handsome couple — thanks for enclosing the lovely picture (sometimes it’s nice to see the face of the person I’m responding to!) — with a long history together, and here’s hoping things work out. But if they don’t, GMHC, neither of you is going to have a problem finding a new partner. He can get himself a guy who likes being dictated to, if that’s really what he wants. And you can find a guy who wants an open and egalitarian relationship, which is what you deserve. P.S. If your therapist is taking your husband’s side in this, GMHC, get a new therapist. On the Lovecast, piss play! With the hosts of American Sex Podcast: @fakedansavage


| April 25-May 1, 2018


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CULTURE ARIES: March 21 – April 20

Going into any new territory, it’s wise to take baby steps. When you’re playing with fire, it’s even more essential to take it slow. If you thought this would all come together in a heartbeat you see now that there is some groundwork to be laid. Going back to things that you’ve done before in order to keep the home fires burning will do wonders for your attitude and give you a perspective on the virtues of looking for slow progress in limited areas. Power issues underlie the current scenario. Keep those things in check and don’t let other people lord their stuff over you. TAURUS: April 21 – May 20

By Cal Garrison

LEO: July 21 – August 20

So much water has gone under the bridge, only now are you waking up to the fact that everything has changed. Whoever you thought you were is entering a phase of major redefinition. If your worst fears tell you that you aren’t ready for this, the truth is, your life depends on it. The extent to which the “old you” keeps resisting the changes that are taking place will determine the events that come along to prod you deeper into this period of awakening. If you thought you had it all figured out, guess again. Just “let go, and let God” handle the details. VIRGO: Aug. 21 – Sept. 20

It’s a good thing you have more class than the average bear. In the last few weeks you’ve had to put up with more than enough BS from people who don’t hold a candle to you. Keeping your head above water in situations where everyone and their mother’s uncle is intent on dragging you down, you’ve shown yourself to be a stellar human being. On other fronts there is a lot coming to light and more opportunities to let your influence be felt. Within six months you can expect changes of a higher order to open the way to things that will leave your detractors in the dust.

You have so much going on. The influx of newness and change is spinning things much faster than usual. If you had time to look at it all you’d see a pattern of growth and emergence, after a period of crisis. It’s easier to sustain oneself in the midst of change when we have the freedom to be authentic in all of our dealings. This can be easy or hard. Sometimes we need to do what’s expedient. Be fair with yourself as you navigate the need to come back and/or be recognized. The next few weeks are crucial. High levels of performance will require a steady mind and heart.

GEMINI: May 21 – June 20

LIBRA: Sept. 21 – Oct. 20

Walking this line has been a total bitch for some of you. Others are getting an easier ride, or have found a way to reckon with the issues that pop up when life skewers us with more than one thing at a time. There is no recipe for what goes on in this neck of the woods. It’s what I call a free will moment. And because the right thing to do is always whatever it is that allows you to look in the mirror and feel OK about whoever’s looking back at you, the only choice is the one that rings true, in your unique case. To ask for advice might help. Just be careful who you talk to.

You have no time to think. That’s a blessing because you can’t wrap your mind around any of this. Themes that relate to the whole concept of “waiting” for certain things to come through, or for people to figure out what they want, or for something to show you what’s next, are all over the place. You guys never have much trouble picking up and moving on. The need to reassess your options in light of recent developments keeps the conversation in your head on a track that tells me you already read the signs. It’ll be a couple of months before you see the writing on the wall.

CANCER: June 21 – July 20

Part of you believes that love means putting up with anything. This makes it nearly impossible to draw the line between who you are and what you do in the name of love. All your giving is tied up with behavior that developed when whoever was supposed to be there for you bailed out and led you to believe that love means turning yourself inside out in order to get it. Your current situation is triggering the impulse to go over and above the call of duty. Instead of doing the same old thing, saving everyone else’s ass could have more to do with following your bliss.

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SCORPIO: Oct. 21 – Nov. 20

Do yourself a favor and crawl out from underneath the parental blueprint. Growing up in an environment that expected too much from you turned you into one of those people who responds to life by always towing the line. It looks like it’s time to start babysitting for your inner child. At this rate a tantrum or two could be just what the doctor ordered because every ounce of your creativity got hijacked a long time ago. Believe it or not, you have always had cosmic permission to give everyone the finger and do as you please. The minute you do, your life will take off.

SAGITTARIUS: Nov. 21 – Dec. 20

The whole ball of wax is ready to flip. All the “stuff” that made you think that this would last forever needs to be reviewed in light of the fact that it’s either working or it isn’t. After a few years of making do with a situation that you have outgrown, your obligations to people, places, and things are up for review. The deeper part of you may feel chained to the status quo, at a time when all of the angels in heaven are praying that you’ll begin to wake up and shine. Don’t be afraid to walk off the set, and consider the virtues of unlocking the door that will take you out for recess. CAPRICORN: Dec. 21 - Jan. 20

Too much pressure is being brought to bear on things that require a lighter touch. It would be easier to tell you to relax if I could be sure that you had faith in the idea that you are bound to succeed. Sure, things have been insane, and a lot of what you thought would last forever has fallen through the cracks — at the same time, you’re savvy enough to know that everything goes up and down and most of it is out of our hands. This is why I am telling you to relax enough to move in and out of these fluctuations knowing that none of it has the power to hold you back. AQUARIUS: Jan. 21 – Feb. 20

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter by the minute. After God knows how long you are finally ready to move on to the next thing. All kinds of stuff is bound to get lit up during this process. Be mindful of the ways in which your relationships react in the face of change. You’ve been in the same groove for such a long time that this will probably feel a little strange at first. The next month or two will be nuts, but your wings will work fine once you get used to the fact that they are no longer clipped. After that, you will be amazed at how good it feels to be free. PISCES: Feb. 21 – March 20

In the midst of a huge transition, there is bound to be chaos. Your kids could be a major issue. There could be close others who are going through the mill. Your own story is woven into all of this in a way that requires you to be flexible and clear enough to resolve things. I see a sense of frustration that can only be mitigated by a detached attitude and a spiritual approach. Don’t be dismayed by anything. Everyone has their own higher self. Remember — it is not your job to heal this; you can only pay attention to the truth and do what it takes to remain centered in the eye of the storm.

| April 25-May 1, 2018


Metro Times 042518  

Best Of Issue 2018

Metro Times 042518  

Best Of Issue 2018