Saturday, January 28, 2006

Learn about fitness, meet NFL stars at new Downtown YMCA

The weight room at the Boll YMCA in Downtown Detroit

Upcoming Super Bowl activities in Detroit go beyond the scope of parties, celebrities and football.

As tomorrow's Healthy Family Challenge at the Boll Family YMCA exhibits, pre-SBXL events also include fun, engaging activities that the whole family will enjoy.

Basketball courts at Detroit's new YMCA

From 12:00 - 4:00 tomorrow afternoon, Downtown Detroit's new fitness complex hosts the Healthy Family Challenge, a free, comprehensive health fair featuring a variety of demonstrations, health information and tips on keeping you and your family active and healthy.

Meet NFL players, try out nutritious, healthy snacks and win prizes like Super Party packs, hats and tickets to the NFL Experience.

The Healthy Family Challenge is one of many SBXL Community Outreach events in Detroit.

Specifically, it is part of the NFL's 40 Days of Fitness, a program involving 40 consecutive days of health-related activities and initiatives in the Super Bowl host city.

The Boll Family YMCA is located at 1401 Broadway in Downtown Detroit.

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Friday, January 27, 2006

Detroit gets ready for some football

From California to New York and everywhere in between, people all over the country are buzzing about Super Bowl XL, football's big game that's now just 9 days away.

Washington Boulevard’s recent streetscape projects brought back the wide boulevard and German-style lamp posts that were part of the area's original design plan.

While the match-up between the Steelers and Seahawks has garnered its fair share of attention, the teams and players about to partake in the NFL's annual romp aren't the only subjects on tap at watercoolers and newsrooms across the nation; Detroit, the early-twentieth century powerhouse that for decades has struggled to lift itself up after a devastating fall from grace has also found its way into pre-SBXL discussions.

Borders opened up its first store in Downtown Detroit in 2004

The Motor City, compared to a Post-War battleground just a few years ago, is generating new headlines - this time for its impressive clean-up and team work efforts that have turned the city from drab to fab.

The metamorphosis of the city's downtown area within the last five years has been amazing. Dozens of new businesses, restaurants, housing units and facade improvements have been completed, and many more are currently underway or in the planning stages.

Downtown Detroit has welcomed several new restaurants in the past two years, including Vincente's, pictured above, which specializes in cuban cuisine.

Curious about all the new development? Want to see it in person?

Lucky for you,
Detroit Synergy and Inside Detroit offer the opportunity to do just that this evening through their collaborative initiative, the Inside Detroit Orientation.

The night kicks off with dinner at Harmonie Park's Coaches Corner at 6 pm, and will be followed by free guided tours in and around several revamped downtown districts, including Harmonie Park, Campus Martius, the Art Deco office district and Woodward's emerging loft district.

Tours start at 7 pm and participants are encouraged to have dinner (at their own expense) at Coaches Corner prior to embarking on the tours. For more information, please click

The Rink at Campus Martius Park

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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Shady Records Kicks off SBXL with Launch Party at Bookies

Bookies Tavern in Downtown Detroit to Host Star-Studded Event Next Week

Have plans Tuesday night?
After you read this, you'll probably want to change them.

Already one of Downtown Detroit's hottest night spots, Bookies Tavern promises to be smoldering-hot next week when it hosts a pre-SBXL party unlike any other in the Motor City.

On Tuesday, January 31, Bookies presents the Shady Records Kick-Off Bash, a celebrity-infused party commemorating the start of SBXL festivities in Detroit.

With special event guests including Eminem, D-12, Stat Quo, Kid Rock, Obie Trice, Trick Trick and Slum Village - along with members of the Detroit Lions and Detroit Pistons and special celebrity DJs - the Shady Records Kick-Off Bash is one Super Bowl XL party that's not to be missed.

To inquire about or purchase tickets for the event, please call Bookies at (313) 963-2589 or visit its website,

Just don't wait too long - there are only 150 tickets available for the event, and Bookies is only offering the first 50 tickets for presale.

Bookies Tavern is located at the corner of Washington Boulevard and Grand River on the ground floor of Detroit's historic Book Tower building.

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Saturday, January 21, 2006

Lofts, entertainment venues to breathe new life into Broderick Tower

It's been nearly-vacant for almost three decades, but if things go as planned, Downtown Detroit's Broderick Tower will be filled with new residents and businesses in just a few years.

In 1997, Madison Heights-artist Robert Wyland painted the 108-foot whale mural on the building's exterior

Witherell Corporation, owner of the 34-story building, announced last October that it hired Ann Arbor-based construction firm JC Beal to redevelop the interior of the structure. The 1928 building was designed by famed Detroit architects Paul and Louis Kamper.

Plans call for 125 loft-style apartments. Five floors of the building will serve as office space and entertainment venues.

The David Broderick Tower is
located at the corner of Witherell and Woodward in Downtown Detroit. Visit for more information.

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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Hudson-Webber grants $1.5 million to Detroit organizations

Four Detroit non-profit organizations got a helping hand last week when the Detroit-based Hudson-Webber Foundation approved a total of $1,517,000 in grants for the companies.

According to this article in Crain's Detroit Business, the breakdown of the recently-approved grant funds are as follows:

$517,000 to Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit. Goodwill assists individuals with disabilities or employment barriers in becoming independent through training, work and community engagement.

$300,000 to Habitat for Humanity Detroit. This branch of the widely-known national organization was responsible for a 30-home building blitz in the D last summer.

$300,000 to United Way for Southeastern Michigan. Grant funds will be used to help fund the organization's new 2-1-1 hotline.

$200,000 to the Midtown-based University Cultural Center Association. The funds are ear-marked for use within the Woodward Corridor.

$200,000 to VIP Mentoring Detroit for assistance with their mentoring program for children with incarcerated parents.

The purpose of the Hudson-Webber Foundation is to improve the vitality and quality of life within the Detroit community, which it does by focusing on the following five areas: the arts, economic development, the physical revitalization of Detroit, the Detroit Medical Center and safe communities.

Since 1939, the Hudson-Webber Foundation has given more than $125 million to Detroit-area organizations.

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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Detroit in Pictures

Exciting new things are happening in Detroit every day.

Sometimes, rather than writing or reading about new developments and news, though, it's best to actually see what's going on.

If you keep up on Detroit's happenings but have moved away or simply don't have the time to get down to the city often, I think you'll enjoy viewing the Detroit-related photos on the photo-sharing site, Flickr.

Point of Origin in Detroit

From groups like Detroit Everyday - composed of things you'd see on a daily basis in the city - to the images taken by the bloggers over at Metroblogging Detroit - I think you'll enjoy seeing some sides of Detroit that you haven't before.

Comerica Park at Night

Inn on Ferry Street


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Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Fans rate Pistons Number 2 in Sports

Sure, Detroiters are proud of their NBA team. The Pistons' awesome 28-win run this season has garnered plenty of media attention around the Motor City, and everyone from little Johnny to Grandma will get out their Piston gear come playoff time.

For an insider's look at everything Pistons, check out some of the great weblogs on the team written by die-hard Detroit fans: Detroit Bad Boys, Detroit Pistons Journal and Need4Sheed.

The love Pistons fans have for their pro basketball team runs deeper than playoff time and game winners, though, and nothing illustrates that point better than ESPN's recent Ultimate Standings survey. Fans are so appreciative and proud of the Detroit Pistons that the team was just ranked as the number two sports team among all of the teams in the NFL, NBA and MLB.

This year's ESPN Ultimate Standings survey, which is in its 4th year, ranked the Pistons and the other 91 pro teams in the NBA, NFL and MLB based on the online votes of 30,000 fans from across the country. (The NHL was not included in this year's poll due to the lockout).

Essentially a fan satisfaction survey, team rankings in Ultimate Standings are based on fan reviews in seven categories: Fan Relations - access to players; Ownership - honesty, player loyalty to team and city; Affordability - price of tickets, parking and concessions; Stadium Experience - pleasant arena environment and game-day promotions; Players - performance on the court and congeniality off of it; Coach/Manager - on-court leadership; Championships - won or expected in the near future.

The eighth category, "Bang for the Buck" was based on wins during the past three years divided by revenue obtained directly from fans. This figure was calculated by the University of Oregon's Warsaw Sports Marketing Center for all of the teams.

The Detroit Pistons have made great strides in the past five seasons. In the 2000-2001 season, the Pistons were just 32-50. The following year, the team had a miraculous recovery and reversed its regular season standings to end the year 50-32.

They duplicated that record the following year, and, in the 2003-2004 regular season, Detroit's NBA team was 54-28 and went on to win the NBA championship.

Last year, they went 54-28. They lost the championship four games to three to the San Antonio Spurs.

Tomorrow Detroit's NBA team celebrates its
100th-straight sell-out game at The Palace, where they will host the Seattle Sonics.

To show appreciation to fans, the team will give out 100 Domino's pizzas and drop 100 parachutes into the stands. In an
online contest, the Pistons will select 100 winners for various prizes, including one Grand Prize package that includes every giveaway item from the 2005-06 regular season.

This is the fourth consecutive season that the Detroit Pistons have led the league in attendance. It is the third time they have ranked in the top 5 in ESPN's Ultimate Standings survey. They were number one in 2005 and number four in 2004.

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