Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Kilpatrick Appointed Co-Chair of Mayoral Task Force

Among the 1,139 members of the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM), Detroit's Kwame Kilpatrick was recently appointed Co-Chair of the Task Force on Poverty, Work and Opportunity.

Kilpatrick joins chair Antonio Villaraigosa, Mayor of Los Angeles, and four other mayoral co-chairs on the task force, which is charged with developing a new policy agenda on poverty. The six-member group will present the agenda at the USCM Winter meeting in January 2007.

In June 2006, Mayor Kilpatrick was chosen as one of the USCM's 13 Trustees.
In addition to this role and his appointment to the Poverty, Work and Opportunity Task Force, Kilpatrick serves as co-chair of the USCM Cities and Borders Task Force and chair of the Council for the New American City Task Force.

Created in 1932 on the eve of Franklin D. Roosevelt's Presidential Inauguration, the United States Conference of Mayors is the official non-partisan organization of cities with populations of 30,000 or more.

Dearborn-Mayor Michael Guido is the current President of the USCM.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

Halloween fun in the D

Who says Halloween is just for kids?

Parading 10-deep around the neighborhood with a ratty-old pillowcase is out of the question, but just because you've graduated from dividing up your candy at the end of the night doesn't mean you can't prance around town as a giant green M&M or Dracula reincarnate.

Looking for a spot in the D to get your Halloween trick-or-treat on? Here are a few suggestions that promise to have you feeling love at first fright:

On Friday, October 27, Knemonic Productions and Rising Dragon join forces to bring you "Halloween Extravaganza". Featuring five bands, four fear-inspiring films (Nosfurato, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, Night of the Living Dead and Phantom of the Opera), as well as a vampire martial arts show, attendees of this Halloween party will enjoy plenty of tricks, plus one big treat: free beer. Just watch out for spiders in your cup.

Tickets for the party, which will be held at Detroit's BF Goodrich building are $8 in advance or $10 at the door if you're wearing a costume ($15 if you're not). A portion of the ticket money is slated to go to My Sister's Place, a Detroit shelter for abused women and their children, and the Detroit film scene. Visit Knemonic on the web for more information.

Campus Martius Park in Detroit

If one night of pretending to be someone else isn't enough, you're in luck; Intus, "Detroit's refined nightclub", is throwing a costume party on October 28, and you're invited.

Sponsored by Hennessey, this pre-Halloween get-down includes drink specials, giveaways, and plenty of music to get you movin' and groovin' on the dancefloor. A costume contest is also planned. If you like a mature and classy crowd, Intus is your place. Call 313.567.5555 for more information.

Just because Halloween falls on a Tuesday this year doesn't mean you'll turn into a pumpkin at 9. Ignore that little voice in your head (who says late nights and morning meetings don't mix?) and throw on that $50 costume one more time for a Halloween Night Masquerade Ball at the Magic Stick.

Located on Woodward Avenue in the Majestic (also home of Garden Bowl, Majestic Cafe and Sgt. Pepperoni's) attendees of the event will enjoy live music by the Questions, Freer, Friends of Dennis Wilson, Siddhartha, and The Bird Dogs for a $10 cover.

Aptly titled "A Tribute to Harry Houdini" - the famous magician died in Detroit on Halloween - I wouldn't be surprised if the MS staff has some other tricks up its sleeve for this 18 and over event. Visit the Majestic on the web for more information.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Rowland Cafe turns one

If you have never experienced the beauty and elegance of the Guardian building's Retail Promenade, take note: this week is the perfect time to do it.

In honor of its first birthday, the Rowland Cafe - named after famed-architect Wirt Rowland, the mastermind behind the magnificent Art Deco building that houses the eatery - is offering special discounts and giveaways on fine Italian coffees, delicious sandwiches and savory treats through Friday, October 20.

Giveaways and discounts, you say? That's right; here's the scoop:

On Wednesday, October 18, the first 100 customers to purchase an Illy coffee beverage will receive a free Cannella French Custard Tart.

On Thursday, October 19, the European-style cafe knocks 50% off the price of all focaccia and baguette sandwiches (side note: the baguettes are from Detroit-fave, Avalon International Breads). Choices include Chicken Caesar, Michigan Cherry Chicken, Grand Cafe Roast Beef, Novella Tuna and more. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it!

On Friday, October 20, feed that sweet tooth without breaking the bank. Large Traffic Jam cookies - chocolate chip, chocolate chocolate chip, white chocolate Macadamia, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin and lemon sugar - are all half-price.

Located at 500 Griswold (in the lobby of the Guardian building) the Rowland Cafe is open Monday - Friday from 7 am - 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am - 4 pm. While you're there, take a moment to peruse the promenade's other cool stops and shops - Karmic Cafe, Becca Belle Gifts, Pure Detroit, City Knits and more - and to enjoy the stunning beauty of the building.

For more information on the Rowland Cafe, please visit http://www.therowlandcafe.com/

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Monday, October 16, 2006

Michigan brews go center stage

Love beer?

Then you'll adore A Taste of the D, a beer-tasting event scheduled for Friday, October 20, at the Detroit Historical Museum.

Put on by the Detroit Historical Society's Junior Benefit Committee, this year's Taste will feature brews from 10 awesome Michigan breweries - Bell's Brewery of Kalamazoo, King Brewing Company of Pontiac, Kuhnhenn Brewing Company of Warren and Motor City Brewing Works of Detroit, to name a few - as well as samples of area cuisine from Metro D hotspots like Twingo's, Hunter House, Zumba and more.

Don't like beer? No worries; Gala Rouge will be on hand with wine samples.

Other highlights at the event, which runs from 7 pm - midnight, include a silent auction, tarot and astrology readings, and music by DJ Scott Brandon.

Advance tickets for a Taste of the D are $15 for Detroit Historical Society members and $20 for all others and can be purchased here. Tickets will be available at the door for $25 each.

Sponsored in part by Greektown Casino - other event partners include GTS, Go & Do Michigan, After 5, Six Degrees, CreateDetroit and Detroit Synergy - A Taste of the D is open to individuals 21 and over.

All proceeds benefit the Detroit Historical Society, a non-profit organization founded in 1921 to preserve the history of the Detroit region. For more information, please click here or call 313.833.1980.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Room with a (spectacular) view

Imagine living high atop downtown Detroit.

Look out one window and catch the final inning of a heated Tiger game. Look out another and you've got a bird's-eye view of a summer concert at Campus Martius Park. You have an aerial perspective of Detroit's Thanksgiving Day Parade and your home is one of the best spots in the city to watch the annual Freedom Festival fireworks.

Walk a few steps out your front door and a host of amenities lie at your disposal. There's an on-site concierge to tip you off on the hottest happenings this week, and a doorman to greet you and provide that extra set of hands when yours are full of grocery or shopping bags.

You have access to a state-of-the-art fitness center to keep you in tip-top shape along with and an indoor heated pool and whirlpool to provide a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Some of the best retail shopping in Detroit is located just floors below, so you'll never have a problem finding that perfect birthday gift for a co-worker or the right outfit to wear to that important meeting.

You won't have to drive much - an assorted collection of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues lie just blocks away - but in the rare event you do need a set of wheels, there's no need to park or retrieve your car; the valet service will handle that for you.

Don't feel like going out for dinner tonight? Not a problem - you have 24-hour room service available at your beck and call.

In just a few short years, Detroiters living in the luxury condominiums on the top eight floors of the beloved Book-Cadillac on Washington Boulevard will enjoy these first-class amenities and panaromic views of the city, the Detroit River and Windsor.

How can you secure a spot at what will undoubtedly become one of Detroit's most sought-after addresses? You could wait for the grand opening, scheduled a few months from now, but as one of the largest and most important residential developments Detroit has seen in decades, the 67 luxury condominiums planned for the new B-C will go quick.

If you really want to live in the future pinnacle of downtown Detroit, Esquire Properties invites you to attend a pre-grand opening on Saturday at the Detroit Athletic Club.

Jon Grabowski, President of Esquire Properties, says the pre-grand opening or "selection phase" will allow interested buyers the opportunity to choose a condominium before the grand opening sales period. Purchases made at the preview event are eleigible for one-day-only special pricing:

"Pre-release pricing begins at $280,000," Grabowski says. "We anticipate opening a Welcome Center in December with prices starting at $320,000."

What do buyers get for the money?

Besides panoramic views of the city, the Detroit River and Windsor and access to all the amenities at the four-star Westin Book-Cadillac Hotel, buyers at the Westin Book-Cadillac Detroit Residences qualify for three tax incentives upon purchase: a Neighborhood Enterprise Zone (NEZ) property-tax abatement that severly reduces property taxes on the residence for 12 years; a State of Michigan Renaissance Zone tax abatement, which gives buyers a 100% tax exemption on city and state income taxes, as well as Detroit utility-users tax, until 2015; and a one-time historic tax credit, which is transferred to the buyer at closing and can be used to offset personal income taxes.

One-bedroom condominiums at the new Book-Cadillac will be 950-square feet; two-bedroom units will be 1,500-square feet. Six penthouse units, ranging from 2,300- to 4,500-square feet, are also available.

The pre-grand opening of the Westin Book-Cadillac Detroit Residences is set for 11 am on Saturday, October 14. A 5% deposit of the purchase price is required to reserve a unit for purchase.

For more information, please visit Esquire Properties on the web or call 313.580.2200.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Bon appetit at the Caucus Club

If you like exploring historic Detroit venues and enjoy fine dining in an ambient atmosphere, then I have just the Detroit event for you.

Detroit Synergy is hosting another one of its fabulous supper clubs (organized by the equally-fabulous Jordan Medeiros) at Detroit's famed Caucus Club restaurant next Wednesday, October 18.

The fine dining event, being held at one of the city's most relished restaurants, offers metro Detroiters the opportunity to sample some of the city's best gourmet food at the low fixed-price of $30 a person.

Along with mixing and mingling with a diverse group of metro Detroiters, diners will enjoy Caesar salad, one of three mouth-watering entrees - Potato-crusted Pickerel Fillets, Beef Tenderloin Medallions Velez, or Fettucini Primavera with wild mushrooms - and gold brick sundae (mmmm!) with coffee, tea or a soft drink for dessert. Tax and gratuity are included in the fixed price.

Sound tempting? Click here to purchase tickets or here to find out more about the event, which begins at 6 pm on Wednesday, October 18.

The historic Caucus Club is located at 150 West Congress in the Penobscot building.

Bon appetit!

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Monday, October 09, 2006

On the prowl

The Detroit Tigers are living proof that with hard work and dedication, anything is possible.

After losing Game 1 of the ALDS to the New York Yankees last week, the Tigs dusted off the loss and started anew. Determined not to go down without a fight, Detroit surprised everyone by coming from behind and beating the star-studded New York team 4-3 at Yankee Stadium.

The series was tied.

But not for long.

Anchored by the phenomenal pitching of southpaw-Kenny Rogers, the Tigers stomped the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS - beating the highest-paid team in Major League Baseball 6-0 in front of a 43,000+ Detroit crowd.

On Saturday, the Tigers gave fans more reasons to cheer when they proved that winning Games 2 and 3 was no fluke. In front of another sellout crowd, the Tigs crushed the Yanks 8-3 in Game 4, ending the opposing team's dream of a 2006 World Series run - and greatly enhancing the chance of a run of their own.

For the first time since 1987, the Detroit Tigers were pronounced ALDS Champions.

Watch the Detroit Tigers battle it out against the Oakland A's this week in the AL Championship. The series begins Tuesday, October 10 (trivia tidbit: October 10 is also Placido Polanco's birthday) at 8 pm at Oakland.

Game 2, set for Wednesday, October 11, is also at 8 pm at Oakland.

The Tigs return to Comerica Park for Games 3 and 4, scheduled for 8 pm on Friday, October 13, and 7:30 pm on Saturday, October 14.

The AL Championship will be televised on FOX and broadcast on Detroit's WXYT 1270 AM.

Not in metro Detroit? Click here for a list of radio stations in surrounding cities that will be broadcasting the ALCS match-up between the Detroit Tigers and Oakland A's.

Go Tigers!

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Friday, October 06, 2006

Recent college grads eligible for low-interest loans in Detroit

In addition to cool homes and the best culture and entertainment in Southeastern Michigan, now there's one more reason for recent college grads to buy a home in Detroit: a mortgage rate reduction.

Governor Jennifer Granholm announced yesterday that beginning Monday, October 9, recent college graduates buying a home in Detroit are eligible to take advantage of a new low-interest home loan program that could save them thousands of dollars a year on mortgage payments.

College grads who recently completed a 2- or 4-year degree or a continuing education program have three years from their graduation date to apply for the special rate loans, which are 2% below market rate.

In addition to homes purchased in Detroit, recent college grads purchasing homes, lofts or condos in seven other Michigan cities will also qualify for the reduced-rate loans, which are funded by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).

Those cities include Hamtramck, Highland Park, Pontiac, Flint, Saginaw, Benton Harbor and Muskegon Heights.

The MSHDA has $10 million ear-marked for the program. The loans will be given on a first-come, first-served basis.

Visit the State of Michigan's website for more information on the program. To view a variety of housing options in the D, please visit City Living Detroit.

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