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« Detroit News Roundup for Thursday, August 30, 2007
» Detroit News Roundup for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday September 3-5, 2007

Detroit News Roundup for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, August 31-September 2, 2007

Top hotel coming to Grand Rapids

GRAND RAPIDS — Hotels, museums, culture. This city has benefited greatly from the philanthropy of people made rich by Amway and Meijer.

Now, a crowning touch for the city is the imminent opening of the $100-million JW Marriott downtown on Sept. 21. The exclusive brand will add a layer of panache to this furniture city — there are only 36 of these top-of-the-line Marriotts in the world, and this will be the only one in the Midwest.

I saw good job Grand Rapids, as you find ways to compete with other cities in the Midwest, rather than compete for the market only within Michigan.

And an odd tidbit I found interesting:

Where will metro Detroiters vacation between now and the end of 2007? Here’s where, according to a new survey by the giant travel agency Carlson-Wagonlit:

Domestic: Las Vegas, Orlando, Maui, Miami, New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Ft. Lauderdale, Ft. Myers and Honolulu.

International: Caribbean cruise, Cancun, Mediterranean cruise, Dominican Republic, Mexican cruise, Riviera Maya, Rome, London, Paris and Puerto Vallarta.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Quite a site!

All right, the track is slippery as a noodle, and it may still be a tight squeeze in sections, but, boy, the view of downtown from the Belle Isle race track is flat-out spectacular.

The crowds have been light to moderate but those who’ve come have enjoyed the smell of rubber and racing fuels.

Fans have been treated to weather you’d wish for on a Jamaican holiday and the buses and shuttles have run like clockwork.

Racing is back today at Belle Isle at its best, or close.

Root for Danica Patrick, yell for Helio Castroneves but give yourselves and Detroit a clap on the back for restoring the roar to Motown.

These are some encouraging words from a reporter from Down Under.
[via Detroit Free Press]

YOU HAVEN’T LIVED HERE UNTIL: You’ve picnicked just on Michigan …

In 1916, Albert Koegel settled in Flint to start a meat company he called Koegel’s. An apprentice in the meat business in Germany, he settled in Flint because he was told that with the projected growth of the auto industry, there would be lots of customers coming to the area. By the mid-1930s, he had his own plant. The company moved to a new Flint facility in 1972.

Today, the company has nearly 100 employees and produces 35 products at a plant near Bishop Airport, most from the same recipes Albert Koegel developed. There are frankfurters, bratwurst, braunschweiger, and for those who like their lunchmeats, there’s bologna, salami, olive loaf, pickle loaf, Dutch-style loaf, honey-style loaf and even macaroni and cheese loaf. Most of the products are sold only in Michigan.

Another Michigan institution — Kowalski — has been making Polish kielbasa and dozens of other meats from the secret family recipes of Agnes and Zygmund Kowalski for 85 years. The business started as a grocery store on Chene in Detroit. Demand grew for the homemade sausage and the family built a factory in Hamtramck to accommodate. It’s still there. The business has remained in the family and employs more than 200 people, making 75 different products, from fresh meats and sausages to seafood, poultry and Polish specialty foods like horseradish and sauerkraut.

And there’s more!
[via Detroit Free Press]

Marathon expansion plan makes sense for Michigan

What’s it going to be, Michigan? Jobs, business investment and a more stable supply of gasoline in the state or the continued loss of opportunity in Michigan because special interests control the show?

That’s what’s at stake with a proposal by Marathon Petroleum Co. to expand its Detroit refinery to process heavy Canadian crude oil. The company is looking for the state’s help in the form of tax breaks and community buy-in. The firm should receive it.

If it’s going to be built anywhere should be built here but Marathon already knows that. So why does it need tax breaks?
[via DetNews.com]

Detroit jazz festival lets it roll

Whether it was the perfect weather — bright blue skies and low humidity — or possibly a spillover effect from the Grand Prix down at Belle Isle, the crowds were thick at the Detroit International Jazz Festival on Saturday.

A scorching blues guitar lick boomeranged around the stone canyons of Campus Martius early in the afternoon, as Doug Deming and the Jeweltones rocked out on the Chase Stage. That early (Deming went on at 1), the audience wasn’t as packed as it could have been, but a gentleman watching from off to the side made up for the lack of numbers with the sheer force of his personality and style. “Mr. Detroit,” as he called himself, was dressed in a tan suit, white spats over his shoes and tan hat, exactly matching the fur of his tan and white bulldog, whom he referred to as “Mr. Duff.”

[via DetNews.com]

Detroit Grand Prix Spoiler Alert! Penske Racing’s Romain Dumas Wins In Last Second Stunner!

The home town boy’s team made it happen when it counted here at the Detroit Grand Prix — at the very last second. On the 106th lap, Romain Dumas took his Porsche RS Spyder to the checkered flag here on Belle Isle, propelling Penske Racing to the win, and making Detroit native and Penske Racing owner, Roger Penske, a very happy man.

[via Jalopnik]

Downtown Pontiac jazzes up for festival

The “three-and-ahalf-day extravaganza,” as dubbed by its creator, Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson, officially opened Friday, transforming downtown Pontiac into a block party filled with exactly what the event’s title offers: fine art, up-tempo beats and tasty eats.

To kick off the 10th annual Chrysler Arts Beats & Eats festival, Patterson and city officials took part in a ribboncutting ceremony celebrating the city’s Saginaw Streetscape project, including new lampposts, sidewalks, selfwatering flower beds, tree plantings and the renovation of at least four buildings.

[via Oakland Press]

In praise of Windsor

How else to explain this corrosive contempt for the city — and the perverse joy over its travails — shared by a significant chunk of its citizenry.

Outsiders know we have something special here. I’ve taken Torontonians through Old Walkerville in May, when our flowering trees are in full bloom, and had them rubbing their eyes in disbelief that this could be Windsor.

If this sounds familiar it’s because the sentiment is shared on both sides of the border. We are a self-hating international metropolis. Sometimes we can even see past the hate and we miss the things that outsiders see one coming from places that we think are loads better, out of reach even. What they see is a gem that is, among other things, affordable and within reach.
[via Windsor Star]

MetroPCS International Block Party

This is the party within the party. Arts, Beats & Eats has dedicated much of Pike Street and the Stoli International Stage to bringing global flavors to downtown Pontiac.

Festival producer Jon Witz likens the block party to the festival’s version of the annual Concert of Colors in Detroit — but with more food.

[via Detroit Free Press]

Downtown enthusiasm abounds

Downtown sidewalk sale of vendors, including home-based stores and local entertainment that might include an invitation to “American Idol” star LaKisha Jones and others.

A weekly music event, such as “Thursday in the Square.”

Those are just some of the pitches in response to a recent Flint Journal article seeking ways to lure more people here and help springboard a downtown Flint rebound.

“Put things downtown, and people will come,” said Flint native Delphine Herman.

Downtown Flint.
[via MLive.com]

Zoo authority bill would be step in right direction

State Sen. Gilda Jacobs, D-Huntington Woods, has said she would craft the bill and submit it to the state Legislature. There is no timetable for the bill, but officials in Jacobs’ office said it would be given priority status.

That’s good news. Establishing the authority is the first step in securing the future of a landmark entertainment venue for the metro area.

And it sets a good precedent for establishing authorities for other regional services (like, hmm, DARTA).
[via Oakland Press]

A perfect little Ann Arbor tour

What better way to spend a brisk fall evening than to stroll the streets of downtown Ann Arbor, discovering (or rediscovering) the town’s distinctive, eclectic of mix of good eating, shopping and cultural offerings?

Rush Street, 314 S. Main St. This tapas-style bar and restaurant is just a block north. Specializing in small plates, the trendy Rush Street is a great stop for drinks and appetizers. The menu features such classic starters as coconut chicken and crab rangoon, as well as several opportunities to sample something a little different, like the duck confit Napoleon.

Like being in Chicago without having to deal with the worst aspects of being in the Gold Coast.
[via MLive.com]

Music: Turntabilist DJ Seoul

Turntablism — the art of manipulating sounds by using turntables and a mixer — has lost some of its thunder in recent years.

But Billy Stacy, aka DJ Seoul, isn’t going anywhere. He’s a devotee. As a new member of the Detroit Techno Militia, Stacy helps carry the torch of teaching the history of Detroit music by playing his brand of electro highlighted by hip-hop stylings and house influences.

Listen to a DJ set by DJ Seoul at the Detroit Institute of Techno.
[via Hub]

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« Detroit News Roundup for Thursday, August 30, 2007
» Detroit News Roundup for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday September 3-5, 2007