For many years, one of my favorite midtown lunch spots has been the cafeteria at the Detroit Institute of Arts, Cafe DIA. They are located in the lower level, around the corner from the Kresge Court. They have the most amazing salad bar that I am aware of in the area. It includes different greens, lettuce, various featured meats, grilled and fresh vegetables, cheeses, fruits & all of the quality accompaniments imaginable. The charge is by weight and they offer various discounts for DIA members and students. Their beverage selection is extensive and includes pop, tea, beer, wine & multiple other options. In addition to the salad bar, they also have great chill, soup, grilled and special made food items such as sandwiches or pasta. For desert, I check out some of the priceless art. Regardless of my schedule, I make sure to include a visit to our very own Detroit treasure, the Diego Rivera fresco murals. Between the gourmet food and priceless art, you can't go wrong with this great Midtown lunch option!
As I write this month's installment I am sailing the Caribbean en route to Havana, Cuba. In the last week we've experienced Cienfuegos, ' La Perla del Sur (Pearl of the South)' and Santiago de Cuba, 'Birthplace of the Revolution.' Both places are fascinating and steeped in history. Cienfuegos with its Neoclassical buildings, wide boulevards, and sparkling bay has a heavy French influence evident everywhere you look. Once the capital of Cuba, Santiago de Cuba is Cuba's second largest city and the original home of Bacardi rum and Son music. It is also said to be where the Cuban revolution had its beginnings.
Since you couldn't be with me on this trip, accept the following as my photo postcard to you.
From Cuba, with love!
Travel Diva Angela
More photos as well as information about the Travel Diva's next adventures can be found at www.star1vacations.com.
The second Sunday in May is bright, the promise of summer is just around the corner. A great day to say “Thank you Mom!” for being so special. I honestly think all women are mom’s in one way or another. Her children can be any age. I have known a few who are 62 but act more like 2. In a lot of countries and here in the U.S. it is the grandmother who rules the roost. This is true with Jewish and Italian people. She is very special and a fountain of information to everyone. Children are always eager to go see “Grandma”. Could be the cookies or the cool gifts but I think it is for a lot of other reasons too. I know of an 86 year old lady who was written up in her small town paper for running around town on her skateboard! Just be sure to make this day extra special for mom and don’t forget the grandmother too.
The historical calendar had a number of interesting events which occurred on May 5. For instance, May the 5th is the Mexican festival Cinco de Mayo. It is an international holiday in remembrance of the Battle of Puebla in 1802 in which Mexican troops Under General Zaragoza, outnumbered three to one, defeated the invading French force of Napoleon III. This is a very joyous festival with lots of dancing, food and colorful floats. Check it out.
May the 5th 1893 is also when Wall Street Crash. It was the worst economic crisis in the U.S. history up to that date. May 5th 1865, Decoration Day was first observed in the U.S. with the tradition of decorating soldiers’ graves from the Civil War with flowers. The observance date was later moved to May 30th and included American graves from World I and World War II, and became better known as Memorial Day. In 1971 congress moved Memorial Day to the last Monday in May thus creating a three-day holiday weekend.
These are just a few historical happenings that occurred on May 5th but there are others you might like to check out.
As we get older how many of us give thought to planning ahead in case something happens to us? I believe this is called estate planning. Few us have mansions or big bank accounts. What most have are treasures – items that we would like to see passed on and not end up in a forgotten corner of a thrift shop. For myself it is a library of cookbooks that contain a wealth of information. I hope everyone takes a moment to do there research and find a reputable estate planning attorney like I did.
SOCIAL SCENE for MAY
Outside of sport events there are many nice places to take Mom for Mother’s Day in the downtown “D”. Reservations are recommended. Check out the Princess Cruise on the Detroit River for another nice idea.
On Friday, May 12th, 2017 in Midtown Detroit at the International Institute there will be a RSVP Black Tie Event starting at 7:00PM. It is presented by London Enterprises. Special guest Al Allen of TV2 News will be in attendance.. There will be entertainment, a silent auction, and a showcase of interesting and informative classes that can be applied for after the event. Hors D’oeuvres will be served. Please call (248) 701-0885 for reservations. This is a must see event in Detroit.
“HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY” to all our wonderful Mom’s AND Grandmother’s everywhere!
"Coloring Our Streets, One Block at a Time" Southwest’s Garage Cultural Launching Art on the Block By John Bentley
Starting on June 9, a neighborhood arts festival will engage the Southwest Detroit community by creating murals and events to reflect the area’s unique identity, heritage, and culture.
Presented by arts education collective Garage Cultural, Art on the Block will continue through this summer and beyond. The festival will enlist artists, students, businesspeople and residents to collaborate on murals and other installations to be executed on the walls of stores and homes, and in parks and other public places.
“Art on the Block is about much more than art,” says Amelia Duran, co-directora of Garage Cultural. “It’s also about telling the story of our community - what makes Southwest Detroit who we are, that we’re here and here to stay.”
A native of the neighborhood, Duran attended Western International High school and held positions in community development before coming full-time to the volunteer-run Garage Cultural two years ago.
“I identify with my Latino heritage, but I most identify with being from Southwest Detroit,” says Duran. “The area is unique, diverse, and there’s a strong tradition of music, food and art that reflects our culture.”
To achieve the most impact, the project will start by focusing on just one area, around Livernois and Vernor Hwy. The goal is to expand organically across Southwest Detroit.
Art on the Block is just one of many initiatives sponsored by Garage Cultural. The collective was founded six years ago by Duran’s father, Ismael Duran, and Lydia Gutierrez, the CEO of Hacienda Mexican Foods.
Mr. Duran has established a number of similar programs during his career, and was previously head of Compas, another Southwest performing arts program. Mrs. Gutierrez, Garage Cultural’s chief benefactor, underwrites most overhead and the usage of Hacienda’s former warehouse as the organization’s headquarters.
The building maintains its warehouse feel, the exterior painted with colorful murals and the interior showing exposed brick and steel. There are more murals and paintings inside, most paying homage to the neighborhood. Two walls are decorated with posters promoting the Latin American Festivals that were held in Hart Plaza during the 1980s and 90s. Three classrooms – plus dance, recording and art studios, workspaces and offices – round out the space.
There are many activities for young people:
In all, says Ms. Duran, young people from around 130 families take part in programs offered by Garage Cultural every year.
Ms. Duran is still finalizing Art on the Block venues, events and artists, but says that one participant is already set to return to Detroit: Jesus Benitez, from Mexico City, who painted two murals in May 2014 via a partnership with The Alley Project, 1xrun and Innerstate Gallery.
Those murals were vandalized in the fall of 2016 and the need to bring back the original artist became part of the inspiration behind creating a larger annual project surrounding outdoor art in the community. While in Detroit, Jesus will also be collaborating with local Southwest Detroit artist Freddie Diaz to create some new works, whose designs are yet to be determined.
As she prepares for the big event, Ms. Duran is mindful that Garage Cultural is one of a number of similar programs serving Southwest Detroit – including Compas, Living Arts in the Mexicantown Mercado, Ballet Folklorico de Detroit and others.
“While a number of us are doing similar things,” she says, “there is a great air of cooperation in Southwest Detroit, and we all work together.”
That’s the spirit, she believes, that will make Art on the Block a success.
Garage Cultural is located at 3423 Livernois, Detroit 48210. To participate in Art on the Block – or to find out more about the collective’s many programs – call (313) 475-7414 email email@example.com. Or visit the website at GarageCultural.org. There is also a Facebook page.
Many Detroit buildings are fascinating both for their architecture and their history, but the building at 5716 Michigan Ave., recently renamed 5716 Wellness, has an especially intriguing history, from former San Telmo cigar factory in 1910 to a home for health services today.
The four-story building was designed by famed architect Albert Kahn, who has also designed many other Detroit landmarks, ranging from the Art Deco Fisher building to Bonstelle Theater on the campus of Wayne State University (previously covered by Detroit City Limits in our December 2016 edition).
During the era when cigar factory was built, heavy wooden beams were used in construction, but later, construction companies changed to using steel beams. The former San Telmo Cigar Factory is one of the last, possibly the only remaining, building still standing in Detroit to still have those original wooden beams.
The building was used as part of Detroit’s thriving tobacco industry in the early 20th century, but changes in the industry lead to closing of cigar-making operations in 1926.
Between 1926 and 2007, the building was used for a gentleman’s club, retail operations, and a night club. It fell into disrepair and became a magnet for crime before being purchased for redevelopment by its current owner, Southwest Housing Solutions, in 2008.
Southwest Housing Solutions partnered with O’Brien Construction Company and used private grants and government funds to renovate the space, adding more energy-efficient windows and rehabbing the exterior masonry.
O’Brien Construction Senior Vice President Dan Ross said that making the building more energy efficient while maintaining its historic character was “pretty challenging.”
“Being that old, the building had a lot of cracks in the brick, and there was a lot of air infiltration through the walls,” Ross said. “We built a partition wall inside the existing wall and that is where we can put spray foam to stop the air infiltration.”
Today, the Covenant Community Center is located on the building’s first floor while, while social service and health programs for women, children and families occupy other floors, as well as a dental and health clinic for low-income patients who don’t have insurance.
More details about the renovations and photos of the building are available at the O’Brien Construction Company’s website: http://www.obriencc.com/5716-wellness/.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in southeast Michigan. You may reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Imagine going about an average day, minding your own business, when suddenly you are ambushed by police and arrested. On what charge, you ask? The police don’t say. Nor will you ever find out. As crazy as this sounds, it is the exact situation Joseph K. needs to endure in Franz Kafka’s riveting novel The Trial. K. (an unrevealed name parallel to his unrevealed charge) is forced to fight against an unknown accusation for the rest of his life in an undoubtedly flawed legal system as he learns more about the world he lives in and the role he plays in it. Published posthumously in 1925 (one year after Kafka’s death), the novel can be frustrating due to the fact that it is technically unfinished, however it does have a concluding chapter, so while certain chapters are incomplete the storyline itself is all tied together in the end. Even though it’s not completed, The Trial is a phenomenal work that is most definitely deserving of high praise. Captivating, unbelievable, and well-written, The Trial is highly recommended if you’re in search of an amazing novel.
By Victoria Heitzman
I know you may be thinking, what in the world is the Cloud? Cloud computing software and services are delivered over the Internet and accessed mostly through web browsers. The difference between cloud-based and traditional software is that when we access the cloud, our computer or mobile device isn't doing the actual computing. Most of the information processing happens in a large datacenter.
Benefit #1: Cost
The pricing structure of cloud services is really different than traditional software. Many of my customers think it’s closer to renting than buying software. Instead of a one-time cost, cloud providers usually charge a flat fee per month per user, which initially can make it look more expensive.
Lots of cloud services, such as DropBox and OneDrive are free or very low- cost and many companies such as Adobe and Microsoft offer donated or deeply discounted options to nonprofit organizations.
In the long run, cloud-based software tends to save you money and you don't have to buy as much networking hardware or software. In a business environment, using cloud services means you won't need to spend as much on IT staffing costs to maintain local networks.
Benefit #2: Access from Anywhere
With cloud services, users can acces their work and communicate nearly as easily at home as they can in the office. All you need is a computer or mobile device and the Internet. For many individuals and businesses that work in the field, that this really is a significant benefit.
Benefit #3: Security
One of the true headaches of modern IT is the danger of hacking, malware and viruses. Cloud-based applications tend to be more secure from cyberthreats than a typical desktop or local server environment. Cloud applications are updated more frequently, and teams of skilled cybersecurity engineers use sophisticated software to monitor datacenters.
Datacenters perform multiple backups to other datacenters in different locations around the world. No data is 100 percent secure, but the major cloud services are probably the best security we have.
Is There Anyone the Cloud Isn't Right For?
The answer is yes. Cloud-based software and services aren't suitable for users that don't have reliable broadband Internet access. If you have sensitive data that cannot or should not be shared I warn you to be careful about choosing your cloud provider or to keep your data under your sole control.
All providers have different privacy policies regarding using your data themselves and allowing governments to have it on demand.
I've been watching the development, growth and progress of cloud computing since around 2007, and I've been largely pleased with how it has affected various industries. I was skeptical of whether the pricing model would be good for individual users. But as the field has matured, I think things have largely worked out. The cloud is designed to let us work from anywhere on any type of device. So, if you haven't already, it's high time to embrace the 21st century — and along with it, the cloud.
Willie E. Brake is a Computer Expert and Industry Analyst at All About Technology, a Certified Minority Business Enterprise and Microsoft Authorized Refurbisher, based in Detroit, Michigan.
This month I treated myself to some very tasty Thai food from Bangkok Crossing. They are located at 620 Woodward Ave., between the City County Building & Campus Martius. Considering that my power was knocked out with a wind storm that day, I found their heat and lighting to be welcoming. Beyond the basic creature comforts, I also experienced fast and friendly service. For dinner I ordered the chicken pad Thai, with mild spice. It was very delicious and came in a generous portion. The noodles, seasoned chicken, sprouts and crushed peanuts came together in a very satisfying medley of flavor and texture. Although not needed, I also added some soy sauce and squeezed lemon. To wrap this whole experience up, I was pleasantly surprised with my reasonable bill. If you're looking for some good, reasonably priced food downtown, consider Bangkok Crossing.
By Russell Bisinger
In 2013 Detroit, once famous for its motor industry, had in recent times become synonymous with urban decay. Many downtown restaurants, businesses and shops were closed. Yet change was brewing in the Motor City. Detroit City Limits was just beginning and its publication was bringing a brighter outlook for the future of Detroit to people in the “D”. Now, in 2017, the paper continues to grow in publication. It focuses on the positive things that Detroit has to offer its community and surrounding areas every month . Thank you Detroit City Limits for being a great paper. We look forward to a bright future for its editor and staff.
Did you know there is another profession besides golfing where you can make a “hole in one “? It’s called dentistry! Bad April fool joke but better than waking up to find “shaving” cream in your coffee.! April is a beautiful time of year full of color and new life. From my window on the 20th floor I see beautiful sunrises coming over the Detroit River. Easter has a deeply religious meaning but it is also a month filled with renewal and promises of better things to come. Let’s not forget the Easter fashion parade. Hats and suits for ladies went out with the dinosaurs. This year perhaps it will be designer jeans and new baseball caps. Don’t forget the “glow in the dark” colorful sneakers.
In the “D” Micro housing is due to open in the fall. Lots of big windows give them the illusion of being larger than what they really are. In the heart of downtown, Woodward has always been the main street. Now that Capital Park is undergoing so much renovation I think Griswold Ave is becoming a close second. A lot of new stores are opening. There is even one for all of our furry friends, it is called City Bark. Located in the center of Capitol Park the store carries a full line of everything from healthy food for your pet, dazzling collars, harnesses and leashes to cozy beds. There is even a large selection of treats and chew toys. Whatever is needed to keep your pet “running on all paws!”
Event Calendar for April. Family fun at the Music Hall on April 2nd “Dr. Seuss’ Cat in the Hat. Check the web for other performances. At Joe Louis the Red Wings and the Pistons will be playing. Tigers will be at Comerica Park on April 7th, 2017. This will be a great month for family activities.
TIDBITS: The “D” still has a lot of old vacant buildings and empty land that could be utilized for a senior center or a much needed grocery store like Kroger’s with prices that our low income population could afford. The year 2017 is still new so let’s hope someone will get the idea. For now it’s “Go Detroit “!
Be sure to give a senior a “bunny hug” for Easter!
By Michelle Fallena
Who is that mystery man commemorated with a sculpture in Capitol Park at the intersection of Griswold and State streets in downtown Detroit? It’s Stevens T. Mason, Michigan’s first governor and the man responsible for helping Michigan transform from a territory to a state.
The statue also marks the gravesite of the late governor, who died in his 30s of pneumonia.
President Andrew Jackson in 1830 appointed Mason Secretary of Michigan Territory. Though still young, Mason came from a family of politicians and immediately became an influential figure.
Mason was instrumental in helping Michigan transition from territory to state. When his first petition for statehood was ignored, he undertook a statewide census, finding that the territory’s population of 86,000 was more than sufficient to meet the threshold of 60,000 people needed to be considered for statehood.
After the dispute between Ohio and Michigan over the “Toledo Strip,” Mason was removed from his position, but he remained popular with residents. In 1835, after a state constitution was drawn up, Mason was elected the first governor.
Mason died in 1843 and was initially buried in New York, where he lived toward the end of his life. However, in 1905, his remains were brought back to Michigan and interred in Detroit at the site of Michigan’s first state capitol on the 100th anniversary of Michigan’s being named a territory.
The monument was erected over his grave in 1908. The bronze statue was created by sculptor Albert Weinert and Mason standing on a pedestal with a carved bundle of sticks bound with a double-headed axe, called fasces, which represented the power of judges and magistrates in Roman iconography.
In 2010, Capitol Park was renovated and the remains were temporarily removed but then were returned to their resting place underneath the monument’s current location.
To learn more about the statue and the governor who inspired it, visit http://historicdetroit.org/building/stevens-t-mason-monument.
Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in southeast Michigan. You may reach her at email@example.com.