Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Cafe d'Mongo's Speakeasy

Plenty has been written about Cafe d'Mongo's Speakeasy. It's a genuine Detroit success story. I heard about it from friends, and read the review in the Detroit News. Terry Perris Jr's article in Model D, along with Marvin's pictures there, convinced me it was worth seeking out, despite only being open Friday nights. I suggested to a friend that we go there; a half dozen other friends of ours had the same idea and we all sat together.

The place has charm in spades, and a genuine broken-in feel despite only being open since June of 2007. Try the house drink- Vernors, whiskey and bitters.


There were only a dozen people or so when we arrived at nine, but the dining room and most of the bar was full by eleven. Like many of the interesting cultural happenings in the city, the population was diverse; young and old of all races looking for a place to be. There was piano music early, but folk singer Jennie Knaggs really tied the room together later in the evening. Her style echoed other acts I've been seeing around Detroit for the last few years.


Downtown Synagogue next door is known for it's iconic multi-colored windows, and for being the only Synagogue left in the City of Detroit.


Outside of the orthodox temple, a movie was being filmed, one of three within as many blocks.


We could hear an explosion during dinner, assumed to be from the film set a block down the road. The Penobscot Building can be seen in the background.


This cafe was open as Urban Bean at some point, but has been closed now for some time; now it just taunts java-seekers. A good cup of coffee is hard to come by in Detroit.


Detroit is uneven, but full of experiences for those that seek them out.


These photos were shot on an iPhone 3GS and processed with the "Colorcross" filter in the Camerabag app. Follow @SEEDETROIT and this article's author @jarred_ on Twitter. As always, feel free to use this photos, per stated policy in the header.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Detroit in Lost Magazine

Jeff Byles's essay in Lost Magazine is a well researched and written account of Detroit's architectural history. It's a section of his book 2006 book Rubble: Unearthing the History of Demolition republished on their site. An excerpt:

"Fifteen years later [circa 1984], Detroit had become synonymous with destruction. Architect Dan Hoffman, ruminating on the disappearing city, put it most poignantly. "Unbuilding," he said, "has surpassed building as the city's major architectural activity." Between 1970 and 2000, more than 161,000 dwellings were demolished in Detroit, amounting to almost one-third of the city's occupied housing stock — that's more than the total number of occupied dwellings today in the entire city of Cincinnati. Between 1978 and 1998 only 9,000 building permits were issued for new homes in Detroit, while the city doled out over 108,000 demolition permits. "Demolition is so much a part of the city's culture," an investigative report concluded not long ago, "that in 2001, when he was running for mayor, Kwame Kilpatrick pledged to knock down 5,000 abandoned and dangerous buildings in his first year in office. After he was elected, he found there wasn't enough money in the budget to fuel such a ravenous demolition machine.""

Read the rest of the essay at Lost Magazine.

Monday, November 2, 2009

ClandesDine in the Vinton Building on October 26th

Pictures from the first ClandesDine dinner in Detroit. It was a benefit for Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROCU). Information for the next event will be posted on Detroit Drinks, or follow @putnam100 and @jarred_ on twitter. The only other mention of this event according to google is here. Steve from Time's Detroit Blog was there, but it wasn't mentioned there.

four forks and seven wines

ROCU was introduced

"Sauteed Black Cod with Sunchokes, Confit Bacon and White Balsamic
- 2007 Belliviere Rouge Gorge"

bullet holes

one big table

this city is gorgeous

at Foran's Grand Trunk Pub after

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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Belle Island Aquarium CLOSED 4-24-2009

Belle Island Aquarium, Closed Detroit Michigan USA April 24th 2009

Read: http://www.fobi.org/

Saturday, March 14, 2009

"Erected by the people of Michigan in honor of the martyrs who fell and the heroes who fought in defense of Liberty and Union."

United Artists