We’re about eight weeks out from 2024, but there’s still plenty of culture news to be discovered! 

What’s in store this week? A 16-year-old working to reform the juvenile justice system, after-school activities for all kids’ interests and a new cookbook from a local TikTok-famous chef. Plus, a new spot for our local coffee enthusiasts to guess. 

Last week’s spot is a real gem: Rosa on Grand River Avenue is one of my new faves for delicious coffee (or hot chocolate, if you’re caffeine-sensitive like me), and their dining room is so cozy. It’s a perfect vibe to work from “home.”

Can you guess this spot?

Keeping up with the coffee theme, this secret spot on Milwaukee Avenue is a hop and a skip away from Vault of Midnight and Piquette Square. Can you guess the interior of this week’s secret spot?

A brick wall with several potted plants and candles. A larger plant sits to the right near a window with a white car outside. To the left is a green register and a man’s hand holds a syrup bottle.
Hint: This secret spot is located just a hop and skip away from Vault of Midnight. Photo credit: Ashley Fassett

Email the answer to me at samya@outliermedia.org for bragging rights or look out for it on our Instagram.

Detroit do-gooder

Many high school students spend their time doing homework, hanging out with friends between classes and stressing about upcoming exams. Cayden Brown does all that — and he works as a part-time juvenile defense attorney for the 52nd District Court’s Teen Court Program in Oakland County. 

Brown, 16, lives in Detroit and is a junior at Walled Lake Central High School. But outside of school, he focuses on addressing systemic issues in metro Detroit’s juvenile justice system through his work at the teen court and the organization he founded, the Trespass Project.

Read more about Brown’s story

Need ways to keep the kids busy?

Detroit Phoenix Center’s SOAR program offers after-school enrichment programs for eighth through 12th graders… Teen Hype’s peer education program allows kids 13 and up to express their creativity through community service… Kids aged 7-16 can get a “big” — a mentor that acts as an older sibling — through Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Michigan… Developing K.I.D.S. gives Detroit youth after-school leadership and community programs for free… YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit gives children of all ages a fitness space with swimming lessons, gymnastics and martial arts, to name a few.

Have an artsy kid? ProjectArt’s three Detroit locations let kids participate in art projects at libraries across the city (check out their list of resident artists!)… More of a chef in the making? Detroit Food Academy hosts in-person cooking classes at select high schools, but virtual classes are available for all…  More STEM-focused? Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program offers grade-level STEM activities… Find even more youth development programs at Detroit Hispanic Development Corporation, including its Urban Arts Academy.

What other after-school programs do you love around the city? Email your recs to samya@outliermedia.org

Cook this book

YouTube video

Detroit chef Jon Kung has released his debut cookbook, “Kung Food: Chinese American Recipes from a Third-Culture Kitchen,” which includes details on the chef’s signature flavors (and Kung’s adorable wedding proposal to his boyfriend).

Kung has 1.7 million followers on TikTok. He rose to fame in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, connecting a community of culinary enthusiasts during the isolation. He hopes his book inspires other chefs to represent their cultures through food. (Source Booksellers, Hour Detroit, YouTube)

Wellness on the go

Detroit has a new worker-owned cooperative. Composed of counselors, therapists, herbalists and chiropractors, Motor City Mobile Wellness works to make health services more accessible for Detroiters.

The group officially launched Oct. 14 after holding pop-ups at community events. Members of the co-op pay for services on a sliding scale. Echelon and her team hope to eventually run a mobile unit that responds to non-life-threatening emergencies to give Detroiters an alternate source of care. (Metro Times, Motor City Mobile Wellness)

‘This is how I wage war with a fork’

One Detroiter is using her culinary skills to fight against food insecurity in the city. Chef Harriette Brown and volunteers provide homecooked meals every Wednesday to hungry Detroiters at the Rosa Parks Transit Center downtown. Brown’s day job is running Sisters On a Roll Cafe.

Though Brown acknowledges hunger isn’t an issue she can solve on her own, she hopes to provide some assistance to the estimated 6,000 homeless people in Detroit. (CBS Detroit)

More to explore

🍸 Kamper’s, a rooftop lounge in the restored Book Tower, quietly opened for business this week. Croquetas, Negronis and luxe green velvet sound good to us. (Eater Detroit)

🦷 Covenant Community Care’s new health and dental facility just opened on Detroit’s westside. (WXYZ)

🤖 Art schools including College for Creative Studies and Cranbrook Academy of Art are grappling with the challenges of artificial intelligence — from admissions to keeping art (relatively) human. (Artnet)

🎨 Speaking of: Two exhibitions featuring Detroit artists are now on display at Cranbrook Art Museum, solidifying the influence of the late great painter LeRoy Foster and surveying the painters and drawers making their mark on the city right now. (Hour Detroit)

SaMya (she/her) believes in empowering and encouraging minority voices through local journalism because journalism is a service to the community, not vice versa. She loves Campus Martius, especially during holiday time with the bright lights and snow.