detour detroit logo

Good morning! We’re trying something a little different in this week’s newsletter. We want to get you up to speed on the news while putting the focus on what you need to know to keep you connected to the people, arts and culture in and around Detroit. It was a delight to write, but we’d love for you to judge for yourself and share your feedback — just email <3 Team Detour 

Detroit in Five

Tragedy on the eastside: Eastern Market CEO Dan Carmody was hospitalized and his wife Vivian Carmody was killed Saturday after a driver veered off the road and struck the couple as they were walking to dinner on Lafayette Street. Dan Carmody underwent surgery and is in stable condition. Detroit Police Chief James White said the driver was under the influence of narcotics and alcohol and was likely suffering from an overdose. He added that the department issued a warrant request seeking homicide charges against the perpetrator. That wasn’t the only distressing car accident over the weekend. A man driving a pickup, also believed to be under the influence of narcotics, was arrested after he allegedly drove into the front entrance of the Eastside Community Network’s (ECN) headquarters on Connor Street. The nonprofit organization identified the driver as white and said in a statement the incident should be considered a hate crime. ECN said the driver circled near the front entrance before seeming to intentionally crash into the building where mostly Black employees work. A police spokesman said the crash was not believed to be a domestic terrorist attack and did not confirm the race of the driver. No one was injured. (Detroit Free Press, Detroit News)

➡️ Looking to support? ECN has launched a fund to help rebuild the entrance and pay for additional security measures. (GiveSmart)

Drugs and cars don’t mix: Drug overdoses have been rising in Michigan for at least a decade, fueled by opioid use, as have drug-related traffic deaths. Traffic accidents involving drugs or alcohol did decline last year, in line with a 2.5% decline in ER visits for drug overdoses this year so far and slower growth in the number of overdose deaths. But Michigan’s opioid crisis isn’t over. In June, the state reached a $338 million settlement with Walgreens for its role in the epidemic. Over the previous six months, about 10 Michiganders a day went to the emergency room due to a drug overdose. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MLive, State of Michigan, Michigan Syndromic Surveillance System)

➡️ Save a life: Naloxone, known as Narcan, can stop overdose symptoms when paired with emergency medical care. Multiple organizations offer free training sessions: Families Against Narcotics offers attendees a free naloxone kit during their hourlong in-person and virtual training. Detroit Wayne Integrated Health Network (DWIHN) provides virtual training for organizations upon request, and attendees can have their Narcan kits delivered or pick them up at two locations. AmeriCorps offers public training sessions as well as private sessions for groups and organizations. The public training is weekly on Zoom, while private training can be online or in-person. 

➡️ Get help: If you or a loved one need substance abuse support, DWIHN runs a 24/7 hotline to answer questions and help you find care: 800-241-4949. And here are some local sites that offer residential inpatient, outpatient and telemedicine services:

The kids aren’t alright: Whether it’s a stable classroom education or personalized mental health care, many kids in Michigan are not getting the help they need. A recent report concluded that homelessness will affect about one in 10 school-aged children in Michigan and even more in Detroit. Services are available, including rides to school and continued enrollment when a family moves, but schools often can’t identify the affected children and parents can be resistant to asking for help. Jennifer Erb-Downward, a researcher who worked on the report, said families need support from both schools and local governments to create the stability that kids need to succeed in school. Children with acute mental illness are also in need of help, as a shortage of residential treatment facilities has left patients stuck in emergency medical departments with nowhere to go. Laura Appel from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association said some kids are getting stuck in emergency care for months, unable to return home due to a lack of trained workers to help families, and unable to find room at a long-term care facility equipped to provide them the best care. (Michigan Radio, Chalkbeat Detroit)

Best of the rest:

(Outlier Media, Michigan Advance, Michigan Radio, WKAR, Chalkbeat Detroit, Axios Detroit, Freep)

Culture & Community

Outdoor wall with eight squares painted in different colors. Seven squares say #HereForMiOutdoors and the first square has a painting of a blue sturgeon swimming.
In-progress mural on the Dequindre Cut by Ed Irmen. Photo credit: Via Detroit RiverFront Conservancy/Facebook

This week we’re running a victory lap for the little guy — or in this case, gal. Oak Park’s Marilyn Mack, 54, is an organic gardener and neighborhood do-gooder who spends hours each day baking bread that she gives away to friends and a Southfield food pantry. 

Three years ago, Lake Orion company Natural Way Lawn & Tree Service showed up at her house by mistake and sprayed weed killer (paywalled), destroying the natural lawn full of clover and strawberries she lets her neighbors pick and had spent years tending. When Mack went looking for an apology, Natural Way reportedly gave her the runaround. Then she decided to take the company to court, and a jury awarded her more than $88,500 in damages. 

“It’s the most fun case I’ve ever had,” lawyer David Zuppke told Outlier. He’s still waiting to see if he’s awarded attorney fees, but he definitely has some fresh loaves coming his way. Natural Way didn’t immediately respond to our request for comment. 

Do Mack’s beautiful backyard blooms give you a dose of garden inspiration? Check out Keep Growing Detroit’s native plants and pollinator habitats workshop on Sept. 21. Michigan State University Extension also has resources on alternatives to pesticides that can protect pollinators, or you could get rid of the grass altogether and hang out in the NoLawns subreddit to get some tips from your peers. 

What to check out around town:

Trying to soak up every last minute of summer? There’s no better choice for your Friday mornings than the Belle Isle Swim Club. The informal group has been meeting on Belle Isle Beach at 7 a.m. each week since July, to hang, drink free coffee from James Oliver Coffee and, yes, swim. Founder Lauren Boyle was inspired by similar meetups in other cities and said she wants the group to remain accessible and inclusive — “low stakes but high reward.”

If you’re making your way to Belle Isle along the Dequindre Cut, make sure to look for artist Ed Irmen’s in-process mural near the St. Aubin entrance. It features colorful depictions of native Michigan wildlife. A sturgeon and porcupine are already on the wall, and the mural is set to be completed in October after a little help from attendees of the Detroit Harvest Fest and Food Rally.

Over in Core City, print rises again — magazine shop Periodicals is now open on Grand River, selling art and indie mags, writing supplies and more. Bookworms will also be pleased to learn Alcott’s Attic Bookstore is moving into a bigger pop-up space in the Fisher Building; it opens Friday. The creative shops don’t stop: Sherrie Savage is testing her business idea for an arts activity and retail space in the Grand River WorkPlace. We’re looking forward to her pop-up opening of the Coloring Museum in Grandmont Rosedale on Sept. 1. 

Looking for a little AC or just tired of streaming? Put National Cinema Day on your cal. On Sunday, participating movie theaters will offer tickets for just $4. 

What to nosh: 

A little while back, we highlighted some of our favorite gas station eats, because you don’t need white tablecloths to get something really tasty. We asked for your recommendations, and reader Michael Boettcher clued us in to the authentic Mexican food and quality service at Tacos La Pachanga. Located in the Sunoco station on West Jefferson in Ecorse and formerly known as “El Agave,” the restaurant is known for generous portions and creamy horchata.

“I had my doubts, but once inside, smelling and tasting the food, hearing the music, and speaking my meager Spanish with the cooks, I was hooked,” Boettcher said. “You’d never notice the place zooming down the road, which is too bad, but it’s worth a detour.” 

We’re also making brunch plans at Waffle Cafe on the Avenue of Fashion, where you never have to choose between sweet and savory — pizza toppings, baked potato fixings and Buffalo chicken are just a few of the 40-plus ways you can order a waffle. Motown and R&B on the speakers will prime you for perfect Saturday morning vibes. 

Even more: 

The New York Times travels to a Detroit house party to unravel the mystery of punk group The Armed before their new album “Perfect Saviors” drops Friday … Detroit’s first Black bookstore could be spared from demolition (paywalled) … Hoopfest in Northwest Goldberg was about community revival as much as shooting baskets … and we’re still impressed by just how high Pink soared in her show at Comerica Park last weekend. 

(WXYZ, Freep, Keep Growing Detroit, Michigan State University, Reddit, BridgeDetroit, Belle Isle Swim Club, Ed Irwin, Detroit Metro Times, Detroit Harvest Fest, Periodicals, Axios Detroit, Alcott’s Attic, Grand River WorkPlace, Model D, USA Today, National Cinema Day, Outlier, Tacos La Pachanga, Waffle Cafe, Eater Detroit, NYT, Michigan Advance, Detroit News, Facebook)


How 3 LGBTQ+ centers support Detroit’s queer youth

By SaMya Overall
 A Black teenager holds a white bag facing shelves with cans of soup, pasta and other foods.
A young person uses Ruth Ellis Center’s food pantry. Photo credit: Ruth Ellis Center

“The people we serve … are at risk of harm and danger because of who they are,” Ruth Ellis Center community engagement manager Krystina Edwards said. “That’s the very reason why I get up to do this work. I don’t want anyone else to experience (the grief) I’ve experienced.” 

Get Busy

“Biomaterials Alternatives Network presents: Sustainable Fashion Showcase. Free & open to the public, Aug. 24, Thursday 6-9 p.m. From Biomaterial Alternatives Network, enjoy a
FREE night of community & conversation. Learn about bio-based alternatives from Detroit
artists, shop for sustainably-made goods from textiles to phone cases, & connect with others looking to the future of fashion design.” Flyer includes circles with photos highlighting Clearline Zine, Melanie McClintock and Rosemarine Textiles.
BAN Lab is hosting a conversation about biomaterials tonight. Image credit: Room Project/Facebook

♻️ Intrigued by our feature on BAN Lab’s experimental, sustainable textiles? Tonight’s your chance to learn more. The entrepreneurs are hosting a conversation about biomaterial alternatives, design and the arts at Room Project, with demos, music and refreshments. Free. 

💃 Dance like your life depends on it and get a chance to win a $100 prize on Friday at UFO Factory, where Jonathan Toubin will bring his New York Night Train party to town for a soul clap and dance-off. $10-$15. 

🎉 Big Sean is back at it again with the DON Weekend on Saturday at Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan. Come for the kickball, food, kid activities and fireside chats on mental health and community development. Free. 

🐶 Bring a pup to Palmer Park’s new dog park on Saturday. Celebrate the grand opening with cake — there will be people and pet-friendly options. Free. 

🛍️ Catch some end-of-season deals at the North Cass neighborhood summer sidewalk sale on Saturday. Promotions and discounts from more than 30 shops and restaurants, plus live music. Free to attend.

🎸 Detroit Music Weekend 2023 is all about the funk! Do not miss the legendary Bootsy Collins hosting the Detroit Funk Festival on Saturday, with a 10-hour lineup of local artists. Free.

🎶 Party on down to the vintage sounds of The Detroit Cobras, with Sugar Tradition and Hell Dollars this Saturday night at the Magic Stick. $20. 

🧰 Tackle a home improvement project with help from the Detroit Training Center. Register for Saturday’s workshop on installing lights, switches and outlets. $70 for one person; $120 for two! 

🧘🏽🍺 Join Citizen Yoga for Sunday morning salutations on Atwater Brewery’s rooftop at Yoga and Brews. $30 ticket, includes a beer or kombucha. 

💻 Work from the park with us and the Detroit Documenters on Wednesday at Robert C. Valade Park, where the coffee will be free and flowing (as well as the Wi-Fi). Then stick around for a happy hour after you virtually punch out! Free.

Written by Aaron, Koby, Lynelle, Noah, SaMya and Kate, who’s ready to eat tacos, waffles and maybe taco waffles.

Headline of the week: “How a money-laundering social media star Instagrammed her way into Detroit area jail”

Kate (she/her) is passionate about journalism that involves Detroiters from the start and helps readers solve problems and find joy in their daily lives. Her favorite Detroit spot to watch the sunset, play soccer, watch the freighters go by and feel a little haunted is Historic Fort Wayne.