Good morning and Happy Pride! While many of the city’s movers and shakers are paneling and drinking at Mackinac, we’re staying put and going all in on green… green spaces, that is. We checked out a new garden project at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn, and we have the deets on park projects, bioretention infrastructure and climate resilience hubs.
Keep reading for a bit of news, a ton of event picks and a quick question: How are you feeling about downtown right now? <3 Team Detour
The Detroit Grand Prix revs into gear downtown, with races and community events (oh hey, Big Boi) Friday through Sunday. There are still tickets available, as well as free viewing areas if you want to get in on the action. For everybody else, you’ll want to keep track of the road closures (now through Monday) and bus reroutes (now through June 8). As for parking? Good luck.
Downtown has seemed busier, more gridlocked and more policed with concerts, games, activities and nightlife punctuated by a couple spates of violence. So we want to know: How do you feel about downtown right now? Love the energy or overwhelmed by crowds? Fed up with overpriced parking and trying public transit? At Comerica Park every week or grateful for your quieter neighborhood hangout?
Share your downtown take with us. Hit reply or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Detroit in Five
Detroit in the land of fudge and horses: The Mackinac Policy Conference began this week — the annual tradition where politicians, business leaders and journalists gather on a tourist island to discuss the most pressing issues in Detroit and the state at large. Prominent speakers at the conference include former Congresswoman Liz Cheney, entrepreneur Mark Cuban and CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, alongside Michigan politicians like Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Mayor Mike Duggan. A major topic of discussion is how Michigan and Detroit can stop bleeding residents (might we suggest coming down from the ivory island tower?) and whether Detroit should switch to a new property tax scheme that values land higher than the buildings that sit on it to disincentivize speculation (paywalled). (Detroit Free Press, BridgeDetroit, Michigan Chronicle, Crain’s Detroit Business)
Water woes: A recent University of Michigan report reveals that many residents outside the city are also struggling to afford their water bills. Compared to Detroit, suburban residents have a harder time finding water assistance programs. A new statewide program aims to help residents with up to $2,500 for past-due water bills. For Detroiters, the Lifeline Plan discounts residents’ monthly water bills based on their income. So far, more than 10,000 households have enrolled. (Michigan Radio, The Heat and Warmth Fund, Freep)
Cooling in a crisis: “Resilience hubs” equipped with solar power and generators will give eastsiders a place to take shelter, cool off and access electricity during climate-related crises. The Resilient Eastside Initiative will start with three hubs, to be built using corporate, foundation and city funds. Extreme heat in particular looms as a major threat. A new study found that a combined heat wave and power outage could cause hundreds of deaths in Detroit. (Planet Detroit, The New York Times)
Go green: Want to check out or support a new green space around the city? The Southwest Greenway is now open (and we can confirm it’s a lovely way to bike to Hubbard Farms). The city is adding 24 bioretention gardens to about 50 acres of vacant lots in Brightmoor to mitigate flooding. A community group is crowdfunding to build their sixth pocket park in NW Goldberg — one of 20 planned for the next few years — on the westside. The James and Grace Lee Boggs School is also fundraising for a universally accessible park and playground in Islandview. And renovations are complete on Heckel Park in northwest Detroit’s The Eye neighborhood. (Detroit News, Michigan Radio, Patronicity, BridgeDetroit, Model D, Michigan Chronicle)
Held back: Thousands of Michigan families lost or were denied state benefits because their students missed too much school. Poverty drives absenteeism, and experts say this penalty could make the statewide attendance problem worse. Some state lawmakers want to change the law, but it’s unclear if they’ll have Whitmer’s support. (Chalkbeat Detroit)
“Techno is a beautiful, spiritual, lineage-bound genre. I’m literally DJing the same tracks my mom danced to in the club at my age.”
—Detroit DJ AK, talking to Moods about her introduction to techno
An Arab American heritage garden blooms on a Dearborn rooftop
By Minnah Arshad
The only Arab American museum in the country is launching a new space to showcase an integral part of the community’s lush history and present.
Al-Hadiqa: AANM Heritage Garden is set to open this month at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn.
“It’s very much in our genes and ourselves to plant and grow our food and garden, and be surrounded by beautiful nature as it is in the Middle East,” said Shatha Najim, the museum’s community historian.
Culture & Community
🍼 Community baby showers provide more than bottles and diapers: They give new mothers a village…
🐶 Detroit Dog Rescue opens a new shelter on the westside today…
(Jalopnik, Vulture, Michigan Chronicle, Eater Detroit, Crain’s, Freep, BridgeDetroit)
👀 Slow down and rethink the way you engage with art. Join visual artist Gina Osterloh for a workshop on The Practice of Looking, Saturday at MOCAD. $10 suggested donation.
🏳️🌈 Ferndale Pride is Saturday. Check out the festival guide for all you need to know about the events, performers, vendors and more! Free.
🎶 Continue the Pride celebration with Auntie Chanel, SKNDLSS, DJ Dyke Chow and Petra Steel at Femmedom, Saturday night at UFO Factory. $11.45.
💥 🦹🏽♂️ Take the family out to experience the Black Age of Comics & Manga Con this Saturday or Sunday. $5.
🤠 Ride a mechanical bull, see a lasso performance and play some carnival games at the inaugural HowDy Fest, a queer- and trans-friendly event at Kelly’s Bar in Hamtramck on Saturday.
🎶 Savor the sounds of Mexico, Puerto Rico and more through music at Concert of Colors’ kickoff concert on Saturday, with performances by Gabriel Duran, DJ Cisco, Camilla Cantu and more at Mexicantown Plaza. Free.
🖼️ Stroll through the Palmer Park Art Fair, featuring work from 100 artists on Saturday and Sunday, with food trucks, drinks, storytelling and music. Free.
🧵 Women and girls (12 and up) can learn Palestinian embroidery and cross-stitch on Sunday in an interactive tatreez workshop at the Room Project with Women of Banglatown and Bayan Fares, founder of Badan Collective. Registration required, $30.
🥬 Head to VegFest on Sunday at Eastern Market Brewing Co. for vegan fare galore, vendors, cooking demos and plenty of samples. Free.
🍄 Learn the ins and outs of growing medicinal and gourmet mushrooms with ’shroom educator Darren Le Baron on Tuesday at Siren Farms. Tickets are $45.
🍽️ Reimagine the future of food in the city at Detroitisit’s Future of Food Summit on Tuesday, with 30 industry leaders slated to speak. Get primed for networking and delicious eats. Free admission.
Written by Aaron, Alex, Koby, Lynelle, Malak, Miriam, Erin and Kate, who knows where she’s getting her next slushie.
A Courtney Cox–Bruce Springsteen moment for our time.