Good morning! We’re getting used to more ozone in the air, but we’re more excited for lights in the sky — the Ford Fireworks get going at about 10 p.m. Monday. We’re still waiting for street closure deets, but here are the planned bus reroutes.
When the air quality allows, we’re trying to spend every moment outdoors. If you are too, check out our guide to free yoga, fitness classes and other ways to get active in green spaces this summer.
What else? Hamtramck’s LGBTQ+ community organizes, what’s up with the gov, some tasty coney history, and plenty of events, from chocolate class to a drag story hour. <3 Team Detour
Detroit in Five
Protest brews in Hamtramck: LGBTQ+ residents and allies are planning a protest in response to Hamtramck City Council’s recent decision to ban LGBTQ+ flags from government property (along with political, racial, ethnic and religious flags). Organizers said the decision directly targets and erases the visibility of LGBTQ+ community members. The protest will kick off “a year of civil disobedience, protest, community engagement and mutual aid here in Hamtramck,” said organizer Gracie Cadieux. Though the ban was supported by all councilmembers and a number of residents who spoke in support, it also drew attention from right-wing agitators connected to national Republican groups — some of whom were involved in book bans in Dearborn schools last year — who pushed for the flag ban across Hamtramck’s social media pages. Elected officials including Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, state Sen. Stephanie Chang and U.S. Reps. Shri Thanedar and Rashida Tlaib criticized the council’s decision. Hamtramck Mayor Amer Ghalib defended the resolution, saying that politicians criticizing the ban won’t know “the consequences of opening the door for every group to fly their flag on city properties” and that the city will stay “neutral” toward residents. (Metro Times, City of Hamtramck, WXYZ, Detroit Free Press, The Guardian)
➡️ Show your support: See more details about the protest, on Saturday starting at Hamtramck City Hall. Planet Ant Theatre is also planning a celebration — the Alphabet Festival takes place July 28 and will raise funds to support LGBT+ programming. (Facebook, Detroit News, Eventbrite, Patronicity)
Hands free (or else): Changes to Michigan’s distracted driving law take effect on June 30, and effectively ban holding a phone for virtually any purpose while driving — even if you’re stopped at a light. You are allowed to be on a call as long as you don’t hold your phone, just put it on speakerphone or play audio through your car speakers. There are exceptions for making a 911 call, and emergency responders and utility workers are exempt. Fines for noncommercial drivers start at $100. (Detroit Free Press, State of Michigan)
Daycare dilemma: Children are cute and all — but boy, do they cost! Metro Detroit is among the 15 most expensive areas in the U.S. to raise children, according to SmartAsset’s recent analysis of 381 metro areas. The average annual cost of a household with two adults raising one child for a year in this area is $28,917. That figure includes childcare, food, housing, transportation and other necessities, and it’s above the national average of $20,813. By comparison, the most expensive place to raise a child is in California’s Bay Area at a whopping $35,647 a year — but the study puts raising a child in Ann Arbor pretty close to that at $31,670 a year. Check out another study released last week by the Annie E. Casey Foundation that focuses on the cost of raising a toddler. The 2023 report notes that 14% of Michigan children were in families that had job changes due to childcare problems. (SmartAsset, Annie E. Casey Foundation)
The early bird casts its vote: A shake-up to the voting process is underway in Michigan as state lawmakers greenlight legislation that expands early voting to up to 29 days before Election Day, with at least nine days of in-person early voting. The particulars of how to conduct the early voting process and its length will be determined by city and county governments. In Detroit, voters will be able to vote in person up to three weeks before Election Day. Also in voting previews, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she is confident that the 2024 presidential primaries will take place Feb. 27, up from March, crushing the hopes of Republican lawmakers who wanted to push it to comply with Republican National Committee rules. The Michigan Republican Party made its own controversial changes to how delegates are selected — no more open primary — a switch some say will benefit Donald Trump’s presidential candidacy. (Bridge Michigan, Detroit News, Axios Detroit)
Whitmer’s star turn: Michigan’s governor has it made in the shade. Sure, Whitmer is balancing the demands of her party’s progressive wing with GOP threats to throw a procedural wrench in her budget, but she’s holding a very strong hand. Her spending proposal has an all but unobstructed path forward thanks to a Democratic trifecta in Lansing. She’s in Europe this week drumming up international trade for Michigan — her second pond-hop in as many months. Her national political stock is through the roof, judging by the will-she-won’t-she presidential hype that appears immune to her repeated assurances that she’s all in for Biden in 2024. And a national magazine just published a glowing profile of Whitmer the presidential candidate — for 2028. (Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, The Bulwark, NBC News, Vanity Fair)
Coney crazed: Detroit’s coney scene may feel competitive, but it’s really just a friendly family rivalry spanning generations. For Eater, Serena Maria Daniels tracked the history of the coney from a coastal town in Greece to Coney Island in Brooklyn, to a pair of brothers who brought their chili-slathered dogs to Detroit in the early 20th century. But they weren’t the only delicacy delivered by the city’s myriad coney islands. The Hani, a pita roll with sliced fried chicken, cheese, lettuce, tomato and a mayo sauce, was introduced to the world in 1985 when its namesake began experimenting with ingredients behind the grill at National Coney Island on Mack and 7 Mile. It became such a big hit with late-night patrons that National had to trademark the invention. (Eater)
Culture & Community
Find free and cheap outdoor activities, all summer long
Detroit’s great outdoors — from small downtown parks amid skyscrapers to the wilderness trails of Belle Isle — offer plenty of natural calm and opportunities to get active. This summer, there’s no shortage of classes, events and opportunities to get active in the city’s green spaces. Better yet, many are free.
❤️🩹 Experience Regrowth, an exhibition of art that explores how communities heal from systems of oppression. The exhibition opens tonight and runs through July 29 at Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery. Free.
🍸 Head down to Time Will Tell tonight for Drinks & Drag! Your ticket includes a welcome drink and donation to Ruth Ellis Center. $35.
🎶 The Unmatched dance party features top hits from Yoncé, Nicki and Bad Gal Riri, with DJ Problematic Black Hottie spinning the best hip-hop and R&B all night Friday at El Club. $20+.
💃🏽 Young folks can dance up a storm at the Congress of Communities Lavender Society’s Queer Prom this Saturday at Durfee Innovation Society. Ages 14-20, dress for a horror theme. Free.
📿 Bring your family to Dabls Mbad African Bead Museum this Saturday for its 4th Annual African Children’s Day celebration with traditional African performances, storytelling, arts, crafts, food and more! Free.
🎥 The 2023 Sundance Film Festival Indigenous Film Tour will be stopping in Detroit on Saturday. Hosted by Vibes with the Tribes near Corktown, the screening will feature two films, “Gush” by Fox Maxy and “I Am Home” by Kymon Greyhorse. Free.
📚 For kid-friendly animated storytelling, don’t miss drag performers Burnie Mac and Jezebel, hosting a bilingual Drag Story Hour at 27th Letter Books on Saturday. Free.
If you don’t want to party, you might want to stay away from Marble Bar on Saturday. Haute to Death returns for the summer and features Regularfantasy, D. Tiffany and Lady Vibrator. Tickets start at $11+.
🥟 If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make pierogies from scratch, now’s your chance to learn from one of Detroit’s top dough-pinchers. Pietrzyk Pierogi’s beginner’s class takes place Tuesday. $60.
🎶 Enjoy the sounds of local entertainers every Wednesday evening at the Dequindre Cut during the Black Bottom Live Music Series. Genres range from hip-hop with Boog Brown to blues with Thornetta Davis to jazz with the Trunino Lowe Quartet — something for all ages. Free.
🍫 Awaken your inner chocolatier next Wednesday at a two-hour workshop led by Dwaar Chocolate to learn the art of chocolate-making at Frame Bar in Hazel Park. Once you create your edible artwork, you can paint them in edible colors and professionally wrap your DIY bars. $85.
Written by Aaron, Alex, Erin, Koby, Lynelle, Malak, Miriam, Noah, SaMya and Kate, who prefers you don’t make eye contact while she’s screaming on the Detroit People Mover.
We’re all in this freeway fight.