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Good morning! We’re sneezing our way through this glorious weather and checking in on the Healing Hub, a new space on the eastside that’s open every day for Detroit youth and young adults.

So, we’re wondering: What’s your “third place,” or spot you like to go outside home and work to hang out and socialize for free or cheap? This season, we want to celebrate the spaces across the city that foster connection. Share your recommendations — reply or email

One more request — we’d love to hear your Belle Isle memories, favorite spots and any other thoughts about Detroit’s most prized gem! We’re getting our summer stories freshened up, and from past experience, we’re certain you have some priceless anecdotes. 

Keep reading for this weekend’s event picks and the news to know, from what’s happening with the Belle Isle Zoo to police plans for license plate readers. <3 Kate and Team Detour

P.S. If you’re concerned about safety and policing in the city, make sure to sign up for our new newsletter, Streetlight Detroit, a project from nine local newsrooms. Subscribe today to make sure you get the first issue on Friday!

Detroit in Five

Private eyes, they’re watching you: The Detroit Police Department (DPD) wants to buy 100 additional license plate recognition cameras using $5 million in federal pandemic relief dollars designated for public safety. At a contentious Board of Police Commissioners (BOPC) hearing Thursday, DPD Deputy Chief Franklin Hayes said the cameras would only be used to track and locate stolen vehicles. Residents protesting the technology said they feared it would be used to locate minor offenders and objected to living in a state of constant surveillance. A recent city ordinance requires the police department and commissioners to jointly draft a specification report on the technology and for City Council to solicit public input before it votes on the contract. DPD has issued the Specification Report and the BOPC is considering some edits. Council was given the contract on March 7, but has yet to place it on the agenda for a vote. (BridgeDetroit, Detroit Documenters, City of Detroit)

Dreaming of better buses and bridges: The most impactful feature of the Detroit Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) new route system plan is the plan for bus rapid transit lines, which could reduce intervals of buses to 10 minutes or less on certain routes (paywalled). But implementing them could be a challenge, requiring some combination of dedicated lanes, signal priority, a quick payment system and more drivers. Pedestrians might also have something to look forward to, as Grand Prix organizers erect temporary pedestrian bridges (paywalled) over Jefferson and other downtown streets. The bridges will be dismantled after the race ends June 4, but stakeholders see the event as a way to test what more permanent structures could look like. (Walkability advocates are unimpressed.) See the Grand Prix map and bridge locations here. (City of Detroit, Detroit Free Press, Crain’s Detroit Business, The Handbuilt City on Twitter, Detroit Grand Prix)

Founders got a break: Founders Brewing Co. might have said it closed its Detroit taproom last month due to slow sales, but — that second racial discrimination lawsuit aside — the brewer got plenty of discounts to open in the first place. Midtown Detroit Inc. and Invest Detroit purchased the $1.8 million property and covered $1.9 million in improvements for the brewery, according to Good Jobs First research analyst Jacob Whiton. He writes in a Free Press op-ed that Founders also got a 35% tax cut in 2021 and 2022 while struggling to live up to its local hiring promises (paywalled). (Metro Times, Good Jobs First, Freep)  

Rewilding a zoo: Belle Isle’s most tantalizing abandoned amusement is likely coming down as the state legislature proposes a $21.5 million Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) budget earmark for capital improvements on the island (paywalled). In a survey, many park-goers said they’d like to see the former zoo replaced with nature trails. A DNR official says that’s the simplest solution anyway. Demolition of the dilapidated entryway could begin this summer. (WWJ Newsradio 950, House Dems, Detroit News)

Building blocks: The city’s Neighborhood Beautification Program (NBP) has prompted a spike in block clubs. The program, which offers $500 to $15,000 for community improvement projects, launched last year, and the first round of 36 recipients received nearly $500,000 total. So far this year, 56 new block clubs registered with the Department of Neighborhoods, bringing the city’s total to 573 registered block clubs. (Wayne Metro, City of Detroit, Axios Detroit)

➡️ Beautify your block: Use our handy guide to start your block club now so you’re ready when the next NBP application round opens in spring 2024. (Outlier Media)

Also on our radar…

Follow-up: After the end of the public health emergency, Detroit is still offering free COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Get more info or schedule an appointment. (City of Detroit)

See you on the patio: At long last, Northern Lights Lounge is set to reopen, just in time for Movement Festival. (Eater Detroit)

Undercounted? The U.S. Census Bureau rejected Detroit’s challenge of its 2020 population count, in which the city claimed 8% of occupied homes weren’t counted. (Associated Press)

Friendly fire: The city is using prescribed burns at Riverside Park, Palmer Park and Rouge Park to maintain natural landscapes. (BridgeDetroit)

Strange bedfellows: International afrobeats fest Afro Nation is coming to Detroit in August — in partnership with Bedrock. It’ll be held at the site of the former Brewster-Douglass public housing complex. (Metro Times)


Detroit Healing Hub opens to help youth deal with trauma, together

By Malak Silmi
Two adults and one young adult smile in front of a red and white sign: “Welcome to the Healing Hub.”
The Healing Hub opens this month on Detroit’s eastside. Photo credit: Courtesy of Sirrita Darby

After three years of raising funds, Detroit Heals Detroit will finally open its youth-led Healing Hub on Sunday. Sirrita Darby, executive director of Detroit Heals Detroit, said the renovated vacant house will now provide young Detroiters with collective healing from everyday traumas like housing insecurity or gun violence.

“Traumas are experienced collectively, so healing needs to be experienced collectively, as well,” said Darby, a native Detroiter and former teacher.

Get Busy

Aerial view of basketball courts, skating rink and other activity areas, each brightly painted by artists.
The Monroe Street Midway is now open for the season downtown. Via Bedrock/Facebook

🛼 Roller skate, play mini golf or shoot some hoops downtown to ring in the summer season: Monroe Street Midway is now open through Labor Day. $13 skate sessions, other activities free. 

🎬 More than 30 films are showing at this year’s Arab Film Festival, held virtually and in-person at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn through Sunday. Ticket prices vary.

🎨 An author and two formerly incarcerated artists will discuss making art behind bars at a panel tonight at MOCAD. $10 suggested donation. 

🌽 Learn traditional agricultural practices passed down from Indigenous communities and how to plant squash, corn and beans at the Keep Growing Detroit Farm this Saturday. Free.

🌳 Join a conversation this Saturday at Beacon Park about the intersection of race and accessibility in Detroit’s green spaces. Free.

🖼️ Detroit contemporary artist Keto Green will showcase his paintings at solo exhibition “Against It All,” opening Saturday at Playground Detroit. Free.

Woman with dark curly hair shown from behind, wearing jumpsuit with handmade patch that says “Trash” with another word obscured, fastens pieces of trash painted red to a fence with empty field behind.
Laura Quattrocchi will present her work at the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Saturday. Via Detroit Historical Society

♻️ Head to the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Saturday to hear how Detroit artist Laura Quattrocchi made art out of trash found in Dexter-Linwood. $6-$10.

🥯 Grab a bagel and support the redistribution of wealth, land and power at Resource Generation’s brunch fundraiser for the Transforming Power Fund in Detroit, Sunday at Belle Isle. Suggested donations on a sliding scale from $10.

🌸 Looking to pretty up your place? Grab your wagon and put a spring in your (patient) step for Flower Day at Eastern Market on Sunday. If you can’t make it, there are two more (less crowded) Flower Tuesday Markets on May 23 and May 30. Free. 

🌿 Learn about the sustaining and healing powers of nature on a Detroit RiverFront Conservancy Herbal Walk and Talk on Monday (and several other dates this summer). Led by Mama Ravin, you’ll explore wetlands to identify edible and medicinal plants. Comfortable shoes, water and pre-registration recommended. Free.

🚲 Check out the Southwest Greenway at its grand opening on Wednesday, with music, art and more. Free.

Written by Aaron, Alex, Erin, Koby, Lynelle, Malak, Noah and Kate, who’s checking the allergy and pollen forecasts like her life depends on it.

A giant makes a quick pit stop at Belle Isle

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.