Happy Halloween

Sweet Juniper, the now famous Detroit Daddy-blogger, posted a little treat of a blog post for Halloween. He has concocted a world class RoboCop costume for his kid and takes him around the city taking photos of the little fella adorned in full home-cooked RoboGear (remarkably made from mostly scrapped and recycled materials). Young Robo poses in front of futuristic buildings, checks scenes from the comforts of the People Mover and even manages to get the Detroit Police involved. Hilarity ensues while mini-Robo pounces around town as big as tuffy. Pretty awesome. Check out the full-length post chock-loaded with photos and accounts of Robo’s first day on the job. Happy Halloween. Detroit style.

Detroit: Urban Gardening Leader

Urban gardening continues to provide an inspiring and positive storyline in the city whether it’s the consistent coverage the city gets or the cool projects that are sprouting up (like Jim from Sweet Juniper’s latest project at the Georgia Street Community Garden) in the city as a result. Speaking to the former, Detroit was recently featured in the Christian Science Monitor as a beacon of awesome in the urban gardening realm. The article talks about the occasionally controversial Hantz Farm, but also RecoveryPark, the lesser-known 10 year, $220 million project putting organic farms in four different struggling neighborhoods around Detroit. Quite possibly the most engaging part of the article is the fact that it exemplifies Detroit’s leadership in pushing forward an agricultural agenda in a post-industrial city. Meanwhile, other places like San Francisco are following suit, lending credence to the fact that Detroit is forging a new, innovative path for modern cities.

Mixed Business

Jim Griffoen, super-Dad behind the blog Sweet Juniper!, is starting a new feature on his blog where he is combating the negative force put up by Andrew Grossman of the Wall Street Journal in a recent article. Grossman points out the fact that a lack of national retailers in Detroit is a bad thing. So, Jim will be posting accounts/details/anecdotes of the retailers and shops that we have all come to love in the city. So stay tuned, it should be a refreshing look at small business in Detroit.

Switching gears a little bit now. DL! will be appearing at the Detroit Urban Craft Fair on Saturday, November 21 at the Majestic Theatre. As a result, a bunch of brand new pieces will be available for purchase. Well, actually, the whole Fall/Winter slate of releases. And quite frankly, they are looking pretty good. Think sweatshirts, zippers, hoods, some more poster’ish sort of prints and a remake of the tote bags. So get ready! Stop by from 10am to 7pm!

Detroit: Media Darling

Articles covering Detroit are here, there, everywhere.  El Senor Daniel Okrent, the gentleman who wrote the TIME cover story, discusses Detroit and its prosperous future with NPR. Thomas Morton, the feller who wrote the Vice article that helped coin Jim Griffioen’s “ruin porn” slang, is interviewed via podcast for NPR’s segment “On the Media.” Assignment Detroit is still chugging along, dancing between topics of blight and hope. Their blog is getting reviews from near and far as they continue to report on Detroit… in Detroit. This concludes our segment of link-droppping. Thanks for reading.

Lecture on (Re)Designing Detroit

Jim Griffioen, the fellow behind the wheel at Sweet Juniper, a local blog about being a stay-at-home Dad, Detroit and contemporary social issues, will be giving a lecture at The Johanson Charles Gallery in Eastern Market (map) on the regeneration of urbanism in Detroit. According to his website, he’ll be talking about “Detroit’s ruins, urban farming, Henry Ford, historic preservation, blogging, photography, tourism, the suburbs, the picturesque, Rosa Parks, Greenfield Village, and the aesthetics of abandoned places.” Check it out tomorrow evening, 6 to 7pm.

Update (8/18/09): The lecture went off well, with a casual Jim Griffioen leading the discussion. The general thematic delivery was aimed at encouraging local Detroiters to embrace and take ownership of the “ruins” around town. Instead of seeing them as indications of peril and demise, we should embrace the beauty that is contained within the social and historical compenents of the site. Ruins can be intriguing to some extent because at some point everything dissolves. So, watching and understanding the natural process unfold can be enthralling. The talk lasted about an hour and was well attended by people of all ages.

Finally, the TIME Article

TIME Reporter Alex Altman covers Detroit after Jim from Sweet Juniper took him around town in mid February. The resulting account of Detroit provides insight in to revival. Check it.

Sweet Juniper

Sweet Juniper is a humorous and typically thought provoking Detroit blog site through the eyes of a creatively talented, stay-at-home Dad.  In this post he gives his account of taking a TIME reporter around the city to provide him material for the feature article the reporter was to write for a March issue. The writer had only one day to get his content for the article. On their tour, the pair meets up with Mark Covington, head honcho at the Georgia Street Community Garden– just northwest of Gratiot and Harper on the East side. The account of the day is a cool story of the explosions of positive in the D.