Thursday, October 14, 2010


Next week is "Detroit Beer Week" Detroit has become quite the force on the national brewery scene. Events are more or less scheduled everyday. This is definitely a good idea.

Oct. 17
Whiskey and beer
Time: 6 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Where: Ye Olde Tap Room, 14915 Charlevoix
More information: Take a look at the history of this Prohibition-era bar.

Oct. 18
Slows-Bar-BQ happy hour
Time: 3-7 p.m.
Where: Slows Bar-B-Que, 2138 Michigan Ave.

Oct. 19
Cliff Bells beer dinner featuring Kuhnhenn Brewing Co. and Dragonmead Microbrewery
Time: 9-11:30 p.m.
Where: Cliff Bells, 2030 Park Ave.
Cost: $30
Details: Four courses and beer pairings with brewers. Reservations are recommended.
More information: Call 313-961-2543.

Oct. 21

Beer vs. wine cheese pairing
Time: 7-10 p.m.
Where: Motor City Wines, 608 Woodward Ave

New Holland Brewing night
Time: 10 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Where: Grand Trunk Pub, 612 Woodward Ave.
Details: New Holland Brewing Co. takes over Grand Trunk.

Oct. 22
Foxtown/Park Ave. pub crawl
Time: 7 p.m. - 2 a.m.
Where: Various locations - Park Bar, Cliff Bells, Rub BBQ Pub, Hard Luck Lounge, State Bar, Hockeytown Cafe, The Town Pump Tavern, Centaur
Details: $10 wristband will get you drink and food specials and waive cover at each location. A Detroit Beer Week representative will be selling wristbands at each location.

Oct. 23
Detroit Fall Beer Festival
More information: Go here.

Official Detroit Fall Beer Festival after party
Time: 6 p.m. - midnight
Where: Atwater Block Brewery, 237 Joseph Campau St.

Oct. 24
Sunday "Bloody Mary" Sunday
Time: Noon - 4 p.m.
Where: 3rd Street Bar, 701 West Forest Ave.
Details: Bloody Mary bar, breakfast items

Monday, February 22, 2010

From Acclaimed Director Carl Kurlander, "My Tale of Two Cities" Hopes To Hold A Showing in Detroit


“My Tale of Two Cities”

A Funny and Timely Comeback Story

Plays Role in “Re-energizing Cities”

New York City, New York – December 10, 2009

“A delightful, quirky, heartwarming film that is as funny as it is revealing..." 
-- Don Roy King, director, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE

"A movie that is timely, moving, and - above all - entertaining. You can't get an entire city into therapy - but this film is the next best thing - a funny self-help guide for cities looking at their future." -- 

Mitch Teich, Executive Producer, Milwaukee Public Radio

Having sold out 3000 seats at its Pittsburgh premiere where the film received a standing ovation and delighted audiences at film festivals across this country, My Tale of Two Cities, a funny, heartfelt, and hopeful comeback story, is resonating with audiences cities from Santa Fe to San Antonio as evidenced by the recent full house showing at the Santa Fe Film Festival and the November 27, 2009 San Antonio Business Journal article “Film Plays Role In Re-Energizing Cities” talking how the movie has inspired city leaders there. The film, which was recently picked up by Panorama Entertainment, not only tells the tale of Pittsburgh’s recent inspiring comeback as a city which President Obama called “a model for the future” at the recent G-20 economic summit, but also explores a personal journey that audiences everywhere can relate to about coming home again and coming to terms with our pasts in order to redefine who we are.

My Tale of Two Cities is told through the eyes of screenwriter (St. Elmo’s Fire) and TV writer/producer (Saved By The Bell) Carl Kurlander, who was living in Hollywood when he received an offer to go back to his hometown and teach at the University of Pittsburgh. After his wife Natalie pointed out that if they continued to live above the Sunset Strip, their one year old daughter’s habit of dancing naked on coffee tables might become an acceptable profession, Carl moved his family back to Pittsburgh— the real life “Mister Rogers’ Neighbohood” in search of a more meaningful and balanced life. This journey led the Kurlanders to being guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show on a program about people who had changed their life, where Oprah herself was struck by the fact that Carl had found happiness “in Pittsburgh, even,” But shortly after that, Fred Rogers died, and the city of Pittsburgh went bankrupt.

With both himself and his hometown in mid-life crisis, Kurlander set out on a Don Quixote quest to make a film to help the place where he grew up. Armed with a cranky cameraman, funded by his dermatologist, and often battling his wife who longs to return to the sunny West Coast, Carl asks his neighbors from the famous (Steeler Franco Harris, Teresa Heinz Kerry) to the not-so-famous (his old gym teacher and the girl who inspired St. Elmo’s Fire) how this once great industrial giant, which built America with its steel, conquered polio and invented everything from aluminum to the Big Mac, can reinvent itself for a new age.

My Tale of Two Cities is filled with rawly honest, often hilarious scenes such as when Kurlander visits on a playground with the girl who beat him up there as a child (complete with an hysterical recreation of the event); offers to buy cheese for Teresa Heinz Kerry at a produce shop which almost ends up consuming the film’s budget; a fishing excursion where Carl and his brother catch and, even more boldly, eat a catfish from Pittsburgh’s once polluted rivers (and then visit famed coroner Cyril Wecht afterwards to find out if they will live.)

But the film also thoughtfully explores what it means to come home again and what it takes for both cities and people to reinvent themselves for a new age. We hear from Ms. Heinz Kerry about her late husband John Heinz’s belief that sometimes your worst problems can become your best opportunities; see famed Steeler Franco Harris with his son Dok who is surprisingly not an athlete, but a Princeton grad who came back to his hometown to go to business school and law school and make a difference; watch Andy Warhol’s nephew Marty who runs a scrapyard ponder what would have happened had his Uncle Andy never left Pittsburgh; and are reminded by David Newell, the actor who played Mr. McFeely and Fred Rogers’ widow Joanne, of Mister Rogers’ challenge to us all to “make good attractive.”

The film becomes highly personal as the Kurlanders must decide whether to stay in their new life in Pittsburgh or go back to the Hollywood dream they once knew. This decision comes to a head in a dramatic confrontation Carl has with his mother who had abandoned him and his brother during their childhood in the very apartment in which he grew up. But ultimately, My Tale of Two Cities is a feel-good film which shows us, that even in dark times, as articulated by Pittsburgh’s late Mayor Bob O’ Connor, if we work together and believe in ourselves, it can still be a “beautiful day in the neighborhood.”

My Tale of Two Cities has received national attention in The Washington Post, USA Today, and on The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and picked up grassroots support at screenings and film festivals around the country, including being featured at conventions for MENSA and the International Downtown Association in Milwaukee. Producers Stephanie Dangel and Carl Kurlander can be reach at 412-622-1325 or Stuart Strutin of Panorama Entertainment can be reached at (914) 937 1603 or For further information, visit

Accordingly, Windsor, Canada is hosting a showing of Carl Kurlander's movie "My Tale of Two Cities" on Saturday February 27, 2010 as well as a discussion to follow. The movie has been shown across the country. Mr. Kurlander has been unable to secure a venue in Detroit to host a showing however.

The similarities between Pittsburgh and Detroit are obvious. Mr. Kurlander believes that his movie could benefit from a Detroit showing and Detroiters could especially benefit from his entertaining, uplifting and personal spin on the rise, fall, and continued (hopefully) rise of Pittsburgh into the new century.

Mr. Kurlander's team has reached out to the DIA and the Detroit Film Theater about hosting a showing. They have yet to hear back. Mr. Kurlander continues however to search for a venue in Detroit. Accordingly, if anyone has any connections within the city and might be able to help Mr. Kurlander show his film in Detroit, please contact Producers Stephanie Dangel or Carl Kurlander at 412-622-1325 or, or Stuart Strutin of Panorama Entertainment at (914) 937 1603 or For further information, visit

If you are otherwise interested in seeing the movie in Detroit, but may not have a connection, please place a call to the DIA and let them know that you'd like to see "My Tale of Two Cities" shown at the Detroit Film Theater.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Detroit College Promise 5K Run/Walk


While posts may be slight as of now, DetroitArmy will always live on.

The Detroit College Promise is excited to announce the first ever “The Detroit College Promise 5K Run/Walk” that will take place on Saturday, October 10th, 2009 at the Detroit Riverfront. Registration until October 1st is $15 for students/seniors and $20 for adults. Registration after October 1st will be $20 students/seniors and $25 adults. The registration fee includes a t-shirt, event entry, food and entertainment.

The Detroit College Promise provides Detroit Public School students scholarship opportunities to public colleges in Michigan. The group motivates students and parents to plan for a college education and encourages them to move into the Detroit Public School System. Not only does The Detroit College Promise support higher education, but it also promotes economic development in the Metro Detroit Area.

The event is currently looking for participation, sponsorship and volunteers. The Detroit College Promise 5K Run/Walk is a great way to support the charity and show the community you care about education and the future of Detroit's students. For more information on how your group or organization can become involved in this great cause, or to register, visit Or call Chris Ogden at 734.891.1639. A registration form in PDF format is available at Detroit College Promise.pdf

WHAT: The Detroit College Promise 5K Run/Walk

WHERE: Detroit Riverfront, near Atwater and St. Antoine

WHEN: October 10th, 2009

CONTACT: Chris Ogden

Event Director

Phone: 734-891-1639


For more information:
Detroit College Promise

Detroit Army

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


It seems like an obvious concept, but around Metro Detroit, Emagine Theater was the first to do it. It, in this case, is serving beer and hard alcohol during movies. Emagine now plans to open its newest theater in downtown Royal Oak. Ultimately, the question will be, can crowds of drunk twenty somethings be able to control themselves?

Apparently Emagine Entertainment founder Paul Glantz thinks so. In a statement in the Detroit News recently Glantz stated, "We're at the very outset but we're very excited about the process and hope to get all the government applications wrapped up this summer. "First we're applying for a liquor license and then we'll have to apply to the building department for a construction permit."

This could be a lot of fun for a growing downtown...or be a complete drunken catastrophe. Let's hope for the former, or if it suits you better, the latter.

For more details on the proposed Emagine Theater Royal Oak, click here

Detroit Army

Friday, April 24, 2009


The $145 million renovation of the Argonaut Building at 2nd and Milwaukee in Detroit's New Center neighborhood is moving full steam ahead. Abandoned by General Motors in 1999, Detroit based College for Creative Studies (CCS) announced plans to transform the Argonaut Building into a second campus in 2008, and as of now, completion of the $145 million renovation is scheduled for September.

DBusiness magazine reports that the new campus will include a partnership with the University of Michigan's Stephen M. Ross School of Business which will enhance already established CCS programs providing practical business skills for students. Additional highlights include 150 dorm rooms, studios, fitness rooms, game rooms and all CCS undergraduate design departments, along with a color and materials library, continuing education classes, community arts programs, public galleries, and 80,000 square feet of commercial office space. An art centric middle and high school are also planned for the new campus and will be run by Henry Ford Academy.

Once the new campus is finished, CCS will expand its current programs at the school's main campus in Midtown including fine arts, illustration, entertainment arts, and photography, among others.

For more details see the May/June 2009 issue of DBusiness Magazine as well as the Detroit News here.

Detroit Army

Monday, April 20, 2009


While he at first did not succeed, Jordi Carbonell is trying again. Actually, he wasn't the one who did not succeed, but instead, it was the the initial location of Jordi's neighborhood coffee shop, Cafe Con Leche, inside the Mexicantown Mercado at Bagley and 21st, which failed and, which is now padlocked, unfinished, and void of even a single business. (For more information on the mercado's circumstances click here) After less than a year at the Mexicantown Mercado, it was readily apparent to Jordi that he needed to move his business to a new location if it had any hope of surviving.

With floor to ceiling windows, painted walls, and art on display and for sale, Cafe Con Leche in its new location facing Clark Park at W. Vernor and Scotten in the Carnival Bar's former location, is doing more than surviving, it's flourishing. The comment overheard which I found most entertaining as I enjoyed my espresso was from a young lady who exclaimed, "Wow, this place is really nice, I don't feel like we're in Detroit." While a bit back handed, the message was clear.

Jordi believed he could do better in a new location, but Cafe Con Leche's instantaneous success was a surprise. According to Jordi, revenue increased two times over within the first month. Located nearby on Scotten, students and teachers from Western International High School continually stop in, along with passersby, and even customers from the coffee shop's Mexican Mercado days who just can't do without caffeine from Jordi. Inside, Spanish was the predominate language spoken, and it adds to an engaging ethnic atmosphere.

Cafe Con Leche serves up standard coffee shop fare such as freshly brewed coffee, and espresso drinks, but features some interesting options such as Cuban Coffee. Drink prices are more than reasonable which was even more painfully evident when I ordered the same triple shot of espresso in Birmingham at Java Hutt II and paid 50% more.

Additionally, sandwiches are catered from (I believe) Lunchtime Global, located downtown, in the First National Building, 1/2 block east of Woodward on Congress (CORRECTION: Sandwiches are catered from "Lunchtime", in New Center, located next to the Fisher Building in the New Center One Building at 3031 W. Grand Blvd.). Donuts, croissants, and home baked pastries, including brownies, and pecan pie were displayed on the counter. Wifi, and newspapers, both in English and in Spanish, are also available.

Even with all that's available, Jordi seems to be a main attraction for adoring customers, and I have to admit, he seems like a good guy. I immediately took to him, when, after a bottle of the Mexican soda, Jarritos, caught my eye, I asked him if he had the grapefruit flavor and he assured me that while he did not, he would get it.

When I first walked in, it crossed my mind that Jordi wasn't from Latin America, yet he spoke Spanish with customers and, hey, it's Southwest Detroit we're talking about here. Turns out he's from Barcelona, which was a nice surprise, as I'm not aware of too many Spaniards living in the Metro Detroit.

As a tapas fan, I asked him if he knew of any good tapas restaurants here in Metro Detroit. His response was drawn out, but it was evident that his answer was some version of "no." When I pressed him further, he said that if one was to eat tapas here, Sangria in Royal Oak is not somewhere he would recommend, and while downtown's Vicente's tapas weren't completely up to his standards, Vicente's paella was the closest that he has tasted to that of his native land.

Apparently Jordi is in Detroit because, but of course, his wife is from here. He told me that he met his wife while she was studying abroad in Spain. I don't know the details, but the bottom line is that he's here now, and he's brought a refreshing coffee shop option to Southwest Detroit. Just as Charles Sorel and Le Petit Zinc are great additions to Metro Detroit, Jordi and Cafe Con Leche are as well.

Below are photographs taken at Cafe Con Leche.

You can find the entire flickr set from Cafe Con Leche here.

Cafe Con Leche
4200 W Vernor Hwy
Detroit, MI 48209
(248) 736-1196
Detroit Army

Thursday, April 16, 2009


In possibly the biggest film news in Michigan to date, Unity Studios plans to turn a shuttered Visteon Corp. facility in Allen Park into the state's largest integrated entertainment production house. Credit can be given to Jimmy Lifton, a native Metro Detroiter as well as a Hollywood executive and veteran sound producer, who is responsible for spearheading this project. The Detroit News reports that,

"Officials said the project will be built in phases, the first of which is expected to open by this fall. That will bring sound stages and production facilities online, as well as a skills training center that will educate up to 1,000 students per semester.

Later phases will bring more sound stages and production facilities and eventually incorporate retail and housing components in the middle-class Downriver community of 27,500 residents, officials said."

For details on Michigan's newest proposed film studio, see full articles from the Detroit News here and here.

Detroit Army