Tag Archives: Motown

Chartreuse: A Colorful Restaurant

18 Oct


The restaurant Chartreuse Kitchen & Cocktails adds to the list of the new hot spots in Motown. Located in Midtown, the decor is vivid with a wild shade of green — chartreuse.  The menu is creative as the decor. From the Lake Erie walleye to the duck confit to watermelon salad, the food is refreshing and delicious. And as you can see, very colorful.


Soulful Books about Detroit

2 Aug
Writer Bill Morris shares his 10 Best Books about Detroit on the Daily Beast. Here is the link to his picks from Elmore Leonard to Phillip Levine to Loren Estleman.
Momentum Books, the book division of Hour Media LLC, publisher of the city magazine, Hour Detroit,  publishes books on the city too.
I have not read Heart Soul Detroit yet, but I know the author Jenny Risher is a talented photographer.



The Social D Debuts

15 Feb


There’s a new website in motown, and Neiman Marcus in Troy, Mich.  celebrated its debut with a fashionable bash.  My friend and colleague, Chuck Bennett, unveiled his lifestyle blog —The Social D, designed by Martin LeFlore.  Chuck is well known in the media as a fashion guru and party scene stealer. His words are as melodious as the sounds of Ben Sharkey and Kimmie Horne who performed at the party. From leather to fur, from hot colors to minimal hues, the fashions were fabulous. Philanthropist Danialle Karmanos (top left) and DKWIO founder introduced Chuck as “the godfather of Detroit.” Need we say more?


Top left: Danialle Karmanos

Upper middle left David Clapper, Chuck Bennett.

Top right: Samar Ajluni, Marcy Hayes

Bottom left: John Edwards, Francine Wunder, Mort Meisner, Lisa Muma

Below: Neiman Marcus Fashions


A Toy Story in Motown

13 Dec


Motown has some unique toy stores.The pop-up store Spielhaus in Detroit is a great example.  Dad Kurt Spiels, a former engineer and high school science teacher,  knows which toys teach. From imported toys to homegrown finds, there is something for all ages. Spielhaus is part of Hatch Detroit. The store is currently located at 1249 Woodward, but Spiels is looking for a permanent home.

Huffington Post Detroit has a fabulous write-up of Motown toy stores including one of my favorites — Toyology in West Bloomfield.


Here’s Hillary

16 Nov


I had the opportunity to meet Hillary Clinton (left) at a Beaumont Foundation event last week. On the right she is speaking with Florine Ministrelli the benefactor of the Ministrelli Women’s Heart Center at Beaumont Health System. Politics aside, it was quite thrilling to meet her. She gave a wonderful speech to the philanthropic group. When I met her I said one phrase “2016,” and she replied, “Thank you.”

Jazzy Food

6 Oct

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I experienced Cliff Bell’s in downtown Detroit during restaurant week. The ambiance with flickering candles, mahogany tables and walls is reminiscent of a supper club in the 40s. The food was delicious. As we left, the band was entering. Cliff Bell’s is known for its smooth jazz music.  And nothing beats the Motown sound.

Below: Photography by Briana Snyder


My Date with Elmore

2 Sep

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In 2005, I was the editor of “Style,” a Detroit lifestyle magazine. For our 20th anniversary issue, our staff picked 20 Detroit Stylemakers — people who imprinted their singular style on Motown.

Elmore Leonard was certainly a Stylemaker, and I wanted to interview him. I knew he lived in suburban Detroit so I reached out  the best way I could to this established writer. I wrote him a letter, but unfortunately I never received a  response. When I heard he loved flowers and was a master gardener, I had another idea. I sent him an orchid  via the local florist with my business card attached. He called and agreed to an interview and a photo session. It helped that the photographer, Glenn Triest, photographed him previously. He had one caveat — he asked if I would drive him to the photo session.

The following week, I was in Elmore’s house. He showed me the orchid,  his living room with a simple wood desk and  his notes — all on yellow legal paper written out in long hand.

He mentioned his upcoming research on German prisoners of war in the United States. I mentioned that Glenn’s family was from Germany, and that Glenn’s father had quite a story — leaving Germany as a teen, fighting in World War II, becoming a translator for the Nuremberg Trials and finding surviving family members.

Elmore was intrigued, and when we arrived at the photo shoot he was excited to speak to Glenn. Glenn prepared his studio like a movie set filming a crime scene. The mood was dark, the lights were dim and broken glass littered the floor. Elmore was in his element.

We all had the best time. I heard about Elmore entertaining Quentin Tarantino and Aerosmith and how Elmore has no idea what the ending of his stories are until he ends it!

Glenn mentioned that there will be a movie premiere about his father, Howard Triest, at Oakland University. The movie, “Journey to Justice” featured Howard’s historic footage shot in 1947, Glenn’s still photography and the plight of the Triest family fleeing Germany. “I’d love to see it,” said Elmore. “It’s a date,” I added.

The following week my husband and I picked up Elmore and his then wife at his home and went to Oakland University for the showing. Elmore was gracious, humble and, of course, interesting. A few people came up to him and asked for his autograph. He graciously signed it and gave good wishes to all the aspiring writers.

It was a special evening. When I heard about his death last week, I thought about my date with Elmore.

Many obits were written, but I especially liked Bill Shea’s tribute in Crain’s Detroit Business with this headline: “Crime Paid: Dickens of Detroit is gone, but legacy will continue to make a killing.”

Summer in the City

27 Jul


Summer in the City (SITC) is currently at Davison Elementary School in Detroit, thanks to my friend Judy Robinson. Judy is a retired Detroit Public School teacher, a Motown Savvy follower and someone who believes in giving back to the community. Judy worked with Summer in the City Co- Founder Ben Falik to bring the project to the school where she worked for 39 years.

SITC is a nonprofit that mobilizes volunteers to make a difference in Detroit. The volunteers are painting amazing murals to spruce up the 95-year-old school. This project lasts seven weeks and will welcome the students in the fall.

“These individuals (SITC) are providing such a wonderful service to Detroit kids and setting a great example of volunteerism and cooperation,” says Judy.

Perfect Sun Hat

13 Jun

UnknownI might have found the perfect sun hat. It’s cute, packable and provides sun protection. It’s called the bucket with a hide-away neck-flap. I purchased it at Dunham’s in metro Detroit. To my delight, it’s from a Motown-based company — Broner Hat & Glove. This fourth-generation family business began in Detroit and is now located in Auburn Hills. Check out their catalog for more sun hats that will keep you cool and sunburn free.

Here are some other fun sun hats!Unknown-1765412-20130314061136-broner-womens-spring-awakening-sun-shading-hat

Antiques Roadshow Visits Motown

2 Jun

photo Antiques Roadshow kicked off their 2013 season with a taping in Detroit on Saturday, June 1. Although I was not at the taping, I was fortunate to be invited to a behind-the-scenes preview at the Townsend Hotel a few days before the show hosted by U.S. Trust. U.S. Trust thanked my friend, Lois Shaevsky who is on the Board of Trustees at Detroit Public Television for her community work at the luncheon. More than 50 people were treated to a lecture “The State of Jewelry Today” discussing the trends, values and styles. The keynote speaker was Kate Waterhouse (shown, left), a PBS Antiques Roadshow Appraiser and Director of Jewelry, Heritage Auctions. Carolyn Ashleigh (shown, right) is a Heritage consultant in Birmingham. So what’s trending now in the jewelry? According to Waterhouse, watch collections are very popular among the young twenty and thirty-somethings. But the best takeaway was that jewelry rarely loses its intrinsic value. She showed a strand of natural pearls that went up for auction in 2004 and sold for $21,500. A similar pieces sold for $218,00 in 2011. Each guest received the book “The Collector’s Handbook,” by James Halperin, Gregory J. Rohan and with Mark Pendergast. I can’t wait to see the value of some Motown treasures on the upcoming Antiques Roadshow from Detroit!

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