Dang it, Detroit. You’ve got my head spinning – which, I suppose, it appropriate given the Valentine’s Day weekend is here. There’s so much going on in your shapely 143 square miles that I have to stop and catch my breath sometimes.
So we’re going to play catch up on some important updates, events and people with this blog post. There’s lots of fresh news in this town on a regular basis now; it is getting difficult to stay on top of the news cycle in Detroit if you pride yourself on being informed. But let’s try.
So we’re going to go over a few things: Batch is turning the big No. 1 (some might call it a “Beerthday”), a bunch of amazing historians are raising money for the Nain Rouge (that wily character) and some architects of note got props on the big Bedrock project in Brush Park
First, a hearty congratulations to Batch Brewing Company on its one-year anniversary and celebration, which will take place starting at 6 p.m. tonight. Chances are, the gang of beer-loving brewers over in Corktown will be raging all weekend, so you’ll want to be a part of that.
Part of the reason I want to celebrate Batch and the team there is that they have defied the odds in many ways. First, they won Hatch Detroit against a tough group of competitors and they got a storefront open. How often can you say you won $50,000 even in a lottery let alone a challenging business competition? And the industry stats always say that it is darn near impossible for a restaurant or, in this case, a nanobrewery to make it a full year. So that alone is worth raising a glass.
But when you throw in how much Batch has added to the local community, I’d say you truly have something to celebrate. It’s been fantastic to watch as the promises Batch made in those early months – to offer a “Feel Good” tap to non-profit groups for fund-raising purposes and to be a community member in all the best sense of that word – have come true. I have attended a number of events at Batch as well, including my favorite Creative Mornings, and I have seen how people enjoy the communal tables, how friendships are made there (I got to meet John from Joy Coffee, and I’ve loved seeing him around the city since then) and how eating and drinking together at Batch has formed a tight group of friends.
Secondly, if you have money to give, I’d highly recommend you take a look at a Patronicity campaign by the co-creator of the Marche du Nain Rouge. Francis Grunow is one of the bright minds behind the “Neighborhood Grant Fund,” whose goal is to help support “creativity and neighborhood pride in Detroit’s seven districts.”
The goal of this crowd-funding effort is to create a Marche du Nain Rouge Neighborhood Grant Fund. These grants, which will be $1,000 each, will be awarded to one of seven Detroit City Council districts “from Old Redford to Osborn, from Springwells Village to Connant Gardens,” as Grunow writes. The amazing Caribbean Mardi Gras has agreed to provide costume and float construction training to help put together “District Floats” to highlight a neighborhood in each district for this year’s Marche du Nain Rouge on Sunday, March 20.
Last year, Marche sponsors created three workshops with Caribbean Mardi Gras to help neighborhood participants creates floats and costumes. This year, with this fund’s help, they will again partner with local businesses, Mayor Mike Duggan’s office Department of Neighborhoods and Midtown Detroit to ensure everyone has the funds, time and talent to participate.
Finally, one last shout out to the student architects who received recognition, professional experience and cash money for helping contribute to the vision at Brush Park via Bedrock Real Estate services and its partners on this monument multi-use residential project there.
The First Place team was the Illinois Institute of Technology, “The Hive” Team A003 ($3,000 prize). They brought about taller ceilings, flexible sections, more green space and a resilient structure. Team members are: Tyler Baldwin, Neil Griffin and Li Zhehang.
The Second Place team was Illinois Institute of Technology, “CO WORK CO LIVE” Team A002 ($2,000 prize). They added plentiful brick on façade, stepped design and an open, welcoming u-shaped courtyard. Team members are: Liliana Gonzales Montoya, Alina Tompert and Jinjoo Yoo.
The Third Place individual, Lawrence Technological University, “Brush Park DIY” Team C011 ($1,000 prize). Andreea Vasile’s project brought modular, modern, expansion opportunities with universal units that can be changed based on residents’ needs.
Whew. That’s it. We’re caught up. Forward, Detroit!