Hey there, it’s Jer…

I know there’s a ton of lists of things to do every weekend (I used to create them, many times over my career!) but I wanted to do something a bit different in curating some events around town, and hopefully a little ahead of time to make plans.

I also talked about them with our podcast producer Shianne. We reminisced about BD’s Mongolian Grill (it still exists!) — I talked about seeing John Oliver live — and we share a little history as to why Restaurant Week in January or February in Detroit just hasn’t been a thing, where it is in other big cities.

January doesn’t have to be boring, so let’s hop into it. Then I’ll share some things to know around town.

❄️ Things to do in January in Metro Detroit

Jan 5, 6 & 7: The Fire and Ice Festival at Valade Park. I know, hanging out on the riverfront in winter at first might seem like a wild idea. But on Saturday there will be a seven foot tall ice sculpture that’ll be a bonfire! Also, Renaissance-style performers, archery, axe-throwing, turkey legs, fire dancing… need I say more? Well, there’s more. [WXYZ] [Detroit Riverfront]

Jan. 9 & 10: Great Food Truck race star and local sando slinger Khana Detroit is popping up at The Congregation on January 9-10th from 5-9 p.m. Pakistani vibes. [Khana at Congregation]

Jan. 10: Sidetrack Bookshop is throwing the “Grown Up Book Fair” at North End Taproom in downtown Royal Oak. Runs from 5:30-8p, and kicks off. Books & Brews Bingo. Relive your memories fo the old school book fair, with books and gifts available for purchase. [Sidetrack Bookshop]

Jan. 20: Take a backstage tour of the Detroit Opera House. Join the Detroit Historical Society for an exclusive tour featuring the costume and prop shops. The theater originally opened January 12, 1922, as the Capitol Theater. The 4,250-seat theater was designed by renowned Detroit architect C. Howard Crane. [Detroit Historical Museum]

Saturday, Jan. 20, 27 + Feb. 3, 10: Snowy Saturday is where you can snowshoe or ski on the grounds of the Ford House. January 20, 27, Feb 3, 10. Obviously, it needs to snow. Honorable mention: Seeing the rest of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. They recently made an addition to house more programming. [Ford House]

All month through March 31: “Afrofuturism in Costume Design” is on exhibition now through March 31 at the Charles H. Wright. Check out stuff from Black Panther, Black Panter Wakanda Forever, Malcolm X, Do the Right Thing. Very cool. [The Wright]

low-angle photography of concrete building
Photo by Lilian on Unsplash

Every Saturday through January: Check out the Pure Detroit Fisher Building Tours. Indoor tours are the thing when it’s this cold, and there’s so much stunning architecture. The building is truly and art object and the nooks and crannies are worth exploring, as they really don’t make them like they used to. Saturdays at noon and 2p. [Eventbrite]

📰 What to know

» The city of Detroit self-reports that murders in the city are at their lowest number since 1966. Plus, a 16% reduction in nonfatal shootings and a nearly 34% drop in carjackings in 2023. They mention a $10k raise for Detroit cops, a crackdown on drag racing and drifting, programs to take guns off the streets and inter-agency cooperation with the state and Feds as some of the causes. They also say a “Summer Surge” in police presence in downtown Detroit “virtually eliminated” gun violence in that area once implemented in 2023. [City of Detroit]

» Bomb threats caused the evacuation of five state capitol buildings around the country, including in Michigan in Lansing. The evacuation was a precautionary measure. The threat was delivered by email. Session with lawmakers doesn’t start until Jan. 10. A sweep revealed no danger. [Bridge Michigan]

A pic from the listing of the Lakeshore road property that screams the 1970s. Gawk at more listing photos here.

» Billionaire pad bought: The old estate of Ralph C. Wilson in Grosse Pointe Shores has been sold to Matt Cullen, the longtime executive who has worked for companies related to Dan Gilbert and General Motors.

He’s now the chair of Jack Entertainment as his day job; and of the Riverfront Conservancy when it comes to philanthropic work.

Wilson owned the Buffalo Bills, and left behind a well-endowed foundation to support Detroit, MI and Buffalo, NY. [Crain’s Detroit Business]

The property reportedly includes a farmhouse from when the area was ribbon farms. [Freep]

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Until next time! Remember that you are somebody… and I’ll see you around Detroit.


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