Welcome to the weekend. It’s been a tough week, hasn’t it? Sections of our freeways looked more like canals after tropical-level downpours where a bunch of water comes in a very short period of time.

Flights stopped at Metro Airport for a time, as the road to the McNamara Terminal flooded. I-275 at 94 flooded out. Trees are uprooted across the region, and a couple lower-level tornados were confirmed.

I’m hearing reports that there are drains acting like geysers at auto plants. I saw one video of one at Great Lakes Crossing in Auburn Hills.

And if you didn’t get the text message, yeah… don’t touch the rivers or streams in Wayne County because of the sewage and overflow that had to be discharged. Up in Macomb, the Chapaton gate had to be opened for only the third time since 2017 — with two times being this week. On the flipside, it meant far fewer basements getting flooded.

“Apparently, these storms have become our new normal. This has been like a tropical storm, and both government and residents will need to make appropriate preparations whenever possible,” said Macomb County Public Works Commissioner Candice Miller, a lifelong Republican in a press release.

She’s not sure of the cause, but is sure that something is different.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for Wayne and Monroe counties. Oakland County is pushing for the city of South Lyon to get one specifically declared for it.

I enjoyed one particular post on social media. Appropriate as 210,000 DTE customers are without power as of this writing.

If you’re dealing with hardship right now, I’m thinking of you. It’s like the city’s motto “We hope for better things, it shall arise from the ashes” should go to “it shall rebuild from the floods.”

The Isaac Agree Downtown Synagogue has been undergoing a major renovation and rehabilitation, spurred by a growing Jewish community in Detroit.

There’s room not just for worship, but for a growing number of children, space for community partners, and for events.

The $5.75 million renovation project now gives the Downtown Synagogue 11,000 square feet of space. More than half of that is being used for the first time since moving into that building in the 1960s. The pie-shaped building at Griswold and Clifford Streets has had previous lives as a coal company, ladies’ clothing store, beauty salon and medical offices.

Rabbi Ariana Silverman shared something I didn’t know around why it’s so important that the street level windows be opened back up.

“One of the major pieces of the renovation was tearing out the brick wall on our first floor and replacing it with glass. So that we are engaging with the city, and the city can be engaging with us. It is actually a Jewish requirement that a synagogue have windows for that reason. That as we are turning inward in our prayer, also turning outward in terms of our engagement the larger community.”

Rabbi Silverman and Executive Director Rachel Rudman joined me on the podcast to talk about all the work and the upcoming opening party.

» The whales are visible again. The recent storms tore apart the advertising mural of “Smiles” by Detroit artist Phil Simpson, showing again the 1997 mural by the artist Robert Wyland. It’s been covered nearly 20 times by advertising. This photo is sent in by listener Victor.

I have what may be an unpopular opinion about all this.

Whatever you feel about the “Smiles,” I hate something about this discourse. Phil Simpson is an artist, actually still local, and has given so much to the community. And he gets forgotten about in this. I’ve seen him literally put on a smiling head costume at Eastern Market and other places to make people happy. I also am not sure why “Whaling Wall” gets to stay up 25+ years but other art on walls around the city often just goes by the wayside. Not that I hate the whales. I just feel like there’s a double standard here.

» My Friday co-host Devon is a whale wall fan, and had his first Pumpkin Spice drink of any kind on the Friday podcast. We also talk about dog-friendly destinations in Detroit.

» Canine To Five has opened their location on East Jefferson in Detroit. The locally-owned business is in the Riverbend Plaza and this is their fourth spot, offering group play dog daycare, lodging, and bathing services. [Canine to Five]

» The North Cass Neighborhood Summer Sidewalk Sale is tomorrow! (Saturday). This isn’t sponsored, I just know a lot of the businesses and people around this and know it’ll be a good time if you feel like getting out.

What you need to know:

  • It's this Saturday, August 26 from 11a -7p.
  • There will be 30 North Cass and Midtown businesses hosting big sidewalk sales, pop-ups, activations, and live music.
  • Look for more than 20 musical acts and live DJ's throughout the Northern Cass Corridor, including the Detroit Party Marching Band, Danny Kroha, Nick Schillace, and Jenny Knaggs. If you’ve never seen the Detroit Party Marching Band, I don’t know what you’ve been waiting for.
  • And if you want to eat, there are 10 food trucks and pop-ups — including Folk, Milk and Froth, Nepantla, Verna, Lena Sereini, Old Soul Vintage, Fleatroit, and a Traffic Jam and Snug return with a pop-up merch booth. Plus, on-the-street gift card giveaways.

You can get more info at citybirddetroit.com/events. I’d say a good place to start is Canfield between Cass and Second in Detroit.

Real quick, before you go — If you want to support what we’re doing:

  1. Share the thing with a friend. Word of mouth is the best way for people to learn about us.
  2. Become a member on Patreon or buy us a coffee. Local things don’t work without local support, and thank you.

As always, remember that you are somebody — and I’ll see you around Detroit. I hope you have the best weekend you can.

Talk soon,


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