Hey, it’s Jer. Randy’s writing a thing at the bottom of the newsletter about barbecue. Scroll to the bottom for brisket.

So how was your weekend? The weekend was kind of an emotional thing for me.

I hit Belle Isle to check out the memorial in honor of the 1500 or so Detroit residents that died due to the disease.

About 900 placards were placed along the side of the avenues on the island… and I’ll tell ya, seeing faces I knew was hard but also beautiful in that the city of Detroit did this memorial.

It was covered a lot in the mainstream press today, but Sunday we took a Facebook live tour of the entire thing if you want to actually go along the route. Here’s a link to that.

It was a beautiful sight and when I saw it, I was moved to share it. So far, it’s been viewed more than 17,000 times.

Also, there’s a limited window to go check it out for yourself. Today until sundown and Wednesday, September 2 from sunrise to sunset the 4x4 boards will remain visible.

The City of Detroit plans to give them to the families on Friday, and so is asking that the public not touch or remove the signs.

With that handled, let’s get into some things around town.

It’s Going to Take Awhile to Recover Economically

That was the takeaway from my conversation with Dr. Robert Dye from Comerica Bank. They produce a Michigan Economic Activity Index across different sectors, and June was the worst in the history of the metric.

You can listen to the whole conversation here on Monday’s podcast, but here’s a key quote from Dr. Dye:

“I think the important thing for the average person is to realize this is not a one and done event. And I’ve heard people describe this as a V shape recovery mean, we go down hard in the second quarter and come right back up. I really, really do not like that description. This is going to be an event that even though we do see some good amount of recovery in the third and fourth quarter of this year and going into next year, the echoes and reverberations from those events from the spring.”

Which leads me to the next story.

MGM Grand Makes 1,100 Furloughs Permanent Layoffs

On Monday, they were informed that their furloughs due to the economic impact of COVID-19 will become layoffs.

Casinos reopened in Michigan at the beginning of August at 15% capacity, but there is still nowhere near the amount of business to make these jobs sustainable for the company.

These layoffs are about 40% of MGM Grand’s workforce in Detroit.

MGM Resorts International, the owner of MGM Grand Detroit, is laying off 18,000 of its furlough workers nationally. Laid off employees will keep their health benefits for another month. If at some point there are callbacks, they’ll be first in line by seniority.

There are some employee supports in place, including an employee emergency grant fund, but woof. That’s a lot of jobs that generally pay pretty well.

Ford may see 1,000 layoffs as well. Sven talked about it in today’s show.

Does Oakland County Want To Pay For Parks?

Friend of the pod Tiffany Esshaki reports for C&G papers that there’s a contentious parks millage up for vote this November 3.

The 13-park system founded in the mid-60s serves about two million guests a year.

The millage would go up from .2329 mills to 0.35-mills. So although that’s up percentage-wise 50%, that would be a raise for residents of $12 per $100,000 in home value.

Advocates say the park’s current millage was done when there was one park and far fewer services. Opponents - mostly Republicans - say that it’s another democrat plan to spend and tax when people are hit hard financially by Coronavirus, and that there needs to be efficiencies found.

There are bunch of details in the story here. My two cents? It feels like over and over again us Michiganders want to say things like “find the waste!” or something when we just keep building sprawling infrastructure then acting surprised when it needs to be paid for.

You know, there’s lots of media hay made about the city of Detroit losing population. But here’s a curveball stat for you. Since 1970, the population of the entire region is basically flat. Meanwhile, the rest of the country has grown nearly 60%.

This means two things. One, people aren’t staying, which we knew. But think about all the cities and suburbs and roads that have been widened, expanded and built up since that time. But we aren’t adding people as a region. We’re spreading them farther apart with new sewers, roads, and everything else that costs money. So we shouldn’t be surprised when everything costs more per person.

Randy Loves BBQ

So I figured I’d close today on a fun note. Podcast Engineer Randy loves food. And he really loves barbecue, so when he couldn’t stop talking about this place in Delray in our Slack channel? I had to have him share it with you all. Enjoy.

Delray Barbecue is an Amazing Barbecue Pop-Up In A Lesser Traveled Corner Of Detroit

When you sit and realize that you’ve ordered carry out from the same place eight times in the last three months, you realize you probably need to write about this place.

That should tell you about my feelings on Delray Barbecue. So I had to learn what’s behind the BBQ.

Here’s how it got started. About a year and a half ago, proprietor Collin Karcher says he inherited a pig smoker from his dad and started a catering company.

When the pandemic struck in March, Karcher (along with business partner Steve Sladovnik) started offering their barbecue as a pop-up operating out of Green’s Event Hall and Gallery at 600 South Solvay Street in Detroit’s Delray neighborhood.

To order ahead (and I recommend it in case they sell out), visit the Delray Barbecue website. The menu is posted the Wednesday beforehand on the website and on the Delray Barbecue Facebook and Instagram pages.

Once you arrive, call the phone number posted on the sign and Karcher will come out to deliver your order curbside. There’s no reason to get out of your car.

I visited Delray Barbecue again on Saturday, August 22. I got a pound of rib tips, half a pound of brisket, half a pound of pulled chicken, macaroni and cheese, a corn muffin.

This meal cost under $40 before tip, and it was a lot of food. It fed two plus there were leftovers. The rib tips were tender, the mac and cheese was super creamy, and the muffin was delicate without falling apart.

The brisket was rich. And the pulled chicken was juicy.

The meats had the right amount of smokiness and the sides were a great accompaniment. And the sauce! The sauce (served on the side) is tangy and not too sweet. It enhances the meat perfectly.

Karcher said he’s picking up a trailer and having it customized so he can start doing pop-ups and events in the Detroit and Wyandotte areas, when it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, I highly recommend you go pick up Delray Barbecue while you can. But the weekly window is limited.

You can pick up your Delray Barbecue favorites on Saturdays between noon and 3:00 p.m. If you order ahead, pick it up by 1:00 p.m.

I strongly suggest calling ahead. Here are the details:

Delray Barbecue
600 S. Solvay St., Detroit, MI 48209
Phone: (313) 770-1517

And we’re done! Yay! You made it to the end.

If you find our intrepid project interesting and want to help keep our newsletter and podcast alive, join us at http://www.patreon.com/dailydetroit - it really makes a huge difference.

Thanks so much for reading and we’ll talk soon.


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