Sunday, September 1, 2013

Best of the Net: 8/26-9/1

Hollywood, the Detroit of the West

Michigan got some good news this week when the producers of the "Batman vs. Superman" announced that they will be filming in Detroit. Before you complain about Ben Affleck playing Batman, watch "Argo" or "The Town." Affleck can act. Michigan should welcome Affleck and the cast and crew of the the "Man of Steel" sequel. Per the Detroit News:

“Detroit is a great example of a quintessential American city, and I know it will make the perfect backdrop for our movie,” director Zack Snyder said in a statement. “Detroit and the entire state of Michigan have been fantastic collaborators, and we are looking forward to working together on this film.”
More than 400 Michigan workers will be hired for the production. The cast and crew will shop in Michigan stores and eat at Michigan restaurants, and they might go on television and praise Detroit like Mark Wahlberg recently did.

Hatching a New Batch in Detroit

Hatch Detroit announced Batch Brewing Co. as the winner of its 2013 startup business contest. Batch will receive $50,000 to help with start up costs and will open in Corktown at 1444 Michigan Avenue in 2014.

Batch Brewing Co. will be Detroit's first nanobrewery. The brewery will have six to eight beers on tap and will have both a rooftop and an outdoor patio on Michigan Avenue.

Hatch Detroit is an annual contest that was created to help spur new business in Detroit.

Take a Drive Along M-22

Even if your knowledge of Michigan is limited to Pure Michigan ads, you will know that Michigan is home to some picturesque sights. With 3,126 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, it is no surprise that Michigan is home to one of the "Five Awesome American Roads to Drive in a Ragtop This Labor Day" according to Aol Autos.

Writer Pete Bigelow describes Michigan's M-22 along Lake Michigan:
Starting on the north end in Traverse City, the curvy route showcases quiet lakes, cozy vacation towns and the sand dunes, all while following Lake Michigan's shoreline south. Much like our first selection of U.S. 1 in the Florida Keys, this route in northern Michigan also traverses some classic Hemingway country.
Even if you missed out on M-22 this Labor Day, try to get up there sometime soon to check out this beautiful American road.

Not the Deadliest Catches, But the Best

Michigan's Official Travel and Tourism Blog released this wonderful infographic about fishing in the Great Lakes State. It lists many facts about the excellent fishing to be had in Michigan. For example, Michigan's 153 species of fish makes Michigan's lakes the home to the most diverse fishery in the United States.

Although the summer is over and winter will be here soon enough, plan a fishing trip in Michigan next summer. If you are brave enough, the graphic also gives information about ice fishing in Michigan.

Food meet Truck

MLive reports that eight food trucks received grants from the Michigan Economic Development Corp. The winning trucks represent many areas of the state, Pontiac, Southfield, Traverse City, East Lansing, Kalamazoo, Flint and Marquette. Each truck will receive $10,000 in grants, except for the Dia Los Tacos from Marquette, which will receive $7,775.

Detroiters are Zoolanders 

The Detroit Zoo has topped one-million visitors for the eighth consecutive year, and they managed to do this before September.

The Zoo continues to improve its exhibits, and has the largest polar bear exhibit in North America. Take a visit to the Zoo this fall, maybe for the Zoo Boo events in October or the return of the Wild Lights display during the holidays. For more info, visit the Detroit Zoo website here.

Destination Michigan

Michigan's tourism industry is booming. The Detroit News reports that areas such as Traverse City, Mackinac Island and Southeast Michigan have all seen improved tourism numbers this year.

Just because the colder months are coming does not mean Michigan tourism will be dead for the remainder of the year. As the News article states, Michigan is a four-season destination and offers harvest festivals and beer gardens in the fall and winter sports throughout the colder months.

A Fair to Remember

Although the original State Fair folded a few years back, Fifth Third Bank is attempting a revival. This Labor Day Weekend the State Fair returned for its second year. The fair is staged in Novi, not on the original State Fairgrounds, but it does offer many of the old attractions that the original fair offered, plus a beer garden.

The original Michigan State Fair was the longest running state fair in the United States. Hopefully, this fair will return in 2014 and for many years after.

Bus Company Makes All the Right Turns

This Detroit News Story is just cool. Andy Didorosi of the Detroit Bus Company is trying to improve Detroit's transit woes one bus at a time, but he also is making time to help school kids find ways to after school programs that they normally would not be able to attend due to lack of transportation.
With spotty public transportation and parents who might not be able to drive them, "Some kids rode their bikes or walked in the dark, but the vast majority of kids just didn't attend the programs. They just didn't go."

To change that picture Didorosi threw out the rule book on traditional transport that had each program -- 90 of them -- providing its own buses or vans. DBC purged the redundancy and developed a website,, where program organizers and parents could give input on the routes and schedule they needed. Then DBC used the data to meet those needs.
This program started as a six-month pilot program but is slated to continue when school starts up this fall.

Michigan Art Museums Survive

There has been a lot of press involving the Detroit Institute of Arts and whether the city should auction of its works. However, this article from MLive points out that Michigan cities besides Detroit have art museums.

The article highlights the increased attendance at the DIA as well as the many programs available at art museums in Flint, Kalamazoo, Muskegon and East Lansing.

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