Garden parties and golf gusto 


Last Thursday’s garden party at The Whitney almost seemed like a throwback to the good ol’ days ... circa 1996 or so, when it was still something of a novelty to go to a garden party in downtown Detroit.

Since then, however, it’s seemed as if a different radio station was having a garden party practically every day of the week, and any bar with a grimy sidewalk could wheel out a booze cart, throw out a potted plant and some folding chairs and proclaim itself garden party central.

Perhaps I just caught it on a good night last Thursday, but the venerable Woodward palace was packed to the gills with musicians, hipsters and casual-wear happy-hour types whooping it up before trundling home to Novi and Troy.

Live music was provided by Slumber Party and Six Clips. But the bands at times seemed overshadowed by the long line for the complimentary vittles (get your eight bucks worth!), the quality of which was also upgraded from previous years.

Captured on film were the brothers Peters (Drew and Chris, both of Six Clips), as well as Joelle of Stun Gun and drummer-about-town Chris Bozasus.

As many are no doubt well aware (and many of whom no doubt do not care), the membership of Stun Gun is once again in flux, following an attempted insurrection by certain members whose membership has since been terminated. Nevertheless, the surviving members valiantly fight onward, with a demo CD produced by the Peters brothers getting ready to hit the airwaves. Look for it at a homeboys show near you.

Also captured by Kodak was karate kickin’ Stun Gun bassist Stacy Lauers, apparently testing out her stage moves on unwitting bystander Shana Smith. Perhaps she could have used those moves to aid another party patron who was rumored to be escorted to the garden gate following a restroom fracas with a rather unruly gentleman who was not identified. Never a dull moment.


The long-awaited, oft-in-the-works Harmonie Club, a former German social club located downtown on Harmonie Park, is apparently going to open its basement-level pub sometime in mid- to late- July. (This being Detroit, I would peg that as being around mid- to late-August.)

I recently spied Harmonie Park restaurateur Nick Apone giving techno god Derrick May a guided tour of the place, leading to speculation that perhaps a joint venture was in the works (a techno pub perhaps?). But according to Tom Moisides of the SVM development group, May is just an "old friend." In any event, the tentatively titled "Center Street Pub" will be located in the old rathskeller, and will feature food along the lines of general pub fare (the actual menu is still in development).

The building’s ancient three-lane bowling alley will, unfortunately, not be resurrected, but there will be pool tables and, in a peculiar twist, a putting green for those so inclined.

The first and second floors of the building will be leased as office space, at least for the next three to five years. In addition, the huge third floor theater, a very cool space which, for local Germans circa 1905 was what St. Andrew’s Hall was for the Scots, will remain mothballed for now. The powers that be will wait and see how the downtown develops before committing to any more entertainment ventures in the building.


A certain oversized local glossy mag based in the suburbs with the word "Detroit" in its title recently ran its "Best of 2000" issue, an interesting package which, in a daring Mad magazine-type twist, included 15 pages printed upside down (at least in the 28 copies I looked at on the newsstand).

I contacted the editor for an explanation on this bizarre twist, wondering if perhaps I shouldn’t just buy them all and place them in the safe next to my postage stamp with the upside-down biplane on it. In reply, an underling production flunky sent me a standard e-mail indicating that "while (they) strive for zero defects, some errors do get through."

In any event, I do believe that the issue has earned the mag the award of "Best of 2000" in the category of slick oversized glossy mags with pages 33 through 48 printed upside down. Congrats all!

Also congrats to one of our indistinguishable daily papers, which has forsaken its newspaper shackles and jumped headfirst into the Vanity Fair school of journalism, with prurient, front-page, above-the-fold, hatchet-job exposés on Al Taubman, Ilitch offspring and celebrity chefs. Look for the paper to soon start publishing on glossy paper, with perhaps a few more jewelry ads and less of that messy "hard news" which so plagues newspapers today. The downward spiral continues.


A hearty heartfelt thanks to all who participated in last week’s Metro Times golf outing, and in particular kudos to the Majestic Theater’s Dave Zainea and Jason Schusterbauer, who won the long ball contest ... er, correction, the hitting-the-longest-ball-the-wrong-way-off-the-tee contest, which takes great skill and dedication, along with more than a few cool refreshments along the way. Watch for them to defend their crooked crown next year.

Speaking of the Majestic, those who missed their last Tigers bleacher party at the Copa should sign up for the next one, currently set for July 16. Last time I went, we were treated to free pizza as well as an impromptu guided walking tour of the ballpark with Majestic patriarch Papa Joe Zainea. Get your tickets now, as they sold out fast last time.

Casey Coston writes about development in Detroit. E-mail him at

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