Major cities unloading undesirable hipsters in Detroit 

An 'Orbit' investigative report

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(View as PDF here.)

What kind of city would put up a billboard telling artists life is better in another city? One that doesn’t want artists. According to The New York Times. that’s exactly what Brooklyn, New York, is doing.

Billboards are pushing Detroit as a mecca for “artists” (a politically correct term for hipsters). On the surface it seems innocent enough, kind of humorous, perhaps even flattering, but this is no lark. Orbit has uncovered evidence of a major operation to clean up their streets by flooding Detroit with these undesirables. Worse yet, it is not just Brooklyn. Our investigators found evidence of this happening over all of New York, as well as San Francisco, Portland, Seattle, and even Cincinnati. It’s possibly the greatest mass migration in human history, and it threatens to plummet Detroit back into a bankruptcy it will likely never recover from.

It’s more than billboards and internet articles. Secret meetings between city officials and landlords have resulted in skyrocketing rents and streets filled with chain stores. But by far, the most devious deceit has been the printing and distribution of Artist Relocation Guides which tout Detroit as the next hip thing. Created to look like an independent DIY publication, these “guides” trumpet Detroit’s affordability and cool quotient while at the same time capitalizing on the almost pathological need of the hipster to be first.

Already we are seeing the effects. Does it look like there is going to be a Civil War re-enactment every time you step out? Are you seeing foods on menus not even parents tried to make you eat? Have you not been annoyed by the crunching sounds of bikes under your tires (need we mention the muffler damage)?

But, that is not the worst of it. It's not just outside sources — we believe certain Detroit companies, charities, and the city itself is in on this boondoggle. Why? What would there possibly be to gain? Follow the money. Michigan’s beet lobby is one of the most powerful organizations in the state, and hipsters eat more beets than any other demographic in the world. There’s more. A strong craft brewers guild and a certain local manufacturer of expensive bikes are involved. Above all, these hipsters will need to find places to live when they discover the $500 houses were snapped up years ago — they are going to NEED LOANS. QUICKLY.

Just look at the introduction page from the “relocation guide.”

Attracting hipsters like the Pied Piper, the Relocation Guide lures hipsters like magic. Preying on vanity (99.9 percent of all hipsters believe themselves to be artists) and the pathological need to be the first trend hopper. This guide is ready to set off a stampede of long bearded prospectors, not seen in this country since the gold rush:

IS DETROIT FOR YOU?

Do you have enough room to create? Are high prices keeping you from following your dreams? Then go west young person — to Detroit.

Detroit may be a little too rough and unpolished for most peoples’ middle-class sensibilities. But if you happen to be a misunderstood creative who doesn’t mind a little dirt on their truffles, then Detroit may be the urban farm to grow your dreams.

Think of Detroit, “The World’s Largest Art Installation,” as your personal backdrop. Every selfie will showcase your talent and your friends back home will gush over your gritty Instagram photos. Detroit’s rawness and realness will do wonders for you. You can paint on virtually anything. There are piles of things — former homes, stores, and factories lying around waiting to be picked up and repurposed wherever your imagination takes you. Money worries are over. Want a home? You can buy one for one-third of what you are probably paying for a months rent. Want to start a business? You can do it here. But hurry, you don’t want to be caught moving there after it’s been discovered by a bunch of poseurs and “me toos”.

The following are actual pages from the Detroit guide that is currently circulating in Brooklyn, Portland, and every other major metropolitan area with a hipster problem. What you read may shock and scare you. And that ukulele music you hear may be Detroit’s swan song.

ARTIST RELOCATION GUIDE

NUTRIMENT

GROCAL
Housed in the offices of a former coke ash yard, this riverfront restaurant offers the freshest and localist food in town. Chef Brandon Trump touts local and the D by hand-picking all flora from the surrounding lots every day and insists everything on the menu come for sources within city limits (except for the Caraway seeds which are flown fresh daily from the Caraway Islands). Even the salt on the table comes from Detroit’s salt mines and the pepper is a naturally spicy and occurring fungus spore, which they harvest off the damp basement walls. Proteins abound as well; Milner Apartment-raised veal and lamb are standouts and farmed three blocks from the kitchen.

RIVER SEAFOOD EMPORIUM
Located right on the Detroit River in the former treatment plant, the RSFE has taken flack for serving invasive as well as local, they don’t worry about haters, as three-hour wait will attest to that. The Silver Fish and Chips run out quickly, but we prefer the sublime Zug Island Zebra Mussels or the can’t-miss Belle Isle “Carp”achio. Lamprey sliders are movers as well. If you crave the freshest, stick a pole out the window for “the catch your own sashimi of the day.”

OFFAL HAUS
Housed in the old Sinclair Slaughter house there is no better place for a true tail to tongue experience. Nothing is wasted, because as you probably already know, the very best tasting parts of the animal are the parts Americans typically avoid. Here, they cook everything but the squeal and best of all, the animals are killed, gutted, and butchered all around you as you dine, so you know exactly where your food comes from. It’s an all innards menu, so it’s up to you to decide which ones will be the most impressive when you recount your dining adventure. You can never go wrong with lower digestive tract.

PURPOSE
Everything used to create this artistic and airy space has been repurposed, from the milk crates you sit on to the recycled tables made from recycled tables originally recycled from electric cable spools. The soup tureens were discovered in an old mausoleum, the serving plates were once hubcaps and even the walls are from the historic TB Sanatorium. Chef Brandon Albom calls his fare a Rescue Menu, meaning he intervenes in cases of food slated for destruction. Items change daily but jelled iceberg salad with small curd blue cheese appears frequently.

SHRINK
The forefront of the American small-space movement, Shrink is housed in a Rubbermaid shed that chef Brandon Krim liberated from his stepfather’s yard. “I wanted to honor him, while showing America you don’t need that much room to run a restaurant. I can make everything with one stove and one pot” Shrink is mainly known for Rooster Projects Chicken, which is fitting since diners are seated both family and chicken-fight style: sharing plates, tableware, and food (including the staff). It’s not just a meal, it’s a meaningful experience, proof we Americans don’t need so much stuff or big restaurants.

DYNAMIC FOOD LABORATORY
Totally experimental gastro culinary experience. Poutine comes in a snuff box that you sniff as much of your taste is in your olfactory glands, and a special Neti pot is used to finish. The mac and cheese has been liquefied and is served in wax nickel-nip bottles made from reclaimed from sterilized Q-tips. Sliders are frozen in liquid nitrogen and served like soft serve in a cone made from Brussels sprouts, which have been genetically modified to never digest “It’s very really filling’ touts chef Brandon Kamanos, adding “People love our pork belly lollipops. They would never know they are eating bacon which has been de-smoked using a collider.”

S-APEX
$184 million transformed this old abandoned factory into Salon Apex, which features the most elegant eats in the D contrasted with the gritty ambience of a derelict manufacturing plant. If price is no object, the Ukrainian Egg, a single caviar egg lavishly hand painted in gold leaf by Old World artisans is a great starter, especially if you go for a larger entree such as the foie gras stuffed strawberry. If price is an object, Chef Brandon Gilbert offers the Ultimate Mac and Cheese Deconstruction, famously poached in Louis the XIII cognac and delicious even without the optional shaved truffles, which are hand-shaved by Pierre, the restaurant’s Trufflelier (the only accredited one in Michigan).

SOUS
There is no executive chef — only sous chefs. The daily special is sous, a French-inspired dish that has to be tasted to be believed. The real draw are the hand-crafted table-cloths, which you can buy, all part of the tablecloth re-emergence movement gaining popularity.

URBAN FARMING & NON-CORPORATE GENIUS

Of The People, For The People
A community garden for the people in the heart of what most would consider ghetto. The food is free for anyone to pick, but it is smart to avoid sections that are under gang control. Rat boots and face protection is highly advised.

You Say Tomato
Disproving the naysayers who believed the former U.S. chemical grounds would never be fertile, this collective has been growing some of the most unusual produce in America. From the nickel-sized beefsteak grays to the “Mortgage Busters” that juice when you touch them.

Herman’s Gardens
The first urban farm not for human consumption, but to feed Detroit’s exploding population of feral animals, is the brainchild of Poppy Silver, who also has the challenge of trying to get Detroit’s stray cats and dogs to go on a strict vegan diet. Possums, raccoons, and rats are also encouraged to visit this most enlightening project.

The Rooster Projects
Karina Pryche had a dream, to get free cable and Internet access for the disadvantaged youth who could be living in Detroit’s notorious abandoned Brewster Projects. Five grants later and it is a reality, repurposed space has become coop-ops, which provide housing for both the residents and chickens. Families whose children who might never see a farm, get to experience the fowl up close and personal, and also get free cable access. In addition to sharing their roosts, each family gets to keep a share of the chicken (breast, thighs, and drumsticks) while the high demand entrails are sold to Detroit’s hippest eateries.

Linwood Plant Ranch
It appears the Factory Farm has been reinvented, as this abandoned factory is growing some of the finest shrub fed beef in the city in the former Linwood Edsel Plant. Using sustainable Darwinian harvesting, LPR collects only the beef that is naturally speared on the rebar or fall into the many open shafts on the grounds.

Sarah Beth’s Big Heart Dairy
Sarah believes the wonderful flavors coming out of her dairy come from happy livestock. That’s why they avoid mechanical milking machinery or hands and favor the natural suckle method, which has been practiced for centuries in Tibet. Sarah Beth is not allowed to distribute their milk to stores because of State laws forbidding the sale of raw milk as well as dairy that has previously been in someone’s mouth.

Poopstation Zero
“We need to think about our poop. It shouldn’t be something we are afraid to talk about” trumpets Brandon Kohler, whose idea to collect human manure for urban farms is taking off in a big way. You’ll see the handcrafted street-friendly commodes all over the city — typically alleys, vacant lots, and under-utilized vestibules. Made entirely of reclaimed plywood sheets that covered the windows of abandoned homes and BPH-free pails. The young entrepreneur is changing the way we think about our most basic functions. I just wish people wouldn’t steal the biodegradable toilet paper — or use the book pages to wipe with. You’ll probably catch a glimpse of Brandon zipping around town on his specially made pole bike that he uses to collect the manure for a daily urban garden drop off.

UNSUME
Shop only at the following places if you don’t want to be a mindless corporate cog — don’t consume — “unsume.”

Tragic Records
A former bank is an appropriate home for the hardest to find vinyl in the world. The vault is said to contain rarities by the likes of the Last Poets, Coltrane, and Can, in all, over 21 albums containing the best music ever. It can be intimidating, as none of the records are on display, you must fill out a request form, if they have it and will package it up. If not, prepare for banishment.

REWIND
Best selection of ironic music in the D. Thousands of mix tape cassettes featuring the likes of Huey Lewis, Michael Jackson, and Pearl Jam. They also sell vintage and collectable cassette players and cassette shaped iPhone cases, messenger bags, and front-packs. You can argue for hours whether “Blister in The Sun” is earcceptable.

CDIY
If you are looking for a couch made of eight-track tapes or a bird feeder made from classic vinyl, look no further than CDIY (pronounced like “City” or more like “Ciddy,” and they get really bothered and roll their eyes if you don’t say it right). Every item is one of a kind, which makes it hard for the artisans to part with. But after lengthy negotiations, you should be able to walk out empty-handed.

Unicorn Factory
Want to start your own incubator? Look no farther than Unicorn Factory, an Incubator for Incubators and also for companies that want to build incubators. Promoting both IDEA VIRUS incubators and typical egg Incubators under one roof, there is no better place to birth an incubator.

Think-u-bator
Got an idea? Come down to Think-U-Bator, where your ideas are given the opportunity to grow like weeds in the fertilizer of freedom. Unlike banks that will stifle your creativity and stomp on your ideas and probably steal them after they scare you away saying its not “finically viable,” Thiink-U-Bator is the reason Detroit is becoming the Beardtique, Yarn Collective and Mason Jar Shoppe capital of the world. And when your idea is ready to be marketed — MassAbator will get it in over 20 fair trade coffee-houses and unique shops.

MaKur Laboratories Inc.
The entire building and all the machines contained therein, have been created with a 3-D printer. We might be jumping the gun because only the doorway and a couple feet of wall have been completed in the last three years. FYI: It takes about three weeks to print all the 42 pieces needed to create a concrete block. (Another larger 3-D printer has been ordered which will cut this time down dramatically.)

BEARDTIQUES

Your Fathers Mustache
Over 700 all natural mustache waxes and beard balms — rivals Portland’s “Upper Lip.”

The Mustachery
Detroit’s first Beard and Mustache beardtique, loaded with unique imported waxes, balms, and other facial hair beautifiers.

Beardo
House made all-organic beard balms and mustache products including conditioners, revitalizers, relaxers, and fecal removers.

Beard Factory
First transgender owned Beard Boutique in the area offering a stellar assortment of no nonsense beard and ‘stache products.

MIND CANDY

Destroyer Of Worlds (or- With A Whimper)
Considered more a creative thought incubator than art gallery, DOW features totally unique examinations of Detroit’s ubiquitous ruins astutely photographed by relocated artists many who have bared their very souls by appearing nude in these works. Don’t worry about bringing your kids; nudity is healthy, and 99 percent of the work has strategic PG-placed limbs or objects covering up potentially offensive body parts.

Honoring Art Through Evolution
Considered better than museum art by the hipster community, most of the art in this loft is piled on the floor, which makes navigating at the nightly opening parties pretty hard especially since most everyone is pretty much drunk on righteous ales or high on the medicinal marijuana. What’s really "hep" is you never know if that pile of dishes on the floor is “art” or a “pile of dishes” or a “pile of dishes” that has just been declared “art.” Expect some serious arguments about art and society and don’t be surprised if an artist decks you because “who the fuck invited you, lame ass.”

Snotwalls
This intimate 15-foot-by-20-foot space is home to the best-attended art shows in Detroit. Snotwalls typically features about 12,000 pieces from over 400 artists hung floor to ceiling, which can make it hard to get to the box of wine in the back unless you get there a couple hours before doors open. That’s a great time because it’s when most of the artists show up with their pieces.

Resistance
Where Detroit’s best artists show off what little they have done with their grant money. It’s an amazing display of “good enough” — be it the release of a single cassette of atonal noise or 12 sheets of newsprint scribbled with crayon and taped to the wall.

Gagosian Rack (Formerly MOCAD)
Artists who are no longer in favor on the coasts or London now have their very own home in hip Detroit where the demise of their careers can go unnoticed. It would not be surprising to see a Richard Prince or Damien Hirst exhibition here sooner than later.

The Vandersnoot (International Museum Of Public Arts)
Exhibiting solely the most acclaimed graffiti in the world, the IMPA, also known as “The Van,” is considered to be one of the greatest collections of art in world. With over 750,000 square feet of pristine exhibition area both historical and contemporary works virtually every master artist from KILLROY to LOWDOWN to SLICK is on display. You will feel both privileged and humbled by these sprayed painted works that are destined to become the greatest art works of all time.

FREEGAL
A totally free gallery that gives artists not only a space to install their artworks in front of an adoring public but also gives them the reclaimed materials to create their masterpieces with! Detroit is awesome! Bankrolled by the city of Brooklyn free membership includes a one-way bus ticket to Detroit.

POP UPS & TACO TRUCKS

CURB
Curbside pop-up appears sporadically on sidewalks throughout the D. Themes include “Hot Pockets” — it’s like a Hot Pocket™ but it’s filled with real food like pork belly or Asian inspired Brussels sprouts and “Toaster Strudel” — it’s like a Toaster Strudel™ but it’s filled with real food like pork belly or Asian inspired Brussels sprouts. Presently taking a break while they think up new themes to fill with real food.

Adrenaline
No way PC, but Ted Nugent's food truck is ironically cool and features species that are not only endangered, but way too cute to kill. Signature house made sauce created from the adrenal glands of dying trophy animals.

SHELTER
An unlicensed vegan cuisine restaurant inside a no kill animal shelter housed in a formerly abandoned home right next to the city’s animal disposal unit. “We got a $500 house the scrappers avoided and we are using it to let people know why they should eat vegan. One whiff of the rendering shed should put you off meat forever,” chimes owner Poppy Silver. The animals roam freely in her urban farm. But, don’t be surprised if a kitten hops on your table or a pit bull mauls your leg.

NOCTURNAL EXISTENCE

Incinerator
Since Detroit’s incinerator only works part time, and buying wood to keep it operating was halted during the bankruptcy, it was only natural to find a second use. Detroit’s self-proclaimed hottest club features electronic music four nights a week. The dance floor is usually deserted as virtually everyone in the crowd is a DJ and so is everyone who likes electronica in the city.

IRONICA
It looks just like any sports bar and sounds like any top 40 set list — therein lies the rub. Everyone is just ironically getting into the music. Laughing and having fun, but if you’re not hip it’s at your expense, even when you aren’t there. Oh yeah, it doesn’t say Ironica anywhere — the name on sign varies from “Don’t Try This At Home” to “Get A Life” or some other ironic overused slogan. “We Love Justin Timberlake and Bieber” nights are the most crowded but the “Clarkston 2000” (Kelly and city of) soirees are not to be missed.

YARN
On any given day you might hear heartbreaking stories about urban farmers trying to find the right natural pesticides or the trials and tribulations of trying to purchase a new television set south of Eight Mile. Unlike other spoken word clubs there is no time limit on stories, some of these tales can go on for hours and hours, even longer if you count the “ummmms.”

YARN UK
Cross stitch and dance in heart of Detroit’s knit-hop scene. The biggest of all knitting knightclubs it’s the place to knot down. Due to a lawsuit with Yarn, the storytelling nightclub, they changed their name to Yarn U.K.

DETROIT COGNAC COMPANY
There are a number of micro distilleries in the area, but this is the only one in the U.S. that is distilling cognac. Harvesting the wild grape vines abound in the city, the DCC has what has been called the strongest cognac in the world. Right now they are doing three: XXX VSOP, QRSTUVSOP, and FREEQY DEEQY VIP SOP that comes pre-mixed with Faygo Cola.

BRANDON’S BOMB BEERS
Of all the microbreweries in the city, or the country, this is the only one that brews in single glass batches. An immense selection of over 300 of these meager-brews are available one pint servings and comes with a long rambling lecture about how horrible corporate brewed beer is.

TRANSPORT

Non-Motor City
Custom bike shop and rentals that creates bikes from 2-by-4s and which are harvested from buildings slated for demolition. Every $2,900 bike they sell allows them to donate a bike to homeless person who can then use it for free, healthy, eco-friendly transportation.

Right Bros. C MENT WHEELS LTD
Four years ago the Right Bros had an idea. While the reclaimed cement bicycle has yet to go into production, a down payment on Jipstarter will assure you your place on the waiting list, the brothers have been pickling their own meats and making some fine home brews which although they can’t get certification to sell. But they will allow you to sample them while waxing poetically for hours about the fermentation process.

Comrades On Wheels In Boxes
Noting the number of rising bicycle fatalities COWIB decided to do something about it. Using repurposed lumber to create hand crafted coffins that fit both you and the bike you love has made them the runaway success story in the independent “unsumer” business landscape.

More by Orbit staff

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