Best Of 2014

Best Pawn Shop to Buy; Best Pawn Shop to Sell: American Jewelry and Loan; 20450 Greenfield Rd., Detroit; 313-345-4000;

The family owners of American Jewelry and Loan on Detroit’s west side and ringmasters of the popular show Hardcore Pawn include Les, the hip-talking, street-smart patriarch who’s seen it all (and paid for most of it), and Seth, the enterprising young broker with a heart of gold. American is one of the largest pawn shops in the nation, accepting everything from rings and coats to cars and boats, so the disparaging among us might view Hardcore Pawn as yet another national potshot at Detroit’s woeful financial state. Or, we could celebrate our town’s shabby-chic glory and unique collection of humanity as showcased in a highly entertaining program.