Best Of 2015

2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; 866-782-9622;

Need a place to crash in the D? You might as well sleep in style. Motor City Casino's hotel offers glorious accommodations like 460-square-foot Superior King Corner suites that include a soaking jet tub, a bed made with Italian linens, and a 37-inch plasma TV. Need even more space? Go for their Deluxe Corner suite and get a living room, wet bar, and more.

555 E. Lafayette Ave., Detroit; 313-223-2999;

Oh, Greektown Casino. We love you for your walkability, the lively district that surrounds you, your clean bathrooms, and, of course, your plentiful slot machines. You've got over 3,000 games — from penny slots on up to $100 games, and there's always something new.

Don't get us wrong: We've had our fair share of problems with the Citizen over the years. Sometimes its overzealous reporters got in the way of the stories they were supposed to be covering and sometimes their columnists were political operatives with axes to grind. But if you wanted to know what that mythical "black community" in Detroit was talking about, you could do worse than peruse the Citizen. In a chocolate city like Detroit, a paper like the Citizen was essential, and it will be sorely missed.

It's hard to forget the images of downtown Detroit's gigantic J.L. Hudson's Department store being imploded in 1998. Since then, the two-acre site has served as a basement parking garage for employees and visitors, a gaping eyesore in what is now a booming, revitalized business district. Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert has control of the site, and a weird, futurist, swooping rendering of a structure out of 2080 has surfaced. Hopefully, the end product looks like, well, anything else. It needs to be something that makes up for the loss of the beautiful architecture Detroit had with the Hudson's.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan will tell you point-blank he has no interest in the governor's seat, but let's be real: Dude's clearly got his eye on Lansing, and, if the positive press keeps up, who's to say he can't make it happen? When the time comes, we assume he'll unravel a lighthearted campaign of, "Look what I did in Detroit!" and, "Well, it just felt like the right thing to do." He certainly has the frame of mind of a machine politician who's as dead set on turning around Detroit as he is aspirational. Or, perhaps, he'll take all the catch phrases from his mayoral run and cobble them together into one: Restructuring-turnaround-artist-underdog-candidate-former-CEO Duggan for Governor. Who knows. He's running. Bet on it.

If you're heading to a Detroit Tigers game, a concert at the Fox Theatre, or Ford Field, know that tucked behind the strip of bars and restaurants off Park Avenue, a set of side streets provides limited free parking for the evening. Of course, it runs the risk of not keeping your vehicle within the secure safety of a lot, but it beats the $30-$50 prices you'll find on some nights. Just get there early enough.

Neavling has garnered a reputation among some in town as a rabble rouser of sorts, but the guy works his ass off. Based on his dogged, consistent reporting on Detroit's fire department, and his persistence to keep city officials on their toes, there's no thinking otherwise about him. For nearly three years now, Neavling, co-publisher of the online outlet Motor City Muckraker, has won over plenty of fans, and found some who weren't too keen on his efforts. But we appreciate his tenacity, and for all his efforts, Neavling deserves the recognition that so many mainstream media outlets in town choose to avoid giving him.

3443 Cass Ave., Detroit, 313-831-3647,; and 2141 Hilton Rd., Ferndale, 248-556-5675;

Sometimes you're too busy with work and need to ensure your pup gets adequate exercise for the day. Luckily, Canine to Five runs one of the smoothest, friendliest operations in town, a playful outpost for dogs at two locations in metro Detroit. Webcams provide the most concerned parents the chance to watch their pups wild out while at work. Still unsure it might be a good fit? Don't fret; Canine to Five has so much business it now requires reservations in advance. Trust us, your pup's as safe with them as they are with you.

The story of the Village of Oakley (pop. 286) and its police chief with a force of 112 reservists has fascinated seemingly everyone in the state. Why the hell does a town so small need to have that many volunteer cops on reserve? Well, for one thing, these rich attorneys, doctors, businessmen, and athletes pay big bucks for the honor. One such fellow, Herschel Fink, attorney for the Detroit Free Press, grabbed everyone's attention for his near-freakout over the release of Oakley's reservists. He invoked ISIS — ISIS! — and pleaded with Oakley's board of trustees not to release the names, flying in the face of media attorneys everywhere. Here's to you Fink, we truly hope you've come to grips with the reality of the situation at this point.

Sure, there are plenty of gadflies who meander about the DYes! forum, but, all in all, you really can't find a much better location to sift through thought-provoking commentary on the day's issues. You'll constantly find a select few bickering back-and-forth, making for great peanut gallery observations. Make note that, if you play nice, chances are you'll find a majority of the active users to offer stimulating conversation. But beware: There's a strong cohort that will likely drive you nuts.