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Hamtown pride 

If you’ve never lived in the city of Hamtramck, you may not understand the community pride common among its residents. A blue-collar ethos coupled with a wealth of cultural traditions sets this town apart. But, truthfully, it could use a little sprucing up.

Having endured plenty of political, social and financial strife over the past few years, it is a feat in and of itself that Hamtramck has managed to avoid complete upheaval and decay. But Hamtramck is still one of the best places to belly up to the bar to hear live music, and it’s still one of the best places around to get a great meal for a fair price. And, despite the tribulations, Hamtramck still hosts some of metro Detroit’s best outdoor and indoor festivals, including the Polish Festival and Metro Times’ music festival, the Blowout.

For Carrie Ann Williams, organizer of Create Hamtramck 2005 — a collaborative art exhibit and fundraiser — Hamtown is the ideal city to invest in.

“I was trying to open a gallery here, but problems with the landlord prevented me,” Williams says.

And after a serendipitous meeting with Hamtramck mayor Tom Jankowski, Williams found herself assigned to a position on the board of the Hamtramck Beautification Committee.

“It’s kind of ironic, we were going to donate all of the money we raised from our first art opening at the gallery to the Police Department anyway.”

Alas, the gallery never happened, but the art show has. The committee’s first fundraising party — a multimedia art exhibit — takes place this weekend at 2287 Holbrook, a newly renovated storefront across from the landmark neon Kowalski Sausage sign.

Artists from the Detroit area have donated their works to be sold; all proceeds will go to the city.

The evening will include free drinks courtesy of the Motor City Brewing Works and food from the Traffic Jam Restaurant in Detroit. Live entertainment will be provided by members of Bulldog, Wolfbait, Doctor’s Prescription and more, and guest DJs Joshua Dunn, Brad Hales and Anibal Gonzales will spin.

Let’s get beautifying.


At 6-10 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 5, at 2287 Holbrook, Hamtramck. A suggested donation of $5 is appreciated. Call 313-365-8993 or visit

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