CAFFEINE FOR THE STRONG
A new emporium of that precious, beautiful drug known as java has popped up in Greektown — the Camillian Cafe on Monroe (formerly the Schlotzky’s Deli). Open for about four months now, the space is sleek, stylish and warmly inviting. In addition to a full range of caffeinated delights and an interesting menu of delectable food, the Camillian is currently showcasing artwork from C-Pop’s Tom Thewes.
Last Friday night featured a set from DJ Shortround, while owners Judith Shelton and Julian Rainwater milled about greeting customers, slinging espresso and chatting with friends LeRoi and Katrina Meadows. The cafe will be open until 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, and is open every weekday at 7 a.m., so it’s the perfect spot to start up your day or wind down your evening.
FAB, RUINED AND DRAB
Touring the ancient ruins of Mexico and Greece is a marvelous cultural and educational experience, but airfare is pricey and you run the risk of dysentery and pickpockets. But good news — you don’t have to go far to witness the splendor of crumbling architecture; you can enjoy some of the remarkable ruins of our own fair city. If you haven’t yet checked it out, the Fabulous Ruins of Detroit (detroityes.com) is a stunning and enduring Web site dedicated to exploring the beauty and blight of the urban decay of Motown. A 300-plus page photographic essay by artist Lowell Boileau, the site depicts the eerie beauty of abandoned buildings in historical neighborhoods such as Brush Park, industrial ruins of the automotive industry, and the redevelopment of the theater district and other new hotspots.
Last Saturday evening was the official Fabulous Ruins of Detroit night at the Cass Café, a traditional meeting place for innovative Detroit artists (and conveniently located next to a boarded-up, statuesque brick building).
The multimedia event featured images of ruins projected onto the walls, as well as a meet-and-greet opportunity for participants of the site’s discussion forum. For those unable to attend, organizers took photos and posted them on the site every hour.
Hats off to Boileau for creating a constantly evolving, interactive virtual tour that’s one of the most profound commentaries on the current state of Detroit.
From that point, it was off to visit a different aspect of the city’s redevelopment, in the form of a trip to the new downtown Detroit house of image and indulgence, Times Square. If you’re into seeing and being seen, this is the place for you.
Suprisingly small, the nightclub was packed from polished wall to polished wall, attracting lots of deep tans and designer labels. Highlights were the tattooed and bald Big Al at the door — who will soon be off to Florida to shake his moneymaker as a background dancer for MTV’s “Spring Break” — and promoter Julia Parnish, who should have made a New Year’s resolution to stop being so glamorous, impeccably dressed and nice, since it’s simply not fair to the rest of the girls in Detroit.
While staff dancers Michelle Williams and Sarah Woodman were working the naughty schoolgirl look atop the raised platforms on the dance floor, I chatted with Rachelle Partee and Jennifer Sluzinski, who were entranced by the fire-breathing antics of the barstaff.
Also on the prowl: Student Diana Haider, account exec Susan Lindblom, birthday girl Kathryn Baughman, hip-hop diva Shannon Kelsey, the singularly named Spencer and Chantelle, Shawn Burchi, Jackson Wessels, and the roving trio of Sarah Elbaum, Lindsey Goldberg and Cindy Dilaura.
A word of caution: When enjoying your Times Square experience, remember to look down. The club has several abrupt step-ups and step-downs, and when it’s crowded and dark they’re easy to miss; a highly amusing reminder for any posh and snooty scenesters that your carefully crafted image can be destroyed by one false step. Yes, we were laughing at you, not with you.
Complete and total animalistic debauchery is the only way to describe Sunday’s Rock for Your Rights party at the Mt. Clemens Emerald Theatre, hosted by the Association of Club Executives (ACE).
The goal of this organization is to protect the rights of workers in the exotic dancing industry, mostly by fighting laws that attempt to shut down adult bars or force limitations on performances.
After musical stylings by Paradime, De-T-Riot, Midcoast Blaze and Innercorse, the evening culminated with more than a dozen professional dancers competing in a bikini contest.
Upon arrival, I was unexpectedly roped into being a judge for the competition by Emerald promotions mistress and Paradime manager Aimee Spencer, who displayed impressive grace under fire despite her chaotic surroundings. Fellow judges included Mitch Hutts from the Macomb Daily, the two-fisted Steve Johnson, Uncle Kracker manager Mike Shafer (who is fond of playing with the facial piercings of total strangers), and Tino from the Howling Diablos, who’s gearing up for a jam session with George Clinton at the House of Blues in LA.
Out in the audience, Diablo DJ SirReal and producer Mike E. Clark cheered on.
But on to the flesh. As soon as the first limber lady slinked across the stage, the rambunctious crowd went wild and responded with whoops, profanity, crumpled dollar bills and several gratuitous gropings.
Apparently a few women in the front thought it was an amateur contest, as two of them suddenly mounted each other on the edge of the stage and started — well, at this point I just had to look away and hoped security would douse them with a bucket of water.
Spurred on by this flabbergasting display of raunchiness, judge Pierre Warren sacrificed his judgely decorum and leapt to the front of the stage, bumping and grinding with audience members and generally carrying on like a man on a mission to enjoy himself to the fullest. Never a dull moment.Sarah Klein writes here every other week. Got gossip, insider info, outrageous cries for publicity? Write [email protected], or call the tip line at 313-962-5281. Press * then dial