Things to do in Detroit before/after DUCF 2011

The Detroit Urban Craft Fair is this weekend!!! It's at the Detroit Masonic Temple this year, in the Drill Room on the thirteenth floor. There will be 80 different vendors, weaving demos, and the traveling Trumbullplex Zine Library.

This is my third annual guide to Detroit for those who are coming to the Detroit Urban Craft Fair. This one is going to be especially grand because of two things: a lot of new shops/restaurants/fun places opened up this year (we got three new coffee shops over the summer!), and I am one year older, and have had one more year to find this stuff. People are traveling to DUCF from Cleveland, Chicago, and maybe even farther, so I'm adding overnight accommodations and more evening events to the guide this year. And as always, your ideas are welcomed and encouraged in the comments.

Places to eat:

Good Girls Go To Paris Crepes - I mention this place every year, because it's so awesome! Sweet and savory crepes, filled with ingredients like boursin cheese, spinach, brie, nutella, brown sugar, and fresh fruit. But check out the menu for yourself.

 Motor City Brewing Works - Pizza place with local beers in a really cozy place. They have these delicious herbal sodas, but I'm not sure if that's a regular thing.

Traffic Jam & Snug - A little more expensive, but definitely worth it. Aside from being a restaurant, they're a bakery, a brewery, and Michigan's smallest licensed dairy. The inside is really neat too, lots of different rooms, and an upstairs level.

Honorable mentions: Mudgies (three different kinds of root beer!), Le Petit Zinc (french food), Majestic Cafe, Avalon International Breads(sea salt chocolate chip cookies!), Russel St. Deli.

I tend towards places that use locally grown/made ingredients. Detroit has a lot of great burger places, coney islands, mexican food, but that's not my specialty. If you know of a place that should be mentioned, post a comment!

Coffee shops:

14 East - I ordered a mocha latte here, and they put actual truffle shavings directly in my coffee. Pretty fancy. They also have locally-made macarons and other pastries here. In the same building as Leopold's Books. Open 8 - 4.

image via Crain's Detroit

Astro Coffee - More fancy coffee, right by Slow's BBQ and the old train station. Open 8:30-6pm.

Thistle Coffee - Simpler coffee, friendly staff. When Billy asked if they could scoop some ice cubes in his cup of coffee, they didn't look at him like he was nuts.  This place is also open late, until 9pm.

Cafe Con Leche - This one has been around for a while. Espresso drinks + traditional latin drinks. Mexican hot chocolate, and of course, cafe con leche. Located in southwest Detroit, open until 6pm.

Things to do around town:

Noel Night - Noel Night is like a giant open house for over 60 Midtown venues, go to the website and download the schedule, there's a billion neat things going on Saturday night. Highlights would be: horse-drawn carriage rides, the Reindeer Run (a photo scavenger hunt), but seriously, just check out the schedule, there's a ton of stuff going on.

Image by Corine Vermeulen.
Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit -  open 11-5, you can check out the current exhibition, Considering A Plot (Dig For Victory), examining victory gardens and urban farming.

Pop Up Detroit -  an art exhibition that transforms The William Boydell House with the works of over a dozen local artists. Opening reception on Saturday from 5 - midnight.

Detroit Institute of Arts - I heard the Detroit Revealed photography exhibition is worth a trip, museum open 10 - 5.

Live music: Breathe Owl Breathe is playing at the Scarab Club, 8pm Saturday.

Places to stay the night: 

Hostel Detroit - For $23.00 a night, you can get a single bed in an open room, plus a city orientation by the staff. Gated parking is available, make your reservations online.

Honor + Folly - This one is so brand spankin' new, that this will be the first weekend this bed and breakfast is open for business. Located on Michigan Avenue right by Slow's BBQ, Astro Coffee, and the Sugar House Bar, you can rent the entire apartment for $165 a night. The space is decorated with goods made by Detroit and Midwest-based designers and artisans, and you get a fully-stocked kitchen, wi-fi, and bikes to ride.

The Inn on Ferry Street -  This is another bed and breakfast, for $160 a night, you can stay in one of the four impeccably-maintained Victorian houses, and they provide shuttle services.

If hostels and bed and breakfasts aren't your thing, you can stay at one of the fancy hotels downtown, like the Greektown Casino Hotel ($99), Motor City Casino Hotel ($125), or get really fancy and stay at the Westin Book Cadillac ($219).

For more things to do and places to eat, check out my 2010 guide and 2009 guide. See you at DUCF!


November News from Always the Forest

A lot of good stuff has been happening recently at Always the Forest headquarters. This is the last week for my pop-up shop at 71 Pop, so if you haven't been by the store to check it out, now is your chance! It's located at 71 Garfield, right across the street from MOCAD.

The Detroit Urban Craft Fair is one week away! It's this coming Saturday and Sunday (12/3-4), at the Detroit Masonic Temple. I'll be posting my annual guide of things to do in Detroit, so if you're looking to plan a weekend in the city, check back here tomorrow for a nifty guide. Event details and RSVP here.

Speaking of craft fairs, Amanda of Dang Argyle wrote a guide to Michigan indie craft fairs in the month of November and December. There is literally one or two every weekend for eight weeks! Check out the guide here.

I finally got my dedicated photography corner all set up, so the webstore will be up and running the week after DUCF, finally! I got my white backdrop installed in a part of the studio where the natural light is pretty consistent, and I picked up a nice dress form to display the clothing. I got my dress form from Detroit Store Fixture on 8 Mile and Livernois. They had everything from gridwalls to price tag guns, if you wanted to get a little bigger with your craft fair display, this would be the place to visit.

Things I am loving right now: homemade egg nog (fresh cream from the dairy down the road, egg yolks, maple syrup, vanilla, and fresh nutmeg; the best!), rush shipping (but not the price), our new Brother printer (not an ink hog!), epsom salt baths with lavender, cardigans (I'm making a ton of them for DUCF), and having a local sewing machine shop that can do emergency repairs on my machines (and the how the ladies scold me for having too much lint in my machines.)

If you're looking for some interesting things to read, some things I've been enjoying lately are: Curbed Detroit (brings me back to our house-hunting days), the new HuffPost Detroit, Fashion Incubator (for the technical side of fashion design), the No Trash Project, and this craft fair poster collection.

I'll leave you with a picture of my dog Emmett, who just turned one year old. He like to wander upstairs to the studio and look out the window.


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