Should she stay or go?
Zana Smith from Spectacles, the small, popular hip-hop fashion store, wasn’t that worried when she was told last month she had 30 days to vacate her downtown Detroit space (the building had been sold). Smith even hosted a party Tuesday celebrating 31 years in business. “Everyone has been so supportive,” she says. “We’ve had amazing offers to open up shop in spaces all over Metro Detroit. It’s a good feeling to see how supportive our community can be.” About 100 guests showed up to the party and were treated to a concert by Collective Peace featuring two native Detroiters, Amp Fiddler and Zo. Guests were asked to wear their “Soul Detroit” T-shirts (a Spectacles exclusive). DJ Dez played the evening out with dance music as people shopped until 10 p.m. The kicker: Smith reports that the building’s new owners said they will present a “simple lease” to her in the next week or so. So yes, perhaps she will stay.
Midnight Funk Association at the cruise
This year’s Dream Cruise happens Aug. 16, and Detroit is having its Second Annual “CruisIN’ the D,” with cars looping down Woodward from Eight Mile, around Palmer Park up to Seven Mile. Events will take place Aug. 13-16 with lots of car-related activities, including a Ford Piquette “Super Roll” and Classic Car Showcase Saturday. WJLB-FM is co-sponsoring the festivities, which is apt because reclusive former ’JLB talent The Electryifyin’ Mojo has created a special “Mojo’s CruisIN’ The D’ playlist” tailored to the cruise route, “unifying Detroit and Michigan using music and cars.” It sounds as mysterious to us as Mojo, but there can never be enough love for the creator of the Midnight Funk Association, who um, we hear might actually be there. As he once said, “Wherever you are, you’re in the right place.”
For most people, 7-11 is a chain of convenience stores, but for retired U.M. psychologist June Ridley and her friends, it’s a fiercely festive annual celebration. Born on the eleventh day of the seventh month (“some 75 or 74 years ago, I guess,” Ridley said), she has celebrated this day in a special way since she was four. “And it doesn’t matter the day of the week,” she said. “Whatever day 7-11 falls on is the day we party.” This year’s session took place Saturday, starting in the spacious backyard of Ridley’s Highland Park abode. House music DJ Stacey Hotwaxx Hale brought the thunder through the turntables, accompanied by an ensemble of accomplished musicians — strings and flutes — that enhanced every beat. A Latin-inspired meal was served, and chanteuse Millie Scott offered a bluesy/gospel rendition of “Happy Birthday.” Guests included former Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Wendy Baxter, WWJ radio news reporter Vickie Thomas, prominent dentist David Hill and Michigan State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit). Even embattled political consultant Sam Riddle, who tied with his nemesis Kid Rock as “Most Colorful Character” in the Metro Times poll, appeared, dressed in a bright lemon yellow ensemble. As the 11 o’clock hour drew near, a late-night snack was prepared — fried catfish in the alley — seriously. Happy 7-11, Dr. Ridley.