Detroit - Flyy By Day and Night
My Detroit is black and fly, let no one tell you otherwise.
Detroit does it again! And always, like no other. I think I will consider this my Artist's Way Artist Date for week number 8! (If you are not familiar with the
, and are into self-helping, I highly recommend the book!)
We are naturally fly...
This past Saturday was a wonderful day all to myself. I took me on an date-date! First I headed to the "We Rock Dope Hair" Naturally Flyy Natural Hair Meet-up at the Artist Village. I hadn't been to the Village since a poetry night quite some years ago and, despite this being it's sixth year, it was my
event. I am embarrassed to admit that and mad at myself! I mean it's only "the largest gathering of Black women and natural hair in Detroit."
I am really glad I made it to this remarkable event. The vibe there was so beautiful. With such an accumulation of queenly energy gathered in one place, if you had looked at an image of this planet from outer space, I'm sure there was a golden light beaming from the earth between 3 and 8 o'clock pm on Saturday afternoon. GeoTag AMAZING! There were all kinds of hair consultations and presentations, as well as a room full of badass stylists doing natural hair of all kinds. There were locs being tightened, braids being braided, fades getting faded, and more. There was the most beautiful array of jewelry. There were earrings and bracelets and shoes and t-shirts and purses and hats and even tutus by one stellar youth entrepreneur.
Now, let me just revisit the hats for a moment. I was following the housey beats of Stacy Hotwaxx Hale into one of the many funky courtyards of the Artist's Village complex and stumbled right into the Stef-N-Ty table. Are you familiar with
? Well, if not, you should be! They are a dynamic team creating fashions that are as unique as the people who wear them. I have been wanting one of their chapeaux ever since I saw my dear friend Nichelle Kija Gray sporting one on a Facebook post, looking absolutely fabulous. I said to myself, "fabulous self... you too need a fabulous Stef-N-Ty if you even want to consider yourself still in the Fabulous Club. Saturday my chance presented itself. I brandished my credit card and invested in my first Stef-N-Ty hat and yes, I mean "my first" as in there will be more. I absolutely love it and can't wait to post a bunch of pictures of me and my head out and about. I also already have my sights on a dap burlap number...*swoon*.
Ebony Roberts facilitated a rich panel discussion around the evolution of natural hair. I did not catch all of it but there were some very powerful moments that I did catch including a critique of Beyonce's "Lemonade" and answers to questions such as, "Is the natural hair community cultish and judgmental?" We were also privy to some comments and insights from two young ladies who at 13 and 14 years old, rocking their natural hair, sent beams up from the stage with their beauty, grace and intelligence. There was seasoned wisdom coming from these young women and it was so affirming to see and hear.
I made my way back through the array of vendors and picked up a few products from
. I really appreciated owner Monniej's approach with $3.00 sample sizes of everything. This made it really easy for me to get an assortment of her delicious hair and skin moisturizers in peppermint, marshmallow, and "Hydro Juice 2.0"! I will do a little "haul" video about the products because I've never done a haul vid before and I would love to support this sister who indicated that she would not mind the feedback. Putting myself out there! #IGotGoalsInAllAreaCodes
We are gastronomically fly...
Okay, fast forward. I left the Flynesses and figured I needed a little nom-nom and decided to head downtown to
, a Black owned restaurant on Grand River and Times Square. Their website says "Tucked Away Upstairs At 1431 Times Square In Downtown Detroit, [Savannah Blue] Features Contemporary Northern Soul Food And Tasty Cocktails Delivered With Authentic Detroit Style." Well. Yes. They. Do.
The atmosphere and decor of Savannah Blue is sleek, dark and a little industrial with bright spots of candlelight and strategic lighting that make details such as exposed brick, bronzy bar stools, and a high-back herringbone divan with pops of yellow pillowing, well....pop. I want to go back for dinner although I couldn't quite figure out where you actually ate dinner because there was an awesome bar with a kind of collective eating space that was high tops but I didn't see a dining section. Maybe I was in the bar section, I don't know. But what I do know is that I had this absolutely lovely cocktail called an Elderflower Vesper that was so refreshing and light. It smelt like a bouquet of elderflowers with a zesty curl of a lemon floating in my glass. It truly was delightful. I accompanied that with the jumbo crab cake appetizer.
This crab cake was only held together by the power of being a bad-ass crab cake, because it was straight crab, no filler that I could tell. It was slightly fried so there was a crispness to the golden outside. The inside was just wonderful lump crab meat that just fell apart as I was eating it. It was served on a swirl of lemony vinaigrette and topped with just enough veg-slaw so as to accent and not detract from the lusciousness of the cake. Happy buds! The service was attentive, prompt, and pleasant - I felt special. I'm definitely am going back for dinner to try menu items such as black-eyed pea hummus, braised oxtails, shrimp and grits, and the Motor City Boil. Oh yea. Good job, Savannah Blue. This foodist is pleased.
We are musically fly...
The last stop on my date-night was the
on Holden street. I had never heard of the Marble Bar before this event and, from what we know of Detroit's "unfolding", it may not have been in existence before six months ago, who knows. At any rate, I was invited by friend and prominent activist Malik Yakini to see
Mollywop is a reggae, rock, hip hop, funk and soul musical group that a few of my farmer friends and other local bad-asses are in. I was only able to stay for the first set because I had a long drive home, but what I saw and heard was superb. It was great to see several people that I knew coming out to support Mollywop! I like the way the group showcased each artist starting with fly drummer, Aisha Ellis, then the bass player and the singers themselves... and man, did they bring it! I absolutely loved it.
Mollywop! has a blend of conscious music that literally touches your soul. There were times when my hand rose up of its own accord above my head to bop with the beats. They really are a gift. It's really such an amazing gift these folks have decided to share with us in spite of their very full work days and all the things that life can bring your way. They assemble themselves, spend time practicing, and bring us a gift that truly no price can be placed upon. I am truly thankful that I had a chance to experience it. That was my first time being Mollywopped! and I'm sure it won't be my last.
My date was awesomazing and the company I was with, well AH-mazing too! LOL! I am calling it "My Detroit is Black" because I was just surrounded by black! Black beauty, Black businesses, Black beats and that's the Detroit I know. That's the Detroit I want to know more of. That's the way Detroit used to be and apparently still is ... no matter how many coats of whitewash they try to throw on Detroit.
Thank you, my D, for a fly funky time.