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Cool $#*! This January

Let one of your New Year’s resolutions be to get out of your typical orbit in 2011; let Red Thread help that along by suggesting a few of the cooler things going on in Detroit this month. From a Park City, Utah-inspired evening in Ann Arbor to the concept cars of tomorrow, it’s going to be a great year, Detroit!

What’s Your Story

On Thursday, Jan. 6 (and one night every month, thereafter),Cliff Bell’s, a resurrected 1930s-era Detroit jazz club originally designed by architect Charles N. Agree and housed in an Albert Kahn-designed building, hosts the Detroit Moth Story Slam, the local arm of the Moth, a New York City-based nonprofit organization that conducts live storytelling events around the country. Every month presents a different theme(lost love, on-the-job training and winter tales to name some recent ones), and some of the best tales make it onto NPR’s Moth Radio Hour. Entry is $5; doors open at 4 p.m., and the show starts at 7p.m. (Get there early if you want to get a word in — sign-upstarts at 6 p.m., and spots fill up fast.) 2030 Park, Detroit. (313)961-2543; or


The Motor City’s first “DIY” Internet-based talk show, The Steve Barman Show, will follow up on its stripped-down pilot episode (watch it here: when it begins shooting bi-weekly, half-hour episodes in front of alive audience at the Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit on Sunday, Jan. 9. Through the show, local music blogger Barman( hopes to counter the bleak national view of Detroit by letting the city show off its creative, resilient and humorous sides through homegrown talent. 5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard, Detroit.

Let the Sundance In…

Park City, Utah, not on your travel agenda this year? No worries. The Michigan Theater brings a piece of the Sundance Film Festival (which runs Jan. 20-30) to Ann Arbor, one of just nine cities nationwide to receive such a treat. On Thursday,Jan. 27, Sundance Film Festival USA will dispatch an official Sundance selection to Ann Arbor, along with the chosen film’s director, who will be available for questions and conversation.The fi lm will be preceded by a short video that will feature highlights from the festival, narrated by founder Robert Redford.Film and time will be announced in early January on the website Tickets are $15 and available at and all Ticketmaster outlets. (800) 745-3000.

Chop, Chop

Too cold, or costly, to herd the group out to a restaurant? Grab some friends for a girls’ (or boys’) night out and head to the Chop Shop in Birmingham; whip up enough gourmet dinners to last almost two blustery weeks.Select from a menu of 12 family entrees (or divide them in half for two smaller portions).January’s recipes includes Rocco’s Flank Steak, Quinoa Stuff ed Peppers, Arroz con Pollo and more. Just bring your cooler, and Chop Shop will provide the rest. A make ’n’ take session of 10 meals is $215; a six-meal session is$150. 2221 Cole St., Birmingham. (248) 594-2210;

Motoring Through Motown

Maureen Kearns and Jeanette Pierce believe that the more people know Detroit, the more they love it. So they started Inside Detroit Tours to showcase the city’s gems — many hidden deep — from an insider’s perspective.The nonprofit’s city tours include the Woodward Corridor Bus Tour (visit one-of-a-kind shops like the Bureau of Urban Living, the Motown Museum and the historic Woodbridge Neighborhood), the Inside Southwest Detroit Tour (Clark Park,Hubbard Farms neighborhood and creative initiatives like Imagination Station) and others, which make stops like the Heidelberg Project, the Guardian Building, Pewabic Pottery and more.Group tours: 11 a.m.-1 p.m. every Saturday; $25. Bar Tour times and prices vary. Meet at Inside Detroit’s Welcome Center, 1253 Woodward, in Detroit. (313) 962-4590;

Auto Show, Auto Show, Auto Show

If it’s January in Detroit, it’s time for the annual North American International Auto Show at Cobo Center. The city gets giddy as the glitterati and hoi polloi rub elbows with one another — and some fantastic concept cars. And, as the economy improves, the show will surely reflect participating automakers’ renewed confidence through more elaborate displays.The show runs Saturday, Jan. 15, through Saturday, Jan.22, from 9 a.m.-10 p.m. and Sunday, Jan. 23, from 9 a.m.-6 p.m.Tickets: adults, $12; seniors 65 and up and children ages 7-12,$6; kids 6 and under, free. 1 Washington Boulevard, Detroit.(248) 643-0250; or

— By Lynne Konstantin



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