Blowout, the viral effect


Listen, the snow is falling. It's the third morning after the third night of Blowout '08 and my thoughts turn not to the music that rocked Hamtramck bars, clubs, social and veterans halls, record and clothing stores the past two nights. Or to another amped up grand opening night at Detroit's Majestic complex.

They turn to Al-Haramin International Foods, a market at the end of my block at Caniff and Gallagher, where I spotted a couple of Sid Vicious wannabes tenderly eying the vegetarian grape leaves, hummous and artichoke trays at the olive bar. They turn to more kids discovering the heavenly sparkling Slovenian mineral water called Radenska Classic (the one with the three hearts on the green label) that we in the hood (too cutely perhaps) call love water. They turn again, this time to the bar and kitchen called B&H, further east on Caniff and about a dozen storefronts from Small's, where noise-pop vets His Name is Alive and their skinnier, hairier progeny the Terrible Twos and the Frustrations skronked it up Friday night/Saturday morning.

B&H was opened by Bosnian refugees in the late 1990s. I recall telling Dan Sordyl, whose mega dance club Motor was directly across the street (and where arguably the best-ever Blowout pre-festival party was held in 2002 featuring the Von Bondies, the Sights and DJ Godfather) that the Turkish coffee at the Bosnian place was to die for. As were some crazy Balkan fruit brandies and the famed minced meat dish called cevapcici.

There's obviously much more pan-ethnic daydreaming to be done here. Almost everyone knows about Polish Village, but the hot buffet at Bozek's Meats (on Caniff, across the street from Al-Haramin) is recommended for a quicker carryout back to the crib, as is Krakus, just north of the city limits in Detroit on Jos. Campau near Halleck. Almost the entire length of Conant has a sub-continental Northern Indian flavor and is primarily Bangladeshi-owned. Hey girls: Why not go to Bombay Fashion and buy a sari. Then, carefully now, dash across the street to the Knights of Columbus and wear it to see Mitch Ryder with Powertrane. That's badass. The show is tonight at 11ish.

Me? I'm having dinner with friends from out of town at the cozy new Mexican diner, Maria's Comida (On Jos. Campau, north of Caniff). Then, all bets are off. The streets will call my name and I'll come running. What am I hearing at the moment? Artsy events at Cafe 1923 and Design 99, fashion and house grooves (courtesy of DJ Shortround) at Detroit Threads in one ear, and Michael Doyle of Dethlab in the other saying that Marco Polio and the New Vaccines are not to be missed (at the Belmont, 10 p.m.) in the other.

It's a community thing, a thing of beauty and serendipity, this marriage between the Blowout and Hamtramck. I raise a glass of love water and offer a toast: long may you live together righteously and riotously on and on and on.


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