Shinola Hangs A Sign On Fall 2018 Opening Of New Boutique Hotel In Detroit


If the Harvard Business School isn't studying the development of Detroit's Shinola brand as a modern-America civic marriage between business and citizens, they should be. This fall, downtown Detroit welcomes the first Shinola brand hotel, created in a refurbished department store on the formerly prosperous Woodward Avenue. 

The 129-room boutique hotel is Shinola's boldest idea yet, with its sign now installed for the world to see. The artisan-inspired, deep community roots brand has been the vision behind a major, block-wide development  that includes residences, restaurants, a fitness center and a mix of national and local retail.


Shinola has teamed up with real estate firm Bedrock and New York-based Gachot Studios and also locally-based Kraemer Design Group for design. The Detroit-inspired property is not only a luxurious brand extension but “an idea born out of the desire to bring people together” with a design that’s at once “nostalgic—and thoroughly modern.”

The urban renovations include the building at 1400 Woodward, plus the Singer Building nearby, and the demolition plus construction of new buildings along the block. An alley will be activated behind the building, making connections to the nearby Element Hotel at the Metropolitan Building and The Siren Hotel at the Wurlitzer.

The renaissance of Detroit has been slow to come to fruition, but with Ford's June announcement concerning its purchase of Detroit's Central Station and intention to renovate and redevelop it into a 1.2 million-square-foot downtown campus that will eventually host about 2,500 employees.

Shinola is not the only brand to enter the hospitality business for the first time. America's first West Elm Hotel has broken ground in downtown Indianapolis' architectural landmark Coca-Cola bottling plant. Restoration Hardware will open a 14-room concept hotel in Manhattan's Meatpacking District at 55 Gansevoort that will double as its Restoration Hardware showroom.



Democrats Launch The Last Weekend As Largest Grassroots Army Ever Assembled For Midterm Elections

 A still from The Last Weekend promo featuring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Rashida Jones

A still from The Last Weekend promo featuring Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Rashida Jones

Nearly two dozen top progressive groups which include Swing Left, Indivisible, MoveOn, Organizing for Action, Latino Victory, United We Dream and the Working Families Party will launch on Wednesday a massive get-out-the-vote effort aimed at helping Democratic candidates during the last days of the 2018 midterm elections. 

Organizers say the effort, dubbed “The Last Weekend,” is focused on recruiting the largest grassroots army ever assembled before a midterm election — one that will not just vote for Democratic candidates but volunteer for their campaigns.

“The stakes are so high that voting isn’t enough,” said Ethan Todras-Whitehill, executive director and co-founder of Swing Left, which is organizing the effort. “You’ve got to do more. The new bar is not just voting, but volunteering in key races that matter for determining control of the government.”

“I can’t think of another time where you had this diverse array of progressive organizations coming together the last weekend before an election,” said Cristobal Alex, presidential Latino Victory, which is part of the effort. “Not just to get out the vote, but to mobilize an army of super volunteers ahead of the vote.”

To help insure Democratic victories in the November midterms, actors Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda have teamed up with Rashida Jones, known for comic turns on 'Parks and Recreation', 'The Office', and 'I Love You, Man', who is part of a team that’s using humor to send a message about just how high the stakes are in November. Women's rights and a host of other social justice issues are on the line.

Jones knows the history of underwhelming midterm turnout, but says this year could be different: “We've never lived in a time like this before, where we've all been kind of forced into civic engagement in a really kind of new and visceral way, where every single day, [we're] seeing the kind of deconstruction of our democracy,” she said.

“I think people now understand more about how American democracy has been set up to function—because it's not functioning in that way.”

For her part, the fabulous Jane Fonda, now 80, says she cannot remember a more important election. "I mean 2020 is going to be important but what happens in November, in terms of who’s going to be elected, is going to determine not just the foreseeable future — but for generations — what this country is going to look like. We must elect people at all levels. We really need to protect our democracy and registering to vote if one hasn’t already, and actually voting this November, is critical."

The Last Weekend coalition is focused on making "good trouble" a phrase used by Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis. 

NJ People's Motorcade Raise Funds For East Coast Trump Baby Headed To Trump's Bedminster Golf Course


After being the aerial center of attention for more than 100,000 protesters who took to London streets near Parliament Square last week, a 19-foot-tall diaper-pinned Trump Baby balloon is hopping a plane across the Atlantic. New Jersey activist Didier Jiminez reached out to Trump Baby's creator Leo Murray, with the intention of flying the little guy with the big mouth in New Jersey during Trump's August visit to his Bedminster gold course.

“The baby Trump is not just a piece of humor, but it is also a symbol of the administration. It’s symbolic of the children that are in cages, it’s a symbol of racism, and we know that he hates to be ridiculed,” Jimenez told

A local protest group the People's Motorcade is behind the  GoFundMe page having raised $21,400 Tuesday evening against the original goal of $4,500. Organizers intend to tour Trump Baby up and down the East Coast and have applied for permission -- at least via social media -- to fly the balloon in New York's Central Park. 

“At protests, we hope to engage in conversations with folks about how to combat the terrible policies enabled by Trump and how we can support new progressive candidates,” Jimenez told the Philly Voice. “I believe I will get emails and threats about what I am doing, but I believe we need to have courage and stand up to fascism and hate.”

Back in Europe the original Trump Baby is running his own crowd-funding campaign, having raised almost $46,000 to support a global travel fund. The Crowdfunder campaign creates a global Trump Baby vision, writing:  “We’ve had countless requests for Trump Baby to visit countries all over the world under threat from a visit from the orange terror. So, let’s fund a global travel fund for Trump Baby and ensure a global rolling trolling of everyone’s least favorite pop-up tyrant.” via ArtNet