While working on a roundup of happy-hour offerings in metro Detroit (page 62), Kurlyandchik seriously began to question his chosen line of work. “Luckily, I had a great excuse to explain my sudden daily-drinking habit to my wife,” he says. In one afternoon, he went from Cliff Bell’s happy hour to a porch in Ferndale, where he “researched” skirt-steak tacos for his story on rock ’n’ roll foodies (page 46). He says he did it all in the name of professionalism. Having recently graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in journalism, the full-time freelancer and Hour Detroit contributor has abandoned plans to drop his freshman 15 — at least until he can get a couple more happy hours under his belt.
Marissa Frobes / Cristina Toscano
After completing her sophomore year at the University of Notre Dame, Frobes (right) returned home to intern for Hour Detroit. The Dearborn native, who’s studying English and French, hoped to hone her writing skills while learning more about the city. “Working at Hour Detroit opened my eyes to Detroit businesses, restaurants, and events of which I was previously unaware,” she says. When St. Clair Shores native Cristina Toscano learned there was an editorial summer internship at Hour Detroit, she jumped at the chance. Before entering her junior year at Michigan State University, Toscano’s initial plans were to remain in East Lansing for the summer because, she admits, she never much cared for metro Detroit. Her internship changed that. “I was really able to learn so much more about the metro Detroit community,” she says. “I couldn’t be prouder to be from this area.”
An Oak Park-based freelance journalist and frequent contributor to Hour Detroit, Stanard made the dubious decision to stop consuming caffeine the very week she began researching her story on independent coffeehouses (page 50). Nonetheless, her tour of metro Detroit’s brew society was a pleasurable one. “An independent café scene is such an integral part of any interesting city,” says Stanard, who has a master’s degree from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism. “It was heartening to visit all these funky, colorful places that are really investing in their local neighborhoods. And I also now know where to get the best decaf latte around.”
Frequent contributor Codish worked up an appetite while working on this issue. Her assignments included photographing 10 popular restaurant appetizers (pages 45-63). Every restaurant was her favorite, she says, adding, “The one appetizer that I will try to duplicate is the guacamole from Rojo Mexican Bistro. They let me in on a few secrets, and since guacamole is my first love (photography my second), I’m anxious to try it in my own kitchen.” Codish also had the sweet task of photographing confections (page 41) from area bakeries. “Shatila Bakery basically proved to me that, as far as Middle Eastern pastries are concerned, I have never had any legitimate ones until now. They’re absolutely spectacular, and now I’m spoiled.”