Most readers (except for magazine “geeks” who read mastheads … or even know what mastheads are) don’t know the “behind the scenes” folks who keep Hour Detroit running. Aside from his day job as Web Project Lead, Gerald Blakeslee writes articles and blogs on hourdetroit.com about Michigan beer. This issue, we added “CSI: Web Division” to his title. He makes sure that the thousands upon thousands of “Best of Detroit” votes are gathered and analyzed — and purged of any potential ballot stuffing. “I enjoy the challenge of reviewing data for patterns which indicate stuffing — and we have multiple verification checks,” he says. “We strive to keep the process fair for everyone. An honestly received award is a reward in itself.”
Hour Detroit intern Zeinab Najm has lived in metro Detroit her whole life and loves all the new life being brought back to the city. Attending Wayne State University in Midtown, she sees the potential for the area firsthand. “I have always felt that Detroit was a great place for new ventures because of its history and people,” she says. “The Detroit Institute of Arts and the Michigan Theater are helping lead the way by expanding their annual international film festival (see page 56).” As a movie junkie, Najm can’t wait to attend the festival.
This year marks Roy Ritchie’s fifth consecutive “Best of Detroit” feature. The concept involved researching classic album covers, then getting Hour Detroit readers and extras to act like rock stars (page 86). “Everyone sees a cover of an album but rarely consider what went into it, or how it came to be,” he says. “It was interesting to find old photos that showed behind the scenes of some classic albums. I was really surprised by Michael Jackson’s prom date photos!” In addition to his regular contributions to this magazine, Ritchie has done commercial and editorial work for Time, Bloomberg, Bon Appétit, and ESPN The Magazine.
The Detroiter-created sport of fowling (page 74) caught Patrick Dunn’s eye while reading about the Detroit Bus Company’s purchase of a Hamtramck warehouse, where fowling originator Chris Hutt is the anchor tenant. “Not only are the fowling folks creating an amazing space in Hamtramck, but this sport has grown beyond just the Detroit area,” Dunn says. “People are playing this game on multiple continents now. That’s remarkable for a sport that didn’t exist a few years ago.” Dunn has written for The Detroit News, Concentrate, Metromode, and the Ann Arbor Observer. He pens a weekly movie column for MLive.com‘s print newspapers and is also a guest commentator on Martin Bandyke’s morning show on 107.1 FM in Ann Arbor.