The “Best Dressed” photo shoots were a team effort, says Jenny Risher. “Along with Hour art and edit staffers taking turns, Chuck Bennett, my assistant, and I traveled all around metro Detroit to capture the personality of each individual,” she says. One highlight was meeting Joumana Kayrouz, the attorney known for her billboards. Photographing Greg Mathis at the famed Cafe d’Mongo’s was also memorable. “I’ve never been there, and was amazed at the wealth of Detroit history on the walls,” Risher says. She also enjoyed shooting Detroit Red Wing Justin Abdelkader in the locker room that’s hosted champagne Stanley Cup celebrations. Risher, the author of Heart Soul Detroit, has been an Hour Detroit contributor since 1998.
When Associate Editor Jeff Waraniak set out to find the true origins of Paul Bunyan in “Birth of a Legend” (page 43), he didn’t know it would be such a tall order. Of course, unraveling a 150-year-old folk tale wasn’t bound to be quick and easy. “There’s a whole lot more to Paul’s story that we don’t know or may never know,” Waraniak says. “I still think, geographically, we can’t say exactly where Paul really began.” Having scratched the surface of the popular folk tale, Waraniak says he’d love to dig deeper and write the seminal Bunyan biography America deserves. But for that, he says, he would need to land a Blue Ox-sized book deal.
One day in December 2015, a group of Hour Media staffers found themselves with a surplus of pie and decided to enjoy it together during a break. Since pie is traditionally a shared food (no judgment if you don’t), the Pie Curious club founding members (left to right) Stephanie Daniel, Austin Phillips, and Carolyn Chin Watson decided it might be fun to buy different pies and share a cup of tea and a slice of sweet flaky goodness with friends. At 3 p.m. every Wednesday, the club meets in the office kitchen to sample a sweet treat and discuss the flavor of the week. Check out their adventures in pastry then visit hourdetroit.com to read their occasional Pie Blogs.
For our feature on the state of Detroit Public Schools, Associate Editor Leyland DeVito spent two days speaking to teachers, parents, students, and activists at the “sick-out” rallies in May, and dozens more following up as the state unrolled a bailout plan for the district in the ensuing months. “I think a lot of people see the corruption stories in the news and think that’s the cause of DPS’s problems,” he says. “The reality is much more complicated.” In addition to Hour Detroit, DeVito’s writing has appeared in Metro Times, New City, and Vice.