Love (and Steam) Is in the Air


For some reason, February has become a time to celebrate romance. So, why should we buck the trend?

For our annual bridal issue, we took our fashion photo shoot (page 62) to The Peacock Room’s new location. The setting not only evokes the golden age of shopping, it highlights the Fisher Building’s current retail revival. We also show off some locally produced Valentine’s Day cards (page 33).

If you’re looking to cuddle in a romantic Airbnb, look no further than former window dresser Muffy Kroha’s West Village home (page 37). Or, head out to dinner at the lively Lady of the House in Corktown (page 47).

Thoughts also turn to the weather this time of year. In Michigan, the joke goes, there are two seasons: “winter” and “construction.” Somewhere in between, the freeze/thaw cycle adds the “pothole” and “steamy” season.

It’s not unusual to see smoke spewing out of downtown Detroit’s manhole covers and pipes. But last winter, when I was picking up my spouse from her office near Cass Tech High School and Masonic Temple, I noticed the road bubbling! It was caused by an underground steam pipe that had ruptured.

That led us to ask Michele Oberholtzer to decode those smoky sidewalks (page 44). By day, Oberholtzer leads the Tax Foreclosure Prevention Project for United Community Housing Coalition to keep people in their homes. But by education, she’s an engineer. Her commentary explains the district steam system and how it’s fueled in part by burning garbage from near and far.

Rounding out our issue, we touch on outdoor winter activities (page 30), explore how the new U.S. immigration policy has torn apart an Ann Arbor family (page 56), and find out the story behind The Empowerment Plan, a social impact outerwear line keeping Detroit’s homeless warm (page 29).