At Public Pool, count on having a party

(Editor-at-Large Walter Wasacz writes a weekly column on life in Hamtramck.)

By Walter Wasacz

Whenever Public Pool, the high-quality art and performance space on Caniff, has an opening reception or a special event, it’s a party.

We mean a real good party, where the music flows, kids of all ages break out spontaneous dance moves, old friends get together and new friendships are made.

At last Saturday’s opening of Hamtramckan Jessica Frelinghuysen’s “In the Neighborhood,” the temperature started hot and just kept rising on a chilly November night.

The art is locally-produced and splendid. You can see it every Saturday, 1-6 p.m. and meet the artist through Dec. 18. Make sure you make a point to stop in.

But back to the party.

Well, you missed it. When we got there, poet-translator-publisher Richard Wohlfeil, also a Hamtramck guy, was spinning garage ‘n’ soul 45s, whooping and clapping, while people danced and hung around his turntables and mixer. We got a copy of his book of poems, Explorations of a Page: A Story of Love, Space and Form published on his Lo & Behold imprint. Highly recommended. Then we danced some more.

Also on the dancefloor: Kresge Art Fellowship winners Steve Hughes and Cedric Tai; and college students from Poland, France, England and Denmark — yes, folks, they are here and coming in greater numbers to get a glimpse of the urban post-industrial future in places like Hamtramck and Detroit. We saw a group of German kids at another opening earlier in the nearby Russell Industrial Center. Exciting times.

Later, the party moved to Skipper’s Bar on Conant, where chef/bartender/entrepreneur John Lopez (many of you will remember him from Union Street, Agave and Atlas Global Bistro) served up a buffet and Jennifer Paull and I rocked a few more tunes.

It was all good. Better than good. Here are some pics to whet your appetite for the next one, a show provisionally called “CRASH!” — calculated to deliver more controlled mayhem in January.

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