City’s cultural life about to explode wide open

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

By Walter Wasacz

Earlier this week at The Review office we were talking about what’s going on around town the next few weeks. Sure, a lot is going on in the political and economic front, with anticipation building on how the governor’s budget will impact the city and all of us in it. The cuts will affect plenty across the state, not just Hamtramck.

As ever we soldier on in search of cultural refreshment and positive buzz that enriches our community life. Hamtramck has plenty of it, of course. It makes us what we are: a social organism made up of over 20,000 residents and probably more fans from outside the city’s borders. All roads lead here, we like to say.

But the next few weeks are slim pickings. Call it the calm before the storm. In the weeks ahead in early March, 14 city bars and lounges will host the Hamtramck Blowout, one of the country’s largest and longest running street level indie rock festivals.

A few days later is Paczki Day, our version of Fat Tuesday, the day that Catholics traditionally stuff themselves with food and drink, having too much fun if they’re lucky, before undertaking a fast of their choice for Lent. The Lenten season lasts until April 24, Easter Sunday, another festive time in Hamtramck. The Polish stores in the city are usually packed with shoppers the week before, creating a holiday glow that compares to — and some say exceeds — Christmas.

Squeezed in between are special events, like a closing party for Public Pool’s great winter show, Automobiles: Shaping our landscapes, designing our lives, which opened with a bang last month with a toy car crash spectacle that took place in a frigid Bozek’s parking lot.

On Feb. 26, the artist known as Toybreaker (better known to her friends and family as artist-designer Bethany Shorb) performs along with various writers doing personal readings based on accidents.
Should be a smashing night of gritty art fun.

In late March, an installation and solo exhibition by Marcelynn Bennett-Carpenter opens at the 2739 Edwin gallery. We’ll have a bit more to say about these events as the dates draw closer.

So consider the rest of February as a time to rest up and re-charge for some end-of-winter and early spring action. Enjoy the weather. It looks like some warming trends are breaking. Get outside and take a walk. We’ll look for you down on the street.

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