Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Store Photos

Here are a couple photos of the shop from our first week:

Stop in for holiday shopping!  Through December we're open on Sundays, too (11-7).

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


We're thrilled to announce that we're opening this Friday!  Join us to celebrate from 6-11pm at the store for our grand opening gala!  The store is located at 460 W. Canfield St (between Cass and Second).  Beginning Saturday 11/14, we'll be open every Tuesday-Saturday 11-7.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Store Progress!

We hung these letters in the window last night:

Our dad installed these shallow shelves to display prints:

Andy and Matt were working on the ceiling in this one and you can see our new lights, too:

Things are coming together!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I love this new website promoting shopping in Detroit. What an awesome idea - check it out and add your latest local purchase!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Store Progress Update!

We've been working really hard these past few weeks and have made great progress in the store -  we're getting so excited about opening!  In addition to finishing up the painting, moving in our studio, and taking care of a bunch of legal/paperwork business, we have been continuing to acquire and build fixtures and have begun receiving work from artists and designers!  In the next week we're going to post some photos of some of the amazing things that we have received recently (which will be for sale so soon when we open!).  In the meantime, though, we wanted to post a couple progress photos of how things are coming together.   In the photo above, our kind pals Jon, Matt and Greg (of Leopold's Books) are putting the finishing touches on some shelving.  That white shelving will be on one wall, and the rest of the shop will have mainly vintage fixtures.  These steamer trunks are so great - we're trying to decide what to display on and in them:

We're also looking for the perfect spot for this "best sellers" rack and the school chalkboard behind it:
This weekend we'll be working on the lighting and picking up a few more fixtures.   We'll post more photos soon!

Friday, October 9, 2009

"The Necessary Friction of the Machine" at 2739 Edwin

I've been excited to see this installation at 2739 Edwin all month and can't wait for the closing reception tomorrow. It sounds amazing! It's an installation by Chicago-based sculptor Dan Price, with Celso Duque, Tanya Fitzpatrick, Mia Hooper and Peggy Jones. From 2739 Edwin's website: "For the installation The Necessary Friction of the Machine, Price plans to transform the gallery space at 2739 Edwin into a production facility, employing four General Motors assembly line workers to create a paper sculpture based on their drawings. The worker’s stories and impressions – recalled from years on the assembly line – become the iconography for the sculpture, and the structure of the automobile assembly line is borrowed as the model for artistic collaboration."

The Exhibition Closing Reception from 6-10pm on Saturday Oct 10. If you stop by from 9-5 you can see the project in process.

This gallery in Hamtramck (run by artist and curator Steve Panton) has consistently mounted exceptional exhibitions (and hosted great concerts, to boot). Read this great recent article in Metro Times for more information.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New City Bird studio and store opening in Midtown!

We recently signed a lease on a beautiful space in the Canfield Lofts (the same building which houses the wonderful Bureau of Urban Living) for our new studio and shop/gallery space.  Ours is the ground-floor space directly to the right of the tall birch tree in the photo above.  The shop will sell our own designs in addition to work by others (we're going to feature local and regional designers and artists but will carry great goods from all over).  We're so incredibly excited about it!  Here's an interior shot of the front of the space which will be the shop:

We're busy painting and building fixtures - I'll post some progress shots soon.  It's going to be awesome!  We'll be opening in late October (more details soon) - can't wait!

Hugh Opening

I'm definitely going to head downtown tomorrow night between 8 and midnight to catch the grand opening Hugh, the latest venture from Joe Posch of Mezzanine. A pop-up men's shop located on the ground floor of the Iodent Lofts Building at 2233 Park Avenue, it will only be around for six months, so you'd better make the most of it! Our pals at Model D say that "Hugh will have bar accessories, smoking accessories, some furniture and lighting, host/hostess gifts and decorative accessories." Check it out!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fluxus at the DIA

Seven or eight years ago I had the opportunity to view the Lila and Gilbert Silverman Fluxus collection which was housed in a small commercial building on Grand River. My friend Cary Loren (of Bookbeat fame) arranged for a visit and I got to tag along. Their collection was huge and amazing and I was blown away! Since that visit, I've often wished that there was some way for the collection to be open to the public. Earlier this year I learned that the Silvermans dissolved the collection and donated the bulk of it to the MoMA in New York, but recently I discovered that they also made a sizable gift to the DIA and some of it is now on view! It's worth a visit and while you are there you should check out the video installations in the "Action Reaction" exhibition and "Photography: the First 100 Years."

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Burton Theatre

I'm super excited about this new theater in the neighborhood! Housed in the old Burton International Elementary school (which I attended from about '81-'85!) the Burton Theatre has a blockbuster Fall line-up. Kicking the season off in two weeks with the beautiful 1973 The Spirit of the Beehive, which has haunted me ever since I saw it at the DFT a couple years ago, the inaugural season is also featuring classics (Scarface) and new releases (Dead Snow - a Nazi Zombie thriller). The theater will also house the Cass Avenue Film Syndicate which the theater's website says "exists as a resource for independent filmmakers in Detroit with public outdoor displays of art, lectures from professionals and by providing a space and encouragement to inspire local filmmakers to experiment and create." Awesome.

Read about the theater in the Metro Times and support the theater by attending the benefit tomorrow night at the Magic Stick (8pm, $5) - read more about the event in the Detroiter.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Open City

Tonight is the first Open City meeting of the season! All aspiring Detroit business owners, current Detroit business owners and people interested in Detroit small-business development should attend! It's a great place to meet people and get inspired. Here is some info about this meeting from their website:

"Opportunity in the D"
Co-Sponsored by Model D Media

Join us to kick-off Season 3!
Our first meeting is all about opportunity.
Come learn about
exciting new resources to
start or grow your small business in the city.

- Randal Charlton,
- Olga Stella, Detroit Economic Growth Corporation
- Mary King, Detroit Investment Fund

Tuesday, September 15, 2009
6:30-8:30 PM
Cliff Bell's
2030 Park Avenue
Detroit, Michigan 48201

Open and free to all. Seating is limited. Cash bar.
Register in advance at

DIY Street Fair!

Visit us this weekend at the DIY Street Fair in Ferndale.  We'll be there selling our wares all day Saturday and Sunday along with lots of other super vendors.  There will be yummy food and great bands, too!  We had a blast at last year's fair.  Above is a photo of from our friends at Handmade Detroit.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Leopold's Books

Our friends recently opened Leopold's Books, an amazing new bookstore in Midtown. They're located in the Park Shelton on Woodward at Kirby and have a wonderfully-curated selection of books and magazines - graphic novels, new and classic fiction, interesting nonfiction, art books, comic books, local and independently-published books a great selection of magazines. They're next door to the new location of the always-delicious Good Girls go to Paris Crepes - mmmmmmmm!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The Phone Call

The Lafayette building has recently found itself the next target in the City of Detroit's non-stop effort to "cleanse the city of its eyesores" and create more parking. This fact became known just recently, as the city's development arm raced to solicit bids to tear down the structure, a 1924 landmark designed by C. Howard Crane, the architecture maestro who gave us the Fox Theater.

I wouldn't be surprised if you're not immediately familiar with the structure, even though it is visible from Campus Martius Park. It's not Detroit's most famous building, but it is spectacular. Sadly, due to a staggering 1920s construction boom, we're a little bit architecturally spoiled in this town, and sometimes even splendid buildings can go under appreciated.

However, this one in particular seems worthy of our admiration. When this V-shaped building was designed, according to Buildings of Detroit, it was envisioned to be “Michigan’s finest office building,” and was "outfitted with marble drinking fountains and bronze and American walnut trimmings," while "its roof line features a gorgeous ridge of terra cotta featuring hundreds of intricate fleur de lis."

With these descriptions just a sample of this building's beauty, we can be thankful that one of Detroit's great preservation organizations, Preservation Wayne, in tandem with Buildings of Detroit, stepped up to the challenge protecting this wonder from the wrecking ball.

Inspired by their efforts, I wrote a brief email and addressed it to some city representatives, including the City Council, the Mayor, and the President of the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation.

The next morning, before I awoke, I was startled by my phone ringing. I glanced at the number, didn't recognize it, and let the call go to my voice mail.

Later, when I was finally awake, I listened to my voice mail, and was stunned to find this message:

"Hi, this is council member JoAnn Watson. I'm in receipt of your email urging that the Lafayette building not be demolished. I love your comments, as an environmental activist myself, and want to invite you to come to the city council on Thursday at 10 am to speak during public comment... To put your issue out there and see if we cant build some strong support, ok? 10am, 13th floor of the Coleman A Young municipal center... I hope you can make it this Thursday."
As I write this blog entry, I am preparing to go with some friends to take up the Councilwoman on her offer. I hope that the council is receptive, and I hope that this time around the preservationists are vindicated - we have enough parking lots.

For information on Preservation Wayne, check out their site. To join the "Save the Lafayette Building" Facebook group, click here.

Photo courtesy of Buildings of Detroit.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring Fling

Visit us at Spring Fling...A Craft Thing at The Loving Touch in Ferndale on Saturday, April 4th. It's free to get in and there will be 20 local craft and design vendors and great djs!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Detroit Map Wall Lamps are back!

After a brief hiatus, our popular Detroit map wall lamps are back - though only in a limited quantity! These lamps can be hung either on a flat wall or in a corner - adding a refined glow to any Detroit-lover's home. We think that they will be available for a couple of weeks. Check out our site to get more details.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

New Cards Are Here

Today we added two new press-printed greeting cards to our site. One design is based on a vintage Greetings from Detroit card (pictured in our most recent post) and the other is snappy adaptation of a vintage card that says "I'm very busy in Detroit, Mich." Check out the paper goods section of our website to see both of them. Special thanks to Buildings of Detroit for assistance with the images.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

New Cards

We're working hard to expand our card line. We have a bunch of ideas up our sleeves, but the first few we're adding to our line-up this Spring are adaptations of vintage postcards. Our good pal Dan collects cards and runs the Buildings of Detroit website. He was kind enough to let us use a couple of the images he has collected, including this one. Check them out on our website - we'll be adding new designs continually over the next couple weeks.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Open City!

If you have an interest in starting a small business in Detroit (or even if you just have an interest in small businesses in Detroit!), be sure to check out Open City. The group meets on the third Tuesday of every month at Cliff Bells. This month's meeting is tomorrow at 6:30 and the topic discussed will be finding the right location in Detroit. The atmosphere is very relaxed, the setting is beautiful (I think every time I go to Cliff Bell's it is even more gorgeous - and now they are serving French food!) and the meetings are always inspiring. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Trunk Show at Naka

Last week's trunk show at Naka featured two favorite local designers Bettula and Comfortably Lovely.

Heather Fagan of Bettula creates gorgeous, simple jewelry from birch bark harvested from fallen trees. I picked up a pair of her earrings as a gift for a friend's birthday. Her work is available online and at several stores including Naka in Ferndale.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The State of the City

Yesterday I attended Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr.'s state of the city address. The speech was well delivered, and included rough outlines of some of the ways he intends to trim the budget, expand the police force, and improve Cobo Hall.

However, for me, the highlight was his outspoken support of public transportation - not only a merger of the suburban (SMART) and urban (DDOT) bus systems, but also his commitment to lightrail for the city of Detroit.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Green House

After a controversial Detroit News story surfaced last week regarding the discovery of a frozen body in the abandoned Roosevelt Warehouse in Detroit, local and national media outlets have used the building as a reason to create another round of tired one-dimensional generalizations, characterizations, and metaphors. Though there is an obvious gravity to this sad story, and one should feel empathy for the innocent victim, it is sad that the structure has been cast in such a despairing light.

As with nearly everything in the city, the Roosevelt Warehouse is endowed with a complex beauty that is belied by over-simplification and and misunderstanding. In fact, one could argue that the building truly is a metaphor, but not in the way that the original Detroit News story might lead you to believe.

The metaphoric quality that I see is most evident in the indoor third-floor forest that has grown out of the ashes of a fire that was extinguished decades ago.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New Pins!

available on our website

About City Bird

City Bird is a company operated by siblings Andy and Emily in Detroit. We design city-themed housewares, accessories, jewelry and paper goods, available on our website, etsy and at retailers in Detroit, Chicago and New York. Our products include map soap, metallic skyline buttons, map plates, and jewelry. This photo of us was taken by our pal Marvin Shaouni for a story about us that ran on Model D last year.