Posts tagged with "Thomas wilmer"

Nashville’s Museum of African American Music

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer visits the National Museum of African American Music located in the heart of downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

Nashville’s new National Museum of African American Music’s mission is to showcase the central role African Americans have played in weaving the fabric of America’s soundtrack.

Nashville is a fitting home for the only museum in America with a surgical dedication to showcase the impact that African American music has had on the fabric of the country’s culture. Numerous African American musicians – including Jimi Hendrix, Ray Charles, the Fist Jubilee Singers and Little Richard, fine-tuned their early career trajectories while performing at various Nashville music venues.

Distinctive areas throughout the museum offer thematic presentations such as One Nation Under a Groove-featuring the story of R&B in post WWII America while the Rivers of Rhythm Pathway is graced with captivating interactive panels keyed to an animated timeline that links the evolution of Southern religious, blues and contemporary R&B and hip-hop genres.

Digging deep in to the evolution of the African American religious experience, Wade in the Water displays the evolution of religious music—from indigenous African music that survived through throughout slavery and evolved via African American spirituals and hymns with a pinnacle during the 1940s to 1960s “Golden Age of Gospel”.

The museum does a deft job connecting the dots to show how the influential gospel vocal groups influenced doo-wop, R&B and soul music.

In addition to dynamic multi-media displays, the venue offers a state-of-the-art performance hall to screen films, lectures and live stage concerts by local and international musicians.

This is just a sampler of the numerous captivating interactive displays that you will experience at the museum. And the NAAM Museum is conveniently located smack in the heart of Nashville, literally just steps away from the Ryman Auditorium and the Country Music Hall of Fame.


Nashville's Museum of African American Music image via Tom Wilmer for use by 360 Magazine
Nashville's Museum of African American Music image via Tom Wilmer for use by 360 Magazine
Nashville's Museum of African American Music image via Tom Wilmer for use by 360 Magazine

Cultivating Company Culture


Small to medium sized business often fall short due to high turnover. Vaughn Lowery, Publisher of 360 Magazine, provides listeners with first-hand knowledge on the ever-shifting world of digital publishing and content creation through a youthful lens. Likewise with his innate ability to be accessible, he speaks to working in tandem with emerging generations and how their input could be detrimental to the survival of a brand.


An Additional Conversation with 360 Magazine’s Publisher Vaughn Lowery

By Tara McDonough

If Vaughn Lowery was asked what his idea of success was 10 years ago, his answer would be very different from what it is today. He may have said that success means doing what he loves to do, being accomplished, or having a certain amount of material things.

“Success to me now is having a purpose in life and feeling passionate and fulfilled by it,” says Lowery.

Lowery got his first taste of the industry while interning for Vibe Magazine while on Summer vacation from Cornell University. His sister drove him into New York City every morning to drop him off and always advised him to be the first one at the office. One morning Lowery found himself alone with the publisher of the magazine at the time, Keith Clinkscales, which gave him the opportunity to speak with him one-on-one. It was due to his sister’s advice that he got the chance to do what no other intern would normally get to do.

After finishing up at Cornell in just three years, Lowery became an executive trainee with Saks Fifth Avenue. He was able to get along with everyone in the office and was doing great when he was called into his boss’s office one afternoon.

“She told me I was in the wrong business; that I was very charismatic and should try acting,” Lowery says, “but, I liked the path I was on at that time.”

It wasn’t until Lowery was asked by someone connected to the talent industry if he was a model that he truly considered breaking into the talent industry. Shortly after taking professional photos and getting them out to agencies, Lowery ended up with Ford Models. From there he did photoshoots, tv commercials, and ad campaigns, all while still working in outside sales at Aetna US Healthcare. Once he began modelling full time his face was in the pages of GQ, Harper’s Bazaar, Vogue, and Gap. By being around people of all different positions, primarily in the magazine publishing industry, Lowery came to understand how content was produced. It was right before the recession hit while he was living in LA that Lowery made the transition from modelling to the publishing industry.

It was his experience in modelling that inspired Lowery’s creation of the 360 Magazine. While working on any given shoot, Lowery was often one of just three or less black men. Often times he was the only black man on a set which drew his attention to the lack of representation in the media industry. Lowery’s goal for the 360 Magazine was that it would fill this niche and promote diversity across the publishing world, specifically the covers of its magazines.

For those wanting to work in the media industry, specifically in the publishing world, Lowery suggests starting from the ground up.

“Being self taught and learning as you go is something you need to be open to,” says Lowery, “Ask tons of questions, and learn everything you can from every position.”

Lowery warns that it’s important to be open and cordial to everyone, because you don’t know when your paths will cross again. Making connections and using them is how most people gain opportunities. He also adds that just by hanging out with people you’ll always learn something that you can apply to aspects of your work.  

Things in the industry have been changing and becoming more digitally focused since the beginning of 360 Magazine’s launch. The magazine was started during a time of e-zines, so it’s not a surprise that the website came first. Lowery had experience with creating websites from a young age so the move from print to digital was natural for him. It was clear to him where the industry was going.

“Print was getting costly, bookstores were looking dilapidated and even Barnes and Noble was focusing on their version of the tablet, the Nook,” says Lowery, “All the magazines were looking alike anyway.”

Print was still important though. Besides the fact that advertising agencies want to see a physical copy of a magazine before working with them, print is taken more seriously due to its cost. Other companies will be aware that a certain magazine has the funds to support itself if they have a print copy to show for it.

360 Magazine printed their first issue in 2009, but it was costly. Lowery began thinking that there had to be some other way to work with print. It was then that he decided to do print on demand publications. 360 Magazine linked with Blurb, which allowed anyone to order a print copy of the magazine right from our website. They’ve been distributing to them for 9 years now.

The magazine’s estimated circulation, which is based on print, is 110,000 from print on demand. This number doesn’t tend to move much, but most people end up reading 360 Magazine’s online articles through WordPress.

When asked what makes a media contributor most marketable, Lowery says that in this industry you need a social following and the ability to network. Being accessible and having a portfolio of published work is a great place to start as well.

Do it all,” Lowery says, “monetize, write, take photos, be on time, and take initiatives.”

The hardest thing about the industry in Lowery’s opinion is breaking into it and surviving on freelance jobs along the way. Writers should be prepared to sacrifice mentally, physically and financially. While working for a publication, Lowery says that writers need to do what they can to become a valuable asset to them. That way, a publication will be more likely to keep you on board and help you in the future.

As for internship positions at 360 Magazine, Lowery aims to teach interns everything that he didn’t learn. He’s assigns articles for interns to write, pushes them to network, has them do coverage and teaches them how to get published or to self-publish.

“We teach interns how to be resourceful and find themselves in the organization,” says Lowery.

When interns can bring business to the magazine, the magazine will bring business to them. Special assignment opportunities are available for interns who finish their program and are still looking to remain involved. Lowery says that while the magazine is specifically looking to groom editors, that if a publication wants to really pop, then they have to have a revolving door.

When asked what goals he has for the future of 360 Magazine, Lowery responded that he aims to keep it three dimensional with podcasts and web series.

“I want to be able to put the brand out to different countries and places in America,” says Lowery, Local presences would strengthen us.”

He also says that he’s interested in the possibility of a reality spin off or docu-series, as well as introducing more formal programs for educational purposes.

360 Magazine
Joe boxer TV Appearance
America’s Next Top Model Appearance
Sundance Film Trailer Appearance

Vaughn Lowery, art, 360 magazine, design, entertainer, Male model

Discovering magical Madison

360 Culture Editor Tom Wilmer and his associate, Annita Thomas from Atlanta, Georgia visit with Diane Morganthaler, Executive Vice President of the Greater Madison Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Diane shares a litany of cool things to do and see for the entire family

CLICK HERE to listen to the NPR.ONE Podcast interview


Madison, Wisconsin’s State Capital is deftly framed by the rooftop of Monona Terrace. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer

Many of Madison’s attractions are free, including the Henry Vilas Zoo, the Olbrich Botanical Gardens, Concerts on the Square, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art, and Wisconsin State Capital tours.


Original Frank Lloyd Wright 1938 rendering for Madison’s Monona Terrace

Madison, Wisconsin’s Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center was first proposed by Frank Lloyd Wright in 1938. But it was 21 years before the project was completed, sadly just weeks after Wright’s death.


Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural rendering for Monona Terrace on the waterfront in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Stunning rooftop vistas from Monona Terrace in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Monona Terrace rooftop Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Madison, Wisconsin is passionately proud of their bike and pedestrian friendly culture


Classic theater in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit Tom Wilmer


Don’t miss the free tours at Wisconsin’s State Capital in downtown Madison. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Friday evening is party time on the rooftop deck of the Edgewater Hotel and adjacent Boathouse on the lakefront in downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Always time for a sunset paddle on the lake in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Madison, Wisconsin’s weekly farmers market is crazy popular. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Exploring Madison, Wisconsin’s neighborhoods reveal endless architectural gems. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Classic circa-1917– Frank Lloyd Wright’s USONIAN homes remain strikingly contemporary a century later. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Daring distillers are passionate about their craft in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


If plants are your thing Madison is the place for you at Olbrich Botanical Gardens. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Madison’s Children’s Museum is a must if you’re bringing the kids. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Madison, Wisconsin’s Children’s Museum includes a rooftop garden complete with real chickens. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Gabriella Gearghardt at Madison, Wisconsin’s Children’s Museum. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Join Gabriella Gerhardt, Development Officer at the Madison Children’s Museum in Wisconsin. It’s a hands-on engaging place where free-play is the operative. Discover why NPR ranked one of the exhibits among the top ten in America, and learn about the live chickens, the human hamster cage, the engaging Frank Lloyd Wright exhibit, and more—just for kids.


Madison, Wisconsin’s captivating Museum of Contemporary Art is another must-do. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

The outside of the Museum of Modern Art in downtown Madison, Wisconsin beckons one to check out what’s on the inside. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer

Celebrating 117 years, the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art is the longest serving cultural organization in the city. Join Erika Monroe-Kane Director of Communications for an insider’s look at the ways the free-access museum brings art to the people and people to the art in MadisonWisconsin. MMOCA attracts visitors through engaging cutting-edge art that serves as powerful visual metaphors for social issues, and injustices.

CLICK HERE to listen to the Podcast interview with Erika Monroe-Kane, Director of Communications



Sunset party at the Edgewater Hotel in Madison, Wisconsin. Photo Credit: Tom Wilmer


Wisconsin’s State Capital is stunning night or day. iPhone 6s photo credit: Tom Wilmer

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning travel show podcast, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryApple Podcast, the NPR One App & Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. Member of the National Press Club in Washington D.C.

Gulf Shores, Alabama—America’s finest oysters and a trendsetting culinary scene

Culture Editor Tom Wilmer reports from Gulf Shores


King Neptune's diner in Gulf Shores showcases killer selection of fresh oysters

King Neptune’s diner in Gulf Shores showcases killer selection of fresh oysters

The Annual Oyster Cook Off at the Hangout held every November in Gulf Shores, Alabama is just one of the many events that draw thousands of visitors to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach.

Join Kay Morgan, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach Tourism’s Public Relations Manager at the Cook Off followed by a visit with award-winning chef, Chris Sherrill, one of Coastal Alabama’s noteworthy culinary wizards, at Salt restaurant, San Roc Cay Marina.

The annual Hangout Oyster Cook Off in Gulf Shores, Alabama draws more than 70 local, regional and national chefs, competing in three categories: raw, Cajun, and Rockefeller.


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Thousands flock to taste the best of the best, listen to live country music, and down some beer.

Baskets of batter-coated shrimp-and-fries is old-school here as the Gulf Shores/Orange Beach food scene is raising the bar nationwide with trend-setting, locally sourced, organic and sustainable cuisine.



Subscribe to Journeys of Discovery with Thomas Wilmer and start planning your next vacation.



And download the NPR App to listen on the go!

Follow Thomas Wilmer for updates on his travels.


Detroit’s Comeback

By Kelsey Welsh x Vaughn Lowery


Detroit has been dubbed America’s Comeback City and both visitors and locals will attest that it has rightfully earned that title. Just a few years ago, Detroit was in crisis mode. The city’s crime and unemployment rates were some of the highest in the country. People fled Motor City, leaving 75 percent of buildings either vacant or only partially occupied. In 2013, the financial crisis resulted in Detroit becoming the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. Detroit had hit rock bottom; but as the saying goes, at rock bottom, there’s nowhere else to go but up, and up is exactly the direction Detroit has been heading.

street art – photo creds: @tomwilmer

“If you haven’t seen Detroit lately, you really haven’t seen Detroit,” Renee Monforton of the Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau says of her beloved city’s monumental comeback. Businesses, both big and small, are thriving in the Motor City. Large scale investors and young dreamers alike have been swooping into the city, eager to be a part of its rebirth. Detroit is a millennial’s playground. The generation is utilizing this affordable land of opportunity and filling the vacancies with artistic ventures and big ideas. The once vacant residences are quickly filling and are nearly 100% occupied. Due to this influx of visionaries flocking the city to chase dreams and affordable housing, new apartment buildings and residencies have been popping up all over Detroit’s downtown and midtown. The sprawling riverfront is being restored to its original beauty because of the diligent efforts of The Detroit RiverFront Conservatory therefore the area is accessible for recreational purposes again. Urban gardens are a new trend and the needs of aspiring agriculturalists are accommodated by farms and garden stores. Restaurants and retail shops are flipping their signs to ‘open’ and new hotels are available for anyone seeking a taste of the immense culture and beauty that Detroit has to offer.


360 Magazine was given the opportunity to get a unique look at the city via a kayaking tour with Riverside Kayak Connection through the Detroit River. We were able to cruise through international waters, as the river flows along the Canadian border, and get up close and personal with the skyline. Take it from us, there is no better way to see the sites


photo creds: @tomwilmer

than by paddling downstream in the rain. The tour features prime downtown scenic attractions such as the Detroit Boat Club, which is the oldest boat house in the country; the gorgeous Ambassador Bridge, which serves as a connector between Detroit and Canada; the General Motors Renaissance Center; and the other landmark structures of Downtown Detroit. We even got to paddle under the MacArthur Bridge that was built in 1925. Some of our staff members had chosen to spend the morning testing their luck at the three casino hotels in Detroit. Greektown Casino Hotel is located in Detroit’s Greektown Historic District and opened in 2000; MGM Grand Detroit was the first luxury resort casino hotel to open outside of Los Angeles; The MotorCity Casino Hotel is owned by Marian Ilitch, who co-founded Little Caesar’s Pizza with her late husband, Mike Ilitch. We met up at the Outdoors Adventure Center. The OAC gives Detroit families the chance to learn about the Michigan outdoors in an entertaining and interactive setting. The center played a pivotal role in the restoration efforts for the riverfront in which we had20171006_170344 just paddled on. After taking a look at some of the exhibits, we head over to a nearby town called Hamtramck to play a few games of Fowling. Flowling is an unlikely combination of football, horseshoes, and bowling and was invented in 2001 by Detroit native, Chris Hutt, and a few of his friends. The Fowling Warehouse first opened its doors in 2014 and consists of 20 lanes and two bars with a third in the works. Needless to say, there is no shortage of beer; however, the warehouse is BYOF (bring your own food). After dinner, we were taken to Sugar House and Gold Cash Gold to cleanse our palates with some refreshing cocktails. The day was a never-ending adventure for our staff. In our opinion, Detroit is every activity and sports lover’s fantasy destination.


The late Mike Ilitch, founder of international fast food franchise Little Caesar’s Pizza, was at the center of Detroit’s comeback. The Detroit native never lost faith in his hometown and faithfully stood by the city until his final days. Ilitch was the proud owner of two of the city’s major league sports team, the Detroit Tigers baseball team and the Detroit Red 20171005_182607Wings hockey team. Ilitch and his family invested in the city and helped to build the foundation of the resurgence. The brand new Little Caesar’s Arena is putting Detroit’s midtown and downtown on the map. “It’s the hub of the entire 50 block development,” Tom Wilson, CEO of Olympia Entertainment said, “50 blocks in a major American city is unheard of. It allows us to do many different things that can be the connective tissue between all of the great things in downtown Detroit and midtown Detroit.” Wilson personally showed our staff around on a guided tour of the new arena. The arena is home to the Red Wings as well as the Detroit Pistons basketball team. The blueprints and installation of the arena is setting a precedent for future arena construction. The unique design sits 40 feet below the surface of the city which allows


Photo creds: @tomwilmer

the structure to blend with the surrounding neighborhoods that are currently being constructed. Detroit is now the only city in the country to house all four of its major sports teams within four blocks in its downtown core. “It’s going to change the way arenas are built in the future,” Wilson predicts. We were lucky enough to score tickets to the opening Red Wings game versus the Minnesota Wilds in the new arena. We were seated in a suite and were able to watch the Red Wings kick some Wild butt (4-2) in a luxury location while chowing down on some of the delicious food Little Caesar’s Arena has to offer.

Cars may have put Detroit on the map back in the early 1900s, but current residents are doing just fine without owning a car of their own. Metropolitan Detroit provides many forms of public transportation; people can choose to travel via busses, railways, the


Photo creds: @tomwilmer

elevated people mover, and the brand-new QLine. “[The QLine} is a street car system on tracks and it just opened in May [of 2017] and it takes people from the downtown all the way up through our midtown area through the museum district and various attractions.” The QLine includes 20 stops and 12 stations. Bikes are another pleasant way to get around the city. Detroit has just introduced a brand-new bike lane that provides peddlers with a safe route for two-wheel travel. 360 had the chance to pedal through the budding neighborhoods of downtown Detroit with the Wheelhouse bike shop. Wheelhouse caters to all sorts of

Photo creds: @tomwilmer

tourists, offering tours to those interested in architecture, public art, history, neighborhood, etc. We also had the pleasure of pedaling to the best sports bars the city has to offer with The Michigan Pedaler. It was a party on two-wheels. Despite all of the modern transportation options, Detroit does not neglect to still celebrate its industrial roots. Detroit is called the Motor City for a reason, after all, and that reason is because of the legendary automotive pioneer, Henry Ford. The Henry Ford Museum had been Ford’s idea. “I am collecting the history of our people as written into things their hands made and used. When we are through, we shall have reproduced American life has lived, and that, I think, is the best way of preserving at least a part of our history and tradition,” Ford stated back in 1928. The museum is one of the most important history museums in the nation, it houses thousands of objects that display how ordinary Americans lived and worked along with the genius innovativeness throughout history.

Vaughn Lowery at Eastern Farmer’s Market – photo creds: @tomwilmer

Detroit’s Farmer’s Market, Eastern Market, is the largest indoor/outdoor marketplace in the country. It is located on a commercial stretch of 43 acres and is just a mile north of the downtown area. The market originally opened in 1841 in Cadillac Square and has been a consistent feature of Detroit ever since. In recent years, the market has become one of the centers of the public art movement. Our staff were treated to a mouthwatering tour of the marketplace courtesy of Linda Yellen from Feet on the Street Tours. Our taste buds died and went to heaven as Yellen took us through the market and showed us the many local delicacies. After our three-hour lunch, we were given time to stroll through the shops in Downtown, Midtown, and New Center.

Among all of the shiny new attractions Detroit has to offer, the remnants of the city’s history have been preserved and refurbished. The city’s architectural integrity has remained intact. The 1920’s saw an architectural revolution and Detroit home to some of the most riveting examples of the decade’s skyscraper designs the country has to offer. The skyline remains, just with a bit more curb appeal to blend with the modern world. Detroit’s art scene is part of what makes the city so attractive to outsiders. The graffiti on the walls of buildings is as historic to the city as the buildings themselves. Public art is being celebrated, as it should be, throughout Detroit. The atmosphere is regarded as a canvas. The city is alive with colorful murals that depict stories of both suffering and strength. This celebration of the arts encourages young artists to express themselves legally by contributing to the beauty of the cityscape. The city holds true to its motto: ‘Speramus meliora; resurget cineribus.’ Which means, “We hope for better things; it will rise from the ashes.” Detroit is no longer the city that the media paints it to be. The new and the old merge together to create a unique mix of past and future that celebrates Detroit’s rich history of ups and downs.

Travel Bible

Trip planned with Travel Michigan by Geiger and Associates


Traffic Jam & Snug is a Detroit treasure. Established in 1965, it was one of the first brewpubs in Detroit. Their ever-changing menu of craft beer along with the cheese and bread they make in house earns the restaurant a 5-star rating from 360 Magazine.

Brewster Chelsea Pinor at Traffic Jam & Snug – photo creds: @tomwilmer


Destination Detroit Tours took us on a spectacular driving tour of Downtown and some of the surrounding neighborhoods. Co-founder of Destination Detroit Tours, Kim Rusinow, gave us an informative rundown of the culture and history of her hometown. She and her co-founder, Pat Haller, offer group and private tours of a variety of Detroit hotspots.


Little Caesar’s Arena is the brand-new home of the Detroit Red Wings and the Detroit Pistons. The arena is stunning and innovative; built 40-feet below ground, it allows for the unobstructed development of the surrounding neighborhood. Every seat is the best seat in this arena.

Little Caesar’s Stadium- photo creds: @tomwilmer


Bookie’s Bar and Grille is located in Downtwon and is just six blocks from Little Caesar’s Arena. Bookie’s offers parking for fans and a free shuttle to and from the games. No ticket? No problem! Watch the game at Bookie’s and wash down their delicious food with the game day special: a pitcher and 4 shots for just $15.


Santorini Estiatorio in Greektown is a contemporary and authentic Greek restaurant owned by sisters Athina, Maria, and Stella Papas. The sisters opened the restaurant in 2012 to keep their traditional Greek heritage alive but add a modern twist to attract a broader range of customers.


The Michigan Pedaler owner Mike Gill throws a party on wheels with his unique bike-tour of Detroit’s favorite sports bars. The Midtown tour cruises down Cass Avenue and 2nd Avenues, stopping into the popular pubs for a cold one along the way.

The Michigan Pedaler – photo creds: @VaughnLowery


Dequindre Cut is a Grand Turk Railroad line turned urban recreational path curtesy of the Detroit RiverFront Conservatory. The two-mile greenway runs from Gratiot Avenue to Mack Avenue, leading pedestrians into the heart of the Eastern Market.



The Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village provides a rich history of the Motor City and the automotive industry. The museum is one of the most important and jam-packed museums in the country. Michigan, along with the rest of the world, was shaped by the automobile. The museum features an extensive timeline of past, present, and future innovation.

Motor City Brewing Works is smack dab in the heart of Detroit’s Cultural center and just blocks away from all major Detroit sports team’s stadiums. The brewery is constructed from salvaged equipment and scrap of Detroit’s industrial era. Motor City Brewing Works has been committed to producing hand-crafted, superior quality beer since its doors opened in 1994.


Brew Detroit is a 68,000-square foot facility located in the historic Corktown District. Customers can choose to relax and enjoy the specialty brews in the tasting room that was opened in 2015 or take the beers home in bottles, cans, or kegs.

Brew Detroit growler


Batch Brewing Company founders Stephen and Jason left their cushy corporate careers to start their own little brewery in Downtown Detroit. Their motto #beermakesmehappy, inspires them to create fine, craft beers and they will soon be adding ciders to the menu as well. Customers can eat good, drink good, and feel good at this nano brewery.


MGM Grand Detroit is a luxury hotel and casino. It is one of the three casino hotels in Detroit. MGM was the first luxury resort casino hotel to open outside of Los Angeles. The staff was kind enough to give us a tour of the games and teach us the basics of gaming etiquette. We


The MotorCity Casino Hotel is owned by the co-founder of the international fast food chain, Little Caesars Pizza, Marian Ilitch. It is the only locally-owned and operated casino in Detrot and includes 100,000 square feet of casino space.


Greektown Casino Hotel is located in Detroit’s Greektown Historic District and was originally owned by the Sault Ste. Tripe of Chippewa Indians. Rock Gambling, which is owned by Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert, purchased a majority stake in the casino in 2013 as a part of Gilbert’s efforts to help revitalize downtown Detroit.



Riverside Kayak Connection has been offering kayaking tours since 2004 and began bicycle tours in 2015. We were able to paddle with them along the Detroit River. RKC offers tours, classes, rentals, and hosts a variety of different events. They are also Southeast Michigan’s premiere, full service Thule dealer.

360 staff kayaking the river- photo creds: @tomwilmer


Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA) has been influenced by the enthusiasm for public art and the potential that art has to start a conversation. In 2010, DIA included the first Inside/Out exhibit. Inside/Out brings high-quality reproductions of masterpieces in the museum’s collection out to public spaces to make art more accessible to the general public.


Motown Museum celebrates the history Motown, which an expression of the African American urban culture in the 20th century. Motown is where music icons such as The Temptation, Marvin Gaye, Martha and the Vandellas, and the Supremes, recorded some of the greatest hits the country has ever heard. Motown founder, Berry Gordy, began the recording business in two side-by-side houses that have been preserved and transformed into the Motown Museum.

Motown Museum – photo creds: @tomwilmer


Outdoor Adventure Center neighbors the Dequindre Cut Trail on Detroit’s riverfront. The OAC offers visitors the chance to experience outdoor adventures with hands-on activities, exhibits, and simulators.


Fowling Warehouse is home to 20 Fowling lanes and 2 (soon-to-be 3) bars. Fowling is a sport that was accidentally invented at a tailgate in 2001 by warehouse owner Chris Hutt and his friends. It is a hybrid of bowling, horseshoes, and football. Fowling Warehouse is located in the city of Hamramck, which is just short drive from Detroit.


Polonia is a quaint Polish restaurant in Hamtramck. It originally began in 1927 as the Detroit Workingman’s Cooperative Restaurant to offer familiar food to Polish immigrants. In 1986, the restaurant changed ownership and was remodeled to fit a more traditional restaurant mold but kept the friendly atmosphere and authentic Polish food.

Vaughn Lowery enjoying dinner at Polonia Restaurant


The Sugar House is regarded as one of the best cocktail bars in the city and is the “ultimate presentation bar in the city”. There’s no better way to spend a night out than with a bunch of friends and a delicious drink, or a few.



Gold Cash Gold can be described in just five simple words: cocktails and a good time. It is just two doors down from The Sugar House and is also on the list as being one of the best cocktail bars in the city.


Eastern Market is the oldest and largest indoor/outdoor market in the country. It is open every day except Sunday from 5 AM to 5 PM. It is the primary supplier of produce, meat, and other food products for both residents and businesses. The streets are always bopping with dedicated foodies and curious shoppers. Eastern Market has something for everyone.


Feet on the Street Tours founder Linda Yellin took us through the Eastern Market and introduced our taste buds to the delicacies the market has to offer. Yellin and her staff guide a variety of themed food-crawls as well as offer walking tours of other attractions throughout the city.


Wheelhouse Detroit is a bike shop that was established in 2008 that, in addition to selling, servicing, and renting bikes, offers biking tours of different Detroit neighborhoods. Wheelhouse offers a bunch of themed tours or gives customers the opportunity to create a custom tour tailored to their interests.


Detroit Experience Factory gave us the inside scoop of all the best shopping hotspots in Downtown, Midtown, and Fisher Building.


Punch Bowl Social is the place to go if you’re looking for a laidback environment to have a great time in. The food is spectacular and the drinks are top notch. If a restaurant and a nightclub had a baby, its name would be Punch Bowl Social. Located inside the Z-Garage, Punch Bowl Social includes 4 bars, a restaurant, bowling lanes, private karaoke rooms, retro video games, darts, pinball, ski ball, and even a photo both to satisfy all of your Instagram needs.


Standby is a small cocktail bar that reminds us of a prohibition era speakeasy. It is located in urban destination known as The Belt, an alleyway lined with street-art that bisects the Z-Garage, a ten-story parking garage that is also filled with public art projects and murals.


Wright & Co is another downtown attraction known for being one of the best cocktail bars in the city. Located in a historic 1891 brownstone, Wright & Co has an Old World vibe and is one of the first cocktail bar/restaurants in the neighborhood that is not a sportsbar.

Morro Bay × Tom Wilmer

Morro Bay stand-up paddling with a Twist and paddling with your doggie

A visit with Sandi Twist, owner of The Paddleboard Company, fittingly located on the waterfront in Morro Bay. Twist walks about the explosive popularity of stand-up paddling (SUP) for both the curious and serious.

Twist talks about fitness classes, paddling with your doggie and more, and insightful advantages of yoga paddleboarding over land-based studio workouts.

Morro Bay’s vibrant, sustainable commercial fishery propels fresh seafood, wine, and live music

“Gio” Giovanni DeGarimore has been involved in the Morro Bay fresh fish industry since he was a kid. Join Gio talks about Morro Bay’s sustainable, vibrant commercial fishing industry. Gio’s Galley restaurant serves fresh al fresco fresh caught seafood. He also operates the gas dock, and Stax Wine Bar. He’s finalizing plans for a live music concert series on the waterfront this fall.  

Discovering Morro Bay, California’s best-kept-secret places to stay

Join Jennifer Little with Morro Bay Tourism as we visit with the innkeepers at two waterfront boutique hotels, La Roche, and Estero Inn, and The Landing—an upscale reincarnation of the iconic Breaker’s Motel, just one block above the Embarcadero in the heart of California’s Highway One Discovery Route.

Pacific Ocean sportfishing adventure with Virg’s Landing

Virg’s Landing has been an iconic ingredient in the Morro Bay sport fishing experience since 1954. Come along and join Denise, the owner of Virg’s for the inside scoop on day-trip fishing expeditions out of Morro Bay, California.

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