Week of 8.21.17

Welcome to the home of Social Lights. New online reports with photos appear each week on the website and in the monthly print editions for the Birmingham-Bloomfield area and the Rochester-Rochester Hills area at the start of each month. If you want e-mail notification of when new Social Lights columns are posted to this site each Monday, sign up in the Newsletter Sign Up box at the lower right side of this home page.

MOCAD Interchange Art + Dinner

The Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit and Library Street Collective gallery owners JJ and Anthony Curis collaborated on a remarkable event that turned their home – the  Hawkins Ferry house – into a museum. Under the title “Unobstructed Views,” 39 pieces of art, all available for bids, had been installed throughout the modernist gem on the shore of Lake St. Clair. More than 200 guests ($175, $200 ticket) and their conversation invigorated both floors of the museum and the lakeside terrace. Guests included legendary sculptor Glen Michaels, who recalled creating many installations for the home’s architect Bill Kessler. Art collector Shirley Piku was another guest with specific memories.
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This weeks social light photos…

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oakland confidential

August 2017

HORSE RACES: Democratic aspirations of taking a majority hold on Congress after the 2018 General Election will hinge on the party’s ability to take two dozen congressional seats, which may include upsets in Michigan’s 8th and 11th Districts, according to recent rankings of 82 districts by The New York Times. The piece split the districts into eight groups to watch, based on competitiveness ...more»
business matters birmingham/bloomfield

70 years for Harp's

This August marks 70 years for Birmingham's Harp's Lingerie, 265 S. Old Woodward, which was first opened by Betty and Elouis Harp on Chene Street in Detroit. The store relocated over the years, first to Hamtramck, then to Ferndale, Warren and finally to Birmingham, always fitting women of all sizes with the finest lingerie. Betty – fondly known as "Mrs. Harp" to generations of shoppers – worked until two days before she passed away in 2010 at 94 years of age, and the shop remains "in the family," owned by her three sons, Tom and Doug Hardy and Dr. Lewis Harp, and continues to be run by her granddaughters, Lisa Hardy Hamill and Kimberly Hardy Hickson, and former daughter-in-law Jan Karcho, who adhere to Mrs. Harp's mantra, "Make a woman feel good about herself." Harp's is known for its excellent service, and specializes in fitting bras, carrying a wide range of sizes, from 30A to 54N, girdles and beautiful lingerie....more>

New sushi joint

Experienced sushi chef Lee Yang has opened his first Michigan sushi restaurant in Birmingham, Ly Sushi at 768 N. Old Woodward, next to Carl Sterr By Design. The small location, which is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner, has a few tables for seating and is available for carry out, offers sushi, Thai, and Vietnamese pho food. Yang said he will be offering teriyaki dishes soon, as well. This is not his first foray in owning a sushi restaurant. "I used to have a restaurant in California, seven or eight years ago," he said. He came to Michigan a year ago, and worked at Tomo Korean & Japanese Cuisine on Big Beaver in Troy until opening Ly Sushi. Besides sushi, Yang said specialties include Asian fries, Asian chicken wings, and taco sushi....more>

Under new management

BABS Salon & Wellness Spa, 1077 S. Worth Street, Birmingham, was recently renovated after close friends Vivian Pickard and Bernadette Blanchard, an experienced stylist, purchased the salon, hiring and adding stylist Bashar Kallabat, formerly of Bashar Salon in Birmingham, and Natalya Ostapenko, who recently closed Renaissance Spa in Bloomfield Township, as on-site partners. BABS offers hair, makeup, nails, skin care and massage in an elegant and relaxing environment, anticipating that BABS will become an oasis for guests by creating beautifully appointed private suites for each guest service. "Our aestheticians and massage therapists are well known in the community," said Pickard, who retired as president of the GM Foundation. "They are experts in their craft and have established a loyal following as a result. We're so blessed to have them here at BABS." ...more>

New bridal offerings

Custom dressmaker Theresa Charow has moved her store Shapes from Royal Oak to downtown Birmingham, opening at 223 S. Old Woodward, for brides looking for a custom wedding gown, as well as evening gowns, prom dresses, and other special occasion designer original clothing. Charow said that Shapes has been in business for 20 years, winning awards for her original and unique designs. She earned a degree from Wayne State University in fashion design and fashion merchandising, and has put both to good use as a dressmaker. As a fashion designer, Charnow has the ability to create a design from concept, through pattern making, to its material sourcing, and then sewing the execution of the finished garment. She is perceptive about design elements and balance, and on top of all of fashion's latest trends. Experienced as a fashion designer, her expertise really shines as a custom bridal dressmaker, and with her new Birmingham boutique, she said she is excited to design for the local market....more>

Financial office opens

Private wealth advisor Chris Balcerowiak of Ameriprise Financial Services recently moved his office to a new location, to 39533 Woodward Avenue, Suite 150, in Bloomfield Hills. As a private wealth advisor, Balcerowiak provides financial advice that is anchored in a solid understanding of client needs and expectations, and provided in one-on-one relationships with his clients. Ameriprise Financial Services has a network of 10,000 financial advisors and outstanding asset management, advisory and insurance capabilities around the country....more>

Esquire moves out

The two Birmingham locations of Esquire Cleaners in Birmingham, at 794 N. Old Woodward and 608 S. Old Woodward, were both closed as of June 1, after having been acquired in the not to distant past. The two cleaner locations were closed because the rent was too high for the area, manager Rema Kurin said. She is also the manager of Fresh & Clean Dry Cleaners at 17620 W. Thirteen Mile Road in Beverly Hills....more>

ReMax Eclipse expands

Levan Wood has opened his third ReMax Eclipse real estate office at 4190 Telegraph Road, just south of Long Lake, in Bloomfield Township. Wood said he has two other ReMax Eclipse offices, one in Madison Heights and one in Waterford, with the Bloomfield Township one in partnership with Motto Mortgage First to assist buyers in financing their home. "I've been in the real estate business since 2006, and I've been a broker since 2010," Wood said. The new office has four sales associates and three loan officers, and he said they are looking to grow, to add more associates and loan officers. But the best part of opening the new office for Wood is, "I'm a 10-year resident of Bloomfield Township, so I'm glad to have an office where I live. That's been the goal all along." ReMax Eclipse is part of ReMax of Southeastern Michigan, with 50 offices in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne and Monroe counties....more>

Second women's shop

Jill Oleski started selling fashionable women's clothing 15 years ago by doing boutiques at charity shows. She developed such a following, six years ago she opened Just Girls on The Boardwalk in West Bloomfield. But her "ladies" begged for more, and this summer she opened her second Just Girls, next to Bill's Restaurant at Bloomfield Crossings at 39558 Woodward at Long Lake in Bloomfield Hills. "A lot of my clientele doesn't want to go to West Bloomfield," Oleski said. "Bloomfield Hills is also an easier access point for many of our clientele who are in Rochester, Clarkston and Grosse Pointe. It's a great location. It just seems right for us." Their unique contemporary apparel, which runs the gamut from casual to business casual to dressy lines, are a fit for all ages of today's active women. Oleski said their largest line is Sympli out of British Columbia, of which they're the fifth largest retailer. "It's great travel wear. It's a wardrobe builder – the colors match from year-to-year, so you can update your wardrobe pretty inexpensively. People come from all over for this line." She notes they're also referred to as "leggings central," with all sorts of seamless wear that will pair great this fall with sweaters. "We're getting lots of easy looks for fall," she said. "Lots of merchandise is coming in now." Oleski said she continues to do charity show boutiques. "It's my way of giving back."...more>

Thai carry out

For those looking for a convenient place to bring in dinner, Delicious Thai opened May 29 at 3615 W. Maple Road in Bloomfield Township, in the same plaza as Plum Market. Cher Lor said it is a family-run endeavor, with everyone from his parents, himself, and his two brothers working to make the carryout location a success. "It's our first restaurant," he said. His parents emigrated from Thailand, so all the recipes are authentic. Lor said the menu is pretty comprehensive, with everything from noodle dishes, rice dishes and curry items. "Our entree dishes include curry with bamboo, gangai, and pad pak with brown sauce," he said. Open daily for lunch and dinner, they also offer the unique flavors of Thai Ice Tea and Thai Ice Coffee....more>

Moving on

Despite a huge "Going Out of Business Sale" sign in their front window, the owners of Fratelli Leather, 303 E. Maple, Birmingham, insist they're not closing, but just moving the location of their store. Fratelli, owned by Kasha and Richard Kowal, has carried leather apparel, shoes, purses, briefcases, luggage, fur and accessories for men and women, from labels that have included Valentino, Carbotti, Franko Armondi and Laura Biagotti, as well as its own in-house label, Fratelli. The Birmingham storefront, which opened in October 2015, was one of 30 Fratelli locations in Europe. Kasha Kowall said, "We're not closing. We're moving the location. I don't know where yet, and I don't know when the Birmingham store will close."...more>

Furniture store closes

Ligne Roset, a collection of contemporary, high-end furniture and complementary home and decorative accessories, has closed its store at 255 S. Old Woodward in downtown Birmingham. ...more>
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