Bank Suey is located at the heart of Hamtramck, a 2 sq. mile city surrounded by Detroit. With approximately 25k+ residents, and over 27 languages spoken, Hamtramck is both the most diverse and most dense city in Michigan.
Hamtramck has recently made headlines for electing the first majority Muslim City Council and for residents filling their own potholes. It's a city of festivals, from Pączki Day to Porous Borders, Hamtramck's celebrations are unique. Home to Detroit City Futbol Club, housed in a community-funded rehabbed WPA football stadium. Hamtramck Disneyland, an immigrant-created, hobby turned public art turned community run museum and artist residency.
See the city charter here.
Hamtramck in the news**:
Karen Majewski, Mayor of Hamtramck: "The overall face of the American demographic is changing and Hamtramck is just more visible because we are so condensed. You can't retreat to your suburban backyard here, we live on top of each other. But that's a good thing, we learn how to get along.”
--The Telegraph: “Refugee debate stokes tensions in Hamtramck, America's Muslim capital”
These Ukrainian and American sentiments suggest the ultimate mark of the immigrant experience: a state in which you exist in two places at once. This often unspoken, tangled duality, a yearning for a home left in the past combined with an appreciation for the one you have, finds expression in the larger structure of Szylak's work: Tangled symbols, over time, became a bridge, built of reclaimed wood and objects that don't often find themselves standing side by side.
--"The Disneyland of Detroit" by Liana Aghajanian
"Folks like to look @ Hamtramck as a kind of microcosm of the nation as a whole... this is the face of America, in this little hot house, just this one little corner of Michigan, so of course we are aware of the scrutiny that gets put on our city as a metaphor for the United States as a whole. We're very sensitive to the way our diversity and the interaction of our different communities plays out on a national stage. But as far as the kinds of fears, and the kind of fear mongering that takes place in the US as a whole, that has no place in the daily conversation in Hamtramck."
--Hamtramck on CNN Newsroom
Almasmari said. "We were elected by everybody and we will work for everybody regardless of their ethnicity, religion or gender."
--The Arab American News: Post-elections Hamtramck: Diversity and division
“Wedged into the densest and most diverse community in Michigan, Keyworth represents not only DCFC's future but also the possibility of creating the most exciting and accessible sporting atmosphere in the country ...DCFC has embarked on a campaign to breathe new life into this historic structure and grow our club at the same time. And we are taking on the rehabilitation of this historic stadium though the largest community investment campaign in Michigan's history. We proudly believe this is a true public-private partnership that genuinely benefits the community and its investors.”
The annual festival and self-guided gallery crawl was co-founded by Steve Hughes (of Public Pool) and Steve Panton (of 9338 Campau). These two galleries, along with Popps on the northwestern end, the Power House district on the northeastern border with Detroit, Hatch on the southeastern side, and Klinger Studios form a powerful core for a dense art scene that thrives on DIY initiatives, close ties and cultural interaction between maker-run spaces and the surrounding communities, full of new and old immigrant populations.
--Knight Foundation: Hamtramck festival showcases Michigan city's vibrant arts scene (Hamtramck Neighborhood Arts Festival)
"I'm looking forward to it. Hamtramck is a cool town and a lot of younger people are moving in. You can see an uptick in people on the streets," says Melody Malosh, co-owner of Small's. "It's a rock and roll town. We know how to party."
--Model D: Hamtown rocks! (Hamtramck Music Festival)
** To stay up-to-date on Hamtramck, check out the Hamtramck Review and Model D's Hamtramck Neighborhood Section.