Ypsilanti restaurant Sidetrack to host viewing party for Washtenaw County-themed episode of PBS show

Area residents are invited to a watch party from 7:30–9 p.m. Oct. 18 at Sidetrack restaurant in Ypsilanti's Depot Town as the PBS series "Under the Radar Michigan" begins its ninth season by highlighting Washtenaw County-based businesses and organizations.

Featured in this episode are Ann Arbor Korean restaurant Miss Kim, Ypsilanti-based Michigan Firehouse Museum and Dom Bakeries, Saline-based Urban Ashes, and the chalk art of Ann Arbor artist David Zinn.

Series co-creator and host Tom Daldin called Washtenaw County "a mecca for creative and innovative people."

Daldin says him and his team had been hearing rave reviews of Miss Kim, only to realize she had appeared in the first season of "Under the Radar Michigan," as the Zingerman's cheese expert in a segment focused on Zingerman's co-founder Ari Weinzweig.

"She's from Korea, and she's taken that cuisine and melded it with produce we have here in Michigan," Daldin says of Miss Kim's proprietor Ji Hye Kim. "What she's doing is so incredible."

Urban Ashes stood out not just for the beautiful products the company makes with reclaimed wood but for its social mission to employ former prisoners.

"He has a heart as big as his creativity," Daldin says of the company's founder, Paul Hickman. He added that all the employees he met were "outstanding individuals."

Daldin says that viewers had been emailing him with suggestions to feature the Firehouse Museum for years. 

"We were just blown away by the history in that place, and Al (Dyer), the new director, has a wealth of knowledge and is so driven and motivated to make it into everything it can be," he says.

Daldin notes that Dom's is "not the fanciest place" but says the owners are "the sweetest, kindest, most wonderful family" who came to America and realized the American dream.

David Zinn's art almost doesn't qualify as "under the radar," Daldin says. 

"He's becoming known around the world for the characters he creates," Daldin says. "He makes these little masterpieces on the sidewalk, and with the next rain, they disappear. He's a genuine talent, and Ann Arbor is lucky to have him."

Both Daldin and Zinn are expected to attend the watching party at Sidetrack, and Daldin will sign autographs for fans. A short video teaser for the segment is available here.

Sarah Rigg is a freelance writer and editor in Ypsilanti Township and the interim project manager of On the Ground Ypsilanti. She has served as innovation and jobs/development news writer for Concentrate since early 2017 and is an occasional contributor to Driven. You may reach her at sarahrigg1@gmail.com.
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