Journalist-LiveI am the journalist that tried out the Magic Leap goggles and wrote about it for Rolling Stone's Glixel.
Dec 22nd 2017 by crecente • 19 Questions • 40 Points
Our short bio: Austrian Audio GmbH is a new audio company dealing with research & development of acoustic products, mainly microphones and headphones, but also highly sophisticated measurement systems and ODM developments. We’re all professionals that have spent a major part of our lives within the audio industry, both on the professional and the lifestyle side of the business. What ties us together is the vision to improve the performance of products by listening to people who actually use them and paying attention to the details. Within the team we can look back at more than 300 years of combined audio development experience. The team – currently 22 people - almost completely consists of former employees of AKG Acoustics, who’s Vienna headquarters closed its doors June 30th 2017.
Possible topics of interest to you in which we have expertise:
• The closure of AKG • Audio Engineering • Mechanical, Acoustics, Software, Firmware, Electronic and Test & Measurement Engineering • Starting and running a business in Vienna, Austria • Life and Christmas Markets in Vienna! Bring 'em on! We're going to answer questions until the New Year and endeavor to address the technical and engineering oriented ones as a priority. Let's keep this going until 2018!
Hey man! Any sense of the performance offered by their belt-pack based on actual demos you saw? You quote Rony as saying "Think about something close to like a MacBook Pro or an Alienware PC," but that sounds impossible given space constraints.
Also, are they still projecting lasers via spinning fiber optic cables, or is there some other way the light gets to your eye?
What stunts have you turned down as too dangerous?
Is it true that some places there you can buy a house for 5 dollars?
As a fan of American-Chinese food, I have to ask, Hot and Sour Soup. My absolute favorite but it is never the same place to place. Some it is ok, some it is amazing, never had one I hated, what is the story on it?
Did Harman/Samsung decide to close AKG down, or was it just your hq? What product(s) is your new company planning on producing? Will your main focus be consumer level, like headphones, or back to pro users?
Ive got to do research now, I one day wanted to get the AKG pro drum mic kit.
Thanks for taking time to answer questions!
I pushed him several times on CPU/GPU specs, but he simply wouldn't say. Either they're going to release it later or they'll come out once they're in the hands of the public. I will say that the computer seemed impossibly small and quiet and that he said it wasn't a "mobile" system. Meaning a phone.
I haven't. Effectively there's always a way to make it doable.
I don't know about $5. I have read some people have bought a house for $100, and I know someone who bought one for $600, and that one required massive renovation.
Egg composition. Hot and sour soup contains a lot of egg, and some places put less in the soup base when egg prices swing too high. It is made in a wok on high heat, so a high egg content makes it thicker.
The AKG brand built up tremendous value over the past 70 years. The brand lives on. The AKG office and factory in Vienna was closed. A handful of years earlier, the entirety of the Consumer product line was consolidated under the control of Harman Consumer. This happened at every brand. We lost a bunch of fine folk but some are still with us at Austrian Audio.
We're working on full Consumer and Professional product lines. We plan to debut in the higher-end of those markets and then offer a broader set of options across the board. We've also got B2B and ODM business projects that have been humming along nicely for a few months at this point. There's a lot going on.
That pro drum kit is a good one and of quite good value. The d12VR is under-appreciated on the market except by those that have used them. I'm rather fond of that mic.
My husband’s family is from Detroit. The last time we visited, it was interesting to see the city’s progress regarding demolition of abandoned homes. Many streets now have empty lots where homes used to be. His parents can’t believe how much the city has changed over their lifetime.
As a resident, what is it like seeing the vast changes going on in Detroit?
How much is prepared by your kitchen vs how much is prepared outside of your kitchen? Are things like sesame chicken already breaded or do you do that?
I just noticed over the years that buffet food is fairly consistent across restaurants and made me think it's mostly prepackaged.
Just went back and looked at the quotes, they said they might be able to tell me "how many times larger" the fov was than for Hololens. Not that it was significantly larger. (They never did tell me.)
The major changes have been amazing, but so far the new housing, restaurants etc are mostly located in about 8 square miles of the 139-square-mile city. Detroit is cleaner and better lit all over, but stats show it is the USA's poorest and most violent big city, so it's fair to say not every neighborhood is enjoying a renaissance.
The meat dishes are made from scratch, but the base for the sauces are from the supplier. Most of these dishes are made with ingredients common to each other, such as General Tso's Chicken, Sesame Chicken, and other American Chinese dishes. Some things like the pizza, fries, sesame balls, desserts, are all from the supplier and come frozen. The microwave is not used that frequently, but the fryers are.
It will be awesome. Thanks.😎
Actually, in the development timeline, our first product will be a B2B test system that is being sold to high-end and high-volume manufacturers so that they can test equipment that they make in a modern and reliable fashion. One of the legs of our business plan is a healthy B2B component that brings our Test & Measurement expertise to the outside world.
What is the largest amount of food you have seen/heard about someone eating at one sitting?
Why do K701 have such a horrible headband, you can read hundreds of complaints of the soft nubs on the headband hurting the head after 2-3 hours of listening. Did you have an ergonomics specialist on your team?
I expect it to be very similar to the early roll out of something like the early Oculus stuff. It does sound like they plan on having a full preview press day with hands on demos of full games and apps prior to that. But no word on timing.
I once had to double nz actor Kevin Smith who played Ares, god of war on Xena. I was required to wear a fake beard and mustache and strap my tits down. I still have pics. I make kind of a hot guy.
I used company cars. You can treat them like off-road vehicles.
Personally I had seen one man pile 9 plates of Chinese food (mostly cheap noodles and chicken). When they eat by themselves, I think they eat a lot more. When they are with friends, the social pressure keeps them from gorging too much. My waiters had said a larger number, but they might be overestimating. No one can really eat more than 2 pounds.
He died in a horrible Trepanning-by-headband accident.
Hi Bill, this isn't very specific, but after driving 2,100 roads in Detroit - what's one of the most unique or most interesting things you saw?
Is your restaurant menu fairly standard, or do you try new menu items regularly to mix things up?
How do you feel about patrons who dine-in and then ask to take a box home?
For the most part I saw people just going about their lives, as they would be doing in any city or suburb in the country. I did come across a burning house, and people were screaming that a woman was trapped inside. The DFD rolled up and firefighters ran right into the house to try to find her. She was across the street, visiting a neighbor.
I would say about half of them are rotated regularly, but on a fixed schedule. Some things we just try because the ingredients are cheap. Right now tomatoes are at $57/cs while they were $11/cs 4 months ago. However the price of cabbage and potatoes dropped, as well as bass. That influences the new dishes we make.
For the customers who want to take their food home, it's usually a small amount left on their plate and they just want to limit wastage. In most cases they ask to pay for the box themselves, but we let it go if it's a small quantity, as it will be wasted anyway.
As to the what is going to happen to Harman/AKG after being acquired by Samsung: we simply have no visibility into that future. The only thing that we know for certain is that the Harman/AKG workforce was decimated.
The good news is that Austrian Audio GmbH is now utilizing its full capacities to develop compelling microphone and headphone products with the goal of producing as much of the constituent components (plus final assembly and QC) right here in Vienna. Our current product roadmap has our 1st two condenser mics projected to be made here in our facility with our own capsules that are made in-house. We're rather serious about this goal and we think that the market is there for it.
Do you have any recommendations for under-the-radar things far outside of the immediate downtown core? I'm a big fan of Cadeiux Cafe and the Dakota Inn and I'm sure that there's more out there that I just don't know about.
If people constantly get multiple plates of the most expensive foods, do you lose money?
The AKG K701 open-back headphones are the best I've ever owned. The mids are extremely clean and the highs very crisp. A well-produced record through those almost sounds like it's appearing before your eyes.
Can you explain what made those particular headphones kick so much ass?
It seemed better than Holo (I haven't tried Meta), but it wasn't 100 percent locked. There were one or two times I noticed some slight jitter. It was rare though.
Either having extensive experience in one thing - martial arts, gymnastics, motocross etc etc or a little in a couple is really helpful.
Being a good listener, a quick study and intuitive also makes it much easier for someone to hire you and then hire you again.
Scotty's Fish and Chips on Fenkell in Brightmoor...
Yes, but only a small amount. You see, not many people can eat 1 1/2 day's worth of protein or seafood in one sitting.
Will pose this inquiry to our Acoustics team in the morning and then get back to you.
Did you hit about 20 pot holes per day like I do driving around for work everyday?
The oysters always sketched me out. You say the crab legs you should avoid and the sushi is fine. But what about the oysters?
Is there a next big thing (like, really big) in audio in your opinion? ELI5
Absolutely and I think that's what really sets this apart from VR. Being able to see the real world and other people in it offers a significant step up from VR.
Definitely. Before Thor, I hadn't been a stunt double in 8 years. I love it all but acting (doing my own stunts of course) and most recently directing are taking precedence.
The streets in Detroit are bad, but so are many streets in the suburbs.
Oysters are also to be avoided as they source them, especially in the midwest, from groceries and fisheries past their prime. Sometimes on the coasts they are imported from China and South America, but are decent quality while they are fresh.
Miniaturization (as always, ever smaller...), integration into monolithic structures. Be sure to investigate MEMS technology. It’s everywhere and nobody even notices AND that’s how it should be. Beam-Steering and Forming Deeper integration into existing tech belongs here too.
European (italian) here, i don't know much but read a lot of nasty things about Detroit on the internet and how urban degradation is widespread in the city. Is it really that bad as depicted? How is the situation changed in the last 20 years? What do the white and black communities think about the city?
Why do the deserts always look so delicious but taste like stale cardboard covered in colored sugar?
Are you guys hiring? I live in Vienna but I wanna learn and do a different job and I will do anything lol
People can share their creations and what is in their world, if that makes sense. So if you have a MR cat in your house, you can invite your friends visiting with their own Lightwear to see the cat too. And they can decide if they want to or not.
Detroit is a big place -- 139 square miles. There is everything: mansions, slums, blighted property, miles of middle-class housing. There have been many positive changes in the past 10 years, but abandoned housing remains a major problem, and is often the main thing visitors take away with them.
That's what they are. They all come from the same factory in one of the major cities for Chinese immigrants in the US. The ingredients used are not half bad, but they lack preservatives to help it taste fresh. Some customers do say they get hard after some time on the trays. But I doubt these factories hire any food scientist to prevent them from turning into cardboard.
Can you answer Social Media inquiries? The current guy is kind of “iffy”. 🤷🏻♂️
Shoot us a CV and let’s talk! Contact info on our webpage: austrian.audio
I worked downtown Detroit from 2003-2016 and spent a lot of time driving around the city looking for cool things to see and photograph. Along the way, I saw my fair share of crazy stuff - burning houses (twice), burning cars (twice as well), a car that had smashed into a barricade and been abandoned with the engine still running, urban farms, and transient communities squatting in abandoned houses...
But one of the things that surprised me most was the amount of wildlife I've seen wandering freely through the city. I've seen deer, pheasants, grouse, a coyote, packs of wild dogs, and once, I swear to god, I thought I saw a peacock. No joke.
What has your experience been in this regard? What's the craziest animal you've seen wandering around the city?
What is one item you would advise people to stay away from at an all you can eat buffet?
Are Vienna sausages in Vienna different from Vienna sausages in the states?
I'm terrible at estimating weight and they wouldn't tell me. But i didn't get a sense that it would start bugging me anytime soon. The weight felt very evenly distributed around the crown of my head. The pads inside, which are all replaceable, helped a ton with comfort too.
We already risk life and limb at times, that happens without awards being present. I used to be pretty reserved about it all - I love the hidden wonder, movie magic of it all and was happy to not have the spot light on our side of the biz. However, these day the behind the scenes are so exposed that's gone out the window and o be honest with so many other categories getting recognition - its painful that stunts isn't among them. So many movies would stand naked and soulless with the action removed. Its not just about risking life and limb its about the magic the stunt department brings to movies.
With the way Detroit's buildings and homes have disappeared, nature has come roaring back, including trees growing on the tops of buildings and many animals. I've seen coyotes, bald eagles, deer, foxes, wild turkeys, peacocks, pheasants....I didn't see many wild dogs. The wild-dog issue in Detroit seems over-hyped.
Crab legs. I'm being serious. I have seen Chinese buffets at the fish market going and buying bottom of the barrel seafood including crab legs past their prime. And then they don't steam them properly either to save on volume.
The sushi on the other hand, a common misconception, is relatively safe to eat IN A BUSY PLACE, as the health code standards in the region of raw food is very strict, and you cannot skimp out on prices of salmon and tuna fillet.
Yes, the ones in Vienna are made from actual food. 🤯
Can you tell us more about your character in Django? It felt like there was more to that character that was left on the cutting room floor.
Have things gotten better or worse for the outlying Detroit neighborhoods in the past 10 years? Were there streets then or now that you felt unsafe driving down?
Isn't getting the crab legs past their prime dangerous? Wouldn't it make people sick?
Tracker Peg. We had a whole backstory for her and the other Trackers - kind of a fucked up love story actually. And there was a big fight but we never shoot it.
I never felt unsafe driving down any streets or talking to people, and I had no incidents. Blight continues to be a huge problem in many neighborhoods, but the streets are better lit and cleaner than they were 10 years ago.
It does, unfortunately. Very often. But it is very hard to sue with the little amount of evidence people have. We do not even risk giving cheap crab legs for that reason
We shoot impulse responses not bullets.
What do you think tech companies entering the market (Google Home Max, Apple HomePod)? With machine learning and beamforming and such, they bring a lot of tech that has to be hard for audio companies to develop.
- Will those technologies materially improve sound quality at the budget / mid-tier levels?
- How much does a speaker/headphone company need to invest in the tech / firmware / processig side of product development (qualitatively... not looking for €’s)
- What’s the next significant advance we’ll see in speaker or headphone design? Is there room for innovation in electromechanical side?
PS: I’m still enjoyig my k702’s many years later, and am sad to see AKG go.
5 I tried one large room-scale demo, a handful of essentially tech demos and a few that were a bit more robust. I also tried the Sigur Ros experience. They were all interested, but none of them were near complete enough to be considered something you'd return to.
To be able to belt out a tune like Adele.
Or fly. Seems like it might feel the same.
Blight in Detroit is empty houses and commercial buildings, and there are tens of thousands of them, sadly.
I am not chinese or east asian for that matter but I am very familiar with the culture and speak the language. They do recruit from Fuzhou provinces, but where I am in the us doesn't require much effort to get employees.
Good stuff for me to run by the real engineers on staff. I’ll do so in the morning. It could be just me (combined with the fact that it is 1AM over here) but I’d like to ask for more clarity on question #2 in your list. Are you referring to investment of time expressed as a percentage? Will discuss with the team later today.
What is the biggest change you've noticed in Detroit in the last 10 years??
Maybe you could share one positive change and one negative change?
There's a buffet near me that charges people for any food left on their plate. What do you think about that kind of policy? Do you think it's sensible, or risks driving customers away? Is wasted food a serious enough problem to necessitate such strict measures?
7 Unfortunately, I didn't think to pay specific attention to focal planes until the demos were over. Having said that, nothing stuck out to me as specifically blurred in terms of forced focus and they never pointed it out when showing off the tech. When I asked a follow-question they sort of dodged answering it. You can see the full quote in the main ML story that ran Wednesday.
Positive: Virtually all of the city is better lit. Much of it is cleaner than 10 years ago, when we did the original "Driving Detroit."
Negative: Abandonment remains a massive problem, even as Mayor Duggan has presided over the demolition of more than 13,000 blighted homes.
I would imagine if we implemented that policy we would lose some of our new customers. In practice, it is sensible, as running this place is very low margin, and any food wasted lowers that. But driving customers away ultimately results in fewer customers, which is more devastating than a bit more wastage.
As much as by any existing patent at any other company. We are developing all of our product lines from scratch with our cumulative 335 years of engineering & design experience.
Is it going to be possible to keep the infrastructure running for the few people that remain in some of these areas? No matter how well kept, how can a city service just a few houses in what was once a neighborhood of hundreds of houses?
Over here where I live all buffets have a wastage charge but it is rarely enforced, it's mostly there to prevent those very few who leave whole plates stacked and untouched.
What kind of work and education experience is required to be employed at your company?
9 I haven't tried Meta, but the images felt like they had more substance than with the HoloLens. The headset is also much more comfortable.
In your experience, has that 'empty land' approach to remove blight, group housing and possibly raise real estate pricing been approached effectively? What do city planners say? In 10 years will we be looking at diversified and thoughtful parks across the city or a hodgepodge of Urban Forrest cutting off communities from each other?
What measure do you have in place to prevent 'water drinkers' from drinking the soda?
I can't speak for Pitchfork, but I've been covering VR and AR for years. I first contacted Rony about a story two years ago and have been following up with the company ever since.
Hmmm..... I loved shooting the Res Dogs, around the table scene. It was my first real taste as an actor, of bouncing off other actors. It is just like when a fight goes right.
City planners in Detroit today are working to increase density. They don't want to continue to replicate single family homes, but rather build townhouses and apartments, like in many big cities. The question of what to do with all the empty land is complicated, but if you check out the Detroit Future City website, you'll see a coherent vision of how to handle the empty acres. Making that happen in real life is a challenge.
Lastly, there are a lot of small-scale Green Infrastructure projects underway. Emphasis on small.
Our waiters serve the soda, so that is not a problem.
A little unrelated to them specifically, but it feels like VR and AR are stalling out in some ways. That they're failing to make a push past the early adopters and into the mainstream as a sustainable form of entertainment (or otherwise). Even for early adopters it feels hit and miss for who actually cares deeply about the technology. People have their Samsung Gear VRs they got for free, and as far as I can tell haven't used them past the first day they arrived. Did you get any sense from them that there's an urgency to ride the current (but I see slowing) interest in these types of technologies to expand beyond a "Great Filter" that would see them left by the wayside of Wii controllers and 3D TV?
Hi Zoe! Never been in time for an AMA before! I love your work in QT's films! What is he like as a director, and what was the most fun you had on a film of his?
What type of discounts do your employees get?
Are there major differences electronically in vocal amplifiers from guitar/keyboard amplifiers?
I don't think they see themselves as being in that same group. Abovitz actually says he doesn't like to refer to Magic Leap One as AR, VR or MR. It's its own thing.
Me either - my first time!
QT is awesome, like a very tall, very brilliant kid in a candy store. A passionate, excitable, mischievous, meticulous, vivacious kid in a candy store. He's truly one of a kind.
I didnt see chickens, but I certainly saw peacocks. I once wrote a story about a lovely peacock who had been shot with a long bullet from a crossbow pistol. The bullet lodged in the fleshly part of its neck, and it was caught and healed...
We let them have free food to eat there and a box to take home. 25% off for their family as well.
You'd have to define "major". The overall goal is quite similar but the expectations in tonal modification and/or preservation would be quite different. The feature sets could be greatly similar but voiced a bit differently. Again, the goals are largely the same and this is why, to wit, a mixing console will generally have channels that are all exactly the same and can address a multitude of sources. Yes, there could be stereo vs. mono channels on a desk and those channels could be tuned differently but the theory and approach is largely the same.
The bigger outlier here is the guitar amplifier. Achieving distortion as a part of the guitarist’s 'voice' is required in the great majority of designs. This is less true regarding other instruments.
What is “Mexicantown” in Detroit? I heard it’s a vibrant community in Detroit, but not sure what it is. Can you elaborate? Is it like Chinatown?
How do I make/buy egg drop soup that tastes like the egg drop soup in the buffet?
Mexicantown is a sprawling neighborhood in SW Detroit that stretches from the old train station virtually to the Dearborn city limits. The predominant ethnic group is Mexican, but it is also home to other Hispanic nationalities, whites, African Americans, plus poor, working class and middle-class residents. There are lots of restaurants and shops with an ethnic theme, and also hip venues like El Club, for all sorts of bands.
Use a wok and shop at an asian market for traditional chinese vegetables.
As that product is under the stewardship and ownership of another company, it is well outside of our planning and control. We think that there are things that could be done to make ‘Made In Austria Great Again’ regarding a large diaphragm dual diaphragm condenser mic and we have aims in that direction.
What's you take on the potential with Amazon; but even more so, what do you think the released proposal and incentive package says about the city to other companies considering opening or moving here, both from within the state, around the country, and around the world?
Why are you always running out of chicken wings?
Will you release headphones in the future?
Do you see wired headphones that require amping as a business or is it running out due to the customers tending to Bluetooth and you dont want to invest in this area?
Just that it's running on their own OS and that he wouldn't talk about what (if any) game engines it would support.
I think Detroit's -- and metro Detroit's -- horrible transit will make Amazon look elsewhere. I also have to read about the proposal that emerged this week. I've been busy finishing our "Driving Detroit" update
Chicken wings are hard to make in a busy kitchen. Each wing has to be spun and dipped by hand in sauce, which increases time. Chicken wings also come in smaller cases from restaurant wholesalers now for some reason, and the price increased.
They will coexist rather happily for some time although the projection is that wireless will dominate in the consumer and pro-sumer sectors.
How did you plan where you would go? Was it all pre-planned or did you just decide to cover a certain area each day?
Do you ever have to ban someone from returning because they ate too much or wasted too much food?
How profitable are buffets in general?
How long does it take to prep and cook everything before the store opens?
With so much food, are roaches and rodents a problem? How do you keep it under control?
Are sushi made from a factory? Or made in-house? The're usually pretty bland.
Do you see any value in the technology being developed by the Australian company 'Audio Pixels'? They are developing a MEMS 'speaker' that reproduces sound without any need for traditional loudspeaker componentry like coils, cones and enclosures. Does it sound like vaporware or a legitimate innovation?
All of the demos made use of eye tracking, but the human MR used it so that it could look me directly in the eyes, which was a little unnerving.
Heaps. Catherine Hadwick, Kathryn Bigalow, Paul Fieg, more with Rosario Dawson, Heidi Moneymaker, KT Tunstall, more with Taika, more with QT, Dennis Villeneuve (sp?), Dante Harper, Emily Blunt, Chad Stahelski, Dave Chappelle..... shit this could take the full hour.
I started testing the idea of driving the whole city on the far east side, from Alter Road and Mack up to Waveny and east to about Nottingham. Once I figured it was a do-able project, I hopped around the city from day to day, keeping track of everything on maps and notebooks. I skipped around to keep it interesting. And the west side is so big it seemed to never end.
- Wasted: No. If they are kids their parents control them.
- Very low margins, but good if high volume. Low labor cost. Food cost is slightly higher.
- 2-3 hours before we open is how long it takes, with a complete team. Most prep work is done the night before, so it isn't that unreasonable.
- We never had roaches or rodents in our place, so I cannot vouch for that. Probably because of a newer building. A decent pest control should always prevent the problem from occurring in the first place. Food is sorted and rotated frequently, and never on floors. From a business perceptive, keeping this standard is great as it lowers wastage.
- Sushi are not made from a factory. They are made in house, but not from the finest fisheries or filling. They are made with pretty safe treated fish, but we have to tone down the flavor since it's a wide crowd we are appealing to.
I haven't looked past the first click of that address but I can state that there is a big current and future market for MEMS. There are challenges (Physics don't play, son!) presented to any given topology and implementation and MEMS certainly has some difficult challenges as required SPL and other demands increase. Linearity is another.
I'll run this past a particular engineer on our team that has deep experience in developing MEMS-Tech before I stick my neck out further on the matter. I'll post back here.
In your estimation, what were the 3 leading root causes of Detroit's fall from prominence to the alleged decrepid contemporary state?
Is that a yes for #1 if they eat too much?
First off, I have a few pairs of AKG headphones, big fan, sorry to see them close. When it comes to consumer grade amplifiers would you still say tube is better than solid state? I have a McIntosh C 26 Solid State preamp with a MC 2125 Amp and really dig it.
Wired had a great piece, which I link to in my story on Wednesday.
Holy crap.... playing god much? Um.... We must all take responsibility for what happens in our lives. Always ask, what could I do differently to get a more ideal outcome.
Or always spread butter ALL the way to the edges of the toast.
- Flight of business, especially heavy manufacturing, which started after WW II.
- Flight of white residents, which also started after WW II
- Inability of government at all levels to deal with the ensuing poverty in the city.
I did, proof is at the top of the AMA
Most of them. Even if its not dangerous - theres always performance anxiety!
I think #1 and #2 were root causes. For starters, Detroit lost something like 143,000 manufacturing jobs between 1947 and 1963. Those were the types of jobs that allowed you to have a nice house, send your kids to college and maybe buy a boat or small cottage. After 1963, the job loss continued.
We don't serve clams for this same reason. If it is seafood covered in cheese, they are covering its expiration
If an audiophile plays test tones in the woods is there anyone to hear the sound of all the date requests that have said "No."?
What neighborhoods piqued your interest in 2007 and again in 2017?
What food in your restaurant would you say is the best?
Also, how often do you eat at your own restaurant?
But I have been told Im more like Tony Stark
SW Detroit is always interesting because it has everything -- vibrant commerce, street life, interesting restaurants, good neighborhoods, a cool mix of people..but it also has crime, gangs and abandonment
4-5 dinners/wk is what I manage. Other nights I'm working on other things (mostly weekdays) and eat somewhere else, including competition
What's your method of choice for cleaning red wine stains out of a carpet?
I recently "explored" Detroit using Google Street View. It's crazy how much empty space there is. With all of that empty space, is there any urban gardening for food production going on?
Such a savvy move. Do you think the competition comes and eats at yours? Do you ever recognize each other?
Water and half a thing of salt
There are many farms, gardens etc. Just google Detroit and agriculture.
Honestly competition looks like the average person. It is only when you go to their place you recognize them
Can you speak of Techno’s significance in Detroit? Do you know if the music industry, particularly this genre is causing any sort of positive economic growth in the city and if so to what degree?
What do you do with the food which is left after end of service? Serve it up again the next day? Have always wanted to know about how such places do with the large quantities of food left after a days end.
Meeting people who were making a living out of flying, flipping and kicking! I was already doing all that and the thought of getting paid and having it bean all day everyday thing......? Whats not to get excited about!
Techno is very significant culturally, and it draws thousands of people from around the world to the annual techno fest in May on the riverfront. But I thunk it's safe to say techno is much more popular in Europe than it is in Detroit
Half of the stuff at the end of the day is reprocessed much like other restaurants, even MCD and Panera Bread. You can turn so much stuff into soup, and will still taste fresh. We mark all our food to make sure that the day old soup, while it would normally last 2 days with fresh ingredients, we would only put out for a day. In almost all cases, the food is eaten and turned over within the next 12 hours by the morning. Stuff like fried food however and mushrooms, have to be thrown away.
Were you ever asked to do something you thought to dangerous? And the obligatory war stories, have you been hurt?
Hi Bill, once a month my fiance and i leave our 9 mile bubble and drive to neighborhoods we have never been to before in Detroit. Do you have any recommendations for specific streets we should drive for any particular reason?
I hated my short time working in the food industry. So many people were demanding, wanted everything for free, and overall just nasty and gross. I always thought the buffett crowd would be extra bad. What is the buffett crowd really like to deal with? Extra points if you throw in your worst and best customer experience in the reply :)
If ever I haven't trusted the set up - I hope I am surrounded by professionals that are wise and cool enough to have that discussion 0 often it just takes minor tweaks to taylor the gag to the person performing it.
Twice I have had serious injuries, once I thought I was invincible and didn't trust my boss and those wiser and more experienced,. The second time, I didn't trust my instinct and question my boss when I should have.
I would drive across Warren, starting in the east, at Mack (the GP city limits) and drive on Warren through Detroit to Dearborn, where it becomes the vibrant main street of Arab America, with restaurants, juice bars, shops etc. Warren in Detroit goes from very blighted to very vibrant.
Some customers will bitch at you and purposely spoil the food in order to get their food for free. Some customers leave out their food at their table for 10 minutes and say it is cold, AFTER THEIR MEAL, and demanding it should be free.
The worst experience was when a customer wanted a take out box from the buffet, which was by weight. He got two huge boxes, and the bill turned out to be higher than the price of the buffet. He argued and started yelling in the whole restaurant that it was a rip off that he took 5 pounds of food (verified on the scale) and should pay more than the buffet price. He said that he could eat more than the amount in the boxes, but it was 5 POUNDS of food! After arguing and initially lowering the price a bit, he threw a fit and wanted the whole 5 pounds of food for free. Regardless, we have a price policy in place, but some just don't want to pay it. If you are going to take your food home, we cannot charge you the buffet price. This was well known before even walking in. Not to throw a fit and bother other customers.
Do you have any recommendations on foods to eat when recovering from injuries?
My mother was born and raised in Detroit, and while I was born there I was not raised there. She has taken me through areas of Detroit where she grew up and I felt rather out of place, not afraid for my life, but feeling like I stuck out like a sore thumb.
Were there areas in Detroit where you felt comfortable, or alternatively areas where you felt that your life was in danger?
Do you have to deal with lower tip percentages based on being a buffet? Ive heard people over the years complain about tipping at buffets because they get up and get their own meal.
Not sure I would call this a recommendation but my boyfriend just reminded me that on Kill Bll after I was injured, they kept me through the end. In Mexico, to drown my injury sorrows, when everyone left for work (at 7am) and I couldn't go, I would put on my togs (bathing suit) and my vacuum sealed plastic arm cast protector, jump in the pool and order chicken quesadillas and a recurring jug of margaritas. Not sure it helped my wrist but im convinced it made me feel better.
I've worked in Detroit for more than 40 years and I literally have never felt in danger. I have always been treated with respect by anyone I met.
Our waiters deal with that, but it turns out to be okay most of the time, as $1pp is on the low end. 1 can handle 10+ tables easy
I loved you work, special Death Proof & Raze and I gotta you done awesome acting and producing and you did directing of Apocalypse Steven Hansen, would you do directing if you could or acting you main thing.
Transplant who moved downtown a year ago; what do you think is the next up and coming area in the next 5 ten years. Both those near the core city (like City Center, Near North, North Corktown, island view) and that a bit further out, Jefferson Chalmers, East English Village, etc.). Anything you see on the cusp of starting to grow but still in the early stages?
what's the best sauce you've found over your life that would make most things taste a lot better?
I figure I am a big enough girl that I can do both!
Jefferson Chalmers has a lot of things going for it -- near the water, next to GP, easy access downtown. There are definitely things happening there, but the neighborhood north of Jefferson is one of the most empty areas in Detroit.
what's something that most audiences don't notice but stunt people do in watching stunts in movies?
What neighborhood would you consider underrated or under-the-radar to most people? Which neighborhood has the most potential to come back in a meaningful way?
Also, whats your favorite street and why is it Woodward?
New techniques. I am often rewinding stuff when Im blown away to see if its done practically or not
Ten years ago, I thought Milwaukee Junction -- north of I-94, east of Woodward and south of E Grand Blvd -- was poised for development because it had some housing and lots of empty buildings, plus it's next to Midtown. That is happening.
Favorite street: I have always liked Corktown, even long before it became hot. In 2007, I wrote that my favorite street was Vinewood in SW Detroit. I like the old houses on it.
In some cases we do let homeless people work for an hour in the back doing dishes for a filling meal and some to go. Free in the sense that you actually cannot afford to pay, which then we will be happy to help you in any circumstance.
Edit: Thanks for gold 2 kind strangers!
I'm a proud Dad to an 8-year-old Roller Derby player. She was inspired by seeing Derby played locally, but has also recently seen Whip It. She had her first 10-point jam just this last week!
What advice can you give someone her age on developing resilience, bravery, or further bad-assery?
Honestly that's really upstanding to hear that you let people who really can't pay work for a meal. I assume since no money changes hands and it's just inventory the gifted food is marked as loss to prevent tax issues?
Thats awesome! I mean, it seems like shes on the right track!
Check in with heraelf on the reg, is she loving what she is doing, who she is surrounded by, is she loving the effect she is having on others - if not what can she do to make it so - as much as poss a soften as poss!
The law might change soon with many companies doing the same for their employees and free meals to be taxed.
Hi, Zoe! Huge fan of your work. Is there anything you're doing that's upcoming that you're really excited about? Thanks :)
I'll ask the hard hitting question here:
The chocolate-vanilla swirl machine. You got one? If so, how often is it out of order? Why is it out of order so god damn much?
Thanks very much! I have just started directing this year - stoked! Keep an eye out first quarter of next year for a little number that I directed with Rosario Dawson as my lead! Also I have three features and two TV shows, one scripted one not, that I hope to get a fire under next year. I would love any and all support I can get - so fingers crossed! Thanks!
The problem with most places run by immigrants is their lack of skills to fix stuff. I can replace a burnt motor easy from yt videos or even call a contractor for severe problems. Some places don't even speak english. My requirement for all staff is that they must have english skills just for the sake of efficiency
Fell in love with the Kiwi accent when I saw you in Death Proof. Was wondering besides clashing knuckles and moving fast, what do you do on your off time? Stuff for fun just for you?
Thank you for running an AMA
If an dish runs out are customers able to request a refill? I've noticed with my local some of the more popular dishes are cleaned out within the first couple hours and then the kitchen never replenishes the dish.
Also maybe your restaurant us different, but I notice the quality of the food during lunch service is higher (and cheaper) than the dinner service why might that be?
Yeah, there is no problem with refills. The only time I don't refill is when it is closing time and it would just make food to give to the table, to reduce wastage. Here is customer satisfaction based on time of day from my sale data.
Hey! I run a restaurant too, is this data collected by your pos? How do you control for cash tips on credit card payments (looks like 0 tip to my system)?
I've always wanted to collect tons of obscure data from my pos - like plotting steak temp vs # of send backs (spoiler - medium well gets the most send backs by far) and use this data to improve service.
We arent allowed at the place we stay. (sad face) But my first ever Cat's name was Negative. Mum thought it was a great name because it was black and white.
It had a bad attitude.
Lots of data processing. PM me if you want some info on how to do it.
How does it feel to know you can kick ass and to do so in such well received projects and films?
Satisfaction rating peaks at 30 o’clock.
4:45 pm - When we put fresh dinner dishes out
What's your profit margin like on sodas? It seems like wait staff always top the glass off with ice and then fill it in with soda to minimize the amount of actual soda you get. Do you guys train them to do this because the margins are so thin?
Mine were never sexual just unpleasant.
Fuck that guy and the lives he has tarnished.
12 cents cost/fill to 1.59 sale price. Good markup assuming they dont get 14 fills.
I had eaten at some bad buffets before where they don’t provide non carbonated drinks. I think it is so people eat lesser food. What the hell. What do you think of this?
It used to be blue - but I think that was just cause t was reserved for the boys. Now I like sunny oranges.
I would assume carbonated drinks take up more space? I think that is why customers feel they are getting ripped off when they get flat soda.
I have had weight loss surgery, which made my stomach quite small, and I only eat 4-6 ounces of food per meal. They gave me a nice little card that explains this. If I came to your restaurant with my family and showed me this card, would you be able to give me a discount, knowing that I would not be able to eat much at all?
(Note: I wouldn't be upset if I had to pay full price, I'm just curious if I should even bother to ask if and when we go to buffets.)
Of course. We let the elderly and disabled have a steep discount as it is good will for more customers and there is a piece of mind someone who is not able to eat is gorging themselves to get their money's worth. It is not right and sets a bad example.