Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Google, growing up, and growing out (of downtown)

The Freep has ran a story last week about the lack of commercial office space in Downtown Ann Arbor. The piece focuses on Google's announcement recently that they will be moving their Ann Arbor offices from the Google Building to a new local HQ north of the city center. New tech companies have been gobbling up much of the available downtown office space, leaving growing companies little choice other than moving out of downtown. Will we see the downtown construction trend shift away from luxury student high rises?
Average commercial office space rent is about $20 to $25 per square foot in downtown Ann Arbor right now. [McKinley CEO Albert Berriz] said it needs to reach about $40 to $45 to justify new development.
That might not be too far off.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

CivCity on Concentrate

Concentrate last month posted a nice article on The CivCity Initiative, the new project headed by friend of the blog Mary Morgan (of Ann Arbor Chronicle fame).

It’s well worth the read.

Documentary about Ann Arbor's Homeless Community

UM Stamps School student, Viviana Pernot, has just released a documentary that looks at the lives of some members of Ann Arbor's homeless community. Pernot spent three days per week with MISSION members from September through March. The film offers a humanizing look at some members of our community who may often be overlooked and is definitely worth watching.

Via: A2News

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Free Comic Book Day this Saturday

Free Comic Book Day is this Saturdy. You can celebrate by grabbing said free comic books at Vault of Midnight. The State Theater will be joining in the festivities with a special screening of Beetlejuice. I'd strongly recommend checking out one or both events. 

Tonight is First Friday in Ypsilanti

Tonight is the <a href="" target="_blank">First Friday Art Walk</a> in Ypsi. There will be some great venues. You should totally check it out. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

AFC Ann Arbor's Inaugural Game this Friday

Ann Arbor his it's first professional sports team: AFC Ann Arbor is a minor league soccer team playing the Great Lakes Premier League. Their first game will be this Friday at Pioneer's Hollway Field. Tickets start at just $5, which is pretty great. While I am pretty skeptical of the whole Sports Industrial Complex, a local, minor league team is something I can definitely get behind. I'm excited to see where this goes.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Short film about climate change on Lake Michigan

Jason Kohl, a classmate from my undergrad days, has just released a short film about the impacts of global change on Lake Michigan. The Atlantic picked up the 7 minute short. I think you might like it, gentle reader.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Map of Weird Ann Arbor

I stumbled across this Weird Ann Arbor map a while back. There's tons of great, spooky stuff on the map. Did you know that both James A. Garfield and his assassin Charles Guiteau stayed at the same rooming house in Ann Arbor? Did you know that Ann Arbor was home to the first municipal parking structure? This is probably my favorite entrance though:


Claiming the powers of Mesmerism, in which "animal magnetism" can be used to "to control epileptics, cure migranes, and treat femine hysteria," a Mr. L. De Bonderville of Paris is the subject of a series of heated debates between the Michigan Argus and the Michigan State Journal over the months of April and May, 1843.

De Bonderville is beset by the Argus, who claims that any consideration of such claims is both foolish and sacreligious; State Journal argues that animal magnetism and mesmerism has been proven by the Academe of Paris, and that as "scientific" men, the people of Ann Arbor must be open to the use of magnetism.

De Bonderville first refuses to give a public demonstration, having until this point contented himself with entertaining at society homes, then recants and schedules one semi-public performance in front of eight leading Ann Arbor citizens, listed in the State Journal by initial only, but understood to include the Mayor, two judges, and a prominent local educator, in which he uses his mesmerism on the daughter of one of the judges. All men are impressed as the girl enters a trance, and De Bonderville instructs her to raise and lower her body temperature, which she does. Then unspecified other tests are conducted, which the State Journal contends were the very measure of modern science. De Bonderville then gives a larger public performance, drawing a crowd around 100. The performance is, the State Journal reports, well-received, though the Argus contends that there was widespread dissatisfaction with the small results produced by De Bonderville. The Argus supplementally holds that the only people who would be impressed are "Reubens and Yokels," and that such a demonstration happened at all is testament to the gullible and unsophisticated nature of Washtenaw County residents.

The Ann Arbor Argus--the newspaper from the 19th century, not the radical paper of the 20th century--makes a lot of appearance in the stories mentioned in the map.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

A great day for Festifools

Gentle reader, will you be at Festifools this afternoon? The weather could not be better so hopefully I will see you down on Main Street at 4.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Freep: “Enough is enough - pass pro-LGBT laws”

It is time to make the policy changes that would recognize gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people as full and valued members of society. This means granting same-sex couples the right to marry, with the host of legal protections that status conveys. This means conferring civil rights protections. This means taking steps to hasten, not slow, inclusion.
— Detroit Free Press Editorial Board, “Time Michigan got on the right side of history,” April 4 2015.