Friday, October 24, 2014

Raja Rani announces closing, then new management

Earlier this week, Raja Rani announced it was closing its doors after over being an Ann Arbor establishment for almost 40 years. The owner Jay Singh said he was unable to come to a new lease agreement with the building owners, which has become a common tale for other downtown establishments. However, in true hero fashion, the owners of Taste of India Suvai on State Street have swooped in and signed a lease, allowing Raja Rani to Rani on.

Both restaurants will stay open! Woooooooooo!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Settlement with Detroit creditor is a significant step toward saving the DIA

Here's some exciting news!

The city of Detroit's bankruptcy trial is winding up, and it was announced last week that the city had reached a settlement with its biggest remaining creditor, FGIC (or "Financial Guaranty Insurance Company").

The settlement allows FGIC to develop a hotel and office and retail space at the Joe Louis Arena site. But I'll quote the most exciting sentence from the Freep here:
FGIC also was the last major creditor pursuing monetization of the Detroit Institute of Arts and its collection of masterworks, making such an option far less likely, said Wayne State University bankruptcy law professor Laura Bartell.

Diag M vandalized

Someone vandalized the bronze "M" on the Diag last night. They painted it green and then added the letters "S" and "U." At time of press, Umich Plant Services had mostly cleaned it all up.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Things to do tonight: Tuesday, October 21

Old Detroit News materials will be transferred to — and preserved by —the Archives of Michigan

This is cool! As The Detroit News prepares to move to Fort Street, they'll give much of their historic material to the Archives of Michigan.

You should check out the Detroit News article for the photos and more details, but here are some highlights:

The archival materials going to the state archives will be properly preserved, and much of the material will be available for online access!

Among the materials are two million typed cards which provide an index into Detroit News stories from the 20th century. These let researchers quickly find every story, on microfilm, related to pretty much any topic, and they'll be online "within two to three months".

The Detroit News's clip file is also going to the state archives in Lansing, and it'll be available for research.

Glass negatives and other historic material will also go to U-M's Bentley Historical Library, The Henry Ford, the Detroit Historical Museum, and the DSO.

…I could go on, but really you should just read the article. Super exciting.

This last bit is sad, though:
One thing that did not turn up in the months-long house cleaning at The News was the Pulitzer Prize public service medal the newspaper won in 1982 for a series by Sydney P. Freedberg and David Ashenfelter that brought to light a coverup by the U.S. Navy of the deaths of seamen aboard ships, and led to significant reforms.
News staffers were used to seeing the medal on the wall by the front lobby elevators, but it disappeared during a renovation of the building in the late 1990s, when the Detroit Free Press was moved into the building. It was Ashenfelter who started asking about it, and it was discovered that in fact, nobody knew where it was.
Ashenfelter is glad to have a certificate from the Pulitzer committee, but as it's not an option to get a replacement, he'd like to see the medal returned to the newspaper. No questions asked.

Monday, October 20, 2014

NNA2 19: Nightmare on First St.

Are you ready for a spooktacular Ann Arbor Nerd Nite, gentle readers? It looks like this Thursday's is going to be great. There are two talks on the science of zombies, but I think that the most interesting might be James Mann's on Coroner’s Court. Via A2NerdNite:

The Coroner’s Court is a now rarely used legal procedure used to investigate a death under mysteries circumstances. The County Coroner, or medical examiner, would impanel a jury, usually six men, who would view the remains, hear witnesses and study the evidence. This was not a trial, as no one was then accused of a crime. The jury was to determine, first, if the person was dead...

Friday, October 17, 2014

Indignation Meeting!

C.Dzomb's awesome post yesterday on old Ann Arbor street names inspired me to do my own looking into the Making of Ann Arbor project. That's where I found this gem. I like the idea of summoning folks to Courthouse Square for an Indignation Meeting. Can we bring these back? Or at least have an annual reenactment of the historic Indignation Meeting of Dec. 20th 1849?

#a2tweetup Monday

Workantile on Main St. is hosting a meetup for us Ann Arbor Twitter-folk at 7pm on Monday (October 20). I’ll be there for a while; hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

1853 map of Ann Arbor from MoAA (also: lost street names)

I stumbled this morning across this amazing 1853 map of Ann Arbor. You can zoom in and browse it in high resolution, but here are some highlights:

The predecessor to the Diag is labeled “Michigan State University;” State Street was called University Avenue.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Be humane not insane

Noticed several of these anti-deer cull posters up on Liberty today. Regardless of your feelings on the state of Ann Arbor's urban deer population, I think we can all agree it's a pretty rare poster that specifically quotes City Council Resolutions.