Thursday, June 30, 2011

Buying local? There's an app for that.



I found this app shamelessly plugged in the comments for an article on the Com. Looks interesting. Maybe it's finally time to get a smartphone.

Ann Arbor hip hop

Friends, have you ever wondered what it would be like if Ann Arbor's neighborhoods had hip hop style rivalries with each other? Well I hadn't either until I stumbled upon local rapper Cromatic's music video "Dapped Up."



Cromatic is representing the west side, the Old West Side according to the chorus. If you see that Taurus wagon rolling down the street in Burns Park, you might want to get behind cover, because it's probably a drive-by. Wouldn't it be great if all the historic districts could produce such great musical acts?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Graffiti in Dexter

From the Com:
A $500 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who wrote graffiti on the Dexter Commerce Building at Baker Road and Main Street in downtown Dexter recently.
Initial reaction: Wow, that must be some bad graffiti.
The article continues:
The graffiti said “there’s always a way up.”
Oh.

Apparently Dexter lacks the high quality graffiti we have in Ann Arbor. Sounds like the market is ripe for an emerging street art scene. Maybe someone could start covering the city with bear stencils.

Hat tip Lizzy

Primitive map



Very basic map found in the Arboretum.

Man in White

This begs the question, are we missing the performance art revolution?

Man In White from Michael Hovitch on Vimeo.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Parenting advice from a hawk



This red-tailed hawk (Buteo jamaicensis)'s fledglings just left their nest in the Arb. If you look closely you can see this parent carefully showing its children (sitting above it in the tree) how to eat a chipmunk after catching it. The message here is clear: parents, if you want your children to be able to catch and eat rodents on their own, you will have to show them how.

DPS Daily Incident Log


As much as the Department of Public Safety's Daily Incident Log is, wouldn't it be interesting if AAPD had something similar? Then again, perhaps we don't want to know about every service call officers go on.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Are you living in a microhood?

Water Hill, Ann Arbor's newest microhood?

What exactly is a microhood? A microhood is a distinctive sub-neighborhood within a bigger established neighborhood. They can be defined strictly by geography or additional features that unify an area. For example, there are the student rental and rich people sections of Burns Park. And of course, there is always the newly minted Water Hill microhood. Are there other microhoods in Ann Arbor? Perhaps we could start calling the area of Washtenaw and Hill with all the sororities and fraternities "Little Athens."

Do you like to water ski?



Nah son.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Smooth transitions



I kind of love the videos made by various U of M departments. Are there any other good YouTube videos by U of M?

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Marcano's



I've been meaning to stop by Marcano's South American Takeout for about a month now. EJ, AW, and I finally made it there last night. The empanadas (especially black bean & white cheese) were delicious and a pretty good deal: for $6.50 you get two large empanadas. The yuca fries with home made katsup were really good too. I'm definitely going to have to go back to check out some of the other menu items. If you go, make sure you try their lemonade. It's just lemons squeezed into sugarcane juice and it's really refreshing.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Small acts of vandalism: mmm...manhole

Please observe the small, thoughtful, act of vandalism at the upper right, in white. Never a more apt description. Found this across the street from Northquad.

The Varsity, new luxury student high-rise

An artists interpretation of the Varsity

Wednesday, a team unveiled plans for a proposed high-rise called the Varsity. The 13-story building would be located just east of the 10-story 411 lofts. Clearly the Varsity is designed to destroy the neighboring high-rise (see above). If approved and built, the Varsity would be the 5th of the recent luxury high-rise targeting students in Ann Arbor. Hopefully this influx of housing might increase competition with other renters resulting in higher quality rentals at lower prices being on the market. That being said, it would be nice to see a greater variety of development happening in Ann Arbor. Perhaps a mixed use building that doesn't just target the wealthiest students.

You can read more about the proposal here and here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Washtenaw Community Members Host Town Hall to Discuss Emergency Manager Law


The Washtenaw Community Action Team (WCAT) is hosting a town hall meeting to discuss the statewide initiative to repeal Public Act 4.

The event will take place at the Ann Arbor Community Center, located at 625 N. Main Street, Saturday, June 25th from 10:30am to 12:30pm.

Featured speakers include:

Chris Savage (Blogger, http://www.eclectablog.com/ --
MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show picked up Savage’s PA-4 coverage bringing it to national attention.

Brandon Jessup (CEO, Michigan Forward) –
Michigan Forward is a Detroit think-tank that launched the campaign to
repeal PA-4. For more information please visit: www.michiganforward.org

David Bates (Ypsilanti Public Schools, President of the Board of Education) --

Background:

Public Act 4 is a new state law that gives controversial powers to emergency managers appointed by the governor to municipalities placed in the receivership of the state.

The EM has broad authority to sell public assets, close schools, shred public contracts and agreements, and dissolve governments and remove elected officials.

A $1.7 billion tax cut for businesses has made a number of Washtenaw County municipalities and school districts at risk of receivership.

PA-4 gained national attention when MSNBC’s The Rachel Maddow Show covered the appointment of Emergency Manager Joe Harris to Benton Harbor in mid-April.

The appointment of emergency managers is anticipated in several Washtenaw County municipalities and school districts. On May 3rd, 2011, the City Council of Ypsilanti issued a formal resolution against
PA-4.

Michigan Forward and a number of statewide coalitions announced an effort to repeal the law on Saturday, June 18th. The Washtenaw County Community Action Team is leading the repeal effort in Washtenaw County.

The Town Hall will provide a forum to educate interested community members and organizations on the implications of the law for Washtenaw County communities, the effort to repeal PA-4, and the opportunity to begin discussing alternatives for Washtenaw County and Michigan communities.

About The Washtenaw Community Action Team (WCAT):

WCAT is a coalition of local unionists, activists, students, workers and community members working together to defend and advocate for working people at the local, state and national level.

Visit the FB Event Page -- http://tinyurl.com/AAPA4rally

An open letter to City Council candidates

Dear City Council candidates,

With the primary election on the 2nd of August, this must be an exciting time of year for you. I realize you are probably spending a great deal of time talking to people, going door to door, and getting ready for next month's debate. I've noticed that some of you (you know who you are!) have neglected to make campaign websites. I know that you probably have a lot on your plate, but making a website is probably good idea if you actually want to win an election. This is especially true for those of you who are challenging incumbents. So how about taking a couple of hours and hammering out a site? I know there are websites out there that are interested in linking to you.

Best,

Ben Connor Barrie

Amococo



You say interactive air-sculpture, I say giant bouncy castle. Regardless, UK based Architects of Air will have Amococo on display at Palmer Filed as part of the Ann Arbor Summer Festival through this Sunday, June 26th. Admission is $5 and the bouncy castle is open from 4:00 pm to 9 pm.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Jason Segel, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt and Alison Brie walk into a bar

And that bar is Circus. They proceed to serenade a bachelorette party. Check it out:

Say Yes To The Dress(es)

Calling all brides and their ladies-in-waiting: The Gown Shop on Main Street, Ann Arbor's answer to the high demand for fancy-pants wedding dresses, is hosting several trunk shows over the next few weeks. The next one, Modern Trousseau, begins on Friday, and promises both bridal gowns and dresses for their mothers. Which, you know, implies plenty of inter-generational fun! (read: ripe for mother-daughter angst.)

Because I am not a bride, and because I am afraid of pulling a Bridesmaids and pooping in a couture gown that is not mine, I have not yet forayed into The Gown Shop's territory. But I have thought about it, many, many times, especially when I am kind of drunk and eating frozen yogurt late at night.

And so I would encourage you ladies to make an appointment with your girlfriends - whether you're engaged, married, divorced, single, whatever - and try on some gorgeous dresses and get tipsy on champagne for the hell of it. So that I may live vicariously through you.

You'll want to note that shopping at The Gown Shop requires making an appointment in advance, which I gather is kind of the norm for this sort of thing.

Here is a dress in the window that I'm kind of in love with, even though it's strapless, and thanks to Duchess Kate strapless dresses are SO OVER:




Skate Witches

Prepare to have your mind blown. Skate Witches is a (very) short film about a female skateboard gang shot on the Diag in 1986.

Skate Witches from danny plotnick on Vimeo.



Wow. Is that what the 1980s were like? Full of rats and dudes in short shorts?

Hat tip jimchuck

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Tumbling the Summer Festival



The Ann Arbor Summer Festival has a tumblr. It's a pretty cool little chronicle of the goings on at the fest. If you have participated in the activities that have been happening at Top of the Park and beyond, check it out. You might be in one of the pictures.

City Council finally approves medical marijuana ordinances

After months of voting to delay consideration of two city ordinances concerning medical marijuana, the City Council approved rules governing grow operation and dispensary zoning and the licensing of dispensaries. Wow. All in all, the rules look pretty reasonable: 20 licenses for dispensaries for the first year of the program and a review board to approve license applications. No dispensaries or cultivation operations within 1000 ft of schools or in property zoned residential. I wonder if this includes plants grown personally by medicinal marijuana patients. It seems like a patient growing their own plants in their basement wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.

Monday, June 20, 2011

V2V: Not Impossible For Grad Students To Shop In

I kept seeing well-heeled ladies schlepping green V2V bags around town, so I decided to head over to the shop in Kerrytown Market to see what all the fuss was about.

V2V is very pleasant, visually speaking: high ceilings, big windows, kind of like a more homespun Anthropologie. And the first item I stumbled upon in the store was pretty and simple - a perfectly fine summer tank top. But when I looked at the price tag, I blanched. Two hundred bucks? No, thank you. Unless it's edible and fuels my car's engine, too.

I almost walked out right then - fatigued, as I am, by the glut of charming, overpriced boutiques in town. But after touring half the store that seemed to only confirm my destitution, I discovered that the other half is much more affordable. Fifty dollar dresses, sale racks - a grad student's jackpot!

A lot of the stuff was still pretty pricey. (I don't care how cute you are, sweater: I am not paying one hundred and fifty dollars for you.) And some of the too-short dresses looked absurd on this reporter's long legs. Still, I walked out of the store with a sweet summer cardigan in tow and supported a small local business. And now I can schlep around with one of their trendy green bags, too.

City Council 6/20: Medical Pot Saga to Conclude?

City Hall. 7 pm - ? No cover.
Full agenda
Highlights:
  • Skatepark update
  • Medical marijuana (potential finale; see the Chronicle)
  • Stormwater rate increases
  • Landscaping ordinance changes
  • 2011 budget amendments
  • Best of the consent agenda: resolution to purchase carbon dioxide for water treatment at $49/ton

Keeping up with the Dexter Bear

How do you keep track of Washtenaw County's favorite Ursus americanus? If you are the DNR, you set a live trap in the hopes of putting a radio collar on the bear. The rest of us can just follow the Dexter Bear via its Twitter account: @DexterMiBear.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The A.V. Club is coming to Ann Arbor

The Onion's A.V. Club is setting up shop in Ann Arbor. This is how we know we've made it to the big leagues.

Hat tip G$

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The art of seduction, part II


A followup to yesterday's post. Looks like true love on Ann Arbor's Missed Connections.

Previously: The art of seduction

Swallow



I've spotted this swallow tag around town in a few places. I like how they make the L's into the silhouette of a swallow.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Lightning Love at Metal Frat Sat



Lightning Love is playing a show at the Metal Frat tomorrow night. If it's a typical Metal Frat show, doors open at 8 pm $5 cover. Check it out!

LIGHTNING LOVE "GOOD TIME" from KATIE BARKEL on Vimeo.

The art of seduction



Clearly this woman knows the way to a man's heart. Via Ann Arbor's Missed Connections.

Bike Porn: Pink chain fixie



Spotted this orange fixie sporting a nice pink chain in front of Pangea Piercing last weekend.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

CATSWAP!



Where and when folks? I've totally got some cats I'd like to swap out.

City council smackdown

Saturday's candidate forum was not really a smackdown, more a stating of opinions. As per usual, the Ann Arbor Chronicle has great in depth coverage of the event broken down by primary competition. You should check it out so that you will be informed when you vote on August 2.

Ward 2: Tim Hull v. Stephen Rapundalo

Ward 3: Ingrid Ault v. Marwan Issa v. Stephen Kunselman

Ward 5: Mike Anglin v. Neal Elyakin

I've tried to link to as many of the candidates campaign websites as possible, but I haven't been able to find all of them. If you know of one that I'm missing, please let me know. Remember, if you register to vote by July 5th, you can vote in the primary. Independent candidates have through August 15th to register their candidacy.

Hott 2 Trott



Looks like Ann Arbor's got a new monthly dance party. This one with rainbow unicorns.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Summer's NOT a bummer

Especially if you know how to kick it on the Huron River!



Go find a kayak, canoe, or pedal boat. Keeps you cool while you read a good book! Make sure you pick out something from the Damn Arbor Official Summer Reading Lists:
May I suggest Into the Beautiful North by Luis Alberto Urrea, the Nick Adams Stories by Ernest Hemingway, and Our Band Could Be Your Life by Michael Azerrad?

[Photo via Mouse]

Thanks, Emily. We like you too.



Emily Blunt commenting on filming Five Year Engagement in Ann Arbor. From NYMag.

Summer wines from Wine State of Mind

Ann Arbor has its very own wine video blogger, Davis Smith. On his vlog, Wine State of Mind, Davis unleashes his unbridled enthusiasm for and considerable knowledge of wine. I often feel like fancy wines (wines costing more that $8 per bottle) are a little daunting. Davis' videos make me feel like I could appreciate fancier wines without being pretentious.

Wine State of Mind TV, Episode #11: Chilean Sauvignon Blanc from Davis Smith on Vimeo.

Hostel Detroit

Mowtown to Tree Town has a great interview with Hostel Detroit general manager Michel Francois Soucisse. Hostel Detroit is a non-profit hostel in north Corktown that just opened April 15th. From the sound of it, the hostel has hit the ground running and has been completely booked several times. From the interview:
Do you anticipate your guests coming with or without cars? For those not driving: how do you anticipate they will get there, & how will they get around?

Many of our guests so far have been international travelers without automobiles. Once they arrive, a few different options are available to them. There are a few nearby taxi-cab companies and bus routes, but the best way to see Detroit is by bicycle. Our city is enormous, so often walking isn’t feasible. Driving in a car, even as a passeger, often doesn’t give you the chance to appreciate all of the gorgeous details and textures Detroit has to offer, so to that end we have on-site bike rentals. They’ve been incredibly popular.


Sounds pretty cool. Getting more and diverse tourists into Detroit seems like a great way to stimulate businesses and improve the city's image. On a related note, for those of you interested in things like urban development in Ann Arbor and Detroit, I highly recommend reading Motown to Tree Town. It's a great blog.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Scraper bike spotted in Ann Arbor



Imagine my joy at spotting a genuine scarper bike on the Diag this afternoon. For those of you who are a little rusty on your Hyphy (Bay Area hip-hop) slang, "scrapers" are cars (usually GM sedans from the late 80's early 90's) sporting audaciously large rims--20" at the very least. Scraper bikes get their name form their wheel's similarity to the wheels of a scraper (car). The scraper bike movement was started by Tyrone Stevenson in Oakland, California. He and some friends started to decorate their bike wheels with old candy wrappers and aluminum foil. The popularity of the bikes grew rapidly and soon the Scraper Bike Non-profit was born. The group works to provide youth from undeserved neighborhoods in Oakland a positive extracurricular outlet and positive social network all while promoting sustainable transit. From their blog:
The Scraper Bike Movement seeks to capture the creativity of youth living within dangerous communities. It gives them a positive outlet that is fun, educational, and promotes healthy lifestyles. The Scraper Bike Movement offers youth a sustainable group of peers that is positive and motivating. We want to expand and enlighten young peoples perspective on life through fixing and painting bicycles. Our goal is to support youth entrepreneurship and cultural innovation.

Make sure you check out the scraper bike music video and the documentary Scrapetown after the jump. Hopefully we'll be seeing more hella cool scraper bikes around town.

Juneberries



Juneberries (Amelanchier sp.) are awesome and the ones around town are almost ripe. I tried some of them from a bush in front of the library last summer. The fruit is delicious--blueberry applesauce. There are several juneberries/serviceberries around Ann Arbor: some by the lot on Forth and William and some between the Dana Building and the Chemistry Building. I'm sure you can find many more around town. Make sure you get a positive ID before you eat the fruit thought:

Leaves are simple, alternate and serrated
Bark is smooth and gray with darker gray striations
Fruit is a pome (like a miniature apple), reddish purple when ripe

Happy foraging.

Two guides to Ann Arbor

Today we bring you two video guides to Ann Arbor. The first video, entitled All About the City of Ann Arbor, is brought to you by the fine folks at Rackham.

If I had seen this video before starting grad school, I might not have moved back to Ann Arbor. The video makes Ann Arbor and grad student life at U of M just seem so boring.

The second is a travel guide of sorts. It seems like someone or something just ripped pictures from the Wikipedia page for Ann Arbor and had a computer read the corresponding text. People, this is what happens when you let robots make movies:



Gentle reader, do you have a favorite guide to Ann Arbor or a favorite Ann Arbor YouTube video?

Monday, June 13, 2011

UFO sighting in Ann Arbor?

Red orbs floating in the sky

According to x-unclassified, there was a UFO sighting in Ann Arbor the night of June 11th. Holy crap, that was last Saturday! Somebody call Special Agent Fox Mulder. He'll get to the bottom of this. From the post:
“At around 8pm, a single sphere like object had come over the tree line and jutted down in a quick motion and then continued on in a straight path. Soon after, 4 more objects appeared with the first three in a triangular pattern with two following. After about 2 or 3 minutes of the objects moving slowly through the sky, they were gone.”


“About an hour later, all five reappeared from the same spot on the tree line, this sighting is from when the pics were taken. The first pic was underexposed to stop the movement, whereas the other two were with a slower shutter to capture the light too. (1st pic is a 1/160 second two (taken a second apart) were at 1/8). Again, after moving slowly through the sky, they one by one disappeared. I again saw them at around 11:20pm. Once again, came out of the same part of the treeline, moved across the sky for about 2-3min and vanished.”

Sounds pretty serious. Gentle readers, did any of you see these strange red orbs? Were any of you abducted?

This Ain't No Nasty Nacho Cheddar



Heaven.
Nirvana.
Shangri-La.
The other side.
Reunification with the Oversoul.
An unlimited supply of sangria and a bendy straw.

Whatever your idea of the absolute pinnacle of bliss, I found mine on Sunday on Main Street.
It came in an unassuming paper to-go cup of the type commonly found at Washtenaw Dairy.
It came with a white plastic spoon of the type commonly found everywhere.

It was chilled cherry soup with a balsamic swirl.

The sweetness of the pureed cherries was perfectly balanced by the rich, salty zing of the balsamic, and the texture was light and smooth without being frothy.

Issues 2011

With this handy map you can figure out what Ward you live in

Full disclosure: I did not attend the Ann Arbor Democratic Party's City Council candidate forum. I've heard there might be a video of the forum lurking out there somewhere. If anybody knows where to find such a video, drop me a line.

Democratic city councilpersons Stephen Rapundalo (Ward Two), Stephen Kunselman (Ward Three), and Mike Anglin (Ward Five) face challengers in the Ann Arbor's August 2nd primary election. On Saturday, June 11th, these incumbents and their challengers attended a forum hosted by the Ann Arbor City Democratic Party. Based on this article from the Com, it seems like there were a few major issues that the candidates discussed at the forum.

The city's relationship with Ann Arbor's Downtown Development Authority

The DDA and the City have recently struck a deal where in exchange for an increased share of downtown parking revenues, the City has granted the DDA authority to set downtown parking hours and rates. My Ann Arbor political barometer senses that there are rumblings of discontent about this from city residents. Based on comments I've read on the Com there seems to be a group of people that are unhappy that "an unelected body has so much power in Ann Arbor." I also think that recent financial negotiations between the city and the DDA have stressed the relationship between these two groups. Incumbent Councilman Kunselman (HA!), 3rd Ward, expressed that he thinks there is redundancy between the DDA and the city, and that the DDA wastes money on luxuries. He is in favor of downsizing the DDA. One of Kunselman's opponents, Ingrid Ault, former interim director of the Ypsilanti DDA and current executive director for Think Local First, expressed a similar point of view saying that it might be good to "rein [the DDA] in."

City Budget Cuts

The city has been forced to cut its budget recently and with that there have been cuts to services. A contentious issue has been cuts to the police and fire departments amounting to the loss of thirty-some odd positions over the next two years, unless police and fire unions agree to concessions. There has been a lot of discussion about how to balance the city's budget while maintaining aging infrastructure and city services. It's a sticky situation, and (based on the quotes in the Com's article) it seems like none of the candidates have said anything concrete so far.

What should be done with the Library Lot

Oh sweet Library Lot. Soon you will no longer be a sinkhole generating pit, threatening to swallow Earthen Jar and Jerusalem Garden. Soon we will have to decide what to do with you. At the forum the candidates tossed around some general ideas about the property such as maximizing tax collection.

Overall I feel like a comment about the Com's article by David Cahill sums up the forum pretty well: "This is good coverage of an event that was not contentious. The candidates went out of their way not to attack each other." Despite the article's title, Candidate Forum brings out the differences among Ann Arbor City Council candidates, and it seems like at this point there are few substantial differences between these candidates.

If you are a resident of Ann Arbor, you can register to vote through July 5th and be eligible to cast a ballot in the August 2nd primary. Please consider voting. Turnouts are generally small so individual votes have large impacts. Yousef Rabhi's victory in last year's democratic primary turned on a single vote.

Nirvana at the Blind Pig

Here's one for all you grunge fans out there. Nirvana's infamous 1990 show at the Blind Pig. The entire video is almost 50 minutes long. Tons of great flannel and headbanging.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Upper Midwest Solidarity

Okay, so Wisconsin isn't Michigan. But if you ask any coastie, they'll tell you they're basically the same state. And if that is true, it is our duty as Ann Arborites to support the awesome Bon Iver. Justin Vernon still makes his home (Still! Even though he's superdupercoolandfamous!) in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. You have to love that kind of Midwesterner.



The band's second record is streaming right now on NPR's First Listen, and I highly recommend checking it out. Risky, gorgeous music. Record drops on June 21.

Michigan versus Ohio State

For all you sports and history fans out there. The Michigan versus Ohio State football game from 1927.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Hipster-chic Bookshelf

I don't know if this person is doing a great job selling their old bookshelf. Via Ann Arbor's Craigslist:
I no longer need my super trendy white bookshelf! This hipster-chic piece can be used to display a variety of items aimed at impressing your super uppity friends!!

$30.00, you pick-up (I can help load), cash only (yada, yada, yada...you know how CL transactions work).

Email me if you would like to take a look, I am always on my computer, anxiously checking my friend's statuses on FB


Election Season



Election season is upon us. The Com's Election 2011 graphic above makes it official. Of the five city council members up for reelection, three face challengers in the August 2nd primary. For those of you new to Ann Arbor politics, the Democratic Primary is often more important than the actual election in the fall. Today from 10:30 am until noon the Ann Arbor City Democratic Party is hosting a candidates forum at the Community Center. It will be interesting to see what issues come up as the most important.

Friday, June 10, 2011

the LOCAL BAZAAR



Need an outfit for Under the Sea Bang? Check out the LOCAL BAZAAR tomorrow at the Yellow Barn. From their Facebook page:
The Yellow Barn hosts: the LOCAL BAZAAR! Our second event is right around the corner and we would love to see you there! Come visit us at the Yellow Barn on June 11th from 12-7pm. Vintage vendors alongside handmade artisans and fine artists, we'll have it all! Throughout the summer the Yellow Barn will be hosting the LOCAL BAZAAR! the second Saturday of every month. Please email us a streetheartgallery@gmail.com for information about getting involved.

It is possible for artists to support themselves solely through sales of handmade goods and fine art and we want to help support this idea. We want to encourage local artists to sign up each month to sell their goods and support their careers in the arts along with our local vintage vendors that will help promote the benefit of buying and wearing recycled clothing. Ann Arbor can benefit from our events because there is nothing quite like it!

Sounds like a pretty cool event.

Look of the Day

Another duet featured for the look of the day. Meet Pablo (L) and Bobby (R), sartorialists extraordinaire:


Classic Ann Arbor look, don't you think? Hip without being too precious about it, casual and laid-back. Although some would argue that the straw fedora is SO 2010 (I don't know who they are, but I'll bet they're out there somewhere), I totally dig it.

Gentlemen, get inspired by these two. If you don't have a pair of khaki shorts yet, I suggest you invest in some that are sans cargo pockets.


[Pablo and Bobby, students/P's shirt and hat: Urban Outfitters/P's shorts: Gap/P's shoes: Bivouac/B's shirt/shoes/sunglasses: Urban Outfitters/B's shorts: unknown (cutoffs)/B's bag:vintage]


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Spotted

Five Year Engagement filming outside of Zingerman's this afternoon...


Look of the Day

OH MY.


Nothing like seeing an adorable baby and matching mother to start your day off on the right foot. Spotting little A.J. in his stroller reminded me of how much I'd like to be rolled around on a plush chair all day, even if it meant sacrificing full control of my bowel movements.

The moral of this story, besides the fact that babies are much more than just awesome accessories but are also kinda awesome accessories, is this: button-downs with little trucks on them=best trend of the summer.

[Lydia, mom, and A.J., baby extraordinaire/Lydia's shirt: Nordstrom/Lydia's jeans: TJ Maxx/A.J.'s truck shirt: resale store/A.J.'s pants: Target]

Fresh Concepts



Fresh Concepts is tomorrow night at the Elks Lounge from 9:30 til 2:00. From the Facebook page:
Come check out some fresh new flavors of ground breaking music by talented musicians from around the area. Glass Eels, Anonymous Touch, Daytime Television, JDSY & And How (from Chicago) will be filling the Elks Lodge with all types of new sounds that are sure to fill your appetite. It will be a good time to see friends and have a nice time. See y'all there!

Should be a fun time.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DXA2 2011

This past Sunday was the annual Dexter to Ann Arbor half marathon, 10k, and 5k runs. The poison I picked was of the 13 mile variety (more on this later). What I heard, word of mouth, at the start was that over 4,000 people had registered for the race. It certainly looked it: a long corral of people outside a public school in Dexter, stretching as far as the eye could see, idly pacing in place to the tune of "Eye of the Tiger" and its ilk. Pretty exciting stuff.

This is me, disoriented and in pain.

I haven't run in a distance race since 2002, but the DXA2 run was probably the best reintroduction to the sport I could hope for. Everyone was in a really good mood and happy to be out there. My time was not record-breaking —2:17 for the half — but friend of Damn Arbor and occasional contributor, Adam Warner, placed in the top 10 for his age group in the 10k.

You ca

Look of the Day

As I was sweatily laying in bed last night, with two fans blowing on me and the hum of an ancient/useless air conditioner in the background, I couldn't help but think to myself, "WTF SPRING?!"

So it's our girl Catherine FTW here today, dressed in a cool, breathable white dress. And I doubt my boyfriend is the only one jealous of her look. "I wish guys wore more dresses," he confided in me after I snapped Catherine's picture, "they're so much better ventilated than shorts."

Here, here to that. I'll be the one trolling the streets today in a giant muumuu and a handheld fan.



[Catherine Berlucchi, buyer/manager, Allure Boutique/dress: BCBGeneration/purse: BCBG/sandals: Juicy Couture/belt: vintage]

Calling All Culture Vultures

The Michigan Theater's Summer Classic Film Series, sponsored by Bell's, has an amazing line-up of movies over the next few months. You know, the kind of movie that you always meant to see but never got around to seeing. And rightfully so, as you tend to gravitate toward groundbreaking contemporary works like The Hangover II, and maybe Kung Fu Panda.

So here's your chance to figure out why everybody quotes The Godfather in a raspy voice, to discover Liz Taylor before she became mega-famous in National Velvet, and finally to see that movie you think you read the Cliff's Notes for at some point, The Grapes of Wrath.

I went and checked out Godard's Breathless last night, and despite some of the amateurish editing and cheesy violence, I thought it was pretty great. And now when I'm at dinner parties, I can constantly drop words like "Godard" and "French New Wave" and pretend that I know what I'm talking about.

Restaurant Week is coming



That's right folks, Restaurant Week starts this Sunday. Time to start making reservations and sewing elastic waistbands into your pants.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Look of the Day

Lest you manly bros think that this blog is neglecting your sartorial achievements, please, behold the power of polo:




If even the bedazzled spandex- and hot pants-loving crowd over at American Apparel is digging the preppy look for this summer, you know you've got a trend. By keeping the shorts tailored here, Ben avoids looking too much like a Nattie-drinking frat boy. Not that there's anything wrong with Nattie-drinking frat boys. We at Damn Arbor don't believe in discrimination...not even over bad beer.

[Ben Pierce, graduate student/shirt + shorts: J. Crew/shoes: Born, c/o Rue La La/sunglasses: Ray-Bans, c/o Amazon]

Fracking in Michigan



While I was driving up to U of M's Bio Station yesterday with my lab, we passed a convoy of a dozen or so Superior Well Services trucks transporting heavy equipment north along I-75. Their Pennsylvania plates made me think "fracking" and a glance at their website confirmed my suspicions. I know hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is supposed to be "completely safe" with "no chance of ground water contamination." But if you look at the legacy that Fracking has left in Pennsylvania, it seems like the industry might be painting a rosy picture. It could turn out that fracking is completely safe, but lets do through studies and make sure that this is the case before we risk contaminating Michigan's greatest natural resource.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Spotted in the District


Oberon - it's available in bottles on the Eastern Seaboard!

City Council 6/6: Design Finale & Marijuana

Better to have this late than never. 7 pm, City Hall.
Full agenda

Highlights:
  • Public hearing and Council vote on downtown design review board (goal: better buildings)
  • Public hearing on tax exemption for Sakti3 (electric vehicle battery firm)
  • Medical marijuana licensing, continued
  • First readings on water rate increases and landscaping code revisions
  • Approval of Stadium Bridges reconstruction agreement
  • Best of the consent agenda: purchase of 13 drinking fountains

Look of the Day

Hey y'all,

I'm Sally, one of these 'new faces' of Damn Arbor that all you readers have been desperately waiting for. In future posts you'll be learning more fascinating things about me: the books I'm planning on reading, the movie stars I'm planning on stalking, etc.

But for now let's talk about a new project I'll be undertaking this month: documenting Ann Arbor's summer street style. Every day I'll be stopping someone on the street to snap a photo and chat about what/who you beautiful, educated, sweaty citizens are wearing.

So let's get to it, shall we? Meet Dani, a sweet undergrad at the U of M who's rocking one of those huge, floppy hats that I'm currently loving. Not only do they protect your face (which is slowly getting etched by crow's feet) from the sun, but they also make it possible to leave the house without ever washing your hair. A whole nest of birds could be under there, and nobody would know.



[Dani Wilson, undergraduate/dress: H&M/hat: Gap/bag: original, from Kenya/shoes: Charlotte Russe]


New restaurant Mani is the perfect man


That is, of course, if your perfect man gives you quality food that isn't so expensive that you feel guilty and is - most importantly - Mediterranean.

Fellow Damn Arborite Joshua Stoolman and I visited Mani Osteria and Bar on its two-week anniversary at 341 E. Liberty St., right across from Bar Louie and Liberty Plaza. Their location has been a great many things, according to Josh, including a furniture store, and all of them have failed. Before you tell me, "Uh, duh, they're not there anymore, of course they failed," let
me remind you that businesses can move. Check, mate. Anyway, the two of us are hoping that Mani proves to be the business that really makes a go of the place, considering it's shmamazing location.

Plus, the place is made for, well, us, I guess.

Summer Reading List: Benji

When Erika initially proposed the idea of Damn Arbor summer reading lists, she was pretty specific that it should include Michigan-oriented works. Since BCB went pretty far afield of that criterion, I'm going to get even more outlandish.

Law school has essentially made me hate reading. The mechanical movements that my eyes go through are the same whether I'm reading casebooks or literature, so the whole experience got pretty unpleasant starting around the end of 2008. That said, I'm trying to rebound, and get back to the basics of what initially made me an avid reader when I was but a wee tyke.

And thus, Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time cycle.


Prosaic? Yes. Overly self-serious and self-indulgent? Definitely. High literature? Probably not. I'm going to reread the whole thing. At approximately around 11,000 pages, 4 million words, and over 17 days worth of audio book this is a pretty big goal, but June has only just begun and I'm on book four, so I'm optimistic.

So far the series reads a little differently than I remember from my middle school days, but I'm still enjoying it 15 years later.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sprawl



About a week or so ago, I found myself stranded at the Botanical Gardens with no bike and no ride. No big deal I decided, I'll just walk back to campus. As I walked down the narrow shoulder of Dixboro Road, past the National Sanitation Federation and several subdivisions, I wondered why would people ever build so much in a place that was so hard to walk to. It just seemed like lack of foresight. Thanks goodness for Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson. He explains that sprawl is not something to be feared, but rather the physical manifestation of the American Dream. Those that detest sprawl and malign it are nothing more than pinkos. Thanks L. Brooks!

Hat tip Motown to Treetown