Saturday, June 30, 2012

Food Trucks

Found Michigan has an interesting interview with Leslie Narsisian-Voss, who runs a falafel truck in Grand Rapids and Traverse City. In the interview, they discuss the legal gray area in which food trucks operate and in particular recent legislative developments in G-Rap. From the article:
So are food truckers on their way to Grand Rapids? The short answer: Maybe. Last week, the Grand Rapids City Commission voted to allow food trucks on private property in the downtown area under certain—and arguably prohibitive—restrictions, but stopped short of giving food truckers the change that they say could really help their businesses: carte blanche access to city streets. “I’m getting a lot of people saying ‘Congratulations!’” says Molly Clauhs, owner of the Silver Spork, a Grand Rapids food truck. “But it’s like saying ‘Congrats, you broke your foot; at least it wasn’t your leg.’” Vendors and their followers worry now that the city will consider the issue resolved and stall on comprehensive food cart policy that eases tensions between food vendors and brick and mortar restaurateurs. “I’m sure in a couple years they’ll look at it again,” Clauhs says, “but a couple years is a long time when you’re a young entrepreneur.”
So Gentle Readers, what's your take on food trucks? Love 'em? Hate 'em?

Friday, June 29, 2012

Place that photo: Ann Arbor ruin porn?

Ahh, them were the days. No branding. Just straightforward, we've got some cars, you need 'em, come on down. I'd like there to be more places like this, and I'd like them to be very specific. Get Yer Glasses! Pick Some Toothpaste! Find A Button For Those Pants You Need To Fix! Boom. Economy fixed.

Can you place where this photo was taken? Great, let us know where, and put your Twitter handle in there too. If you're the first to get it right, we'll damn you on our Twitter feed. If you don't leave your Twitter thang, we'll just damn your damn name.

The last PTP was taken inside that all-window attachment of Liberty Lofts, right by the railroad tracks.

Macbeth in West Park

If you haven't quite had your fill of local theater, you can always check out Blackbird Theatre's staging of the Scottish Play. The show is this Friday and Saturday and starts at 7 pm. You can get more information on the Com's article about the play and see some sweet pictures on the show's Tumblr.

German Park tomorrow

Bust out your dirndl and dust off your lederhosen, this seasons first German Park is tomorrow night! For those of you not in the know, German Park is a fun filled night of German food and dancing. Doors open at 4, $5 cover, no one under under 21 without parents.

Image via Pfadilederhosentom

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Jill Jack at Sonic Lunch today

Singer-Songwriter, Jill Jack, will be playing Sonic Lunch today at noon. Food is being provided by The Lunch Box and drinks from Mighty Good. Oh, and in case you missed it, here is a video of Mitch Ryder playing Devil in a Blue Dress at last week's Sonic Lunch.

Emergent Arts presents Yankee Tavern

Have you already seen The Mute Quire, but are still itching to see some local theater this weekend? Fear not gentle reader, Yankee Tavern is here!

A man walks into a bar…..In the soon to be demolished Yankee Tavern, the owner, Adam, is a grad student (thesis on conspiracy theories) whose father died the day after 9/11. His father’s best friend Ray is a Teller of Tall Tales, every bar has one, an habitual weaver of the most intoxicating of conspiracy theories: JFK; the moon landing; most of all, 9/11. The owner’s fiancĂ© Janet spars with both men, almost comically revealing layers of deception all around her. Then a mysterious stranger walks in, revealing inexplicable connections between this young couple’s future and shadowy events surrounding the national tragedy. He is a Master Teller of Tales. He tempts us with the ennobling status of secret knowledge, straight from the Master’s mouth, plus a little bonus: the thrill of further danger to come. And we listen.
Sounds intense.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Reskilling Festival coming up

Looks like there will be some pretty sweet classes at the Summer Reskilling Festival, including fire making. The festival is July 15th and you can sign up for classes here

Go (Mid)west young man

Interesting video from Palo Alto's local CBS affiliate showing Ann Arbor Spark promoting our city to folks out in Silicon Valley. Is the weather here such a big deal for folks out in Cali? I guess it helps separate the wheat from the chaff. I am glad to see the local and regional tech community growing.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

New Theatre Project Fundraising Campaign

Ypsi's New Theater Project, some of the folks behind The Mute Quire, are currently seeking funds for their third season. For more information check out the above video, or their IndieGoGo page. Hurry! there are just 6 more days for them to reach their goal.

Special Thursday show for Mute Quire

This just in: due to the unprecedented success of the Mute Quire this past weekend, Fratellanza will be adding an additional performance this Thursday Night. The event will be pay what you can. Also, you might want to consider showing up well before 8 because the shows have been selling out.

You can read our review of the show here. In short, it's great and y'all should see it.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Mystery lyric

Saw this poster up the other week at Sweetwaters. Here's the video clip that goes along with it:

My guess is the beeped out lyric is actually "Beep." For more information check out Steve Fentress' website.

Capture the Flag

Local raconteur and Zerspanungsmechaniker Ian Mays is the twisted mind behind Ann Arbor's Capture the Flag league, with games held in the Nichols Arboretum. The third match is tonight at 6 - anyone interested in joining in should meet at the Geddes Avenue entrance. There will be a DA contingent in attendance, we hope.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Rude Girl, Rude Boys

Looks like there are still some second wave ska fans out there. Or at least there are some in Ypsi, where I found this stencil.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Camp Take Notice Rally and march to Snyder's House this evening

As I write this, supporters of Camp Take Notice, are gathering at Geddes Dam for a rally and then March to Gov. RySny's house at 5:00. My mom emailed me the following:
Although the State of Michigan plans to remove Camp Take Notice on Friday, June 22nd, [today] there will be a last ditch effort to appeal to Governor Snyder. Supporters of Camp Take Notice are planning to gather at the Geddes Dam for a rally at 3:45/4:00 Friday afternoon (6/22). At the rally people will have an opportunity to write letters to the governor telling him about the good work Camp Take Notice does and requesting his support for the continuation of the homeless settlement. Then around 5:00 the group will head off from Geddes Dam along Dixboro Road to Geddes Road to deliver the letters to Governor Snyder's gated community.

You can call 734-216-5166 or 845-649-0966 to connect with the rally.

Supporters of Camp Take Notice are being asked to call:

Gov. Snyder at 517-373-3400, 517-335-7858

Rep. Mark Ouimet at 855-627-5052, 517-373-0828 (especially if you are in his District)

Rep. Rebecca Warren at 517-373-2406

Also, @localinannarbor tweeted a link to this cool video shot at CTN last summer:

If you want to know, in depth why I support CTN, please read this.

Fake headlines

The satirical News of Ann Arbor has really stepped up its game. Here are some of my favorite headlines from the last month or so:

Mayor: Next Ann Arbor marathon must be no longer than 15 miles
Fifth Avenue reopens as voluntary pedestrian mall
Ann Arbor voted top place to write top-ten lists
Graffiti: Hate crime or crime against humanity?
Developers seek anti-bullying legislation from City Council
Keep up the good work News of Ann Arbor.


Spotted this rather large stencil on the corner of Geddes and Observatory.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Verve Pipe, Story Collider and Rag Birds tonight

If you are looking to get into some trouble tonight you can choose from any number of events. At 7 pm the Verve Pipe are playing at the Event of Main Street. Also at 7 pm Story Collider has a live show, Breakthroughs, at Live. Finally the Ragbirds are playing tonight at Top of the Park. They take the stage at 8pm. Festival season is truly upon us. Get out and enjoy the summer.

On a side note, the Verve Pipe's Brian Vander Ark was briefly following us on Twitter. I'm not sure what we did to prompt the un-follow, but Brian if you are reading this and would like to grab a beer after the show, just hit us up.

The Art of Local this Sunday at The Produce Station

Pop Up A2, some of the folks behind the Dirty Wolverine III, are hosting a pop-up art show at The Produce Station this Sunday.

The event starts at 2 pm and features local music, local art and local food. Abigail Stauffer, Appleseed Collective and Leith Al-Saadi will be providing the tunes. Looks like this will be a really fun event. Even better, you can squeeze it in before checking out The Mute Quire Sunday evening.

Mitch Ryder at Sonic Lunch today

Yes, that Mitch Ryder. Food by Conor O’Neill’s, beverages by Roos Roast. More info here.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

The Mute Quire, a review

Monday night, EJ and I had the immense pleasure of attending the opening performance of The New Theater Project's presentation of Fratellanza's The Mute Quire. The play was thoroughly enjoyable and I highly recommend you see it this weekend. Seriously, this play reminded me of just how wonderful, entertaining, engaging and dynamic theater can be. But alas, I am getting ahead of myself.

The Mute Quire is an original play by brothers and Fratellanza co-artistic directors, Jim and Paul Manganello. The story centers around the circumstances surrounding the publication of Shakespeare's First Folio. One of the two fools from the King's Men sells the rights to Shakespeare's plays to a printer's apprentice. Jaggard, the bind printer, is an avid follower of Shakespeare's work but despises "As You Like It."

Sturgeon spanwing

Check out this awesome video of a new sturgeon spawning reef in Lake St. Clair. The lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) is the largest fish in the Great Lakes. It reaches a length of 3 m and a weight of up to 190 kg. They can live for over 100 years.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Vagina Monologues in Lansing

I was unable to attend yesterday's protest and reading of the Vagina Monologues in Lansing. Fortunately my very awesome sister Colleen made it to the event and brought back the following report:

People's emotions were mixed at the Capitol yesterday. There was a sense of anger due to the events that had precipitated the rally, but folks were also happy to see so much support for the cause. It was "pretty cool to be with thousands of people screaming [see you next Tuesday] on the Capital lawn and cheering about how much they love having a vagina." She continued "one of my favorite signs said 'I didn't come from your rib. You came from my vagina.'"

Picture courtesy of Colleen Connor Barrie

Gandy Dancer: "A Touch of Nostalgia in a Confused World"

I recently acquired my grandparents' matchbook collection. It's not that serious really, just a bunch of matchbooks in a bucket. Anyway, I found this amongst them (click to enlarge):

I sure wish I could ask my grandparents if it was "a touch of nostalgia in a confused world" the day they went there.

I haven't been to the Gandy Dancer in so long that I have no idea if that phrase is ever used as a part of their branding anymore. Anyone know what time period this would belong to?

Battle plans?

Found this map of the Iberian Peninsula scrawled on the back of a menu at Jolly Pumpkin. Looks like someone is trying to divide up Spain.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bamboo bike

Or actually a bamboo-carbon fiber hybrid. Looks pretty cool. Anybody know how bamboo holds up compared to other, more traditional frame materials?

Croc attack

Great croc display in front of Elmo's.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Mute Quire

The Mute Quire is the latest play from brothers Jim and Paul Manganello's Fratellanza Theater Company. (You may remember Paul from his Basement Arts play, Zealous Whig.)

The play, which is for Ypsilanti's New Theater Project, takes place in a print shop immediately following the death of Shakespeare. Two long forgotten actors meet a colorful cast of characters as they try to assemble what will become the Bard's First Folio.

The show premiers tonight at Mix Theater, and runs through the First of July. Tickets are $10 for students/seniors/industry and $15 for other folks. EJ and I are going tomorrow and will have a full review shortly.


Have you seen this man? He may be missing.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Friday, June 15, 2012

Place that photo: Nasty maple syrup

Alright, I'm just gonna say it: When I look at this, I think of the face-eating dude. Which makes .5 sense points, because it looks all bloody and eaten, but it's WOOD. Still, I'd like to think that inside, trees are actually pink, and that if you were to go all Donner party on them, they'd look a little like this.

Your job: Guess where this photo was taken and put your guess in the comments below, complete with your Twitter handle. The first one to get it right will be damned on our Twitter feed. If you don't wanna share your Twitter name, or don't have an account, we'll just damn your damn name.

The last PTP was taken at Circus.

Four-hour Lightning Love set at Ann Arbor Marathon this Sunday — what else is happening?

Whoa. From Facebook:

I checked the Ann Arbor Marathon's page but don't see any music or entertainment listings. Anything else happening we should all know about or is this a big joke or what?

(P.S. The new Lightning Love songs sound great live!)

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. - We almost lost Detroit

In case you missed Sonic Lunch yesterday, here's a video I shot of Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. covering Gil Scott-Heron's "We Almost Lost Detroit." My vantage point wasn't great, but I think the sound quality is alright.

Hiring robots

I've spotted a strange message scrawled in pencil on two posters downtown. It's interesting that on both posters the word "Its" is underlined and that something is scribbled out near the end of the message. What could it mean? Who could have written it. Clearly someone is angry about a robot getting a job over an abusive (possibly satanic) addict.


Saw this cool little calavera tag at the base of a crosswalk. Looks like someone is getting excited for El Dia de los Muertos.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Vigil for Camp Take Notice tonight

Hey folks, St. Mary's Student Parish is hosting a vigil tonight in support of Camp Take Notice. The camp is currently on Michigan Department of Transportation land and faces eviction on the 22nd of this month. The vigil starts at 7:30 at 331 Thompson.


Camp Take Notice news

Camp Take Notice

Ann Arbor, what are your lunch plans?

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. just took the stage for Sonic Lunch. There's even a dance floor set up. What are you waiting for? Stop by Liberty Plaza and say hi.

Bike Love

It looks like a cyclist, in a fit of passion for their bicycle, vandalized this street sign. I can understand where they are coming from.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bad Map

Is there some recently discovered island in Lake Huron, east of the South Bruce Peninsula? I think not.

Sonic Lunch tomorrow

Sonic Lunch is tomorrow in Liberty Plaza. Music will be provided by Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr.. Arbor Brewing Company is covering the food and the Ugly Mug will be serving drinks. Will we see you there?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Opuntia humifusa

Did you know there are two species of Opuntia (prickly pear cactus) native to Michigan? Pretty cool, right?

Ann Arbor's best Patios

Summer is nigh and that means we've all got patio dining on our minds. Fortunately so does intrepid Canadian and iSPY contributor, Rich Retyi. In the latest issue of the mag, Retyi gives a run down of his top 6 restaurant patios in Ann Arbor. A notable surprise from the list is Old Town, which does not technically have outdoor seating. Retyi acknowledges this saying:
Though technically not a patio, this is a tip for those of you with fair skin, sun allergies or in a deep and complicated love affair with air conditioning. The two front booths at Old Town beat 90% of the patios in Ann Arbor for comfort and the view.
What do you think, gentle readers? What are your favorite restaurants for outdoor dining?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Charlie Slick--Nomads on the Plains of Time

I'm really digging this acoustic version of Nomads on the Plains of Time. If you dig Charlie Slick too, you can see him live on July 5th at the Ann Arbor Summer Fest.

Really eating local

Found Michigan has a really interesting interview with Northern Michigan University's Dr. Martin Reinhardt, a professor of Native American Studies and Anishinaabe Ojibway citizen of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Marty is conducting a study investigating the relationship between humans and regional native foods. For the Decolonizing Diet Project, as they are calling it, he and 15 volunteers will be eating only foods that were found in the Great Lakes Region prior to 1600. What does that entail exactly? Well, corn, wild sweet potatoes, lots of wild rice, wild game and a little white pine bark from time to time. From the interview:
Found Michigan: It’s kind of amazing you can get so much from one plant that we don’t think of as edible. But what about the failures—anything from the diet you’ve tried so far that you wouldn’t eat again?

Marty: Well, for the most part, boiled white pine bark—it wasn’t bad. I could see it mixed with soup and stuff. It’s a bit stringy and woody—as it should be, obviously, it’s a tree. But probably it wouldn’t be the first thing on my menu if I had other choices.

If this sounds like the sort of thing you might be into, the Decolonizing Diet Project currently has 3 volunteer vacancies. The deadline to apply is June 15th, so act fast!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Mountain Biking in A2

Many of my mountain biking adventures start at Sunset Nature Area, at Sunset Rd. & Vespers Rd.

Mountain biking is one of my favorite ways to spend summer weekends and evenings. I got started about a year ago, when during a casual ride through the north side of town I came face-to-face with a narrow dirt trail. I came back with a friend the next weekend, and I was hooked! It's a really fun way for me to get outdoors and get some exercise after a long day (or week) of work.

I know of a few trails around Ann Arbor:

Olson Park has a network of MTB trails. They're mostly easy trails, suitable for beginners but fun for anyone. You can get to Olson Park from downtown via a pretty long ride through Sunset Brooks Nature Area, Kuebler Langford Nature Area, Barton Nature Area, and Leslie Park. One of my typical loops through these parks looks like this, and really any one or two of these parks makes a nice ride by itself. They're mostly okay for beginners, but the trail leading from Whitmore Lake Rd. through Leslie Park is a little more challenging.

More experienced local MTB'ers will recognize that route as part of the "Loop of Pain". The exact route of the Loop varies depending upon whom you ask, but this is a map of a pretty typical ride. (I've never ridden the leg out to the Island Park area before; it's on my list for this weekend!) You can also find some comments and advice about the Loop at on

Bluffs Nature Area has a good trail system. It's more challenging than any of the other trails here. It consists mostly of pretty steep hills - last time I was there I had a gnarly fall and tumbled down one - but it's a fun challenge if you're looking for something harder than the Barton/Leslie/Olson loop.

A few state parks near A2 have MTB trails. I haven't checked any of them out yet, but I hear good things:

Is this a fish?

I've seen this little fish, I think, popping up all over the downtown. On painting tape and posters.

This is a fish right?

Bike parking in Ann Arbor

Local Tumblr, Bogus Nuke, has a great photo essay featuring some of Ann Arbor's greatest bike parking choices. If you click through to see the second picture you can see one of my favorite derelict bikes. On a related note, why do so many Tumblrs have such weird names?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Events this weekend

The summer festival season is upon us. If you're looking to wrassle up some trouble this evening you can check out the first annual Ypsiarbroo tonight at the Blind Pig. At just $10 it's much cheaper than that other indie music fest in Tennessee and oh so much more indie. You can also check out the Mayor's Green Fest on Main Street today from 6 - 9. Over the weekend you can also check out Mission Zero Fest, the Bang!, or just take in some free fishing.

Gentle readers, do you have any other suggestions for weekend activities?

Image via iSPY.

The Michigan Transportation Musical

This is great. Muppets. Wow. Courtesy of those cool kids at Filmic Productions. I can't wait to see what they come out with next.

Issues and Ale at Mission Zero Fest

Michigan Radio's Issues and Ale will be hosting a panel discussion in climate change at Water Hill's Mission Zero Fest tomorrow at noon. The fest, which runs through Sunday, is all about sustainable living and will feature live energy audits! There will also be appearences by chalk artist and creator of the belovedSluggo, David Zinn, as well singer/songwriter Vienna Teng.

No word on who will be providing the ale for the panel discussion. Perhaps it's a BYO-Ale type of event.

UPDATE: Michigan Radio has confirmed that Wolverine State Brewing Company will be providing tastings for Issues and Ale. So I guess it's more like Issues and Lager then.

Free Fishing Weekend

The author having bested prize smallmouth bass caught earlier this month

This weekend, and this weekend only, Michigan residents and non-residents alike can fish for free. On Saturday and Sunday anybody can fish without a license so long as they follow all other fishing regulations. So what are you waiting for? Bust out the ol' rod and reel and go fishing. Apparently Argo Dam is a pretty decent place.

And don't worry folks, the fish pictured above was released promptly after the picture was taken.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Sonic Lunch is happening right now

Folks, it's a beautiful day. Bees are buzzing around the littleleaf linden and there's not a cloud in the sky. If you're downtown, come on down to Liberty Plaza and check out Laith Al-Saadi. He'll be playing his rockin' up-tempo blues until 1:30. There is food from eat and drinks from lab cafe. What are you waiting for?


Maybe I'm a little late to the game on this, but have other folks seen @FakeAnnArborcom? It looks like it showed up in the Twitterverse on the 30th of May. Here's there take on today's Sonic Lunch:

Hat tip: Lizzy

Is someone dressing up telephone poles?

Perhaps it's viral marketing for Corsets, Grains & Greenways: Dancing Downtown Ann Arbor, a performance exploring the history of downtown. The show premiers tonight at 7 and runs through Saturday.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Sonic Lunch 2012 Summer Outdoor Series opens this week

The Sonic Lunch Summer Concert Series sponsored by Bank of Ann Arbor is kicking off this Thursday, June 7. There are great acts on the schedule like Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. and Damn Arbor favorites Frontier Ruckus. And food by great Ann Arbor restaurants will be available!

Check out that cute guitar-wich logo. Yum, we love sandwiches and music.

Sonic Lunches happen every Thursday through August from noon to 1:30 in Liberty Plaza.

Readers Choice 2012

Thanks to everyone who voted for us in the Current's 2012 Readers Choice. Thanks to your hard work clicking and typing away, we were able to win the Local Blog category for the second year. As a bonus, the Current gave us a short write up and even linked to us:

A first-person, in-depth and informal look into everything Ann Arbor — politics, music, simply being out and about — Damn Arbor is exactly what you want out of a blog. With energy and wit they are in the loop and I like how they describe themselves: “A blog about life, Ann Arbor, and life in Ann Arbor. We are grad students, townies, and derelicts. We are to be feared.”
If anyone from the Current is reading this, I would like to remind you that we are still waiting on our framed certificate commemorating winning Local Blog last year. If it's easier for y'all you can just send us both the awards at the same time.

Be Friends

Spotted this interesting poster on the corner of State and North U yesterday. I feel like it's either a poster for a really cool band that I haven't heard of yet, or some kid's art work. Thoughts?

Frontier Ruckus: Zelda Medley at Lawyers Club

#78 Frontier Ruckus: Zelda Medley from Love Drunk on Vimeo.

Pretty sweet. I really enjoy the use of the saw.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

U of M social media meeting

Check out this new video from Filmic Productions. I really like the personifications of the various social media sites.

Don't Tread on Me

Somehow, I doubt whoever put this poster was a Tea Partier.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Art project?

Saw someone sawing up a big pile of used Folgers tubs yesterday evening outside of the Taubman College of Archtecture and Urban Planning's Annex on Liberty at First. I wonder what they were making.