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?
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, June 28, 2012
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 fiancé 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
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
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.
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
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
Friday, June 22, 2012
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.Also, @localinannarbor tweeted a link to this cool video shot at CTN last summer:
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
If you want to know, in depth why I support CTN, please read this.
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:
Thursday, June 21, 2012
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 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.
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
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."
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
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
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?
Monday, June 18, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
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.
Saturday, June 16, 2012
Friday, June 15, 2012
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.
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.
Thursday, June 14, 2012
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.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
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
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?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!
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.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
Saturday, June 9, 2012
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 MTBr.com.
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:
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
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.
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.
And don't worry folks, the fish pictured above was released promptly after the picture was taken.
Thursday, June 7, 2012
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
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.
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.