Friday, August 31, 2012

Lightning Love tonight at Woodruff's

Ypsi's indie-pop darlings, Lightning Love, have just dropped their newest album, the Blond Album. You can check out the whole thing at their Bandcamp or on Spotify, whatever that is.

Lightning Love are kicking off their album release tour this evening at Woodruff's in Ypsi. The show starts at 10pm and I bet it's going to be really good.

Ain't no party like a Free Skool party

Looks like the Free Skoolers are throwing a pretty sweet party tonight. Bands including Charlie Slick will be playing and there will even be a shadow puppet show from Patrick Elikns. Make sure you bring an extra t-shirt so you can put a sweet Free Skool stencil on it. The party is at the Basin, 124 Felch St., and starts at 5 pm.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Non-local banks think

This is probably one of my favorite ads from Bank of Ann Arbor's "Non-local banks" campaign. I especially like that it's on a mini-billboard.

Biking in Detroit

Two videos about biking in Detroit this morning. First, Mapping the Motor City with Google Maps:

Next up we have the music video for Bike Chase by Breezee One.

BREEZEE ONE - BIKE CHASE (Directed by GAREN.) from BREEZEE ONE on Vimeo.

Children, where are your helmets? If you're gonna drink and bike, you gotta wear your helmet.

H/T Tim Chilcote for #1, EMW for #2

The Google bike is in Ann Arbor

Check it out: the Google sidewalk-view bike was on campus yesterday. Looks like a pretty sweet job.

Via Rock n Rollercoaster

Fresh bike lanes on Miller

Check out these freshly repainted bike lanes on Miller Road. They're nice and sparkly for improved visibility at night. Now if only the'd fix the potholes in the eastbound bike lane.

Gentle readers, where would you like to see improvement of existing, or additional bike lanes in Ann Arbor?

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

What Detroit can learn from Paris and vice versa

It is an indisputable truth that Detroit is the Paris of the Midwest. But did you know that Paris is the Detroit of Europe? At least according to Tim Chilcote. Tim's got a great post up on his blog with 12 lessons Detroit and Paris can learn from each other. Here's my favorite:
3. Absinthe - Can we get serious about adding absinthe to our drinking culture? Detroit already knows how to hold its liquor. A nice absinthe bar would change the pace a bit, and give us a new perspective on the Motor City. If you thought the Nain Rouge was a trip, imagine chasing the Green Fairy up and down Woodward Avenue.

A wallet with lots of cash

Did you find a wallet with lots of cash near Liberty and Ashley? I like how the sign just ends with "be awesome."

Theo Katzman closes out Sonic Lunch tomorrow

The nights are getting cooler. The students are back. Summer is winding down and fall is right around the corner. The end of summer means the end of the Sonic Lunch concert series. Theo Katzman is playing for the final show tomorrow, bringing this awesome concert series to a close. Can't wait to see the lineup for next year.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I love you Denard - Pat Stansik

The latest from local funny-man, Pat Stansik: I love you Denard, now with a music video.

Looks like someone is excited for the start of the football season.

Shopping Cart Race videos

Incase you missed it, here are two great videos that really capture the essence of last Tuesday's Shopping Cart Race. The first is by davidmfulmer:

The second comes from Pabbles123:

Enjoy.

Rock Paper Scissors

We're a little behind on this one (blame the summer heat & moving) but a cute little paper/cards/stationery/gifts store is worth stopping by - Rock Paper Scissors. It's on the west side of Main Street, next to Espresso Royale  between Washington and Liberty. I have to say, some of their signs look pretty cool. They also apparently will do stationery to order.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A2GastroBoy's fall restaurant rundown

The next few months promise to bring some exciting new additions to the dining scene in Ann Arbor. LENA is opening on Main Street. Mani owner, Adam Baru, is opening a Mexican restaurant. There's also the promise of Bill's Beer Garden to complement Mark's Carts. Ann Arbor's anonymous and sometimes snarky food blogger, A2GastroBoy has a great fall restaurant guide up on his site. It even has a death watch section. Watch out Melting Pot, A2GastroBoy thinks your days are numbered. The article is definitely worth a read.

Help fund a public bike repair stand

Water Hill resident, Tom Phillips, wants to install a community bike repair stand in Ann Arbor. He submitted the idea to PNC Bank's Neighborhood Wishlist. PNC liked the idea so now if it gets a total of votes, PNC will kick in $500! With just 9 days left, the bike repair stand has 286 votes to go. Gentle readers, I think we can make this happen. Full disclosure: the voting is on Facebook so you give PNC access to all your basic (public) information in exchange for the ability to vote. Anyway, I know there have been times when I have been commuting to work and realized my bike could use a little air or a slight adjustment here or there. One of these community repair stands sounds like just the thing to take care of that.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Octopus sculpture

I like this sweet octopus sculpture by RoboTodd at CLX's LePop Gallery. Hope have more pop-up events this fall.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Beach Bang tonight

Grab your swimsuit and your flip-flops because the Beach Bang! is tonight. I hear they are filling the Blind Pig with sand and thousands of real live jellyfish. But that might just be a rumor I made up right now. Doors area at 9:30, 21+ $8, 18-21 $11.

Matthew Shlian, paper folder

Ghostly International presents Matthew Shlian from Ghostly International on Vimeo.

Check out this sick video of paper folder, Matthew Shlian, from Ghostly International.

Friday, August 24, 2012

What really happened to punk week

Sometimes you a ask a relatively simple question and you end up with a much more complicated answer. Yesterday I called my friend Joe, to ask whether Punk Week was indeed dead and the answer I got was far more complex than I had expected. But I fear I am getting ahead of myself.
It all started earlier this week, we erroneously reported on this site and our Twitter feed that Punk Week was alive. In fact what had we had reported as Punk Week was really just the annual Shopping Cart Race. As an anonymous commentor pointed out, though the Shopping Cart Race traditionally marked the end of Punk Week, the race itself actually preceded Punk Week by a number of years. It appeared as though Punk Week was indeed dead.
It can be difficult at times to find a reliable source of information about Punk Week. Fortunately, during my time working in Ann Arbor's restaurant industry, I met Joe Kupiec. Joe is a former resident of both the Raw Haus and the Meat Mansion and is much more tuned into the punky-crusty scene in the area. Here's what he had to say about the rise and fall of Punk Week and its legacy today.
Punk week died, in large part due to greater than average influx of traveling/krusty kids in 2010 for Punk Week IX. "Too many people spread the word to the traveling kids and krusty kids that Ann Arbor was a chill place," according to Joe. The summer visitors had less at stake in the community and some of them had a very different idea of what Punk week was all about. All this lead to the unfortunate events of Punk Week XI, the "Worst Punk Week Ever."
Beyond the arrests, the traveling kids just seemed to have different takes on the other events at punk week. "The original idea behind the 'Beautify a Bridge' project was to actually paint something nice on the ugly railroad bridges," explained Joe, "not to make the bridges uglier with more bad graffiti." Sure it was technically illegal, but the local punks didn't think folks around town would mind if they covered up lots of the tagging on the bridges. In the end, a lot of the railroad bridges ended up with bad graffiti covering other bad graffiti.
After Punk Week IX, many of Ann Arbor's native punks were unsure if they wanted to continue the tradition. That combined with many influential Punk Week participants moving out of town brings us to where we are today. Punk Week, gentle readers, is over.
In a way though, the spirit of Punk Week, lives on. "People forget about the D.I.Y. aspect of it," says Joe. "Punk Week wasn't just about getting drunk and partying with your friends, there were also classes and workshops like gardening and crafting with leather." In a way Punk Week lives on through D.I.Y. fests, the Free Skool, and other teach-ins in the area.
Photo by A. W. Warner.

U of M students prefer U of M students

There was an interesting article in Forbes yesterday about a new online dating site, Coffee Meets Bagel. U of M students feature prominently in the infographics in the article. Specifically, Wolverines top out three categories of statistics: they are the most likely to prefer students from their own school, most popular and most picky.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Average Speed Fest

MI-DH and Red Belly Boards are sponsoring Average Speed Fest, a downhill skateboarding race and fundraiser for the Skate Park. There will even be a Slide Jam. I just YouTubed "Slide Jam" and I still have no idea what it is so I think that makes me old. Anyway from the Eventzilla page:

The SE MI Festival of Average Speed is a downhill race in Ann Arbor Charter Township, MI set up to be a fundraiser for the Ann Arbor Skatepark. This event is a downhill race on a hill with speeds up to 35 mph maximum. This is a wonderful event for beginners and experts alike. After the races will be a slide jam.

This event will be very spectator friendly and you are encouraged to show up even if you do not downhill or skate at all. There will be food vendors and other retailers. Ultimately this is meant to spread awareness and raise money for the skate park so come out and show some support! Donations are welcomed and encouraged.

The race format is still being hashed out, but it will be setup to allow as many runs as possible for everyone. 4 person heats will be used. Practice runs will be available prior to the beginning of race heats. Entry fee will be $15. The course will have a kick limit and involves dropping into a right-left-right chicane into a relatively hard lefty. It goes uphill for a moment and drops into a right leaner and a left leaner over some questionable pavement which has only a couple good lines. You then go into a right leaner and drop into a culdesac that you must turn right then hook a left 90ยบ on the edge of traction to the finish line.

HELMETS AND GLOVES ARE REQUIRED, if you don't have these items on race day you won't be racing.

Sounds pretty cool.

How to make friends at 8 Ball

From Ann Arbor's Missed Connections:
who played SISTER RAY at the 8 ball on sunday?

Date: 2012-08-21, 12:14AM EDT

jules thought morgan played it
and morgan thought jules played it
and i just thought it was cool because it was on and i was baked
thank you who ever you are

Moral of the story, if you want to make friends at 8 Ball, play Velvet Underground. At least that's what Craigsist says.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Punk Week lives

A somewhat less raucous Punk Week XI concluded last night with the traditional Shopping Cart Race. Nice to see things back to normal after The Worst Punk Week Ever in 2010 and a rather lackluster Punk Week in 2011.

Photo courtesy of Dominic Vikram Bastian

UPDATE: This post is not entirely correct. For more accurate information about Punk Week check out this new article.

Dikes of Holland in Hamtramck Wednesday


At the Painted Lady Lounge in Hamtramck, $6 at 9 PM tonight, Wednesday, August 22. RSVP and invite your friends!

More on Dikes of Holland and locals: HemingersFake Surfers, and Eroders. Also there are $2 tacos at the Painted Lady on Wednesday nights...

Black Jake and the Carnies tomorrow at Sonic Lunch

I've really liked Black Jake and the Carnies ever since I saw them at Bluegrass Night back in summer 2009. I haven't been able to see the nearly as much as I would have liked since then, so I'm pretty psyched that they are playing tomorrow at Sonic Lunch. Hopefully I'll see you there.

Your chance to be in a Pure Michigan video

Do you love Ypsi's Brick Dick? Do you want to be in a Pure Michigan video? If you answered "Yes!" to both those questions, today just might be your lucky day. Status Creative will be filming parts of a Pure Michigan ad today in Ann Arbor and Ypsi. The Ypsi portion will feature a flashmob style scene and needs public participation. From the Com:

In a flash-mob-type setting, the Ypsilanti portion of the video will be filmed at the water tower on Wednesday. Participants should arrive at 2:30 p.m. and filming will take place at 3:20 p.m. and wrap up around 4 p.m.
Sounds like a great opprotunity for you to show off your love for the area's most beloved brick phallus.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Spotted

Kwame and Bobby Ferguson being chased down by Channel 7 on West Lafayette in Detroit, after what I can only assume was one hell of a day.

Kwame has definitely lost weight.

Ann Arbor, 100th best place to live

According to Money Magazine, Ann Arbor is the 100th best place to live in the US. The city barely made it onto the magazine's list of top 100 places to live losing to notable Michigan cities such as Troy, 26; West Bloomfield Township, 37; Shelby Township, 78; and Macomb Township, 84. Says one commentor on The Com:

Ann Arbor certainly is no Shelby Township.

New Belgium coming soon to a store near you

Fort Collins based, New Belgium Brewing, is one of the US's most beloved microbreweries. Starting August 27th, you will be able to purchase bottles of New Belgium's beers in Michigan. Sure their beer is good, and they have great corporate and environmental policies. But we are living in a country where the ability to sell beer involves a convoluted process of wheeling and dealing with state liquor control boards and liquor distributors. I like New Belgium and their beers but I also like a lot of Michigan's microbreweries. In this imperfect world, shouldn't we support our local breweries first?

Monday, August 20, 2012

I am not a legal cyclist, but I am an ethical cyclist

Randy Cohen's recent OpEd in the NYTimes, If Kant Were a New York Cyclist, attempts to draw the distinction between legal cycling and ethical cycling. From the article:
I roll through a red light if and only if no pedestrian is in the crosswalk and no car is in the intersection — that is, if it will not endanger myself or anybody else. To put it another way, I treat red lights and stop signs as if they were yield signs. A fundamental concern of ethics is the effect of our actions on others. My actions harm no one. This moral reasoning may not sway the police officer writing me a ticket, but it would pass the test of Kant’s categorical imperative: I think all cyclists could — and should — ride like me.
My style of biking is very similar to Randy's. That is, I tend to roll stops when there is no other vehicle or pedestrian traffic present. Sometimes though, I worry that my actions contribute to the view of cyclists as crazy people who demand equal access to the road and then refuse to follow traffic rules. Writing for ChicagoNow.com, Brent Cohrs, presents a counter point to Randy's NYTimes OpEd. In his piece, What Can Cyclists Do About Our "Rogue" Element?, Brent wonders what responsible cyclists can do about the few rotten apples that besmirch our good name.
Fellow cyclists, it appears we have a serious perception problem in the city of Chicago.

Despite the efforts of Transportation Secretary Gabe Klein, the Active Transportation Alliance, the chainlink, Grid Chicago, and other pro-cycling advocates, certain careless “cyclists” among us threaten the goodwill everyone else has fought so hard to garner. While being lumped together and stereotyped is not fair for reasons too numerous to list, it is a perception problem that we will need to address sooner rather than later.

It is difficult to wage a campaign for the right to share the road safely when some riders we seek to protect exhibit no regard for their own safety or the safety of others.

Gentle readers, what do you think? Is it OK to for cyclists to treat stop signs like yield signs? How can cyclists counter our negative image as self-absorbed anarchic tree-huggers?

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Into it, over it

Spotted this poster on the old Borders Building yesterday. Anyone know what the plan for that space is yet?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Red Dawn

I am probably more excited than I ought to be about the Red Dawn remake coming out this fall. I don't know if the fact that it was filmed in and around Detroit makes up for how kind of racist it looks.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Sweet Juniper! in the Times

Everyone's favorite Detroit nuclear family blog, Sweet Juniper!, got a great mention in a recent New York Times article about stay-at-home dads.

Petoskey

In Portland the hottest trend is naming your band after cities in northern Michigan.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bridget McCormack on Chelsea Lately tonight!

Bridget Mary McCormack, beloved U of M Law prof and Michigan Supreme Court candidate, is pressing the flesh and kissing babies in LA tonight. She'll be appearing with her sister, "West Wing" actress Mary McCormack, on Chelsea Lately, a late-night talk show on E!

My only exposure to Chelsea Handler, the host of her eponymous program, was reading her short book of personal essays, "My Horizontal Life." The standout story is about her failed attempt to sleep with a little person. (Of course she calls him a midget.)

I. Cannot. Imagine. What. They. Are. Going. To. Talk. About.

Perhaps Professor McCormack thought she agreed to a public access show in beautiful Chelsea, Michigan?

Motor City Tap Fest


Motor City Tap Fest 2012 from Parliament Studios on Vimeo.

The fifth annual Motor City Tap Fest kicks off tonight. Take class with faculty homegrown and from around the world, or watch them perform Saturday night at Orchestra Hall. Tickets available here.

Thoughts on Portland

I have returned from Portland and think there are really two things Ann Arbor could learn from the city.

First: more water fountains. Ann Arbor has too few water fountains, especially along the border to border trail.

Second: Indoor bike racks. How cool is this? Seriously.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Coffee bar, emphasis on bar


As a rule, I don't drink coffee, and I certainly don't drink coffee after 8 p.m. Luckily, the Great Lakes Coffee Brewing Company--which opened at its Midtown location earlier this summer--serves more than one kind of adult beverage. I had some kind of Michigan red sour ale, and it was much better than coffee.

It's a beautiful space: open but warm, comfortable but engaging. The crowd was largely students and the music was a little louder than I would normally like for reading and writing and talking low with your companions, though I guess it depends on how engrossing your companions are. Mine were sufficiently so I only noticed the music when we left. The drinks are a little pricey, but the bathrooms are impeccable. If there were a bathroom-cleanliness to drink-price ratio scale, where a higher numerator denotes a cleaner bathroom and a higher denominator denotes a more expensive drink, I would give this place a 1, the optimal equilibrium. The bathrooms are as clean as their drinks are expensive. (The 8 Ball is also a 1.)


One of my companions mentioned with disdain that Midtown is starting to look like Ann Arbor.

Ragbirds at Sonic Lunch tomorrow

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Meadower, Tiger! Tiger!, and more Wednesday in Detroit


Catch some post-punky "almost emo" tomorrow night in Detroit. I don't know much about most of the bands but Meadower are a better-than-good bet (and they have an album coming out soon!). More on: Tiger! Tiger!, Good Weather for Airstrikes, Hampshire, Jacques Rocque.

Personally, I've never heard of the Bear Cave and can't wait to find out what that's like.

More details, RSVP, and invite your friends here!

Here's a video for Meadower's song Fisher's Hook:

Highway to the danger zone

If you've been looking for a great new webforum upon which you can discuss zoning and proposed zoning changes, the City's new Open City Initiative is for you. Currently you can discuss what you would like to see or not see along the South State Corridor. Personally, I'd like to see better connectivity for bikes; cycling down State across 94 can be pretty uncomfortable. Also, I think they should change Biercamp's zoning so they could sell microbrews and other people's products in addition to their own delicious treats.

Hat tip: Ann Arbor Chronicle

In the Details

A short film shot in the Arboretum.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Punk Rock at the Heidelberg in the 80s

Just out of curiosity, I started looking up footage of the MC5 or the Stooges playing in Ann Arbor in the 80s and came up with all these videos of Destroy All Monsters playing at the Heidelberg in 1983. Dang! Check out Party Girl (and a couple more after the jump):


As a side note, I highly recommend Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk by Legs McNeil and  Gillian McCain for anyone who wants to learn more about Punk in Ann Arbor and Punk in general.

[Thanks to the Wizard of Livonia!]


Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Bees!

Bee Day is today, and Gunther Hauk will be in the T. Dana Building on campus to talk about the vanishing bees. Gunther is a well known beekeeper and voice for Colony Collapse Disorder. They'll be showing Queen of the Sun, then Gunther will lead a talk about the importance of the honeybee and why we need to change our agricultural and beekeeping system. If you're interested in CCD, this seems like it would be a good event to go to. Admission is free, but they're asking for donation to support the Community Farm of Ann Arbor.

Brewery Vivant

I've been digging Brewery Vivant a lot lately. I'm glad to see that the market for microbreweries is not saturated.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Best spam ever

Sometimes we get spam in our Damn Arbor Account. If you'd like to check out the listed college and career web resources for prospective students on Kickball is the New Grassroots, go ahead.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Greetings Redditors

Noticed a spike in traffic today coming from reddit.com/r/annarbor. Glad to see the Redditors are liking us. Hate to break it to you rexroof, though I'm not above shameless self promotion, I have yet to take the plunge into the redditverse.

Bi Bim Bop at Kosmo


One of my favorite things to do when I'm in Ann Arbor for lunch is go to Kosmo's and order Bop: it comes with brown or white rice, tofu, chicken, or beef, a choice of four veggies, and A FRIED EGG. Almost anything is better with a fried egg! I go for brown rice, tofu, "old school" veggies (broccoli, carrots, cucumber, mixed greens), and add pickled daikon. Then you stir it all together with some hot sauce. Double yum!

I'm not gonna lie, I started loving this place when I was a Community High kid. It was just a counter and a grill a little closer to the front door in Kerrytown, run by Henry. I think one of his family members runs it now. My friend Jess and I always got grilled cheese, or an egg and cheese bagel, or if we were feeling spendy add some fries or go for "chicken with broccoli." Henry knew everybody by name, which made you feel kind of special as a freshman.

Night out in Detroit: Patti Smith at the DIA

A couple weeks ago I went to the Patti Smith: Camera Solo exhibit at the DIA. It's still open until September 2, and I'd recommend going.

And who knew? I learned that the DIA is open until 10 on Friday nights, often with live music, so you can make a whole evening of it in Detroit. The Woodbridge Pub is a great place to eat! Parking's never a problem in Detroit! Here's what it was like looking across Woodward Ave. outside the DIA afterward:


Gorgeous, right?

And just for fun, here's a video of Patti and Fred Smith covering A Hard Rain's A-Gonna Fall at the Nectarine Ballroom in Ann Arbor in '91:


And BTW, Patti Smith's Just Kids was a great read.

White Market closing

Damn Arbor reader, Dan Hirschman, sent in the above picture and the following:

Saw this and thought it might be of interest. On the one hand, now we can stop wondering how White Market stayed in business for so long. On the other, it's one more local store closing on State St.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Ordering fun at Jolly Pumpkin


How fun is it to go to Jolly Pumpkin and say "BAM BIERE, please?" Yum!

Brew for the River tonight at Wolverine State

Brew for the River is a series of fundraisers for the Huron River Watershed Council sponsored by local breweries. Tonight, the second annual Brew for the River kicks off at Wolverine State Brewing Co. from 5:00 - 7:30:

Brewer Oliver Roberts is premiering HONEY CREEK, kicking off the event with a bang. Also, don’t forget to pick up your Brew for the River Passport for $5 at Wolverine (Get all five stamps and you’ll be entered to win the Grand Prize).

Sonic Lunch Moving to Ark

Just a quick note that the Sonic Lunch described below is being moved to The Ark today due to weather. We're assured that there will still be noms to be had. Nomnomnoms.

Seth Bernard & May Erlewine at Sonic Lunch today

Food by Ashley's and drinks by Sweetwaters.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Sol Food Mobile Farm


Yesterday when I was stopped at a light on 5th Ave, a red school bus with plants in it turned in front me. It really caught my eye because, well, it was a red school bus with plants in it. I quickly scribbled the website down on my hand to check out what was going on when I got home.

As it turns out, the Sol Food Mobile Farm is a bus that's touring the nation to promote local foods and renewable energy resources. The bus is a retrofitted 57 passenger school bus that includes a biodiesel engine, "a living green roof, peel and stick solar panels, a vermacompost system, waste collection tanks, mobile green house, and living quarters."
Today they were at the Farmer's Market, giving people a chance to check it out. They're doing five-day workshops in ten cities across the US, but the Ann Arbor stop was just to showcase the vehicle and talk about what they're trying to accomplish. It seems like a really unique and eye-catching idea to pull more people towards environmental initiatives. Check out the website for more information about the bus and their tour. I took some pictures while I was there, you can see them after the break.

Appleseed Collective CD release party tomorrow

The Appleseed Collective are having a CD release party tomorrow night at the Ark. Tickets are $15.

Beer Garden @ Farmer's Market



Starting today at 4:30, you'll be able to nab a local brew at the Ann Arbor Farmer's Market while you scout for cucumbers and kale. This coming out cotillion was put together by the HomeGrown Festival, which will be holding their own annual event (the HomeGrown Festival, believe it or not) on September 8th at the same venue.

My guess is that most of the brews offered will be beers, but the event page didn't make it sound like this will be the hard-and-fast rule. Whatever the libations, they'll be served until 8:30 tonight, and then again from 4:30 to 8:30 every Wednesday evening at the A2FM until September 5th. May as well come get it while the getting is good!

Photo by Steven Depolo.

Heisenberg Half-Caf


Apparently Walter White is a fan of Zingerman's Coffee. Just like the rest of us!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

From Farm to Glass

You've heard of farm-to-table cooking, but have you experienced farm-to-glass cocktails? Tammy's Tastings is offering a cocktail crafting class centered around using locally sourced and seasonal ingredients to build incredible concoctions.
In this Farm-to-Glass cocktail class we'll use a variety of fresh ingredients straight from the Farmer's Market, like cucumbers, tomatoes, fresh herbs, berries, and other fruit. You'll also learn about making your own infused spirits and shrubs as ways of preserving the tastes of summer for later drinking pleasure.

Come join the fun pm August 13 at 7:30 pm. The class is $35 and you can reserve your space here.

Sounds pretty tasty.

Please vote today

Gentle Readers, pleases vote today. If you wear your "I Voted" sticker to the Lunch Room, you will get a free cookie. That's pretty great. You can also follow the Ann Arbor Chronicle's live blog of the election here.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Greetings from Portland

The Ann Arbor of the West!
I'm currently undercover at the 97th annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America. I've been secretly been sent by the DDA to see if I can steal any of Portland's hipness while I'm here. Gentle readers, I'll be sure to keep you posted.

Election tomorrow

Hey kids! Remember there is an election tomorrow. The Ann Arbor Chronicle has a good rundown of the race. Remember to vote for Drain Commissioner.

Flint, I hardly knew ye: a love song to a city




Before I moved here, my first exposure to an authentic Flint was through the electric prose of Ben Hamper, the most eloquent "Rivethead" I've ever had the pleasure to read. He wrote a memoir of his life on the line from 1977 to 1988, when Flint was free-falling into the emblem of economic and social pockmark we know today. Here is a passage, about a celebrated fistfight among some of his fellow workers, that made me want to know more closely this city-as-a-metaphor:
Flint, glorious Flint. I think I understood their grief and what it was that attracted them so to this ridiculous mayhem. They certainly weren't here as spectators of sport, for this 'Toughman Contest' could hardly qualify as anything more than organized barbarism. I believed they were all here to commit some kind of weird personal exorcism. The toughmen were just convenient foils for the true meat-grinders of the world: the landlords, the foremen, the cops, the judges, the nagging spouse, the fools in charge. Violence as one glorious teething ring for the benumbed and trampled masses.

Flint, with all of its automotive start-ups and shutdowns. All the uncertainty and paranoia and idle tension. It wasn't so strange. It was a real wonder we weren't all being fitted for loinclothes and nose bones. Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, our lonely ratpack wants to KICK YOUR SAGGIN', COFFEE-BREWIN' ASS!
 
I was never going to know this Flint, if it still exists. If it ever existed. I am in this piece, but I schmooze with "the cops, the judges," and I'll soon be "the nagging spouse." I think I got flavors of Hamper's world from the people I met here, but they were glimpses into a place I'll never understand, and it's not what I'll remember about my time in Flint. And if, in the future, I too see Flint as a metaphor, it won't be of barbarism. Maybe, approximately, it will be of community. Of independence, at the same time. I will remember a small group of dedicated people trying to carve out a functioning city on their own terms.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Ain't no party like a Mars Curiosity Rover Party

If you're looking for a cool group of people with whom to watch Curiosity land tonight, looks like there's a party at Workentile.

Hot lugs

Check out the hott lug work on on this sweet Rivendell Bicycle Works Samuel H. Hillborne. Hot lugs on a hot bike.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Local Bazaar

Tomorrow from noon till 5pm, the Blind Pig hosts the Local Bazaar. The event features local artists, vintage vendors, and a custom bloody mary bar! How sweet is that?

What's S.U.P. with paddleboarding?

It looks like fun. But is it essentially just surfing when there are no waves? Has anyone paddleboarded at Argo yet? Can you take the boards down the cascades? That would be pretty rad.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mr. F at Live tonight

Does this mean that Charlize Theron will be spinning the tunes to keep you grooving all night long? Probably not. I do love the Arrested Development reference though.

On a related note, has anyone been to Live now that it is under new management? How does it compare to the old Live at PJ's?

Detroit, America's 11th most innovative metropolitan area

Rust Wire has an interesting article on innovation clusters in the Rust Belt. Measuring innovation as patents per Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) between 2006 and 2010, the Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA comes righ between the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos and the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSAs with 9316 patents. If we add the 2037 patents from the Ann Arbor MSA the region surges to 8th place: right after Chicago and before the Twin Cites.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Twice as nice

Two of our favorite things are teaming up! Looks like the Flint Crepe Company is guest-cheffing Selma Cafe tomorrow. From the Selma menu:
Crepes Galore! Basil, tomato & mozzarella cheese crepes served with a side of bacon and summer salad mix OR Berry & farm cheese crepe with whipped cream, served with a side of bacon.
Breakfast is served at Selma Cafe (722 Soule Boulevard) from 6:30 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.

I hope this doesn't mean Flint Crepe Company is closed for breakfast tomorrow.

Ann ArBro

I noticed a disturbing new follower on Twitter today, Ann ArBro (@AnnArbRo). I like the incongruous portmanteaus. What's the half-life of satirical Twitter accounts in Ann Arbor?

Mixed messages from the Library Lot

EJ and I rode our bikes to the Library last night to pick up some books. I was hoping to explore the underbelly of the Library Lot a little but was confronted with the above, seemingly contradictory messages. "Public Parking Available" and a "No Parking" barricade? How long until I can ride my bike down under the surface of Ann Arbor?

A play about the last Borders Bookstore

Tonight Ypsilanti's New Theater Project presents a reading of The Aleph Complex by Deborah Yarchun. The NTP is using staged readings of new plays to determine what preferment to do for their New Work Series. Pretty cool. From the press release Keith sent me:
To save herself from her chronically obsessive thoughts, Nicky converts them into sounds so she can fall asleep to the sound of rain. This works until, during a bout of crippling social anxiety at college, a thought about her mother turns into a vicious storm. Nicky outruns the storm all the way home, where she returns to her old job at the Container Store and to Mom, who hasn’t left the apartment in five years. While searching for self-help books for her mother at the last Border’s Bookstore on the planet, she meets Borders Guy, the last Border’s employee on the planet, who introduces her to the mysterious Aleph, a Borges-inspired point of overwhelming omniscience he guards in the back of the store. In a chain of self-help, Nicky, her mom, and Border’s Guy smash down the walls that enclose their lives.
Whoa. Sounds pretty crazy. The reading, which is co-sponsored by the Ypsilanti District Library, will take place on Thursday, August 2 at 8 pm at the Mix Studio Theater, 130 W. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti, MI, 48197. Admission is pay-what-you-can for all readings.

Macpodz at Sonic Lunch today

Ann Arbor's very own Macpodz will be rocking Sonic Lunch today.

Just for giggles, here's the another video of Mayer Hawthorne preforming at last week's Sonic Lunch:

Incase you can't tell, I'm really enjoying this concert series.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Punk Week

Via ArborWiki:
Punk Week
R.I.P

(Please come back)

After 2010's "worst Punk Week ever," is the event over for good?