Friday, November 30, 2012
In my own sphere, this post-Halloween/pre-Christmas season can be one of the most complained about. The general debauchery of Halloween fades into turkey comas and copious covers of Christmas songs. Ann Arbor makes this time bearable by having interpretations of the holidays that are just plain enjoyable.
This evening, the Kerrytown Farmers Market and Shops are hosting Kindlefest from 6 to 9. The market goes through a transformation to get the feel of a traditional German market. Main street shops will be open until midnight as part of Midnight Madness. These are really great opportunities to get in holiday shopping while sipping wine and eating eats. Other events going on tonight include a children's lantern parade at the Market from 6:30 to 7:30. Lanterns will be available for $10 or feel free to bring your own. I also hear Santa will be at the market around 10am tomorrow.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
"Curated by Guna Nadarajan, this exhibition features a selection of objects from the workspaces of faculty members of the Penny W. Stamps School of Art & Design. Understanding that the artist/designer workspace is often a primary locus of creative work and its related processes, Dean Nadarajan invited each faculty member to submit “an object or thing from your studio or workspace that would constitute an essential part of any meaningful introduction to your work.” Through this invitation, this exhibition hopes to highlight the conceptual, historical, technical, spatial, personal and sometimes even incidental contexts and processes of creative work."
The reception is tomorrow from six to nine at the Work Gallery on State street. The show will remain open until Dec. 21.
Tubachristmas is coming to Ann Arbor. The concert features dozens of tubas playing all your favorite Christmas carols. Last year there was even free hot cider and doughnuts. An anonymous commentor on last year's article posted the following:
I've made a point of seeing this performance for years. Great musicians playing songs we all know by heart in a musical register known only to Humpback Whales.It is truly something to behold. The concert starts at 2 pm on Sunday in Kerrytown. This is not something you want to miss.
Ypsi's New Theater Project is presenting the world premier of Kevin Kautzman's playWolf Cry Wolf. The play tells the story of two childhood friends, Steph and Jane. Steph returns to her hometown in North Dakota after having been gone for years. The two women attempt to rekindle their relationship and delve into memories of the summer when Steph told Jane her biggest secret: she knows how to turn into a wolf.
I'm super excited to see the play this weekend and will bring back a full report for you, gentle readers.
Wolf Cry Wolf by the New Theater ProjectAlso if you have dinner at dinner at Bona Sera Cafe across the street, you will receive $1 off your ticket price. Pretty cool.
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, November 30-December 16 at 8 pm
At Mix Studio Theater 8 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti
Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students and industry. You can buy them online via Brown Paper Tickets which charges about $1.50 as a service fee.
Bill's Beer Garden is closing out its first season with a blast. They are having a special all day happy hour fundraiser for Alpha House. All beers are $1 off and an additional $1 from each purchase goes to Alpha House.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Performance wasn't something that I intended to do. I was doing work that was about process, about the meaning of the making, trying to have a love-hate relationship with the object. I always feel safer if I can bring the viewer back to the making of it. I try to do that in a lot of different ways, by residue, by touch, by these processes that are basic to all of our lives...that people might relate to in terms of process, everyday activities— bathing, eating, etc.
Photo and Quote from artnet.com
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
"Though its name has changed—The Bismark, Union Bar, Merkel’s Friendly Corner, now Old Town Tavern—the corner of Liberty and Ashley remains a favorite townie bar, 114 years and counting. Ann Arbor, Michigan"
Oliver Uberti is a local visual journalist and member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators. A U of M graduate, after working for National Geographic from 2003 to 2012, he relocated to Ann Arbor to start his own studio, Oliver Uberti Creative. I came across his tumblr yesterday which is full of awesome illustrations of day to day life in Ann Arbor. Oliver was kind enough to allow me to repost some of the illustrations. Pretty awesome right? In his response to my email, Oliver said the following:
When I'm not traveling, I mostly draw things that stop me in my tracks on my way about town. If you or your readers would like to see specific things drawn, let me know. Assignments could be fun, especially if they're open-ended tags like #makesmehappy, #fail, #imnotafanof, or #FML.So if you'd like to suggest some illustrations, go to his tumblr and drop him a line.
"Amtrak is late again. Ann Arbor, Michigan"
"The day before Thanksgiving, last-minute shoppers peruse a spread of potatoes, pumpkins, and squash from Nemeth Farms at the Kerrytown Farmer’s Market. Ann Arbor, Michigan"
All images and captions courtesy of Oliver Uberti
The internet was abuzz yesterday with stories that Ann Arbor native, Andrew W. K., was going to be named Cultural Ambassador to Bahrain. Unfortunately the State Department decided that Mr. W. K. did not represent the image of the U. S. that they wanted to present to the Middle East. According to a post on Andrew W. K.'s Facebook page "After a year of planning, the US State Dept. just canceled my Middle East trip because I'm too party." Too party indeed.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Thanks for the reminder Mary. So here are some links to local businesses that have online stores. Check them out. I'm sure that I've missed tons of other local businesses that sell online, so feel free to add them in the comments section:
Arbor Teas -- High end organic teasSo if you are looking for local gifts, but don't have time to go shopping in person, check these folks out.
Urban Ashes -- wood products from salvaged ash trees
Acme Mercantile -- A little bit of everything
Stephen Kinnard Photography -- Photos by Stephen Kinnard
David Zinn -- The creator of Sluggo
The Rocket -- A candy store in Ypsi
Dang Argyle -- Cool local crafts
Sloe Gin Fizz -- Cool illustrations and paper products
Hate to bring everyone down with talk of fracking, and more specifically horizontal hydraulic fracturing, on a Monday. Still, I thought I'd share the above video with y'all. It really looks like as a nation we are getting ready to double-down on fracking so it's important we understand the process and the risks. I thought Professor Brian Ellis did a great job explaining some of the specific areas of concern with fracking.
An artists rendering of A2GastroBoy
The identity of the anonymous food blogger A2GastroBoy is possibly the greatest local internet mystery since the semi-anonymous Ann Arbor is Overrated was (semi-) unmasked. A few weeks ago, I emailed GastroBoy to ask if he wanted to meet to do an interview. What can I say? I was curious about knowing what would lead a man to become an anonymous food blogger. Also, the idea of knowing the secret identity behind GastroBoy was enticing. Though GastroBoy has not agreed to meet IRL yet, he did throw me a bone and conduct his own interview with himself. From the post:
Something cray-cray just happened... Ben Connor Barrie, the esteemed (and at times full of steam…sorry, I couldn’t resist) editor of DamnArbor.com contacted the staff at A2Gastronoy.com to request an interview. In the process he called A2GastroBoy "the only significant anaoymous Internet personality in the area." Wha-WHAT? You heard me..."SIGNIFIGANT!" I’m SIGNIFNCANT! Now my mother can finally get over the fact that I never went to med school.For those of you interested in knowing just a little more about A2GastroBoy, the article is a must read.
That event inspired this post. Enjoy.
WARNING: Let me save you the trouble and acknowledge that this is a total vanity piece; an egomaniacal masturbation. If you enjoy masturbation (and who doesn’t?!) read on. If you’re a frigid Protestant please click away.
Sunday, November 25, 2012
I've been told that I shouldn't even bother to read most comments on the Com. (They just make you angry.) And that when I do read them, that I certainly shouldn't post them on Damn Arbor. (People like reading positive things about their city, not angry rants.) Nevertheless, I'm not following those two very good pieces of advice. The comment and response I've posted above do a great job capturing the essence of so many comments on the Com that I can't help it. Full article here.
I always thought Midnight Madness and KindleFest were the first Friday in December, but maybe it's really the first Friday after Black Friday. Regardless, these holiday season events are this Friday on Main Street and Kerrytown. On Main Street stores will be open until midnight and there will be lots of holiday themed entertainment. My favorite part is usually 826 Michigan's robot Christmas Choir. Also, a lot of stores serve free wine and or champaign. This really makes shopping so much better.
Kerrytown will turn into a German Christmas Market for KindleFest. There will be mulled wine, brats, crafts and maybe a wine tasting. Stay tuned to Damn Arbor for more updates.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Ypsi based The Finer Things are bringing their piano rock to the Blind Pig tomorrow night to celebrate the release of their sophomore EP. Doors are at 9:30 for this 18+ show. And as a special bonus, special guests the October Babies. It should be a great time.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Ah, there's nothing like heading to your favorite hometown watering hole on Thanksgiving eve. I used to work with a guy in Chicago who insisted the best bar night of the year is Christmas Day. He said he really liked the atmosphere of bars on Christmas Day. Personally, I prefer Thanksgiving eve; anywhere you go in town, there's a pretty good chance of running into some buddies from high school. Everyone is home for the holiday and has nothing better to do than hit the pub. It's a magical night. Personally, I like to start the night by hopping from one bar to the next in an attempt to see, then avoid as many folks from my past as possible. I like to end the night planted at a booth in 8 Ball. There is something about being with old friends in 8 Ball that really makes it feel like the holidays.
Gentle readers, do you have any special plans for tomorrow? Are you making arrangements for a DD?
Photo via G$, used without permission.
Just in time for Thanksgiving, our intrepid Quinn Davis has a great article about Whitmore Lake Turkey Farmer, John Harnois. He and his son, Nic, raise both traditional and heritage breeds. From the article:
Harnois has a few hundred conventional turkeys this year compared to only a few dozen heritage turkeys. He says he likes raising both kinds, but prefers to eat the heritage breed. These turkeys come with more dark meat, and are generally more flavorful than their conventional cousin.
“The only complaint I’ve ever had was that my turkeys were too moist and too flavorful,” laughed Harnois. “She was expecting a dry-tasting Butterball, and that’s not what I raise.”
Harnois went on gobbling with the turkeys as he explained the way his business works. There wasn’t any hurry to get the turkeys back in the cage.
“I might as well just hang out here and wait. I won’t be able to get them back in the cage until my business partner gets home from school,” he said.
His business partner is his 13-year-old son, Nic Harnois. And Nic’s partnership isn’t just an endearing title; both of their names are listed on the Harnois Farm business cards
Just then, Nic came walking past the chicken coop, introduced himself and got to herding the flock back into their cage.
You can read the rest of Quinn's article here.
Saw this poster the other day and thought that it was pretty intriguing. Not just because the idea of using a poster to advertise a website seems a little strange (seriously, does this work?). But because of the statement at the bottom of the poster. It's a little blurry but it says:
"This is just a start. Wait for our next big hit!A similar message appears at the bottom of the A2 Happy Hour website.
I bet you're asking yourself who Team Thrones is. Well I did a little internet sleuthing and and found this on Chengqi Zhu's LinkedIn Page:
Team Thrones is our startup company in the TechArb incubator program in University of Michigan. We are currently building a LBS application for iOS that helps users discover people with common interest and engage in real life social events in a spontaneous and random manner. My primary responsibility is interaction design and application develop.Does this mean A2 Happy Hour is just a publicity stunt for an upcoming iOS app, or is it part of something bigger?
Monday, November 19, 2012
Pat Stansik just posted the final episode of Pre-Gaming with Pat on Facebook. On the post shared the following:
Two years ago I decided to bring a Flip cam to the first Michigan Football pre-game of my senior year of college and post it as my first video ever on YouTube. I decided to call it Pre-Gaming with Pat because I couldn't think of anything better and I figured that no one besides some of my friends would ever watch it. I never thought there would be more than one episode, let alone two seasons. I know I should be doing other things with my time besides interviewing drunk college students, but I really enjoyed making these videos and meeting so many awesome people because of them.Well Pat, I for one have really enjoyed watching the series. Best of luck in your future endeavors. Based on the youtube commentary from the video, it looks like the community is taking Pat's departure pretty hard too. Especially one MrBigWangs:
Do you like letter writing and/or paper folding? Then perhaps Lettergami is for you. It meets today at the Arborvitae on State Street. Not the sneaky pregnancy crisis clinic on Liberty at State. Isn't it a little confusing that we have two such different Arborvitaes in such close proximity? Perhaps one should change its name to Thuja occidentalis.
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
It's that time of the month again. Time for a Bang! dance party at the Blind Pig. Tonight's very special fairy tale themed Bang! is also the 11 th anniversary of the party. Via Facebook:
TONIGHT. CELEBRATE 11 YEARS OF THE BANG! KINGS, QUEENS, CROWNS, MEGA MAKEOUTS, DIRTY DISCO DEEDS & HIP SHAKES. BE THERE.Wow, it has been a while since I've been to a makeout party.
Today is also Denard Robinson's last home football game. Though I am a bit of a fair weather fan, I have to say that it has been fun to watch Denard play and help lead the team to a winning season. So Pat and Denard, thank you. You have made me laugh and it's nice to have a winning team again. Go Blue! and beat university-name sports team today.
Friday, November 16, 2012
A vintage salon style themed event. 1920's, vintage-style dress encouraged. Drinks and appetizers catered by The Produce Station. Suggested donation--10% of proceeds obtained by Pop Up A2 will be donated to arts education at The Ann Arbor Art Center.
Featuring contemporary artwork by Ann Arbor artists Katie Halton, Adam Bota, Alex Mandrila, Harrison Ptaszek and others.
The event runs from 6 pm til 9 pm tomorrow.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Saw some folks unloading Christmas trees at the Produce Station last night. A nice mix of white fir (Abies concolor) and noble fir (A. procera). Both make excellent Christmas trees and are on Damn Arbor's official list of approved Christmas tree list.
The first thing everyone should know about the new Stadium Bridge, is that it's is actually two bridges. The bridge we are most familiar with passes over south State Street between Henry and Rose. The second bridge is just west of the first bridge and spans the Ann Arbor Railroad's tracks. The bridge opened yesterday after being closed for about a year. I drove over it after stopping at Biercamp and the Produce Station. Here is my review:
The bridge is nice. The lanes are wider than the previous Stadium Bridge so you don't feel quite so claustrophobic when driving across it. The surface was very smooth but appeared to be asphalt, so it will be interesting to see how it weathers. On the north side of the bridge, there is a nice sidewalk with stairs going down to State Street. You have to admire the bridge for improving pedestrian connectivity in the area.
The lights appear to be metal halide, or maybe "White SON"-high pressure sodium lamps. So they have a nicer color temperature than the standard HPS lamps. Still, if these are not LED lamps, as they appear, I feel like this is a real missed opportunity. As the city replaces old street lights, shouldn't they be replacing them with LED lamps? Though the lights on the bridge appear to be traditional streetlight, they are in fate stealth LED lamps that had at least one prominent local blogger fooled. Overall I'd give the bridge 3.75 4.25 out of 5. Props for the wider lanes, LED streetlights and pedestrian access.
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Two Sundays ago, Josh and I had the pleasure of seeing Jay Nash open for Graham Colton at The Ark. It was the first time at The Ark for both of us, and besides a little listening to the two artists on Spotify I'd done earlier in the day, I didn't know a damn thing about them. (Side note: Everyone should approach a concert this way at least once.) The next day, I happened to know a good deal about Nash, and even got to suggest he see "Searching for Sugarman" during our interview. Errbuddy, meet Jay Nash.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
Via @michigandaily: There is a new student run website, A2 Cribs, that aims to simplify searching for student housing. I haven't had a chance to play around with it too much, but I do like maps. Looks like A2 Cribs won't end up being the successful spin-off of MTV Cribs we had all hoped for.
I like this owl stencil.
Monday, November 12, 2012
Thanks for this blog and comments. I need your help/advice. I am a 54 yo white gay man who is widowed now for seven years. I too have lived in many locations: originally from the Chicago burbs, then NYC, Pittsburgh, Columbus, Oberlin, Cleveland. Now I am looking for a long-term/retirement destination. I love cold weather and I have visited AA once and did like it. I have heard mostly good things about it and feel it could be a good place for me. I do not want a LARGE city anymore but definitely want an open/liberal environment with a reasonable amount of culture and entertainment.
PS In Oberlin (pop. 8,000) I was one of a handful of middle-aged gay men. It was dreadful. Could not make a friend to save my life! And I do mean just platonic friendship. Everyone was paired off (Noah's Ark?)and not even wanting any new friends. I know this can be the case as people get older but in a small town it is particularly painful.
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Saw these proselytizers adjacent to the Diag this evening. They were yelling about teh gays, or something. I have to say that I am disappointed as hell that they were not employing a literal soap box as a platform to spread their hate speech. Don't these people have any goddamn standards?
Friday, November 9, 2012
The Appropriate Technology Collaborative (ATC) is a cool local non-profit. They work with people in the developing world and U.S. based engineers and engineering students to create new sustainable technologies that promote economic growth and improve the quality of life for low income people worldwide. Full disclosure: my father is the executive director and I have worked with ATC in the past. This Sunday they will be presenting some of their work and having a fundraiser at Conor O'Neill's. The event is from 4pm to 7pm and there will be free snacks. Not too shabby. You can RSVP on Eventbrite and you'll get a nice printed name tag, or you can just show up.
ATC does some really cool stuff. Beyond working with low-income people in the developing world to create sustainable economic development, they allow engineering students in the US to get real world experience doing something very meaningful. The partnerships between the folks here in the US and the developing world end up producing some pretty amazing things.
This Saturday, November 10 at PJ's Lager House in Detroit. Doors are at 9 and there's a $5 cover. RSVP and invite your friends!
Now let's all listen to Deadbeat Beat's "Body Shakes:"
[Photo via the Kickstand Band, thanks!]
Thursday, November 8, 2012
A2GastroBoy is at it again: he has just posted the link to his 2012 Ann Arbor Dining Survey. If you want to kill some time rating Ann Arbor's various dining options, you should totally take it. It has some great new options (see above). And because I can't help myself, here's a special little treat:
Damn Arbor reader, Renata Everett, sent in the above picture from the bus stop on North University across from Hill Auditorium. Holy crap, someone is covering this city with cute cat cartoons. Who is this masked bandit? Have people seen this popping up in other places in town?
Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Check it out: Zoe Clark and Lester Graham. They did a great job hosting the event. There were other folks there too in some official capacity, but didn't get their names.