Looks like somebody has been abusing their printer privileges. What started off as just a single Jim Carrey has quickly morphed into this:
Gentle Reader, are you still trying to cobble together some last minute New Years Eve plans? Don't worry, here is a brief and non-comprehensive list of things happening tonight straight from the Damn Arbor Hive Mind.
The Puck Drops Here--Main St.--FreeWell there you have it Gentle Reader. There are a ton more options available for your NYE pleasure that I didn't write up including dinners at Vinology and ABC. You can even rent out your own booth at The Last Word, if they are not already sold out. So what are your plans? Are you going to check out the madness that is The Puck Drops Here?
A giant NYE street party complete with a Puck Drop. I think that means the Henrik Zetterberg and Dion Phaneuf will actually be doing the face-off for tomorrow's game early. THere will also be live music from hometown hero, Michelle Chamuel, and DJs spinning tunes to keep you rocking till the wee hours.
Tacopocalypse: NYE Bang!--Bind Pig--$7
The Bang! but with bubbly and a taco eating contest. I don't see how that could end badly. But if you want to dance your ass off, this might be the party for you.
Procedes from this awesome party go to benefit 826 Michigan. Tonight local rockers Chit Chat and Frontier Ruckus are playing.
A quite bar that isn't doing anything special where you can just post up with your friends and have a semi quite evening and maybe eat a hamburger--somewhere--free
I have been cautioned not to ruin our NYE plans by telling everyone and their mom about how nice a quiet NYE at Oscar Tango can be. So I wont. But if you can decipher my code, and want to stop by and say hi, feel free.
Has one of Rich Retyi's predictions for 2014 come true already? Is SLICE the rising new media player he predicted? Regardless of whether this is the media empire of which Rich foretold, I am happy to have a new fish in the pond with us. From their website:
SLICE Ann Arbor is a weekly arts and culture blog featuring slice-of-life interviews with people making a creative mark in and around town. Meet the artists, chefs, designers, musicians, actors, playwrights, architects, producers, curators, photographers, dancers, filmmakers, and authors—and find out how they got their start, what’s important to them, and why they do what they do.Sounds pretty cool. One of their first articles is an interview with Heather Anne Leavitt, of Sweet Heather Anne's. Sounds like things are going pretty well for her.
H/T: Mary Morgan
I was doing some post holiday tidying around noon today when I noticed a flash of red in my periphery. I looked into my side yard and was greeted by the Normal Park Fox. I was super excited because this is only the second time I've seen a red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in the greater Ypsi-Arbor area.
Unfortunately, in the 10 seconds it took me to grab my phone, the fox had made it pretty far down my block, so these pictures aren't the best.
Saturday's Krampus Ball was pretty awesome. The addition of the a torch-lit march to the afterparty at Woodruff's was pretty awesome.
|Look! I am citing mlive.com!|
Seriously though MABEL looks pretty cool. Much cooler than BigDog.
Entry is free for those of you who are degenerate lowlifes. Everyone else will be asked to make a donation of $2 (or more), which will be given to the FLY Children’s Art Center for their continuing work in the Ypsi public schools. Costumes, as always, are expected. And, if you dare to bring a child, it will be immediately consumed. As is our tradition, in addition to having incredible music to shake our asses to, there will be a special brew. I’ve yet to taste it, but I’m told this year’s concoction is a wheat beer brewed with beets.Sounds like fun. Hope to see you all there.
...the most courageous among us will take the War on Christmas to the streets, rattling chains, howling like demons, and terrifying the children of Ypsilanti, as we make our way through the City by the light of torches, ending up at Woodruff’s for their annual Krampusdeep celebration.
Local developer, First Martin Corp., has released drawings for the six story hotel they are proposing for the D1-Zoned parcels that are currently the Greyhound Station and the Ann Arbor Convention & Visitors Center. For the project they are teaming up with Virginia-based Zivic & Hurdle Architects, Ann Arbor-based Hobbs + Black Associates, and Ann Arbor-based Midwestern Consulting. According to this article on the AnnArbor.News, the developers are in talks with an undisclosed national hotel chain. All in all, I think this is a pretty positive move in terms of development. The proposed 80 ft. building is much smaller than what is allowed under D1 Zoning. I understand, from some conversations with fancy business people, that there is currently a lack of "business class" hotel rooms in Downtown. So hopefully this project will go towards addressing that.
Given the extent to which D1-Zoned parcels are in historic districts, I think it's safe to say that these rare parcels, that are 1) only one or two stories, 2) Zoned D1, and 3) not in historic districts are not long for this world. And I know some people are upset about the prospects of losing the Greyhound Building, because it's a classic example of Art Deco/Streamline Moderne architecture. fortunately, the current plans call to preserve the building's facade. Also, I feel like it's worth noting, that, in it's current state, the building is pretty neglected. Or, at least it has a pretty neglected feel to it. It's amazing that you get half a block off Main Street and you feel like you've walked into another city.
I will never cease to be surprised when I hear people decry a proposed six-story building as "out of scale" when that building is situated between two much larger 10-story buildings.
It looks like we're entering into a pretty steady post-recession building period. Time to start speculating on when other under developed parcels will get their own projects. I know a lot of folks have their eyes turned towards the Brown Block, across the street, which is also owned by First Martin.
For more on this story, we turn to AnnArbor.News' Ryan J. Stanton.
Willing to puke on a guy? - m4w - 32 (Ypsilanti)You know what really takes that post to the next level? The smily face emoticon. An then there's this gem:
32 white guy here looking for a girl who would be willing to puke on me just for fun, if you would enjoy this please contact me :)
Do You Want To Move Out? - m4w (Farmington)The emphasis on the extra creepy part of that post is mine. My old pal Rosmarie Canard says she's seen several posts like this over the years on the local Craigslist. I just found a more recent version with the lines "Do you need to move out? Are you in a bad living situation? Want to get out of your parent's house?" Seems like the guy is trying to get vulnerable women to live with him. Hopefully we won't see a Lifetime movie about this next year. Merry Christmas everyone.
Hello ladies. I'm a single white male. I wanted to tell you that I currently live alone. I'm in a 2 bedroom place by myself in Farmington. It's about 30 minutes from downtown AA. There are two pools here for swimming purposes. An indoor pool and an outdoor as well. There is also a tennis court here. Also a small room to run on a treadmill. If you are not happy where you are living I'm looking for a great girl to live with.
The apartment has air conditioning, heat, stove oven, refrigerator, microwave, dishwasher, toaster, couches, 31" inch tv, cable tv, internet, fully furnished, washer and dryer in the building, dining table and chairs.
Email me if interested. You would not have to ppaaayyy anything. Photos of the apartment are below. I'm a single white male. I'm 5'10, brown hair, brown eyes, 170. Put want to move in the subject line so I know you are real.
|A dangerous building? Perhaps, but not on the list.|
WNYC has a pretty cool map of the US that codes census tracts by median income. There's a pretty big difference between Barton Hills (Census Tract 4031) with a median household income of $155,250 and Census Tract 4022 in Northeast Ann Arbor where the median household income is only $17,520.
Gentle readers, there is still time to tweet your favorite JSTOR article to @JSOTRSupport. I did it last week and was rewarded with a hot cocoa and some lovely balloons. I also got to meet JSTORQuinn and JSTORRyan. They are pretty cool people. If you are a UMICH affiliated person and in Ann Arbor, you have until tomorrow to tweet them.
Another gem from Detroitography. What a great way to show the location of places in Detroit in relation to the city's main spoke roads. From the post:
This hand based map of Detroit comes from the Field Notes I, Discussion Paper No. 1 by William Bunge. The Detroit Geographical Expedition needed a way to help orient its “field members,” typically students, many from “out of town.” This example comes from a checker cab taxi driver names Lee in 1968. Supposedly in the 1960s this was taught to school children and people in the streets would use it to give directions. I think this needs to come back because it works so well with fingers as the main arteries in Detroit. Perhaps it would make more sense to have the pinky finger be Michigan Avenue and say that Fort St. follows along the river just like Jefferson Ave? Where is that six-fingered man when you need him?
Gentle reader, are you looking to add some local holiday music to your winter season? Look no further than the Postmaster Generals' soon-to-be classic Christmas in Washtenaw County. From the video description:
This music video melds a baton-twirling routine, high school prom decorations, and a labrador retriever into an oddly touching celebration of the Christmas spirit.You can check out more of the Postmaster Generals' work here.
Gentle Reader, I don't know if you've been following Mark Maynard's updates on Ypsi's Water Street Commons. TLDR; a group is working on restoring a native prairie on the former brownfield site/abandoned lot on Michigan Ave. at the Huron River. There might also be a free-form art/sculpture area behind the prairie. That second part brings me to my second point, you should check out Art-Hut.org. The website documents some of the art and other activities that are ongoing at Water Street. It even includes an illustration by yours truly:
Note: This article was first published on Dec. 27th, 2012.
Look out your window. We've got some snow. It's the holidays so you really have no excuse not to go sledding. With that in mind, I am posting some links to some classic articles about sledding in Ann Arbor:
Guide to Ann Arbor: Sled-DANG! In A2 from Damn Arbor's very own Quinn DavisI will add this: Huron Hills is probably my favorite sledding spot in the city (see this article on the Chronicle). The Arb is pretty sweet for sledding too. But the frozen hummocks of grass kind of hurt your bum as your sled there. And it's borderline illegal. But really it doesn't matter where you sled, as long as you get out and enjoy yourself.
Sledding on Arborwiki
Guide to the Ann Arbor area's best sledding hills by Ed Vielmetti
Krampus, the Saint Nicholas' edgier counterpart is coming to Ypsilanti this Saturday. Have you been naughty? If you have, watch out, cause Krampus is going to try to beat you with a branch and take you to his lair (see above). The festivities begin at 8:00 pm at Corner Brewery. Hope to see you there.
‘Twas the night before council, the wee morning hours, Not a creature was stirring, not even Steve Powers,...Click through to read the whole thing.
Glimpse is a new eMagazine from some students at the Stamps School. At least I think that's what it is. The info page is a little spares. Still it's full of cool stuff like poems, and pictures and recipes. It'll be interesting to see where this goes.
|Image via Blimpyburger's Indiegogo site|
After 60 successful years serving fresh ground, custom-made hamburgers to a devoted following of fans, we had to shut our doors when the University of Michigan bought the property that Blimpy's sat on. As displaced tenants, we were NOT the recipients of the sale. We are determined to re-open in a new location close-by so that we can continue to serve delicious food and memories to the townies, students, and Michigan sports fans that have dined here for generations. That, dear friend, is where you come in; we need your support to make this dream a reality.Read on. They're hoping to raise $60,000, which will help defray the costs of construction, contractor and architect fees, kitchen and dining area equipment and design, completing a lease, and purchasing new inventory.
Gentle readers, can I crowd source something at ya? Where can a fellow go to see the best Christmas Lights in the area? Are there particular houses, street and/or neighborhoods where the lights are outstanding? Above, you can see a terrible picture of the outstanding light display where Jackson and Dexter split from Huron.
|Pappy Van Winkle is going fast. Here's where to get it in Ann Arbor.|
Governing (.com, magazine?) just ranked Ann Arbor the nation's 4th most walkable city with a population of at least 100,000. The ranking is based on the percent of folks who report they walk to work. Keep up the good work folks.
Bonnie Jo Campbell is going to be at Literati tomorrow. You guys should totally check it out. She is one of my favorite authors, and she is from Michigan and she is really cool (I met her once IRL so I know). If you have never had a chance to hear her talk, you should really get your behind down to Literati tomorrow at 5pm.
USGS has just released their new climate prediction maps. You can see county level predictions for annual or monthly mean maximum temperature, mean minimum temperature, and mean daily precipitation. It even goes down to the county level. Which is pretty awesome. TLDR: mean temperatures in Michigan will be on average about 3.8 C warmer between 2050 and 2074 compared to averages from 1980-2004.
Elementa is a new open access journal that published its first issue last week. You can go ahead and read all the articles, because they are open access. Pretty sweet. Additionally sweet is the fact that two of the editors-in-chief are U of M professors. Joel Blum is the Earth and Environmental Science editor and SNRE's very own Don Zak is the ecology editor. I'm pretty excited about this because 1) it strikes a blow against the horrible for-profit academic publishing industry and 2) Don Zak is a great scientist so I'm sure Elementa will grow into something great.
Over on Jezebel, there's a huge article on the rise and fall of Bloomfield Hills native, Lisa Frank. It's a pretty good long read about the sticker mogul's descent into madness. With sections entitled "Inside the Rainbow Gulag" and "You Mess With the Unicorn, You Get the Horn," you know you want to read it.
It's that time of year again. The days are short, the air is crisp and frats are stealing conifers from university property, and you're probably thinking about getting yourself an ol' tannenbaum. If you're having trouble deciding what type of tree to get, look no further, I've got a handy guide for you here.
First of all, if you want a tree that'll last, I suggest going to a self cut place. Most trees being sold in lots were cut before thanksgiving hand have been shipped here from parts unknown (North Carolina). Often these trees are painted green to look fresher. Gross.
Now, other websites might just give you a ranking like this:
1. The true firs (Genus Abies)Now the above would be a useful list, but it fails to take into account the nuanced differences between species within different genera. Oh, and a note about labeling. In the following list, the first number indicates the overall rank while the letter number combination is its rank within that group of plants. e.g. White fir is ranked sixth overall and the fourth among firs (F4); Serbian spruce is fifth overall and first among the spruces (S1).
Soft needles that smell of tangerines when crushed. Good needle retention. You can identify firs by the "Four F's:" firs are friendly (needles not sharp); fir needles attach flush tot he branch; fir needles are fragrant (they smell like tangerines!); fir needles are flat in cross section. Firs have good needle retention, so if you get one that has been pre-cut it'll likely keep most of its needles off your floor. Also, due to their great natural color, the firs are unlikely to be painted/died green.
2. Douglas-fir (Genus Pseudotsuga)
In botanical common names the en dash signifies a taxonomically incorrect name. Here it means the DouglasDashfir is not really a fir. But heck, it's pretty close. These guys have pretty good needle retention, but often have a very stout trunk, so you might need a pretty hefty stand.
3. Spruces (Genus Picea)
Sharper needles, retention is not as good. Don't smell as good as the firs and Douglas-firs. Spruces can be identified by the "Four S's:" spruces have sharp needles; spruce needles are square in cross section (some are more diamond shaped); spruces are stinky (they smell piney, but not in a great way); spruces are stubbly (when you remove the needles, small peg-like sterigmata remain on the branches).
4. Pines (Genus Pinus)
Bunched needles. This genus can be a bit of a mixed bag.
5. (tie) Arborvitae/Northern White-Cedar (Genus Thuja)
If you find a small one of these, an ideal specimen, maybe it'll look right. Remember what that dash in the common names kids, the Northern White-Cedar isn't a true cedar (Genus Cedrus).
5. (tie) Juniper/Eastern Redcedar (Genus Juniperus)
These can be OK if they are small and have been pre-trimmed into a proper taper. Upon close inspection, they just wont look quite right.
6. Any other conifer
Even the tamarack or larch (Genus Larix), which loses its needles.
7. Artificial trees
These are literally the worst. Why not just get a custom Fathead of a tree for you wall? Why not a potted palm tree?
1. F1. Nobel Fir--Abies procera
With its short, soft, stiff, dense needles you really can't go wrong here. Great fragrance helps too. Native to the high mountain west.
2. F2. Fraser Fir--Abies fraseri
Slightly longerCan have slightly shorter needles than A. procera. Still an outstanding tree. Native to high mountains in the Appalachian Range. A very, very close second.
3. F3. Balsam Fir--Abies balsamea
Very closely related to A. fraseri. Slightly thinner needles. Sometimes called Canaan fir. Native to northern temperate and boreal forests. Truth be told, all of these three firs are outstanding trees.
Medora looks like a great documentary. Check out the trailer above and just try not to be moved. It reminds me of when Coach Taylor started coaching the East Dillon Lions. Except Medora is about basketball and real life. You can check out interviews with Davy Rothbart about Medora here and over on MarkMaynard.com. And stay tuned for Rich Retyi's forthcoming review of the movie.
You've heard of BART, but now there's DART--Detroit Area Rapid Transit. Well at least there is DART in the imagination of jwcons. It's styled after the DC Metro system. Also, maybe you could inch those imaginary Red and Orange Lines out west to Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor. I know there are tons of imaginary people here who would love to be able to use commuter rail to get to Detroit. Also, maybe the imaginary people in the Grosse Pointes might want a train into Detroit.
|2014 Calendar from Sloe Gin Fizz|
Gentle readers, this just in: a little birdie told me that if you are a U of M student, faculty or librarian and you tweet your favorite article on JSTOR to @JSTORSupport, they'll deliver you a free hot chocolate, coffee, or tea. It's nice to see those cool folks at JSTOR coming out to support the community for finals. I'm sure there are some reasonable caveats, like you probably have to be on or near one of the Ann Arbor Campuses. So if you're reading this from the Biological Station, or Camp Davis, you might be out of luck. Still, this is pretty awesome:
Get ready for tea time: UM students/faculty/librarians Tweet us a JSTOR article, we deliver coffee/tea/hot chocolate to you.— JSTOR Support (@JSTORSupport) December 11, 2013
Thanks JSTOR Support!
|Luke Andrews—barkeep at The Bar at 327 Braun Court|
Ok, so technically they are therapy dogs who are there for stress reduction. Nevertheless, if you are feeling a little down, or stressed out, or you're just missing your own pup, come to the Shapiro Library tomorrow from 1-4 pm. More information here.
I can't wait till people start saying Grand Rapids was so much cooler before it became a trendy and played out tourist spot. Still, mad props Grand Rapids and all you Grand Rapidians, for beating places like Yosemite, Boston, and Las Vegas. From the article:
Beach bums, beer lovers, and art enthusiasts agree: there’s a lot to love about western Michigan this year. Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city, was voted best beer city in the US by the national Beer Examiner blog in 2012 and 2013, and its beer-tourism revolution rages on. Over 25 craft breweries pour in the area, and events like Cool Brews Hot Eats and the Winter Beer Festival (both in February), and the Summer Craft Beer Festival (August), keep the city festive year-round. Hops aside, the secret about Grand Rapids’ fabulous art scene is getting out. In addition to the impressive blooms and Rodin sculptures in the Frederik Meijer Gardens, and the excellent Grand Rapids Art Museum housed in a cool LEED Gold certified building, Grand Rapids is home to the world’s largest art competition, ArtPrize, in which more than 1700 creatives display their masterpieces.Pretty sweet to see Grand Rapids getting a little national attantion. Congrats you freakishly tall, blond Western Michiganders.
A mere 30 miles away sprawls Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast, perhaps the USA’s most unexpected beach getaway. Some argue that these shores rival Hawaii’s and Southern California’s. Along 300 miles of seemingly endless beaches lie sugar-white dunes, wineries, antiquing, U-pick orchards and berry farms, cider houses, Hemingway haunts – you can even go surfing. In Michigan! So if you never thought you could head to the Midwest for a Cape Cod-esque beach vacation, think again.
Our (and everyone else’s) top-pick alehouse is rock-n-roll Founders Brewing Company, while the lake’s Oval Beach wins for smoothest sands.