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Friday, September 30, 2011
TEDxNicholsArboretum will be on Sunday, October 9th at 1-4 at the amphitheater in the Arb. The conference will focus on the nebulous theme of sustainability and features some pretty cool speakers. Two of them are friends of mine from my grad program. Jarett Diamond worked with a team of MS students and Corner Brewery to lower the brewery's ecological footprint. Kat Superfisky is an MLA student working to create beautiful, ecologically functioning outdoor spaces. Cara and Karl Rosaen from Real Time Farms, and Bena Burda from Maggie’s Organics will also be speaking. Looks like a pretty cool event.
You can register on the TEDxArb website, but act fast, because registration is limited to 250 people.
The Daily has an interesting analysis of potential neighborhoods for off-campus housing. Describing the Old West Side they say:
The area is great because it’s Ann Arbor at its finest: think free trade stores and older hippies.
The article also sets $300-$700 per bedroom as the "pretty good deal" price point.
Map via the Michigan Daily
Thursday, September 29, 2011
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
I was walking past Gallery Project on Fourth Ave. yesterday and imagine my surprise when I saw a cast of a Basilosaurus skull in the back of the gallery. The picture above is not of a Basilosaurus but some modern cetacean; the camera on my cellphone is not great. Anyway, it was pretty exciting. Basilosaurus is one of my favorite prehistoric whale genera. Gallery Projects current exhibit is UMWELT (Subjective World) a collaboration between artists and scientists that explores the way animals perceive their world. Looks pretty cool.
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
According to the Com, aggressive panhandling in and around Tripper's Alley has gotten so bad it drove local boutique Poshh out of business. OK, I might be exaggerating a little bit. Regardless there is only one solution the current crime wave, we need to find the 1871 Ann Arbor Police Department and bring them out of retirement. With such robust facial hair, I have no doubt they'd be able to clean up this city.
Photo via Ann Arbor District Library
Please do an inexpensive restaurant review, and not just the Fleetwood. There must be some other places where you don't go broke just looking at the menu.
Well we all racked our brains and came up with the following list:
Jerusalem Garden, a staple of my high school diet, has great falafel
Sabor Latino has $1 tacos on Taco Tuesday. The hard tacos come with beans and cheese and are much more substantial than the shell tacos.
BTB's veggie burrito is under $4.
Kosmo Deli in Kerrytown was another staple during high school.
The Cloverleaf home to "two or three" eggs with hash browns for the same price.
Benny's Family Dining offers classic, inexpensive diner food. A favorite with both the elderly and hung over students.
\'aut\ Bar's Sunday brunch is pretty affordable considering the quality and quantity.
Bell's Diner is half all American diner, half Korean restaurant. EJ likes that you can order pancakes topped with an over easy egg at Bell's. I like the bi bim bop.
This list is really only a start. Gentle reader, do you have a favorite place to dine on a budget? Please share it in the comments.
Monday, September 26, 2011
Apple season is upon us! Gentle readers, do you have a favorite apple orchard in the area? EJ's younger sister would like to go apple picking this weekend and we are looking for the best orchard around. Bonus points if you know where to get gluten free doughnuts, if such a thing exists.
"What makes Ann Arbor great is that it combines the character of a college town, a place you come to when you go out to school and fall in love with, with the access ... that perhaps a bigger city has," said Andy LaBarre, vice president of government relations for the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Regional Chamber. "It's a perfect mix."
Navigating economic waters while preserving a city’s identity is a difficult balance to strike — a feat that, according to Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje, requires dedicated maintenance and a well-reasoned approach.
“It’s always a challenge to keep moving forward economically while maintaining the culture and character of the city,” Hieftje said.
Susan Pollay, executive director of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, believes the city’s presence of chain and local businesses has long been well-balanced — labeling this mix one of Ann Arbor’s “great strengths.”
“It’s valuable to think of downtown like a forest or an ecosystem,” Pollay said. “You need old buildings and new buildings. You need big things and small things. You need national tenants who have the big advertising budgets, and you need the small independents to give you an identity. In a forest … it supports itself better by having a variety.”
Sunday, September 25, 2011
The Dirty Wolverine will be selling vintage swag from U of M and Detroit sports teams this evening from 8-11 at Foot Prints. Hopefully this will not be the last time the DW pops-up.
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wikipedia says the giant puffball (Calvatia gigantea) is similar to tofu when cooked. There are several of these erupting around town.
Chicken of the woods (genus Laetiporus) supposedly tastes like, you guessed it, chicken. I think that's because it's kind of tough and flavorless. I nibbled on some of this one and while I didn't go into kidney failure, I do think it would have been better sauteed in butter with a little garlic.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
I saw Charlie Slick play at Mark's Carts at the end of August. It was tons of fun and super entertaining. I have no doubt that this show will be similar. Doors open at 8 pm.
Previously: An evening with Charlie Slick and Thunda Clap
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Police in Ann Arbor have started ticketing people who fail to yield to pedestrians preparing to cross at crosswalks. Over on The Com, people are fussing about how this will make it impossible to drive downtown and how the police are just going to write a bunch of BS tickets instead of catching the serial rapist. Here are my thoughts on the matter.
First, this ordinance doesn't really have that big of an impact. How many crosswalks are there in the city that are not part of intersections? Better yet, what is the ratio of non-intersection crosswalks to intersection crosswalks? If my memory serves me, a lot of these crosswalks are on moderately busy streets near schools and help make it so kiddos who are walking to school don't get plowed into by parents in a hurry to drop their kids off at said school.
Second, how about some freaking signage? Note the sign above on North University. It is not correct. Maybe someone should correct it. We have all those signs by highway off-ramps and major roads that enter Ann Arbor that say "Local ordinance requires stopping for school buses." We should have similar ones about the pedestrian ordinance. They could also put up signs 50 meters or so before each crosswalk that remind drivers of the rules. Perhaps if the city is incapable of deploying accurate signage, citizens could take it upon themselves to make educational signs.
Monday, September 19, 2011
Gentle readers, what's your take on this situation? Was city council right to reject the Heritage Row PUD? Should de Parry have resubmitted revised plans in hopes of building something less ugly than City Place?
Previously: Heritage Row
Sunday, September 18, 2011
There really is no excuse. I enjoy live sports. I've watched UM games on TV before. I have the appropriate clothes. But it always seemed like too much of a pain to get my act together to buy a ticket off of another student, go to a tailgate, find someone to go with, spend three hours at the game, etc. But since this is almost certainly my last year living in A2, it seemed like now or never.
After building it up for so long, I thought that going to yesterday's game against EMU might end up being an anticlimax. Not so. Between the weirdly cult like chants and gestures, the great weather, and the fact that we both won handily but played erratically (defense... sigh), it was actually about as thrilling as one could expect. I'll leave the expert analysis to my co-writer Josh Stoolman, but it's certainly not hard to see what the fuss is all about.
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
Only one is relevant.
Founded in ’07 by Sanford Bledsoe III the AASBSKL is now in its 5th season and boasts 14-teams [see below for list]. The champion of the tournament last year was the Ghostly International. Sava’s Cafe and the Fleetwood Earls will face off Sunday, September 18th @ 5pm Veteran’s Park for the 2011 championship.
The organization and ethos of AASBSKL is DIY all-the-way-down: the umpires are volunteers (they meet at Old Town to discuss unanticipated aberrations in play that test their judgment); kids and dogs are never far; disputed calls are resolved, for better or worse, vis-à-vis a consensus model of decision-making; the teams line up and high-five after games (an impressively civil thing little kids do); people laugh, smile, drink-smoke-smoke, and talk shit.
Mary Markley Hall, late Monday night -- A confused, hungry student exits the main entrance to find two different pizza delivery drivers.
Pizza House Driver: Did you order a pizza?
Student: Yeah for Jess?
PHG: [Looks through pizzas] From Pizza House?
PHG: [Points towards Happy's Pizza delivery driver] Maybe from that guy?
Student: Yeah that guy!
Thursday, September 15, 2011
The shock of the new has worn off to some extent, and I'm fairly fond of the new spaces. True, the upper level of the commons still reminds me of the panopticon, but somewhat amazingly it's connected to nearly every part of the school that you'd want to get to. No longer do we need to run around like rabbits in a warren to get from the Law Library to State Street. I haven't had a chance to sample the food at the Cafe yet, but I'm sure it's standard pre-fab university fare.
The new spaces begin a big year for the Law School - the new Academic Building, South Hall, will open in the winter term. Right now it still resembles a fortress, to my mind, but we'll see how it turns out in a few months.
Ladies get out your dirndls, fellows grab your lederhosen and head on down to the Oktoberfest Block Party at ABC. It's tomorrow and Saturday in front of Arbor Brewing Company from 5-11. There will be beer and brats. Oh, and did I mention POLKA! There will be so much polka your feet will bleed from dancing so much! Until last Oktoberfest I had never polkaed. I had such a great night drinking and polkaing and stomping on bystander's feet. Do yourself a favor and head on down to Oktoberfest. You won't regret it, unless you are one of the victims of my foot stomping. I still need to polish my polkaing a little bit.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
It ain’t a concert to benefit the environment without some local singer-songwriter duos and an experimental acoustic roots band. This year, the Michigan League of Conservation Voters (Michigan LCV) is taking it to The Ark for a night of pure Michigan with Earth Tones.
Thursday, September 22nd at 7:30 pm, you can bust a move with singers-songwriters May Erlewhine & Seth Bernard, Jay Stielstra Trio, Chris Buhalis, bluegrass band Dragon Wagon, and the all-female Detroit roots-country quartet Stella!.
And, for all you political wonky enviros, your $40 ticket ($10 for students) will get you the chance to rub shoulders with Former Congressman Mark Schauer who will be honored at the event. Schauer is now the National Co-Chair for the BlueGreen Alliance Jobs21! Initiative.
Don’t know much about Michigan LCV? Well, you know how some politicians don’t think much for clean water, air and protected land? This group works to make the environment a priority in Lansing by educating lawmakers and the public, electing environmental champions into public office, and holding them accountable for their votes and decisions. It’s a damn important line of work that needs a little lovin’ and music from the Ann Arbor community to make its voice loud and strong all the way up there in Lansing.
Purchase your tickets here
*Students, e-mail Sarah@michiganlcv.org to obtain discounted tickets.
That's right, THE Cory Doctorow, the one that floats through the blogosphere in a hot air baloon, kilometers above the tag clouds, is coming to Ann Arbor. He'll be in town for the Penny Stamps Lecture Series as part of a panel on Futurology.
Screenshot via: Boing Boing
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Motown to Tree Town has an interesting article breaking down the Williams Institute's analyses of the 2010 Census results for same-sex couples. MT2TT focuses on the Michigan specific data. The article is totes worth a read. Notice the Keweenaw Penninsula and Isle Royale. Even on the national map, they look surprisingly gay.
As hair extensions, the feathers can be brushed, blow dried, straightened and curled once they are snapped into place. Most salons sell the feather strands for $5 to $10 a piece. The trend has become so popular a company online even sells feather extensions for dogs.
The craze has also left hairstylists scrambling to find rooster saddle feathers, as fly shops hold onto a select few for their regular customers. The businesses will now ask if the feathers are for hairdressing, said Shelley Ambroz, who owns MiraBella Salon and Spa in Boise.
"If you go in and you're a woman, they won't sell to you," said Ambroz, who started to eye her husband's fly-fishing gear after stores ran out.
"He told me to stay out of his feathers," she said.
Monday, September 12, 2011
In Kerrytown, this seems to be a more common occurrence than should be normal. While walking towards Zingerman's, I spotted a car going east on Catherine just before the Fifth Street traffic light. From that direction, cars can only go south on Fifth - not straight, and not left. But the car first tried to go through the traffic light, then tried to go north on Fifth, and finally figured a way to get back the right way. But not until a few cars had to be careful not to get into an accident.
I lay most of the blame on this at the feet of traffic engineers, because we have a fairly counterintuitive system of one-way streets in parts of A2. Unlike NYC, for example, where almost all of the streets alternate one-way. we have some parts of town that are just one-way, some that are mostly two-way, and some where the streets change, or point in opposite directions (e.g., Madison at Packard). Drivers have a great deal of responsibility to not only read the signs but look at how traffic ahead of them is flowing. But the city could have tried harder to have some consistency in its traffic pattern design.
Unlike the co-authors of the similarly-named Damn Arbor, who insist they “are to be feared,” Dagnabbit writer Ted Knab says he doesn’t want to scare anybody. “The name basically says that it will be like Damn Arbor, sort of, but without that hard edge and all the ferociousness, you know.” Knab said when he logs on to Damn Arbor, he feels “a little overwhelmed, like as if they are being like all fiery, and they even have a picture of flames right there at the top, so that makes me feel pretty overwhelmed and stuff.”
Sounds like a good read.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Friday, September 9, 2011
This is the third year in a row that Festifall has caught me unawares. I walk out of my building onto the Diag expecting a normal Friday afternoon and am greeted by every single student organization imaginable. I am astounded by the size of the student body at U of M.
Went to Tienda la Libertad last weekend to pickup some Mexican cheese. Not only did they have some great prices on produce, but they also have a little restaurant in there and a few tables now. I didn't get a chance to try their tacos, but I'm hopeful this is the beginning of a general improvement in the quality of Mexican food in Ann Arbor.
Also, I really like that Faz' Pizza is advertising in Spanish on the side of their building that faces la Libertad.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
What did you call a carbonated soft drink in your home town? Pop vs. Soda is attempting to plot regional variation in the usage of "Pop", "Soda" or (shudder) "Coke." At the national level "Pop" is narrowly beating "Soda." Go to popvssoda.com to share your preference. As the site says "People who say 'Pop' are much, much cooler."
When Damn Arbor's Quinn Davis is not blogging, or doing real work, she writes for Adios Barbie. She is also a feminist who likes to wear mascara. From her most recent (and most excellent) article on Adios Barbie:
It was the spring of my sophomore year, and I had just dipped my toe into the pool of feminism. It was exhilarating. Every word I read felt like someone else was describing me – to myself. I finally understood why things didn’t feel quite right when middle-aged men commented on my appearance. I got how fourteen-year-old boys learned to have the gall to look me up and down whether I stood alone or with my parents.
And – most importantly, at least in this piece – I saw how the desire to wear makeup was socialized into me as completely and concisely as a cult.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but my foray into feminism was the start of the disintegration of my relationship with Snap Crackle Douche. It helped me realize what a crap-tastic situation I was in. However, at the time of the Cosmetic Conundrum, the full realization was just a glimmer in my eye.
“If you’re such a feminist, how can you buy into the very things that are used to oppress women?” he asked.
To tell you the truth, I had no idea how I could. I mean, I liked wearing mascara. When I put it on, my eyelashes were transformed into these incredible, feather-like things that made me feel like a magical being. I was a friggin’ unicorn. Bam.
The whole article is really worth a read. On a side note, I am impressed by the number of times Quinn is able to work the word douche, or some form of it into the article.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Apparently the Beer Depot has run afoul of the city's sign ordinance and historic preservation laws. They are trying to restore or replace their classic neon sign after it was blown over during a wind storm in April of this year. From their Save our Sign blog:
...the reason the sign couldn’t go back up was that the sign didn’t meet the “height, size and setback requirements of Chapter 61, the City’s sign ordinance," the ordinance also specifies that “no nonconforming sign shall be repaired or erected after being damaged if the repair or erection of the sign would cost more than 50 percent of the cost of an identical new sign.” This meant that if the cost of restoring the sign were less than half the cost of an all-new replacement, we could probably get approval. The problem? We probably could have fudged numbers, but lying is wrong, and any honest sign company will tell you that there was no way those numbers would work in our favor. So we got a “nay” from the city. On their behalf, they did this without making us jump through all the clerical hoops involved.
Personally, I would like to see the sign back up. What do you think gentle readers? Is this the end of the age of neon signs in Ann Arbor, or is there room in our skyline to preserve classic signs like the Beer Depot's?
Photo via: mediageek
Hat tip: Jessica French
But my esteemed co-author Mr. Connor Barrie pointed out to me that things here are actually quite good. If all we can complain about is the lack of Christmas tree removal, maybe we need some perspective. What do y'all think about the state of city services in A2? Obviously it could always be better, but are we living in the lap of (civic) luxury?
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Welcome to Ann Arbor new graduate students! It is a wonderful city. Incase you cannot talk to people in your program or use the internet on your own, Rackham has produced this video that tells you about Ann Arbor.
The sad thing about Rackham's Videos is that they have high production value, but feel completely emotionless and sterile.
Monday, September 5, 2011
Hot new game for fall: adding an alliterative name to all Michigan cities. @a2chronicle came up with this game last night around midnight. Some of my favorites so far are Yvonne Ypsilanti and Gus Grahrapids. Feel free to add your own creations in the comments.
Charlie Slick and his homemade spin art machine.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
According to a survey put out by hercampus.com, students at the University of Michigan have the most sex-friendly attitudes in the US. That's something we can all be proud of.
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
Local artist, Alejandra O'Leary is having a CD release party for her new album Broken Mirror Baby tomorrow at Crazy Wisdom. I recently received a copy of the album and have really enjoyed listening to it. Broken Mirror Baby has a dreamy, etherial quality reminiscent of early 90's alt rock. There is a simple sincerity in the ablum that takes me back to 1994 when I was a 4th grader staying awake at night with my ear pressed against the radio. I don't really know if I can explain it better than that. The music on Broken Mirror Baby is rich, but not over produced. The songs are catchy and well put together. Check out the track When Will They Learn?:
Something about this album reminds me of Polaris, the house band on Pete and Pete. Maybe it's the subdued guitars, or the clairity of the vocals. Regardless, you should attend this CD release party tomorrow night. Doors open at 8:30 for this free show.