Saturday, March 31, 2012

FoolMoon video

Tree Town Sound's Matthew Altruda has posted a pretty sweet video of last night's FoolMoon.

If you're still feeling foolish, you can catch Foolish Acts tonight at the Blind Pig and FestiFools tomorrow on Main Street.

Green Things Farm

Check out this cute little video from Green Things Farm, a CSA out of Tilian Farm. Bonus points if you can spot Bending Sickle Community Farm's Ben Fiddler posing as a vegetable buyer.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Farewell show at Halfway Inn tonight

East Quad's venerable Halfway Inn is hosting its farewell show tonight.

FoolMoon tonight

FoolMoon is tonight. Go to it. Here is a video of FoolMoon from last year:

FoolMoon from sunny yau on Vimeo.

Parades start at the Art Museum, Slauson, and the Farmers Market at 8 pm. Parades will converge at Washington and Liberty.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

TEDxUofM Today

TEDxUofM: We're Building from TEDxUofM on Vimeo.

TEDxUofM, U of M's independent TED conference is happening right now. If you don't have tickets, you can watch the livestream right here.

Feeling foolish?

March is almost over, which meas it's almost time for two of my favorite events: FoolMoon and FestiFools. FoolMoon is tomorrow. For FoolMoon, there will be three luminary processionals marching to Washington between Liberty and Ashley. The processionals start at 8 pm at the U of M art Museum, Slauson Middle School and the Farmers Market. If you haven't made your luminary yet, grab some coat hangers and that old headlamp you've got sitting around and make one. Alternately, just show up. FoolMoon is super awesome.

A FoolMoon luminary from last year. Pretty freaking sweet.

FestiFools is this Sunday from 4 to 5 pm on Main Street. Like FoolMoon, it features a parade. Unlike FoolMoon, there will be no luminaries. In place of luminaries, people will be marching with huge freaking puppets:

These two events are really really really awesome. They are a great chance for Ann Arbor's various cliques to mingle together. You should totally go to both of them. You will not regret it.


How to make a FoolMoon luminary

FestiFools in Pictures

FoolMoon: a life aquatic


Mark's Carts, which as far as we know does not offer food on a stick... yet, is reopening for the season this Friday at 5:00 PM. It's timed to coincide with Foolmoon, and there will be a music stage on West Washington. There's eight carts in the lineup this year - we'll be sure to update you with reviews of the newcomers.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

NYMag on Detroit, with Caveats

New York Magazine has an online feature on Detroit travel and destinations to check out; Curbed Detroit has its own gloss on the article, complete with fact checking and corrections.

Attorney General to Speak at Law School Senior Day

I'm graduating from the Law School and the School of Information in May, and it's just been announced that Attorney General Eric Holder will be speaking at the Law School's Senior Day festivities. Holder is an alum of Columbia University and Columbia Law School. Recently he has been criticized for arguing for targeted killings of American citizens without judicial approval. Holder, as the head of the Department of Justice, serves as the nation's top lawyer.

Law School Announcement

La Marche du Nain Rouge, in pictures

According to legend, ever since Antoine Cadillac arrived in Le Detroit, the area has been haunted by Le Nain Rouge, the Red Dwarf. Le Nain Rouge has appeared time to time in the city's history and always proceeds a terrible event. For the past three years there has been a parade in late March in an attempt to banish the dwarf from the city. EJ and I were at the scene of the parade last Sunday to cover the event for Damn Arbor. Here are our pictures:

To banish the Nain Rouge from the city, you need to scare him. A scare mask like Jon has is essential.

The return of Violin Monster

Violin Monster, Ann Arbor's favorite werewolf mask wearing street musician migrated out of Michigan last fall. Who can blame him? Winter is probably not the best season for busking in Ann Arbor. Great news for all of you Violin Monster fans: he is currently on his way back from his travels around the country. Recently, I had the opportunity to conduct an email interview with Violin Monster. We talked about the highlights of his travels, why Michigan people are great and his secret return concert later this week. Here's what Violin Monster had to say:

BCB: Where have your travels taken you?

VM: The cities that I've traveled to and performed in include: Boston, New York, Charlotte, Atlanta, New Orleans, Austin, San Antonio, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and Memphis. I performed in New Orleans for the Mardi Gras festivities, as well as in Austin for the week long SXSW music festival.

Violin Monster in New Orleans. Photo by: Delary Harborth

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Film Festival starts today

The 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival starts today. Writing for Real Detroit Patrick Dunn, former editor of the former A.V. Club Ann Arbor, has this to say:
The term "experimental film" can conjure up ideas of boring art-school exercises, but Donald Harrison says the genre is much broader, and more enjoyable, than it gets credit for. "'Experimental film' doesn't mean people are experimenting," Harrison says. "We tend to use that term for people that are working outside of traditional three-act structure. It really encompasses a huge spectrum of what's happening in films." Harrison's a guy who would know a thing or two on the subject; he's the executive director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, which is about to celebrate its 50th anniversary. Harrison and his festival co-conspirators are preparing for the big birthday with a record 233 films, incorporating both new work and films that have screened at festivals past.
You can read Patrick's entire article, including his top picks for the festival here.

Another One Bites the Dust

After a lot of rumors about its imminent demise, Michigan Book & Supply has closed. Rather than repeat ourselves and complain about the chainification of our fair city, I thought I'd ask a question. What kind of store - chain or otherwise - would you like to see in the Michigan Book & Supply space? Maybe BCB's long desired "Library Bar"?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Oberon Day

Today's the day, friends! Oberon should now be available at your favorite local Bells' serving bar - just in time for the weather to dip back down into spring-appropriate levels.

Earth Fest today

Earth Fest is today on the Diag. I'm not sure what it will be but seems like it's worth checking out.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Joy and Raptor

I've been seeing little flyers up around campus with pictures of a raptor with a chicken head. I finally looked up the website, Joy and Raptor, and found a delightful little greeting card company that some U of M students started. You should check it out. The cards mostly feature dinosaurs and other science-y things, which I think is totally awesome.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

In bloom

Oh man. Stuff's bloomin'.

Here's some Sanguinaria canadensis, or bloodroot.

Roller Derby Double Header today

Hey folks, Damn Arbor reader Amanda sent in a tip about a roller derby double header today in Westland. I still don't really get roller derby, but it's "cool" so I'll post the heck out of it.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Show tonight at Vault of Midnight's Ultralounge

Look! A bunch of bands who you wouldn't want to mention in front of your grandmother. It features several bands from Arbco Records, a local recording co-op.

Contraception protest in front of Federal Building

Damn Arbor's senior downtown correspondent, Quinn Davis, just sent in this picture of a protest in front of Ann Arbor's Federal Building, aka the Post Office. Quinn writes:

Saw a gaggle of nuns in their spring wear, but it's mostly family people and their kids. And signs. And balloons.
Perhaps they are celebrating the 2 year anniversary of The Affordable Care Act. Either that or they are protesting the fact that employers wont be allowed to pick and choose what forms of healthcare they will cover for their employees. Because you know, birth control turns women into sluts. In the immortal words of Yeezy, "That shit cray!"

UPDATE: Another picture from Quinn's corner office. More protesters have arrived. One sigh says "Motherhood is not a disease." Which, while true, obfuscates the fact that access to contraption has greatly improved women's health. Quinn writes: "A Sam Adams truck honked as it went by, which got them cheering. Beer + religion FTW!"

Here's a photo from Eric Tingwall, who also works downtown:

The caption to the photo says "A bus load of eight-year-olds showed up outside the office, shouting, 'What do we want? Religious freedom! When do we want it? Now!' "

Dog found

Picture says it all. Via: blamedoutoflove

Place that photo: Geometry

Oh man, look at those angles! They're perfect! Gotta love when afternoon sunlight plays games like this. It just made a hopscotch game even more complicated! Especially since, y'know, it's on glass and such. Yowza.

Is this week's PTP hard? I think it's hard. So here's a clue: That's a window, if you haven't figured it out, and if you want to see how it looks IRL, you'll have to tilt your head to the left (I'll wait for you to make an 'L' with your fingers... okay got it?).

If you think you know where this photo was taken, place your guess in the comments below. The first person to correctly guess will be damned on our Twitter feed. Actually, you know what would be cool? If you left your Twitter handle! Then we won't just be damning words on the internet (although I suppose using your Twitter account will still just be damning words on the internet, if you wanna have an existential crisis about it).

Last week's PTP answer was Barry's Bagels.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Cougar Town

We are receiving reports of a possible mountain lion/cougar/puma (Puma concolor) sighting on North Campus. From the DPS Security Bulletin:
SUBJECT: U-M DPS Security Bulletin - Suspicious animal sighted on North Campus

TO: all University of Michigan-Ann Arbor students, faculty and staff:

Today (8:30am) DPS received a report of a sighting on North Campus of a suspicious animal, described as a possible cougar, near Hubbard Road between Green Road and Stone Drive. Police officers and housing security personnel searched the area but did not find a suspicious animal.

Please take extra precautions if you are in this area, especially with young children and bicyclists. If you observe a suspicious animal, immediately contact University Police at 911 or (734) 763-1131.

Yikes. Michigan DNR maintains that cougars were expatriated form Michigan in 1906, though they do admit cougar DNA and hair have been found in the state in the last 10 years. Nevertheless there is a devout movement documenting the presence of these cats in Michigan.

Hat tip: E. Bloom

Nain Rouge

The Nain Rouge is a Lutin, a type of French Hobgoblin, who has appeared in Detroit over the centuries prior to horrible events. This Sunday is the annual march to banish the Red Dwarf. It starts at 1 pm in the parking lot of Traffic Jam and Snug in Midtown.

Argo headrace

I stopped by the Argo Dam Headrace, er Argo Cascades, the other day to see how things were flowing. As it turns out, the Cascades will not be open until June 2nd. Still, it appears as if someone, or some thing, has been very active building carin in the new park.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Student Government Elections

Does a squirrel have what it takes to be president of Central Student Government? I guess we will find out at Midnight when polls close.

Mark's Carts

Mark's Carts is reopening for the 2012 season. March 30th--mark the date. I'm excited to see the new carts and Bill's Beer Garden.


Bill's Beer Garden

Cool show tomorrow

And another great poster from Jeremy Wheeler.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Burn notice

Spring has sprung and that means it's the season for controlled burns. Many of Michigan's native, e.g. the Arboretum's Dow Prairie (above) are dependent on semi-annual to annual fires. Natural Area's Preservation conducted a controlled burn yesterday and there will be a burn this afternoon at the Botanical Gardens this afternoon starting at 12:30*. Both NAP and MBGNA allow volunteers to participate in their controlled burns. You should consider it, if you are interested, it's a great chance to learn a little bit about fire ecology do some good for native ecosystems. I mean, how many times will you get to set something on fire for a good!

* Volunteers are meeting at 12:30 in the West Lobby of the Botanical Gardens.


TEDxUofM 2012 Indent 3 from TEDxUofM on Vimeo.

Coming soon to a (Michigan) theater near you.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Pillow Fight Day!!

Manatee Destiny is hosting International Pillow Fight Day in Ann Arbor on April 7!!!

The location of the pillow fight will be announced at 11:59pm on April 6th. The only way to find out where it will be is to RSVP for the event on facebook or on Manatee Destiny's website. Sign up and spread the word!

Check out these links for more information:

International Pillow Fight Day

Facebook Event Page

Aerial photographs of Dexter Tornado damage

Andy Fowler took some aerial photographs of the damage to the Huron Farms subdivision and Hudson Mills Metropark.

From the air, you really get a sense of the scope of the damage and the cruel randomness of the funnel cloud's path. Andy has more pictures of the damage on his Flickr page. Ed Vielmetti also has a great account of his trip to Dexter this weekend complete with a map of the tornado's path.


Dexter Tornado

Pure Ann Arbor

Presented without comment.

Air pollution captured in timelapse?

The creator of this video claims that you can see an air pollution dump at 0:40. Does that seem plausible? If so, what would the source be?

Saturday, March 17, 2012

St. Patrick's Day, 2005

I try not to post too many gratuitous pictures of myself, but...

Boom! That's me at Dominick's yesterday holding the March 17, 2005 Michigan Daily. I had been working at Dominick's during my spring break and the Daily needed an Irish-looking person working at a bar for their St. Patrick's Day cover story.

Happy St. Patrick's Day gentle readers.

Photo via Gautam Hans

Stormy timelapse

Pretty cool.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Place that photo: Bagels, Bia

Green bagels. SO MUCH AWESOME.

I'd really like it if the world did this more often, but rarely does the world (read: United States) go as apeshit over one color as it does on St. Patrick's Day. Do you guys remember red bagels on V-Day? Red and green 'round Christmas? Black and orange on Halloween (OMG PLZ DO THIS)? If you do, then you're lying just to unprove my point, ya jerk.

I'm sure there's something reallllly bad for me in those bagels, like formaldehyde or asparagus, but until then, I will eat these thangs with glee. Or at least I turn the color of the food, which I've always kinda wanted to do after hearing that the eldest gal on the Partridge Family turned orange from eating too many carrots.

Today's (rather late) Place That Photo is purty obvious, in terms of what it is. However! Do you know where these delights came from? If you do, you should post your guess in the comments below. Feel free to leave your Twitter handle too, because whoever gets it right first shall be damned on our Twitter feed. If you don't leave your Twitter stuff, we'll just damn your damn name.

Learning the secrets of tiki drinks at Tammy's Tastings

I recently had the extreme privileged of a complementary class at Tammy's Tasting, a monthly liquor tasting and cocktail crafting class. This is my story.

Rum. Rum was the first alcohol I got drunk on. It was the summer after my senior year in high school and my older cousin was in town. He had developed quite the taste for booze while he was in college. One warm August night, he procured a bottle of Captain Morgan's which we consumed mixed with Faygo Rock & Rye. Remembering the saccharine sweet taste still makes my enamel hurt. Entering college, rum (Captain Morgan's specifically) became my drink of choice. Not that I had much choice, but when we did find a senior to buy for us, it's what I would get. Rum was great, Captain Morgan's was better. Why? Because it had a pirate on it. By my sophomore year though, I'd abandoned rum; it was a kiddie drink for high schoolers and first years. I was sophisticated and drank great drinks like 5 O'Clock Vodka, nameless handles of whiskey and PBR. For me rum had fallen from grace.

I was excited when Tammy invited me to attend one of her cocktail crafting classes. Browsing the class listings, I hoped to find a class on whiskey, because well, whiskey is what real men drink. Unfortunately, I had missed the January Whiskey tasting, so instead I settled on tiki drinks. Tiki seems like something from a bygone era, and maybe it is. It conjures images of the new middle class throwing tiki themed cocktail parties, punch bowls and modern furniture.

The evening started off with a tasting of 5 rums. Did you know the language spoken in a rum's country of origin correlates with the process used to make that rum and thus the rum's character? I didn't.

Family portrait?

Tweeted in by @DragonMgmt. From the alley west of Tianchu on E. William. Could it be a family of stencilers?

Real Good Food

Real Good Food - The Sharing Economy Made Tasty from Giant Eel Productions on Vimeo.

Visit Real Good Foods here.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Dexter Tornado

Recorded at 5:30 at Hudson Mills Metropark by Treetown Sound's Matthew Altruda.

There has been another confirmed tornado touchdown in Saline. Tornado warnings in effect till 7:30 pm tonight.

UPDATE: Lots of damage in Huron Farms subdivision behind Busch's in Dexter. Check out this picture from Lauren La Fontaine:

No reports of injuries at this point. Flash flood warning in Washtenaw County.

Beer in Review: Atwater Brewery's Vanilla Java Porter

As a recent migrant from Florida and a lover of all things beer, I'm finding Michigan to be one helluva beer Mecca. I have been really impressed with both the wide variety of breweries and the overall high quality of beers made by these breweries.

With that said, I feel it is my job to review all of these beers. Each and every one. One at a time. Delicious beer, me drinking it... Oh! and I'll post a review of said beer as well. Sound good, loyal readers? Well, then, let's hop in. (Pun joke...I know, I know.)

(As an aside, I've never reviewed beer before, and I therefore reserve the right to sound like a first grader describing a Pollock painting.)

(As a second aside, I take no responsibility for the fact that I may sound like Tobias from Arrested Development as I describe what I taste in my mouth, what's in my mouth, or what's happening in my mouth.)


Beer: Vanilla Java Porter Brewery: Atwater Brewery Location: Detroit, MI ABV %: 6.0 Etc.: poured into pint glass

Out of the bottle, it smelled a little weak. I'm a big fan of stouts and porters, and I prefer a distinctive taste and smell. This one just smelled very normal to begin with. On the pour, the head is very thin, which I don't mind. I probably could have poured it more slowly and eliminated the head entirely.

On the mating rituals of undergrads and Solo cups

A U of M undergrad sent this our way. According to the description on YouTube:

The human mating ritual is distinct in that it's highly dependent on one specific resource: solo cups. Watch two humans go through the ceremony of a college party, where they rely on alcohol and yet still dance like neanderthals.

The moral of the story is:
Recycle your solo cups!
Use condoms!
Go Blue!

How to make a Foolmoon luminary

Foolmoon is March 30th. Are you as excited as I am?


Foolmoon: a life aquatic

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Roundabouts: danger or menace?

A Dutch-style "turbo roundabout"

Ann Arbor might be getting a new roundabout. There is a proposal to replace the traditional intersection at State and Ellsworth with a newfangled roundabout. Some commentors on the Com are understandably upset:

Why wont they listen to the roundabout opponents? Not only are roundabouts more efficient than intersections, they greatly reduce both the severity and frequency of accidents and injury. As some of you may recall Damn Arbor's senior traffic correspondent, the esteemed G$, uncovered this disturbing truth about roundabouts a few months ago.

Turbo-roundabout illustration by Juerd

Hot new look for summer: belted ammo

Nothing says don't door me like carrying (live?) ammo on your bike.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Happy National Vernors day

It's 3-13 folks, National Vernors Day. So wherever you find yourself crack one open and think of Southeast Michigan.

Image via sarrazak6881's flickr

Hot new look for summer: walking your cat in the park

Bonus points if the cat you are walking is some weird hybrid wildcat.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Wurst Bar

I checked out Ypsi's Wurst Bar last night with some friends. I'll keep this short. The food ranged from traditional to unusual but was all delicious. Wurst Bar also has good homemade vegetarian food and tater tots(!). Good selection of brews on tap. The gang especially enjoyed Wurst Beer, a scotch ale form ABC. The prices were very reasonable and we all had a good time.

Y'all should totally check out Wurst Bar. It's more than a fun restaurant with good food and beer; it's the home of the trough urinal that spawned Mark Maynard's epic defense of his penis and subsequent penis related vandalism of Ypsi's official webpage. If you would like a more complete review of the food options at Wurst Bar, check out A2GastroBoy's review.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Urban Roots

Urban Roots Trailer from Tree Media on Vimeo.

According to Robert James "Kid Rock" Ritchie:

"Urban Roots is a very uplifting documentary about a much needed 'thinking outside the box' approach to helping save our city of Detroit. It shines a light on a grassroots movement that is helping to solve several major problems in our city––literally, from the ground up."

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Photos from Machines of Loving Grace

Machines of Loving Grace, the latest showing at Charlie LaCroix's LePop gallery, opened last night to much fanfare. Here are some pictures of the event and the art:
Holding hands with a robot = loving grace. An admirer holds hands with UR Videohead by Rick Cronn.

A-Maizing Race

Will it be as good as Scav Hunt? Will they make teams build a working breeder reactor?

Friday, March 9, 2012

100th Bang!

The 100th Bang! is tomorrow night at the Blind Pig. Will we see you there?

Image via Jeremy Wheeler

The Last Word

The Last Word, the new bar in the former Goodnight Gracie space, is named after a cocktail invented at the Detroit Athletic Club a century ago. How do I know that? Well I just read the "prologue" to their four-chapter drink menu, which is complete with botanical illustrations of the various herbs used in their cocktails.

I stopped by The Last Word with some friends last night and was pretty pleased. The interior is warm and decorated with lots of old books, photos and needlepoint. The cocktails were delicious and ranged in price from $7 - $12. There were also a selection of beers which were much more affordable. By far the coolest thing at The Last Word was this:

It's a crazy copper contraption that shapes ice cubes into spheres so the melt more slowly in your cocktails.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

International Women's Day

A poster on the corner of State and William.

Camp Take Notice

Around the wood stove in CTN's community tent

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit Camp Take Notice, Ann Arbor's homeless tent community. I also spent some time speaking with Caleb Poirier, a resident of CTN and board member of MISSION, the non-profit that supports the camp. CTN provides a place to sleep for anyone willing to abstain from alcohol and drug use. But it's also more than just physical shelter. The camp also provides a positive community. The community is self-governing and addresses issues at weekly meetings. I think this is what really makes CTN different from other options people who are homeless have in Washtenaw County. The residents of the camp have a stake in the running of the camp and a degree of agency that they might not experience with other options.
Sitting around the wood stove in the community tent at CTN, I really got a sense of the community residents have. They passed through the tent, sat by the fire, chatted about their days, prepared meals and discussed issues facing their community. The residents of the camp are thoughtful and genuinely concerned for each other and the community at CTN. Unfortunately the future of that community is somewhat uncertain.

Really Free Market

Tomorrow in Dana. Based on past Really Free Markets, you can expect to find mostly lightly used women's clothes.

"A Streetcar Named Desire" opening at The Riverside Arts Center

Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire opens at the Riverside Arts Center in Ypsi today, Thursday, March 8 and runs weekend and next. It's being put on by PTD Productions. (Full disclosure, our friend Mouse is playing Blanche Dubois.)

Click here for ticket info and to learn more. Invite your friends here.

Machines of Loving Grace opens tomorrow

Machines of Loving Grace, the latest pop-up gallery from the Charlie LaCroix Brokerage is opening tomorrow night at LePop on the first floor of the Comerica Building. Doors open at 8 and hopefully the free beer will last until at least 10. Robot art and free beer, does it get much better than that?


Postcards from the Edge
Nova Atlantis at LePop