Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ann Arbor sticker

Saw this sticker in the alley next to Blue Tractor. Anyone know where it's from?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Hello at Market

Hello ice cream showed up to the Saturday market today, and I believe they will continue to come, upping my daily ice cream quota. This delicious treat is raspberry.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Michigan accent study

Check it out--you can get paid to sit around and talk like you're from Michigan. Melk.

In bloom: American basswood

The linden trees are blooming. Also known as American basswood (Tilia americana) the trees produce prolific flowers and are a favorite of bees. Linden trees bare their flowers on cape-like pseudo-samaras. Because of their high nectar content, dried linden flowers are used to make tea in Europe.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Great Ann Arbor Flood of 2013

Not much more to say other than thanks @dotdapple for sending me that vine. Ed Vilemetti has some good coverage over on his blog too.

Ann Arbor Flooded

This isn't the best picture of what is going on in Ann Arbor right now but I am not going to venture on to the streets. Hoover and state has a geyser exploding water everywhere and the whole south side of campus is flooded. I am pretty sure weather like this is how we lost the unicorns in the first place.

Westside Market

Despite this weather the west side market is beautiful right now. Look at all the dedicated vendors, and they will be here next Thursday in case you need last minute things for the fourth.

Stencils versus graffiti, part 2

Back in spring, after being chided by a commenter for conflating stencils, street art and graffiti, I asked for clarification on the whole thing. Last week an anonymous commenter said the following:

street art is all the dumb shit people do like stencils of flowers, knitting things around light poles, bad stencils, good stencils, wierd stuff that people spray paint when they're really drunk etc...graffiti in the modern sense is for the most part based on having a name, and you make that name for yourself by painting it as big, as stylishly, and in as many places as possible. street art is something to dabble in that looks ok and most people ignore. graffiti is something that consumes your every breathing second and pisses most people off when they see it.
So, as you can see, the above is street art. Also, it clearly refers to the pygmy marmoset and its tiny paws.

H/T DKatz for sending in the above picture of a new stencil in the Old Fourth Ward.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Aut Bar Party

With today's ruling on DOMA and Prop 8, people are celebrating. AUT Bar is wonderfully full, with many dancing in the courtyard.

You Looked A-LOAF in the Aisle

I think good missed connections are sort of like celebrity deaths. They come in clusters, maybe of three, maybe not. There is no way that the next one will beat this ode to bread.

Do you get my pun? Loaf? Aloof? I am conjuring up images of bread people. 

Streetlight smashed

Someone smashed the crap out of this streetlight by the Church Street Structure. 

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. at Sonic Lunch tomorrow

Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. is playing Sonic Lunch tomorrow. I saw them last year and they were pretty good as you can see in my terrible video above. After the show, I was struck by how laid back the band was. They hung around Liberty Plaza for a bit and didn't mind getting pictures with their adoring fans and their adoring fans' mothers:

They seem like nice guys.

Rust Belt Rising at 7 PM TONIGHT!

Check out Literary Detroit's "Rust Belt Rising" event at Trinisophes tonight at 7 PM! The Rust Belt Rising Almanac is a collection of snapshots and stories from writer and artists in Rust Belt cities. Publisher Nic Esposito and musician Todd Henkin, both from Philadelpia, will be promoting the book. The event will also feature readings and art from local writers and artists.

Putting books on the map

One of my favorite things about traveling to a new place is dipping into its fiction. I can get a feel for the mood and history of the setting in a way that travelogues don't quite provide. A novel provides a narrower and deeper lens to a location: you take special note while walking up Petrin Hill in Prague after reading The Unbearable Lightness of Being. How do you even see the English countryside without reading Tess of the D'Urbervilles? You don't. You can't. (I assume. I've never been to the English countryside.)

I also love documenting literature set in Michigan. People should know that the Midwest is not just for corn and industrial ghost towns!

Was this project made just for me?

Check out the literature of the places you want to go. More importantly, put some Midwest reads on the map! "Placing Literature" runs on the knowledge of its users, and it was very easy to place some books I thought should be mapped on Ann Arbor and Detroit. I can't wait to see what people love to read in Michigan!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Green Shore: Paperback Release Reception

Literati is celebrating the paperpack release of local author Natalie Bakopoulos's debut novel, The Green Shore, with a reading from the author and signing tonight. From the FakeBlock event page:

Set in Athens and Paris, Bakopoulos’s masterful debut paints a finely-etched portrait of one family, whose heartbreaking stories of love and resistance play out against the backdrop of the late 1960s Greek military dictatorship.
The event starts at 7:00 pm.

Passive aggressive missed connecion

@whitrae turned me on to the "BEST passive aggressive CL post":
Posted: 2013-06-23, 3:12PM EDT

Great job at having sex all the time

You and your girlfriend are doing a great job of having sex all the time. Great job. You must have sex a minimum of once a day, if not more. Sometimes it sounds like someone is drumming in the other room, but then it turns out that you're just having sex. You must have been made for each other, because the majority of your time spent together seems to be spent having sex. I swear you'd have pretty serious sex addictions if you each were single, debilitatingly so.

Always having sex. Always having sex.

Great job.

Maybe they really are just drumming?

Monday, June 24, 2013

33 1/3

WCBN is holding an event tonight at ABC Brewing Company. The title of the event is not another series of letters, but rather numbers (33 1/3, get it?). Mark Maynard will be reading The Velvet Underground and Nico while a WCBN DJ is playing music from the album. There will be another event next Monday as well.

Local Celebrity--Pat Stansik

Pat Stansik has just dropped his newest music video. Oh the trials and tribulations of being a local celebrity.

Inflatable Best Friend: new band, or rental service?

Saw this sticker on State Street the other day. Is it a band? Is it advertising for some new rent-a-friend service?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Matt Smith announces departure from Dr. Who in Detroit

Matt Smith, the 11th Doctor Who, has just announced his departure from the show. He is currently filming How to Catch a Monster in Detroit with Christina Hendricks and Ryan Gosling.

S.S.C.S Antiques: best 8-track repair in town

When I first saw this sign I thought it was fake: no address, no webpage, 8-Track repair... Apparently thought it's a real business.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

... like a fisherman needs a bicycle

Saw this ingenious contraption the other day. I like the use of the up-cycled running stroller.


Another kickstarter, another day. Give money to Community Farm, I gets a Breathe Owl Breathe concert. That sounds good, doesn't it?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Michelle Chamuel Didn't Win the Voice and it's America's Fault

I wrote some posts about other things. I can write about TV again, right?

I haven't ever watched American Idol but I guess it's losing in ratings. I wouldn't want to watch the Voice, but Michelle Chamuel was a big draw and I have a network crush on NBC (Parks and Rec, Community, Hannibal). Michelle didn't win. It's really disappointing because this girl won (I am making the picture super small because I am super salty about her win):
PIcture from NBC
She has a very good voice, this girl I will not name, but she doesn't captivate. She stays in one place for the most of her performances and keeps the same stupid smile on her face. Not that I dislike people who smile or anything. But she's no Michelle Chamuel. I hope that Usher and Michelle continue making music/being the best of friends.

Craig the Genie

Joey Richter used to go to school here, theater major or whatnot. Then he got somewhat internet famous with the Harry Potter Musical spoof. Now, he's creating a internet pilot, that comes with a kickstarter and a charming video. Pay him money here, there is only nine hours left and they have a hefty goal. 

Bantha Fodder wsg Charlie Slick tonight at the 3rd Death Star

Bantha Fodder is playing their last show tonight at the 3rd Death Star (Main at Felch). Doors are at 7, cover is $5. Sorry for the terrible picture.

Twitter map of Ann Arbor

Check out this Twitter Map of Ann Arbor, @dokas turned me on to. Can you spot the high schools?

Michigan Values Things

So Buzzfeed, armpit of internet, compared academic rankings and athletic spending to determine what schools are "well-rounded." U of M ranks number one. I am up for Buzzfeed plotting more comparisons.
I don't think the sky background is real

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Land of the Big Lake: literal meanings of places in Michigan

Did you know that Kalamazoo LITERALLY means "Boiling Water?" Slate has a pretty cool map up that shows the LITERAL names of places in the US and Canada. Pretty cool.


Summer Festival App

Check out the Summer Festival's new app. There is even a community photo gallery where you get A2SF planted on all photos. 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Go! Go! Go!

I received this message in the email. The Go! website has changed, including tantalizing ice cream scoop pictures.

Moonlight Book Crawl

There have been posters around town for the Ann Arbor Book Festival. It has a lot of events and this one appealed the most to me. It also has a pretty typeface, which could be why it intrigued in the first place. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Voice Finale

The world is the worst if she doesn't win tomorrow. Vote, use every email you have. Or buy the songs on iTunes.

Monday, June 17, 2013

In Bloom: northern catalpa

The northern catalpas (Catalpa speciosa) are blooming. These guys are native to the Ozarks but are fairly common here because they were the hot landscaping trees of the mid 19th century. They have huge heart-shaped leaves and gorgeous clumps of large white flowers. If you look down a flower you can see they are marked like a bee landing strip. Also, if you look at the underside of the leaves you can see little yellow spots. These are extra floral nectaries. When catalpa trees suffer too much insect damage, they will produce nectar here to encourage predatory ants to protect the tree.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Father's Day: trumpeter swan edition

Happy Father's Day gentle readers. Just thought I'd share this sweet video of a pair of trumpeter swans feeding their cygnets at Gallup Park. Pretty cool how the parents kick up the bottom of the pond to suspend food for their kids to eat. They are such great parents. Anyway, I'm off to do yard work with the fam. Until tomorrow.

Saturday, June 15, 2013


The juneberries are ripe! It looks like this long, cool springtime has been great for them--the berries are very plump and sweet. Here are some of the best places to grab some before all the birds and squirrels do:

Liberty and Ashley--single juneberry, see above. 

William between Fourth and Fifth--there are several juneberries planted around the Old Y Lot. 

North University--there is a single Juneberry in front of Krause. This is one of my favorite juneberries in the city. 

North University and Fletcher--there are several juneberries planted along the north side of the chemistry building. This is a great place to gather lots of juneberries. 

Diag--there are more juneberries planted along the north side of the Dana building. There are also two juneberries on either side of the engineering arch. 

Juneberries are closely related to apples. They grow to be large shrubs or small trees. Their leaves are serrated with an acute tip and a slightly chordate base. The fruits themselves look like miniature red to purple apples and taste like applesauce with a hint of blueberries. 

Sweet Dirt

I bought strawberries this morning from the farmers market in hopes to make something delicious. However, I just downed a Sweet Dirt strawberry sorbet. Nothing I make could taste this genuine. Sweet Dirt, adding to our array of ice cream aficionados, will be at the market for summer. That gives anyone enough time to try these treats. Try the basil, I dot have adjectives for it, just good feelings.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Mayor's green fest happening downtown now

The mayor's green fest is happening right now in downtown. There is a train there. 

Summer Festival

I am procrastinating a lot right now. The summer festival starts today. Some of the highlights on the calendar for the next month are Django Django, Wild Belle, Theo Katzman, and nearly every movie on the schedule (IRON GIANT?!). Also Tangle looks awesome, but it should be accompanied by Tangled.

Michigan Modern on display at Cranbrook

View Larger Map

An exhibit on Michigan's contributions to mid-century modern design opens at the Cranbrook Art Museum today. Michigan Modern: Design that Shaped America focuses on the contributions of Michigan designers and architects to the modern design movement. It includes some important modern architecture buildings in Ann Arbor like architect William Muschenheim's house (above). There's even a little booklet of all the Ann Arbor buildings so you could go on a tour of your own if you want.

In my two minutes of research for this piece, I learned that there is a group, a2 modern, dedicated to modern architecture in Ann Arbor.

H/T: EMWilcox

Equality On Tap fundraiser at Bill's Beer Garden Tonight

Tonight, $1 from every beer you buy at Bill's Beer Garden will go to support the Jim Toy Community Center--an resource for GLBTQA residents of Washtenaw County. You should totally check it out because it's a good cause and because you never know when people's passions will be running hot at Bill's Beer Garden.

Thursday, June 13, 2013


So Darren Criss was in town. I will try to remember to put some photos and videos when I get to my phone. Walking through the line, some of the preteens had been there for hours, even at the end of the line. The longest amount of time I heard was 5 hours, but I am sure that could be beat (I am making a mental note now to never let my children spend that much time waiting in a line). Video cameras, and some man were going through the crowd, making riley people riled up. The screams were deafening, the signs glitter filled and waving. It made me very uncomfortable but it proved that Darren Criss was a big hit. And I guess he is not over. He tweeted this earlier.
Obviously, the show has already started. There were only 100 tickets available, coveted during a time where his tour is sold-out. It's becoming a habit of famous ann-arborites having secret shows here, considering Andrew WK broke the limit of Metal Frat last month. Who else could we see perform secretly? Iggy Pop performing for Mary Sue? David S. Goyer writing for the Daily? Ann Coulter soapbox protesting on the diag? The possibilities are endless.

Did anyone make the show? Or the secret show? Then after the show it's the after party? And after the party is the hotel lobby? 

Townie Trivia Tonight

Do you love the AADL's Old News page? If so, you should totally check out Townie Trivia tonight at Live. Come at 7pm with a team of 3-5 folks, or fly solo.

More work to be done at Water Street

The seed bombs are starting to sprout and there is more work to be done at Water Street. It seems has come into possession of some wood chips and there is a plan to make some trails at the Water Street property in Ypsi this Saturday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

People Love the Darren Criss

I am not sure if anyone meant Darren Criss when they said the good things in life are worth waiting for. They were more likely referring to all nighters for Harry Potter books, Daft Punk singles and the next season of Game of Thrones. However, younguns will get psyched, and Ann Arbor should support our talented homegrown. If you want your crissband, grab an espresso and start your walk to the Michigan Theater now to beat the lines.

Landlocked at the Carriage House Theatre

Cusi Cram's Landlocked is playing at the Carriage House Theater through the 15th of June.

Anna is a Swiss artist who makes beautiful collages out of trash she finds on beaches. At a gallery opening of her work, she meets Pierre-Luigi, a Bolivian restaurateur who discovers his dentures in one of her pieces, and Aldo, an American trash collector looking to make a fresh start in Switzerland. Anna begins seeing Aldo and starts a correspondence with Pierre-Luigi. But with each person running from their past, can any of them hope to find their place in the world? A poignant comedy about love, loss, teeth, and new beginnings.
Shows are at 8pm and there is a suggested donation of $10.

New Stencils

Saw these the other day by the CCRB. I do wonder what George Fox would think of the first one.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Peonies peaking

The peonies in the Arb are just starting to pass their peak. You should probably check them out if you have not yet. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Weekly Michelle Chamuel

Michelle Chamuel performed these two songs on the Voice this week. She did well with the vocals on 'Time After Time' but she doesn't pull off the dance moves as well as my favorite performance of the song. Vote for her now and vote for her here. If all goes well, the finals should be next week.

Men of Bill's Beer Garden

Via Ann Arbor's Missed Connections:
Posted: 2013-06-08, 10:06PM

Men of Bill's Beer Garden - w4m
Bearded hipster
Clean cut, buttoned up
Bald with glasses
Each of you...


Is she your sister, lover, friend?
Does she mind if we make out?

Your pics gets mine. I want you all.

I guess there's just something about drinking Michigan beer outside in the springtime that brings out the desire in all of us. Way to go Bill's Beer Garden.

Student Film Kickstarter: Please Wait to Be Seated

Check out this Kickstarter for a new film being done by some U of M Grads. There are just a few hours left for funding, but fortunately the project has already met it's goal.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Strange street art

Saw this on the corner of Ashley and Washington. It's a cubist dog, right?