Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sharing = Caring: A2Share

A2Share is a new organization dedicated to connecting local sharers and would-be-sharers with each other and the sharing economy. The group is kicking off their inaugural event Friday August 9th at the Botanical Gardens from 2-7. There will be a tour of the campus farm, a potluck and 3 breakout sessions!!! You can check out their faceblock page here.

Lunch Room soft opening next week

The Lunch Room will be doing a soft opening next week at their new Kerrytown location. If you'd like to check it out, there are 25 spaces available for 8 meal times on Sunday the 4th and Monday the 5th:

• Brunch on Sunday August 4 at 10:30 am & 12 noon
• Dinner on Sunday August 4 at 6 pm & 7:30 pm
• Lunch on Monday August 5 at 11:30 am & 1 pm
• Dinner on Monday August 5 at 6 pm & 7:30 pm
Click here to sign up.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book review: 'The Telling Room'

In 1991, Michael Paterniti was a newly minted MFA, a graduate of a program he calls "Storytelling School" at U of M. Broke and unemployed, he picked up a gig as the editor of Zingerman's newsletter. Through those pages, Mr. Paterniti had a peak into the storied-ness of food that, in the early 90s, put Zingerman's at the cusp of the foodie movement.

One of the articles he edited was about a cheese from Castile, Spain, a cheese he could not afford to buy at the time. And, without so much as a bite into the madeleine, we are catapulted into Mr. Paterniti's obsessive, self consciously meandering, decade-plus quest after "The Telling Room: A Tale of Love, Betrayal, Revenge, and the World's Greatest Piece of Cheese." The book is released in hardcover today.

Gritty Detroit cop dama coming to AMC

Just in time for bankruptcy, Detroit's getting a gritty cop drama from AMC. Slanty Low Winter Sun is "is based upon the 2006 British two-part mini-series of the same name." From this preview, it seems like it's about two british guys playing cops in Detroit:

All kidding aside, I think it's worth pointing out that AMC is putting a lot of weight behind the show by having it premier alongside Breaking Bad on August 11th. It's also nice to see things being filmed in the state again.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Journal of a Shut-In, Vol. 2

Friend of Damn Arbor, Jon Wilcox, has just released the second volume of his hit indie-comic, Journal of a Shut-In. The comic chronicles the adventures Jon has while working at home as a graphic designer. The beautiful 20-page, full color, mini-comic has 12 strips plus a longer story and some sketches. You can buy it for just $3. I think it's great, but you don't have to take my word for it. If you want to preview Journal of a Shut-In, just check out Jon's tumblr, where all the comics are posted.


Journal of a Shut-In

Comment of the day

From the Com article How could Ann Arbor refocus development in the downtown area? we get this Gem of a comment from GoNavy:
We might have 7 "new" looking high rises in this city, but in ten years we're going to have 7 more University Towers. For those who never had the pleasure of living there, that building is pretty dilapidated and probably the biggest eyesore on campus. Students are like cockroaches - they do not treat property with respect and care; they simply live in something "to death" and move on. It shows at U. Towers; it will show on these other 7 buildings in short order.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pickup artists at 8 Ball

This is a real gem of a Missed Connection:
To the "pick up artists" at 8 Ball - w4m - 21 (8 Ball Saloon)

Jesus Christ. You were carrying around a breathalyzer stick because the one guy is a "genius inventor" (barf) trying to impress us by telling us about Burning Man, which is the least cool thing ever, and possibly worst of all, you had a pink wig and a feather boa in your backpack to like, "be quirky" or "start conversations" or something....oh my god, what's wrong with you? Seriously, what is wrong with you? It was clear from the beginning of your convo with my friend and I that we weren't really interested in talking to you, BUT YOU PERSISTED, and the one guy even PUT HIS ARM AROUND MY FRIEND LATER IN THE NIGHT, EVEN THOUGH NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING WHATSOEVER, WOULD INDICATE THAT THAT WAS AN OK THING TO DO. You guys need to see a psychiatrist. You truly, truly do. Women are human beings, not children or objects to play with. Idiots. I wish ill upon you, I really, really do.

To all you single guys out there, make sure you leave your feather boas at home when you go to 8 Ball.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Rosemarie's Words: Residential Parking

Hello Ann Arbor! Boy, has it been a long time. I am so happy to be back at D*** Arbor, yet, if you know anyone at, let them know I am here! I am going to get to my review, before my granddaughter needs the computer. 

Residential Parking
0/5 Stars

thank you offcampus.umich for this lovely photo!
Now, some of you might think my rating of residential parking might be too tough. I don't mean to be, please be patient and hear the very important points. 

I actually do not drive a car. I lost my license a couple years ago due to a misunderstanding with a police officer. However, that does not invalidate my experience with residential parking. Very often they let me take the bus into town. I take the number sixteen because it is my favorite, scenic drive. I stare out the window and notice parking when I don't have a spunky, young student sitting next to me. 

Parking in town seems very complicated. I know to cross to the other side of the street when someone is parking, because they are probably angry and prone to violence. Last year, on main, I attempted to organize a group of people to lift a young businessman's car and put it into a parking lot. That poor boy was struggling quite a bit with parallel parking. This seemed to be the better idea but the young man shook his head no. He probably was late to work. 

Anywho, in the residential areas, it seems permits are not too good. People don't park well. Permits justify bad parking for longer periods of time. What Ann Arbor should invest in instead are permanent valets. You could drive into town and then a young person could drive your car and park it. This would make our young people much better at driving and parking. And give our old people a much needed break from blogging while driving. Furthermore, large gaps between cars and curbs will be gone. 

Thank you for reading. My next column will be about the metal newspapers on main street, hope your eyes will be ready. 

German Park tonight

Bust out your dirndl and dust off your lederhosen, this seasons second German Park is tonightnight! For those of you not in the know, German Park is a fun filled night of German food and dancing. Doors open at 4, $5 cover, no one under under 21 without parents. There'll be a strong Damn Arbor presence at German Park tonight. We'll see you out on the polka floor.

Image via Pfadilederhosentom

Kevyn Orr on the Craig Fahle Show

So they're not selling the art? Or they're not yet talking about selling the art?

Friday, July 26, 2013

More microbrew cans on the horizon?

Over on his blog, A2GastroBoy has an interesting analysis of the state of cans in microbrewing. It's a good read and I believe his analysis of why microbreweries have been using bottles and why they be switching to cans. Gentle readers, what's your opinion on cans of craft beer? I have really been enjoying Vivant's beers, and last weekend I had a great can of Frankinmuth Brewery's Twisted Helles Lager. Do you think most microbreweries will be switching to cans shortly?

Drunk Canadian Loves Detroit Enough to Swim There

Maybe everyone has already cackled at this. It is perfection. It is a very expensive bet.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Weed Dating

Local Farm, Seeley Farm, is hosting their own version of speed dating. This Saturday, from five to eight, you can make it to 2150 Warren Road to meet local singles. There is a catch, you will volunteer weeding the farm while you get to know others. 

Cool chalk art

A friend sent in some pictures of a large chalk recreation of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus that appeared last night outside of Rackham. Looks like it's by Detroit based artist Taurus Burns.

H/T: DSW Katz

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

More summer road construction is coming

If anyone is traveling to Saginaw anytime soon, prepare for backups.


Short's takes over Sidetrack tomorrow

Tomorrow night, Short's Brewery will be taking over 11 taps at Sidetrack. Think about it like a pre-Beer Fest, or a Beer Fest-light. Either way, the festivities start at 6 pm.

2013 Summer Jams: A2 expatriates Clearance debut 7"

Former Ann Arborites Mike Bellis and Arthur Velez (formerly known around town as the Fine Printers) have regenerated in Chicago as Clearance. The duo's debut 7", Dixie Motel Two-Step, arrived recently and clearly displays Clearance's dedication to Pavement's original indie-rock stylings. But the band's not just a low-rent Malkmus ripoff. Bellis has a way with hazy guitar hooks and languid vocal phrasings, and combined with the big, warm sound of Velez's drums the duo's rock craftsmanship is formidable. This isn't just great new music from local talent; it's some of the best music of this summer, period. Here's hoping Clearance makes it home for some shows soon.

News in Brief: Bell's tap takeover at Bill's Beer Garden

Tonight at 5:30 PM, representatives of Bell's Brewery will be on hand at Bill's Beer Garden. They will be bringing some very special beers too, notably the rarely-seen Bourbon Barrel Aged Batch 9000 Ale. Bell's at Bill's, it sounds like a match made in heaven.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Moped parking

Saw these 6 mopeds parked outside of Randall Lab. Is there a moped trend going on right now?

Book review: 'We Sinners'

"We Sinners," released in paperback today, sketches the outlines of a Laestadian family in the Detroit suburbs as they come to terms with a demanding religion that has equal potential to keep them together and to draw them apart. This debut novel, by metro Detroit native and University of Michigan MFA Hanna Pylvainen, has something to say to anyone who has wrestled with religion, who has disagreed with family, who has weighed personal needs against the expectations of loved ones--anyone, really, who has had to grow up.

In reading this book, it is useful to know that Laestadianism is a very conservative branch of Lutheranism that frowns upon alcohol, tight clothes, low biological fitness, dancing, TV and movies, popular music, and nail polish. Beyond these details, though, Ms. Pylvainen's childhood faith serves primarily as a stand-in for any system of beliefs, any crucial difference of opinion that can separate a person from his family. Among the nine Rovaniemi children, the struggles of the five who remain in their family's strict faith are treated with the same seriousness and care as the--at least superficially--more relatable perspectives of the children who leave it. At first I voyeuristically wanted to know more about the details of this religion, seeking to demonize the community to applaud its defectors. But Ms. Pylvainen does not let the reader make a straw man of faith, and the novel is stronger for her skating over the catechism lesson: this is a story about family.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Adrian's Moving

Adrian's is downsizing, which might mean an end to Hemingway and Obama Tees. My friend was able to get a beautiful table from the store. Hit up the sale before the close. 

The Motown Bubble and 'Dancing in the Street'

In the New Yorker today, Rollo Romig reviews Mark Kurlansky's Ready for a Brand New Beat, a book about the radical history of Martha Reeves and the Vandellas' Motown staple. Mr. Romig's thoughts include a nice bit of personal local flair about this song and about living in Detroit in the '80s.
I rarely went out of my way to listen to Motown; living in Detroit, you never had to. It was everywhere, even decades after its heyday. Motown was music for which I felt both great pride—all Detroiters did, earned or not—and slight embarrassment. Lots of Motown songs were irresistible; I thought it inconceivable that any singer could be greater than Stevie Wonder, and I still do. But lots of it sounded pretty square, too. I was appalled at the way Motown was milked for maudlin nostalgia in the movie “The Big Chill,” including Martha Reeves and the Vandellas’ “Dancing in the Street,” and David Bowie and Mick Jagger’s obnoxious 1985 cover version of that song seemed to epitomize that decade’s phony enthusiasm. Every time I heard “Dancing in the Street” after the mid-eighties, I cringed. It seemed to me like a simple song too often pressed into service for an easy jolt of uplift, its optimistic fanfare clashing uncomfortably with the hard facts of a city in such bad decline that last week it filed for bankruptcy. 
The last thing it sounded to me was dangerous. After 9/11, the radio conglomerate Clear Channel put together a list of some hundred and fifty songs it advised its stations to avoid playing, and the inclusion of “Dancing in the Street” made it seem like a joke. I was immediately curious, then, when I learned that Mark Kurlansky had written a whole book about “Dancing in the Street,” and its supposed status as a radical anthem. Called “Ready for a Brand New Beat,” Kurlansky’s book is comprehensive; no known fact about the song “Dancing in the Street” seems to have escaped its pages. If I’d been wrong all along about “Dancing in the Street,” this was the place to find out.

Get spirited away at the Ravens Club this week

America's foremost spirit authority, F. Paul Pacult, is hosting two very special events at the Ravens Club this week. Tomorrow night there will be a rum tasting dinner with 9 courses of rum and 7 courses of food. This includes the best rum in the world, the Ron Zacapa 23yr from Guatemala. Then on Wednesday afternoon, Paul is teaching a spirit tasting class. Students will get to taste 10 different classes of spirit and get tips on honing their senses to better appreciate them.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

A farewell to Shadow Art Fair

Yesterday was the final Shadow Art Fair. It was awesome. I will miss it. Here are some pictures of things I saw there.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Storm damage: Packard closed between Golfside and Rice

Looks like a tree branch came down on an electrical running across Packard right in front of the Polo Fields Washtenaw. The entire street is blocked off and there is no detour marked. So, heads up. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Will we see you at Shadow Art Fair tomorrow?

I certainly hope so. It's going to be awesome. EJ and I will be there, stalking This will be the last ever Shadow Art Fair so if you've always wondered what it's like, you should totes go. Here's a vintage Damn Arbor article describing last year's Shadow Art Fair. Think about it like a teaser for tomorrow.

So EJ and I made it to our first Shadow Art Fair yesterday. It was pretty freaking great. I finally got to meet a lot of people I've known from the internet in real life. Here's Vinnie Massimino at his Green Screen Improve Troupe booth.

Can't wait to see the final Green Screen Theater Troupe video. If EJ and I are lucky, hopefully, we'll make the final cut. Stay tuned.

I also got to meet the Patrick Elkins. Here he is right before taking the stage with the Rainbow Vomit Family Band.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It is art and it is fair: Violin Monster to play at Main and Liberty during Art Fair

Yesterday, Violin Monster was kicked out of the State Street Art Fair. Though other musicians pay money for permits to play during the Art Fair, it seems like a risky move for the State Street Art Fair to kick out our homegrown buskers. There was substantial disappointment on local blogs, reddit and the twitterverse. Fortunately things are looking up for Violin Monster. Not only has he recieved an outpouring of support from the community, The Summer Art Fair (the one on Main St. mostly) just posted on Violin Monster's Facebook that he'd be welcome to play at Main and Liberty during the Art Fair. Yay.

Knives, Words, Crap, & Nerds! - Nerd Nite A2

So Nerd Nite is kinda like Ted Talks, except it's local people and in a bar and there's food and drank. Tonight is the seventh-evar Nerd Nite in Ann Arbor, and friend to/reader of DA Anna Seekatz will be doing one of the talks! Tonight's features are knife making, slam poetry and, well, poop. Actually, Anna's talk is about poop. I should have just lead with that. I mean, how can you beat a title like "Fecal Matters"?! You can't! Stop trying!

Nerd Nite. 7:00. At LIVE. Doors open at 6:30. $5 cover. Get yer tickets here.

Hot new drink for summer: Oberon and a freezy pop

Damn, it's hot. If you're looking for a hot new drink to beat the heat look no further than this awesome Oberon/freezy pop combo. We recommend orange, because if you use green, it ends up looking pretty gross. Just think about it like a frozen orange license.

Wild blueberry season

The wild blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are ripening right now. They can be a great tart treat, if you know where to find them.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

It's not art and it's not fair: Violin Monster kicked out of Art Fair

@Juliewbee snapped this picture earlier today. According to some tweets from @ViolinMonster, he was told he would need a permit from Art Fair to busk in areas occupied by Art Fair.

Fortunately, it sounds like Violin Monster found a work around: busing on private property with the owners permission. What do you think about this gentle readers, is it a necessary evil to let the Art Fairs curtail the rights of buskers during the events, or is this a clear overstep? Is it time for an Occupy Art Fair campaign?

H/T: Ed Vielmetti

Art Fair Bingo

Ed: this was originally posted on July 8, 2012.

Here are two old versions of "Art Fair Bingo" cards. Some of them are little dated (R.I.P. Shaky Jake). Gentle Readers, what would you put on you add to Art Fair Bingo? Replace "emo kids" with "hipsters?"

First card via

Second via Katy McGrady

News in Brief: Bill's Beer Garden

Bill's Beer Garden will be open starting at noon every day during the Art Fair. That is all.

Old German, a review

Last night was opening night at the new Old German, which is under Grizzly Peak (the old Old German). A buddy and I decided to check it out.

The Old German is a German-style beer basement. It has six taps of Grizzly Peak beer plus two special kellerbiers. The kellerbiers are a special feature of the Old German. They are served directly from the conditioning tanks. I'd highly recommend trying the helles bock, which was super tasty. The Old German (aside: can we start calling it the OG?) also has a smattering of German-ish dishes. We tried the soft pretzels, which come with a super delicious cheddar beer sauce. We also had the potato pancakes. They come with horseradish sauce and applesauce. Pretty good.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Where's Waldo, Ann Arbor edition

Apparently he is in Literati. The bookstore is banding together with 25 local businesses for a fund sort of scavenger hunt/sale:

Where's Waldo? He is right here in Ann Arbor!!!

Look for Waldo at 25 locally owned businesses and organizations in downtown Ann Arbor during the month of July and be eligible to win prizes. It's easy - all you have to do is:

1) Come in to Literati (124 E. Washington St.) and pick up your Find Waldo Local Passport.

2) Visit all the participating businesses to look for Waldo.

3) When you spot him, ask the clerk to sign or stamp your passport.

After you find 10 Waldos, bring your passport in to Literati and get a coupon for $1.00 off the purchase of a Waldo book.

Come to our party on July 31st at Literati! If you found 20 out of 25 (or more) Waldos, you will be entered into a drawing for some great Waldo-related prizes!

Click through for the full list of businesses.

Detroit in the news: Allied Media Conference

Check out Yes Magazine's take on the 15th annual Allied Media Conference, which was held in Detroit from June 20-23. Upshot:
Whether and how to best bring the conference’s lessons to scale remain open, important questions. For example, the AMC has become a central networking hub for feminists of color, according to Piepzna-Samarasinha and Andrea Ritchie, a police misconduct attorney and member of INCITE! Women of Color Against Violence. During a workshop on the final day of the conference, these longtime attendees expressed appreciation for the space as an incubator and dissemination point for some of the best ideas and practices generated by people of color who are women, LGBTQ, or gender nonconforming. These voices are too often in the margins of our public debates, when they appear at all. So Piepzna-Samarasinha and Ritchie’s comments left me wondering how the conference and its surrounding infrastructure could provide a bigger platform for these same people and ideas year-round. 
Being in a bubble isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes it provides the safety we need to dream and the intimacy we need to build authentic relationships. How much further along might our movements be if we all took a few days each year to step into the futures we claim to be working toward?

Speed-dating with Detroit authors

Tomorrow at St. Cece's in Corktown, four Detroit-focused authors will partake in a high-stakes speed dating event. They will each spend five minutes per table talking about whatever you want to talk about, and then, if they like you best, you get their book for free!

More information here.

Stevie Wonder Boycotting Michigan

Stevie Wonder, Michigan Native, might never perform in Michigan again. According to several sources, Wonder stated at a Quebec concert:
I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again. As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world. As I said earlier, you can't just talk about it, you have to be about it.
I think this is pretty nice.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mapping Michigan's last names

NatGeo has a cool interactive map of the most common names in every part of the country. As you can see, most of the names in Michigan come from the UK:

Book review: 'Brilliance' by Marcus Sakey

One thought kept surfacing as I plunged through Brilliance, Flint native Marcus Sakey's fast-paced new thriller, which will be released tomorrow: this would be a great movie. It was no surprise, then, when I found out that the rights to the film had been purchased by Legendary Pictures four months ago, even before the book's publication date. The high-energy chase scenes, the political intrigue, even the casting of a Henry Cavill or Matt Bomer as protagonist Nick Cooper--the story reads as if already on the big screen.

Mr. Sakey has created an alternate reality, the March 2013 America that may have existed if, starting thirty years ago, one percent of our population were inexplicably born "gifted." (Mr. Sakey even takes a jab at our regular world in the novel, writing a fake Times review of a book about the way the world might have been if the gifted had never been born: "war with the Middle East, the rise of violent religious fundamentalism, and a planet on the verge of irreversible ecological damage." Good one, Mr. Sakey.)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

826 has the cutest window right now

Spotted this on the way to get a tummy ache at kilwins. I love the robot vomiting binary.

Pacific Rim

The Blind Pig seems to have a loyalty to this movie. These were everywhere on the walls. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Circle Bike is the best

That was the best. Tom is the best. Seriously, you are an idiot if you think otherwise. Or if you don't ride this next time you are downtown.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Circle Bike

Has anyone ridden this? We are debating while people are performing stand up in the plaza.

Car Show

This is on e. Washington where old people are staring intently at cars. They continue staring on main as well. 

Michigan, a great state for Microbreweries

Last week, Dana posted a cool map of each state by their most iconic beer brand. It made me think of this cool interactive map from the New Yorker that shows microbrewery stats for each state. These screen shots are not showing up well so I'll cut to the chase: Michigan ranks 5th in total microbreweries and Bells ranks 7th national in total production. Go Michigan!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The return of the Old German

The Old German, a much beloved feature of old ann arbor, closed in 1995. Via ArborWiki:

A German restaurant on Washington St, where Grizzly Peak is now; closed in 1995. It was festooned with weird old oil paintings and dusty pictures relics of Germany, and had dark wood tables, chairs and fixtures. Classical orchestral music played in the background, and the waiters all had old fashioned waiter uniforms. Mr. Schumacher was an excellent accordion player as well!
Well starting on Monday, the Old German is back. The restaurant will be in the basement of Grizzly Peak and will feature more of an emphasis on microbrewed lagers. Pretty exciting.

Swimsuit Business Bang!

The Blind Pig starts it's monthly bang this saturday at 9:30, however the party really gets sand kicking around eleven. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Google Maps Commercial Highlights Detroit

Google just put out a new commercial highlighting Detroit. I see a lot of footage that mirrors films I have worked on. I want to commend them for including Lafayette Coney Island. This could've easily spun into a smear campaign against American Coney Island. Google, however, played it cool.

Luke Winslow-King at Sonic Lunch

Tomorrow, on a day normally reserved for my bros birthday, Luke Winslow-King is playing Sonic Lunch. I have seen him perform a couple times, always good. Check him out at eleven thirty.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Memory / Spaces

A good friend of mine is exhibiting work at the Kerrytown Concert House till August. Jordan Pemberton, a Tecumseh raised and MICA trained artist, is showing her work Memory / Spaces. From the Facebook event: 
Working in oil paint, watercolor and a range of drawing materials, Pemberton uses art as a way to remember, re-imagine and recreate places from her childhood, early memories, family stories and dreams. Inspired by the uncertainty and instability of memory, Pemberton incorporates the visual language of architecture, iconography and monumentality into her work. While much of Pemberton's art is large, colorful and visually dense, Memory / Spaces focuses on the artist's smaller, quieter studies. The drawings and paintings in this exhibition depict various places in Michigan, Pemberton's childhood home.
Since high school I have been able to cite her as one of the most talented people I know. She was a presidential scholar finalist, and her work is sophisticated beyond her age. The reception is tomorrow from 5:00-7:00 pm at the concert house. See her work before "art fair" blurs your judgment.

Sarab Kamoo at the Performance Network Theatre

This Sunday, July 14, local actor Sarab Kamoo will be interviewed by Associate Artistic Director Carla Milarchon how she has managed to have a full career as an actress on stage, on television, and in film without ever leaving the state of Michigan.
Sarab Kamoo’s career as a professional actress has led her to the silver screen and endless Michigan theatres. She has been seen alongside A-list celebrities in films such as “The Giant Mechanical Man” with Jenna Fischer from “The Office”, Mitch Albom’s “Have a Little Faith”, “Conviction” with Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell, and “Stone” with Robert Di Nero. Kamoo has performed at Performance Network Theatre (most recently “God of Carnage”, “Sonia Flew”, and “9 Parts of Desire”) as well as the Purple Rose Theatre Company, Meadow Brook Theatre, Williamston Theatre, the Jewish Ensemble Theatre, and Tipping Point Theatre. Kamoo and Wolber join the stage together for the first time since the theatre’s inaugural production at the current location (120 East Huron Street) of “The Maiden’s Prayer” by Nicky Silver in 2006.
Tickets are $10 for adults/$5 for students and can be purchased here or by calling 734-663-0681.

Irish Hills in photos

On Saturday, EJ and I went with some friends down US 12 to explore the Irish Hills for the afternoon. The above map comes courtesy of the Dairy Bar, home to the Avalanche--Like a DQ Blizzard but with 3x the toppings. As we ate our kiddie-sized avalanches we all reflected, somewhat disappointedly, on how little ice cream we could now consume compared to our salad days. Time has been unkind to our apatite for ice cream just as it has been for some of the attractions in the Irish Hills: the go kart track I visited with my cousins as a kid is now overgrown with grasses and goldenrod; the Irish Hills Towers are crumbling and falling into US 12; the Prehistoric Forest is closed. Other places, like the Dairy Bar and Mystery Hill seem to be weathering the times quite well. Even the long shuttered Stagecoach Stop has reopened, though it seems to be transitioning to a antique store--we were told in no uncertain terms that we could not explore the large back area that was once a thriving old west themed amusement park.

The iconic Irish Hills Towers have become unstable and if the Irish Hills Historic Society can't raise sufficient funds to restore them by Aug. 1st, they will be demolished. The towers used to be two independently owned and competing tourist attractions until they were both bought in 1974.

Monday, July 8, 2013

In praise of the A2 Fest Commercial

This is almost as good as the Kickspit Underground Records Festival commercials from SNL:

You can buy your tickets for Underground Fest A2 Fest here.

Book review: 'I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place'

Howard Norman's I Hate to Leave This Beautiful Place, a collection of personal essays available tomorrow, begins as any good summer read could begin. It is August 1964 in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and the adolescent Mr. Norman is chatting casually with Paris Keller, his older brother's girlfriend. Paris stands topless in Mr. Norman's boyhood home, while her t-shirt, wet from a downpour, tumbles in the dryer. Sexual awakening and reluctant adulthood loom. "It was the first conversation I ever wrote down," the writer admits, a statement impossible to untangle from the bareness of Paris' breasts.

In many ways, this incident among them, Mr. Norman's memoir is emblematic of his era and age: his father is injuriously absent, John Lennon dies, Mr. Norman interacts with another culture and furthers his own self-actualization, namely as a writer. ("You might say that my time in the Arctic was an apprenticeship, for writing and thinking and even for attempting to keep certain aspects of the past as close at hand as humanly possible.")

But there are two important ways in which this book is something much more--and much better--than the standard fare we have come to expect when the word "memoir" graces a cover. First, Mr. Norman positions himself as an incisive vessel to his many, large worlds. Mr. Norman's writing is graceful and compelling, and he does not get bogged down by the endless information a writer is privy to when the subject is himself. It is evident that Mr. Norman has led a life more adventurous than most, and it would have been easy to get lost in his own interesting-ness: he cut his teeth documenting the folklore of the Canadian Northwest Territories, and he has gained considerable prominence as an author since. But conversations with David Mamet are treated with no more circumstance than those with neighbors in Vermont, with whom Mr. Norman and his wife watch Ken Burns' Civil War documentary. His memories of Grand Rapids are as thoughtfully considered as his research among the Inuit populations in the Great White North. Mr. Norman has woven significant events in his life artfully and purposefully, and reading his essays together has the satisfying effect of tapping a tightly strung drum.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A farewell to Shadow Art Fair

This year's Shadow Art Fair will be the last Shadow Art Fair. There's a good long post about the decision to end Shadow Art Fair over on MarkMaynard.Com. EJ and I went to our first Shadow Art Fair last year and it was a hoot. You can read all about it here. Anyway, Shadow Art Fair is Saturday July 20th at Corner Brewery. You should totally go.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Kings of Summer Director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts, at Michigan Theater tonight

Kings of Summer just opened at the Michigan Theater. It's a really fun movie and you should go see it (you can read my review here). Though it was filmed in Ohio, Kings of Summer has a Michigan sensibility to it that I think you all will be able to appreciate. As a special added bonus, if you go to the 7pm showing tonight, you will be able to participate in a Q&A session with the Director, Jordan Vogt-Roberts. He is a pretty cool guy, and I know that because I met him at a party once. In all seriousness, go see kings of summer, I think you will really enjoy it.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Michigan's Iconic TV Show: Freaks & Geeks?

Redditor, someguyfromcanada, produced a map of the most popular TV shows set in each state. For Michigan it's the short-lived Freaks & Geeks. You can see the full map below:

Via: Business Insider

On the Road: Detroit

Creative Rights is hosting a showcase of Michigan and Great Lakes State artist's work next Thursday in Detroit:

7:00-8:00pm Panel Discussion -- "In Print: Exploring books as medium, art object and archive in Detroit and beyond"

An interactive exhibition of books suspended in mid air.

The exhibition will be open from Thursday, July 11 through Saturday, July 13.

Hosted by the Detroit Community Library @ the Jam Handy Building.

The Art Book Review's "On the Road: Detroit" is an exhibition of art and artists' books from and about Detroit and the larger Great Lakes-area. Organized by L.A.-based publication the Art Book Review, the project will feature a curated display of exhibition catalogues, artist monographs, small run and handmade artists' books and zines amongst other types of ephemera and publications gathered through an open call to artists and publishers. The exhibition will be on view at the Jam Handy Building at 2900 E Grand Blvd, Detroit, MI from 11am-6pm, July 11th-13th, with an opening event July 11 from 6-9pm featuring a panel, "In Print: Exploring books as medium, art object and archive in Detroit and beyond" from 7-9pm.