Thursday, July 28, 2011

Violin Monster Unmasked

It was earlier this year during a trip to New York when 26-year-old Zachary Storey first threw on a ghastly werewolf mask and took to the streets with his violin. Since that experience, Storey has fiddled his way through other cities. But for the last two months, he's been busking full-time on the streets of Ann Arbor, making a living turning heads and entertaining unsuspecting audiences on Main Street and elsewhere downtown. He quickly has become an iconic figure in Ann Arbor. "I'm just very grateful for the reception I've had in Ann Arbor. It's been a very welcoming community," Storey says. "I've just really loved it here." Read the story.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Shuttle Shock

Residents along Glazier Way in Ann Arbor say they're growing tired of the steady stream of shuttle buses coming and going between the VA hospital and Huron Hills Church — a situation they say is eroding the integrity of their otherwise peaceful neighborhood. The VA hospital and Huron Hills Church, 3150 Glazier Way, are now one year into a three-year deal that has the VA paying $82,335 a year to lease 200 parking spaces at the church. Two shuttles run on a continuous loop from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., transporting VA employees between the hospital and the church. "If this is allowed to stand in one of the more affluent neighborhoods in Ann Arbor, then no neighborhood is safe," said Rick Ratliff, head of the Glazier Way Association. Read the story.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Rain Man

So, I was walking along the University of Michigan Diag on Saturday afternoon when I came across two guys playing percussion instruments. Another guy in one of the wildest shirts I've ever seen in my life comes over while they're taking a break and asks them to play a song. He pulls out his wallet and gives them a twenty and they start playing. The guy then proceeds to do what I can only describe as some sort of African rain dance, stopping every now and then to apologize for the fact that he had just eaten half a gallon of Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Shortly into his dance, a group of Asian women join in and try to follow his lead but resort to a style that more resembles stretching/exercising. This goes on for at least five minutes until the song is over, and then the guy proceeds to have a conversation with the women in their language (Chinese, I believe). Anyhow, it was delightfully random.

Stars And Stripes

Art Fair Outtakes

Marc Broussard in Ann Arbor

The first time my ears ever absorbed the soulful sounds of Marc Broussard was in June 2003 at the Better Than Everfine Festival at Tower City Amphitheater in Cleveland, Ohio. Two years later, in June 2005, I made the drive from my home in Tucson to see him headline a show at the House of Blues in San Diego, California, with Tristan Prettyman opening for him that night. So, after two out-of-state journeys to see the 29-year-old rocker from Carencro, Louisiana, it was a treat to see him take the stage Friday night in my backyard in Ann Arbor, Michigan, as part of the the South University Art Fair Main Stage Lineup. Yep, he's still rocking.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Sugar Glider

This is Elijah, a 3-month-old "sugar glider" who turned a few heads at the Ann Arbor Art Fair today as he rode with University of Michigan student Kevin Welch. Sugar gliders are flying phalangers (lemurlike, tree-dwelling marsupials) that feed on wattle gum and eucalyptus sap and are native to Australia, New Guinea and Tasmania. "I got him three weeks ago from a family in Port Huron," Welch explained as he casually walked down the street with his new pet. "He jumps around a lot. He's nocturnal, so that's at night. During the day, he just sleeps a lot." Read more about sugar gliders and their awesomeness. But you probably shouldn't own one.

Ann Arbor Art Fair - Day One