Friday, December 11, 2009

A Very Camera Christmas

It turns out those shiny gold Nikon gear boxes make great fake presents under your Christmas tree after you've spent thousands of dollars on camera equipment and have no money left to buy actual gifts for anyone. These are a few of the many purchases I made this year to help get a leg up in my career as a photojournalist: A Nikon D700 Digital SLR Camera, a Nikon 14-24mm wide-angle lens and Nikon 70-200mm VR II zoom lens. Boxes for my 50mm and 85mm prime lenses are not shown, but they're just as shiny.

Passing Time At Pacific Rim

I met up with my friend Stefanie and a few other people for drinks the other night after an Ann Arbor Environmental Commission meeting. It was my first time patronizing Pacific Rim By Kana, a delightful Asian-themed bar and restaurant at 114 W. Liberty St. in downtown Ann Arbor. The shots you see below are of Stefanie tragically texting until her phone died, the martini she had to drink, and the Hitachino Nest White Ale that I did not try because I had already drank two pale ales before discovering this Japanese treat.

According to Pacific Rim's Web site, the business started out as Kana, a small, family-owned Korean restaurant that opened near the University of Michigan Hospital in 1982. After 12 years of success, Mr. and Mrs. Ko outgrew that location and in 1995 moved their restaurant to its current spot just off of Main Street in the heart of downtown Ann Arbor.

Monday, December 7, 2009

City Council Retreat

I bunkered down in a small conference room with the Ann Arbor City Council for eight hours on Saturday and listened to City Administrator Roger Fraser offer a grim financial outlook for the city, which must trim its budget by 30 percent over three years – starting immediately – to confront falling property tax revenues and declines in state revenue sharing in Michigan. The words "reduced" and "impact" projected onto the city administrator's head in this first photo are indicative of what's ahead. The guys in the middle photo are firefighters who watched on as Fraser talked about the need to immediately lay off 14 firefighters. The last photo says it all.