Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ghosts Don't Exist

Nathan K. is an up-and-coming musician from Ypsilanti by way of Ann Arbor. Despite getting stung by a bee during the middle of a song Friday, he managed to finish his set uninterrupted at the Ann Arbor Summer on Ingalls Mall. Attendance was light due to chilly weather and threats of a storm, but those who came out most assuredly left glad they came. Check him out.

Cool Ranch

Slouched in a blue folding chair in front of Ann Arbor's city hall, James Brinker has all he needs for the moment: a copy of High Times magazine, a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos, a 16-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew and an Android cell phone loaded with rock tunes. An associate of a proposed medical marijuana dispensary on Packard Road, Brinker has been camped out in front of city hall since Monday night. He has slept the last five nights curled up with a blanket in his chair, using an umbrella to shield him from the elements on what has turned out to be a rainy week. "It sucks being out here," he admitted on Friday afternoon. "But I'll sit out here as long as I have to — this is my livelihood I'm talking about." Read the story.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Trying Out For Varsity

Architect Robert Keane of WDG Architecture based in Washington, D.C., shows a drawing of a proposed 13-story apartment building called The Varsity, shown in yellow, that would stand next to 411 Lofts on Washington Street in downtown Ann Arbor. The Varsity officially became the first downtown development to face the scrutiny of Ann Arbor's new design review process when it went before the newly formed Design Review Board on Wednesday. Read the story and check out the plans.


Ann Arbor resident James Brinker, an associate of a proposed medical marijuana dispensary on Packard Road, camps outside of city hall Monday night in order to be the first in line to get one of a limited number of dispensary licenses. The Ann Arbor City Council voted 8-2 to give final approval to a medical marijuana licensing ordinance that's been in the works since last year. The ordinance caps the licenses to be issued at no more than 20. Read the story.

Ramped Up

Sam Saalberg, 13, and other members of the Ann Arbor Skatepark Street Team attended Monday night's Ann Arbor City Council meeting to show their support for construction of a skate park at the city's Veterans Memorial Park. Saalberg is like a lot of teenagers in Ann Arbor: He loves skateboarding, but opportunities for practicing his craft locally are still in short supply. "Like downtown, they made it illegal to skate on the streets there or anywhere else, so there's really no safe, fun place to skate." Read the story.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Bad Dream

When gunshots rang out near the Dream Nite Club last month, Ann Arbor Police Officer Brad Rougeau, far left, was already on the scene — and he risked his life to catch the shooter. Two days later, he received a pink slip from the city and was told he'd be losing his job effective July 1 due to city budget cutbacks. Read the story.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Beer Depot

Found this photo I shot sometime last summer of the historic Beer Depot on East William Street in downtown Ann Arbor. I'm told the drive-thru sign since has been taken down. Bummer. Read the history of this 1941-era establishment.

It's Late (At Night)

Ann Arbor-based musician Douglas Lane Allen is a master of the Irish bouzouki. Throw in violinist Jordan Adema and you've got a harmonious duo capable of turning just about every head that passes by Liberty Plaza at midnight on a Saturday.


Portrait Of A Kayaker

Argo To Gallup

Some images from a kayaking trip down the Huron River from Argo to Gallup on Saturday. The highlight was definitely meeting a pair of West Highland Terriers named Mac and Coconut, a.k.a. "Coco." Also, I won't type it all out here, but ask me sometime about the old man standing in the river and how I almost tipped my kayak trying to photograph him.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Snake Juice

Standup comedian Aziz Ansari, perhaps best known for his role as Tom Haverford on the NBC sitcom “Parks and Recreation," performed two sold-out shows Monday night at the Ann Arbor Comedy Showcase where a strict no-photography policy was in place. The show was hilariously edgy and high-energy as 28-year-old Ansari touched on the dating scene, racism, the institution of marriage and his idiot cousin. He drew some of the biggest laughs of the night when he shared the story of overhearing rapper 50 Cent learn for the first time in his life what a grapefruit was. Most of his jokes are too raunchy to post here, but go buy his stuff or check him out next time he's in your area. And for those wondering, yes, he cited Zingerman's as a reason for coming back to Ann Arbor.

Tastes Of Ann Arbor