Saturday, March 31, 2012

'I Just Probed An Alien!'

All was well in downtown Ann Arbor Friday night as the food carts re-opened for the season behind Downtown Home and Garden on Washington Street. That was until some creepy green aliens arrived. Luckily, Phillis Engelbert and Joel Panozzo, the geniuses behind a vegan food cart called The Lunch Room, distracted the alien invaders with their killer vegan dance moves. We all wondered if Phillis took it a little too far when she shouted out, "I just probed an alien!" The joy in her voice was disconcerting. Fortunately Washtenaw County Commissioner Yousef Rabhi, D-Ann Arbor, was there to hold it down with a plethora of plaid.

FoolMoon 2012

The fools are back in town! This was the scene Friday night at the second annual FoolMoon event on Washington Street in downtown Ann Arbor. The moonlight event — held for the first time last year as a new sort of prelude to the long-standing FestiFools parade in Ann Arbor — features large processions of handmade illuminated sculptures (a.k.a. "luminaries") carried by dancing teams of merrymakers. As the luminaries danced above the crowded street party, their shadows could be seen on the side of a nearby building where a movie was being projected. It was all very foolish and good times were had by all. Here are some of my favorite luminaries of the night. Looking forward to FestiFools at 4 p.m. Sunday! Go here for deets.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Lil Bow Wow

Pretty Sure I Asked For Pecan Sandies

Ann Arbor resident and labor attorney Jack Eaton is back taking another shot at running for the Ann Arbor City Council. Here he is in a photo I snapped last year at a council meeting, snack in hand for a long night of fun. Read about his candidacy.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Fourth And William

The first floor of the Fourth and William parking structure in downtown Ann Arbor is being considered for redevelopment as part of the "Connecting William Street" planning process being undertaken by the Downtown Development Authority. The DDA is working on crafting and implementing strategies to transform five city-owned parking areas into uses that will better serve the community, including the Library Lot, the Old Y Lot, the ground floor of the Fourth and William parking structure, the Palio Lot, and the Kline Lot.

West Side Story

Tony Derezinski said it's a slippery slope if the Ann Arbor Planning Commission starts to equate apartments with crime. "We have a lot of complexes going up, and if we were to use that criteria every time, I think it would be sort of suspect," he said during Tuesday night's meeting where a discussion about a proposed housing development on Ann Arbor's west side turned into a debate about crime in relation to nearby apartment complexes. Read the story.

Fire In The Hole

Mayor John Hieftje said working cooperatively with Ann Arbor's firefighters union is going to afford the city the best opportunity to meet the challenges still ahead for the Ann Arbor Fire Department. Read the story.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

The Changing Face Of Fifth Avenue

The City Place student apartments are taking shape along Fifth Avenue where seven historic homes stood until last fall. The project was at the center of intense controversy for years and Ann Arbor officials still are considering zoning ordinance changes to prevent another similar project from encroaching on another near-downtown neighborhood.

Something Old, Something New

A new student housing project rises above an old student rental house at the corner of Division and William streets on the southern edge of downtown Ann Arbor.

Knighted's outgoing sports editor Jim Knight was remembered Tuesday night at Conor O'neill's with a spoof video produced by colleagues Kyle Feldscher, right, and Pete Cunningham, on screen. It was filled with friendly mockery of Knight, who has accepted a job as communications manager of the Human Resources Department at the University of Michigan.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sequence Of Events

The Dog Show

Stan and his pit bull friend Penny Lane met at the Swift Run Dog Park in Ann Arbor in early February and they've been BFFs ever since. They really play well together and know each other's limits. They could tangle for hours on end, and that's just what they did Friday after I got off work and drove to Ypsilanti for a doggy play date at Riverside Park. Stan is totally an alpha male, by the way. He courageously picks on bigger dogs at the park and I overhear this comment a lot: "Man, that's one tough puppy!"