July 4, 2012
My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.
~Adlai Stevenson, speech in Detroit, 1952
The safety to be unpopular is a freedom we don’t always think of, but something we might well consider. It strikes me that in our relentless drive to get everyone on the same page, we’re not able to get anything done. There is a lot to be done and a lot of places we can find common ground to make our schools and communities better and protect the natural resources that make Michigan the place we love.
If it’s total agreement you’re looking for, that’s probably fascism. Democracy is messy.
Speaking of messy, you’ve no doubt noticed bigger booms over the last few days, That’s due to a new law in Michigan that allows the purchase of any federally allowed firework. The messy democratic process is already at work:
City officials across Michigan have scrambled in recent weeks to try to stymie the party in the sky — limiting when residents can set off fireworks in light of a change in state law that allows a more powerful category of explosives to be sold and used in the state.
Warren Mayor Jim Fouts blasted the state law, saying “pyromaniacs” are terrorizing the community, scaring children, pets, seniors and veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder with the louder explosions caused by the more powerful fireworks.
“The state has legalized these ‘consumer fireworks’ and people are going gung ho,” Fouts said. “People, who were hesitant to do illegal fireworks now are empowered.”
State legislators approved the looser fireworks legislation, which went into effect in January, to keep residents from taking their money to other states to purchase fireworks not available here. The new law forces communities to allow the fireworks on the day before, the day of and the day after federal holidays, such as the Fourth of July.
Warren, Grand Rapids, Ferndale, Novi, Birmingham, Royal Oak and other cities across Michigan are already creating ordinances to ban these fireworks during other times of the year.
Here’s hoping you have an explosively fun and very safe Fourth of July! Here’s many more Fourth of July photos from Michigan in Pictures!
June 29, 2012
Gas prices are at an astonishing low – $2.99 at the Lambertville Kroger – and the weekend weather looks hot but amazing. It’s probably time to make a trip to one of Michigan’s great parks or beaches. While I’m guessing that most of you don’t have a sweet boat car like this, it’s a great weekend for boating too!
June 16, 2012
May 26, 2012
April 13, 2012
Wikipedia says that Trash the Dress is:
…also known as fearless bridal or rock the frock, is a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant clothing with an environment in which it is out of place. It is generally shot in the style of fashion and glamour photography. “Trash the dress” is the art of destruction or deconstruction of a brides wedding dress to create a new “artwork” that the bride would be proud to display on their wall. This new “masterpiece” is formed in the creative destruction of the dress. This will normally be portrayed in a sequence of images or simply a single image…
It may be done as an additional shoot after the wedding, almost as a declaration that the wedding is done and the dress will not be used again. It is seen as an alternative to storing the dress away.
March 17, 2012
May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow,
And may trouble avoid you wherever you go.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone! Detroit had their parade last weekend but there are events on tap today and tomorrow in Bay City, Clare, Flint, Kalamazoo, Grand Ledge, Saugatuck, Traverse City and Muskegon.
Ground zero for the Irish in Michigan is Corktown. Wikipedia notes that it is Detroit’s oldest neighborhood explaining:
The roots of Corktown lie in the Great Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s. The Irish immigrated to the United States in droves, and by the middle of the 19th century, they were the largest ethnic group settling in Detroit. Many of these newcomers settled on the west side of the city; they were primarily from County Cork, and thus the neighborhood came to be known as Corktown. By the early 1850′s, half of the population of the 8th Ward (which contained Corktown) were of Irish descent
The Irish in Michigan from Seeking Michigan has some information about Corktown but adds that:
Irish immigrants to Michigan certainly did not limit themselves to settling in the urban hub of Detroit, with many of them making their way up north. In the 1830s, Irish immigrants settled in fishing camps on Mackinac and Beaver Islands. Today, a large portion of Beaver Island’s year-round residents are of Irish descent. Wexford, Clare, Emmet and Antrim counties in the northern Lower Peninsula are all named after counties in Ireland. Irish immigrants were also instrumental to the copper mining boom in the Upper Peninsula. Nearly one-third of the area’s foreign-born population was from Ireland in 1870, though the Irish population would decline by 1920. Many small Irish communities could also be found scattered throughout the Lower Peninsula in the 1800s and early 1900s.
Wherever you are and whoever your ancestors were, here’s hoping you have a fun and safe St. Patrick’s Day holiday!
February 29, 2012
By my calculations, Leap Day only comes once every 1461 days.
How are you going to make it special?
Megan Elizabeth took this at the Detroit Institute of Arts, where she appears to be a frequent visitor. Check this out bigger and in her impressive [hello, 365]. slideshow featuring a photo a day of her leaping all over the place. Very cool, very creative, very appropriate!
February 14, 2012
February 3, 2012
“Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour.”
~ John Boswell
Our February Michigan Event Calendar features all kinds of cool events, from races like the i500 snowmobile race, the UP 200 sled dog race or (we can’t make this stuff up) outhouse races to winter celebrations like the Winter WOW Fest in Traverse City or Perchville USA in Tawas. One of the neatest happens this weekend: The Michigan Ice Fest in Munising.
A little more about Tannery Falls on Michigan in Pictures.
January 26, 2012
We, the PEOPLE of the territory of Michigan … mutually agree to form ourselves
into a free and independent state, by the style and title of “The State of Michigan’”
While Michigan’s Constitution was written in 1835, it took until January 26, 1837 for President Andrew Jackson to sign the bill making Michigan the nation’s 26th state (more about that right here but the short answer is, blame it on Ohio). That makes today the 175th birthday of the Great Lakes State. We’ve been making a fuss of it and giving things away on Absolute Michigan all week, and joining a whole lot of people in touting the good things about our great state at #Mich175 on Twitter.
Here’s some fun facts about Michigan:
- Michigan is derived from the Indian word Michigama, meaning great or large lake. (more about Michigan’s name on Michigan in Pictures)
- French explorers Étienne Brulé & Grenoble are the first recorded Europeans to set foot in Michigan (you never know though). In 1668 Fathers Jacques Marquette and Claude Dablon established the first mission at Sault Ste. Marie, and in 1701, French officer Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac founded Fort Pontchartrain in Detroit.
- The Michigan Territory was created, with Detroit designated as the seat of government and William Hull appointed as our first governor.
- Michigan became the 26th state on the 26th of January, 1837. Is 26 our lucky number? FYI, our first State governor was Stevens T. Mason, the 25 year old Boy Governor (the youngest state governor in American history).
- Michigan’s nickname is “the Wolverine State”. It is generally believed to have been coined during the 1835 Toledo War between Michigan and Ohio, when our southern rivals gave us the name due to the wolverine’s reputation for sheer orneriness!
- The Great Seal of Michigan was designed by Lewis Cass and was patterned after the seal of the Hudson Bay Fur Company. It depicts an elk on the left and a moose on the right supporting a shield that reads Tuebor (“I will protect”).The interior of the shield shows a figure on the shore with the sun rising over a lake. His right hand is raised, symbolizing peace, but he holds a rifle in his left hand, showing readiness to defend the state and nation.Below the shield is the inscription of our state motto Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice: “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you.” (I just learned that Michigan has an Office of the Great Seal – how cool would it be to say you worked there??)
- The original State Capitol of Michigan was Detroit, and it moved to Lansing in 1847 to help develop the western side of the state and due to the need to develop the western portions of the state and for easy defense from British troops. Here’s a pic of Michigan’s original Capitol Building and an 1890s view of the current Michigan capitol.
- Michigan is the 10th largest state by area if you count the water … and who wouldn’t count the water??
- Speaking of water, we have 3,288 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, good for second to only Alaska in coastline!
PS: I made a little Michigan Birthday cover photo for Facebook that you are free to grab.