Singing along in Michigan

Pure Michigan Statewide Singalong in Flint, photo by Rob Bliss

via Absolute Michigan

Rob Bliss & Jeff Barrett, creators of the fantastic Grand Rapids lip dub video premiered their Pure Michigan Statewide Sing-along at halftime of the Lions game on Sunday. It was filmed in 50 Michigan cities in 7 days. It’s a pretty cool travelogue of the Great Lakes State in under 4 minutes.

Check out the finished video on YouTube and also don’t miss the behind the scenes blog from

The Descent

The Decent

The Descent, photo by J.M.Barclay

Here’s hoping that the equivalent of the Fun Slide passes through your weekend!

View it on black and in J.M.’s slideshow.

More great black & white photos on Michigan in Pictures.

The Guru Of The Green and our science fiction moment

Guru Of The Green  -  Flint, Michigan

Guru Of The Green – Flint, Michigan, photo by J.M.Barclay.

“It’s almost like science fiction at this point.”
~Weather Underground weather historian, Christopher C. Burt

Dr. Jeff Masters flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990 and co-founded Ann Arbor-based The Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He’s Wunderground’s Senior Meteorologist and has been writing some insightful and frankly scary articles about what he calls “Summer in March” which has seen up to a week straight of record high temperatures. Yesterday he wrote:

Since record keeping began in the late 1800s, there have never been so many temperature records broken for spring warmth in a one-week period–and the margins by which some of the records were broken yesterday were truly astonishing. Wunderground’s weather historian, Christopher C. Burt, commented to me yesterday, “it’s almost like science fiction at this point.” A few of the more remarkable records from yesterday:

Pellston, Michigan in the Northern Lower Peninsula is called “Michigan’s Icebox”, since it frequently records the coldest temperatures in the state, and in the entire nation. But the past five days, Pellston has set five consecutive records for hottest March day. Yesterday’s 85° reading broke the previous record for the date (53° in 2007) by a ridiculous 32°, and was an absurd 48°F above average.

The low temperature at Marquette, Michigan was 52° yesterday, which was 3° warmer than the previous record high for the date!

Also don’t miss this article where Jeff looks at how extraordinarily rare for climate locations with 100+ year long periods of records to break records day after day after day.

James snapped this amazing capture of the Guru frozen above some green water left over from St Patrick’s Day at Flint’s Riverbank Park. Check it out bigger and in his free run sun slideshow with some Free Running / Parkour action. He also has a show starting Saturday – details on his Facebook.

A long shot in Vehicle City

A long shot

A long shot, photo by flintstoner.

Editor’s note: Midway through writing this post, I realized that I had blogged about the Vehicle City arches four years ago. I figured that if I had forgotten, most of you probably would have forgotten too or never seen it, so here you go.

Last week Governor Rick Snyder appointed Michael Brown as Emergency Manager for Flint. You can read all about that (including some interviews) on Absolute Michigan.

When I was looking at photos for that feature, this one with all the arches on Saginaw street caught my eye so I decided to learn a little more about them. Flinn’s Journal (which is a really cool site by the way that has a dynamic Facebook page) has a column on the Flint Arches that explains:

On November 29, 2003, a part of downtown Flint’s past officially returned to become part of Flint’s present and future when the replicated Flint Vehicle City arches were dedicated and lit for the first time. The arches are reminders of Flint’s glorious past as “The Vehicle City” as the city faces an uncertain future.

The vehicles which were made in Flint when the original arches were built were horse-drawn carriages. The leading maker of horse-drawn carriages in Flint was the Durant-Dort Carriage Company which was co-founded by William C. Durant and J. Dallas Dort and was in business from 1886 to 1917. Both men would also start companies which made horseless carriages. Dort founded the Dort Motor Car Company which was in business from 1915 to 1923. Dort Highway was named in his honor. Durant took over the then-small Buick Motor Company in 1904 and made it the leading motorcar company in 1908, the year that Durant founded Buick’s parent company General Motors Corporation. The first arches were erected in 1899 and built by Genesee Iron Works.

The arches were each fitted with 50 light bulbs which were illuminated at night. The arches replaced gas lighting. To celebrate Flint’s Golden Jubilee in 1905, an additional arch was erected near the point where Saginaw Street and Detroit Street (now M.L. King Ave.) split off north of the bridge over the Flint River. This arch was topped off by an illuminated sign saying “FLINT VEHICLE CITY”. For the Christmas holiday season, the regular light bulbs were replaced by multicolored light bulbs.

Click above to read more and see some photos. The arches were fabricated by Bristol Steel of Davison Michigan – check their site for photos and video of the installation. You can see some cool old photos at the Flint Vehicle City Arches site too.

Check this out background bigtacular and in flintstoner’s Flickriver.

Below is a photo by Arthur Crooks from the excellent Making of Modern Michigan gallery showing the Vehicle City Arch erected in 1905 as part of the City’s 50th anniversary. The caption of the photo says “South Saginaw St from Detroit Street looking South” while the description says it’s on Saginaw Street looking north. Can anyone clarify this?

October in Michigan is filled with light & color … and some great events!

A River Runs Through It, my New Years Resolution version

A River Runs Through It, my New Years Resolution version, photo by posthumus_cake (

“How beautifully leaves grow old. How full of light and color are their last days.”
~John Burroughs

We’ve posted our October Michigan Event Calendar on Absolute Michigan. It’s one of Michigan’s best listings of events, featuring everything from ArtPrize in Grand Rapids to the Famous Pumpkin Train. Check them all out and learn a lot more about the 10th month!

The photo is the Big Carp River seen from one of Michigan’s premier vistas, the Lake of the Clouds Overlook in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. Check it out on black and in his Porcupine Mountains slideshow. He adds that one year later, it was a blizzard! More from Matthew at

Back To the Bricks in Flint!

Back To the Bricks: Flint Michigan

Back To the Bricks: Flint Michigan, photo by maryn0503.

The annual Back to the Bricks Cruise Weekend takes place August 16-20 in Flint. Vehicle City goes back to its roots as around 25,000 show car owners and hundreds of thousands of car fans celebrate classic cars and car culture with a rolling cruise, car show and many more events.

One of the coolest things is that the showing and cruising are free, so if you have a car that meets their criteria, you can just head over! Check for all the details.

Check this out big as the 70s and in Mary’s Back to the Bricks slideshow.

For even more, see Back to the Bricks 2010 slideshow from Flint Foto Factory.

Rothbury, Electric Forest and a Ticket Giveaway Explosion

Rothbury - Out of This World
Rothbury – Out of This World, photo by tinmantaber.

In which the author explains how Rothbury & Electric Forest led to a giveaway of 72 tickets…

I’m not sure if this qualifies as a commercial, but you should know that Electric Forest Festival is a sponsor of Absolute Michigan. Plus it’s kind of long. Sorry. ;)

Over Fourth of July weekend in 2009, I was part of the Absolute Michigan crew that went to the Rothbury Music Festival (click for our coverage). Two others on the crew were Richard Taber (who took this photo) and Ryan Thompson (who’s in it). I still don’t know how they thought of it, but it’s a classic!

While Rothbury has yet to return, a new festival by the same producers called Electric Forest starts this Thursday in Rothbury and runs June 30 – July 4.

I really enjoyed Rothbury and the incredible art and entertainment that went far beyond my previous experience of music festivals, so I was really excited when Electric Forest agreed to sponsor Absolute Michigan. Part of their sponsorship was a pair of tickets that we gave away at the end of May to Mark L of Detroit. The excitement that folks felt about a chance to win tickets made me think that there might be a way to do more giveaways, and after a few weeks of calling around, we’ve got 25 pairs of tickets (and counting) that we are giving away or have given away in our “Festival Summer” promotion.

These are great events of all kinds like the incredible Maker Faire Detroit at the Henry Ford, the delicious Taste of Kalamazoo and the venerable Hiawatha Traditional Music Festival in Marquette, and I felt pretty good about that. Then one of the event organizers asked me how many pairs I wanted, and I thought “Why not give away some more?” I asked for four and now eleven festivals & events have given a second pair of tickets that we’re going to give away on July 4th, hopefully to a person or persons as crazy & fun as Ryan and Richard.

Check it out background bigtastic and in Richard’s Rothbury Festival 2009 – Greatest Hits slideshow. Many more shots in his Rothbury collection and definitely see the slideshow on the Rothbury website.

More from Ryan at