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 backtothebricks.org 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 ryanthompson.org.

Back to the Bricks heads out to the Mitten

1962 Corvette at Blackstone's

1962 Corvette at Blackstone’s, photo by Flint Foto Factory

Back to the Bricks is an annual car show held every August in Flint (August 16-20, 2011). It’s a huge classic car show with cruises, movies, concerts and more that celebrates the car culture of “Vehicle City“. Last year the event drew over 350,000 people. This year, organizers are stepping things up a notch with their Back to the Bricks Michigan Mitten Promo Tour. The tour starts Friday and runs June 17-26. It will bring hundreds of cars and a taste of Back to the Bricks to these cities:

  • Port Huron: June 17
  • Bay City: June 18
  • Alpena: June 19
  • Mackinaw City: June 20
  • Traverse City: June 21
  • Ludington: June 22
  • Holland: June 23
  • Brooklyn: June 24
  • Flint: June 25-26

Joseph writes that flaws and all, he loves Flint and hopes that love comes across in his pictures. Check this out bigger and in his Flint, Michigan / Back to the Bricks 2010 slideshow.

Pile-o-Pigs

Pile o Pigs

Pile-o-Pigs, photo by Kensington slideshow.

Can Flint Survive the Attack of the 50 Foot Woman?


For my studio photography class., photo by sarah. reed.

On Sunday, photographer Sarah Reed staged a photo shoot to re-create the classic poster for Attack of the 50 Foot Woman.

See it bigger in her slideshow.

The 50 Foot Tall Woman Attacks Flint!!

Downtown Flint - HDR

Downtown Flint – HDR, photo by E. Brow.

Update – click to see the photo!

This Sunday (November 28) from 1-2 PM, Flint area photographer and student Sarah Reed needs your help. She is trying to recreate the classic movie poster for Attack of the 50 Foot Woman using Saginaw Street as the backdrop. She is looking for extras to come out on Sunday (while Flint is pretty much not busy) to play the part of the freaked out populace.

Get all the details on Facebook.

All I can say is, this lady better watch out!

See it bigger in Eric’s Flint, MI slideshow.

Orange Hibiscus

Orange Hibiscus

Orange Hibiscus, photo by designsbykari.

Check this out in all its oversized orange glory and see more in Kari’s Michigan set (slideshow).

Hope your weekend is this bright and beautiful!

Hand-building automobile bodies: Michigan’s Automobile Factories, 1900-1961

Packard Factory, Detroit, 1910, courtesy of the National Automotive History Collection, Detroit Public Library

The Michigan Radio Picture Project has a new feature titled Michigan’s Automobile Factories, 1900-1961 edited by Doug Aikenhea. It’s a fantastic tour through Michigan’s automobile heritage, that takes you from hand-built wooden auto bodies to sheet metal & assembly lines. It features well known factories in Detroit, Flint & Lansing like Ford, Buick and Chrysler along with lesser known ones such as Durant-Dort, Fisher, Chalmers & Maxwell. They write:

The industrial adventurers and entrepreneurs who launched Michigan’s automobile industry came from various backgrounds. Some of them began as carriage makers, like William C. Durant who would go on to found General Motors in 1908. The earliest automobiles, like their horse-drawn predecessors, were constructed largely from wood and were built individually until the assembly line evolved to accelerate production and incorporate standardized, mass-produced parts. As automobile manufacturing progressed, the role of the worker changed from traditional craftsman to skilled assembly line specialist. This series of historical photographs traces the evolution of Michigan automobile factories from 1900 until 1961.

Click through for more!

The Timber Wolf (canis lupus) in Michigan

2007 0300 Wolf on LakeMIUS2

2007 0300 Wolf on LakeMIUS2, photo by Dennis Raney.

Alexis writes Paw took this one of a wolf on Lake Michigan off US2 on the way back downstate. There was another wolf on the ice, but it didn’t make it into this frame It’s part of her very cool Michimania set (slideshow).

Wikpedia says the timber wolf, gray wolf or simply wolf is the largest member of the Canidae family. From the Michigan DNR page on the Gray Wolf (canis lupus) and a recent DNR release regarding the delisting of the gray wolf, we get a picture of the state of wolves in Michigan:

It is believed that wolves were once present in all 83 counties in the state of Michigan. A combination of European werewolf mythology, fairy tales, views that wolves were incompatible with civilization, and active predator control programs throughout the 20th century virtually eliminated the gray wolf from Michigan: by 1840, they could no longer be found in the southern portion of the Lower Peninsula; by around 1910 they had completely disappeared from the Lower Peninsula; and by 1960, when the state-paid bounty on wolves was repealed, they had nearly vanished from the Upper Peninsula.

In 2008, a minimum of 520 gray wolves lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, part of an estimated population of 4,000 gray wolves living in Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin.

(DNR Director Rebecca Humphries) emphasized that while the gray wolf has been removed from the federal endangered species list, it remains on the state’s protection as a species. There currently is no hunting or trapping of gray wolves allowed in Michigan, and starting on April 22, the gray wolf will be listed as a nongame species in Michigan. In order for hunting to occur, the Michigan Legislature would need to pass a law to add the gray wolf to the list of game species in the state, she said.

You can get more about Canis lupus (gray wolf) from the University of Michigan Museum of Zoology’s Animal Diversity Web and check out pictures & sounds of the gray wolf from Wikimedia including this pic of a wolf print and these sounds from a wolf pack.

You might also want to check out this Absolute Michigan “Weird Wednesday” on the Giant Wolf of Flint by the author of Weird Michigan, Linda Godfrey.

Creating Cities in Michigan

Lansing, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint, Traverse City, Marquette and Kalamazoo are by no means all of Michigan’s cities (or even the largest). Each, however, seems to be an anchor for its region – a center to which people look to for culture, entertainment and commerce.

October 13-15, 2008, lovers of cities large & small from Michigan and all over the country will head to Detroit for the Creative Cities Summit 2.0 (CCS2), an exploration of what our cities could become and how we can work to make them. Organizers have chosen Detroit, a city so deeply forged in America’s industrial fires that it’s been devastated by the flickering of that flame. I’m headed down there and will try to bring some of the ideas back to you through Absolute Michigan – I hope that some of you can join me there.

The Photos (left to right)

Creative Cities Summit 2.0 in Detroit on Oct. 13-15, 2008

CCS2 will present a dynamic and engaging conversation about how communities around the world are integrating innovation, social entrepreneurship, sustainability, arts & culture and business to create vibrant economies. Full conference registration is $300 for the two and half day event, and there’s also a “no frills” registration that is only $100. There’s also a free “Unconference” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) on the 12th for designers, urban planners, civic leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, students, community leaders to explore and discuss what’s possible for Detroit.
Keynote speakers include:

  • Bill Strickland, MCG-Bidwell Corp.
  • Richard Florida, Author Who’s Your City
  • Charles Landry, Author The Art of City Making
  • John Howkins, Author The Creative Economy
  • Dean Kamen, Inventor, DEKA
  • Majora Carter, Sustainable South Bronx
  • Doug Farr, Architect and Author Sustainable Urbanism
  • Ben Hecht, Pres. & CEO Living Cities
  • Tom Wujec, Fellow, Autodesk
  • Carol Coletta, CEOs for Cities
  • Giorgio Di Cicco, Poet Laureate, City of Toronto and Author, The Municipal Mind
  • Diana Lind, Editor, Next American City magazine

Breakout sessions on topics such as:

  • Race and the Creative City
  • Cities, Universities & Talent
  • Marketing, Media and the Creative City
  • Measuring New Things – ROI in the Creative Economy
  • Creative (Small) Cities
  • New Ideas in Urban Amenities
  • Community Vitality: The Role of Artists, Gays, Lesbians & Immigrants
  • Midwest Mega-region: How the Midwest Can Compete
  • Transportation Innovation for Cities
  • Making the Scene: Music & Economic Development

Much (much) more at creativecitiessummit.com.