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Amazon says Ann Arbor is a best-read city

Berkeley, California
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Alexandria, Virginia
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Notice a trend here? Apparently big college town make for big book sales. How Amazon knows whether we actually 

read the books or just pile 'em on our nightstand has yet to be revealed.

But if you now feel inspired to buy more books, might we recommend that you drop by Literati in downtown, Bookbound on Plymouth Ave or Nicolas Books on the west side of Ann Arbor? 

Excerpt:

"The online retailer announced Tuesday that Alexandria, where many government workers from nearby Washington reside, ranks No. 1 for sales of books, newspapers and magazines in cities of 100,000 people or more."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor singled out as a travel destination

A travel blogger sings praises to Ann Arbor's serene green spaces, U-Ms campus and, of course, our bustling downtown.

Excerpt:

To understand Ann Arbor is to understand that it is more than just a college town. It has a dense population of local producers, hippies, and craftsmen that love to share their skills and their wares off. Kerrytown is home to these kinds of people. With a weekly farmers market in the summer, a mixture of hard to find bars, and famous delis this part of town screams originality only found here. Even the roads have character as they are laid with brick instead of concrete. 

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor startup TurtleCell is starting to get noticed

It's a cell phone case. It's a set of headphones. It's two great tastes that taste great together. ...Or something like that. Ann Arbor-based TurtleCell has developed a nifty new cell phone accessory and they're getting more and more attention for it.

Excerpt

TurtleCell is set on embracing its young startup culture by delivering entertaining content to fans, including WTF's, (short for Weekly Turtle Facts), a live Twitter feed highlighting tangle haters worldwide, and a "Tur-Torial" video. TurtleCell aims to break the barrier between a product and its consumers through superior customer service, social engagement and fun promotional campaigns.

Read the rest here.
 

Mayor of Rome says bikes and public transit are the future

Wouldn't it be great if more Michigan mayors were this enlightened about the need for more public transit and bike focused infrastructure?

Excerpt:

"It’s only been about a year since Marino’s ascent to office. (Random fact: He used to be a transplant surgeon in Pittsburgh before deciding to return to his native Italy to pursue politics.) In that short period, Marino has made some controversial transportation decisions: He rebooted the city’s bike-share initiative, which had been plagued by theft and vandalism. He wants to help commuters pay bus and subway fares with their smartphones. He decided to close the Via dei Fori Imperiali, a major thoroughfare with heavy traffic, to non-essential vehicles on weekdays, and created a pedestrian-only plaza on weekends. And he’s limiting traffic on Rome’s most noteworthy roundabout — the one at the Colosseum."

Read the rest here.

Tony Hawk to celebrate opening of Ann Arbor Skatepark

Having Tony hawkshow up to christen your community's new skatepark is a pretty big damn deal - as Dave Askins, co-founder of the The Ann Arbor Chronicle discovers.

Excerpt:

"Now that Tony Hawk is scheduled to make an appearance in Ann Arbor in just a little over a month, I took some time check into why it’s a big deal. Here’s what I have learned. He’s a professional skateboarder, and not just some very good professional skateboarder. If a new tennis court were being dedicated, it’d be like Roger Federer showing up to hit a few balls over the net. Or if a new public swimming pool were being christened, it’d be like Michael Phelps turning a few laps on opening day. If new chess tables were being installed at a city park, it’d be like Garry Kasparov sitting down at a board to force checkmate in three moves."

Read the rest here.
 

EMU, U-M chosen for Google Community Leaders Program

EMU joins Wayne State University, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and the University of Michigan for a Google-sponsored program that teaches search optimization and digital marketing experience to students in order to help them support local businesses.

Excerpt:

"Five Eastern Michigan University students have been accepted into Google's Community Leader's Program, a volunteer operation in which students help equip local small businesses and non-profits to compete in the digital age. The five EMU students, Mahdi Alkadib, Patrick Cotter, Joseph Wendl, Robert Larson, and Sean Tseng, will work with various local businesses and organizations throughout southeastern Michigan, introducing them to tactical Google tools like Google+, Google Apps, Google Analytics and Google AdWords."

Read the rest here.
 

Duo Security's Dug Song named Leader & Innovator of the Year

It's no secret that Concentrate has a soft spot for local CEO Dug Song and his tech firm Duo Security. Seems like others are starting to catch up...

Excerpt:

"he Leaders & Innovators program was developed in 2005 by Lawrence Tech to recognize Michigan business executives who are engaged in cutting-edge professions and industries expected to be key to Michigan’s economic future.
 
Song has a history of leading successful products and companies to solve pressing Internet security problems. He spent seven years as founding chief security architect at Arbor Networks, protecting 80 percent of the world’s Internet service providers, and growing annual revenue to $120 million before its acquisition by Danaher."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor historic architecture captured in new book

A hero to some, a villain to others, there's little doubt that The Ann Arbor Historical Foundation has deep love and appreciation for Ann Arbor's architectural identity. To wit, they have released a new book: Historic Ann Arbor: An Architectural Guide, which describes over 350 vintage local buildings.

There's a book signing event with the authors tomorrow at the Ann Arbor City Club at 1830 Washtenaw Ave from 4-8pm. Check it out.

More info here.

New York Magazine suggests escape to Ann Arbor

Apparently Ann Arbor is a choice weekend getaway for claustrophobic New Yorkers seeking an arty (if sunless) destination. Topnotch meal destinations are rightly noted but the "What To Do" section seems a bit thin and unconvincing.

Excerpt:

"Sip a rare whiskey at the Ravens Club, where you can often find single bottles of spirits long forgotten by the general public, such as 20-year-old Barterhouse and Old Blowhard (26 years) by Orphan Barrel Whiskey. A rotating selection of seasonal craft beers and classic gastropub food like rabbit potpie ($12) and a burger made with locally raised, grass-fed beef from Steinhauser Farms ($14) are balanced by an impressive selection of bourbon and inventive menu items like the smoked-salmon tostada with beet salsa ($9) and grilled-watermelon salad served with avocado crème and pistachios ($8). Start with a few picks from the charcuterie menu—like the finocchiona, a Tuscan-style salami made with wild fennel seed and aged for 90 days ($6), or the earthy tartufo with black summer truffles ($6)—and add on a couple of local artisanal cheeses, such as Grassfields' Fait Gras, an especially creamy cheddar ($6)."

Read the rest here.
 

Ann Arbor Film Festival gets a critical analysis

There isn't another film festival in the U.S. - heck, North America - that's like the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Though its experiemental programming may not make it a popular event destination for mainstream filmgoers there is little doubt that it features some of the most interesting, challenging and offbeat films screened anywhere. Not surprisingly, the 52nd fest's offerings get a critical review that is, unequivocally, positive.

Excerpt:

"But just what is experimental cinema? These days, based on the selections of Ann Arbor and other festivals of its kind (such as Images, Crossroads, Migrating Forms, and Views from the Avant-Garde), it’s a combination of work that resembles “classic” avant-garde film, as in hand-processed, abstract, or structuralist 8 or 16mm film; irony-toned video art; works of editing from archive; or non-narrative nonfiction. Sometimes these types overlap, but they also don’t necessarily hang together in a cohesive way, either. What they do more or less all share is a general lack of commodifiability—and the artistry and dedication that attends this status—which is precisely why it’s crucial that those festivals, microcinemas, and local scenes continue to intervene. "

Read the rest here.
 

India-based scooter maker comes to Ann Arbor

Why did a Mumbia-based scooter company lay down roots in metro Detroit? It's that word economic development folks like to endlessly toss around: "ecosystem." As in, Michigan has the right one for their product.

Excerpt:

"The Mahindra Group — based in Mumbai, India — inaugurated its North American Technical Center in Troy on Friday. The center will develop fully engineered vehicles for Mahindra Global Automotive and will employ more than 100 engineers.

A separate manufacturing facility, Mahindra GenZe, will be located in Ann Arbor."

Read the rest here.
Here's what SPARK had to say about the company.
 

Ypsilanti band takes on infamous park defiler

In answer to the unfortunate and sordid story that made national news (seriously, there aren't more important issues for news outlets to draw our attention to?), Black Jake and The Carnies have decided to take lemons and make, er, lemonade/ Or, at least, music.

Watch and listen below.

 

Smaller cities seeing a rise in cyclists

Wouldn't it be nifty if Ann Arbor made it onto this list? Maybe we could do something about that...

Excerpt::

"The increase in bicycling so far has been mainly among men between the ages of 20 and 64, while rates of cycling by women and seniors lag far behind (cycling by children has actually declined, due to parental fears of traffic danger and stranger danger). More could be done to increase cycling among these underrepresented groups. One key measure is the installation of traffic-protected cycle tracks, which have been shown to increase cycling especially among children, seniors, and women. Cycle tracks offer direct, on-street routes while protecting cyclists from being hit by cars. "

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor student is finalist for Google Doodle scholarship

Artsy and green-minded. It's so Ann Arbor. A grade-schooler at Logan Elementary is a finalist for the Google Doodle contest and may end up on the search engine's main launch page.

Excerpt:

Hannah Hu of Logan Elementary school is one of 50 finalists in the contest to design the company's logo for a day. This year's theme is "If i could invent one thing to make the world a better place."

Read the rest here.
 

If you were an Ann Arbor bar, which would you be?

I got aut Bar. How about you?

Try the test here.
 
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