Two Brothers Swimming Against the Amazon: Rochester’s Village Lamp Shop

Don’t tell me you haven’t done it–found something in a store, then guiltily taken out your phone to find a better deal on Amazon, Craig’s List or eBay.

You could argue with your guilty ol’ self and say that in the days before apps, it was similar to heading into the tire store with a newspaper add of a competitor’s price and asking them to beat it.  But now, you just have to click the little button and the over-stressed Amazonians are already whisking down their sweatshop canyons of shelves to get your order out the conveyor belt before you reach your car–with the retail owner, like your dog at the beginning of your work day, watching and your “Buy American” bumper sticker roll away.

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New Podcast: Detroit From Above – Alex S. MacLean’s Aerial Photography of Detroit

 

Following the December 7, 2014 publication of his New York Times Sunday Review, “Detroit By Air” which examines the city’s dramatic haves and have-nots, photographer Alex MacLean is interviewed by Kevin Walsh and Thomas J. Reed, Jr. of the new website, DiggingDetroit.com.

Topics include…

  • Alex’s background, including his fear of flying leading to his pilot’s license
  • Detroit’s past, present and future
  • Regrowing urban communities
  • Alex’s transition from aerial surveyor to gallery artist
  • His favorite audiences
  • Switching to digital, but still loving prints—and those amazing drones!

 

More information on Alex can be found at his website:  http://alexmaclean.com

“If a Tweet Falls in the Forest…” Life without Applause-Signs, Laugh-Tracks & Likes

It’s often not so much what happens in our lives—as what we figure ought to happen.  If no one likes this post, did it fail?

I started noticing  camera-angles and how they manipulated the audience far too early in my life–especially for the poor bystanders who were stuck in a living room, basement or movie theater with me.

The Cosby Show, for all of its garish sweaters and too-good-to-be-true charm of a doctor/lawyer upper-middle class family, was a breakthrough on many levels—it revitalized the sit-com and finally placed a TV African-American family out of the ghetto—if you bypass George Jefferson moving on up.

But what I noticed immediately, from my hero of a dozen scratched LP comedy albums, was the cutaway to Clair—Cliff Huxtable’s long-suffering wife who managed … Read More…

Hollywood’s Spring Training – Saturday’s 46th Michigan Student Film Festival (Great Seats Still Available–and They’re Free!)

Two events, besides roller coasters,  when people don’t mind long lines:  movies and sporting events.  People will drive 24 hours through the night to get a glimpse…

Pitchers

Spring training.  Your team’s undefeated…

SpringTraining1

There’s sunshine, plenty of seats available, a great overall vibe…

Autograph

And it’s the only time you can get close enough to some celebrities–some even before they’re famous.

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Five Minutes That Could Redefine How You Perceive Media

If you have seen a movie, watched television, or even spoken of the two, then you’ve probably heard of Kevin Spacey. Our main man is attributed to being the degree by which people are separated in the film world, the “Six Degrees of Kevin Spacey”. Indeed Kevin Spacey’s prolific career that began in 1986 spans television, film, and music. He has had unparalleled success in pretty much everything he has done. Spacey’s most recent notable work includes his new hit series “House of Cards” on Netflix. Speaking in Edinburgh, Kevin Spacey, describes the process he and his team went through trying to get “House of Cards” greenlit, and in the process, ever so eloquently explains how the current model of delivering media content to the … Read More…

The Method Is Madness

Olivier and Hoffman

I write this (the first draft, anyway) at 11:45 am, Monday morning, August 5. There will be approximately 4 more working hours in the day. About 6,060 minutes stand between me and the end of the work day on Friday. Now 6,059.  Don’t get me wrong–I’m not a “clock-watcher,” someone who simply gets to work and runs out the clock until the end of the day.  I’m all about the work.  Still 6,059.

To those people who are dedicated to their craft, who are willing to spend as many hours as necessary to chase some unattainable perfection, I salute you…to an extent. … Read More…

The Roaring Twenties in Detroit: A City in the Black—and Purple

ThinkerPurple

Kevin’s recent illustrated humor post on Detroit’s Museum Yard Sale, about the proposed selling of the city’s more valuable art pieces, reminded me of the last time I visited the Detroit Institute of Arts about 10 years ago (I live in New York so have an excuse for not visiting there more often).

My husband, author Warren Berger, and I were there on a scouting mission. Warren was checking out locations for scenes in his novel THE PURPLES, which chronicles/imagines the rise and fall of the young rumrunner Purple Gang in 1920s Detroit. [Nota bene: The novel started life as a great screenplay … Read More…

Museum Yard Sale? Detroit’s Deficit & Denial

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MelWoman

 ”How much for the Picasso with the grumpy old lady?”

“$4 million.”

“Would you take two?”

“Umm.  Let me ask my wife.”

The painting reminds me so much of an estate sale my wife and I dropped in on in Bloomfield Hills.  It was a fabulous house with riches galore–all at marked down prices.  The Coach handbags, for example, were only $250 for crying out loud.

And there, in the dining room, in the corner glaring at us vultures, was the owner.  I’m … Read More…

Iago Defeats the Kraken: Game of Thrones and Crimes and Misdemeanors.

how cool would that have been

Spoiler alert. If you have not yet seen Game of Thrones, stop reading this and go watch it. Whatever you’re doing—washing dishes, taking out the trash, googling exes—stop and watch it now. Oh yeah, don’t eat first.

You’re back?  The Starks took some more hits last night. In GOT world, the Starks are “the good guys.”  They’re brave, virtuous, honest, strong.  Contrast them with the Lannister’s—their greatest warrior is known as “kingslayer” for stabbing a former king in the back. The Kingslayer and his sister have a incestuous relationship so potent they can’t keep their … Read More…

We Shalt Not Kill Either!

<> on April 15, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.

As far back as I can remember, I have argued against the death penalty, but so often over the past decade, I found my voice weaker, my stance less certain. The events in Boston yesterday reminded us all of one basic fact that will not be ignored: people suck. We’re not necessarily wrong when we tell ourselves that most people—the overwhelming majority of people–are basically good, even if a few exceptions so often demand our attention. But those exceptions at times open fire on parents carrying infants, putting 5 bullets in an infant … Read More…