The Time for Combat Basketball Has Come: An Open Letter to Joe Dumars

Posted in Interesting People, Sports with tags , , , , , , , , on July 1, 2009 by Quinn Strassel

“Dear Joe,

There’s no denying you got off to a great start as the Detroit Pistons President of Basketball Operations.  Your swift ascent from ex-athlete to sports exec god was, well, messianic.  No, you never turned water into wine, but you did trade a perpetually injured Grant Hill for the unheralded duo of Ben Wallace and Chucky Atkins (who you eventually traded for Rasheed Wallace). Pretty close.  You assembled a team of scrappers (dare I say, “in your image”) and led them to the promised land.  For this, I will always be grateful.

But in recent years, you’ve fallen on hard times and yesterday you fired head coach Michael Curry.  I’ll let others debate the merits of that decision.  The reason I am writing you now is to tell you that your next decision should not be up for debate.

You must hire Bill Laimbeer.

I know what you’re thinking.  “Hire Laimbeer?  My whining, flopping ex-teammate whose only coaching experience is with a women’s team?!”  

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Brian Woolridge: Ann Arbor’s “Michael Jackson Guy” Reacts to Pop Star’s Death

Posted in Dance, Interesting People, Music, Video Post with tags , , , , , , on June 29, 2009 by Quinn Strassel

I think I was in high school when I first saw him.  I remember I was walking down Liberty Street with some friends and we stumbled upon a guy dancing to Michael Jackson songs in an alley by the Michigan Theater.  He was really good.  I mean he had the moves down.  I threw some change in his cardboard box and we kept walking, laughing about the randomness of the encounter.  

As an undergrad at UM, I came to realize that the encounter wasn’t so random.  As it turns out, the “Michael Jackson Guy” was an Ann Arbor institution, busking in that same alley all day, every weekend.  You’d hear talk of him in coffee shops and classrooms.  But unlike Shakey Jake, whom every Ann Arborite claimed to know and love, the Michael Jackson Guy was a mystery.  What compelled him to dance in the alley?  Was the guy homeless?  Why Michael Jackson?

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Stumbling Out of the Gate

Posted in Dance, Film, Food, Interesting People, Music with tags , , , , , on June 28, 2009 by Quinn Strassel

Michigan Mitten-2

Hey, friends and readers.

Thanks for stopping by The Mitten, a blog dedicated to exploring the unique cultural landscape of Michigan’s lower peninsula. For those of you who don’t know, my name is Quinn Strassel. I used to write for a blog on OurStage.com where I also worked as an…”on camera personality“…or “broadcast journalist” depending on the given day and assignment. That was in Boston.

I have since returned to my hometown of Ypsilanti, Michigan. In an attempt to reconnect with the people/music/food/etc. of my home state (while simultaneously reconnecting with the act of writing and making videos) I decided to start a blog covering its underground/indie cultural happenings and phenomena.

Due to circumstances involving, strangely enough, a video that tangentially relates to Michael Jackson’s death (post coming very soon), I’m opening the blog a little ahead of schedule. I appreciate suggestions and patience as I get it all together.

P.S.  Isn’t the mitten above the greatest mitten you’ve ever seen?  It was photographed by a really cool artist named Sarah Skeen.  Apparently, her mom sewed it in home-ec class as a thimble cover many years ago.  Sarah also has a blog AND makes jewelry which you can buy (along with photo prints) at her Etsy store.  I highly recommend her work.