Monday, August 01, 2005

On Techno, Bernstein, Breaking & Entering, Cacao and Dinosaurs:

This past weekend's adventures began with a stop by the aforementioned skate culture exhibit at Detroit by Deisgn and Clark Warner's most excellent new semi-regular Minus night at OSLO on Friday, at which Jesse Siminski a.k.a. Heartthrob played an absolutely brilliant live set.

Saturday evening team Dethlab met up with Mr. Ozias at Campus Martius for an outdoor showing of the classic 1961 film version of West Side Story. (Of course, we came prepared with a picnic of fine cheeses, baguette, fresh plums, red wine and proper stemware for the occasion. If not already blatantly apparent, we do nothing half-assed.) The film is rich with quotes we're alredy scheming to sample for use in upcoming Dorkwave events, especially the dancehall scene featuring John Astin.

After the film, we took a little scouting trip by the abandoned Albert Kahn designed National Theater, which we had considered for a little urban exploration/photo shoot later in the evening. The National has been the subject of quite a bit of activity this past week - to the point where there would be way too much B involved in B&E for our fancy. Unfortunate for us, but I'm glad to see this historic site seems to be getting some much needed attention. (I just hope its being readied for renovation and not demolition, which I wouldn't put past the current city government...) We conceded to a scouting trip, via Saab, of Detroit's much more desolate far west side. Some excellent potential exploration spots you may very well read about here in the coming months.

Sunday was all about dinosaurs and chocolate. Our first stop was the University of Michigan Exhibit Museum of Natural History, which boasts a superb collection of fossils, taxidermy, and 1950s era exhibits, including wonderful dioramas and the sort of hand-placed dimensional text you only find in science museums that have yet to be subject to the tragedy of modernization.

From there it was off to the foodie Mecca known as Zingerman's to procure the finest in cheese, deli sandwiches, and chocolate. We were momentarily disappointed that they did not cary Vosges' Creole Bar I've been raving about, but we did discover the narcotic delight of 100% pure cacao. It's amazing this is legal. Scientific studies have yet to find hard evidence of chocolate causing real biochemical effects, which I say is bullshit. One little nib of this epicurean heaven pumped so much serotonin and endorphins into my system that my face actually went numb, and Bethany was subject to mild visual hallucinations and the condition known as "perma-giggle". (It probably didn't help the cause of objectivity by washing down pure cacao with the most potent espresso this side of Columbia.)

All cracked-out on caffeine and chocolate, we headed west on Michigan Ave. to Irish Hills, to check out some of the roadside attractions burned into my childhood memories. The most significant of these, the Prehistoric Forest has been closed down for several years now. The multitude of No Trespassing signs and flimsy barriers only made it that much more desirable, so of course we walked right in and got up close and personal with the most fantastically bad paper-mache prehistoric creatures to never roam the earth. As surreal as this place was as a child, multiply that by 100 to picture it in its derelict state today. Piles of broken down dinos, mastodon heads, and animatronic pterodactyls aren't something one runs across everyday.

More dino pics here.

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