Tuesday, June 29, 2004

TRAVEL LOG: Next Stop, Ann Arbor

My escape from Washington has been going very well. The weather in Michigan has been beautiful, upper 70s/low 80s, sunny skies, low humidity.

I am currently working on a few extended posts, which I hope to have posted by Wednesday afternoon. One is analyzing Grand Rapids and how it relates to Gov. Jennifer Granholm's "Cool Michigan Cities" initiative. The second is on visiting the John's Day festival, an ancient Latvian celebration to mark the summer solstice. (I'm currently translating the odd and crazy folk lyrics from John's Day songs and dances.)

I saw a news preview on MSNBC (if I remember correctly) on how Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9-11" has been playing in the heartland. As I left the parking lot of a local cineplex, I overheard a bearded man, as he was climbing into his Astro minivan, say:
"Holy Moley! Man, that movie just stuffed a bunch of shit into my head! A lot of facts!"

I'm not sure if that is the voice of the heartland speaking, but Moore's movie has been has been generating a lot of discussion and deep thought all over Grand Rapids, one of the Midwest's more conservative corners.

My next stop is Ann Arbor. You will probably find me at Casa Dominick's Thursday afternoon drinking sangria, reading a book and enjoying some beautiful weather.


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