Sunday, October 30, 2011
Flint Postcards: River View and Railroad Yards
Friday, October 28, 2011
Witherbee's Market Grand Opening...And Possible Closing
UPDATE: Witherbee's Market and Deli announced on their Facebook page today that they'll be closing soon. Here's the announcement:
It is with deep regret and tears in our eyes that we announce the closing of Witherbee's Market and Deli on November 5, 2011. Our sincere thanks to everyone who supported our efforts to bring fresh food to Flint's inner city. We have made lots of friends over the last year that we will dearly miss. Stop by during the next week as we put many things on sale to clear the store.So it appears that Flint's experiment with a downtown grocery store is over. I know there was a very complicated financing package in place to get Witherbee's up and running, but it's hard for me to understand why it's preferable for the creditors to close the store down instead of simply lowering the rent. Isn't some rent better than no rent?
Here's the post that ran August 8, 2011:
UPDATE: This post originally ran on June 14, 2010. Now, a little over a year later, Witherbee's Market appears to be on its last legs. Kris Turner of The Flint Journal reports:
The downtown grocery store, which opened in June 2010, isn’t making enough money to cover its bills, said David White, one of the market’s co-owners. It's located at 601 Martin Luther King Ave.
“We probably should have closed two months ago, but we’ve been hanging on hoping something will change,” he said.
The 10,000 square-foot store needs to generate more than $1 million in sales a year to meet its needs, White said. It has done about half that and is struggling to get by, he added.
The store had 15 employees when it opened and is now down to seven. Its utility bills are $8,000 a month in the winter — an astronomical cost that’s almost impossible to keep up with, White said.
And then there’s the rent. At $10,000 a month, Witherbee’s can’t afford to stay in its space. The store got a $4,000 reprieve on its rent from February to September but it hasn’t been enough.
Here's the original post from June 14, 2010:
I took a break from transcribing interviews to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony at the new Witherbee's Market & Deli at 601 Martin Luther King Avenue this morning. In addition to a big crowd of locals, including Mayor Dayne Walling, a Japanese film crew was on hand to document the event, confirming that you never know what to expect in Flint.
Slim Chiply Lives!
Who wants to help the economy by blowing some disposable income on a vintage Paramount Potato Chips tin? I ran across this on eBay and thought I should pass it along. (Joel Rash has a similar tin in his downtown office in Flint, I believe.) It ain't cheap. The bidding starts at $29.99 but who can put a price on nostalgia? Go here to check it out.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Flint Photos: Ben Hamper and Johnny Thunders
Ben Hamper, author of Rivethead: Tales from the Assembly Line, remembers when The New York Dolls played the I.M.A. and Johnny Thunders roamed Eastland Mall:
Yep, it was 1974. I was at the show. We went to see the Dolls but Kiss — who no one had ever heard of at the time — blew 'em off the stage. The Dolls did an in-store appearance at Recordland in the Eastland Mall the day before. Got to meet Johnny Thunders — very nice guy. Johansen & Arthur Cane were chugging vodka straight from the bottle. Ah, the good ol' days.
Monday, October 24, 2011
The Era of Managed Decline
Another phrase I now can’t get out of my head is “managed decline.” It’s been batted around in the context of Europe; George Soros splashily said it about the U.S. dollar a few years ago; and Ken Layne, the Wonkette Cassandra, used it when we spoke. It also strikes me as a fairly good way of describing the process of getting older. That’s what we’re doing when we decide that we can be okay with having more unpredictable careers and more modest lifestyles, if that’s what’s in store: Even as we hold out hope that something will reverse the trajectory, we are managing our decline, we are making do.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
Flint Artifacts: The New York Dolls and Kiss at the IMA
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Friday, October 14, 2011
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Patti Smith Comes to Flint
Beata Mostafavi of The Flint Journal reports:
“Godmother of Punk” Patti Smith hasn’t said which social or political issues she may address on Thursday at Mott Community College’s Ballenger Eminent Persons Lecture Series.
But attendees can count on one thing: Hearing “Because the Night,” the 1978 hit Smith co-wrote with Bruce Springsteen.
Four MCC students will help Smith perform the song and her daughter Jesse will accompany them during the free 7 p.m. presentation in the Ballenger Field House on MCC’s main campus.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Not Man Enough
Eran Tryon, R.I.P.
Khalil AlHajal of The Flint Journal reports:
Friends and family of Eran Tryon gathered for a vigil Monday at Arlington Avenue and Broadway Boulevard, where the 32-year-old was killed in a triple shooting Sunday night.
The tall, outgoing father of three was known as a skilled paint technician who worked at Lowe's in Burton.
"He was a top-notch guy," said Tryon's brother Eric Ashby. "He'll definitely be missed."
Tryon was killed in a drive-by shooting Sunday that also injured an 18-year-old woman and left an 8-year-old boy in critical condition.
Ashby said his little brother was supposed to be the best man in his wedding next week.