Sunday, January 13, 2019

Flint Writers Unite: An Afternoon with Author Connor Coyne in San Francisco

Despite my less-than-stellar organizational skills these days and my two-year-old daughter Larkin's idiosyncratic napping schedule, the book party for Connor Coyne's compelling Urbantasm: The Dying City actually happened on Saturday. 

It started at 3pm, at which time I was wandering the aisles of the Mission Safeway buying beer, forgetting that any trip to that Safeway — once labeled "the worst Safeway on planet Earth" by an internet wag — involves a 20-minute wait in line. So no booze, no host at start time. But Connor was there, entertaining the early guests with tales of Coneys and what happens late night at the corner of Dort and Lippincott. 

Then my brilliant plan to push the shopping cart filled with beer, ice, and paper plates across the street to the party was thwarted by the security thingy on the wheel to stop people like me from walking off with the carts. Connor was called and he had to enlist a few guests to come and ferry the supplies over. Never let it be said I don't know how to show people a good time.

In the end, it was a great chance to connect Flintoids, Flint Expats, and San Franciscans who have grown to know Vehicle City because I never stop talking about it. And a reminder that Flint, despite its problems, is a place that people love and have not forgotten. And a chance to celebrate Connor Coyne's great writing.

Books by Connor Coyne, which were sold. Quickly. And efficiently.

Ruth, my friend and neighbor, with Dennis Brownfield's old license plate, which tells a big part of Flint's history in just six characters.

Chuck Siegel, formerly of Eldorado Drive in Flint and the man behind Charles Chocolates in San Francisco, with Shabana Siegel. (That's me in the Flint Lumber Company apron.)

Michael G, featured prominently in Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City, mocks a remnant of one of the worst jobs I ever had.


  1. What a cool thing! A lot of good stories were told I'm sure!

    -- Carl (an old Westsider)

  2. Cool St. John vianney t shirt!


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at