Find out what it's like to run for President . . . of the Czech Republic!

Jan SvejnarJan Svejnar

We nearly had yet another president in our midst right here in Ann Arbor. Unlike Michigan native son Gerald Ford, however, Jan Svejnar was running for president of the Czech Republic. Svejnar is an economist and professor at UM's Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy. He was narrowly defeated in his bid for the Czech presidency. Svejnar will be chatting about his experiences in an upcoming event at the Ford School.

Running for the Czech Presidency
March 12, 2008, 5-6p
Betty Ford Classroom, 1110 Weill Hall
735 South State Street, Ann Arbor

P.S. Weill Hall is the shiny new building on the southwest corner of UM's central campus.

Klezmer music at the Neutral Zone

Ann Arbor's TeenCenter, The Neutral Zone, is kicking off their concert series, Weapons of Musical Diversity, with klezmer group, Shtreiml. The all-ages show will be Thursday, March 7th, at 7 pm.

A new take on traditional Eastern-European Jewish and Turkish folk music, the group will be performing free of charge at the Neutral Zone. If you like Shtreiml, check out the Klezmatics and The Klezmer Conservatory Band.

Poetry out loud

teacupsteacups

If you didn't already know, there's a great monthly poetry reading at Sweetwater's Cafe on west Washington St. called "Writers Reading at Sweetwaters". On the third Tuesday of each month, there's a featured reader and then an open mike period when anyone who has ever wanted to read their work can do so. Past readers have included Ed Morin, Rick Solomon and Alison Swan. On Tuesday, February 19, Kristin Stelter and Michael Moriarty will be the featured readers. Chris Lord and Esther Hurwitz, esteemed co-creators of these soirees, promise a piece of cookie to each brave soul who ventures forth. It's a casual, friendly evening even if you only want to listen and have a cup of Joe.

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

"Well look a-yonder comin', Comin' on down the track. Well look a-yonder comin', Comin' on down the track. It's the Orange Blossom Special, Bringin' my baby back." Classic depression era rail & fiddle music written by Ervin T Rouse and Chubby Wise. This weekend you can hum the song as you stroll around the Midwest's largest model railroad flea market at the 38th Annual Show, Ann Arbor Model Railroad Club. Also, display of model train operating layouts. Proceeds used to restore and maintain Dexter's railroad depot. Feb. 16 & 17, Saline Middle School gymnasium, 426-0829. 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Afro-Rican Music comes to Ann Arbor

Looking for a great evening of music? Check out the The Firefly Club this Friday, February 15. Rolandio Matias and the Afro-Rican Ensemble will be performing their distinctive blend of Latin, Salsa rhythmns with jazz, soul and funk. This ten piece ensemble from New York is headed by Matias on percussion plus tenor sax, clarinet, flute, steel drums, trombone and bass. The fun begins at 9 p.m. at 63 7 S. Main. To get reved up, check out some of the Library's Latin music which includes artists Manuel Barrueco and the group, Ozomatli.

Ice ice baby...

icepicicepic

Looking for a chilly, fun and pretty thing to do this weekend? Main Street will feature an “Ice Carving Extravaganza” where members of the U of M ice carving team will be on Main Street carving and chipping large ice blocks into beautiful ice sculptures. The question is, with Michigan’s wacky weather of late, how long will they last? For a quick know-how and visual sneak peek try a book on Practical Ice Carving.
Check out the art in progress on Friday, February 8 from 6-10pm and from 10am-6pm on Saturday, February 9 and Sunday, February 10.

Sancho's Picks for Weekend Fun!

Nothing like a free event to warm you up on a cold weekend in Ann Arbor! FOUND and several of the other Kerrytown shops are hosting a scavenger hunt this weekend. The event begins at FOUND at 1pm, and participants can form teams to compete for prizes. The event is free, though pre-registration is requested. Fun!

When you’ve finished running around Kerrytown, head down 4th Ave. to Eastern Accents Bakery, which will be hosting the first Ann Arbor/Ypsi Reads Book Discussion of the year from 2-3:30. Eastern Accents will be offering a special coupon to discussion participants, too. Yum!

Books Aren't Dead: Steven Levy of Newsweek at the Grad Library

Next monday, 2/4, at 5:30 PM at the Hatcher Graduate Library, The UM University Library presents The Future of the Book: A Conversation with Newsweek's Steven Levy. Steven Levy is the author of The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness and wrote the recent Newsweek cover storyThe Future of Reading that accompanied the launch of Amazon's Kindle reading device. He was also the guest editor of The Best of Technology Writing 2007. This event is free and open to the public, so show up to join the conversation!

What Way Will Woody Wander in the Weather?

woody

Local celeb Woody the Woodchuck will give us her annual Groundhog Day weather prediction this Saturday, Feb. 2nd, at the Howell Nature Center promptly at 8:15 a.m. Woody boasts a 7 out of 9 record on predicting whether the weather will stay wintery for six more weeks. Come for Woody and stay for the pancake breakfast and celeb photo op with Woody. We know Jamie will be there!

The Play Ground

The Play GroundThe Play Ground

Did you know that the Guarneri String Quartet is retiring at the completion of the 2008-09 season after a remarkable 45 years? So, it is quite exciting that Ann Arbor is on their schedule as they collaborate for the first time with the Johannes Quartet, an ensemble comprised of top-notch orchestra musicians who carve out time from their busy careers for chamber music. Both the Guarneri and Johannes String Quartets have roots in Vermont's legendary Marlboro Music Festival. The program includes a performance of Mendelssohn’s beloved String Octet, as well as a UMS co-commission by U-M composer William Bolcom. February 9, Rackham Auditorium, 8 pm

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