2010 Michigan Haunted Attractions, Corn Mazes & Halloween Guide

My Life In the Bush of Ghosts by DaddyNewt
My Life In the Bush of Ghosts by DaddyNewt

Be afraid, be very afraid!!! Once again our Fearsome Finder of Frights has compiled a list of haunted houses, corn mazes and scary attractions. You can also check Absolute Michigan keyword haunted and (as always) if you know of one we missed, please post it in the comments!


Spooky Quotes

‘Tis now the very witching time of night,
When churchyards yawn and hell itself breathes out
Contagion to this world. ~William Shakespeare

Shadows of a thousand years rise again unseen,
Voices whisper in the trees, “Tonight is Halloween!” ~ Dexter Kozen

Hold on, man. We don’t go anywhere with “scary,” “spooky,” “haunted,” or “forbidden” in the title. ~Shaggy from Scooby-Doo

Wildflower Rescue in Michigan

Trillium by farlane
Trillium by farlane

In Michigan, the number of native plants being buried under bulldozers is decreasing, thanks to the efforts of the Cranbrook Wildflower Rescue Committee in southern Michigan and the Leland Wildflower Rescue in northern Michigan. The Cranbrook committee has been in operation for over 25 years, the Leland committee for over 15. Both of these groups are formed of dedicated volunteers who have saved thousands of Michigan woodland plants each year, digging up native species before their habitats are razed for development. These folks have learned a lot and offer these tips for people wishing to start similar rescue programs in their areas.

A couple things to do if you’re interested in starting a program, remember that you have to get signed permission from the developers or the property owner to take plants from the property. You should also have a plan for where to plant the rescued plants. They could be transplanted to a community garden, and some end up in private gardens as well. For example, every Memorial Weekend the Leland Wildflower hosts a sale of all of their plants with the proceeds going to the Leelanau Conservancy.

Here’s an interesting article about wildflower rescue in Michigan and elsewhere from USA Weekend.

Absolute Michigan sponsor: ArtServe Michigan

We thought it might be a good idea for us to introduce some of the businesses and organizations that help to support what we do on Absolute Michigan, ask you to patronize them if you can and also to sponsor Absolute Michigan if you want!

ArtServe Michigan ArtServe Michigan is a statewide arts and cultural advocacy organization that seeks to support, strengthen and build awareness of arts, culture and creativity in Michigan.

This Wednesday (March 18, 2008) in Lansing, ArtServe Michigan hosts their annual Arts & Culture Advocacy Day. It offers artists and arts supporters a chance to network with peers from all over Michigan, to learn about important issues and the state, to speak with legislators about the importance of the arts in our state.

The 2008 East Lansing Film Festival

2008 East Lansing Film FestivalThe 11th annual East Lansing Film Festival (ELFF) takes place March 12-20, 2008. The ELFF the largest and most diverse film festival in Michigan and screens more than 100 independent and foreign feature, documentary, short and student films from around the world.

Lake Michigan Film Competition

One attraction is the Lake Michigan Film Competition, which offers cash awards to filmmakers whose film was at least 1/4 shot, produced or financed in the states that border Lake Michigan: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin. The categories for the awards are Feature, Documentary, Short Film and Student Film. We are very pleased to offer the Message Makers Most Promising Student Filmmaker Award, a prize package worth $10,000.Once again, filmmakers from the Mid-Michigan area will come together to write, shoot, edit, and premiere an original five-minute production in a mere 48 hours. Participants will be given specified elements, such as a theme, prop, or line of dialogue at the start of the competition, and they must incorporate these elements into their finished film to be eligible for an award.

Discovering the Short

Discovering the Short shows a selection of short films from the 2006 East Lansing Film Festival appeared on WKAR-TV and was   produced by MSU students led by former student Randy Flick and faculty member Robert Albers of the MSU Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media.. The “short film” has long been the point of entry into the art of filmmaking and every year the East Lansing Film Festival offers aficionados a chance to view high quality short films made by professionals from all over the country.

Watch more of Discovering the Short on YouTube.

More Links…

ELFF 48/5 contest entries – filmmakers write, shoot, edit, and premiere an original five-minute production in a mere 48 hours.

Making the scenes: Local filmmakers race the clock for 48/5 – via Lansing City Pulse

For much more on the ELFF, check out elff.com, the ELFF MySpace Page, the ELFF on Flickr, the East Lansing Film Festival’s B-Side Community. You may also be interested in MichiganFilm.org, a web site that highlights independent films from Michigan filmmakers and seeks to network those filmmakers and actors together.

More Michigan Film Festivals on Absolute Michigan’s Michigan Film Festival Page.

Michigan Restaurants: The Fleetwood Diner in Ann Arbor, Lansing & Kentwood


Fleetwood Mohawk by aTanguay

Food at the Fleetwood Diner is, as one might expect, no-frills, hot as blazes and delicately flavored with whatever else has been on the grill all day. This is a good thing. Come here for all manner of eggs, bacon, sausage, etc., burgers the way you want them, greasy fries, BLTs, tuna sandwiches and more. Don’t miss the Fleet’s most famous meal, Hippie Hash, a dizzying fry-up of shredded potatoes, onions, tomatoes, and broccoli all bound together with feta cheese and some kind of meat if you want it.

The Fleetwood has no official web site, but satisfied customer Jim Rees maintains a great Fleetwood Diner site with history, photos, links and updates like No news is good news. The Fleetwood has not been torn down for a parking garage. The Fleetwood has not gone out of business. It’s still there, serving up food and coffee 24 hours a day.

Check out the original Fleetwood in Ann Arbor, the Fleetwood in Lansing and the latest Fleetwood in Kentwood (Grand Rapids) on our Absolute Michigan Map of Michigan.

Michigan Restaurants: Rosie’s Diner in Rockford, Michigan


Rosie’s Diner by bellzatk

All month on Absolute Michigan we’ll be featuring Michigan restaurants. Week one is Diners & Hometown Favorites and the first of these is “the original queen of diners and the most famous diner in the world.” Rosie’s was featured in the Bounty paper towel commercials that starred Nancy Walker as Rosie the Waitress, and of course we have to link over to a YouTube video of one of the commercials. That media spotlight continues to the present day – with Rosie’s featured in the inaugural episode of Food Network’s new show Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. RoadsideOnline has an interesting feature titled Saving Rosie’s Diner that tells how current owners Randy and Jonelle Roest purchased Rosie’s in January of 2006.

Their menu features lots of what you want from a diner: burgers, sandwiches (even fried egg and bologna), fried chicken, meatloaf, hand-dipped shakes and malts and even diner-made pies.

You can visit the web site for Rosie’s Diner and see where it is on Absolute Michigan’s Map of Michigan.

Northwest Michigan Bookstores

We head north from Southwest Michigan to check out some of the bookstores around Northwest Michigan. As usual, we miss some great ones, but that’s OK because you’ll post comments and let us know about those we overlooked – at least that’s how I wrote it in my head!

2008 Detroit Auto Show

Five Things You Need to Know About MichiganWelcome to a special edition of Five Things you need to know about Michigan presenting the 2008 Detroit Auto Show, held January 19 – 27, 2008 at the Cobo Center in Detroit, Michigan.

We say Detroit Auto Show, you say..?

murcielago roadster by joojantaWe’re going to continue to call the 2008 North American International Auto Show the “Detroit Auto Show” until we receive a convincing argument to stop. “North American International Auto Show” is just too long and NAIAS sounds like some kind of acronym thought up to make everyone happy that doesn’t. The NAIAS history page doesn’t explain why the Detroit Auto Show changed its name after 82 years in 1989. Concept Carz suggests that it was because Detroit Auto Show became an international event that year, but Edmunds says that BMW, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Porsche and Volvo first joined the show way back in 1957.

Blogging the Detroit Auto Show

JalopnikIf you like your coverage on the irreverant side, look no further than the 2008 Detroit Auto Show on Jalopnik. Gawker’s car blog features coverage headlined by Detroit’s own Ray Wert, photos, video, an active user community and a weakness for bad jokes. Over at Autoblog they pile up the photos as fast as the car companies can dish them out – check out this post on the Cadillac Provoq fuel cell concept for a taste. If you like your cars oil-free, you should keep an eye on Autoblog Green (be sure to watch the video of the Toyota A-BAT – it’s got “cutest pickup” nailed down). Pretty much everyone with a blog is covering it of course, from Cars.com to Popular Mechanics to the My Little Pony blog. We were going to run down newspaper coverage as well, but it’s enough to give you the links to the Detroit News Auto Show pages – their article on The Race to Be Green probably sets the tone for 2008 – and the Freep’s NAIAS coverage.

Detroit Auto Show Photos

Plymouth Fury!The photo at the top right is murcielago roadster by joojanta from the Absolute Michigan pool. He has a great set of photos called NAIAS 200x with more. You can see a whole lot more by checking Detroit Auto Show and/or NAIAS on Flickr. The blogs & papers above are another great source of photos of production cars and concepts and you can get daily pics from the official 2008 North American International Auto Show media site through MSN. If you’d like to step back in time, check out this Detroit News Rearview Mirror feature The Detroit Auto Show: from beer gardens to tabernacles to Cobo Center and the 1957 Detroit Auto Show from the Michigan Historical Museum.

Detroit Auto Show Video

Once again, the blogs and papers above have video. For more, we turn to a YouTube search on Detroit Auto Show (see the most recently added NAIAS videos). A few notable ones are the Weekend Drive tour of the booths at the 2007 NAIAS, the Auto Channel’s 23 minute “Press Pass” tour (one of MANY they have), Wheels TV presenting to 2007 Concept Cars, Governor Granholm talking about the future of Michigan’s car industry and the Auto Network givingyou a look at the Opening Ceremony. One of the coolest things about a major show is the level of technical sophistication of the displays. A great example of this is the Jeep Waterfall.

Attending the Detroit Auto Show

The NAIAS web site – ok, so I’ll type it – has everything you need to know about attending the public show ($12 for adults this year) and the black tie charity preview. If you can’t attend, you might squint your eyes and see if this detnews.com virtual tour does the job for you. If you do attend and take pictures or video, we’d love it if you’d share them with us on Flickr and YouTube!

Anything else to add or ask? Post it in the comments!

Michigan Ski Tour: Racing, Events & More

Welcome to our Michigan Ski Tour featuring downhill & cross country ski racing and some general ski links. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do and that you get a chance to enjoy cruising on some great runs or trails this winter.

Michigan Word of the Week: Skiing


Alpine Vally Ski Resort by 老六

Michigan is home to some of the best cross-country & downhill skiing and snowboarding in the Midwest. All month on Absolute Michigan, we’ll be featuring all aspects of Michigan skiing with profiles of regions, resorts and trails along with a mountain of photos, video and information about the history and present day skiing experience in Michigan. As always, if you have a link to add, post it in the comments or send us an email!

The OFFICIAL Directory of Skiing in Michigan offers a comprehensive list of the places to ski, snowboard and otherwise get from the top of the hill to the bottom. The Michigan Snowsports Industries Association is dedicated to increasing awareness of snowsports in Michigan and introducing new individuals to skiing and snowboarding, and has some great deals to check out. Weather Underground Ski Michigan offers up-to-date snow conditions for all the resorts in Michigan. Michigan Skier can give you all the latest news on skiing in Michigan, as well as info on everything you need to know about skiing in Michigan. You’ll also want to drop by SkiMichigan.com.

If Nordic Skiing is your thing, Michigan Nordic Racer offers regularly updated trail reports from all over the state. The Great Lakes Nordic Council has some more info for Michigan. If you’re feeling competitive, how about training for the Michigan Cup Series, the Michigan Tech Christmas Classic (Dec 15-16, 2007 in Houghton), White Pine Stampede (Feb 2, 2008 in Mancelona), the North American VASA (Feb 9, 2008 in Traverse City).

Of course, you don’t need to compete to enjoy cross country skiing. In fact, you don’t even need snow for Nordic Walking from Michigan-based SkiWalking.com. In addition to great opportunities at Michigan’s national, state and local parks, check out the cross country skiing guide from Travel Michigan. You don’t even need to let challenges stand in your way of enjoying to snow: Michigan Ski for Light is a non-profit organization promoting cross-country skiing and other outdoor activities for the visually- and mobility-impaired.

If you want to keep on eye on the conditions at the slopes, check out this list of Michigan ski resort webcams from SkiCentral and another at Snow Eye. While we don’t have too many photos of skiing in the Absolute Michigan pool on Flickr, we’re hoping to see a lot more as people get out and enjoy the skiing. Michigan in Pictures has a few ski photos including this feature on Boyne founder Everett Kircher. On the Snow offers a few photos from Michigan ski resorts and Lars Jensen has some great photos from cross-country skiing at the Pictured Rocks and other locations.