Sunday
Sep072014

Help the Homeless in Aspen

Help the Homeless. DON"T MAKE US GO TO VAIL. 

Carmelo and I are seeking dog-friendly housing for ski season 2014-2015. We'd prefer to be in Aspen...but we will consider any situation. Carmelo is healthy and almost 12, she's well behaved and very quiet. I am financially stable (credit score 750+) and will pay to play.

Earn a commish and help prevent KEYSTONE SPIN. 

Monday
Aug112014

Dozer Cycle & Studio in Detroit

Mr. Strangway is a real guy...and he's an artist with a blowtorch.

Dozer Cycle and Studio. Works in SteelVery few people have ever actually heard Strangway's real name.  In the custom motorcycle world he goes by the single named moniker of Dozer. 

Dozer is as authentic as they come and he's been living the biker lifestyle in the Detroit area for decades.  He built his first custom bike in 1979 and he is still rolling that chopper today.

Dozer and his ol' lady, Cate Strumbos have turned Dozer's passion for custom motorcycles into a successful business.  Dozer Cycle & Studio at 15 and Crooks in Clawson, Michigan is one part working garage and one part art gallery and 100% legit.

Click: DOZER CYCLE and STUDIO

Dozer, first and foremost is a creator, a maker and a builder.  With no formal training he has carved out a respected career niche capitalizing on his talent for fabrication and design and his love of custom motorcycles.  Dozer's mentor in the custom bike world was Ron Finch, a world famous bike builder.  Dozer eventuaslly broke off on his own and started Dozer Cycle and Studio.  

Custom made Art by Dozer.Dozer Cycle and Studio is more than just commissioned custom motorcycles.  Dozer creates one of a kind art pieces, furniture and works in steel and cast iron.  Dozer's art is resourceful and often inspired by finding new applications for recycled materials.  Dozer's work has been shown at MOCAD  (Museum Of Contemporary Art Detroit) and has earned him blue ribbons at Maker Faire.  Dozer's work has been featured in numerous bike mags such as Bike World and Easy Rider.  Creating "works in steel" takes creativity and execution...luckily Dozer excels at both. When I asked him... Dozer described his work as "simplification" and "addition by subtraction".  "Less is more" he said.

Dozer is a business owner and a husband and father, but he's only shaved twice since 1975.  I'd say that qualifies him as the real deal.  Check out his site  DOZER CYCLE and STUDIO.  Step your game up...commission a custom bike from Dozer in Detroit.

Dozer atop his commissioned piece; The Last Ride.

The fun never stops at Dozer Cycle and Studio in Detroit. Dozer and his Ol' Lady Cate getting it done in the studio.

Saturday
Aug022014

The Wilderness Act turns 50.  1964-2014

Keep the WILDERNESSS WILD.   Happy Birthday Wilderness Act.  

Photo:  Maroon Bells and Pyramid Peak by ASPENSPIN


Monday
Jul142014

DIY Detroit w/ Red Bull Creation 2014.

Detroit, through rose Colored Glasses. Photo courtesy of the NY TIMES. click for artcile.Detroit is a post post-apocalyptic city.   Described that way by the recent cover article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Detroit is finally on the mend.   Read the New York Times piece by Ben Austen here:  DETROIT / NYT.   For many, The City of Detroit is an urban waste land.  139 square miles of blight and danger and ruin porn. Once upon a time, Detroit was considered a great city.  Detroit was considered a world center for manufacturing and industry about 50 years ago, but the city has seen a steady decline since the race riots in 1967.  2/3's of Detroit's population has fled.  The third that stayed...less than 700,000 people...is as tough as nails. 

Click 4 Pix:  DIY DETROIT

In Wall Street vernacular, Detroit is experiencing a "dead cat bounce".  Meaning...it can't get any worse, it can't fall any lower.   Dan Gilbert and his Rock family of companies (Quicken Loans, Bedrock Real Estate, Detroit Venture Partners etc.) is leading the charge downtown.  Gilbert and his affiliates have brought 12,500 workers downtown and controls over 8 million Sq Ft of real estate.   Gilbert may be the biggest and highest profile believer in the resurgence of Detroit, but there are others. 

For a growing number of residents and visitors, Detroit has become a living and working laboratory. A giant experiment.   Very low barriers to entry have allowed a cadre of bright, young and idealistic folks to thrive.   Artists, inventors, hackers, creators and makers are carving out a niche in the city.  Detroit has developed a small but growing DIY (Do It Yourself) community.   On the surface they look like any other group of urban hipsters...wild outfits, crazy facial hair, elaborate tatoos, "fixie" bikes, gobs of coffee.  But in Detroit they are pioneers. They are forging the future of the region.  They are literally taking the scraps that others have left behind and creating a world with no rules.  

Red Bull Creation 2014 in Detroit. Click for infoEnter Red Bull Creation 2014 hosted in Detroit. In it's 4th year #rbcreation staged a 72 hour creative competition that requires teams to innovate around a secret topic.   RED BULL CREATION (click for info) gathered 7 teams composed of some of the best "makers" in the country.   Using Detroit's RECYCLE HERE as a work space,  the teams of 4 were given their topic "reinventing the wheel" along with a slew of power tools, a small budget and 3 days to create.   They came up with some incredible fabrications. The $10,000 in prize money didn't hurt either.

The inventions were displayed at Detroit's Eastern Market on Saturday.  The Eastern market itself has been serving Detroit since 1891.   Taking top prize at RED BULL CREATION was the Maker Twins from Phoenix.  Their moving garden, The GROW CYCLE was called a "veggie vending machine" by one of the twins.  The maker twins built a ferris wheel of produce that employed an app to call up the desired product.   The people's choice award went to Detroit's own i3 for their ROBO CROP, a robotic scarecrow.

It's very cool to see Detroit get up off the canvas, dust itself off and reinvent the wheel.  Dan Gilbert may be leading the way...but plenty of smaller, not so well funded and less hyped groups are building momentum.   In true Detroit style...the DIY movement is making its mark.

Bottom line.  Detroit is on the upswing for the first time in over 40 years.  Pockets of the City are actually thriving.  Detroit still has a long way to go...but as the t-shirts say...Detroit Hustles Harder.

Click for pix:  DIY DETROIT

Detroit's own i3 won the People's Choice Award. click 4 pix.The Maker Twins from phoenix took 1st prize with Grow Cycle. Click for pix.DETROIT HUSTLES HARDER. Click for pix.

Wednesday
Jul092014

Aspen Media Powerhouse

The City of Aspen will soon be putting out a request for proposals (RFP) for the old Powerhouse Building along the Roaring Fork River next to Rio Grande Park.  The Powerhouse Building is the former home of The Aspen Art Museum which will be moving into their new $50 million crib in the center of town.

For a few years now AspenSpin has been looking for causes to be FOR.   We want to be IN FAVOR of something...and we think Aspen Media Powerhouse (AMP) is a great idea.   At this point...Aspen Media Powerhouse is just that an idea.   The video posted below was created by Grassroots TV, the first community owned T.V. station in the U.S.A.   Grassroots has been promoting free speech since 1971.

So check out the video...AMP is still in the "running it up the flagpole mode".  If you like the idea...get involved.   I have been assured that GRASSROOTS TV will be ready to go when the call for RFP's goes out. The AMP is still an idea that is work in progress.   It's not too early to lend your support and to build buzz for the AMP.