The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill

1 05 2009
  • 2005 E. Michigan Avenue
  • Lansing, MI 48912
  • (517) 482-6376
  • Website
  • Menu
The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill on Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill on Michigan Avenue in Lansing.

Have I mentioned that I love when J e-mails me from work and says she’s hungry for greasy bar food?  Man, I love that!  I was not in the cooking mood again as we were packing up for a trip back to Chicago.  For J’s birthday, I got her and her family tickets to see comedian Joel McHale at the Horseshoe Casino in Hammond, IN.  We were going to see McHale in Detroit back in January, but I had to work.  Since Hammond is about 15 miles from her parents south suburban home, I made up for missing the January show with four tickets to this show.

I’m starting to run out of ideas for greasy bar food, so I started looking at menus on Allmenus.com.  One of the places that came up that I never really thought about was The Green Door.  I ran it by J and she thought we would have enough time on her dinner break.

The Green Door Blues Bar & Grill is on Michigan Avenue at Clemens Avenue.  If you can find street parking along Michigan Avenue, there is a front door, but there’s also a City of Lansing lot behind the building.  If you park in back, there’s a door that leads right in to the bar on the backside of the building.

We parked in back and trekked through the alley which, like most of the streets in Lansing, has seen better days.  When we got inside, we were faced with a choice.  The Green Door is set up for live music which is really the main draw.  There are some tables in front of the stage, but there are also some higher pub tables on the other side of the room.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Ray Fisher Stadium

11 04 2009
  • 1114 S. State Street
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 647-2583
  • Website
The entrance to Ray Fisher Stadium on the campus of the University of Michigan

The entrance to Ray Fisher Stadium on the campus of the University of Michigan

Being a former college baseball player, I’ve always been jealous of the guys who get to play in the Big Ten.  When I was a Senior in high school, I went down to Champaign to pitch my case to “Itch” Jones.  I wanted to play Big Ten baseball.  Coach Jones told me in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t good enough to play in the Big Ten.  He suggested junior college and see if I got better. 

I didn’t take his advice.  I went to a NAIA Division I school, played a year and a half and got cut halfway through my sophomore season.  I could have went back to juco, but I gave up on a baseball and focused on my education and getting out of college as fast as possible. 

Even though we were one of the top NAIA teams in the country, we shared our field with one of the local high schools.  It was our field, but it was on their property.  The field was ok, but it doesn’t compare to the minor league ballpark the team plays in now. 

I tell you all this because I get chills every time I walk on the grass at Ray Fisher Stadium in Ann Arbor.  The field is part of the Wilpon Baseball/Softball complex.  It sits in the middle of the athletic complex on State Street.  The field is surrounded by Yost, Schembechler Hall, the track and field complex and Alumni Field.  Read the rest of this entry »





Alumni Field

5 04 2009
  • 1202 S. State Street
  • Ann Arbor, MI 48104
  • (734) 647-2583
  • Website
The backside of the grandstands at Alumni Field in Ann Arbor

The backside of the grandstands at Alumni Field in Ann Arbor

My very busy April of shooting baseball/softball continues this weekend in Ann Arbor.  I was actually supposed to shoot baseball yesterday in Ann Arbor, but the weather kept that game from happening. 

This isn’t my first trip to U of M for spring sports.  Right after we moved here last year, I got a call to shoot the very first softball game in the remodeled Alumni Field.  I shot a couple baseball games later in the spring, but this is the first time I’ve been back to Alumni Field since then.

The University of Michigan’s softball team calls Alumni Field home.  The field is part of the larger Wilpon Baseball and Softball complex which is part of the even large sports complex on the Ann Arbor campus.  The softball diamond shares a parking lot with the baseball diamond, Ooseterban Fieldhouse, the UM Indoor Track and Field Building and Yost Ice Arena.  The center field wall butts up to the center field wall of Fisher Stadium.  Read the rest of this entry »





Eichelberger Field – Urbana, IL

30 03 2009
  • 1201 W. Florida Avenue
  • Urbana, IL 61801
  • (217)
  • Website
Eichelberger Field on the campus of the University of Illinois

Eichelberger Field on the campus of the University of Illinois

Nothing like getting up early on a Sunday morning to drive in blizzard like conditions to a softball game.  That was how my day started. 

After getting rained out Saturday at Illinois Field, I made the trek back to Champaign/Urbana from my parents house for a softball game between the University of Illinois and Michigan State University.  Unfortunately, the weather didn’t want to cooperate.

The University of Illinois softball team plays their home games at Eichelberger Field in Urbana.  It’s actually just a few hundred yards from the men’s field, but the city limits for the two towns lie just outside the center field wall at Illinois Field.  Even though the street addresses are different, they’re on the same street. Read the rest of this entry »





Illinois Field – Champaign, IL

27 03 2009
  • 1605 S. Wright Street
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • (217) 333-3630
  • Website
The view from the press box at Illinois Field in Champaign, IL

The view from the press box at Illinois Field in Champaign, IL

I freakin love baseball.  I played growing up.  I played a couple years in college.  I can’t get enough of it.  I’ve never been much of a football person, but I love when baseball season comes around.  I know…that’s weird.

Now that I work in broadcasting, spring is my favorite time.  I love it when I get a call to shoot a baseball game.  Yes, chances are it’s going to be cold and rainy, but that’s ok with me.  I got a last minute call to make the trek to Illinois for three games in three days.  The first two days were U of I vs. Michigan State University baseball.

Illinois Field in located on Wright Street right at the boundry for the cities of Champaign and Urbana.  It’s just down the street from Assembly Hall and Memorial Stadium.  The grassy lot next to the field is actually used for overflow parking during football season. Read the rest of this entry »





Huff Hall – Champaign, IL

21 03 2009
  • 1206 S. 4th Street
  • Champaign, IL 61820
  • (217) 244-9755
  • Website
Huff Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois set up for gymnastics

Huff Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois set up for gymnastics

Even if you’ve never been to the University of Illinois and you’ve never heard of Huff Hall, you are quite familiar with a term that was coined during the days when the IHSA boys state basketball championships played in the gym.  It’s actually pretty fitting that I’m writing about this right now.  The term “March Madness” is a term that was trademarked by the IHSA after a court battle that also gave the NCAA a right to trademark the term.  The IHSA still claims to have invented the term and they own the sole trademark to the phrase “America’s Original March Madness” which is how they bill their tournament these days

The phrase “March Madness” was first used in 1939 to describe the state basketball championships that were held at Huff Gymnasium.  The layout and design of the building made it loud and when the place was full, it was deafening.  If you’ve ever watched an IHSA small schools game, you know how loud it can get.

Huff Hall was built in 1925 as a multi-purpose gymnasium named after George Huff who was the school’s athletic director from 1895 to 1935.  It’s a 4,500 seat arena with a permanent upper deck and retractable bleachers in the lower area.  Like Michigan State’s Jenison Fieldhouse, Huff Hall is the home of the U of I’s volleyball, wrestling,  and gymnastics teams. Read the rest of this entry »





The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor

1 03 2009
  • 377 Riverside Drive
  • Windsor, ON N9A 7H7
  • (519) 258-7878
  • Website
The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor

The Colosseum at Caesars Windsor

I have never been outside the United States.  I’ve never had any reason.  Hell, until a few years ago, the only time I had been on an airplane was my 8th grade class trip to Washington DC.  Traveling farther than driving distance just wasn’t something my family did.  Now, Canada is within driving distance and there was a concert J wanted to see at Caesars Windsor, so I did all the research about what we need to travel back and forth to Canada then bought a couple tickets to see Miranda Lambert.
Getting to Canada and back home had literally kept me up at night for a week.  People do it everyday, so I’m not sure why I was so worried about it, but I was just anxious about making sure I knew where we were going and what we needed to get back into the country.  Since we were downtown in Detroit, the GPS sent us to the Detroit-Windsor tunnel.  I had no idea what to expect.  I paid the toll them waited as five lanes converged down to one.  I think J was a little nervous about using the tunnel, but I just do what the GPS tells me.  It took about a half hour to get through.  When your stuck in bumper to bumper traffic under a river, you do kind of start thinking about what could go wrong.  We got to the other end and talked to the border agent who wished us luck when I told him where we were headed. 

Caesars Windsor sits right on the river and is highly visible from downtown Detroit.  We could see the neon signs well before we made it to the border crossing.  From the time we got to Windsor, it felt like we were just going in circles.  We got to the casino then went around the block what seemed like six times to get to the self park parking garage.  We made our way all the way to the top then hit the elevator back to the third level where the pedestrian bridge is.  Read the rest of this entry »