Ten years of cool Ypsi-Arbor photos from Doug Coombe’s Concentrate archives

Our friends at Concentrate are celebrating the publication of their 500th issue, and, as part of the festivities, staff photographer Doug Coombe has put together a collection of his favorite 300 photos. If you can get beyond the horror of watching me age over the past decade, it really is an incredible document, as it includes a lot of people who have done really incredible work in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti since about 2010, from bar owners (Jesse Kranyak: Wurst Bar) and farmers (Melvin Parson: We the People Growers Association), to artists (Jermaine Dickerson: Hero Nation) and entrepreneurs Lupe Quetglas: Ann Arbor Tortilla Company). If you have a minute, I’d encourage you to check it out… And, if you don’t have time to check out all 300, at least peruse Doug’s Top 25, which includes incredible photos like this one, accompanied by his memories of how the individual photos came to be.

Here’s what Doug has to say about this particular shot of me with my fellow Shadow Art Fair organizers Chris Sandon and Melissa Dettloff, taken in June, 2012: “I’m still amazed this photo happened and ran. Concentrate was doing a story on Shadow Art Fair, which ran as an alternative to the Ann Arbor Art Fairs from 2006 to 2013. Shadow Art Fair organizer Chris Sandon proposed doing a spoof of The Beatles’ infamous ‘butcher cover,’ which itself was a dig on Capitol Records’ shameless capitalism. As a huge Beatles fan I loved the idea. We did the photo shoot at night in Riverside Park. When I looked at the tiny back of my camera during the shoot I thought the shots looked great. When I downloaded them on my computer I realized they were way more disturbing than they looked on the back of my camera. Fortunately editor Jeff Meyers had a good sense of humor and has worked on a few horror films himself. This isn’t even the craziest photo from the night.”

And when Doug says that the above photo wasn’t the craziest one of the night, he wasn’t kidding… Here, to give you an idea of how the shoot went, is one of the shots from a little later in the series, as things began to go off the rails.

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9 Comments

  1. stupid hick
    Posted April 25, 2019 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Troll bait. Wasn’t the Shadow Art Fair founded in Canton, and licensed to Mark Maynard, who despite years of trying was never able to make the Ypsilanti franchise a commercial success? I’m sure Hillary Clinton and her Comet Ping Pong friends would have approved of the baby sniffing booth.

  2. Eel
    Posted April 25, 2019 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Ah, the old tradition of Machetes at Midnight in Riverside Park. I miss the days of public dueling.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted April 25, 2019 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    The last shot is proof that there was a Democratic baby eating and child torture ring going on in Ypsi with Mark Maynard at the helm.

  4. 734
    Posted April 25, 2019 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I miss the Shadow Art Fair.

  5. Conspiracy Theorist
    Posted April 25, 2019 at 8:43 am | Permalink

    How better to disguise your consumption of real babies than hiding them inside fake babies! Absolutely diabolical!

  6. Baby eaters
    Posted April 25, 2019 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    All you have to do is convince a couple mentally imbalanced people that there was baby eating, and the whole thing will take off.

  7. ElsieGal
    Posted April 25, 2019 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this….very cool. I looked at all 300 photos!! I was at the very first Shadow Art Fair and the next few, too. Ardent fan of Henrietta Fahrenheit (wasn’t Jennifer A involved in the early Fairs??), and that’s what led me to the first Shadow Art Fair. Still have a couple of things I purchased there. I read Concentrate religiously, but missed a number of the photos from the early days, so I appreciate the spotlight on the treasure trove.

  8. ElsieGal
    Posted April 25, 2019 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Also, I just tracked down the post about Henrietta Fahrenheit closing (sorry, I wasn’t a reader then!!). It was lovely, spot-on, and made me nostalgic for the store. I have long believed–and still do from my west-of-Ann-Arbor perch–that HF was indeed the catalyst that started the downtown revival, even if it’s been slow coming.

  9. Posted April 27, 2019 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    I should add that the machete wasn’t ours. That guy who you see holding it had it with him. He and his associates also had a number of pipes and other items that they hid before Doug started snapping photos.

    I should also add that, on they way into the park, we had to walk past a guy getting a blowjob on the tridge. I remember that he was kind of leaning against a bicycle.

    I’d never experienced so much weirdness in the park before or since. It must have been a full moon… If you’ve ever experienced meth-fueled machete fights in the park, let me know.

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