matt's weblog . . .

  matt's weblog . . .: July 2005

Friday, July 29, 2005

one fewer thing on my lottdbid . . .

Well, I did it. I got to see the Red Sox play a home game at Fenway Park . . .

. . . Sure, I had to pay a 150% premium on the ticket (even though I waited until the start of the second inning in the hopes that scalper prices would come down once the game started -- which they did, but not much) . . .

. . . and I had a slightly obstructed view of home plate . . .

. . . but at least I get to cross "See game at Fenway Park" off of my list of things to do before I die. It was worth every penny.

A few interesting things worth noting. First, Red Sox fans are, in fact, more obsessed with the Yankees losing than they are with the Sox winning. The fans around me seemed to take more delight in watching the scoreboard progress with the Yanks getting beaten by the Angels than they were involved in a very close one run ballgame being played before their eyes. Second, Fenway was evidently built when people were shorter. I was completely unable to sit straight in my seat -- my femur was just too long. Third, I don't know what the deal with "Sweet Caroline" is (if you know, please tell me), but in the middle of the 8th, it was played over the loudspeaker and everyone stopped what they were doing and belted it out (complete with made up lyrics during dead time). Hearing 34,000 people sing anything in unison -- even Sweet Caroline -- is awe-inspring.

To see all of the photos and video we took while in Boston (including video of the aforementioned rendition of Sweet Caroline), click here.

Thursday, July 28, 2005

boston at night . . .

Well, a lot has happened in my little corner of the world since I last wrote -- LA won the Tour in convincing fashion; I became a real estate lawyer; I realized that big box retailers like Home Depot have their corporate head screwed on backwards and I long for the days I never knew before there was such a thing; I learned there is no such thing as a transparent merger (particularly when it involves entities of the magnitude of BankOne and Chase Manhattan); and I felt my son or daughter kick my wife so hard it almost bruised my hand.

But, I'm not going to write about all of that because it's too tedious now. What I'm going to write about is "the other half". Not "the better half" as in my wife, but "the other half" as in the "they". I am in Boston right now for a seminar that the firm is treating as a crash course in how to buy, sell, lease, and finance real estate; actually, it's turning out quite well, and I feel ready to take on some projects that would have scared the crap out of me a week ago. But I'm also learning a little about how the elite live. I'm staying at the Ritz-Carlton Boston (because that's where the seminar is) in a "club room" (because that's all they had left). I'm going to share a little about this with you. The "club room" gives you access to to Ritz Club which is on the 15th floor (2 down from the roof) overlooking Boston Common and the Public Garden (the one with the giant paddleboat swans); it also has a great view of the downtown skyline. This is a limited access room complete with wireless internet, a 24 hour concierge, a full service complimentary bar where the well vodka is Grey Goose, five complimentary "meals" a day (usually interesting hors' douvres from the dining room chef), complimentary shirt pressing, shoe shines, etc. Anyway, it is really something. Currently, I'm wearing a Brooks Brothers dress shirt, Banana Republic khakis, and Bass dress shoes, and in here, I feel like the homeless guy on the T must feel. This is so swanky, it's beyond my ability to even pretend to fit in. My room itself is something to write home (or to the blog) about, but this room -- the one I'm in right now (the club room) -- is amazing. I find it difficult to believe that some people actually regularly live like this (not just as a treat). This is the lifestyle some people live. There's an entire class of people in this country for whom this is nothing to write home about. I am serious when I tell you that I'm right now looking at one of the best views in Boston, sitting alone with my computer, drinking a '00 Mondavi Reserve Cab, and I cannot believe the almost criminal injustice which would allow me to sit here and put the homeless guy at the entrance to the T station -- not 100 yards away -- on his stoop. It's not a caste system -- but it's close.

Anyway, I'm eating well and shopping well too. On the advice of Mike Walton, I visited Filene's Basement (a must stop for any tourist). I picked up a $200 pair of Johnston Murphy shoes for $75 and a $350 pair of italian shoes (the maker escapes me right now, but I'll update when I remember) for $85 -- I needed new dress shoes badly. I have eaten a romanian pastrami on marble rye in a deli with yamakas on the heads of over 1/2 of the male diners, a 3-1/2 lb. lobster at turner fisheries, a proper italian hogie, a lobster roll which was incredible, and a remarkable mozzarella caprese at a cramped 40-seat italian bistro in the north end (which is like a scene out of Godfather). Just like when we were in Toronto and the dim sum place we went to was in an all asian food market, had only chopsticks, and no one (not even the waitstaff) spoke a lick of english, we knew we were in good shape at this trattoria when we got about three blocks away and stopped hearing english spoken on the crowded streets. Not one person ordered brushetta, which was nice, but several ordered the bruschetta. This really is an amazing city. If Steph weren't pregnant and we knew even one person, I'd like to live here. Anyway, I'll update you on my culinary adventures if circumstances warrant. Otherwise, that's it from Boston (unless, of course, I get sox tickets tomorrow night).

P.S. Interesting tid-bit. There's no 13th floor in this hotel. I don't know if that's common because I don't often stay in hotels that go over 13 floors, but I thought that was interesting.

P.P.S. Major public transportation systems are absolutely a lifesaver for visitors. I love underground trains, period.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Martin Dugard: American Skin

Martin Dugard: American Skin

This is a phenomenal piece on "le Tour" and, in particular, on the on-goings of today's stage (Stage 14) which, incidentally, turned out to be one of the better pure bike races I've seen in years -- and I watch a lot of cycling. The seven- six- five- four- three- two-some (decreasing as, one by one, Rasmussen, Vinokourov, Kloden, Leipheimer, Landis, Ulrich, and even Basso -- eventually -- proved unable to force their bodies to do what Lance was able to demand of his) of the "heads of state" (as Phil Ligget would have it) were actually racing. You know, like when we were kids. It was great. Tomorrow's stage could prove to be even bigger. I just hope it plays out as well.

Saturday, July 16, 2005


This is a test of the moblog system Blogger has set up for PDA's. In theory, this will automatically post to my blog even though I'm only sending an email from a public hot spot on my pda. I guess we'll see.

Friday, July 15, 2005

hope there's no dope

I know that I'm not adding anything new to the blog-o-sphere as the accomplishments of Lance Armstrong have to be up there among the most blogged about topics of the month, but there's something spectactular about this man unrivaled by any other sports story that comes to mind. Remember that before his battle with cancer he wasn't "the man"; that title (then referring to "the man" who would replace Greg LeMond as America's cycling hero) belonged to one Tyler Hamilton. Remember him? He's still around (although he's presently suspended for failing a somewhat suspicious blood test), but there's no reason to expect that he'll emerge to live up to the hype that was surrounding him some 10 years ago -- especially given the presence of the the younger, stronger, faster Floyd Landis (who, for some reason, has taken it upon himself to burn every bridge he could with LA and the U.S. cycling establishment; the fact that he has the cojones to wonder aloud in a press conference why Armstrong and the other components of the discovery team might be upset with him is amazing; Roberto Heras was able to leave and not insult the team that remained; maybe Landis should have taken a cue from him).

The man with a distinctively American vindictive streak (remember when he did everything but flip off Ulrich in '01 on Alpe d'Huez when he shot him "the look" as he blew past; or in '04 when he chased down Simeoni -- the man who had started the rumor involving Dr. Ferrari, Lance, and doping -- only to tell the other members of the breakaway that unless Simeoni dropped back, he (LA) would have to stick around and steal the stage win?) appears to even take out his vengance on his own body; when it tries to defy him, you can quite literally watch him bully it back into submission. Truly amazing. Some consider this iron will a character flaw which led to the divorce of his wife and estrangement from his children; this may well be, but without it, he'd be no one; indeed, he may not even be here.

It seems fitting that the man cancer should have killed (and probably would have had he been an ordinary man) would be the one to whom the mantle of American cycling brillance would be passed. After all, the man who had held it before him was also once on death's doorstep when -- at the height of his career -- he was shot in the belly with a shotgun and nearly killed. Although LeMond has gotten somewhat crotchety in his old age -- as recent public clashes with Armstrong demonstrate -- it's hard to disagree with his personal assessment of his racing career: "Of course you can't rewrite racing history", he said, "but [had I not been crushed by the weight of Bernard Hinault in 1985 and missed the '87 and '88 Tours,] I'm confident that I would have won five Tours." Neither of these men should have lived to win more than one Tour; neither of these men permitted their respective bodies quit on them -- facing death or the Alps; neither of these men were capable of seeing past the next maillot jaune at great personal expense. It is this singularly-purposed will which is apparently required to achieve excellence in this sport, and they both had it. The symmetry is so perfect and so surreal (like Nicklaus' putt at the '86 Masters or Jordan's "final" shot against the Jazz in the NBA Finals or the '04 Red Sox coming back from 0-3 in the ALCS against the Yankees) that it would be crushing for the psyche of the American sports fan if it was ever tarnished by, say, a positive test. LA is one of those rare sports figures that I admire, but don't respect (he has driven his personal life too far into the ground for that anymore); nevertheless, I hope he's not doping. I just hope to God he's not doping.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

the art of smart design

For those of you who are interested, Jeff Veen -- one of the pioneers of web design in this country -- has released the proof of his ground-breaking 1999 book The Art and Science of Web Design. Although he believes it to be a bit dated, people who know a lot more about this kind of stuff than I do believe it to be an indispensible tool to intelligent web design. As the Amazon reviews suggest, this is less "how to" book, and more a "how to think about and approach it" book.

For Calvin folks, it's worth noting that not only is Jeff considered to be something of a "web design guru", he's also a Calvin graduate (and graduate of my high school). Although I've met him, I'm more personally familiar with his sister Amy (a close high school friend) and his brother Greg (a friend and roomate from Calvin).

Anyway, if you're thinking of designing or redesigning a site, you should give it a read.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

my neighbors

I have had a fairly interesting couple of days with my neighbors. Let's start with the good. As it turns out, the blog-o-sphere has indeed made this world a much smaller place. Although I suggested that this was the case before, I was brutally reminded of it again yesterday when one of my favorite bloggers discovered that I live, not only in the same general region, but close enough that I could throw a baseball from my driveway and hit his deck. This came as a mild shock to both of us. Until yesterday, I was reading this guy's blog knowing only that he lived somewhere in the GR area; now, I look out my front window and see his house; weird. To make it even stranger, he also appears to have written about me (not knowing that this was a product of a battle of the wills between my wife and myself which, in the end, of course, I lost). Even had he known about this battle of the wills, though, I do not think his post would have changed nor do I think it should have -- people who have their christmas lights up past February 1st should either (1) be taken out and shot, or (2) be forced to pay a hefty daily penalty until they are taken down (and, yes, I realize this is a self-indictment). Anyway, his blog is quite well-written, filled with clever hyperbole, and sarcasm; so, if you need a good laugh -- particularly about the joys of living in an over-childrened subdivision -- give it a read. In order to set yourself up for the second half of this post, I might start by reading this or this or this (which almost made me pee my pants).

Now, I tell you the story of my hit and run accident with a little (seriously) old (seriously) lady (seriously) driving her inappropriately oversized (at least, for her) gas-guzzling SUV. I was forced to go to the new Meijer (on K'zoo b/w 60th and 68th) to get three quick things -- eggs, butter, and more buttermilk because we were having Scott, Susan, and kids over for dinner (pancakes, sausage, and bacon; this really is a whole nother story). Anway, I'm actually quite fond of this Meijer in that it's big, it's clean, it's in a mildly upscale part of town, and it's 1/2 empty all the time (which is good for someone like me who, while not agoraphopic, generally dislikes people and intensely dislikes herds of them). The Scott & Susan clan are coming over in relatively short order, so I need to move my butt. I speed (more so than usual) all the way down there, park the car in the first open spot, run in and get my three items, checkout though U-Scan (arguably, the greatest innovation in shopping history), check my watch, and am back at my car in the parking lot in 4 minutes -- pretty good. So I get it, look behind me carefully (like I always do; I have a pretty nice car and don't need any stupid run ins), and begin backing up. There were people walking around, so I was backing up pretty slowly. Anyway, when I reach the apex of my maneuver and begin to shift into Drive, I look back up again and there's the back end of a white GMC Envoy headed straight (i.e. perpendicular) at my right rear quarterpanel. I lay on my horn (which she's evidently too old to hear) to no avail, and CRUNCH. After moving my car into a parking space and out of the aisle (because if there's one thing I hate, it's when people get in fenderbenders and stay put to "preseve the scene of the accident" -- traffic flow be damned) to inspect the damage, I realize I'm going to have to submit it b/c the body work's probably going to run into the thousands. So, I approach the little old lady who, by this time, has climbed out of her SUV, taken a look at her bumper (which has nary a scratch), and concluded that (1) this was my fault (even though I was stopped and she ran into the side of my car), (2) there was no "serious" damage, and therefore (3) no harm, no foul. I, of course, fully intend to submit this to my insurance company, so I begin by politely asking to exchange information so we wouldn't have to file a police report and we could just be on our way. She then begins to explain to me about how this was all my fault (again, I'm stopped, she backs into the side of me), about how she was backing up so slowly, about how she never saw me (really? I thought you'd backed into me on purpose. Man, do I hate stupid people.), etc. I explained to her that I didn't really care whose fault it was, we still needed to exchange information. She protested some more again accusing me of being at fault. I again told her, "listen, we're in a no fault state, so it doesn't matter who's at fault; I don't think it's my fault, you obviously don't think it's your fault, but ultimately, that doesn't matter, we still need to exchange information." As a side note, I don't think this is true, I think Michigan's No-Fault System is a first party system where your own carrier takes care of your own stuff and you don't really need to exchange info, but I'm not sure about that and I wasn't taking any chances. Anyway, again she refused and told me she was "leaving now;" to which I responded, "lady, I don't want to fight about this, but we're in a Meijer parking lot (with security cameras over every inch of it), I'm going to get your license plate number, and you're going to force me to file a police report and get you charged with a hit and run." When she said, "fine" and climbed up her ladder to get back into her SUV, my jaw hit the floor, and I said, "you've got to be kidding me." She turned her car on, began driving forward (with me partially in the way), and I asked if she was seriously leaving. She rolled up her window, damn near ran me over and took off. I'm leaving out some minor details, but you get the gist.

Well, by this point, I'm pissed, and I mean flamin' pissed. I was still in a bit of shock/accident mode when I was talking to her, so my growing anger was repressed (I didn't even know how mad I was until she drove off). I've jotted down the license plate, and I place a call to Meijer security to have them make sure to hang onto the tape. I wasn't going to do this, but I had told her that if she left, she'd leave me with no choice, and I'm not one for empty promises, so I called the police and told them I wanted to file a report. Later that night, I met with a cop at the substation on 84th and Kalamazoo and relayed the entire story to him. He gave me an incident number and told me he'd find her at fault and would be getting in contact with her that night about the whole leaving the scene of an accident thing (minor detail she seems to have forgotten; I'm pretty sure that's a felony); I told him that if I had an option, I wanted to press charges (yes, I'm a lawyer, but I know as much about criminal law as a first-year law student -- which is more than your average joe, but less than you might expect). Sweet justice. For as angry as she made me, I'm sure she wasn't pleased; no one, and I mean no one, wants the cops showing up at their house at 11:00PM to "ask them a few questions."

The police report (which I'm protesting because it indicates that she did not get a ticket and was not cited for a "hit and run") can be found by clicking here.

Finally, if you have a blog, go here (c'mon, do it for science):

Take the MIT Weblog Survey

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

the people you "knew"

I just had one of the more remarkable eye-opening experiences of my life. As I was laying in bed with the lights off and Steph sawing logs next to me, I thought I'd fumble through a few blogs to see if I could find one boring enough to put me to sleep. [Aside: Tomorrow morning, almost exactly eight hours from now, we'll be in the doctor's office spying on the newest member of our family through the miracle of the ultrasound. Consequently, I'm having a bit of trouble falling asleep (kind of like a kid waiting to go to Disneyland or for Christmas morning). How Steph is sleeping so soundly, I cannot understand. Be that as it may, I wanted to post this entry, so I got up and moved rooms so the typing didn't wake her up.] Anyway, after reading a fairly popular local blog (badchristian -- it's not what you think; the title is more a commentary on the judgment we tend to pass on one another than anything else), I clicked on one of his links to the Bridget Jones goes to Seminary blog (a particularly interesting account of a woman's experience at Calvin Seminary). After reading an account of this young seminarian's experience at a local church, I read several of the comments until I stumbled upon a name that looked fairly familiar -- Matt Lind. It turns out that even though I thought I recognized the name, I don't think I know him -- or ever knew him -- but continuing on my linking adventure, I clicked on a link I thought looked interesting entitled Arachnid Hermeneutics. It was under "College Friends" and the feeling I had about the name Matt Lind was the same basic feeling I always have when I see someone from Calvin I should remember but don't -- I hope I'm not the only one who knows that feeling -- so I thought that might be promising. Sure enough, this brought me to the blog of Brian Bork -- yet another name that sounded too familiar to have never met him, but not familiar enough to tie a face to a name.

Then things got a little "small e-world". Under the "comrades" heading on Brian Bork's blog I saw the name Joel Swagman. This was the first name I was able to put with a face in my head. Joel was a guy who lived in my dorm. Although we didn't hang out much (I was too busy squandering my college experience so that I would have a difficult time remembering it years later), I remember him as a remarkably bright and friendly guy. I wasn't really reading any of these blogs as much as I was sort of drilling around, so I wasn't certain that any of these people -- even Joel -- were, in fact, who I believed them to be (keep in mind, for me, it's awfully late). On Joel's site, I saw the name Brett Nelson and again the name rang a bell; I wondered if he was the shorter blonde-haired kid (I actually don't think he's short, but Joel was like seven foot tall -- or, at least he seemed to be to me -- so anyone who was regularly seen standing next to him appeared, well, shorter; Brett, if you happen to read this, please don't take offense, I'm just relaying the things that came to my mind.) who used to regularly hang out with Joel. Sure enough, when I clicked on the link to his blog, I found my first photographic proof that these people were who I remembered them to be. See, Brett has a QT slideshow on his blog from his roadie with his wife (I'll get to her in a minute) to someone's wedding (Beth _____?) in what looks to be Western PA or somewhere in Appalachia so, naturally, because my curiosity had been piqued, I played it; eventually, after some pretty neat roadie pics, there he was almost exactly how I remember him only not quite as young. There were also pictures of a woman who looked awfully familiar and whom I later identified as his wife Sara (I believe I know her last name, er, rather, her maiden name, but because I couldn't find it anywhere on her blog, I'll leave it undisclosed, but the url to her blog confirmed what I thought). Well, Sara and Steph went to High School together and both went to Calvin (taking the same fairly common route as my brother-in-law Marc who married my sister -- yes, indeedie, it's got just a hint of incestuousness, no?) along with several of their classmates; so I knew Sara a little bit -- about as well as I knew Brett and Joel -- from Calvin. Then, on Sara's blog I saw a link to "hannah" -- who I could only assume was the same "Hannah" who was roomates and is friends with one Mrs. Stephanie Van Dyk. Sure enough, I went to her blog, scrolled down a ways, and there she was (w/ Sara and Brett).

Anyway, I tell you this story -- in the rather long-winded, boring, and circuitous manner in which I did -- to accomplish two things. First, so that I could put links to all of these people's blogs on my blog so I wouldn't forget where they were (I'm not much for favorites lists). Secondly, and more importantly, however, I tell you this to suggest that the internet has indeed made our world a small world (earthshattering, I know). The advent of the blogosphere -- and particularly geolocation -- is making it even smaller and . . . that is really cool. Why? Because I'm going to be honest; I haven't thought about Joel Swagman or Brett Nelson or Sara _________ in some time and really that's a shame. It is neat/cool/sweet/[insert cornball adjective of your choosing here] to have caught a little glimpse of what they've been up to over the years (or at least since they began their blogs), and now if/when (given the size of G.R., it's more likely to be "when") I see them, I shouldn't have to fumble for their names (as is so often the case with people who have been in our personal peripheries) or debate whether to say "hi" or not (I know we can all relate to that). That seemingly little thing is, really, when you think about it, really, well, neat.

Sunday, July 03, 2005

the problem with stereotypes

It is sentiments like this that make the residents of Red State America/Fly-Over-Country resent the condescending elitists on the coasts: LeMieux-Ruibal: "Cracker Barrel" Nevermore! In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sophisticated Tapas from Spain. I was born and raised on the Left Coast in Los Angeles and am a Grand Rapidian (?) by choice, not birth. I can tell you for a certainty that while this snot-nosed, 25-year-old's faux-review of San Chez is spot on, his gratuitous derision of its surroundings -- Grand Rapids, West Michigan, and "that empire of white trash that is Michigan," generally -- reveals a closed-mindedness that is endemic amongst people of his ilk. San Chez is a good restaurant (and, indeed, is one of my favorites), but it is certainly not the best one in G.R., nor even the best one within a two block radius of its location. Of course, he wouldn't know that because he didn't bother to look; rather, he let his assumptions and stereotype of the midwest generally lead him to conclude that it was a proverbial diamond in the rough. Again, as anyone remotely familiar with Grand Rapids -- downtown, in particular -- eateries can assure you, it is not; indeed, San Chez is much more representative of downtown restaurants, than it is uniquely superior. Being so closed-minded and permitting himself to be so-controlled by his predisposition to look down on the midwest caused him to miss out on dining experiences at establishments within walking distance of San Chez that are just as good, if not better. The worst and saddest part, though, is not that he missed out on The Sierra Room or Bella Vita or Bar Divani or any of the other similarly wonderful restaurants in Downtown G.R.; the worst and saddest part is that this sort of closed-minded condescension (and its consequences) so pervades the Blue State elitest psyche that it causes them to arrive at conclusions about all sorts of matters -- from restaurants to politics -- based not on facts or reason, but on uninformed, emotion-driven assumptions. This, I think, is what separates "us" (and by "us" I don't mean conservatives, I mean well-informed, thoughtful citizens -- liberal and conservative, alike) from "them". It really is a shame

Home Alone (1990)

Well, Steph did something this week that she has only done once in our life together (5+ years) -- left me home alone in charge of myself and our stuff for longer than 2 days. She's coming home tonight and the house is still in one piece and I'm not much worse for the wear, so I figured now would be a good time to write about it. She went to Colorado for the wedding of Allison McClelland (a family friend whose father married Steph and me); hopefully she'll have some good pictures to share on her blog when she gets back. Anyway, it was an interesting couple of days; even though I did somewhat enjoy this brief return to bachelorhood, really, I missed having her around more than I enjoyed the independence and solitude. This troublesome sentiment was probably made worse by the fact that she's legitimately "showing" now and is, if I do say so myself, the most beautiful pregnant woman I've ever seen. We have our 20-week ultrasound next week, and while I've been alternating between being unnerved by the notion of becoming a father (responsible for the health, safety, well-being, care, and development of another human being) and ready to take it in stride, I've been told that seeing him or her move around in there looking like a real person (as most of you know we've already had an ultrasound, but s/he looked more like a peanut at the time and it was performed under decidedly less exciting circumstances) makes the unnerved feeling settle in more permanently. Either way, I'm pretty pumped up about it.

Anyway, while she was gone, I had a card game here with some buddies from work and Steve. Good times were had by all -- or at least I think so -- guys in their late-2o's/early-30's (most of whom have energy-sapping young children at home) aren't usually seen still pumping the keg at 3 in the morning, so I take that as a good sign. In any event, I had a very good time and didn't lose my shirt, so I'd call that a successful evening. It also made me realize that we -- the associates/younger attorneys at the firm -- should do a lot more of this kind of thing; non-firm-sponsored get-togethers like this are good, I think, and the group is still small enough that doing it isn't likely to turn into a major production. Maybe we should try to put together a b.b.q. or softball game or roadie or something. Hmmm.

Friday, July 01, 2005

best burger in G.R.

As most of the readers of this blog know, I grew up in Southern California just southeast of Los Angeles. Further, as most visitors to the golden state can attest, there is a burger joint there that -- although a chain (family-owned) with an almost ubiquitous presence -- makes one of the greatest hamburgers on the face of the planet; if the only thing on your menu is three variations of the same burger, fries, and shakes, your survival is a testament to the quality of your product. I speak, of course, of In-n-Out.

Upon moving out here, I have been on a perpetual quest to find a comparably delicious treat with varying degrees of success. Of course, there's Steak 'n' Shake and now Culvers (both good, but not jaw-dropping great), and I thought I had done about as well as could be done with Don's Drive-In in Traverse City and Novi (where we lived for a couple years). On my recent trip to Muskegon (see below), I stopped at the Station Grill and was disappointed -- perhaps there had been too much hype. I've also been to Rosie's Diner in Rockford, the Red Coat Tavern in Royal Oak, the Choo-Choo Grill on Plainfield and Leonard in GR, and countless slider joints (including Greene's in Farmington Hills and Comet Burger in Royal Oak), but although the food is quite good at these places, it's not quite what I was looking for. I can now, however, say that I've found a contender.

The Wealthy Street Station is located on the northwest corner of Wealthy and Fuller (where Sandman's used to be before they opened their storefront on the southeast corner). I went there after reading the following review: Wealthy Street Station Review. This place is...awesome; the food is...awesome; the staff is...awesome. I cannot say enough. I got a bacon cheeseburger that was outrageously good -- juicy, but not bun-soaking greasy -- on a great roll with very good toppings. I also got a homemade kielbasa which was beyond description. As the article mentions they also have a specialty burger which I intend to try on my return visit (which may well be tonight). Anyway, kudos to them, and to the rest of you, go there, you won't be disappointed.