2009 December

The Plot Thickens

On the night of August 21, according to police, Lisa Reardon appeared at the door of her parents’ house in Dexter Township carrying a 20-gauge shotgun. She opened fire on her father, George Hicks, from a distance of...

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Horses in Trouble

People in the horse business say they’ve never seen anything like it. Last winter, as the recession hit hard and hay prices skyrocketed, horses were abandoned in state parks. The Humane Society fielded calls about...

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Ann Arbor on the Couch

Betty Draper lies on a couch in a dimly lit room, wringing her hands. A middle-aged man sits in a leather chair behind her head, silently holding a pencil and notebook. “I don’t know why I’m here,” Betty...

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Unplanned Obsolescence

The last typewriter repair shop in Ann Arbor is located in a nondescript single-story office building on Collingwood. But the folks at M & M Typewriter Service don’t actually do the repairs themselves: they contract...

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Burger Throwdown on Plymouth

With its bright mustard- and ketchup-colored burger-shaped logo and self-congratulatory name, Famous Hamburger projects a cheery, in-your-face chutzpah. It’s no act: the tiny chain opened its fourth store in October in the...

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Good-bye to Fresh Seasons

“What has affected us most over the years is the construction. Liberty or Stadium has been worked on for five out of the last six summers, and summer is our season,” says Ben Stahl, who with his wife, Lynda, bought...

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More Marketplace Changes

Bob Gregor has moved his Singer Sewing Shoppe from Jackson Road to a much larger location on South Maple, across the street from Kroger. He’ll use the added space to host sewing and quilting classes that bring in customers...

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Really, Really Big Show

Beethoven’s Ninth is big; Verdi’s Requiem is bigger. But the biggest show in classical music is Mahler’s Eighth Symphony. The “Symphony of a Thousand” requires an enormous orchestra, an off-stage...

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Passing the Baguette

In October, baker Jeff Renner celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the “Best French Bread in Town”–that’s the actual name of his business–and lost his biggest outlet with the closing of Fresh...

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Some Like It Dark

Bookstores and restaurants may be closing, but downtown still has four stores with “chocolate” in their names: Kilwin’s Chocolates, Schakolad Chocolate Factory, Carillon Chocolates, and Rocky Mountain Chocolate...

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T-shirt Flagship

In late October, Underground Printing moved across the street and up the block to a bigger location next to Good Time Charley’s on South University. How much bigger? Co-owner Ryan Gregg put it this way: “Our new sign...

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Circuit Rider Elijah Pilcher

Slimy logs shifting along the swollen Grand River trapped the horse’s hock. But the rider didn’t curse–that would be unseemly for an itinerant Methodist preacher on the Michigan frontier. Elijah Pilcher freed...

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Cooking Classes at Kerrytown

Since September, more than a dozen local chefs have been dishing up on Wednesdays and Sundays at Hollander’s new upstairs kitchen store. They include familiar chefs dating back to the old Kitchen Port days–like Marge...

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Core Components opens

Sheng Han’s parents bought him his first computer when he was nine years old, and he promptly tore it apart. Then he put it back together. “I took apart every toy and game they ever gave me, from cars to...

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Seasonal Slowdown

In early November, long lines of applicants snaked outside the company’s warehouse on Phoenix Drive. But Zingerman’s national sales arm played it conservative this year, hiring 10 percent fewer seasonal workers to...

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Sari Brown

When I first heard Sari Brown’s “Blue Ribbon,” I thought it was a cover. Not that I assumed this young performer wasn’t capable of writing such a good song; it just was so catchy I was sure I’d...

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Pilar’s on West Liberty

“I would like to think of people walking or biking up to my restaurant,” says Sylvia Nolasco-Rivers, who in late November opened Pilar’s Tamales in the space on West Liberty vacated when Tienda la Libertad...

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Knocking (down) Wall St.

Just north of the Huron River, two homes and a small apartment house stand forlornly between two U-M parking lots along Wall Street and Maiden Lane. They won’t be lonely much longer: the U, which owns all three buildings,...

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Wise Guys opens

Kerry Thompson says you can find a lot of good Coney Island hot dogs around town, but “nobody in Ann Arbor I know of offers the Vienna hot dog anymore.” So in September Kerry and his younger brother, Kasey, opened...

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Eastman Wind Ensemble

Even the most curmudgeonly among us has to admit Ann Arborites are insanely lucky when it comes to classical music. Not only do we have more classical music performances per capita than any other city in Michigan, but we have...

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