2009 November

Community Center Comeback

When the Rev. Yolanda Whiten was appointed to head the Ann Arbor Community Center in May 2007, it was unclear if the historically black nonprofit would survive. A couple months after Whiten started, the center’s previous...

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Punk Paradise Lost

A hard rain fell as city inspectors Tony Savoni and Milt Andrews arrived at 715 Miller on Thursday, August 20. A pair of cops came with them, because Savoni and Andrews weren’t there just to inspect the battered Victorian...

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The Coldest Winter

The line outside St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church starts forming before 7 a.m. Sometimes as many as sixty men, women, and teens wait for the doors to open to free hot oatmeal, grits, and coffee. At night, more are seeking...

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Working It Out

When I moved to Ann Arbor, I set out to find the perfect gym. Since most gyms, recreation buildings, fitness studios, and athletic centers offer a free trial period to anyone willing to take a tour with a sales representative, I...

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Rock Band School

On a summer evening, students of all ages fill the twelve practice rooms in the old Nalli Building just down from the Fleetwood Diner. Upstairs, Dave Sharp, of the jazz-funk band Dave Sharp’s Secret Seven, teaches a blues...

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Wild Bird and Biggby

There are more than sixty million birders in the United States–but Lisa Haanpaa, the new owner of Ann Arbor’s Wild Bird Center, doesn’t consider herself one of them. “I’m not technically a birder;...

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October I Spy

“And then at last your myth will harden, become a statue in the garden.”–Ejner Jensen,from Advice to a Unicorn”This beautiful unicorn illustrates a…poem written by my former colleague, Professor...

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October Fake Ad

We received 100 entries to our little contest in October. Of those, ninety-nine correctly identified the Fake Ad for the Biergarten on p. 89. It’s been awhile since middle school math class, but that sounds like 99 percent...

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West Towne Condos

Q. What is the status of the West Towne condos at the northwest corner of Maple and Liberty?A. The plans approved by City Council in July 2005 called for eighty-seven units in eight buildings. Construction began the following...

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Classical Meets Cabaret

Though they have worked together in various combinations before, when William Bolcom and Joan Morris join Gabriel Bolkosky and Michelle Cooker for “An Afternoon of American Music” at the Kerrytown Concert House on...

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Wireless Zone

Locally owned 20-20 Wireless changed the name of its three area stores to Wireless Zone last summer. It wasn’t a sale, explains co-owner Debbie Patterson, but a conversion: “That means they take an existing...

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Basketball Revival

When Michigan beat then-undefeated Duke last December at Crisler Arena, excited fans spilled onto the court. U-M men’s basketball, after lurching around for more than ten years in a largely self-induced coma, had rejoined...

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Busting Sod

I killed zucchini. And it was my backup plant. It’s so easy to grow that it’s literally a joke: someone who buys a zuke in the summer has no friends. As a first-time community gardener with Project Grow, not to...

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No More Shushing

“I want to blow up people’s perceptions of libraries.”Chelsea District Library director Bill Harmer–and others like him–are doing just that. At what once were quiet, staid, small-town libraries, a...

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Points south

Long before Cafe Habana, Sabor Latino took Ann Arbor beyond Mexico to other destinations south. But the Latin American dishes on its old menu felt like afterthoughts–a few appetizers or turnovers that were listed on the...

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Marketplace Changes

Chelsea: Resale Bliss, Cranesbill, Dollar Arena, Rose CottageResale Bliss aims to help out at least two good causes in Chelsea–its landlord, Cranesbill Books, and Hearts Community Service.The shop operates on the...

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yogurtrush

When a sign announcing yogurtrush appeared a few months ago on State Street, it looked as if the block had suddenly grown a new storefront. But a closer look reveals that it’s actually part of Amer’s deli–a...

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Cross-Dressing Thief

Why does Vie Fitness & Spa have a new security system? Because, when owner Heather Dupuis opened her Ashley Street storefront early one September morning, she found a man inside wearing nothing but a pair of hot pink...

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Peartree Store Closes

Jennifer Schroer and her twin sister, Amy Bolt, opened Peartree Furnishing & Gifts five years ago in Chelsea. Their particular metier was freshly elegant takes on English country-home styles and the appropriate accents to...

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