2012 May

The Moth StorySLAM

If you’re eager to hear or share a compelling story, the monthly Ann Arbor Moth ­StorySLAM at the Circus bar invites you to participate in an evening of “True Stories Told Live,” the motto of the NYC-based...

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A Tale of Two Sisters

My mother grew up in a converted barn on Butternut Street in what used to be called East Ann Arbor. She had five sisters and a brother, Lewie, who hit his head and drowned in Malletts Creek when he was ten years old.Mom was an...

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Atulya Shetty

It’s lunchtime at Huron High School, and a couple dozen students have gathered in teacher Ken Long’s room for chess club. Sophomore Atulya (pronounced ah-thul-ya) Shetty, sixteen, sets up his board to play...

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Dining Out

Spring sprang early this year, hurtling us into the season with a jackrabbit start. Restaurant tables usually stored until May began dotting sidewalks in March, and diners regularly populated them for lunch in April. Ann...

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Planning or Prejudice?

“We just want to build a nice school,” says Tarek Nahlawi.Nahlawi is a board member of the Michigan Islamic Academy, located on Plymouth Rd. in Ann Arbor. MIA hopes to build a new school at the corner of Ellsworth...

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Newspaper Diary

Joanne Leonard’s twenty-one photographs at the U-M Institute for the Humanities gallery are what the 71-year-old feminist calls “visual analogies.” In each are two images (one a news photo and the other a book...

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Lonely Millage

“The problem now is with our software upgrades,” says Ann Arbor Public Schools spokeswoman Liz Margolis. “These computers don’t support the new software.”The AAPS has 8,000 or so computers, mostly...

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Poster Family

In January, Ann Arbor teacher Peter Ways, local therapist Joe Breakey, and their daughter, Aliza Breakey-Ways, became a poster family for domestic partner benefits. The ACLU is representing them and three other Michigan couples...

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Are College Bookstores Doomed?

Michigan Book & Supply closed in March, leaving two campus textbook stores standing: Ulrich’s and Barnes & Noble @ the University of Michigan. Ulrich’s isn’t out of danger: like Michigan Book,...

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Three minutes, eight seconds

When I was invited to be one of the “stars” in a Dancing with the Ann Arbor Stars benefit, I felt like someone invited to sing a duet with Renee Fleming at the Met after only ever singing in public in karaoke bars....

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Tooth sculpture

“I recognize that tooth!” writes Linda Sattler of April’s feature. “It’s near our house.” “It was quite clever as they were sculpting” it, adds Cherry Westerman, while Linda...

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Cydefex

We’re changing the rules on you, Fake Adders.Many years ago, we decided to use the Fake Ad contest to promote the Observer’s website, arborweb.com. By using “Arborweb” as the secret word in every Fake Ad,...

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Screaming Yellow Building

Q: What is the screaming yellow unfinished building visible from westbound I-94 between the State St. and Ann Arbor-Saline Rd. exits, and what is its status? I’m curious, but not curious enough to get off the freeway...

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Underground Jazz

You park in the big parking lot, past the sign that lists the parking lot rules: No cursing or loud talking. No sitting in cars. No hanging out. Go down the back stairs and enter the small door, bypassing the sign that says you...

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Etienne Charles

Jazz is a creole music, created out of a blend of different sources—African, ­African-American, Afro-Caribbean, French, Spanish, and who knows what else. As it has evolved, it has absorbed other traditions but has also...

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The Bees Sneeze

Richard Mendel, ad hoc coordinator of Ann Arbor Backyard Beekeepers, was on the phone a lot in March, giving advice to local beekeepers dealing with a lot of confused bees. Most of the region’s bees emerged from their...

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Bagels to bread

Ten years ago, when Zingerman’s first started giving away a half-dozen “birthday bagels,” only about twenty-five people picked them up. By last year, word of the freebie had spread, and close to 2,000 people...

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Nathaniel Tarn

Ever since Plato kicked the poets out of his Republic, it’s been said that the gulf between poetry and philosophy cannot be bridged. Luckily enough the people who actually practice these arts often don’t listen....

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