2013 April

The Trees of Tree Town

As long as humans have walked Michigan’s landscape, they’ve messed with the trees around them.Take Ann Arbor, for example. After the glaciers receded and before European settlers arrived, what would one day be called...

Read More

Big Tree Hunter

When Gail Cagle worked for Wayne County’s conservation district in the mid-1990s, she helped a district supervisor there set up a new organization called ReLeaf Michigan, part of a global movement to restore forest...

Read More

Safe City

They called it.In December 2011, the Observer looked back on twenty-five years of its monthly Crime Maps and found an astonishing trend: the number of robberies, sexual assaults, vehicle thefts, and burglaries reported in Ann...

Read More

Coming Home

At a formal dance at Barton Hills Country Club in January, Megan Carlisle, thirty-five, looks radiant in her sapphire pants suit. The DJ plays “Y.M.C.A.” followed by the theme from “Footloose,” and the...

Read More

Wisdom of Solomon

Best-selling writer Andrew Solomon has back-to-back Ann Arbor book signings this month: at a Michigan League fundraiser (for the U-M Depression Center) on April 12, and at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore & Tea Room on April 13 (see...

Read More

AirRide Competition

“I would say the last six months or so has been slower than [any time in] the last fifteen years,” says Metro Eddie, “and especially January and February was scary slow.” Metro Eddie–his preferred...

Read More

Turning Blue

New residents recolor Western Washtenaw’s political map”He looked unbeatable,” recalls Dexter Township supervisor Pat Kelly. Going into last fall’s campaign against Saline mayor Gretchen Driskell, Kelly...

Read More

Graham Parsons

My first impression of Graham Parsons is that he’s a confident front man; he’s wearing red pants, and, well, you just don’t go on stage wearing red pants unless you know what you’re doing. Then, as I...

Read More

What Crepe?

Paul (“PJ”) Jenkins got his idea for What Crepe? while driving home from his favorite restaurant, Toronto’s Cafe Crepe: “I would go to Toronto just to eat them.”Jenkins, whose father is in the...

Read More

Unforgettable Dinnerware

Margaret Carney says she’s “building a dream museum in the twenty-first century, one place setting at a time.”Carney recently moved to Ann Arbor with plans to open the world’s first Dinnerware Museum....

Read More

Moving to Traver Village

A couple of stores have hopped over to Traver Village from Plymouth Road Mall. Both insist that the move has nothing to do with the Plymouth Mall Plaza now going up in the parking lot in front of the Way 1 Supermarket, although...

Read More

A Second Ulta

Ann Arbor’s second Ulta–with “one-stop shopping for prestige, mass and salon products, and service”–opened February 15 (the first is at Cranbrook Village). An enthusiastic press release promised...

Read More

Getting the mustard out

This month, local volunteers defend their title in the regional Garlic Mustard Challenge. Last spring, the Huron Arbor group beat ten others from Michigan and Indiana by pulling 102,507 pounds from public and private land. This...

Read More

Puzzled parkers

After 200 permit parkers moved from Liberty Square to the new Library Lane garage last year, the Downtown Development Authority reopened Liberty Square for hourly parking. But as the change rippled through its computer payment...

Read More

From Detroit to Ann Arbor

The Detroit Tigers open their baseball season on April 1 at Minnesota, and on the 5th will play the Yankees at Comerica Park in downtown Detroit, their home field since 2000. Since its establishment more than a century ago, the...

Read More

Feel-Good Bins

For the past ten years, black steel bins marked with a big red heart have collected used clothing and shoes to benefit the nonprofit Homeless Empowerment Relationship Organization (HERO). But early this year, HERO’s...

Read More

New ‘Cue in Town

Is it a restaurant? A sports bar? Another franchise come to town and geared to go, precariously perched at Ann Arbor’s most cursed crossroads?My expectations for the new R.U.B. BBQ Pub at Packard and State were not high....

Read More

Ann Arborite Paula Dana

“OK, hands washed, glove up, and I’ll get you right to work,” Paula Dana briskly tells Skyline High senior Afshin Farokhrani. It’s the Tuesday lunch shift at Food Gatherers’ Community Kitchen, and...

Read More

Lost Little Toledoan

I’ve never been one to go searching for change. I give into it only when absolutely forced, and then only after a good deal of denial, whining, and arguing. But even my own pigheadedness, honed as it is, could not convince...

Read More

Upcoming Events