2014 September

Shades of 1973

Recently I was given a copy of the official program of the 1973 Ann Arbor Blues and Jazz Festival. I worked the event for John Sinclair’s Rainbow People’s Party.As I was leafing through the program, something jumped...

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Post-Party Politics

Kirk Westphal was puzzled. In October 2013, he got a mass email from Chuck Gelman inviting people to “attend the democratic [party] meeting and support jane lumm or the candidate of your choice. this [meeting] is an...

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Paesano

“Arborland was a ghost town,” recalls Mike Roddy. Thirty years ago, when he and wife, Bridget Roddy (nee Sperrazza), went looking for restaurant locations, the shopping center anchoring the Washtenaw strip was...

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Dancer’s Boutique Heads West

Michelle Kulcsar moved the Dancer’s Boutique from the Lamp Post Plaza to Zeeb Road’s Scio Town Center in the space recently vacated by the Little Seedling. The Little Seedling moved into Boulevard Plaza on West...

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Victors, Verbena, and Space for Rent

In addition to the ten (!) new eating places around central campus, there’s an update on the clothing front: the Duerksens closed their All About Blue U-M indicia store on State Street. Their daughter Kate has opened...

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Ypsilanti Water Tower Scaffolding

Q. I noticed what seems to be a temporary scaffold built under the upper dome of the Ypsilanti water tower. What is its purpose, and how was it installed? If one could access the outside of the round windows installed in the...

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Juuust right

“I used to wonder if I was crazy, because occasionally a seat would seem too snug,” says Karen Epstein, a volunteer usher at the Michigan Theater. “And I’d think, ‘That’s weird! I was just...

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Lolita Hernandez

Lolita Hernandez, who worked on the line and with the UAW for thirty-three years before becoming an instructor at the U-M Residential College, has written wonderfully about the people she knew at General Motors. Her earlier...

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Clothes on Fourth

Fourth Ave Birkenstock now sells clothing–organic, natural, breathable cotton shirts, skirts, dresses, and pants, largely focused on two brands: Maggie’s (based in Ypsi) and Earth Creations. “I like things with...

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Shops Add Clothes

The Tinkerhesses aren’t the only shopkeepers to have discovered that everyone wears clothes. Last year, we noted Busy Hands, the Main St. knitting store, was devoting a significant amount of space to clothing, and it still...

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Tree Watching

Early one morning, when the backyard was bright-lit, I set off on a gardening mission aimed at death and destruction. The weeds were getting overly aggressive; the shrubs and bushes were expanding beyond their allotted...

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Toys, Vacuums, Gas

Asked if it isn’t a little unusual for a gas station to be selling expensive toys and used vacuums, Zeke Kaji, who owns the Marathon station at the “V” where Maple and W. Stadium come together, counters:...

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iT Boutique Comes Downtown

From Briarwood to Main St. isn’t the usual trajectory for a gift shop. Nicki Wilson, an interior designer who worked as a lighting designer at Gross Electric for seventeen years, opened iT Boutique in the Von Maur wing of...

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After the Vortex

If the words polar vortex still strike fear in your heart, just think what they do to Holly Balansag. Balansag is the winemaker at Sandhill Crane Vineyards, about twenty minutes west of Chelsea. As we approach the harvest season...

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Suck it up

“We keep running into people with a couple of compost buckets and knee-high leaves,” says landscaper Cory Benoit. “That’s not going to work.”The city stopped sending out trucks to collect piles of...

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A Running Store in Oak Valley

Nick Stanko and Ian Forsyth, who opened Ann Arbor Running Company, look like runners. Strung together from bone and muscle, as if nature just forgot to add the fat, they both say they try to run about seventy miles a week....

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Quizno’s on Plymouth

Chris Hutton closed his Quiznos franchise on Plymouth Rd. “Business was slow. Quiznos didn’t weather the recession very well,” he says. “I think everyone knows that.” The formerly ubiquituous...

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Chad Harbach

Editor’s note: This event has been canceled.I read The Art of Fielding because it was a new baseball novel. I found out it was about a lot more than baseball.In Chad Harbach’s debut novel, published in 2011, the...

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