So because the college town you knew and loved is not the exact same as when you were there it is now lame? Believe me, it's far from lame.
spoiler alert: i linked this
So because the college town you knew and loved is not the exact same as when you were there it is now lame? Believe me, it's far from lame.
The place is great. Period.
things constantly change and while I know it can be shocking (what the fuck is up with the blue leprechaun! I want Touchdowns back, even though I never liked the place that much) Ann Arbor is still awesome. I moved back here with my wife a few months ago, also a class of 97 grad, and it was the best decision we've probably ever made.
I think that A2 is still a unique college town. I have visited and lived in other college campuses (such as Univ of Texas at Austin, touted as an electic place). I think A2 still ranks among the most unique. Yes we have Potbelly and Starbucks and crappy places like that, but compared to other cities it's still very independent. You know those 'fancy' townhouses at Packard/State? In other campuses anything within walking distance of campus looks like that. Nice but devoid of character and affordable only to those riding a wave of their parents' money.
" I think I even heard a rumor that they were going to stop allowing people to free base crack in the bathrooms at the Fleetwood."
Hhahahahahahahhaahhaahahahahah. Well played sir.
chunkums - it's not that the exact same stuff isn't there, it's the type of stuff they're building (ice cream parlor after ice cream parlor, low grade eateries with the word "bistro" slapped in the title, etc). And if I wanted chains I'd hang out near my parent's house or go to East Lansing. Dammit, I knew I was going to come off sounding like a crusty old-timer.
Also, not that anyone seems to care, but the store I was trying to remember was called Discount Records.
The great part about living in Ann Arbor is that it changes with the time. Those places may have meant a lot to you and people of "your generation" are great I'm sure, but they have been replaced by places that mean as much to my generation. I would be willing to bet that before you lived in A2, there were landmarks that were just as important to those before you that were knocked down to make room for School Kid's Records and others. The city is a living breathing thing, and establishments are born and die with it. I have lived in town my entire life, and I have watched it change. I miss some things (anyone remember that Mexican restaurant on Stadium, that place was good!) and I am glad some new things have come (Happy's Pizza Anyone?, Quicky Burger). Change is a natural part of life, and there are some things that will never change (Blimpy Burger, Stucchis, Pizza Bob's). All in all, I think Ann Arbor is the same place you left, just with a bit of a facelift and a little Botox.
What about the Dawn Trader book store? That place is the tits. It's still there, right?
I hadn't thought about School Kids in years. Whenever I see the threads about places to eat, etc., I don't recognize half of them any more. PM64 is right, though. No one will ever take away memories like seeing Buddy Guy or Matt Murphy at Ricks and I have the hearing loss to prove it.
Ease up on that "your generation" stuff, though.
Sorry man, I didn't want to make you guys feel old, but I was trying to put it in a way that would make sense. No hard feelings?
me why every girl at Skeeps is dressed up like they are going to some fancy/schmancy exclusive club?
I think in general the girls just dress better/hotter than they used to.
Because none of them are 21 and must dress like that to get past the skeeps bouncers. The average age of a skeeps patron is 19.
to PJ's Used Records, above the Subway near Hill/Packard. I never understood how he stayed in business, but he does, since he was still there this fall when I visited THE GLORIOUS CITY OF ANN ARBOR. You don't know how good you've got it, residents. Seriously.
PJs records is pretty cool, mostly because the owner is weird as balls. One day I went in there and he had really long hair. The next time I want in, which was like a month later, he was bald. Not shaved head bald, but I Can't Grow Hair On My Head Anymore bald. I realized that his long hair was really just a fucking crazy long comb over.
These businesses either moved elsewhere or shut down because they couldn't afford to stay open where they were. Ann Arbor is super expensive. This is like the "i hate wal-mart; it eats people thing". If you want some unique store on State and Liberty that sells random things that people like to look at but never buy, then you should open one up. Just dont expect to make any money.
PattyMax, I may not be of "your generation" (I graduated 8 years ago), but I sorta hope that the Ben and Jerry's and Potbelly's that came in place of the places os is referring to don't "mean much" to your generation. I realize that places I liked are going to get torn down, and that makes sense. It's the fact that these cool, independent, quirky businesses are getting torn down and replaced by corporate chains, like B&J and Potbellys (FTR: I like Potbellys).
This isn't, however, isolated to Ann Arbor - look at every town. If you go to Austin, there's a huge initiative for the city to buy vacant storefronts before corporations can move chains in. It's what happens in the past few decades - corporate business pushes out small businesses.
I'm not talking about Ben & Jerry's and such. America is becoming more corporate as a whole. What you remember about Ann Arbor is most likely the "chilling" at these places, and the fun you had there. We will all look at out High Schools in a different way then those who were miserable there (assuming you liked high school). For those who hang out at Digital Ops, that is where they will have their fondest memories. For those who hang out in the Quad (yes those creepers can have feelings too, I mean come on, do you have to dress up like that every day, its weird man) they will always adore that space. When I visit my old elementary school, I feel sad that it has changed to the degree it has, but I know that it will always be the same in my mind, where it matters most. I really hope all of you can accept the new Ann Arbor as your own, that is fine. But try to see it as the same town as before, with only a few minor adjustments.
You just needed to be willing to look and dust it off.
I recommend the Ramen. Generic mac and cheese at $.23 a box was always good too.
Village Corner is gone?!?!?!? Don't people buy cigarettes and condomns anymore or was that only "my generation"?
I'm pretty sure it was still there last I was in Ann Arbor.
The Bagel Store next to it has been closed for years, which is why Shakey Jake moved to the other side of town.
Shakey Jake is dead.
VC is still here (I'm looking at it right now).
It may close for a year or so to build another UTowers type building in the place of the Bagel Factory.
As far as cool unique Ann Arbor businesses, there may be some leaving, but new ones keep coming. Quickie Burger is great.
Also: R.I.P. Leopold Bros.
Leopold's was a nice atmosphere, but honestly, their beer was terrible. Always had serious diacetyl problems (when your beer has any amount of "buttered popcorn" flavor, that's the diacetyls).
The main thing that concerns me about A2 is the number of expensive apartment complexes that are popping up right around campus. Few students can afford to live in these places. I'm concerned that they are slowly being priced out of their own town.
I'm not sure how a big apartment building like the one they've proposed above village corner forces people out of the campus area... seems to me like that would increase options in the surrounding area and drive rents down.
will pay for shit that works. The student ghetto is a hellhole but that ain't keeping rent below 550 a month.
a2 is not lame because:
1) getting caught with tree is still only a slap on the wrist compared to anywhere else
2) further reinforcing #1, the cops are NOT tough in ann arbor. for instance, if you think they are, then go to east lansing. its routine to see people get maced up there.
3) big ten burrito, panch, no thai, za's, pizza house, and bell's pizza are all you need to eat for 4, maybe 5 years.
4) sgt. peppers; just the fact that it lies in the heart of the student neighborhood is awesome. i mean, it only caters to students and it's single purpose is to intoxicate every student, regardless of age. this may just be a student of michigan point, but whatever.
5) there are many facets to a2 nightlife. you can goto south U (or skeeps) for the ridiculous undergrad scene, or class it up a bit on main street if you must, or if you're a hippie you can goto the other side of main street to bars like circus and monkey bar. you'll probably find brian there.
6) although hippies normally smell, are lost and confused. they are now the people who run the city and having them in charge makes things real lax. so while people of your generation were probably the hippies, they've grown up to run this joint'. which leads me to my last reason as to why a2 is not lame...
7) getting caught with tree is still only a slap on the wrist compared to anywhere else. and extremely easy to purchase/find/have in minutes.
oh and dominicks is beautiful and nobody else has it but us
Thank you Turbo. That is the point I was trying to make.
And W00T on #1!!!
How old and bitter do I sound? I graduated in 2004!!!
Wow, uh... You made this big of a deal over the past 4 years? Wow, you sir need a better scope of time. Not that much has changed since you left, compared to the rest of the town in the time I have been living there (19 years). I guess its all a matter of perspective.
Sorry if I came off a bit harsh. Granted, there was a lot of character in those old places, but some of the new ones have a bit of their own street cred. There's something about that 4am trip to Quickie Burger, or that game of shuffleboard aided by copious amounts of Margaritas at the Cantina. Ann Arbor still has character, just a different kind of character.
My son is looking at Eng. schools, but the thought of him living up there depresses me.
I lived in West Quad and was in engineering. It's not bad at all to live on Central and take classes on North. Most freshman and even a decent amount of soph classes for engineering are on Central anyway.
I was in the music school at UM. i lived on central campus 3 out of 5 years, i lived across the river from the Med Center one year (behind the pool/soccer fields), and in the North Campus Co-op during my hippie/socialist phase. All had their merits, but it's absolutely possible to live in town/central campus and take classes on North Campus. Become friends with the shuttles, and plan your schedule carefully.
I had friends that lived on Central Campus and were engineers but that was mid 80's and I didn't know if it had changed.
I lived on North Campus my last two years. I hated it. There was nothing to do but run away from skunks and walk to Hollywood Video.
This was way back in 2004 though. I've driven through North Campus on a number of occasions since and I gotta say - though the exterior has gotten a very minor facelift, I can tell the seedy underbelly is still there. And by seedy underbelly, I'm talking about asian grad students playing XBox and watching television.
No - it's beautiful, it's quiet, and there are some fantastic groceries and restaurants if you know where to look. And you certainly don't need a car. I didn't realize how great UM's bus system was until I left. Sure, there's not much nightlife, but that's why the buses run till 3am on the weekends.
tell him to live on central unless he's got a car.
pocket universe. it doesn't exist unless you accidentally end up on a bus.
I started out in Engineering and lived in Markely and it wasn't a problem at all. I've had several friends on the other hand who lived on north as freshmen and had a great time.
Well, I see your point. Local businesses do add a lot of character to a city.
But losing the record stores was basically inevitable. That's more of an industry problem than an Ann Arbor problem. Someone mentioned PJs, which is pretty damn cool. I also can't figure out how you stay in business selling records for a dollar.
Gay night on Fridays is still in effect at Necto and you guys have the gall to ask if Ann Arbor is getting lame? Bunch of homophobes up in here.
I'd heard that McKinley is looking to purchase the land that Encore is located on because they wanted to expand the building that Bar Louie is in.
Wazoo has been doing pretty well, from what I've heard.
Nobody has to buy condoms. Pretty much every major school in America is passing them out like candy.
I remember that Mary Sue Coleman got upset because the Halfass was selling condoms, which is why we stopped selling them for a long time when I was still working there.
Record stores everywhere are going under. Independent record stores are/will have a hard time with digital music and everything. It's not just in Ann Arbor, they're going out of business everywhere. They're not really a fair example.
I still plan to retire in Ann Arbor by purchasing Ashleys whenever it comes up for sale next... It is not lame.
When you do that could you not make the alcohol cost the same as the other bars? Ashley's is nice, just expensive.
dude, Ashley's is one of the cheapest places in town to get hamsandwiched. You can get a Third Coast Old Ale for five bucks and those make you feel gooooooooood. Ashely's is for drinking two or three 6-8% beers and stumbling home.
but they used to have $1 Labatts and all you could eat wings on Monday nights. Used to go there regularly with a good friend for Monday night football in the early '90's. The Labatts used to have a coat of ice about 1/16 inch thick over the entire bottle. Damn it was good and cold!
Yeah, the bar my wife and I go to most often in Chicago is a similar "expensive beer bar" we tend to get shitcanned for about 35 bucks combined with a nice tip. Of course I think the bartenders there forget to put some of our stuff on our tab, but even when we're paying full price it might run us 45-50 total with a nice tip, and we are quite drunk when we leave.
Usually ran into the same thing at Ashleys -- if you knew what you were drinking it wasn't terribly expensive. Yeah, it isn't "$2 pitchers at Rick's" cheap, but it's sure a whole lot nicer if you actually want to talk to the people you're with.
One thing we found funny -- a friend of mine used to order fries that weren't on the menu, he'd have them put cheddar and bacon and some other stuff on there, they usually knew what he was going to order right away because he'd have them do it almost every time. Our last semester there those fries actually showed up on the menu. They should have named them after him.
Well if Tacopants comes walking in, I'll put your drink on the ceiling with hopes you can get it...
my old man played for M in the 40's, i was a 6-month gestation fetus for my first M game at the OSU/UM Snow Bowl in '50.
AA morphs and adjusts with the generations, and the current students set the agenda for all of us. Dats the be beauty of it - and that's what keeps us all coming back after our time is gone even though we're Michigan Men for life. AA will never be lame - just different than in our own time - but always good. Just ask Les Miles. . . . .and Rich Rod.
I am sure that many of your father's generation (and the next one) remember such institutions as the Pretzel Bell, which is now long gone. It was always packed after a home game.
Brian - the problem is that the new housing is almost invariably pricier than average. (This is partly a function of the stupid green belt law that was passed a couple years ago, which restricts development on the edges of the city and forces developers to try to cash in where they can.) These new housing units are attracting a lot of non-students. The students - the people who actually make the town what it is - are priced out of a lot of these, while some of the traditional student housing stock south of campus is getting torn down, too.
if they're complaining that the Pretzel Bell isn't there anymore.