A N N   A R B O R   I S   O V E R R A T E D . (a blog.)

November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
May/June 2002
Ann Arbor News
Michigan Daily
Polygon, the Dancing Bear
Ice Cream Motor
Goodspeed Update
Common Monkeyflower
Shmuel's Soapbox
Day in Review
Steven Cherry
Hillary Blough
Hyaline Skies

2002-08-28 - 7:23 p.m.

Bus fare in Ann Arbor, after a recent fare hike: $1.00

Bus fare in Boston: $0.75

Rent Ann Arbor Sucks paid last year in Ann Arbor: $445/month

Rent Ann Arbor Sucks paid two years ago in Boston (Cambridge, actually) for a much bigger, less run-down apartment: $425/month

Cover the Blind Pig was charging to get into The Bang! last weekend: $5

Boston comparison needed to show how outrageous this is: none

:: 0 comments so far

2002-08-27 - 2:03 a.m.

Ann Arbor Sucks has been remiss in keeping up with The Ann Arbor News this past week. As a result, this weblog has failed to deliver the kind of hard-hitting look at the Michigan Apron Challenge that you, the readers, expect. It turns out that Ann Arbor's own Christina Milton got an honorable mention for her "Ribbons and Roses" design in the "Vintage Look" category. "Christina's apron for a child was so well done that it deserved recognition," an organizer of the contest was quoted as saying in the News article.

In other news, a 100-pound school bell from a one-room schoolhouse on Plymouth Road has been returned to Washtenaw County.

Here's hoping no cases of fever 'n' ague are reported any time soon.

:: 0 comments so far

2002-08-20 - 2:57 p.m.

About the only thing that seemed to be open at midnight last weekend was Pizza House. And that led Ann Arbor Sucks to contemplate another A2 cuisine mystery - why the chipati? According to The Michigan Daily, a chipati is "a pita-bread contraption," which is more or less accurate. It's basically an iceberg-lettuce salad stuffed inside pita bread, accompanied by a bright orange "chipati sauce" that tastes something like a mixture of ranch dressing and Kraft Catalina dressing. It is considered the height of Ann Arbor cuisine.

But while Pizza House, popularly considered the innovator of this dish, calls itself "a slice of Chicago in Ann Arbor," it seems unlikely that a chipati place has opened up in Chicago billing itself as "an overstuffed bread packet of Ann Arbor in Chicago." And so we must ask, why has the chipati failed to gain popularity outside A2? Is it simply too subtle, too esoteric, for the outside world to appreciate?

Thanks to The Text Obscured for the great writeup. One thing - the "annarborsux" spelling is more a nod to Diaryland's twelve-character-username policy than an attempt to mimic Jeff K.

:: 0 comments so far

2002-08-18 - 4:41 p.m.

After eleven months in Ann Arbor, many things are still perplexing. But there's no mystery quite as impenetrable as the "Coney Island" meme in restaurant naming. First there was Leo's Coney Island. Okay. But then Ann Arbor Sucks came across Abe's Coney Island, Mr. Greek's Coney Island, Alpha Coney Island and any number of others whose names elude at the moment. These Coney Islands don't share a common menu, decor or anything else you'd expect from a chain.

For a while, Ann Arbor Sucks was content merely to enjoy the early-90's EMU fraternity group photos at Abe's (the only 24-hour Coney Island around here.) But upon finding out that Leo's had been voted "Best Coney Island" by Metro Times, it became impossible to ignore. Why are these Coney Islands so different that they inspire a competition, yet so similarly named? Can any longtime resident help me out here?

:: 1 comments so far

2002-08-15 - 2:51 a.m.

Reading Let's Go USA (which "includes" Canada), Ann Arbor Sucks came across the origin of the name Ann Arbor. Two of the early residents of the city had wives named Ann, and they "reportedly enjoyed sitting under grape arbors." Were this entry to appear in The Ann Arbor News, it would end with some pithy closer. Like:

Now you know.

:: 0 comments so far

2002-08-07 - 4:28 p.m.

Today Ann Arbor Sucks came across a huge white Mercedes SUV with license plates reading "POETRY." As this is a more succinct summation of what is wrong with Ann Arbor than any that have appeared here, this weblog will be taking a week-long leave of absence. Well, and Ann Arbor Sucks will also be out of town.

:: 0 comments so far

2002-08-03 - 5:11 p.m.

As a relatively recent arrival to Ann Arbor, Ann Arbor Sucks is vulnerable to arguments that a golden age took place here at some unspecified time that was more than eleven months ago. "You missed all the cool people and places by about five years," is the word from a New York journalist who was an undergrad here. Such pronouncements have the effect of adding "What if I'd come here five years ago?" to a list of regrets that's usually led off by "What if I'd never come here?"

Fortunately, Ann Arbor News columnist Geoff Larcom is here to dispel any such notions. In his most recent column, Larcom reminisces about a time when things here were "not always better, just different." Let's examine a few items on his list.

Kids used to hang around our public schools during the summer as part of Ann Arbor recreation programs. Now we send our kids away to sports camps.

As someone who once lived across from a park where Little Leaguers screeched "An-deee! An-deee! An-deee! YAAAAAAY!" between the hours of 3 pm and 8 pm all summer long, Ann Arbor Sucks can only say, neat. The further the better.

The University of Michigan ran free sports clinics back in the early 1970s. Now U-M has its own array of camps that keep some residence halls humming all summer.

Even if one is not up on the difference between a sports clinic and a sports camp, it seems safe to say that this hasn't made much of a difference in anyone's quality of life.

The Hash Bash really was about Hash and not an excuse for out-of-town kids to come and hang out in Ann Arbor.

It was so much better when it was all about the hash. But what can you do, the need to find an excuse to hang out in Ann Arbor is all-encompassing.

Parents were content to keep their children in Ann Arbor rec leagues and everybody knew who was on other teams from year to year. Now some kids travel so much to play sports, having a kid on a team is like having a weekend job.

I think this one is about sports again.

Anyhow, you get the idea. Larcom, who has lived here since "you could pay 12 cents for a hamburger at the old McDonald's on West Stadium Boulevard," has found a list of things that have changed that consists almost entirely of things that no one would notice if they changed back. You didn't miss anything.

:: 0 comments so far

2002-08-02 - 6:43 p.m.

And you thought you had to go to Ypsi, or at least happen to be around when the summer-of-'68 mood strikes at Art Fair, to see live nude shows. The State Theater, possibly by way of a subversive employee, promises otherwise. "Full Frontal Greek Wedding," their sign proclaims. "Lovely and Amazing."

All right, Ann Arbor Sucks thought it was interesting, if only because it marks about the first time in a year that "Amelie" hasn't been featured on their marquee.

:: 0 comments so far

2002-08-01 - 5:24 p.m.

The mercury's rising here in Ann Arbor - but, we can hope, not for much longer. Under a new program sponsored by St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, A2 residents finally have the chance to eradicate the quicksilver menace by trading in their mercury thermometers for safer ones. Don't let those "safest city" rankings lull you into complacency - there's always room for improvement when element 80 lurks out there. Hey, I hear other cities do this kind of thing with guns and needles.

:: 0 comments so far