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

November 2003
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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

2003-09-02 - 1:23 a.m.

Yeah, we're out of it. Why else would it take us three days to link to an Ann Arbor News letter headed "Loud rock music was poor business decision"? The letter, concerning Leopold Brothers' abrupt, city-influenced decision to stop featuring live music, questions why the police didn't put a stop to the notoriously violence-inducing indie rock sooner. "I also don't understand why the police don't quickly enforce noise ordinances to shut off loud music in residential areas. The extent to which they dawdle and equivocate makes one wonder whether they might not be fostering the violence they say they seek to prevent." But the writer falls prey to a common misconception. The Ann Arbor Police have said they seek to write traffic tickets, not prevent violence.

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2003-08-28 - 11:13 a.m.

"It's comforting, really, that in this town of culture and education and wealth, one that boasts the second highest concentration of people with doctorates in the country (Cambridge, Mass., is tops), that a defining characteristic of our environment remains the 24,000 unpolished undergraduate students that populate our town eight months of the year," writes Geoff Larcom. "It keeps you humble." Good thing we have all these university students to keep things from getting too cultured and educated around here.

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2003-08-25 - 11:46 a.m.

We're much looking forward to Goodspeed's upcoming Web-based series that promises to be an unsparing look at the sordid, high-stakes world of the Michigan Daily. The intro to the series outlines some of the complaints that the Black Students Union had when they launched their boycott against the Daily, and we had to laugh at one of them: "The frequent misspelling of minority student names." This is a news organization that spells the (non-minority) mayor's name wrong in a front-page headline and doesn't correct it in their Web edition.

We've been linked to by a suicidegirls.com page, although we don't know which goth, punk or emo chick linked to us since we're not a member. Does this mean we've finally arrived?

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2003-08-25 - 11:20 a.m.

Well, now they tell us. After suffering through a few days without power the weekend before last, it turns out that DTE doesn't even provide our power at all. According to the Ann Arbor News letters page, "authentic power never comes from outside sources or through objectivity (i.e. electricity, televisions, cell phones, etc.). Authentic power comes from going within oneself and ascertaining what is placed there by a higher source."

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2003-08-22 - 2:03 p.m.

With all the chain-store hand-wringing of late, how come no one seems too alarmed about the slick new American Spoon store on Liberty? Sure, the other stores are also in Michigan, making it something of a local chain, but the company's products are available nationally. Those products are, of course, boutique "fruit butters" and "spoon fruits," which may have something to do with the local non-outcry.

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2003-08-20 - 4:26 p.m.

After years of placing in the top ten on most best-college-town rankings, A2 must be a little surprised not to see itself on the Princeton Review's list of the top twenty schools in "Great College Towns" that came out this week (via Goodspeed.) But it shouldn't be so unexpected - the Review's rankings, unlike many others, are actually based on a poll of college students. And we've never disputed that Ann Arbor is a great college town in which to grow up, raise kids, retire or run your own slumlord empire. Making the top five were schools in New York, Washington, Chicago and Miami.

The U of M was, however, tenth in the category of "Lots of Hard Liquor." Let's not lose sight of the things that really matter.

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2003-08-15 - 9:58 p.m.

Okay, a minute after we posted that, umich.edu came back up.

Here's a story about how "the big blackout of 2003 could have had a big impact in Saskatchewan if it hadn't happened so far away" to make up for our bad timing.

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2003-08-15 - 9:44 p.m.

emich.edu is up. umich.edu is not.

Also, Mlive is currently publishing through a Blogspot site (via rjwhite.) Draw your own conclusions.

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2003-08-15 - 5:12 p.m.

We could make a snide remark about what the blocks-long backup this morning at the gas station open on Jackson Road would have been like with the new one-lane/center-turn-lane proposal, but we're feeling a bit somber today.

Now a few hundred miles away, a "Buffy" line comes to mind: "Anya? Last time I saw you, you were fleeing in terror. How did that work out for you?"

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2003-08-13 - 1:17 p.m.

When we first heard about the plan, proposed by some residents of the street, to narrow the Huron-Jackson "corridor" to two lanes in each direction with that Michigan standby, the center turn lane, we put it in the "step away quietly, let it die a natural death" category of ideas that appear every so often among amateur city planners in A2. But now the city council appears to be seriously considering the proposal, which aims somehow to reduce speeding - an earlier article on the topic brings to light the alarming findings that some minority of drivers go 6 or 7 miles over the 35-mile-per-hour limit. The residents, who bought houses on a street marked along its length with interstate-shaped signs reading "Business 94," are outraged that their street is being turned into some kind of local expressway.

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2003-08-11 - 9:59 p.m.

More posting backlog - the Daily renders "Hieftje" as "Heiftje" on its top front-page headline. They spell it once correctly in the article, though.

Goodspeed is all over A2 housing issues of late. In an extensive entry on sprawl, he points out an argument of the anti-anti-sprawl crowd that makes a lot of sense: that the city has encouraged sprawl by consistently opposing any development involving "high-density projects or tall buildings." He also discusses the practice of building small "granny flat" apartments, and how it's been disallowed by a city council bowing to neighborhood groups who fear that it wil reduce property values.

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2003-08-11 - 9:45 p.m.

Leopold Brothers, touted just months ago as the site of A2's supposedly growing rock scene, has decided to stop booking live acts altogether. The owners cite noise complaints followed by an incredibly well-timed city inspection that reduced the club's legal capacity. So be heartened as you sit in your poorly insulated apartment with leaky roof and rotted-out porch - Leopold Brothers may now have only 300 customers at a time. Tree Town USA cares.

In our recent posting malaise, prompted by computer problems at home, we missed this Ann Arbor News story about the "small towns around Ann Arbor."

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2003-08-08 - 5:50 p.m.

As you may have but probably didn't notice, we weren't in Boston last weekend like we were supposed to be. That's okay - things have been rather exciting around here. At least judging from Craigslist's Missed Connections. One man vents his anger at "lots-of-excitement dudes like the ones who cook at Mongolian BBQ" - they "have been stealing all [his] girlfriends." In his experience, women consistently prefer to date "fucking dudes named Kelly who wear Tevas all year."

But another post suggests that Zingerman's employees may actually be the ones to watch out for. One poster "[has] a huge crush on" a Zingerman's employee who "look[s] like one of my exes when he used to be hot."

This is starting to read like the Zagat's Guide of Ann Arbor restaurant employee attractiveness. Anyone have any other listings?

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2003-08-08 - 2:34 p.m.

Goodspeed Update links to an Ann Arbor News story about two students and one recent alum running for City Council. We can't believe we missed the filing deadline - our "I'd Rather Be Anywhere But Ann Arbor" campaign signs will have to go into storage until next year.

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2003-08-06 - 1:10 p.m.

If still-continuing Art Fair coverage on CTN doesn't meet the requirements for surreality that successful public-access television demands, tune into the Ann Arbor schools' bus safety presentation, which should be on every day for the next four months if their normal schedule is any indication. Featuring helpful tips that appear on the screen in a font right off a 1980s iron-on shirt (or those "I fucked [name of celebrity]" shirts that are currently passe on Gawker and will therefore become a hit in A2 in approximately eighteen months), this short film tells you everything you'll ever need to know about riding the school bus. "YELLING: can hurt others' ears," reads the screen in a segment about how it's okay to talk quietly to one's neighbor. A bus is the equivalent of four cars; "[a picture of four cars] = [a picture of a bus]" illustrates this point. A plastic bus that speaks in a voice that sounds remarkably like that of the narrator speaking in a falsetto brings home the main points of the film in a hard-hitting final sequence.

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2003-08-04 - 11:01 a.m.

Writes a reader who shall remain nameless:

Why do you spend your time on such a thing, for some attention? Could it be that you're surprised and jealous that we all have so much love for our hometown? Or could it be that you are longing to be accepted here, and no one likes a cocky, self-conscious, twenty-something brought up in the superficial/materialistic east coast social-status club?

Our south-Chicago-'burbs-raised head is spinning from the irony. We're actually a neurotic, status-obsessed East Coast wannabe, but we're willing to accept being mistaken for the real thing.

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2003-08-01 - 3:47 p.m.

Goodspeed Update links to an interesting article about a British court case in which BAMN members, inexplicably, are involved. The best part is the headline he gives it, though: "RWL/BAMN ... in the U.K." Sing to the tune of "R-O-C-K in the USA." No?

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