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


ematz () - 2003-11-17 15:20:25
only if aaio shows up with a paper bag over their head.

js ([email protected]) - 2003-11-17 16:13:00
Sure, if everyone doesn't think I'm too much of an ass. I've been meaning to write a story for Current where I get all the local bloggers together for a round table... (And no one who wears a hat indoors should be given any credence. It's impolite to wear one unless you've a gaping headwound and don't wish to put off strangers. Any other reason is unacceptable). js

Brandon () - 2003-11-17 16:36:34
Yeah, I'm surprised the AA Paper, the Daily or Current haven't done an article about some of the more prominent local blogs like AAIO and Goodspeed Update. Or maybe they have and I'm not paying attention.

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-17 16:49:20
The paper bag can be arranged. No, the interview requests have not been rolling in here.

George () - 2003-11-17 17:16:04
I'd be there for a meetup...

anna () - 2003-11-17 18:22:10
If I wasn't lucky enough to have escaped, I'd have been there for a meet-up. (JS, for the record, I don't necessarily agree with you about A2 and cars, but I don't think you're an ass. I thought all academics liked to grouse and argue with anyone about anything. Or is it just me?). On another note (how do I do carriage returns??), can we please hear a gruntle or two about trying to date in Ann Arbor? Or is it only bad for women? My friends and I still shudder with horror when we recall the gallery of losers, freaks and idiots that we can't believe we actually settled for during grad school. I'm not saying it's all men in A2 (I'm sure the ones who post here are exceptions), but many of them are so weird. Like the one who set my hair on fire on our first date. I think Ann Arbor + people pursing Ph.D.s equals some very curious creatures. test

Brandon () - 2003-11-17 19:04:47
I'd wager that anywhere + people pursuing PhDs equals some very curious creatures. Is that a bad thing, though? Dating sucks, but that is mainly because (if we can allow some misogynism) women are hell... I don't know if that is different anywhere. Unless its just me, (which of course it isn't). If there were more non-evil, non-full-of-themselves, non-flaky, non-flighty women in Ann Arbor or elsewhere, the world would be a less irksome place.

anna () - 2003-11-17 19:17:30
I'd be willing to wager that there are a higher percentage of women in Ann Arbor who are more hellish than the women elsewhere, actually, just based on what I know about the proportion of men and women and the proportion of hellish people in A2. If we assume a 50/50 male/female split, and, furthermore assume that roughly 50% of all people in Ann Arbor are hellish, with no gender differences in hellishness, it follows that 50% of the dating pool is undateable in each gender regardless of your gender or sexual orientation.

Jon () - 2003-11-17 19:46:37
The meetup sounds like a sting operation...an idea probably originating from the genteel ladies in the OFW. The 'party patrol' is back! Any volunteers?

[email protected] () - 2003-11-17 20:20:13
I would be really interested in a meetup. As someone who is completely unaffiliated with the university and relatively new to ann arbor (moved here a year and a half ago to teach), it's a little hard meeting people. I've unfortunately found a lot of older people in Ann Arbor assume that because I'm young I'm a letcherous punk (if only my undergraduate institution were as wonderful!) and student friends find my needing to be at work at 7 a.m. detrimental to including me in their social lives. I would love to meet with everyone. normally I only interact with ann arborites under the age of 14...which I have to say is an adventure onto itself.

Brandon () - 2003-11-17 20:44:23
Beth, I can relate to having to be up at 7 for work. Somehow I go against my best judgement and stay out and drink til 1 on weeknights anyway (trivia at Conor's tonight for instance). It's definitely not easy to meet people in this town when you aren't a student (I haven't figured out how to pick up women at bars ), except at the occasional party or something. I graduated in June and most of the people I know either moved on to larger cities for work or school (NY, Chicago, Detroit) or back home with their parents while they hunt for jobs-- I know only scattered people here now, and haven't met many new ones without the forced social interaction of campus (even that was relatively difficult as I was a transfer and never lived in the dorms). Because I refuse to move back in with my parents and can't find a "real" job, I am still living here by default, but hopefully I can get decent funding for grad school next fall somewhere and move on. It's definitely very different being a student here versus being a regular working resident. That said, I work on the Diag block of Central Campus, my roommate is a MUP student, and most of the folks I spend time with are either alumni, students, or U employees, so I guess I don't have that much of an outsider's view just yet.

Brandon () - 2003-11-17 20:46:24
Er, actually I graduated in April, not June. I'm relapsing to high school apparently.

js ([email protected]) - 2003-11-17 21:21:14
I dunno. I had a lot of trouble finding women to date here for years and years, and then bam- I've had a steady string of really great girls, including the one that I've been dating for about a year and a half. But now we have no outside friends, since we live together. So, yeah, it's still good to meet other people. js

Rob ([email protected]) - 2003-11-17 21:40:14
I talked to a reporter at the Observer about the blog scene a while back, but never heard back about anything. I'll bug him again. What do people think about Leopold's (spacious!) on Friday at 11pm? Rob

Nick () - 2003-11-17 22:49:54
Would be interested in the meetup - I've been really impressed by the quality of the comments on the site and think it would be a lot of fun. As far as the dating thing, yeah, it sucks - maybe not more or less than it does anywhere else, but small-town "6 degrees" sorts of situations are often not a good thing.

jozka () - 2003-11-18 01:10:50
i've lived here for seven years, and yes, its nearly impossible to date anyone, cuz most everyone you know has dated someone else who has dated someone else who knows someone else...you almost feel guilty all the time even liking someone whom someone else has liked... samll town, yes indeed. and leopold's sucks. the beer gives me a headache, and they can't host shows anymore there. not that any bar is any good any more. i'm kinda bitter on the bars, having been banned for life from one that i loved... anyway, sure, let's meet up.

Shmuel ([email protected]) - 2003-11-18 01:12:24
If I were still in Ann Arbor, I'd definitely be interested in a meetup. Alas, I've-- wait. What am I saying?! Thank goodness, I've moved to Boston, so I won't be able to make it. You'll be in my thoughts, though...

Anna () - 2003-11-18 08:24:03
Actually, these comments have reminded me what it was like, and I take back the thing about dating and generalize it to meeting friends at all if you aren't an undergrad. Not too many people in the 24-40 demographic, and those that are around are hard to find because they aren't hanging out in the bars that much.... The year after I graduated from undergrad and all my friends moved away was a really lonely one.

George () - 2003-11-18 09:05:24
I'll second Leopold's on Friday the 21st.

Brandon () - 2003-11-18 12:29:12
This Friday's no good for me as I'll be entertaining some of my alumni peers who are returning to our provincial hamlet for the OSU game. But Leopold's is a good bar-- good beer, spacious, good jukebox.

Boris () - 2003-11-18 13:18:58
I'll be out of town all weekend, but I'll take a raincheck.

Murph () - 2003-11-18 13:39:43
I'll have to take a pass until January, but I'd like to propose that, not only must AAiO wear a paperbag on his/her/their head(s), but that all attendees must wear a hat indoors. Bonus points for ostrich plumes...

todd leopold ([email protected]) - 2003-11-18 13:49:01
FYI to jozka: I am sorry that you feel that you have gotten a headache from my beer. I now make handcrafted vodka, gin, and 20 different liqueurs, so you don't have to drink my beer. (Apologies to the rest of you for this plug). I will say that I don't think that you should stop supporting a local bar that isn't a part of a chain, and makes no pretention of being something that it isn't, simply because it was forced to stop holding live shows. We aren't any happier than you are about this little development, trust me. Like us or hate us, my family built everything in our brewery with our own hands. If you are going to slam Ann Arbor for being fake, or too NPRish, or too expensive, or too chain-driven, then you should at least have the courtesy of supporting those of us who have gotten off their asses, and have actually tried to make Ann Arbor a better place. It's a lot harder than it looks.

Murph () - 2003-11-18 13:58:43
As far as getting an article written in the paper, if the VFW can do it (http://www.mlive.com/news/aanews/index.ssf?/base/news-6/1069085420289280.xml), why can't we? We just need to to pick an a2news reporter and send some links to key discussions...

js ([email protected]) - 2003-11-18 14:49:56
Hold on, hold on, Current's got this story first, dammit! Although, if you were looking to sympathetic Snooze reporters, Will Stewart (from Rubber Soul) would be a good place to start. As for Leopolds, some of their beer is fantastic (Octoberfest), some of their beer is crap (Heifeweizen), and most of it's pretty middle-of-the-road (Red). Their gin is great though, having just had my first on Friday. And they were never set up well for shows anyway (the brick walls made acoustics sound like crap), but they did get some good bands and have good shows anyway. One of the things that hurt was that they practically had to sell the place out for it to sound decent. I saw the Waxwings there, and it was one of the worst sounding sets I've ever heard from anyone. But the new seating is good, and they're easy to hang out in. Now, if only they'd lower their beer prices... js

anna () - 2003-11-18 15:34:32
Uh, Todd, I wouldn't take the comments of someone who has "...been banned for life from [bar] that [he] loved... " very seriously. And, just curious, is Leopold's a new development? I don't remember that place, and I didn't leave that long ago (2000).

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-18 17:23:33
The 21st would work for me, but maybe we should wait until more people could make it. I went to a blog meetup once and it was me and one other blogger - while an interesting meeting, we probably don't want that to happen.

Oh, I've never actually been to Leopold's - I tried once, but the show I was going to was sold out. That would work, or maybe a coffeehouse if any under-21's are interested...

Some of you have asked about paragraphs - just use HTML tags until I get a decent comments system.

js ([email protected]) - 2003-11-18 17:42:18
Ok, I'll bite as a sissy- what is the paragraph break tag in HTML? js

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-18 17:44:59
It's <p>.

just a voice () - 2003-11-18 20:32:48
as a non-bear drinker (only on rare occasions) I rejoice in Leopolds haveing gin, that great. I'll have to head there soon and check it out!

js ([email protected]) - 2003-11-18 21:00:00

Oh, Just A Voice, I hear you. I hardly ever drink bears anymore, not since that ugly incident with Yogi...

Beers, on the other hand...


joe ([email protected]) - 2003-11-18 22:33:56
Anyway, why were you watching CTN at 2:28 pm? I thought grad students had other things to do. Maybe i got that wrong?

Ed ([email protected]) - 2003-11-18 22:51:47
As the sole blogger in town who has actually met AAIO in person, I'm up for a meetup. Alas, I'm probably not the person to organize it or to be counted on to be there, because a 3 yr old at home puts a distinct crimp in socializing.

ann arbor is overrated () - 2003-11-19 00:17:53
Hey, 2:28 p.m. is breakfast time for a grad student. Or at least lunchtime. What you should be asking is, what am I doing posting here at midnight? That's the middle of the workday.

__earth () - 2003-11-19 03:09:31
so, are you guys meeting up with paper bags covering the face?

Hillary ([email protected]) - 2003-11-19 09:02:00
Why'd you stop making the wine coolers, Todd? You're killin' me! I've been reduced to drinking coffee in your bar (the coffee is excellent, BTW).

The only other complaint I have is that the accoustics at Leopold Bros are horrible for conversation. By 10PM it's so loud in there, you can't hear anyone but the person directly across from you.

Murph () - 2003-11-19 10:10:09
Maybe we should all wear paper bags with our urls sharpied on the front?

As far as Leopolds' coffee goes, can I assume that it's organic/shade-grown/fair trade, as I would expect from a sustainable brewpub? Gin, also organic? You may yet put this treehugger off of all other A2 bars for life...

todd ([email protected]) - 2003-11-19 11:17:55
Hillary---we now have martinis, so the "wine coolers" were 86'ed. Sorry. Murph, the coffee is a unique blend of coffee bean we purchased from some company named "Dow Chemical"...ok, ok, YES it's organic free trade coffee. The vast majority of our liqueurs are also organic, as well as the vodka and gin. Certification will take the better part of my natural life, however. Now, please, can you all get back to making fun of Ann Arbor? I look forward to the laughs.

Leighton () - 2003-11-19 11:38:29
I'd be up for a meetup. Writing a bit for a zine on the histories of AA / Ypsi right now. Leopold's still "rocks" anyway. Keep plugging.

anna () - 2003-11-19 11:40:16
See, we are nothing without an interesting front page remark from AAOI.

Anyway, want to hear something offensive? They've changed the zoning laws in the town neighboring mine, which also has a (much smaller) college. The new law was written such that no more than two people who are not "family" can live in the same house. This law is explicitly (with no shame!) designed to rid the neighborhoods of students, but of course applies to anyone not making a lot of money. Can it be that a law like that is anywhere near constitutional? There is already a zoning law that dictates how many people per room can live in a dwelling, which I am sure is constitutional, but this.....?

Nick () - 2003-11-19 13:32:45
So have we decided if this Friday is on? In spite of the vast variety of social opportunities available to a newly arrived grad student in Ann Arbor, my calendar is free that night. As a future suggestion, maybe meeting midweek in some coffee place would work better, given the strong incentive many of us feel to leave AA any weekend we can.

Murph () - 2003-11-19 16:00:26
Anna: yep, this is perfectly constitutional. Compare with some of A2's inhabitance restrictions on zones...One of the single-family residential zones (of which I think there are six types?) limits residency to "no more than four persons and immediate family" or some such. Really, quite reasonable in comparison to "no more than two unrelated persons", but you can't draw a line between them to say which is constitutional and which isn't. Constitutionality is way too blunt an instrument for this sort of thing.

As a better answer to your question, *yes*, this is constitutional. The Supreme Court ruled it to be so in 1930-something in the case of *mumble* vs. Euclid, Ohio, which is why this type of zoning is now known as "Euclidean zoning". I believe the question was whether restrictive zoning constituted an illegal taking of property without compensation under fourth(?) amendment search & seizure restrictions. I'm fuzzier on the rationale for allowing it, but I think it had to do with property values: the government adds value to property by protecting it and therefore removing some of that value by restricting, say, how many people can live on it is not a taking, as the gov. isn't actually eating into the base property rights, but just the added property rights. Or something. My planning theory class isn't until next semester, so I'll be able to be more certain of my answer then.

Zoning is one of the most broken systems I can think of. Well, maybe not more broken than copyright, but it's up there...

jozka () - 2003-11-20 12:22:32
Todd: sorry for the slam there. i visited leopold's last night and enjoyed the porter very much, with no head ache. Anna: in the last few weeks the ownership of the Del Rio has decided that after thirty years of cooperative management, it just didn't work. they have also decided to fire one by one the people who have worked there for years in order to institute a "New" Del Rio. not only have they fired two undeserving people and banned them for life from the bar, they also threatened them with a phone call to the police, and one person was ecorted out by the police when they refused to leave asking for a reason why. i myself quit there upon witnessing all of this, and merely assume i'm banned as well. sorry, its a touchy subject with me.

anna () - 2003-11-20 15:56:01
Wow, Jozka, I am really shocked to hear about Del Rio. You and I probably actually know each other, if only by sight, because I was a regular there for a long time (my entire 20s). I am really sorry to hear about the changes. That was the one last piece of old, cool Ann Arbor.

I guess, given A2's general suckiness, it's surprising more that that place stayed as unsucky as long as it did. I always was surprised that the owner was able to have as nice a bar as he did, actually, since he was always a jerk.

Brandon () - 2003-11-20 18:47:45
Anyone else really like Old Town? It's just a classic old-timey tavern in there. I like Ashley's, Leopold's, ABC, and Dominick's, but for a plain old bar without some sort of interesting specialty, Old Town is great.

anna () - 2003-11-21 09:55:27
I liked Old Town, too. I don't know why I didn't go there more, actually. I didn't care much for the crowd at Ashley's.

js ([email protected]) - 2003-11-21 14:09:11
Ashleys is pretentious and overpriced. Old Town is OK, that was our softball team's bar post-game. They also have Jim Roll play there fairly often, which is a plus. js

Brandon () - 2003-11-21 14:33:47
I don't know if this makes me a bobo, but I really love Ashley's. Yeah, it's expensive, but it's really damned fun to have that many beers to choose from. I try something new every drink. Plus, the new (but overpriced) internet jukebox is great. While it certainly doesn't have everything (indie releases in particular) I can't help but blowing money to listen to the Flaming Lips, Whiskeytown or "Desolation Row" while I'm drinking. It is really damned busy on weekends, however... it's great during the summer when the place is half-empty and your music and conversation are completely understandable. My wallet always feels pinched, but I've never come out of that place in a bad mood.

Larry Kestenbaum ([email protected]) - 2003-11-21 16:21:50

I'm in for a meetup, and I like Leopold's.

I could go on and on about copyright and zoning. But just to correct the above: Euclid stands only for the proposition that zoning is not unconstitutional. The unrelated persons restriction was upheld about fifty years later in Belle Terre.

srah () - 2003-11-21 21:17:54
I'd like to meet up sometime... after this stupid semester curls up and dies.

Nick () - 2003-11-22 00:52:03
Hmm, bars in Ann Arbor . . . I tend to agree with Brandon that Ashley's is OK - overpriced yes, and I avoid it on the weekends, but the staff is good and some of the regulars are a lot of fun. Not a big fan of Leopold's - a giant hall with enormous tables doesn't really lend itself to going someplace alone and having interesting spontaneous conversation with strangers - which is kind of the point of a pub. Though the jukebox selection is spectacular. I don't get Dominick's at all - aside from being open 12 total hours a year, there's again no place to just sit and spontaneously talk to people. The only place I find really appalling is Conor O'Neill's - is it a maxim of contemporary urban planning that every faux-French-Quarter in America has to have a fake Irish pub in it? I've heard good things about the Old Town but haven't checked it out yet.

__earth () - 2003-11-22 20:03:44
why don't we just need up the in UgLi? i'm sure nobody minds with we just crash into the already noisy library.

__earth () - 2003-11-22 20:05:04
i really meant "meet up" instead of "need up"

Brandon () - 2003-11-23 10:07:18
The UGLi, however, does not have beer.

__earth () - 2003-11-23 21:22:37
lol... about the library, i was really kidding. but we could smuggle it in.

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