|A N N A R B O R I S O V E R R A T E D . (a blog.)|
From the Ann Arbor News' Talk About Town column:
On Wednesday the Bollars and Guttrichs took to the fairs, with Sonia carrying Corky, her fluffy, white, 8-year-old Maltese, in a pooch pouch that hung in front of her much like a baby carrier. The dog seemed perfectly content; the humans less so.
Don't mind us. We're just friendly, inquisitive folk.
But while Ypsi does undeniably rock if your other options are Ann Arbor and Saline, it's not clear whether Ann Arbor Sucks can get behind a website that contains lines like "This page is now irrelevent[sic]...Thanks to our oldest sponser[sic]."
Spellchecking band sites - how very Ann Arbor.
So it's back to The Ann Arbor News this week.
A "jeer," according to m-w.com, is a "taunt." It isn't a "sober and constructive criticism." But too often, that's what you get from the News' "Cheers and Jeers" column. Having singlehandedly discovered the serendipitous accident of these two opposite-meaning words rhyming, the News is content to rest on its laurels.
This week's entry takes small-town niceness to a new level. The column contains four cheers - and no jeers! Out here in Middle America, if you don't have something nice to say...
Being the enthusiastic city booster that I am, I was all set to camp out on South University for the opening, until a correspondent of mine told me that Art Fair may not be the seamless marriage of art and community to which I was eagerly looking forward.
ART FAIR SUCKS A BIG FAT ONE. I'm proud to say I've avoided it at all costs every single year I've lived here, and I actually laughed four years ago when there was a massive thunderstorm and people were diving underneath tables to get out of the hail, like that Guns n' Roses video.� It served those stupid, pretentious out-of-towners who sell milk-carton sculptures for $600 right.�
kalamazoo may be a shitty town, dont get me wrong, i dont know anyone who likes it that much, everyones trying to get out, it IS shitty.. but its not as shitty as you.. how can you talk shit about a town anyway "ooh lansing sucks." "eww detroit is gross" "arghh, ann arbor is so stuck up" that doesnt make sense at all. if only kalamazoo could cry, it would cry because of your words.
About a month ago, The Ann Arbor News published an opinion proposing closing off Main Street to create an outdoor mall. Ann Arbor Sucks moved stealthily away from this idea and avoided making any sudden moves, hoping that it would die a quiet death. Unfortunately, it has made a reappearance in the News' letters page. Writes Ann Arbor resident Erich Jensen, "my wife and I ate at Gratzi's indoors because dining on great food polluted by cars is no longer desirable." Pause to wonder when it was in fact desirable, and you'll miss this alarming closer: "Where do we join the movement to enhance Main Street by its summer closing?"
Stop to think which great cities close off their streets to create open-air malls, crossing off those which are rarely frequented by non-tourists, and you'll find a slim list indeed. Boston has Faneuil Hall, which is arguably an open-air mall of sorts, but it fails the second test. It also has Haymarket, but that area's smell of rotting fish would make it just as unsuitable as Main Street for outdoor dining. Chicago has none that I can think of.
If there is any edge, any life to Main Street at all, it lies in the traffic lights and intersections, not the Michigan souvenir shops and outdoor restaurants where parents of freshmen stop during orientation week. Closing the street would erase the last scintilla of city-ness that this place possesses.
Having not offended everyone yet, he describes the woman, who was having her hair done at the time, as "feeling younger than her 25 years inevitably show," deftly covering the dead-baby-humor-enjoying-pro-eugenics-past-high-school-women demographic.
We had an intern once from the East Coast who, in a conversation with another editor, insisted indignantly that Ann Arbor is nothing like a big city. It was an interesting exchange to witness between a Bostonian who couldn't get past the small-town aspects of the city, and a former suburbanite who stopped for a cappuccino everyday on her walk to work through the downtown business district.
Yes, those small-town aspects of the city. Sometimes they can be hard to get past. The whole thing about it being a town, and small, for example, can be a near-insurmountable obstacle for the veteran city-dweller.
The column goes on to point out that Ann Arbor has bubble tea now (that's the tea with tapioca balls). Mmmm, tapioca balls. I tried one as soon as the place opened, which was about a year after bubble tea came to Boston and, I am told, a couple years after it came to San Francisco. (And, to be fair, probably five years before it comes to South Bend or Iowa City.)
Still, I don't know what they put in those cappuccinos in the business district, but I'm up for trying one if they make you think you're living in a big city.