A2 combines big city
with small town
by Jesse Brouhard
Daily Staff Reporter
There I was behind a small table at a rural high school in Michigan,
attempting to convince students of the wondrous opportunities available at the
University of Michigan. I was doing a commendable job until, sitting less than
two feet from me, the lovely representative from Michigan State University
opened her mouth.
But a freshman, I was even so kind as to pay attention to some of the
thoughts exuded by this fair scholar from the north. Then straight out of left
field came this weighty statement.
"Michigan would be a great place to go to graduate school, but Ann Arbor
is just too much of an urban campus for anyone to enjoy as an undergrad."
Suddenly, I awakened out of my stupor. I am sure at MSU there is an
extensive class entitled "Urban Campuses of America: The University of
Michigan in Ann Arbor, a Review." Even though I am certain my friend got an
A, where indeed was she coming from with that bold statement of little
What kinds of things does she enjoy doing in the cornfields she believes
exist in East Lansing? Better yet, could this person even begin to comprehend
the urbanity of a real city such as Chicago or Philadelphia?
Maybe if this State student had taken the time to drive down to see the
Spartans get crushed in Michigan Stadium, she would have realized that Ann
Arbor is neither what she described nor what she aspired to enter.
As much as I hate to admit it, Ms. Michigan State was right in a way,
though - I swear she was.
Ann Arbor is urban. But with a small-town twist.
Ann Arbor is not the urban jungle described above, where getting across
town is impossible, safety is a constant concern and a blade of grass last saw
the sun in the Paleolithic era. There are no skyscrapers, insane law firms or
ferocious smog. Traffic jams, gigantic parking structures and palatial estates
are not the norm here either.
See CrrY, Page 8
The situation for Ann Arbor's
homeless residents remains relatively
static. Their numbers are growing as
people are drawn to Ann Arbor by a
hope of finding a job in a city with a
liberal reputation. Shelters foradult and
juvenile homeless abound and are staffed
by volunteers from the University and
The Michigan basketball team
againmade the final game of the NCAA
season. And again, University students
celebrated en masse on South U. Thou-
sands of fans gathered on the street
between East U. and South Forest after
Michigan's semifinal victory over Ken-
tucky. The mostly peaceful gathering
was followed two nights later by one
that was a bit more unruly, as North
Carolina ended the Wolverine run.
AnnArbor's City Council en-
dured another ho-hum year of politics
and government. Wait, hold on a sec-
ond, Ann Arbor tossed Democratic
Mayor Liz Brater out of office in favor
of Republican Ingrid Sheldon. Also,
five new councilmembers were elected
and had to deal with the riots on South
U.Maybe thereis more going on in city
government than some people think.
There are definitely enough
places to shop while in school atMichi-
gan. (bottom) Take that credit card and
headtoany numberof venues forclothes,
music, shoes or even condoms. The best
areas to find what your heart desires are
Briarwood, South U., State & Liberty,
Main and the Arcade. We'll explain.
dI I IL? .
You are probably wondering
what and where you will be eating once
you get to school. Well, it probably
won't be crusted over lasagne and it
probably won't be in your dorm. At
least, that's what will happen if you
listen to us. There are enough restau-
rants and fast food places to check outin
Ann Arbor. (top) There is everything
from Chinese to deli to Mediterranean.
Nomatter what your taste, there is surely
a spot for you.
Didyou know thatBongoMan
(middle) is a former childhood televi-
sion star? Well, first you must know
who the Bongo Man is, right? Basically,
he's one of the street performers in Ann
Arbor. Along with thelikes of Shaky
Jake, Preacher Mike, Stoney Burke and
a handful of others, the Bongo Meister
entertains, challenges egos and makes
his unique pitch for money.
This city houses numerous
coffee shops that cater to a plethora of
tastes. There are establishments that
pride themselves on atmosphere. There
are places that boast the "right" crowd.
Heck, there are even a few places to go
if you want a good cup of java. Just
make sure you head to the right coffee
shop for you.
Ann Arbor party stores offer
more than the traditional fare of beer,
wine and chips. Find water chestnuts,
out-of-state newspapers and ever-popu-
larramen noodles at the shop around the
corner. The stores still provide the tradi-
tional beverages, but beyond the cooler
lays strange and delicious foods for
those adventurous enough to cook.