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September 08, 1994 - Image 43

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1994-09-08

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dThe N'idOin 1U1 New Student Edition








Ann Arbor can fill
any culture cravings
When I die, I want to be cremated, with my ashes divided into two parts. One part is to
be scattered back in Baltimore, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards in the outfield, on
the ground Brady Anderson treads. The other is to be placed in the Michigan Theater -
row eight, third seat in from the right aisle.
Sounds a little eccentric, I suppose. It probably is. I come from
Baltimore, a fairly large city. But during my first year at the Univer-
sity, I realized that Baltimore, for all my love of the town, was
culturally dead compared to Ann Arbor.
My first taste of the arts in Ann Arbor was my first semester. My
father and grandparents were in town for a football game. Dad and I
left his mom and pop at the hotel and saw a midnight showing of
"Akira," a Japanese animated film, at the Michigan (though it would
be a while before I found "my" seat).
From my life up to that point, in Maryland, there was nothing like
it. The Senator had the size, but was certainly not as ornate as the
Michigan. Nor did it have live organ music before the film. The
Charles near Penn Station would play the JOHN R.
same selection of movies as the Michi- RYBOCK
gan, but that closed down. With memo- On the Arts
ries of "Citizen Kane," "Casablanca,"
"Apocalypse Now" and countless "Sick
and Twisted Animation Festivals," the Michigan will always
be a part of my love of film.
While I tend to talk of nothing but films (my boss calls me
Siskel, though I insist on being called Ebert, because he's the
cool one), I have fallen for other arts in this 'berg.
In my second semester, when the Michigan snow was just
beginning to melt (which must have made it April), I once
again found myself with nothing to do on a Friday night. I
certainly couldn't go out with my girlfriend, who was 700
miles away. So I got out and I wandered about. At the Union,
there were still a few tickets left for an Amaizin' Blue concert.
} 3Coed a Capella. What the hell.
They were good. Damn good. And when they performed a
medley of "Schoolhouse Rock" songs, a thousand Saturday
mornings came flooding back not just to me, but to pretty
much everyone else. The only thing cooler, I thought, than
singing "Conjun-conjunction" with several hundred strangers
would be singing "Kill da Wabbit" with them (which I have
since done both at the Michigan and at the perennial Bugs
Bunny Festival).
Ann Arbor is pretty much the definition of a college town.
The college and town were formed at about the same time, and
DOUGLAS KANTER/Daily have evolved a symbiotic relationship. And as college folk, we
are smack dab in the middle of it.
A-squared has the highest number of bookstores per capita in the country
last I heard, with Borders Books headquarters centered a block from campus.
Ginsberg comes to town to read his poetry. James Earl Jones reads from his
autobiography, signing copies afterwards. And secondhand bookstores are as
plentiful, if not more than, the firsthand shops.
The Michigan Theater offers a place for film classes to show the
homework assignments in the atmosphere they were intended. The screen
shows "Powaqqatsi" while Philip Glass and his group give live accompa-
Even Crisler Arena, home of the Wolverine cagers, has been known to
host Pink Floyd, Elton John and Pearl Jam.
I could go on making lists of all the events I have been able to attend,
or the many more which I could get to. But what sets the arts in Ann
Arbor apart from the arts in other towns is, I believed, summed up in one
thought I have had over and over again: "Only in Ann Arbor."
Sitting outside, next to the Power Center with my buddy, Mike,
watching a group of middle-aged women doing a poorly choreographed
dance to a prerecorded tape of "Anything Goes," all the while waiting for
a free showing of some experimental films, the thought pops into my
" mind once again. "Only in Ann Arbor."
And while Spalding Grey may be touring with his show, "Grey's
Anatomy," stopping in cities around the nation, he makes a stop in a city
of 100,000 people, bypassing the nearby metropolis, Detroit.
Why? Why do these people stop in our little town, giving us a rich
access to the arts? Maybe we have a reputation of being very welcoming.
Because not matter the size of the theater, and sometimes despite what
they are playing, shows rarely fail. We all just seem to be willing to give
new things a chance. Maybe it is a benefit of a liberal education.
But whatever the reason, I am taking full advantage of it while I am
here, which I suspect will be long after I leave the University. I'll stay
long enough to get to know Walt, the Michigan Theater's projectionist,
well enough that years from now, he'll smuggle my ashes into the
Theater. Just so long as he remembers: row eight, third in from the right

The University Musical Society, headed by Ken Fischer, recruits top artists to
perform at the University each year.
By Melissa Rose Bernardo.

Y ''' 11

Museum teach
Sitting on the corner of Fifth and East
Huron, across from City Hall, lies a four-
story building unknown to many University
The building, a national landmark, housed
the city's fire department in the late 1800s.
But in 1972 the size of the department out-
grew the fire station. The fire department
moved into a new building next door, but
what was to be done with the old fire station?


es using the hands-on approach

ence museums isn't my idea of a good ti
Reading old copies of the U.S. Constitut
viewing dinosaur bones, studying the sy
bolism of paintings and stuff like that sim
don't interest me.
I have never seen anything like the Han
On Museum. Although the museum is gea
more toward young children, college stude
have enjoyed, and continue to enjoy, the+
hibits detailing many different facets of v
ous physical, biological and mathemat

me. almost liquid, view the world through a vari-
ion, ety of kaleidoscopes, experiment with vari-
ym- ous types of wave motions, use strobe lights to
iply make running water seem to stand still or flow
backwards, turn yourself into a living battery,
ids- view the contours of a plastic bag through
red polarized light, experiment with a variety of
ents holographic images ... the list goes on.
ex- Or perhaps the biological sciences are
ari- more your thing. No problem. Learn about
ical how an ultrasound machine works, view a

Book stores, record stores, dance
clubs, music clubs - they're all

min ~um

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