22B - The Michigan Daily~Eest of Anri ArborI1997 - T hosday, 'pri 17, 1997
The Michigan Daily Best of Ann Arbor
State of Ann Arbor
GOODBYE, MICHIGAN. LOVE, BRIAN
What a long,
strange trip it's
Little did I know
when I made my
decision to spend
four years at the
University that I
would be forced to
Brian A. Gnatt go through such a
Diy AtsEdto traumatic culture
shock. Well, maybe
not traumatic, but a definite culture
Call me an East Coast snob, because
that's what I am and I'm damn proud of
it. Michiganders and Midwesterners -
believe it or not, you're different.
(Suburban Detroiters, you may be
somewhat of an exception, but not com-
The first time I noticed it was at ori-
entation. I told someone I was going to
get a soda from the machine, and was
met with that blank stare.
"A soda," I replied.
At this point, I was wondering what
was wrong with this person. I knew I
would meet some people in college that
weren't the most worldly of people, but
who hasn't heard of Coke?
"You know, from the Coke machine,"
I said. That's when it hit her.
"Oh, you mean a pop."
No, we're not going down to the malt
shop with Betsy-Lee to get a pop. I
want a goddamn soda. I've had the
debate countless times, and Michigan
people never seem to realize they're
wrong. It's soda. Go anywhere outside
the Midwest and try asking for a pop,
and they'll go, "huh?" just like I did.
And with my first "pop," my Michigan
culture shock began.
Since then, there have been count-
less incidents, many I've tried to for-
get. One of the most memorable hap-
pened during my first semester of
classes at Michigan. As a "first-year
student," I quickly realized how politi-
cally correct the University communi-
ty was. At first, I thought that was a
wonderful thing. Everyone made an
effort to be tolerant of each other,
something I hadn't ever thought much
about previously because I always had
white friends, as well as black, Asian,
Indian and Latino friends. But after a
short while, I was able to see through
Michigan and its political correct bull-
It was in an English class one day that
a fellow classmate told us she had never
seen a black person until she came to
the University. Huh? "But I had seen
them on TV" she said.
Surprisingly, her experience wasn't
all that uncommon. After having politi-
cal correctness shoved down my throat
for a few months, I began to realize the
people who were out there preaching
for us to open our minds to different
races were the people who had never
seen black people before they came to
the University. These people had never
had Latino friends, Asian friends, or
any friends who weren't white. Now,
they had discovered a false sense of
diversity, and decided to force their
classroom-taught ethnicity down my
Then there's the people who think
Michigan is the center of the universe. I
mean, really, why would you ever have
to leave such an exciting and near-trop-
"I've been to Ohio before, to visit my
cousins;' someone at orientation told
me. Even my former suburban Detroit
roommate counted all the new states he
visited as we drove to my suburban
Washington, D.C. home on spring break
a few years back.
And just last weekend, I was again
accused of being an East Coast snob for
saying Michigan is in the middle of
"Michigan is so close to everything,"
was the response. "We're only four
hours from Chicago and six from
Toronto. You East Coast people always
want everything your way, right away,
don't you? My family drove to South
Carolina to eat seafood once." Yeah,
you're right. I'm hungry for pizza. Let's
go to Chicago.
Worst of all about Michigan is the
way the locals drive. I can't seem to fig-
ure out why you don't have to take an
on-the-road driving test to get a driver's
license in Michigan. It's only that peo-
ple here can't drive, they can't park
either. Michigander's method of parallel
parking is quite bizarre to me. I've seen
it numerous times: to pull out of a
space, you don't go in reverse until you
hit the car in back of you and then pull
forward until you hit that car. You aren't
supposed to touch the other cars, dum-
basses! On another note, when driving
through an intersection with traffic
stopped on the other side, don't block
the street so people trying to turn can't
On a more positive note, one major
difference between Michigan (and other
parts of the Midwest) and the rest of the
world is a store called Meijer. I have
found Meijer to be the most wonderful
thing in Michigan, and the one thing I
wish I could take home with me. At
first visit, I admit I didn't appreciate the
true value of a store like Meijer - a
store open 24 hours, 7 days a week that
sells everything on Earth except vehi-
cles, computers and pornography.
You see, Meijer isn't just a store -
Meijer is also entertainment. Meijer
provides hours and hours of fun under
the fluorescents at all times of the day.
Where else can you can buy a gerbil,
tubing and KY jelly at 2 a.m.? Or even
shotgun shells, a fifth of Popov, matzah
ball soup and a Ted Nugent CD in the
middle of the night?
I've come to believe most
Michiganders don't appreciate all
Meijer has to offer. They've grown up
with the store, had it destroy all of the
smaller stores that used to thrive in the
area, and maybe they've even worked
for the big M. But for an outsider,
Meijer offers something that nothing
else in Ann Arbor can - 24 hours of
Looking over the winners from this
year's Best of Ann Arbor poll, I see lots
of categories and lots of different stores.
Meijer, on the other hand, could have
taken the cake in almost every category.
Here are some of my favorites: best
place for folks to take you, best roman-
tic evening, best records (as long as
Conway Twitty and Bob Seger are some
of your favorites), best men's and
women's clothing (quite trendy actual-
ly), best books (the latest romance nov-
els), best place to go when in an altered
state, best place to meet a mate (sexy
cashiers and locals), best excuse for cut-
ting class (what professor wouldn't
understand?), best place for people
watching, best campus tradition, best
slang (meijering, or to Meijer), best
haircut (Ypsilanti Meijer), best sporting
goods, and of course, best groceries.
I'll miss Meijer. I'll miss all the
wackos in Ann Arbor, and I'll even
miss all of Michigan's stupid nuances.
. I'll miss the occasional beautiful spring
day, Mr. Rib, and some of the more
sane people in this town. But most of
all, I won't miss bitching and moaning
about Michigan and the Midwest
because this is the end Michigan, and
I'm outta here.
- E-mail Brian at bgnatt~umich.edu
Continued from Page 61
Best Cheap Beer:
They have specials, two levels of drinking space
and they're located on South University Avenue.
Now if we can only get our football team to take
this bar's name to heart more often next fall, we'll
be in business.
Best Bar Drinks:
Ashley's is a bloody fine old Irish tavern. They
have so many choices of microbrews and other
drinks that it will make your head spin, before you
even take a drink!
Best Ice Cream/Frozen Yogurt:
Could there be any other winner? They've got
the gooey, creamy, rich stuff your palate longs for,
and the healthier, frozen yogurt alternative that can
be just as tasty.
There are all kinds of things in a chipati that
make it a well-rounded meal - your veggies, your
cheese, your pita - and of course - don't forget
that meat. But what does this say about Pizza
House's main export - pizza?
I wonder where Zingermann's went? Well,
Amer's is conveniently located nearer to campus on
State Street, and hasjust about everything - coffee,
dessert, even some produce if you so desire.
They bake their own bread, and their prices are
good. And all those toppings are worth another
mention. Along with Subway's convenience, these
strengths understandably helped it win in a couple
Mrs. Peabody's Cookies,
Ice Cream and Yogurt
This place has all the naughty things your
mother told you never to have before dinner.
Bruegger's Bagel Bakery
The bagelwich is a lovely thing. In the ever-pre-
sent battle of the bagels, it looks like Bruegger's
won this round. Check out their "next morning"
bagels, sold by the half-dozen.
Best Italian Food:
"When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza
pie, that's amore!" For classic fine dining, you can't
beat the mother of eating out, the Italian restaurant.
Heck, you might even learn a little Italian. (Hint:
"Gratzi" means "thank you.")
Best Indian Food:
We're lucky Ann Arbor has such a diverse palate
of ethnic foods available ... if you're a
Best Middle Eastern Food:
One can live off of Jerusalem's babaganoug if
one really tries. Besides, eggplant is one of the
healthiest dishes out there.
Best Chinese Food:
Your fortune: "You will eat good food at
See RESTAURANTS, Page 8B
COURSE START DATES
Ah, Spring .'
' Piattime ofyearwwhen <3:
.., 4kothe sun shines thie lowers < '
bfoom and thefiearts off /
Bourg peopie eve where /
!& DELICIOUS NONFAT FROZEN YOGURT! ,
* Treat yourself (or a friend) to some today! I/
Mon-Thurs 8:30-7 'We ship anywhere in the
CAK" Fri 8:30-5:30 Sat 10-5:30 761 -CHIP
Voted Best Skate Shop
Ann Arbor Readers Poll
215 S. State, Ann Arbor
a Mon Tue Wed Thur 11-8
A.. Sunday 12-6 Fri Sat 12-9
Rachel Holmes enjoys the cuisine at Jerusalem Garden.
)4i N#-k Se pedel4!
Oe~sks eesoi 4.
Try our famous collidersl Choose an
our 22 fruit, cereal, and candy toppi
to create your own Colombo
non-fat yogurt shake.
812 South Stat
S HIGHEST QUALITY!
FASTEST SER VICE! I
I 1002 PONTIAC TR.
0- 0 ON em
REUSABLE MATERIAL AVAILABLE
we have SCRAP
. .fot YOUR PROJECTS
Friedman's Scrap Metals
just a short drive from campus
915 Maiden Lane 662-0317
9, State St. (upstai