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'Greasy spoon' diners
21 State of the Arts
A THEATER TOO GREAT TO BE GC
"DIAMOND," "TUESDAY MORNING" "CROWN"
Ann Arbor is a town known for its
fancy, trendy restaurants. Gratzi.
Palio. The Gandy Dancer. The list of
establishments providing delicate,
cultured cuisine for enormous prices
goes on and on.
And then there are the proud, the
few, the relatively unknown - the
greasy spoon diners.
These are the places you would
never take your parents to. A first
date -would probably cringe if you
suggested eating out at a greasy
spoon - even if you offered to pay.
Most often, customers wind up
there when they don't have much
money or time to spend on food.
When they're driving around --- usu-
ally after midnight - and a case of
takes hold of
Some of the
t. Ann Arbor
examples of the
CHRIS Lunch and the
FARAH more generic,
FAAH's but nonetheless
Many of your food connoisseurs
would quickly turn up their noses at
"The Fleetwood?" (Insert your own
version of a snooty French accent for
the voice of said connoisseur)
"Please, spare me. Have you seen
some of the people who eat there?
And it's no surprise, considering the
food. Hamburgers? Hippy hash? You
might as well go to McDonald's."
In a sense, the food expert would
have a point.
Patrons of a place like the
Fleetwood usually have as many body
piercings or tattoos as they have
places to put body piercings or tat-
toos. You're also guaranteed to find at
least one hair color in addition to
blond, brunette or redhead.
And the food probably wouldn't
win any international cooking con-
tests. Dinners cover all the basics -
breakfast (24 hours a day, of course),
mozzarella sticks, chicken wings.
So when it comes down to it, the
Fleetwood isn't even in the same league
as a restaurant like The Gandy Dancer.
But that's exactly what makes a place
like the Fleetwood so appealing.
Where else could you go to get a
ham and cheese omelet at 2 in the
morning? What other restaurant fea-
tures a clientele and waiting staff just
as diverse as the menu?
Sure, the waitresses and waiters at
a greasy spoon might be rude and
impatient ' and your food might not
Ann Arbor is a
town known. for
and then there
are the proud,
the few, the
always be on time --- but they're also
genuine. They'll roll their eyes if they
don't appreciate one of your cheesy
jokes, but if they laugh, you know it's
heartfelt - ass-kissing isn't a priori-
ty for someone who's been working a
long shift during the middle of a
The service might not always
exemplify that in a five-star restau-
rant, but it will leave you with much
more interesting memories - partic-
ularly the kind you say you'll laugh
about in a year or two.
It's late. You're tired. You're in a
hurry. And who do you get as your
w'aiter? A man who's obviously never
served people in his life, on his first
night of the job.
Orders get mixed up. He brings you
the wrong food -- after waiting at
least 45 minutes. The restaurant is out
of Belgian waffle batter, messing up
the order even more.
He loses your bill in the computer,
and ends up paying you out of his
own pocket to reimburse you for an
egg he charged you for - that you
People are yelling at him; he looks
confused and befuddled.
He stares at you hopelessly, saying
only, "The Belgian waffle ... the
It sounds like a mess, but in the
end, it all adds up to atmosphere. I'm
not talking about genuine oak panel-
ing on the walls, or a fern dangling
from every corner of the ceiling, but
interesting people and a place to eat,
relax, let your hair down, and put up
your feet - literally.
Snooty French accents are optional
- although who knows? Maybe
you'll get your food a little faster than
the grunge-punk pre-adolescent sit-
ting next to you.
I doubt it.
Chris Farah is a Michigan Daily
sports writer You can reach him over
e-mail at cjfarah Iumich. edu, i ihen
he/s tot at the Fleetwood.
On a dark desert highway, cool wind
in my hair, my head grew heavy and my
sight grew dim, I just had to stop some-
where, whether or not it was for the
night didn't concern me. But instead of
giving in to drowsy driving or fits of
road rage, I spied an oasis in this barren
wasteland - an oasis waiting to be
found, waiting to
to quench my
Can it be so?
Do I see a Star
-. rising over this
zon? Or is this
bright vision of
Daily Arts Editor only a mirage?
No, the Star Southfield
Entertainment Complex is real - it's
beautiful, it's baroque, it's, it's the most
gigantic thing I've ever seen.
The complex is the most state-of-the
art facility in Michigan for the presen-
tation and viewing of movies with its
stadium-style seating, THX-approved
digital sound system and huge, wide,
curving screens. However, such opti-
mum technology is not the Star's major
Let's just say that the Star's atmos-
phere is a little less than the subtle,
comfortable, functional surroundings
we Ann Arborites are spoiled with on a
daily basis. But, the Star does give us
the chance to get down off our
Michigan Theater high horses and rnh
elbows with John and Jane Q. Public at
one of 10 7 p.m. screenings of "Batman
Once the initial awe subsides over the
sheer size of the very phallic marquee,
you are free to spend 20 minutes
searching the endless rows of blacktop
for a parking space.
After the hike to the front door that
lasts roughly as long as a WalkAmerica
event, you reach the entranceway con-
structed of some sparkling cement
products and scattered with GM (a the-
ater benefactor) cars and neon logos,
setting an enviable precedent of being
an unapologetic sellout from day one.
The first thing you see, I mean after
the neon rod or the Dodge Neons, upon
entering the extremely complex com-
plex is the overwhelming electronic
board listing the names and showtimes
of the movies on all 20 screens. It can
really double for something out of your
worst Big- Brother nightmares.
Next, after you choose a film (or
does the Man choose for you?) and
shell out the seven bucks, you are then
welcome to browse the main lobby,
which features a full service concession
stand marked by the strangely exciting
sight of a 50 foot popcorn bucket with
real popping kernels - a fun thing to
watch but you'd be best advised to avoid
the hot butter sprinkler.
As you work your way through the
jungles of kids and video games, you
pass the welcoming signs of the
restrooms. Decorated in black and
white with great movie bathroom
scenes above the sinks, stalls and uri-
nals, you're sure to make friends or ene-
mies answering nature's calls while try-
ing to covertly glance at pictures of
Julia Roberts and Macaulay Culkin.
All right, you've got your tickets,
your airbrushed mug and mesh hat,
your fried cheese sticks, your jumbo.
popcorn, your bladder-filling Coke -
now you're ready to find your movie.
If you ever do get to sit down and
enjoy the film, it makes the entire
odyssey worthwhile, what with all the
aforementioned amenities plus plush
seats and extended leg room - yes,
you tall people can enjoy a movie in
comfort without having to place your
legs behind your head!
Besides the simple functionality and
"I can organize my rel
with End Note.oandlI
chance to win a la
YES! Enter the EndNote an a Use EndNote as yot
comfort of the individual au
the Star Southfield seems
credo: More is more - mor
more showtimes, more food, n
room stalls, more baby-chang
more people, more airborne
more outlandish decor, moi
placement, more, more, more
No matter how absurd or
this new multiplex appears i
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