The Michigan Daily - New Student Edition - Fall 2003 - 7F
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Real Best and
Worst of Ann Arbor
By Andy TaylorFabe
Daily Arts Writer
Does anyone really give a shit who has the "Best Chipati" in Ann Arbor?
Is that knowledge that will help you in your daily life? Or how about the
"Best Car Dealership?" Seriously, is that truly vital information? I have
compiled a list of the important bests and worsts that will be useful to every-
one, but mostly students.
Worst place to try to buy alcohol without an ID: Village Corner. Take one
look at the row of confiscated fake IDs and you'll know VC is not the place to go
to buy when you're underage. They're so strict that you could flash a real ID, buy
some beer, and if you came back ten minutes later and tried to buy from the same
person, they'd card you again. One might say that they're just doing their jobs, but
you know who else were "just doing their jobs?" - the Nazis. Think about it ...
Best place to buy alcohol without an ID: Campus Corner. Located at the cor-
ner of State and Packard, Campus Corner is by far the friendliest place to illegally
buy alcohol within walking distance. Here's the catch: You must have breasts for
this to work. Runner-up: Champion's. Conveniently located on South Forest,
Champion's, the city's only combination party store/laundromat and self-pro-
claimed "Best store in Ann Arbor" is ideal as a "Plan B" when you get shut down
at Village Corner. Although they are complete pushovers when it comes to IDs,
they only have beer, so an Ypsi liquor store trip may still be necessary.
Worst Place to Live: (tie) The houses adjacent to Dominick's (only during
warm months) and Rick's (anytime of the year). Although these houses provide
easy access to the bars, one can never escape the noise of drunken merriment or
equally drunken 2:15 a.m. street fights. For the houses near Rick's, the constant
proximity of the police has to be unnerving, and for those near Dominick's, as
patrons of the mostly outdoor establishment become more and more intoxicated,
the odor of regurgitated Sangria wafting over the back garden into your house
cannot be pleasant. Runner-up: 1523 South University.
Best People Watching Locale: The usual winner is the Diag, but the ignorant
slobs who believe that are the same ones who think Pizza House is the best
restaurant in Ann Arbor: They have never walked more than two blocks away
from campus. The best people watching in Ann Arbor is at the Fleetwood Diner
at about 4:15 a.m. It's too late for the post-bar crowd and too early for the early-
morning-breakfast-types, ensuring a healthy mix of the unemployed, the tran-
sient-dirtball crowd and the just plain weird.
Best Surly Used Book Store Employee: The guy that works at Dave's Books
on the corner of East Liberty and State Street. I don't know if this is "Dave" him-
self, but every time I see this guy, he looks like he has just gotten an hour-long
proctology exam from an angry grizzly bear. Relax, chief - your day consists of
reading a book and occasionally shelving used copies of old Stephen King nov-
els. There is no reason you should be this irritable.
Worst Sandwiches: Subway. With quality establishments like Jimmy John's and
Potbelly Sandwich Works within walking distance, no one should be paying $7 for
bread that tastes like bark and meat that looks like the agar from those petri dishes
from science lab. And this is the only place that I know of where someone has had to
send his sandwich back because it was dripping with Windex. (OK, to be fair, it was-
n't necessarily Windex; it could have been any blue surface cleanser.)
I understand that the Subway in the Union is attractive because of its Entr6e
Plus option and the fact that it is the only place in the Union that will not give
you instant coronary blockage, but still, it's gross.
Worst Elevator: The elevators in the Dennison Building. I don't care if your
class is on the ninth floor. Take the stairs - your spine will thank you later.
These technological terrors actually seem to accelerate as they move, so if you
are going up, you will briefly be air-born at the end of your journey, and if you
are going down, you will be able to actually feel the discs in your back com-
pressing and bursting as you land. Runner-up: The freight elevator in East t
Quad. Moving at a blinding two inches per minute, this elevator provides easy
access to the Half-Ass but has an unfortunate tendency to stop between floors.
People used to use the elevator to steal food from the kitchen in the middle of .
the night, but the powers that be finally wised up and shut the death trap down: ; y*r*. F
Worst Student Group: Ooh, we seem to have an 87-way tie: The winners are b
every a capella group on campus. Hey, you know what sounds even better than
making noise that sounds like music? Actual music. Runner-up: The Coalition to u .;
Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary (BAMN). Shouldn't it be
"By Any Means Ethical?" Guys, seriously, you're driving away the potentially
sympathetic middle ground with all that "Either you're with us or you're with the
re-segregationists" stuff. n
Best Copy Place: Excel. So let me get this straight - it's not illegal to y
copy and sell thousands of pages of copyrighted material as long as the cus-
tomers press the button to begin copying? Wow, the logic at play there is fan-
tastic. So could an underage kid drink in a bar if he poured his own drink?
Runner-up: Accu-Copy. Although they are even more shady than Excel, at
least Accu-Copy is straightforward about blatantly breaking the law. They
don't accept credit cards because they like to keep their money under a big
mattress in the back of the store.
Worst place to go during book rush: Shaman Drum, the Studio 54 of book-
stores. I always try to support local businesses, but I don't want to stand next to
Biener's hot dog stand for an hour and a half while the line stretches out in front i
of me. Unfortunately, you usually won't have a choice, as most of the independ-
ent-friendly professors at this university think it's hilarious to order the books
only at Shaman.
Best place to get ripped off: Pita Pit. They skimp on ingredients more than
any eatery I have ever seen. Runner-up: the Clark gas station on the corner of
Main and East William. The sign may say that a particular brand of cigarettes are
$4.49, but you might just get charged $6.00 if you catch the guy in a bad mood. -.
Worst place to walk: Unless you have a large umbrella, do not walk down
South University between the Law School and the UGLI in the evening when the
crows are nesting. The bird shit falls like rain. I'm surprised Mary Sue can even
leave her house.
Worst traffic light: The light at Washtenaw and South University. After you
have waited 17 minutes for the light to change, don't dawdle. You have about
three-and-a-half seconds before the "Don't Walk" sign begins to flash again.
Best water-glass re-fill frequency: China Gate, no contest. RYAN WEINER/Daily
The grocers at Village Corner deface confiscated fake ID's, and then prominently
- Taylor-Fabe can be reached at email@example.com. display them to deter other underaged customers from making the same mistake.
The historic Michigan
so much more than just popcorn
By Charles Paradis
Daily Weekend Editor
The Michigan Theater, located on East Liberty Street, provides moviegoers with an experience
very different from the one they receive at today's huge cineplexes.
Continued from Page 1F COM E RITE.
of entertainment possibilities. However, if the
city is not the melting pot it is rumored to be, FOR THE DAILY.
then how does exposure to its people really chal-
lenge and educate the students?
America's economy and social structure are predi-
cated on class stratification, and, more crudely, notI
everyone gets to be the boss. Thus, I did not leave the WE RE SURE.
Union yesterday with a defeated spirit having aban-
doned some quixotic dream of a perfectly egalitarian :Y U'L HAVE
American utopia. However, I also was forced to
reconsider Ann Arbor's distinction as a diversityA
breeding ground, a mecca of variety. People can refer US AT.HEL Lc
to the city as "diverse" as much as they'd like, but
without a greater mix of economic situations among
the population, such a title is a misappropriation. !
Hanging gracefully of the entrance on East
William Street, a large marquee of yellow and
white lights displays the shows and events
running for the day at the Michigan Theater.
Names such as "Cowboy Bebop" are just as
likely as "Lord of the Rings" to shine above
The wooden box office outside is
staffed by just one or two attendants
wearing traditional red vests, white "W
shirts and black pants. The tickets are i
not the fancy computerized ones you'dI
find at most chain movie theaters. You It's
won't find the date, rating or even the
name of the show on your ticket. YO
Instead you'll be handed what looks like
it came from the fair or from a game of
skeeball. There is just one concession
stand selling all the traditional ameni-
ties required for the proper movie going
experience - candy, sodas and pop-
corn, with real butter.
Two majestic staircases ascend to the bal-
cony level from the grand foyer. Slightly over
a third of the movie-goers in the main theater
sit in the balcony. The lights begin to dim and
as the theater darkens, the screen lights up as
you situate yourself in one of the 1,700 cush-
Unlike the flashy multiplexes that dominate
many local movie listings, the entertainment at
the Michigan Theater begins once the moviego-
er walks in the door. The ambience of the the-
ater draws in the patrons and holds them longer
than the film.
Why has this theater with just two screens
won the Best of Ann Arbor Best Movie Theater
Award so consistently?
"I think a lot of it has to do with the venue
here," Amelia Martin, house manager at the
Michigan Theater, said. "When you come to
the Michigan Theater, it is not just about the
movies, it is about the experience. It's about
walking in the doors and you feel like you
are in this luxurious, magical place. You look
up and the ceilings are gold and you feel like
you are in this wonderful magical place. It
becomes less about what you are doing and
more about the experience of being here."
Built in 1928 as a movie palace, the Michi-
gan Theater operates in 2003 by continuing
'hen you come to the Michigan
eater-... it is about the experienc
s about walking in the doors and
u feel like you are in this luxurio
- Amelia 1
House Manager, MichiganT
the traditions upon which it was founded.
With daily shows, performances by bands
from major labels and a smattering of shows
performed by University students, the Michi-
gan Theater's variety is as unique as the
Film as art
Some students may be timid when they do
not recognize the names displayed on the mar-
quee. They haven't heard of these films and the
prospect of subtitles is too much to handle. The
so-called "artsy films" may seem imposing,
but the Michigan Theater makes it easy for any
moviegoer to step outside his or her comfort
sphere of a normal weekend blockbuster.
The Michigan Theater has long prided
itself on displaying the types of movies you
won't find anywhere else. These artsy films,
include "Gerry," a recent film by Gus Van
Sant, staring Casey Affleck and Matt Damon.
While such high profile celebrities would
generally attract a lot of attention, the travels
in the desert of the two include little dialogue
and the movie was panned by most critics.
This did not deter the programmers at the
Michigan Theater, though. Martin said they
"were-proud" to have taken the risk and aired
Posters from movies such as "Secretary," and
other films that have slipped under the radar of
the public scene, deck the walls of Mar-
tin's office. The Michigan Theater has
remained committed to showing these
films as an outlet for art in Ann Arbor.
e. State Theater
Right up the street from the Michi-
gan Theater is another on of Ann
us, Arbor's popular cinemas, the State
Theater. While the Michigan and Sate
Theaters are separate businesses, they
Martin do have a connection. In 1997 the
heater management of the Michigan Theater
was asked by the owners of the State
Theater to help program and market
While the programming of the State Theater
falls under the province of the Michigan The-
ater, the two do not always show the same type
The differences in programming are a
result of the different crowds that visit the
theaters. With the immensely popular mid-
night shows, the State Theater is able to
attract a very different crowd than those who
go to the Michigan Theater to see the more
artsy films. Martin said that more students go
to the State Theater and it has its own style.
"The State Theater has a different feel than the
Michigan Theater," Martin said. "It has its own
personality. It is a more funky environment."
With the palatial feel and wide variety of
films and shows, it is no wonder that the
Michigan Theater was once again voted the
Searching for a more 'equitable relationship'
mayor John Hieftje discusses relations
students and the Univers
By Charles Paradis
Daily Weekend Editor
An Ann Arbor native, Mayor John Hieftje walked
in the shadow of University buildings as a child and
now runs City Hall. The Michigan Daily caught up
with the mayor over break and asked him about the
relationship between the campus and the community.
From fire protection to Hash Bash, Mayor Hieftje
shared his views about Ann Arbor. One prevailing
theme permeated the entire interview. Overall Hieftje
wants to see a fair relationship between the city and
The Michigan Daily: How do you see the campus
and the community interacting?
John Hieftje: We have a symbiotic relationship
. what worsr for the U Iniversity works for the citv. and
a real mess, and so there's been some cuts that have
come down to both the cities and the universities. For
instance, one of the biggest
problems is the city is mandated
by the state to provide fire pro-
tection for the University, but
we're not fully reimbursed for
that. We are only reimbursed for
about a quarter of it. So that's
one of the issues between us
TMD: What are your goals
for the students and the commu-
JH: Making Ann Arbor a
welcoming environment for everybody - people
come here from all over the world - is really impor-
a party. It is a place where people live and live year
around, and a lot of people who live here came here
as students. From the student's side of it there needs
to be a greater recognition that this is a community
and we all live together and they are part of the com-
munity. Being part of the community has benefits and
responsibilities and those go hand in hand.
TMD: Do you want students to get more active in
JH: Definitely, I have tried to appoint students to
appropriate places in the city board and commissions,
but one of the problems is that because of a student's
schedule - and I understand completely - things
come up and there is summer and these boards that
go on year round. So it is a little more difficult to get
students to work. When I get a call for people to come
in I get a few replies and then people tend to find out
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