Campus Circle   November 10, 2010 p. 22

 

 

 

 

CampusCircle.com

 

 

 

Culture: Travel

Ann Arbor: What’s there to do besides go blue?

By Kevin Wierzbicki

 

Ann Arbor, Mich., is home to the main campus of the University of Michigan, revered not only as one of the country’s top schools for academic learning but also as an athletic powerhouse. During football season especially the school slogan of “Go Blue!” can be seen and heard everywhere as it seems like the entire city roots for the Wolverines. Regardless of the season, Ann Arbor is a fun-loving city where interesting things to do and see are always at hand, making it easy for visitors to get in the spirit of “Going Blue” no matter what their collegiate alliance might be. Add some of these activities to your Ann Arbor-area adventure, and you’ll be sure to have a memorable time.



Have an Arty Party: The University of Michigan Museum of Art (525 South State St.; umma.umich.edu), located on the university’s central campus, houses more than 18,000 works of art, including Japanese, Korean, Buddhist and African exhibits along with a full floor dedicated to European art. The Modern and Contemporary Art section is always a favorite; here you’ll find pieces that range from sublimely avant-garde to just plain weird. Qualified students can arrange to study pieces that are not on display to the general public and there’s always a social event going on that’s open to everyone.



Music (and Beer!): The Ann Arbor area has a considerable music history; classic rocker Bob Seger spent his formative days prowling the downtown area and wrote his hit “Main Street” about, you guessed it, Ann Arbor’s Main Street. Of course, the main drag has changed considerably since then, but all along Main Street is where you’ll find quirky places to shop and eat. Iggy Pop came out of here too, and the house that he and the rest of the Stooges lived in still stands; the Stooges album Fun House is named after all the debauched behavior that occurred in the residence.

Ann Arbor is home to hip record label Ghostly International where they regularly put out music by acts like Shigeto, Matthew Dear and Gold Panda. Many Ghostly acts play at concert venue the Blind Pig (208 S. First St.; blindpigmusic.com) when they come through town; otherwise the local music scene revolves around the Savoy (23 N. Washington in nearby Ypsilanti).

Ann Arbor is also famous for its microbrews, and at the Arbor Brewing Company (114 E. Washington St.) you can actually take a college-level (non-credit) beer appreciation class or just indulge in frosty mugs of Faricy-Fest Irish Stout, Uskratsch Mai Bock and Milestone Cask Porter.



A Shoe for You: Puffer Reds (113 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti; pufferreds.com) is a music, clothing and shoe store that has specialized in street-level urban fashion since 1979. The store is often chosen as an exclusive outlet for limited-edition sneakers (like a Puffer Red-branded Adidas) causing “sneakerheads” to line up down the block when new kicks come in. Master P, Too-Short, Keri Hilson, Jadakiss and the late Notorious B.I.G. have all shopped here.



You Gotta Eat: The restaurant scene in Ann Arbor is very attuned to the locavore movement and dozens of places pride themselves on serving only or mostly foods grown or produced in the area. Beezy’s Coffee & Cafe (20 N. Washington St., Ypsilanti; beezyscafe.com) uses locally grown ingredients in their homemade soups, sandwiches, desserts and vegan items. Beezy’s is also where a lot of musicians like to eat, so you never know who’ll be dining next to you.



The University of Michigan Club of Los Angeles offers scholarships for
Los Angeles students considering enrollment at the University of Michigan. Details at umclubla.umclubs.com.



For more information, visit www.annarbor.org.