Thursday, November 5, 2009

Adventures in Ann Arbor

Crunch.... crunch....crunch.... go the leaves as I ascend the hill to Main St. for another autumn day's adventure in this lovely city. I have been here since Sunday and I must say, this place has its act together. Of course I say that as an outsider looking in, but there are quickly recognizable indicators that support my assumption. One, is the overall "feel" of the city. It is vibrant, bubbling on the foundations of major education institutions and great companies. When you walk around, you get the sense that people are happy to be here, and to be from here. The big yellow M is emblazoned on blue flags, shirts, stickers, hats, and almost anything else you can put a print on! My second assumption has to do with layout. There is a very distinct downtown in Ann Arbor that is bustling with varieties of shops and dining establishments, and almost everyone is on foot. Walking seems to be chic in this town and I haven't seen that many overweight people here at all. You get a sense of educational pride, prosperity, and environmental pride. The houses are very well kept, and most seem to be from the turn of the 20th century post-Victorian era of architecture. Simple, but very much comforting and elegant in their simplicity. Every home has a fresh coat of paint on it, and the yards are manicured, but not to the ridiculous extent that most suburbanites care for their landscaping. I have walked the streets most hours of the day and night and have been greeted by friendly faces. It is a far different city than my hometown, Buffalo. And the comparison is clear. Buffalo, like most industrial cities of its time, had so much wealth so fast, that it slapped together neighborhoods rich and poor to cater to its rich and labor classes of people. Factories intertwined with labor class neighborhoods especially and now are dilapidated and crumbling with them. A reminder of the dangers of unplanned wealth. Ann Arbor seems to be a city of balance, tranquil, and not wanting for any grandeur, but never slouching. You will enjoy a stay here. Hope you are well today!


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