May 11, 2010

A Saturday in Ann Arbor, Michigan

This past weekend Mark and I attended a wedding in Ann Arbor and took some time to visit a few shops. I'd never been in Ann Arbor before and loved the little we were able to see of it. First off, it was easy to get from the hotel (Weber Inn) to downtown; what easy access to the downtown, traffic moves right along, it was a breeze.
We had checked out the visitor's guide in the hotel and after practically fainting when I counted THIRTY-FOUR bookstores in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti, we headed downtown to "Kerrytown" to look at the shops there.

HOLLANDERS: Oh my goodness! Like some sort of homing pigeon, my crafty-artsy self made her way into this large, beautiful, well-organized store and time stood still. Mark waited patiently while I explored the handmade, marbled, and beautifully designed paper; stickers; stamps; stationary; magnets; book making supplies; art supplies and did I say paper?

I bought several Charlie Harper items (cards, an address book, and postcards to frame and hang in our kitchen). Mark gifted me with several books on, yep, book design and the joys of type, and I picked up the latest issue of Somerset Studios and a book on altered books.

From Hollanders we made our way to FOUND Gallery of Whimsical Art and Vintage Treasures and well, this about put me over the edge. All the beautiful new things in Hollanders and all the beautiful old things in FOUND... my bliss meter was on high and we weren't even at the wedding yet!

Afterward, we went to Z for lunch. It was like being transported to Stage Door Deli in NYC, only with more windows and waitresses dressed like they are at the Village Bakery& Deli in Athens. While I ate my yummy sesame bagel, I heard the waitress explain the deli's bagel philosophy (I don't know what else to call it... maybe a Position Paper), which was basically that today's bagels are too fat, too puffy and have too small of holes. If you can't put three fingers through the hole of a bagel, you get it free. That's what she said... My bagel had a respectible shape.

I look forward to returning to Ann Arbor to see the expanded University of Michigan Art Museum and at least a few of those 34 bookstores. It was a bit chilly up there this past weekend, for MAY! And Mark wore a red T-shirt that, fortunately, said "The Cleveland Orchestra" on it because folks at Hollanders noticed it. A very friendly table of two older gentlemen, one of whom expressed what seemed to be more than a polite interest in Athens. In fact, Athens--its beauty and university--seemed to be known in some way by most of those we met in Ann Arbor. I have to say I was happy to return home to our hills. The thought of living anywhere flat again is difficult for me to imagine.

Athens is the perfect center of my universe.

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