Yesterday I took a mini road trip up to Ann Arbor to check out the Border’s Bookstore and venture into some of the used and antiquarian bookstores this liberal Michigan town has to offer. Fortunately I headed out early, arriving in Ann Arbor around 10:30 a.m. I say fortunate, because yesterday the University of Michigan football team and about 100,000 friends gathered for one of their typical, frenzied football Saturdays. Imagine my surprise to drive up South Slate and see a sea of maize- and blue-clad people marching towards football heaven. Note to self: next time, check the football schedule before heading out!
The upside of a football weekend in Ann Arbor is, of course, fewer people downtown. Borders was a bit disappointing (I quick-peeked in there last time and thought it was a huge store; turns out to be very wide, but very shallow). But I did enjoy Dawn Treader and found some Medieval gems in Motte and Bailey’s store. So the booking was good, as was my lunch at Seva, a vegetarian restaurant on E. Liberty a few blocks west of Borders. Their North African Cous-Cous with grilled tempeh (above) was delightful, accompanied by a cup of gazpacho and Red Zinger tea.
I did cut my visit short, unfortunately, missing out on planned writing time in one or more of the coffee shops in Ann Arbor. I was lucky driving up early, but I did not want to test my luck twice and risk leaving anywhere near the time those 100,000 friends departed en masse to points unknown. At least it wasn’t the Ohio State-Michigan weekend: not even a 10:30 arrival would have avoided an impassable sea of maize/blue and scarlet/grey.