A Day in Ann Arbor

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!

Lunch at SevasThe 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.

Wee Folk

Lori hoping to catch a wee glimpse...On a recent day trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan, we fully expected to soak in the local culture of this famed college town. In addition to having a great assortment of book stores (and the largest Borders store I’ve ever seen), the locals seem to look the other way on graffiti artists and would-be creative types. But we had heard there was a completely different culture available in this liberal corner of the Midwest.

Close-up of above doorApparently a small society of fairies has decided that Ann Arbor is a nice place to live, and so have settled in among the big people. A great mystery surrounds when they first appeared, and although no one is talking, I suspect whoever knows the truth is sworn to secrecy by some wee-big folks accord. And although I can’t share pictures of the actual cuties (maybe after a few beers…), I can provide the evidence of their domiciles we snapped while strolling the streets. Even though we were following a map, when we discovered each door there was always a bit of a surprise at their dimunitive stature. I’ll hush now and let you enjoy these images, but if you want to find out more about the fairy doors of Ann Arbor, go here, NPR’s coverage, and The Washington Post’s article.


High window

The door to the stairs to the window...

A sense of scale

Two more doors