Friday, April 24, 2009

(The Real) Cinco de Mayo

Well, Mexican Independence is coming up, so BTB's normal deal on the 5th of the month gets extended.

As I hear it, the festivities will be starting at 3pm, instead of 5pm, $.50 shots of Cuervo and $1 bottles to start. Given that school will be out and significant number of the students who stay in town over the summer are the ones who go out to the bar, this event will again be packed.

If you plan on sitting down, I would show up around 2pm. If you plan on getting a seat at the bar (recommended) I'd show up before 1:30.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mitch's Place

The Location: 1220 S. University (at the corner of S. Forest), Upstairs

The Facts: Mitch's Place relocated a few years ago to it's current location from down the street. The bar features two pool tables, booth and table seating, and several televisions around the room generally with various sporting event on. Supposedly, they have a kitchen that serves various barfood type items, though I have seen one person ever eat there. Mitch's is generally open fairly early in the day, (I've walked in at noon on a weekday) but I don't know their exact hours. They are generally closed Sunday

The Specials:
Monday: $3 60oz pitchers of High Life
Tuesday: Well drinks starting at $1.50 at 9pm and escalating a dollar an hour after that.
Wednesday: $2 pitchers of High Life, $3 long island iced teas, Cover starts at 10pm and is $2.
Thursday: $2 bottles, $3 well drinks
Friday: Various shot specials throughout the night, $3 bottles of Amstel Light and Heiniken.
Saturday: $3 Bottles

Other Info:
Karaoke is on friday nights apparently supplied by some chick name Lori.

What is there to say about Mitch's? Well, it's a bar... That's about it. The nights when it's financially viable to go there, i.e. Mondays and Wednesday, it can get pretty packed, especially on Wednesday. It isn't terrible for meeting new people, but it is a bit loud so you'll have to deal with that when conversing with people. There is generally enough seating, though often the high tables are taken up by people who go to play beer pong. I honestly don't get the 'let's go to the bar and play beer pong' people. It seems strange to me, but I guess it's one of the draws for some people.

Other nights, Mitch's is pretty quiet, especially Tuesdays and Saturdays. Personally, if I plan on going, to Mitch's I show up just before cover starts on a Wednesday. Any time else, it seems like a lame way to go. However, if you do go on that Wednesday, you can drink (terrible) beer for very cheap, and still have a decent time. On Wednesday Mitch's has the same advantage as GTC's, you can run into a bunch of people you know. It also has the problem in that it's pretty generic.

The atmosphere is dull, to be blunt. I'm not a huge fan of the 2nd story bar. To me, a bar should be at least on the first floor, if not the basement, but I guess that's just my preference.

Oh, and the pool isn't free.

I give Mitch's two stars. I'd give it 3 on a Wednesday, but I just can't bring myself to uprate it that much for one really crowed day where there is rarely enough waiters/waitresses on to service the entire crowed. Sorry Jodi.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

To me, it look like a Ann Arbor, to me

I've been very privileged in my life. I've been able to visit places all over the world. I've spent time in hundreds of very interesting cities, both foreign and domestic. I've lived in many places as well. However, none has felt more inviting, livable, relaxed and exciting as the one I've lived in for the last 5 years.

The Ace Deuce.

For those reading this, you've at least been here, if not lived here. The plurality, if not the majority of Ann Arborites are what I would describe as Neo-Beatnik Bohemian Hippite Yuppies. It's a strange amalgamation of counter-culture and upper-middle class. The status quo of Ann Arbor and the status quo of the rest of the world seem diametrically opposed. 

While there are the occasional breaches in traditional Ann Arbor style (Jimmy John's/Espresso Royale's replication) the uniqueness of almost all Ann Arbor businesses speaks to Ann Arbor's desire to 'do it's own thing'. Ann Arborites have been able to keep the chain resturants, like McDonald's and Bennigan's out away from this center of progressive culture in the midwest.

Ann Arbor strives to be independant. No where have I lived has a place been so focused on contructing itself as an Ivory Tower (I personally don't find that to be a negative thing, call me pretentious). It features UofM's library system, the 9th largest in the U.S., the Ann Arbor Film Festival, one of the premier festivals for showcasing Avant Garde films, and also happens to be the 2nd oldest film festival in the nation.

If you were to spend more than an hour in the city, and not notice the passion for the arts in Ann Arbor, you would be either Tommy Walker or a pre-Anne Sullivan Helen Keller (well, maybe a post-Anne Sullivan too...).

There are more than 10 small art galleries around town where local artists showcase their work. Most of these are located at the Main Street area. Various arts festivals take place throughout the year, including the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair, about to celebrate it's 50th anniversary this July.

I wouldn't say that 'Ann Arbor has something for everyone' because, as much as I enjoy a good cliche, it just isn't true. 'Tree City' is offputting to some, simply because of it's athetics. While it has more trees in an urban area than any place in the world, it also has quite a bit of concete, to offset the 147 parks that populate the city. Some have difficulty settling this fact in their minds. While it can be a beautiful place(Nichols Arboretum, UofM's North Campus, etc.) it certainly is a city, and as such, you have to live like it's a city (lack of parking, heavy traffic, especially at rush hour, etc.).

This post seems like it has little or no point, but I say it all to try point out why I think AA is such a unique place, and, in part, to display what I like about it.