Just over a month ago, my wife Carly and her actual husband Joe welcomed their baby girl, Fiona Wren, into the world. Not wanting her to get a late start in the ways of feminism and misandry (JK, JK...about misandry, not feminism), I booked a trip to Ann Arbor, where Carly and Joe live while Joe finishes his PhD at the University of Michigan.
It's pretty cool Carly brought a human into the world. Meanwhile, I broke a LifeProof iPhone case inside of two days, but that's neither here nor there. Ann Arbor was lovely. Carly, Joe, Fiona, and their dog, Myrtle Joan Rivers Ornstein, welcomed me with open arms and a case of LaCroix. I felt like it was a very 'Merican place to spend Fourth of July weekend. With massive University of Michigan buildings sprawling throughout Ann Arbor, the residential areas are filled with lush, green streets all lined with quaint little houses. And everyone is so nice in that unabashed enthusiastic Midwestern way that honestly creeps me out, but I'll give them a pass because it's also a foodie town.
Downtown Ann Arbor is home to Zingerman's Delicatessen, which is like your typical Jewish deli but on steroids. It was also featured in "The Five-Year Engagement," which is a movie I recommend you not waste your time seeing. Anyway, it's like the Disney World of meat (and cheese...and potato salad...and pickles...and knishes...and baked goods...). We had a lunch there that put me straight into a food coma. We also had another great lunch at the Pretzel Bell, a UM mainstay that closed and was revived by some UM alumni. French fries in peanut sauce...pretzel rolls...mmm, need I say more?
Outside of the food, Ann Arbor is adorable. It's what I imagine a town would look like if Anthropologie bought and managed it. One-off artisan shops on every corner (including one dedicated entirely to Michigan cherries), multiple farmer's markets, many, MANY ice cream spots, people riding their bikes everywhere. I also appreciate that it's walkable and blissfully lacking humidity this time of the year. Carly also took me to a junky clothing store/consignment shop that had some of the best cat t-shirts I've seen anywhere. I came very, very close to getting the one with sushi and cat faces, and had they had it in my size, I definitely was going to get the "Fries Before Guys" one.
Maybe on my next visit to A2.