Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Archive for the ‘Michigan’ Category

Ann Arbor

Tuesday, March 9th, 2010

Welcome to Detroit! The current air temperature is really insanely cold with a wind-chill that will rattle your bones. Get ready for a week of no sun and gray as you enjoy your stay at your final destination in the greater Detroit area. I have returned for a visit to the one place that was never quite my second home but, after living here in Michigan for two years, the familiar chill grips me like an old acquaintance.

My four best friends are waiting for me in the car and forty minutes and countless cornfields later we pull into the ice sheet that is my friend Matt’s driveway on the University of Michigan campus. As the week progresses I find myself following old paths. Matt’s, coffee shop, corner store, Matt’s, bars, and back to Matt’s. While the University of Michigan is associated with both a big populace and a big campus, as I walk my route I see old landmarks that suddenly make me aware of just how compact this campus really is. My walk is spotted with old faithfuls such as “Big Ten Burrito,” “Quickie Burger,” “Espresso Royale,” and “American Apparel.” I realize the influence of the last as I see approximately 50 percent of the population decked out in the aesthetic. A weird mix of hipsters and sorority girls alike wear this style, the only difference being a thrifted coat versus a down feather Northface jacket and Ugg boots. Practical, some may say of the latter, but the stamp of Daddy’s BMW with New York license plates sits nicely on these girl’s foreheads.

A return trip is great because I know I will not have to step foot on one of the big maize and blue busses that once to take me to class in the art school on North campus. The knot of anxiety in my chest makes itself aware as I see the hundreds of kids queuing up all over campus for the bus, freezing and blanketed with only an eerie silence as everyone goes about their daily routine. The unkempt fraternity houses and the elegant class buildings are covered in crawling ivy, a sure sign of a prestigious institution. Only in mid-January, the plant is unrecognizable as such because of the absurd amount of snow. “You never gave it a chance, Carrie. Ann Arbor is beautiful in the summer.” Yes, maybe, but I went home in April.

Sent by Carrie from Ann Arbor

Huge Culturally

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Muskegon Lake entranceI have to give my plug for Muskegon, MI.

While it always seems like Muskegon is struggling economically and has a pretty poor reputation for being a blue collar town, Muskegon has really great things going on. There are great natural resources with nearly unlimited access to water. Four distinct seasons mean you won’t get burned out.

You would be hard pressed to find a city Muskegon’s size that has the cultural assets that Muskegon does wit h a symphony and an art museum with the third largest art collection in the Midwest behind only Chicago and Detroit. There are a ton of festivals and community gatherings. Not to mention a rich history. In fact at one time during the lumber era, Muskegon was home to more millionaires than any other place in the country.

So anyway, come and visit, you might want to stay a while.

Sent by Jonathan Witmer from Muskegon, MI

Who’s Your Ann Arbor?

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Ann Arbor is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan and the county seat of Washtenaw County. It is the state’s seventh largest city with a population of 114,024 as of the 2000 census, of which 36,892 (32%) are college or graduate students. Believed to be named for the spouses of the city’s founders and for the stands of trees in the area, Ann Arbor is best known as the location of the main campus of the University of Michigan, which moved from Detroit in 1837.

The city’s economy is currently dominated by education, high tech, and biotechnology. Average home prices and property taxes are well above the state and national medians. The city is also known for its political liberalism and its large number of restaurants and performance venues.” — from Wikipedia