17 Little Things You Will Miss When You Leave Ann Arbor
1. The Arb
Illegally confiscated cafeteria trays plus snow-covered hills equal endless epic nights. Just make sure to hide your pipe and pretend to be smelling the peonies when the ranger pops up out of nowhere; Hash Bash isn’t until April.
2. Football Saturdays at The Big House
Phi Psi blasting shitty party classics at 7am. Being drunk by 9am thanks to a stranger’s three-story beer bong and your competitive nature. A sea of maize and blue overtaking State Street and Hoover Avenue. Smashing your grandma’s homemade chili on the golf course amongst all the other out-of-town tailgaters. Those were the days.
3. Ordering a #2
Despite all the deliciously awesome options on the Zingerman’s Deli menu, it’s the classic Rueben that will forever haunt your taste buds. Even hearing the word Zingerman’s makes you drool.
4. First day of warm weather on the Diag
Sprawling out on the grass and watching the froshies try to avoid stepping on the Block M is an Ann Arbor tradition, as is trying to kiss your sweetheart under the Engineering Arch while the “homeless guy” serenades you with his harmonica.
5. Showing visitors the Law Quad
Yep, by now you could basically pass for a campus tour guide. The law library is underground for a reason and you take great pride in sharing that fun fact with all visiting guests. Oh, and be sure to look closely at those gargoyles…
6. Huron River float trips
Every Ann Arbor summer needs at least one trip down the Huron River departing from Argo in your canoe, kayak, tube, or floaty. And of course you would crack open a six pack of Natty Ice with your most recent crew of misfits.
7. Incredibly harsh hockey chants
You never brought your mom to a Michigan hockey game for a reason, but you sure do miss them. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH SEE YA! CHUMP, DICK, WUSS, DOUCHEBAG… You know the rest.
8. Trespassing and skinny dipping at Pickerel Lake
As you well know, Ann Arbor has tons of hidden pools that highlight your curves in the moonlight.
9. Soul Club at The Blind Pig
No other dance party will ever top this one. End of story.
10. Late summer U of M Marching Band practice
Hum along, enjoy the emptiness of Ann Arbor in August, and get ready for the epic half-time show being practiced by the band. MJ’s “Thriller” dance never looked so good!
11. Hippy Hash
There’s no better hangover cure than some greasy, delicious Hippy Hash from Fleetwood Diner. Eating in a train is pretty cool, too.
This story was produced through the travel journalism programs at MatadorU.
12. Pinball Pete’s
Let’s face it, we never really outgrow arcades. And, if you’re lucky enough to have a friend who is working the prize counter, your tickets are going to go a long way.
13. The Michigan Theater
Its marquee will forever remain an image in your mind (and probably a lot of your photos). And so will the graffitied alley next to it. Not to mention all the brilliant films and productions you saw there.
14. Front porches
There has never been a more versatile space. Beer pong tournaments, poetry readings, late-night make-out sessions, early morning coffee talks, music festivals, it’s all happened on your front porch, no matter the weather. And damn, you miss it.
The OG of fro-yo, if you will. None of these new fancy-schmancy chains will ever hold a candle to Rod’s. Even Devin Gardner thinks so.
16. Browsing your local bookstore
You know you miss the weird shit you used to find on the shelves of local shops like Dawn Treader Books. And, we all know you cried when Shaman Drum became a Five Guys as well.
17. The people
The students. The faculty. The locals. The sports fans. The tourists. Eccentricity and intellect (and occasional debauchery) fills the Ann Arbor air. Try as you may, you know you’ll never be able to recreate it elsewhere.