Tag Archives: downtown

knowledge is power.


a great day spent in detroit

exploring the main library

built by andrew carnegie

in the last year of the civil war

to bring knowledge to the people

1 of 21 remaining in detroit

not forgetting the children

where stories were told in front of the fire

and careful attention

was paid to every detail

a beautiful oasis created and restored

beating in the heart of the city.

“a city isn’t so unlike a person.

they both have the marks to show

they have many stories to tell.

they see many faces.

they tear things down and make new again.”

― rasmenia massoud

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.” ― Stephen King



literati – my favorite local independent book store.

their first book club night ever. 

that’s me, 3rd person on the left in a white sweater. so happy to be there.

so happy to support them.

they’ve made it. one full year.

and this is what they wrote about how happy they are.

One Year Anniversary Party!

March 28, 29, and 30th!
The end of March marks our One Year Anniversary! To celebrate, we’re throwing a party.
All. Weekend. Long.

All weekend will be treats, raffles, and fun. On Sunday, we’re donating 50% of proceeds to BINC, a locally-focused non-profit that supports booksellers across the country.

We are thrilled to be part of this community. It’s been a dream come true. We are proud to be Ann Arbor residents, to return to the area we were raised, and bring an independent bookstore that sells new books to the downtown area. One year down, and with your help, hopefully many more to come… 

This year. It’s really hard to articulate how much gratitude and thanks we have to this community. We recently read the dialogue in the NYTimes about how bookstores can survive. It was more a question — “Can they survive?” Certainly, opening a small independent bookstore is not the safest way to ensure a long, viable career. There are concerns and fears about rising downtown rents, online booksellers, e-readers… to name a few.

But this first year proves to me one thing: People want books. People want an event space. People want a downtown location to browse books, share ideas, attend author events, book clubs, story times, and a safe, welcoming place to surprise themselves. We’ve seen so many surprises this year: A marriage proposal on our typewriter. A Halloween literary-themed costume contest. A violin monster and a 7-year-old beginning a pen pal relationship. Friends who hadn’t seen each other in 20 years bumping into each other, wildly enthusiastic, hugging. World War II veterans talking to 20-somethings about their experiences. 
One year down. We are still here. We are still surviving. And it’s all because of you.

Sincerely, thank you. 
-Mike and Hilary and the rest of the Literati staff

“Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.” ― Mark Twain




 ever had one of those days? the ones that take a funny turn? 

i picked up a movie from the library recently, ‘the five year engagement,’ and when i saw the cover, i remembered that i had almost been in it. by accident. really. 

it was a couple of summers ago, and i’d walked downtown to meet my date. when i got to one of my favorite local townie spots where we’d planned to meet, i noticed there was a barricade, some roadie types, a sound system and all sorts of equipment, set up outside.  having lived here for more than a decade, i knew there was always a festival, parade or protest popping up, so none of this surprised me. it  could easily have been for a street dance, a car show, or god knows what else, so i simply stepped over and around everything, and walked on in. 

once inside, i looked around, it was a bit dark and hazy and didn’t see him there yet, so i sat down at an open table. while waiting, i noticed that something about the place looked different than it normally did, but i couldn’t quite put my finger on it. i then got a phone call from my date, asking where i was, and when i told him i was already where we’d planned to meet, he said he’d arrived, but couldn’t get in because it was closed off to the public, as they were shooting a movie there. and he wondered how i had gotten in.

ah – that’s when it all made sense and it dawned on me. i had unwittingly walked right into the middle of a movie set. i thought it was awfully dark for being the daytime, and things were moved around, and i heard someone yelling out something, but figured it was a bartender, and thought maybe they’d redone the place, trying to go a bit more upscale. i loved it just the way it had been though, a cozy, casual, old-school, welcoming place. all this went through my mind quickly and then i remembered, they’d been shooting in various locations around town for some weeks now, but it never occurred to me that i had crashed their party. i was suddenly an accidental extra. 

i’m sure the only reason they let me on set in the first place, was because i’d ambled on into it like i was supposed to be there, (and i thought i was), so no one stopped me. and i was dressed like a townie, (since i was a real one), so i fit right in. 

we laughed out loud on each end of the phone as i shared my revalation, and i casually got up and walked off the set and into the daylight once more, as if i was walking to my personal production trailer, only to find my date waiting in another location. where they were NOT in the middle of shooting a scene for a movie.

when i picked up the dvd at the library, a part of me somehow hoped to see myself in that scene, but not surprisingly, i was nowhere to be found, other than somewhere on the cutting room floor, perhaps. 


Acting in’Star Wars’ I felt like a raisin in a giant fruit salad, and I didn’t even know who the cantaloupes were. – Mark Hamill


image credits: universal studios, old town bar





the toddle of shame: the morning after.



as part of our fun day in the city, we took the babies to bill’s beergarten – local german-style social gathering spot, outside, and right in the hub of town. while there, they fully embraced the spirit of the environment.


looking back, things must have been way too fun, as i got a call to pick up some things we’d left behind. nothing like the feeling the morning after, as i humbly returned to the scene to pick up my grandson’s sippy cup and bag of baby things.  

now there’s a life lesson from your grandmother. 



james – loyal and understanding employee of bill’s beergarten, (and advocate of the “what happens at bill’s, stays at bill’s” policy),  returns the goods with a laugh and a kind word.


I love the smell of juice boxes in the morning.  – Robert Duvall


with this ring, i thee ride.


spent a beautiful day downtown, only to encounter a sweet and joyful wedding party on  bicycles. everyone was radiating happiness or perhaps it was the sweat glistening off of them, but no matter. and what wedding is not complete without a unicyclist in the mix, i ask you?


Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies. Aristotle 

Love is composed of two bodies inhabiting a single bike. Me