Monday, April 30, 2012

Retired in Ann Arbor: Outside Kerrytown

The other day I was walking around Kerrytown, and took a moment to enjoy the quiet time, since I am usually here during farmer's market, when it is anything but quiet!

I wasn't in any hurry, so I also took a couple of minutes and read the historical marker, that I had walked by thousands of times, without ever really noticing.

Here's a short version:
1873-1930 Luick Brothers Lumberyard and wood planing factory was located here, making doors, sashes and 'fancy sawing' for the growing town.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Retired in Ann Arbor: The American Eagle

I finally got around to reading my copy of Michigan History magazine the other day, and the feature article is on the sculptures of Marshall Fredericks.   He was a very celebrated and prolific artist, with around 450 commissions here in Michigan, including the American Eagle sculpture at the entrance of the Big House.  The largest of his sculptures include the Spirit of Detroit, and Christ on the Cross in Indian River.

Marshall Fredericks met one of his most admired artists, Carl Milles, while studying in Europe. He worked with him for awhile in his studio outside of Stockholm, and then continued his European tour.  
The Spirit of Detroit
In 1931, Milles became the resident sculptor and director of the sculpture department at the brand new Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills.  He invited Fredericks to move to Michigan from his position at the Cleveland School of Arts and assist him. 
Barbour fountain at Belle Isle
In 1936, Fredericks won a national design competition to create the Barbour Memorial Fountain at Belle Isle--which was his big break.  He worked from then, until right before his death in 1998, on his sculptures, including an 86-foot-high stainless steel arc with bronze figures that was installed at Milles' burial site in Stockholm, Sweden.

The Detroit News noted that the "Ann Arbor Eagle," sculpted in 1950, sits at the entrance to the football stadium. It represents an important theme in Fredericks' work, remembering the veterans of World War II. The eagle holds a wreath in its talons in memory of the students who died in the war. Since Fredericks fought in the war himself, this subject remained important to him throughout his career."  Check out Arborwiki for more information about other works of his in Ann Arbor, including the location of the above 'controversial' reliefs.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Retired in Ann Arbor: Babo Market

Eating area 
I had a long and lovely dinner with one of my girlfriends the other night, and after we wandered out (of Cafe Zola, of course), we decided to walk down to the corner of Washington and Division, and pay our first visit to the new Babo Market.  We arrived right before they closed at 10PM, so the staff was busy settling the place down for the night-- but they were still very happy to welcome us.

It is a wonderful space, and they have a nice selection of very nice quality food-- and a coffee bar.  Perfect!

What a great addition to a blank spot on that street's canvas!  It will be a perfect place to stop and pick up a few things for dinner-- including fresh meat, produce and prepared food--  my favorite!  A European shopping experience.

Front window-- reminded me of Paris!
Check out their Facebook page here!
Huge windows--

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Retired in Ann Arbor: Zingerman's

The other morning, I had a couple of hours to kill, and was dying for a really good cup of coffe and an authentic bagel.

Here in Ann Arbor, we are lucky to have the original Zingerman's Delicatessen-- which gets very well-deserved epic reviews in the worldwide press, and also has some epic lines during weekends and lunch hours.

Fortunately, when you live here in Ann Arbor, you can take advantage of some of the less popular hours, like I did when I arrived at 9 AM on a Friday morning, to no line whatsoever!

Did you know that they are open every day from 7 AM to 10 PM?  (No more excuses that the lines are too long..)

I found a nice sunny table at the Zingerman's Next Door-- which was nicely hopping at this time, and settled in with my bagel, coffee and NY Times.  What a life!

Beautiful cakes for great memories
Check out their timeline to track important events from 1902 until the present.  After reading about some of their awards, you'll understand another reason why so many people are jealous of us who are retired in Ann Arbor.

Nice outdoor seating when it's not quite so chilly!

My favorite olive oil selection in the world

I challenge you to want a cheese they don't have--
not sure what you want?  Ask for a taste and a recommendation.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Retired in Ann Arbor: The Rock

I found a great book at the annual Flea Market at the Ann Arbor City Club, called Ann Arbor Annotated*, published in 1980.

While I was reading this book of Ann Arbor facts and trivia, I learned some interesting information about The Rock at the corner of Hill and Washtenaw.