Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Retired in Ann Arbor: Why do we live here?

Ann Arbor frequently scores near the top on "best of" polls, and recently, we scored #6 on one of the best polls I have seen to date:  15 best small cities for successful aging, published by
What makes this poll potentially more interesting that the rest?  The Milken Institute looked at 259 small U.S. metropolitan regions, and ranked each one on 78 individual indicators based on publicly available data, not surveys of households or individuals.  This means the conclusion is based on measurable facts, rather than opinion.
If you would like to read the entire report, download the PDF here.

Thanks to Frank Moore from Vintage Financial (our favorite money guy!) for sending me this link.  If Bernie Madoff has made you squeamish about financial planners, be sure and read Frank's advice on "Avoiding the Madoff's of the World", as well as his excellent advice on planning to succeed.  (It works!)

Also, thanks to the brand new U of M School of Art and Design brochure that showed up in our mailbox yesterday, because it reminded me of the other impressive awards that Ann Arbor has recently won.

#1 in Top 10 College Towns (Forbes 2010)
#1 in Educational Attainment in Communities with 100,000+ Residences (Business Journals "On numbers" 2011)
#1 in Best College Sports Town (Forbes 2010)
#2 in 75 Best College Towns and Cities (American Institute for Economic Research 2010)
#2 in Most E-Literate Cities in America ( 2012)
#2 in 10 Great Cities for Raising Families (Kiplinger 2010)
#2 in Most Educated Cities in US (American Community Survey 2010)
#3 in Best Places for Recent College Grads (Forbes 2010)
#4 in Most Creative Cities (The Daily Beast 2012)
Where's our #1 farmer's
market award?!?
#4 in Most Well-Read Cities in America ( 2011)
#4 in 25 Smartest College Towns in US (Daily Beast 2011)
#5 in Happiest Cities in America (The Daily Beast 2012)
#6 in Top Digital Cities (Center for Digital Government 2010)
#6 in midsize cities Top Art Destinations (American Style Magazine 2011)
#7 in Best Cities in America to Find a Job (US News 2012)
#10 in Greatest Main Street in America ( 2012)

We know why we love to live here, but here are many reasons why anyone might like it here--

One more thing:  if you happen to be at happy hour at The Quarter Bistro tomorrow (August 30), look around.  You might see some other friends of Retired in Ann Arbor!  Thanks for reading!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

All I want is---- "The Last Word"

I'm going to ask the peanut gallery to restrain from comments about my personality-- because what I am really wanting is a new cocktail I recently discovered at a little underground lounge that shares the same name:  The Last Word.

If you're a fan of Boardwalk Empire, or love the romance of film noir, look for the unmarked door under club "Live"-- (at the corner of Huron and Ashley)-- and enter what looks like a speakeasy from a former era.

Flaming orange peel-- for more flavor
Try and get one of the barstools-- for a front row seat of the show!

Open 7PM to close, on Tuesday through Saturday.

Negroni, made from artisan ingredients

Fresh herbs and handmade syrups

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Retired in Ann Arbor: Rock, Paper, Scissors

Great "go blue" merchandise
The other day I was wandering down Main Street, and I noticed a new shop, called Rock, Paper, Scissors.

I went in and strolled around, and was immediately interested and amused by the great products.

After reading their charter, I knew this was my store:

At Rock Paper Scissors, we believe in the art of the handwritten note. We believe in personalized stationery, matching envelopes and envelope liners. We believe in snail mail. We believe in hostess gifts with a personal touch. We believe in celebrating holidays, and special days and everyday in between. 

Like everyone else, I usually communicate through e-mail and Facebook, but there are times and occasions when only a hand-written note says what you want to say.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Retired in Ann Arbor: Cafe Felix

 Do you ever feel like you could use a little bit of Paris in your day-- and you don't want to spend $1600 to be sardined in a coach seat for 8 hours?
What a great place to while away the time on Main Street!
Head to Main Street and spend some time at Cafe Felix.  The menu is sublimely French, and like every French cafe', coffee and wine is served with the same enthusiasm.
I recently had an early lunch with one of my friends, and decided to pass on my usual, (the quiche), and went for a Caesar salad.  I asked for a light amount of dressing-- don't you hate it when the salad comes floating in liquid?--  and it was delivered absolutely perfectly.

So check out Les Specials, including great happy hour deals, martini Mondays, wine Wednesdays, and share the love with your favorite Ann Arbor Public School teacher (and their discount!)

Bon appetit, and happy birthday Julia!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Retired in Ann Arbor: Terry B's

One of our favorite venues to savor summer (or a warm spring or summer evening), is the deck at Terry B's in Dexter.

Look for the cheerful awning-- on the former
farmhouse in downtown Dexter
Thanks to their website for this nice photo of the empty bar-- when I was there, it was hopping with people enjoying the Frequent Winer club
I was there the other night with one of my favorite dining partners, who actually introduced me to my favorite hobby: fine dining.  We have had many great meals together, both here and abroad, and this time I decided to go with my hot weather favorite:  salad.  Once I discovered the charred brussels sprout salad, (with pea tendrils, apple, pistachio, radish, Irish cheese and warm bacon vinaigrette-- and a side of duck confit), I couldn't even read the rest of the delicious menu.
I know, it's hardly low calorie, but it was the most delicious salad I have had all summer!  That and a nice glass of wine, and I was in heaven.

Yup, I hated it.

Too hot to sit outside?  There is a lovely dining room too.  And bottles of wine are 50% off on Wednesdays--as long as the full price is under $75.  Works for me!