Ann Arbor Cuisine

annarbor4The Maize and Blue deli in Ann Arbor, Michigan that I recently ate at this year. There is a huge wall in there full of the names of alumni and certain celebrity figures (including Yankees legend Derek Jeter who went to U of M).

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Out of Bounds burger

This tiny deli in the heart of the U of M campus features some unusual names on the menu, including Foul Shot, Who Came First, Bear Giggle, and Scooby-Doo. This quaint restaurant is a place I’d likely make a favorite of mine if I were going to the University of Michigan. There’s something so Seinfeld about it.

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Daily Prompt: City

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Sepia + Scene

Just playing with JNW’s topic generator today for fun brought up the words Sepia + Scene. Well, how fitting. I have some pictures I’ve wanted to post of my trip to Ann Arbor a few days ago for my 24th. I was inspired to post this after seeing Judy Dykstra-Brown do the same thing, because mimicry is always a nice thing in blogland. photo annarborsepia_zpswkh1qvsr.jpgState Street in Ann Arbor filtered in sepia tone. That’s an old fashioned parking garage.

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Downtown Ann Arbor
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A parking meter: something I’ve never seen at home

It’s a college like atmosphere in Downtown Ann Arbor being that the University of Michigan is located right in this area. But it wasn’t that busy, won’t be until the first semester starts up this September. As I was walking down the way, I saw an old couch, a desk, and some other junk by the curb that one was throwing out of their apartment. I was instantly reminded of How I Met Your Mother and how every time something would be placed outside on the street curb, it would disappear mysteriously the next time the main cast checked on it. A gimmicky plot device among numerous ones in the show’s nine seasons.

Our destination: Buffalo Wild Wings on the left. It was a great restaurant to eat at. The atmosphere was very calm and exceeded my expectations. The rating for this place said the service was bad and the food mediocre, telling us to not go here, but our waitress did her job perfectly and my Big Jack Daddy Burger could not have been more delicious.

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I thought this B-Dubs, as it’s famously nicknamed, would be rowdy but maybe that’s because the football season hasn’t started up yet. Then it really turns into a sports bar. This night was more like Olive Garden, ha ha.

Why My Mall Sucks

I’m not one to visit a shopping mall very often but I know a winner when I see it. The overall experience of walking into a giant super plaza like The Mall of America is magical and unforgettable. Seeing all the people bustling about and all the wonderful stores and side attractions makes you feel like you’re in a wonderland of some sorts; the carousels, bungee jumping, and kiddie trains choo chooing about adds to the eye and ear pleasing scene.

I would like to say the same thing about my own mall close to home but that is not the case. The Westwood Mall in my hometown of Jackson, Michigan pales in comparison to other multi store complexes I have been to in other cities around Michigan and in other states. For one reason, it seems like it is so dead there most of the time; no wonder certain stores can’t stay in business. Compared to other shopping malls, I would say Westwood is pretty bland and boring. Kansas’ Great Mall in Olathe had a lot of cool stores to choose from and the entertainment value there was endless. Plus, it had a lively atmosphere that Westwood is lacking right now. Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor is, in my short opinion of malls, probably one of the best in Michigan, you couldn’t possibly walk out of that place disappointed, especially if you drove a ways to get there. The mall in Novi, Michigan has two floors and lots of picture worthy tourist attractions. The food court, another thing Westwood lacks, is amazing and it includes some well-known restaurant brands and others that are more local to the area; this also provides an area to chill, eat, and chat it up with friends and family. Westwood has two floors but the second is for staff only and probably storage as well. Hmm…I wonder what the employees do up there while on their breaks?

I recently went to the mall in Rockford, Illinois. It was called the Cherryvale and sported two floors, escalators, a glass elevator, and many store outlets that are popular among people today. There also were video screens around the food plaza that showed up to date news on movies and sweepstakes being held throughout the mall. These screens had a recurring section of featured YouTube videos being played, most of them involving cats and goats in trees. The ethnic diversity in Rockford made this mall an interesting place to hang about. I found it neat to order a frozen yogurt from a man that I was sure had roots in India and thought resembled Raj’s dad on The Big Bang Theory from the way he spoke; I was a little intimidated by him. Another neat thing about this Cherryvale was the free samples being given out around the place by employees. They seemed so nice and I tried every one of the samples that I came into contact with, even the little cups of yogurt from Mr. Kootherpali. The Chinese restaurant actually had people of that heritage working behind the counter and giving out samples. A Spanish person spoke Spanish to a cashier who also spoke Spanish and I was like “this is unlike anything I’ve ever seen at home”. That same thing happened at a McDonald’s in Rockford; it was the first time I heard a real conversation all in Spanish, besides in TV and movies.

It is no quick trip through the gigantic plaza of Cherryvale and unlike Westwood or even the Jackson Crossing you feel like the outside is far away and you are in the “belly of a beast”; at Westwood, it is only a short walk before you see the doors again making it seem less intimate and appealing. That’s what I like about malls, feeling like you could never go home because there is always something new to see everywhere you look.

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This shopping mall in Manila, Philippines completely blows the tiny Westwood out of the water