Sunday, March 26, 2006

how to spend your sister's birthday in southeast michigan (1)

Last weekend was my sister's birthday, the last she'll see with a two in front of it unless science proves otherwise. Along with Mom, we hopped in my car and headed over the border.

The day started off in Ann Arbor. After dropping Mom off at Briarwood Mall, Amy and I headed downtown. The sun brought the city out, as finding a park became a challenge. Result: the highest I've ever had to go at the Maynard-Liberty garage.

Garage notes: Dad used to go on about the acoustics in the deck, before it was renovated. Our most amusing experience was one afternoon we were stuck behind a pair of giggly co-eds in a battered VW van that broke down every 50 feet. Nobody around us seemed bothered by the slow trip out of the garage.

Level 7 Gold The Rooftops of Ann Arbor
Parking so high has its privileges. From our spot, I pointed the camera east towards State St. Across the street from the lot was a long line-up outside the Michigan Theatre.

The draw? The Muppet Movie.

Encore Recordings Checking Out
Our main stop was Encore Recordings, where every nook and cranny is filled with music in all of its recorded forms, all well-organized. It was shocking to see the front desk not stacked five rows deep with incoming merchandise. Maybe the crowd inside kept the turnover steady - you might be able to see Amy checking out on the right. Might.

The Old Piano Roll Blues
Did I mention they carry every format? A wall of piano rolls greets you as you enter/exit the store. Dig around and you'll find 8-tracks and reel-to-reels. I wouldn't be surprised to uncover DATs or toy records.

There wasn't enough time to wander elsewhere, so we headed back to the garage. A mural we'd missed next to the garage door caught out eye.

Ants! Ants!
Ants! Ants! (this must be said in a mock Germanic voice - we immediately thought of Germany's Most Disturbing Home Videos).

We picked Mom up, then headed over to Trader Joe's (could someone buy a Canadian franchise, or at least one for Buffalo? Pretty please?). Many stores suffered from a St. Patty's Day hangover, hence organic corned beef and cabbage samples. After filling up a shopping cart (and harebrained ol' me nearly forgetting a jar of Mexican tomato/pumpkin seed simmering sauce - highly recommended), we loaded up the trunk and headed over to US 23.

To be continued... - JB

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