austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

There Are Places I Remember

So while we were romping over Dallas and having a local pinball tournament some striking stuff happened in Ann Arbor. As part of the town's ongoing extreme gentrification, and the ageing out and retiring of the Baby Boomer generation that opened so many iconic Ann Arbor businesses, another iconic Ann Arbor business declared it was closing up. This one: The Peaceable Kingdom, a shop that's part art gallery and part collectible and knicknack shop, with cards and with a huge table of ``cheap thrills'' of stuff that, like, kids could afford. bunny_hugger has been going there her whole life.

The owner decided the shop wasn't getting enough foot traffic anymore; that whole strip of main street has lost the diverse set of small shops, as their locations have been bought up and the places converted to, it seems, an unending series of restaurants and coffee shops. Peculiarly, considering, the shop owner doesn't have to pay rents; she owns the building the shop was in. When I last heard there wasn't news about what would take The Peaceable Kingdom's place, except that she was determined it not be another restaurant.

But this moved us to change our plans from ``get to Ann Arbor some weekend, it's been forever'' to ``get to Ann Arbor this weekend, everything is closing and ending and the world is about to expire''. Maybe not quite that dire, but it did provoke us to go then, rather than sometime.

It also inspired us to think of the Michigan Theatre and see if they might be showing something on the main screen. I still haven't been to a show in the main, classic movie-palace, screen there; I'd just gotten to showings in the minor screening room. They had something we found interesting, the animated Red Turtle, but that would not be in the main hall; there was a concert going on which got that space. Nor would it be in the screening room: it would be in another secondary screening space, the Annex Room, which we didn't even know existed. That's because it didn't exist until recently. The State Theater, Ann Arbor's other classic old-style sidewalk theater, has been under renovations for a few months and will be for a few more. To provide some space for the lost shows, the Michigan's opened this second minor screening room, with the slight seating made up of chairs taken out of the State. We don't know if it'll be kept around after the State is back in business. Stuff keeps changing.

Trivia: In the 1760s George Washington introduced to the Virginia colonial legislature a bill to halt the transportation of slaves into the state. Source: The First American Army: The Untold Story of George Washington and the Men Behind America's First Fight for Freedom, Bruce Chadwick.

Currently Reading: Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-40, William R Trotter.

Tags: ann arbor
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