March 16th, 2014

krazy koati

All I need is one last look before you go

That we had any particular schedule was because we wanted to see a movie. The Michigan, one of Ann Arbor's two old-style movie palaces, was showing Miyazaki's The Wind Rises, with subtitles, once during the day and we thought that'd be a fine centerpiece to the day. This also meant that between our late start and the time we spent in the library and in Middle Earth we wouldn't have time to visit any of the record stores, though. To an extent it's good to be knocked out of your routines, but, in hindsight, we probably should've gone to Ann Arbor on Saturday, skipped the bowling fiasco, and had time for everything.

Also disappointing was that The Wind Rises was not showing in the main theater, but in the smaller screening room instead. We've yet to catch a show in the main theater, the one with the balcony and the lush decor and all that, together. On the other hand the organ in the main theater was being repaired, so we were able to watch and listen to a performer before the show, as we settled in with popcorn that was actually buttered and waited for someone taller than us to block our views. (I got lucky; bunny_hugger didn't.) And we were able to go into the main theater after our show and prowl around, even if nothing was playing.

After the show we went to Seva's, for dinner. This is a vegetarian restaurant we've tried to go to each Ann Arbor visit, partly because there's just none like it in the Lansing area (inexplicably), partly because of personal history: when bunny_hugger first began eating vegetarian the place was a wonder, a restaurant where she could have anything on the menu, and not have to ask for substitutions or special preparation or anything. You could just eat, and not have animals have to die for it.

They're moving. After decades --- literally bunny_hugger's whole life --- in the location, the landlords raised the rent and they're being exiled to a mall location out of downtown. There's ominous on many counts, of course: will the place survive in a mall, for one thing (and divorced from the comedy club downstairs, which is also being kicked out)? And is Ann Arbor going to stay Ann Arbor if local landmarks are getting kicked out? We'd just discovered that a sub shop which had been around since the early 50s was kicked out of town last year (the university needed the land); and, yes, cities must evolve and businesses must move or close and be replaced. But we've got a bad feeling that the local place that's grown around the location for forty years is going to, this time next year, be a Moe's Southwest Grill, and that's a less interesting place to bring someone to.

So while there's an inherent danger going someplace knowing it's almost certainly the last time you'll visit it, we did go, and had a wonderful dinner and even closed the place out. We got a spot in a dining area that as best bunny_hugger can remember she's never been in before, and we crawled around photographing the rest. We're sure we'll try to Seva's in the new place, but it does mean we have this clear demarcation between all our Ann Arbor visits before and all the ones we'll have after.

Trivia: There are two surviving flying models from Project Orion: a one-meter diameter one at the National Air and Space Museum, and a one-foot diameter one at (as of 2001) Orion researcher Jerry Astl's garage in Solana Beach. Source: Project Orion: The True Story Of The Atomic Spaceship, George Dyson.

Currently Reading: The Airships Akron and Macon, Richard K Smith.

PS: Listening To Vermilion Sands, a bit of mental arithmetic inspired by bunny_hugger's currently-reading.