Saturday, June 06, 2009

Closing Night at the Detroit Symphony

I'm really kicking myself for making season closing night at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra my opening night at the DSO.  After living here for an entire orchestra season, I finally took advantage of the DSO's 37/11 program and picked up some $60 seats for $11.  Anybody younger than 37 can get tickets to most seats at select DSO concerts for only $11.  You just have to sign up first here.

If this is you, then you should be kicking yourself too if you haven't signed up for the program.  I don't care if you "don't like classical music," for $11 you could think the music was crap (which it won't be) and just enjoy the amazing orchestra hall, the bustle of people in Midtown and a nice night out in Detroit.

Detroit has a world-class symphony, and the audience took remarkable ownership of the symphony and the performance.  It really felt like the orchestra was playing to the audience and the audience was just soaking in the emotion from their home-town gem.  

On the way home, we drove through the Wayne State University campus and what looked like an kids' dance performance getting out...lots of 5 year old in purple tutus, face makeup and balloons. 

Parking is $5 at nearby lots or $7 in DSO lot

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Place to Be in San Francisco

This blog may have moved from the Bay Area to Ann Arbor, but we've been able to stay pretty well connected to our former lives. 

So, for all of our San Francisco friends (and those random readers we happen to catch with a SF cab fare search), here's what you should be doing on Thursday, May 14: attending High Stakes for Habitat. This must-attend casino night benefits Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco and their efforts to build homes-- and hope-- in Marin, San Francisco and the Peninsula. 

Grab your friends, put on your favorite cocktail attire, and head to the Great American Music Hall to sip a signature cocktail, sample tasty treats and dance the night away-- all while rolling the dice to support Habitat! 

Tickets are $75 and include "charity chips" to start the gaming, beer, wine and signature cocktails and a great DJ and dance floor. You can buy tickets online and learn more about the event at 

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ann Arbor Parking Spot Availability

The Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority tracks open parking spots in downtown parking structures. You can also get the same information by calling (734) 272-0909 and following the prompts. Don't leave home without it!

So...stop your yapping about not being able to find a parking space. Or better yet, hop on your bike, the bus, or your feet.

Available Downtown Parking Spots

Monday, January 26, 2009

The hottest spot in Michigan

After complaining about the cold, we found the hottest spot in Michigan on Friday night: The North American International Auto Show at Cobo Hall in Detroit. Not only was it the place to be in Detroit, it was also really, really warm. 
Despite the intense heat in Cobo, we enjoyed wandering through the displays and experiencing the "Detroit-ness" of it all. Where else can you find a city so fully devoted to the automobile? And the best part was that the Ford, GM and Chrysler sections were the busiest areas. Too bad
 KIA didn't get the memo that they were coming to the auto show in Detroit  when they advertised that their car can go from San Francisco to LA on a single charge. 

We are not "car people", but the sheer number of cars was impressive. We sat in Mini Coopers, Audis, VWs, Saturns, Pontiacs, Jeeps and anything else that had doors that would open. I'll admit we often threw dirty looks at the little boys monopolizing the driver's seat! But once I was behind the wheel, I realized that it's impossible to resist ma
king the "vroom vroom" sound while pretending to steer and shift. 

And since we aren't "car people", we didn't feel too badly calling it a night and heading home once our feet began to hurt. Plus, we had already shed as many layers as was appropriate! 

Friday, January 23, 2009

What happens when it's -15 degrees

While I may joke about being constantly cold, I am actually enjoying our first winter back in Michigan. The snow is really beautiful when it falls, I can never get enough of warm, cozy sweaters, and my knitting projects have grown exponentially. 

That said, when the air temperature hit -15 degrees last week, the cons of winter began to outweigh the pros of winter. For those of you reading this blog from balmy California, here's what happens when the temperature dips that low:
  • Schools close. And all those kids that would normally be in school on a Friday morning are now at Target with their parents, screaming bloody murder about not getting the toy they want. 
  • Cars sound like trucks. Yes, even the little Chevy Aveo sounded like an F-150 when it started. Thankfully, it started. And drove. 
  • Car locks and/or stick shifts freeze. Your aforementioned car isn't terribly useful if it doesn't unlock. For those in our household with a stick shift, it took an incredible feat of strength to shift from park into reverse.
  • You can't get warm. Despite multiple layers of clothes, slippers and a warm blanket, your fingers are still numb as you type.
  • Salt doesn't work. That means, any icy spots on the road stay icy. And any icy spots on your front walk continue to be a fall-on-your-ass hazard. 
  • Cats hide. Our small (but certainly not thin) kitty lived under blankets. While she's perfectly adept at getting under them herself, she would much prefer to beg until a human lifted the blanket for her. 
  • Everyone dances. Ann Arbor was quite a hopping town last Friday night-- literally. Large groups of people would wait to cross the street and do their own version of the staying-warm jig. Mine involved lots of bouncing. 
Thankfully, the cold weather lasted for a short time and we're back to a warm 30 degrees. This, I might remind you, is a full 45 degrees warmer than last week. Although, I will probably still dance while waiting to cross the street... 

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Winter To-do List

We definitely feel like we're still getting settled, but that won't stop us from at least planning a few things to do when we have a chance. Here's what we've got on the winter fun to-do list:
I'd say that's a pretty good start. We'll see how we do and report back.

We're planning on going to the auto show tomorrow. I really, really hope it's better than the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show that we left crying.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Michigan Pride

Detroit has been in the news a lot lately, and Detroit has been getting its unfair share of criticisms. Mayor arrested, economy in the tank, unemployment really doesn't have an end. Our lives have been pretty hectic getting settled into Michigan life, but as soon as things calm down we'd really like to spend more time getting to know Detroit. In the mean time, this should give you some perspective on the Detroit mentality, and the Michigander mentality in general. We really do like it here!

The Courage of Detroit by Mitch Albom [from Sports Illustrated]