2019 Blue Book: A Guide for Students

. September 3, 2019.

College Life in Ann Arbor

Take Charge of Your Happiness and Financial Wellbeing
By Jenny Hong

You may find yourself stressing about academics, finding your niche, figuring out what you want and how pricey things get in Ann Arbor. Personal finance is a common stressor for many students and while a “budget” looks different for everyone, we can all agree that stressing over money is no fun. While we won’t offer any advice on how to earn big money fast or to make student loans disappear (oh, if fairy-godmothers exist) but over the years, we have learned some tips and tricks to minimize the daily expenses living in this college town.

HOUSING
Rent is inevitably the largest expense. You have to search for housing a year ahead to secure a decent place near campus, and the rent is rarely wallet-friendly. If you don’t feel strongly about less privacy, having a roommate is a great way to cut costs (essentially 50 percent off rent). Preferably, find a friend because an issue with a roommate during the hectic semester is not something you want to deal with. Houses, especially larger ones shared with more people, are generally cheaper than apartment complexes with the same number of bedrooms and they often come with free parking. Cooperative house (co-op) is an even cheaper alternative if you enjoy living with a small community, sharing meals and chores daily.

FOOD
Many students go to Kroger for groceries because of their low prices. It also has an app to track your shopping points. If you live on South Campus, Lucky’s Market will be your closest grocery store that offers great deals on produce and has an app for collecting points as well (not very hard to earn $5 off your total!). The Maize and Blue Cupboard is an awesome free resource for all students. It has staple food and more covered, and is located conveniently on campus when all grocery stores require a long bus ride. Check out their hours by searching “maizeandbluecupboard” on Instagram.

FREE GOODIES
They’re everywhere. Events never stop happening on campus and luckily for us, most of them feature free food or swag (merchandise like water bottles, notebooks, cardholders— anything you can think of. I have a collection of cord organizers.) So if you have the time, stop by the next campus event for a free meal or attend a fair to learn something new and grab some school supplies. The UMIX Late Night (buffet, raffle and games) is one of my favorite events to attend with friends. Satisfying for the tummy and soul. Visit campusinvolvement.umich.edu for more information.

STUDENT EMPLOYMENT
Doing work-study, having a part-time job or side hustle is a great way to mitigate financial stress. However, don’t overwork yourself as it can easily backfire. You’re already paying a lot on tuition, so prioritize classes and maintain a balanced lifestyle before you sign up for those shifts. Studentemployment.umich.edu is the most comprehensive job board for students, consisting of various types of jobs in offices, libraries, transportation, dining hall and more, mostly within U-M. Volunteering for paid studies and research is also a good way to earn extra bucks without committing too much time. The Psychology Department usually posts ongoing studies on its bulletin boards.

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AND MUCH MORE…
The Alumni Association has Welcome Wednesdays. It means free coffee, bagels, and ask for a few blue books for exams while you’re there. (This Blue Book that you’re reading is never associated with exams and is always free, so is every issue of Current Magazine. Don’t miss out!)
Blue Buses operating around Central and North Campus are free to hop on, and your Mcard gets you on any white bus (Ann Arbor public transit).

Expensive textbooks? Check out Dealoz.com to buy used textbooks and compare prices. Sometimes, professors have textbooks on reserve in the library (can be borrowed for a few hours each time) or you can try your luck on finding it in the Library Catalog. You guessed it, free to borrow for long periods.

Movies on Wednesdays are half off at Cinemark.
Grab the biweekly Passport to the Arts and claim a free ticket to any of the listed music, dance or performing arts shows. Visit artsatmichigan.com to learn more.

Seek and reach out to campus units. Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs, Opportunity Hub, Center for the Education of Women… there are many supporting units available to students that offer invaluable help, from scholarships to emergency funding, counseling and more.

Read the Being Not-RIch at UM guide written by a fellow Wolverine (also featured in our Blue Book last year!)

Trying to save on little things may seem mundane but small amounts do add up. Moreover, these are things we can easily do. Exerting some control over our financial situation keeps us from feeling helpless. I’m also a strong believer in treating ourselves from time to time to maintain that drive to venture and not feel drained. If you need that cup of Matcha latte in the morning to get up and going, buy that coffee and save on other things. Living on a budget doesn’t have to be dreadful nor do we have to make unhealthy choices like skipping meals or working too many side jobs. Set your financial goals, create a budget that factors in necessities and a few expenses that keep you motivated, and make good use of all the free resources available to students. If you’re doing all these things, there’s less need for stressing over expenditures. Harness your energy on more fulfilling things and give yourself the college experience you’ve earned. It’s your time!

Staying Safe on Campus

There may be times when you burn the midnight oil at the library or go out with friends on a Friday night. Remember to always be aware of your personal state and safety and stay with friends!

Late-night transit options
SafeRide: 8pm – 2am. Free ride to your residence or parked car within one-mile radius of campus. To schedule a ride call 734.647.8000 and select option #1. (Usually in high demand and a longer wait time so plan ahead!)
Emergency Ride Home: 24/7. Free ride to your residence or parked car for qualifying emergency situations. Limited to 6 uses per year. Call DPSS directly at 734.763.1131.
Ride Home: Fall/ Winter 2am – 7am. Free shared cab ride service to your residence or parked car within one-mile radius of campus. Pick up locations limited to Shapiro Library, Duderstadt Center and UH South entrance. To schedule a ride call 734.647.8000 and select option #2.

Eats

Big Flavor in The Big House

The Big Hero burger from the Ignition Burger Stand: Steak burger topped with gyro meat, jalepeño cheese sauce, hot pepper relish, tzatziki sauce and onion rings.

The Big Hero burger from the Ignition Burger Stand: Steak burger topped with gyro meat, jalepeño cheese sauce, hot pepper relish, tzatziki sauce and onion rings.

New season, new concessions offerings

The Big House is more about cheering on the Wolverines— it’s also about gorging on Big House flavors with new seasonal suite catering and stadium concessions menus

New concessions available for purchase throughout the stadium include the Ignition Burger Stand, with Hand-formed fresh signature-blend burgers; the loaded waffle fries stand, with five different topping options; the Pure Michigan stand, for a cherry & maple chicken sausage or a Dearborn coney dog; the Tot Spot stand, for loaded tater tots; and the Impossible Burger, an innovative vegetarian meat-alternative, designed to look and taste just like the real thing.

Ben’s Soft Pretzels’ Block M Pretzel: Salted soft pretzel in the shape of the iconic Michigan “M”.

Ben’s Soft Pretzels’ Block M Pretzel: Salted soft pretzel in the shape of the iconic Michigan “M”.

The suites will also have an expanded menu to choose from this season. New offerings include the Germack Trail Mix, 7-Layer Dip, Maize Corn Dip, Kicken Chicken Egg Rolls, Chicken Quesadilla, Caprese Bread, Pierogies, Asian Crab Cakes, Thai Crunch Salad, Provencal Potato Salad, Big House Chili Con Carne, Pork Carnitas Tacos, Beef Sliders, BBQ Beef, Sweet Potato Stack, and the Smashmouth Club Sub.

Finally, the independent local food trucks and tastes, each with their own location in the stadium, will also offer new options for fans. Food trucks include Ben’s Soft Pretzels, Modern Grill (Greek Food), Kona Ice, RJ’s Heavenly Delights, Cynt-Sational Eats, Which Wich, Rays Red Hots, and Detroit Dough.

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Wellness

 

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FITNESS

College Gyms: all facilities free if enrolled in classes
Central Campus Recreation Building, Intramural Sports Building, North Campus Recreation Building recsports.umich.edu

Classpass: Sign up for different types of fitness classes in various studios and locations. Perfect if you don’t enjoy committing to one studio or type of program! You can get the first month free and take 3-5 classes to see how you like it, and refer friends to get more discounts. Classpass.com

For full list of discounts available to U-M students, go to https://bit.ly/334deBr

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WELLNESS

CAPS Wellness Zone: Available for students on a drop-in basis. Facilities include three state of the art massage chairs, yoga and meditation tools, Xbox Kinect system, biofeedback software, seasonal affective disorder light therapy and other wellness resources. The Wellness Zone (WZ) at CAPS Central Office will return in Winter 2020 after renovations. Currently, the North Campus (Pierpont) WZ and Munger WZ are open. Caps.umich.edu

Meditation Courses: For-credit courses provided through the JAZZ Department at U-M but open to students of all colleges. Simple approach to meditation in a serene setting on North Campus for students with or without prior experience. Email mtravers@umich.edu for more information.

FREE APPS

(App Store and Google Play)

Headspace: Guided meditation and mindfulness app. It mades meditation simple, and teaches you mindfulness skills in just a few minutes a day. You can also download sessions for offline use. Headspace.com

Moodpath: Acts like a personal mood journal, it prompts you to answer questions during different times of a day. It tracks your emotional state in relation to other areas in your life to detect patterns and identify areas that can be improved. Mymoodpath.com

ROAD TRIP

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Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Distance from Ann Arbor: 387 miles, 5 hr 45 minute drive
Highlights: camping, hiking, kayaking, swimming, Au Sable Lighthouse tours

Frankenmuth
Distance from Ann Arbor: 77 miles, 1 hr 20 minute drive
Must-try food: Fried chicken at the Bavarian Inn
Highlights: Bavarian Belle Riverboat, River Place shops, Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland (the world’s largest christmas store)

Sleeping Bear Dunes
Distance from Ann Arbor: 260 miles, 4 hr 15 minute drive
Must-try food: Ice cream at Tiffany’s cafe
Highlights: dune climbing, Maritime Museum, hiking trails, scenic overlooks

State Capitol (Lansing)
Distance from Ann Arbor: 65 miles, 1 hour drive
Must-try food: Empire Szechuan Chinese buffet
Highlights: Michigan State Capitol Building, Michigan Historical Museum, R.E. Olds Transportation Museum, Cooley Law School Stadium

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Headlands International Dark Sky Park
Distance from Ann Arbor: 275 miles, 4 hour drive
Highlights: beautiful views of the Milky Way, meteor shower watching, Music Under the Stars events

Belle Isle
Distance from Ann Arbor: 48 miles, 55 minute drive
Must-try food: pack a picnic lunch
Highlights: Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, Belle Isle Aquarium, Dossin Great Lakes Museum, giant slide

Marquette
Distance from Ann Arbor: 440 miles, 6 and a half hour drive
Must-try food: Pasties!
Highlights: Presque Isle Park, Sugarloaf Mountain, Lakenenland Sculpture Park, Dead River Falls, downtown shops and restaurants

Traverse City
Distance from Ann Arbor: 240 miles, 3 hr 45 minute drive
Must-try food: Cherry pie from Grand Traverse Pie Co.
Highlights: wine and beer tasting, the State Theater, the Village at Grand Traverse Commons, the original Cherry Republic (for all things made with Michigan cherries)

Traverse-City

Detroit’s Eastern Market
Distance from Ann Arbor: 44 miles, 45 minute drive
Must-try food: a little bit of everything!
Highlights: Saturday Markets, Sunday Street Markets through September, Thursday Night Markets every third Thursday through September, local shops, street art

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Holland
Distance from Ann Arbor: 155 miles, 2 and a half hour drive
Must-try food: Dutch breakfast strudel
Highlights: Tulip Time Festival, Windmill Island Gardens, beaches, Nelis’ Dutch Village

Mount Brighton
Distance from Ann Arbor: 22 miles, half an hour drive
Highlights: best skiing and snowboarding nearby

Tunnel of Trees
Distance from Ann Arbor: 260 miles, 4 hour drive
Highlights: beautiful folliage, Thorne Swift Nature Preserve, sharp twists such as Devil’s Elbow and Horseshoe Curve

Mackinac Island
Distance from Ann Arbor: 280 miles, 4 hour drive + ferry
Must-try food: Fudge from every shop!
Highlights: Fort Mackinac, horse and buggy rides, bikes for rental, Arch Rock, the Butterfly House

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The Freshman 411

For many, the hardest part of freshman year is, well, being a freshman. To ease your first-year woes, we asked former U-M freshman about the best ways to make the most of Ann Arbor.

Taylor Tucker-Gray

Best budget-friendly activity: Going to the docks, in Bandemer Park right off of downtown’s Main Street. Although it has recently gained popularity, resulting in less seating, it’s still a great place to hang out with friends on a hot sunny day. I personally love to bring a blanket and snacks so that my friends and I can have a nice picnic in the summer.

Where I like to relax: Anywhere with my hammock. You can most likely find me in the Arb or in the Diag. They both have great hammock locations and you can typically find fellow ‘hammockers’ as well. It’s a great atmosphere when you’re surrounded by others enjoying nature as much as you and appreciating the unique spots that Ann Arbor has to offer.

One tip for freshmen: Don’t be afraid to do things by yourself. Eat lunch alone at that one restaurant you always pass on the way to class or attend a club meeting even though you don’t know anyone. It can be intimidating when you see others with groups of friends, but it’s a great way to experience what intrigues you without anyone or anything holding you back. Take risks. That’s what college is all about.

I stay motivated by looking towards the future and working towards the goal of being able to do something fun after a stressful day.

My favorite ways to practice self-care: Making sure I dedicate time to relaxation. Maybe one night I’ll try to finish up studying earlier than normal so that I can go home and take a hot shower and do a face mask. Maybe another night I’ll allow myself to watch a couple of episodes of my favorite Netflix series. It’s all about letting myself feel at peace and not too overwhelmed. While school can be super stressful, I try to remind myself that I’m thankful to have an education and that a little stress is healthy, normal, and even motivating at times.

Sara Jackson

Best budget-friendly activity: Hammock in the arb, swim in the river or tan on the docks, picnics in the Diag, anything outside because enjoying nature is free! Also going to cheap food places. My favorite is Chela’s.

Where I like to relax: Somewhere along the river where I can lay out a blanket or string up my hammock! The arb has tons of great places and the Argo cascades are another great spot.

One tip for freshmen: One tip I would give to freshmen is to try new things! If a club sounds interesting then go to a meeting, if you see an interesting class then take it! You never know where or when you’re going to discover a new passion or meet amazing people and college is a great time to explore various interests or ideas.

How I stay motivated: Staying motivated in college can be really tough, especially speaking as someone with mental illness. Personally, I talk to my friends or my mom whenever I’m having a hard time. I also love to surround myself with people who inspire me, the feminist sorority I’m in is full of amazingly intelligent women who constantly motivate me to keep going even when I feel down.

My favorite ways to practice self-care: Hanging out at my house with my cat! Having movie nights with my friends or cooking dinner together is another way I like to de-stress.

Taylor Lind

Best budget-friendly activity: Taking a walk in the Arb! And hammocking or having a picnic there.

Where I like to relax: The Arb!

One tip for freshmen: I think recognizing when you are in high stress and being aware of how you are feeling is important.

How I stay motivated: I take a break from studying and academic-related activities to do things that I enjoy as a way to de-stress and motivate myself, be it yoga or going out with friends.

My favorite ways to practice self-care: I think I just do whatever I feel like doing for a change instead of doing the things that I have to do.

James Nedeltchev

Best budget-friendly activity: Hammocking in the Arb, relaxing on Palmer Field, or play a sport outside like tennis or basketball. If it’s cold out, I like to go get fries from HopCat, play cards with friends, cook something fun, or go see a movie at the State Theater.

Where I like to relax: At home listening to music, laying down, or taking a shower. On Saturday mornings, I like to take a relaxing walk around the Kerrytown Farmers’ Market and pick up something interesting to eat.

One tip for freshmen: Do something. By that I mean anything. Find a club, find a job, find an organization. Just find something to get involved in that connects you to a sense of purpose and to other people. It is very easy to sit around and watch your freshman year go by and then realize too late that you didn’t join anything interesting or exciting.

How I stay motivated: It is important to do things that excite you and interest you because the more you care about something the more motivated you will be. I stay motivated by thinking about the big picture and how much my actions now will impact the things I want to do later in life.

My favorite ways to practice self-care: Going to the gym and knowing what my priorities are so I can live for myself and achieve what I want.

Self Care Checklist

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Procrastinating because it seems like there’s a mountain of work in front of you? Break your workload into a list of short, easy tasks and check each one off when you’re done. It will make you feel better to see your progress.

Miss your pet at home?
Sign up for a volunteer shift at the Humane Society

Take a long shower (singing optional)

Use a weekly organizer for any medications you take so you don’t miss a day

Treat yourself to fresh produce from the Ann Arbor Farmers Market and cook dinner with your friends

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Finish studying early and curl up with a good book (check out Literati!)

Meditate anytime, anywhere. Remember to always notice how you’re feeling.

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Get away from the Ann Arbor winter grays with a trip to the Matthei Botanical Garden

Switch up your music with an artist or album you’ve never heard (check out Current Magazine on Spotify!)

Sweat it out at the school gym— Volleyball, swimming pool, yoga mats, they got it all.
Bring some chocolate and feed the lovely squirrels around campus grounds! (Look out for the anti-feeding squirrel club)

Look out for the cheerful campus celebrity— Reggie the Corgi!

Spend time with close friends! Go bowling at Revel and Roll, get ice-cream at BlankSlate or binge Stranger Things together.

Plan fun me-time activities.
Take a long walk through the Arb, take up bullet journaling, walk around your favorite store or cook yourself a hearty meal.

Wind-down after a long day. Yoga? Bath? Hot chocolate in your pajamas?

Try studying standing up to reduce back pain from slouching at your desk

Decorate your workspace with photos of people and places you love to remind yourself what’s important

How long has it been since you last washed your sheets? Get those crumbs out of your bed and you’ll sleep better tonight!

Pick just a few things off your floor or desk to feel instantly more organized.

Write a nice letter or postcard to a far-away friend or family member, and they will likely write you one back!

If you have an extra dollar, donate it to someone in need or your favorite charity. Giving doesn’t just help people, it also makes us feel good.

Bake a batch of cookies and bring them over to a friend’s room or a club meeting. It’s a fun activity, tastes good, and others will appreciate the thought

Safe Partying: Stay in the Blue

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Tips to help you Stay in the Blue (maintain safe and legal blood alcohol levels)

  • Download and use the Stay in the Blue App (iTunes & Googleplay) to keep your blood alcohol content (BAC) at .06 or below, call cabs based on your GPS location and more.
  • Keep track of how much you’re drinking and offer to help a friend
  • Pace your drinks (slow down) and avoid shots of hard liquor
  • Eat substantial food before and while drinking

Emergencies
Sign up for Emergency Alerts to your phone and email to be informed of major active emergencies on campus. https://bit.ly/2YDiexM.
Report crimes and concerns on any Blue Light Phone located throughout campus. When the telephone receiver is removed from the cradle or the button is pushed, DPSS Dispatch Services is automatically provided a location and an officer will come.

Live Music

10 Best Venues for Live Music in Ann Arbor and Ypsi

Where to catch a great live show this summer
By Jeff Milo and Estar Cohen

Curious to encounter more bands from the music scene? Start immersing yourself by just showing up to any of these venues and checking out whoever’s up on stage that night. Of course, lots of local music fans will know the staples, but we’ve got 10 additional notable spots. Now, go explore!

Grove Studios

Grove Studios is an LLC Partnership initiative founded in 2016 by three local musicians and championed by a diverse collective of community members that are eager to establish a supportive and nurturing habitat for musicians, artists and creatives who need, and could utilize, an opportune space to further hone their craft. Setting up shop at 884 Railroad St in Ypsilanti (the same complex where VGKids’ production facility is located, and who initiated the now bygone SPUR Studios arts collective), Grove has since grown into being “sort of a musician and creative clubhouse and gallery space,” said co-founding member Erich Friebel. Grove “wants to build a creative community where everyone has a sense of responsibility and shared fate to make it a living, working entity,” said Friebel.

Grove originally started at a property on Michigan Ave where they had co-op style rehearsal spaces and hosted pop-up live music events in partnership with Music & Arts Guild. Since moving to the new spot, they have established a collaboration with Riverside Arts Center to host monthly themed live music and arts showcases with lineups that underline the diversity of inventive and dynamic performers of all mediums. Grove’s Live at RAC is hosted on the fourth Saturday of every month at Riverside Arts Center’s Off Center Gallery. Friebel said that Grove is planning to host open house style weekend and weeknight events that invite bands and other creatives into the space to tour/test out different spaces. One primary goal remains: to grow Grove into a “resource for learning and services to help artists grow their creative business.” If you’re in a band, you can find more info on Grove via their Facebook page, Instagram and website.

884 Railroad St., Ypsilanti. 734-985-0838. grovestudios.space
+ Riverside Arts Center. 76 N. Huron St, Ypsilanti.
734-480-2787. riversidearts.org

Ziggy’s

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Occupying the former dwelling of Ypsi’s all-arts community space Lampshade, Ziggy’s has taken on filling a void in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti music scene. Co-owners David and Jo Jeffries are working to give a home to artists and fans of the avant-garde, while still remaining inclusive to all genres whether it be Hip-hop, Folk, Jazz, and everything in between. The space is built around supporting musicians via a listening environment in contrast to many bars that have music serving as a backdrop. Come in and enjoy an espresso, delicious piece of pie, or an alcoholic beverage; but when a performance begins, expect the focus to be on the music rather than conversation. Adding to the unique vibe of the room is a colorful decor, with brick walls featuring large portraits of pop-culture idols like David Bowie, a screen projecting old school Sega games, and a retro pinball machine.

Having had only a soft opening (the venue just recently acquired their liquor license), for less than a year, Ziggy’s has already played host to world-renowned musicians like bassist Michael Formanek, and has become a regular spot for local improvising legends to explore new projects. Notably, it is one of very few local platforms for serious up and coming artists from the U-M Department of Jazz & Improvisation to stretch out and perform on a regular basis.

206 W. Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti.
734-221-3961. ziggysypsi.com

Ann Arbor Distilling Co.

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Step into Ann Arbor Distilling Co’s unassuming tasting room and you might be reminded of a Greenwich Village bar; the warmth of a Jazz trio filling the room and an elegant cocktail menu featuring house-made spirits. Tucked away in a tree-lined neighborhood just outside of downtown on Felch St, the Distilling Company provides a welcome alternative to Ann Arbor’s larger venues. Their Tiny Corner Concert series features both local and touring musicians, specifically highlighting strip down sets by singer/songwriters, jazz ensembles, and indie/alternative groups.

The staff at A2 Distilling credits the local community with helping to create and sustain the small, unique venue. They also garner inspiration from the space to influence the creation of their cocktails and spirits. The company stays true to the community in more than just its appreciation for musical talent; all of their spirits use ingredients sourced from Michigan farms. Although it may have the feel of Greenwich Village, all of the elements of A2 Distilling come together to sing Ann Arbor, Michigan.

220 Felch St. 734-882-2169. annarbordistilling.com

Bona Sera Underground

Bona Sera, located on the corner of Washington and Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti, is the brick and mortar fruition of a community-bolstering “underground” supper club that operated for several years raising funds for causes and nonprofits around Ypsilanti before opening up the doors of a permanent space in 2012. Art exhibitions are regularly on display upstairs for those dining on offerings like flatbread pizza, shrimp and grits, and some excellent vegetarian/vegan fare, but downstairs is where the loud parties get started. Bona Sera’s “Underground” is a bar and performance space that hosts special events, often live music, on a monthly basis. It’s always the place to be during the “First Fridays” art walk events downtown (on the 1st Friday of each month). But beyond DJ dance parties, they host events put on by Friends W/Benefits, Guilty Pleasures Burlesque and more. It’s also been home to the annual Mittenfest Music Festival (benefiting 826Michigan) for three consecutive years.

200 W. Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti. 734-340-6335. bonaserarestaurant.com

Kerrytown Concert House

KCH takes it standard of excellence seriously. Venture into the historical Kerrytown house-turned concert venue and discover some of the finest music in Classical, Jazz, Avant-Garde, and Cabaret. Founded in 1984, KCH has established a reputation as a beautiful listening room, attracting international and national touring artists, as well as providing a stage for local talent.

415 N. Fourth Ave. 734-769-2999. kerrytownconcerthouse.com

Old Town Tavern

Walk into Old Town Tavern any Wednesday night and you’ll hear the best of Ann Arbor’s Jazz scene, with a wide rotation of high-calibur musicians. Duos, trios, and even quartets nestle into the corner in front of the daily specials, contributing to an unpretentious, casual vibe that makes it easy to enjoy great music and a beer. The bar also features folk musicians every Sunday, making it a downtown local music staple.

122 W. Liberty Rd. Ann Arbor 734-662-9291. oldtownaa.com

Cultivate Coffee & Tap House

Cultivate_by-Nick-Azarro

To cultivate is to enrich; it is to harvest and develop and grow – and that’s essentially what this Ypsilanti space does for a live music experience. Located in a former auto electric shop in Depot Town, Cultivate is a non-profit organization committed to using business for social good. The renovated space with a beer garden that seats more than 100 and features 12 raised donation garden beds, combines the charms of a coffee house, a brewery, and a concert venue, affecting an exceedingly welcoming vibe and a more intimate listening experience for audiences (they have Songwriter Sundays, DJ nights, and jazz artists throughout their monthly calendar).

“We strive for Cultivate to be a place for EVERYONE,” said Jenny Jones, Cultivate’s music manager. “I feel at home and cared for at Cultivate. The foundation being the management and staff, then the regulars, patrons, and visitors make us who we are. But then you add music and musicians who support the goals and mission of our space to bring about change and benefit the community, and it makes for an incredible mix.” Cultivate Director of Community Bekah Wallace believes that using their space and energy toward partnering with local non-profits is a way to gather people together to push toward a greater cause. Cultivate presents their 2nd annual Sundays In The Garden series: a 10-week free concert series featuring local musicians, Michigan brewers, and a non-profit benefiting organization each week. (Through September, Sundays at 6pm).

307 N. River St, Ypsilanti. 734-249-8993. cultivateypsi.org

Club Above

This “Club” is “Above” Ann Arbor’s Heidelberg Restaurant. With sleek blue lighting affecting a super cool ambiance, this venue somehow feels intimate and spacious at the same time–with surprisingly great acoustics that accomodate regular performances from artists ranging from indie-rock to EDM to jazz. And you’ll regularly encounter not just established artists, but those on the rise. But it’s not just a hotspot for the local music scene–they also host private events, like U-M date nights & formals, birthday parties, and special fundraisers, and you can find stand-up comedians every Tuesday. It is designed like a perfect get away, with a lounge by the stairs, a dancefloor by the stage, and a distinctively curved bar.

215 N. Main St., Ann Arbor – http://club-above.com

Dolores

The front of the building simply reads 6 S. Washington. Strolling through downtown Ypsi, this new spot for local music would be easy to miss. That’s why we want to give you the heads up about Dolores, an exciting new Mexican restaurant and bar featuring live Jazz every Sunday night. Find a seat in the elegantly transformed former Elbow Room, perhaps with the assistance of owner Andrew Epstein (co-proprietor with wife Marcela Rubio), a dedicated supporter of live music, an aspect of the restaurant he is passionate about building.

6 S. Washington, Ypsilanti. 734-904-9402. instagram.com/dolores.ypsi

W. Cross Station Bar & Grill

On Cross St, just southeast of the EMU campus, this is always a reliable spot for all things rock. But that includes indie-rock, hard rock, ska, punk, rootsy Americana, riffs, twangs, vocals, drums…the whole sh’bang. They’ve got great local music showcases on Tuesdays, the always lively Funk Open Jams on Wednesdays with Funkwagon and then electronic music on Thursday’s. While you’ll consistently catch live music (3-4 bands on typical weekend bills), W. Cross Station is also a hangout spot–with a menu that’s usually got some tasty items like wings, tacos, and sliders. There’s also a jukebox, a pool table, and 64 different retro arcade games. And the performance space is separated into its own room, with a soundsystem and a slick lighting rig. You may have know this spot as its former name, Crossroads–but update your social calendars, it’s now W. Cross Station.

517 W. Cross St, Ypsilanti. 734-340-2694. wcrossstation.com

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Gallery Crawl

Following my Detroit Gallery Crawl piece in October Current highlighting contemporary art galleries in Detroit, it seems only fair to highlight the visual arts galleries in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

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Explore the art scene As the weather in Michigan turns cool, if you are curious about Detroit’s art scene and in the mood for a short 45 minute road trip, now is a great time to head downtown. When I began exploring Detroit several years ago, my hunt for significant art and artists was more

A Place to Co-Operate

The CoOp’s community-focused approach is music to our ears “The vision was, honestly, to bring people together,” says Frances Master, one of six UM students who operate The CoOp, a space inside Openfloor Studio (231 S. State St.). Undeniably, it is refreshing to hear that motivation for creating opportunities to experience live music, as that’s