Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Ann Arbor

I live in Ann Arbor, there, I said it. (I've been saying, online, that I live in Detroit. Ann Arbor is in the Detroit metro area. Sort of.)

Ann Arbor is, far and away, hands down, no question, the friendliest city I've ever been in. One example: the streets are kind of confusing at first, so at first I asked strangers for directions now and then, but I soon got kind of embarrassed to do that because I knew that, EVERY TIME I asked for directions, whoever I asked would completely drop whatever they were doing and explain and explain until they were convinced I was oriented. Every time. And then, sure enough, came the times when people asked ME for directions, and I stopped everything and made sure they were going to get where they needed to go...

What spurred me to write this is that on Facebook a discussion broke out about Ann Arbor, and every comment I saw said it was a nice place, with one exception, a woman who said it was the unfriendliest place she's ever been and she couldn't wait to leave. Someone responded to that that it might have something to do with the vibe she was putting out.

And that made me think about my next-door neighbor. I've gotten along fine with most of the people I've encountered in Ann Arbor. One of the few exceptions is my next-door neighbor. I'd never met him before when one day, he came up to the fence while I was mowing my lawn with my non-motorized push mower and told me that my lawn looked like shit. I asked him what was his point. I guess I must've looked rather annoyed when I said that, and I'm big and scary-looking, so maybe the look on my face scared him out of saying anything else. (I'm 6'3", 300lbs and scars on my face. Think Edward James Olmos, Tommy Lee Jones and Danny Trejo. And you know what? I bet in real life all three of those guys are just big ol puppy dogs, gentle and harmless as can be. I could be wrong. Then again I could be completely right.) Anyway, he didn't tell me what his point was, and that was the end of the only conversation we've had so far.

More recently, a next-door neighbor on the other side said that she and her guy loved the wild look that my yard had, and envied it. Now was that the real truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, or was she just being nice, because I'd just told her about my only conversation so far with the next-door neighbor on the other side? I really don't know. I hope that, to some people at least, my place really does have a beautiful wild sort of look. But whether it was true or whether it was complete bullshit, it was a very nice thing to say, and guess which neighbor I like better? Go ahead, take a "wild" guess.

Ann Arbor is a very liberal city politically. How liberal? Well, for example, I have seen only ONE Trump sign in town.

And it's right next door, in the front lawn of that smooth character who felt the need to start his very first conversation ever with me by telling me that my lawn looked like shit.

I wonder whether that guy would describe Ann Arbor as a friendly city. And I wonder whether his impression of how friendly the city is might have to do with the vibe he's putting out.

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