ann arbor | d.s. city recs
ann arbor, mi
there’s a special little corner of the united states that my dear friend kristina lives in and it’s called ann arbor. what makes this corner so special? it feels like a baby urban city with the quaint and kind spirit of the midwest. how could anyone go wrong with that combination? visiting at its peak time of the year (the springtime), you’re surrounded by lush green trees folding over calm two-lane streets and the sound of summer school students swishing around in their hammocks.
i was lucky enough to visit this past memorial day weekend and see and do what kchoi confirmed is “most” of ann-arbor. the city was quiet as the university students had either gone home for the long weekend or for summer break. when i did see a group of students, i couldn’t help but stare at how young they were and then be overcome by a wave of old-lady-wave-nostalgia with kristina. most of our conversations naturally drifted towards adventures we had over the years we spent as roommates.
it’s been almost a decade since those four precious started. 2009-2013 were years jam packed with memories of laughter, late night talks about boys, cheap vodka, penny pinching, all of the personality tests (mbti, pottermore), coming of age anxiety, all nighters the library, and most importantly - studying all of the quirks about our friends (we even knew who of our guy friends had the smelliest farts).
who knew that ten years later, we’d be okay. like actually okay and by a lot of peoples’ standards, thriving. there was so much anxiety and worry over what the future would hold during those years, and i’m not really sure why. if someone told me that after ten years and a bit of grit, we’d be enjoying the midwest together eating some pretty amazing food, strolling through bookstores, learning how to laminate dough by a famous ann-arbor institution, baking a zillion danish pastries, having late night conversations over fish jerky and wine, foraging-ish for blackberries, playing with dogs and babies, and admiring an ever-growing collection of house plants, i’d submit a request to heaven to turn into an adult asap.
obviously being an adult sometimes bites and i can say a lot more about #adulting, but i’ll spare ya and save it for another time. i’m also pretty sure that you came for the ann arbor recs, so here they are, and a huuuge shout out to the best tour guide this city has ever known: KRISTINA! thank youu for hosting me and allowing me to experience all of the things you love about this city <3
all things zingermans! as mentioned before, zingerman’s is quite the ann arbor institution. they have a bakehouse that hosts classes, a deli, a roadhouse, a cafe. it’s all kinds of wonder and possibly like the eataly for american food.
take a walk through the university of michigan campus and nickels arcade
kerrytown market and ann arbor’s farmer+flower market
EAT / DRINK
mani osteria: their pickled grape tomatoes with whipped ricotta was the business along with the charred octopus, cauliflower, bolognese, and thin crust pizzaaaa
aventura: patatas bravas with a sexy fried egg made me die and go to patatas heaven
wilma’s: a quick and healthy bite with cute interior to delight a millennial
morgan & york: holy smokes, the wine shop in the back is super cute. what’s even cuter (and deeelicious) is their perfectly assembled avocado toast, smoked salmon on an everything bagel (ask for onions, tomatoes, capers) were pretty memorable
the last word: a speakeasy-like bar with hand crafted cocktails
this was my first time actually experiencing the midwest (chicago doesn’t count), and i already miss its pace of life, food, and of course, kristina and fam. hoping to be back sooner than later!