Of course we had to stop by Ann Arbor. I haven't been there since we moved to Florida, almost 20 years. I used to love going there, it was full of hippies and super cool funky indie shops. There were several vintage shops, one just sold mid century furniture and the other 2 were vintage attire and accessories. There were cool thrifty places and record/comic shops...and just cool people walking around...mostly college hippies, artsy fartsy people and rockers. I couldn't wait to take my kids there to experience how cool it is, and to do a bit of shopping myself of course.
Ugh! huge disappointment! Ann Arbor is no longer cool and full of artsy hippies and cool indie shops. It is full of high end retail chains and snobby rich college kids. My husband said "what did you expect, U of M is an expensive school?" Okay, but it always was an expensive school...so I don't know what changed except greedy retailers pushing out the cool shops, trying to get that rich kids parents money.....
Thankfully there were a few little gems we discovered. The first place, Kaleidoscope Books and Collectibles, I reckon has been there for at least 30 years. I probably just never saw it before. This place was bursting at the seems FULL of vintage books like I never saw before. Book hoarder paradise. He claims to have about 40,000 books, but I am tellin' ya, he has at least twice that amount! At least!
This last pic is of all his "pulp fiction"
So as you can see, just piles of books every which way. I would have like to have spent some time there and purchase a few boxes, but his prices were really high. Granted he did have many fantastic books, but there was no way in hell I could have afforded to shop here. The owner was old school to the max. He had hand printed receipts and not a computer in sight. Right as we opened the door to leave, he said, "if you have time to come back, I'll show you all the books in the basement." OMG...there was more books.....I would have loved to have been a customer, but I just couldn't afford it, and I imagine he has to keep his prices high to pay the jacked up rent in Ann Arbor. By the way, he has the best slogan ever: "We sell everything your parents made you throw away." I love that!
We were heading back to the car and we decided to check out one more place. It was on Detroit Street, so we figured it had to be okay. It really ended up being the saving grace of our trip to A2.
Such a sweet find! I so wish it was here in Tampa, I could peruse that shop all day long. They are a vintage store and art gallery with fun finds and upcycle art...stuff you won't find anywhere!
Vials of watch parts and vintage doo dads.....
Vintage destash game cards and pieces
Vintage hardware, game pieces, sewing items, typewriter letters and old game pieces, watch parts in vials, old tin address numbers, vintage ephemera everywhere, old photos, old toys and games, jewelry pieces...every single one of these file drawers opened up to a perfectly organized treasure...and it was never ending. My son bought some old medical equipment, (eye doctor stuff) and a vintage pipe cleaner. I don't know what the hell he is going to do with them, but he wanted them and paid for them himself. We were taking so long sifting through the goods that my husband and daughter got bored and they sat outside and waited for us. (actually my daughter was throwing a fit, she was touching everything and making me nervous) The owner was super cool too and she spent some time looking at pictures of my sons art on my phone.
Other than that, Ann Arbor sucked. My kids got some frozen yogurt from some chain overpriced yogurt shop and that was that. I miss the old Ann Arbor that I remembered. The Ann Arbor that had the Hare Krishnas dancing around in their orange robes and weird hair. They would share their special tea. It tasted awesome and would always give me a nice buzz. The Ann Arbor that had really cool places to eat, Now your choices are Chipotles, Moes, BBW chicken, Potbellys sandwiches, subways, and all those other chain restaurants that you find on every corner.
That's okay because Detroit is awesomer than ever and that's all that really matters to me.
Next week continues with Road trip to Detroit part 4.....yea there is more. Lots more. And you still haven't heard about the drafting table.....