ypsilanti

Beezy's: Best Cafe Ever At 20 North Washington Street

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It is my distinct pleasure, as Best Customer Ever As Of 11/13/2008, to tell you about Beezy's Cafe, which opened this week at 20 N. Washington Street in downtown Ypsi.

Check out the "It's not time lapse photography, they really did open that fast," photojournal of the night before Day 1.

Marvel at the hottest new floorboards in town. (Not to mention the hottest new floorboard-laying-machine in town!)

Cities of Intellect, and the perqs of living in one

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Yesterday, after seeing the News' article about one of our area poly-political families, I decided that the Arborwiki page on Al Wheeler needed a little attention. In the course of googling up additional sources, I stumbled on a paper on affordable housing and homelessness advocacy in Ann Arbor in the 1970s and '80s.

All food groups covered!

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Having missed last week's opening day of the Downtown Ypsilanti Farmers' Market, I pushed my lunch back to two today, when the market opens, to see what they had. I was therefore ravenous on getting there, but someone from an office in the Key Bank Building was circulating with leftover sandwiches from a meeting! Thus fortified, I was able to go about my shopping.

Even more visible than a solar city hall

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...would be a wind farm along the freeway.

But it looks like Wyandotte's going to beat Ypsi to it, with $2m(!) in federal grants lined up for the first turbine of five.

Online with Wireless Ypsi

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Eventually, the Wireless Washtenaw project aims to network the entire County, intending to "provide an economic development tool", "attract and retain young professionals", and "reduce the digital divide". Eventually.

In the meantime, Wireless Ypsi is forging ahead, thanks to some of the usual suspects. As stated in the Ann Arbor News,

"Most of the time, when you don't have institutional involvement, things happen much quicker," Robb said. "We didn't need committees, we didn't need an advisory board, we didn't need anything. ... Seriously, in three weeks, we've done what (Wireless Washtenaw has) promised to do for four years."

Nicaraguan workers cooperative needs support

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The Fair Trade Zone, a worker-owned cooperative clothing factory in Nueva Vida, Nicaragua, is apparently in danger of losing their land to a sketchy land grab. They're asking that letters of support be sent to Nicaragua's first lady in order to add political support to their legal case.

Check out the local angle: The Fair Trade Zone sews clothing for none other than Ypsilanti's own Maggie's Organics. If you've got a Maggie's t-shirt (an option for printing at Ypsilanti's own VG Kids, you've got a product of this Nicaraguan co-op. (Assuming the letter-writing campaign has any effect at all,) It seems to me that Ypsilantians can be more effective than the average American by pointing out how proud we are to be able to claim a connection to one of Central America's most progressive exports.

The request for help (sample letters in comments so my RSS readers don't kill me):

Ypsi Food Coop += liquor license

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Recently, the Ypsi Food Co-op has made some small rearrangement between every time I've been in, seeking ever more efficient utilization of their space. The most recent rearrangement, though, was to accommodate an entirely new category of product.

Yes, boys and girls, my food co-op has a liquor license, and are carrying various local and/or organic beers and wines - at no higher cost than my corner liquor store. Woot. The selection's not huge, but as long as they're carrying Bell's, they're doing one better than Chicago. (Ha ha, Dale. Ha ha.)

There could be nothing better...

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...than River Street Bakery's three-seed sourdough with Calder Dairy butter.

Mmmmm.

And maybe a splash of the blackberry jam Margaret gave us? Yeah. Sometimes I eat too little dinner just so that I can have a toast-snack later.

Easily impressed

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Wow.

From 1995-1999, the IWW had their general headquarters in Ypsilanti. (After 4 years in San Francisco and 85 in Chicago.)

That space is now The Rocket. I wonder if any of Paul's suppliers carry IWW-themed items. (Question: Would "the singingest union America ever had" object to their slogans being pasted on retro kitsch and sold to hipsters?)

The perils of living where you work

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Probably every planner has at some point used the phrase "live where you work". It has a few contexts - one is a general recommendation that commuting by car has negative social consequences, and that therefore people ought to live in the community they work in. Another is more equity-minded - that communities should guarantee enough affordable housing supply that the people who are working in the community can have the choice to live there; this is particularly used in reference to public servants in gentrifying communities, such as teachers, policemen, etc, but also for the people who serve you coffee and pump your gas. Finally, it's a exhortation to planners themselves that living in the community one plans for is the best way to comprehend that community, as well as building the community's trust in you because you've essentially put yourself in harms way for any mistakes you might make.

I've always subscribed to the "planners ought to live in the communities they work for" theory, but it has its downsides. Not least of all is that you can't really turn off - wherever you go, people will be asking you about planning, so it's hard to get a mental or emotional day off without leaving town. Thus far, though, I've always found that the people who corner me at the food co-op or Bombadill's are people who are asking questions in a friendly vein. They're interested in what's going on around town, they know I might know, and they know me well enough to be comfortable asking. I don't mind that at all. There are plenty of people around town who probably have reason to be sore at me for my work related capacity, some of whom I run into, but they typically avoid eye or other contact.

So getting cornered and harangued yesterday at the Shadow Art Fair was somewhat new to me. Here I am, my recently purchased beer in one hand and recently purchased art in the other, coat over my arm, searching for Linette to summon to the Severed Unicorn Head Superstore table, when I get flagged down.

"Say, you're one of those planners, aren't you?" says the guy, "Richard something?"

"I am. I'm sorry, I don't remember your name?" (he gives his name; I recognize him, but not in regards to anything work-related I can remember anything about)

"Have a seat. I'd like to know, what's next for Ypsi? What are you up to?"

"Well, actually, I'm trying to find somebody, so..."

"Fine. In two words or less, what are you all doing? I mean, you kicked out 555, you tried to steal the Freighthouse, and locked it up when you couldn't have it - what are you going to ruin next?"

Um. Right. So I admit, I did in fact miss a beat at this point while trying to decide between fight or flight.

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