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Tennessee travel writers fall under Ann Arborís spell

In case you were wonderin’ what out-of-towners think about Ann Arbor, feast your eyes on the enthusiastic words of praise a pair of feature travel writers have to say about our community.


But, residents say many other reasons keep them in Ann Arbor. Students graduate and never leave. Young families like the vibe and point to job opportunities, recreational green spaces, thriving farmer's markets, and community activities. Retirees call it a comfortable, walkable city and note the strong medical institutions. Ann Arbor has more than 100 arts and entertainment venues.

And, as the 5.6 million travelers who visited last year can attest, this city is really fun.

Read the rest of the gushing here.

Ann Arbor's record setting $100M office sale

If you want an indicator of how much office space is in demand in Ann Arbor, consider Oxford's $100M office acquisition.


"It's hard for me to put into context," said Andrew Selinger, market analyst for Oxford, "but it's probably one of the defining deals of Ann Arbor real estate history."

Read the rest here.

Regional airport shuttles could start in Spring 2016

It's a start. Yeah, Ann Arbor already has an airport shuttle bus (such as it is), but the expansion of such a system around the region is the first step in developing regional transportation. Or so The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan hopes. Note: A shuttle proposal between Ann Arbor and downtown Detroit is also in the works.


In addition, the request for proposal includes an addendum seeking optional proposals for express bus service from Ann Arbor to Downtown Detroit with a stop in Wayne County. Ford said the airport service is the priority, but the RTA also wants to use the request to gather information about a possible future connection between Ann Arbor and Detroit.

Read the rest here.

Purple Rose Theatre ad features Jeff Daniels & Timothy Busfield

Having friends in high places helps when you're an arts organization. The Purple Rose Theatre Company is celebrating its 25th season and founder Jeff Daniels appears along with Timothy Busfield in an ad promoting the theatre company's long-standing commitment to drama.

Check it out!


Every outdoor movie screening in Ann Arbor & Metro Detroit

One of the great conundrums of summer is whether to enjoy the warm weather or indulge in a night at the movies. Outdoor movie screenings give you the best of both worlds and Thrillist has put together a calendar of what's playing where in Ann Arbor and metro Detroit.


"Remember when you used to look up movie times in the paper? Or actually called Moviefone? Or searched in a bunch of different places to find out what outdoor summer movies where playing? Yeah, all of that sucked, but we’ve finally solved the last one by rounding up every single outdoor moving showing in the D, from now until August, and put ‘em in one handy calendar..."

Check it out here!

Ann Arbor Commuter Challenge winners announced

Okay, so it's not the Tonys. Or the Emmys. Or the Oscars. But in terms of lowering humanity's carbon footprint, getDowntown and The Ride's Commuter Challenge is a heckuva lot more important.

250 local area organizations and businesses encouraged their employees to walk, bike, bus or carpool to work in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. In a more perfect world, events like these would warrant red carpets and press calls. So who won? Click the link below!


The following organizations got the highest participation in their size category (and the highest avg commutes if a tie) and therefore are our winners:
Winners of the 2015 Commuter Challenge

Extra Small: Ghostly International (100% participation, 48 avg trips/employee)
Small: Bivouac (100% participation, 22.4 avg trips/employee)
Medium: SmithGroupJJR (68.3% participation)
Large: Arbor Research Collaborative for Health (77.7% participation)
Extra Large: Zingerman's Community of Businesses (12.9% participation)
All winners will win worksite parties! 

Read the rest here.
Check the stats here.

The economic cost of NIMBYism

Housing, affordable and otherwise, is a problem in the nation's most vibrant cities, stifling both economic growth and diversification. Part of that reason is protectionist policies of NIMBY's, who aren't keen to share their neighborhood communities (but very happy to benefit from the sky-high property values that accompany growth).


Protectionist housing policies are bad for people who’d like to work in Silicon Valley, of course. But NIMBYism is also bad for the nation as a whole. Even though labor productivity has grown the most over the last few decades in three specific U.S. cities—New York, San Francisco, and San Jose—that local growth hasn’t translated to greater national growth at all, thanks to a lack of housing.

Read the rest here.

A guide to hosting your wedding in Ann Arbor and Metro Detroit

The sun is out, birds are singing and couples are looking to tie the knot in the best and most memorable way possible. Eater offers a guide for brides and grooms to be.


Duck and cover because summer means wedding season. Time to pull out your cocktail dress and prepare to overindulge and celebrate happy unions. While many couples will opt for the traditional reception halls around town, Southeast Michigan's restaurants provide some great options for hosting celebrations. So pour yourself a glass of bubbly and tighten your tie. Here are 20 awesome restaurant locations that transform for the big day. 

Read the rest here.

Unfinished Orson Welles memoir found in U-M archives

File this under pretty dang cool. Archivists at U-M have stumbled across an unfinished memoir by one of Hollywood's greatest directors, Orson Welles.


"According to reports in the LA Times and The GuardianConfessions of a One-Man Band details his views on his friend, Ernest Hemingway, wife Rita Hayworth and filmmaker DW Griffith. The autobiography was started in 1970s, according to archivists at UM who announced Thursday they found eight boxes of materials, including handwritten notes and edits, sent by the Citizen Kane director’s partner of 24 years, Oja Kodar, from her home in Croatia."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor is tops as "Small American Cities of the Future"

Another week, another list.

Ann Arbor just landed on fDi Intelligence's 2015 list of Small American Cities of the Future, with top scores in human capital and lifestyle. The city was ranked the #10 Small City of the Future overall.


The top 10 of fDi’s third biennial ranking of American cities is a wholly North American affair, with all entrants located in Canada or the US. Rebounding somewhat following a turbulent economic period, FDI projects into North America increased 4.55% between 2012 and 2014.

Read the rest here. PDFs of the rankings are at the bottom of the page.

Ann Arbor FarmLogs now used by 20% of farms in U.S.

Agricultural technology businesses are thriving and Ann Arbor-based FarmLogs is reaping big rewards with its crop monitoring technology.


"Based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, FarmLogs launched about three years ago and participated in the Y Combinator startup accelerator program. FarmLogs raised $10 million in Series B about six months ago, bringing its total institutional funding to $15 million thus far. FarmLogs is used by farmers in all 50 states and internationally in over 130 countries across six continents. FarmLogs currently has 30 employees and the farm management software company plans to double its staff count this year."

Read the rest here.

Ann Arbor native Andrew W.K. launches a podcast

First a weekly newspaper column, now a podcast. Give hims few years and Ann Arbor native Andrew W.K. may make a bid for Howard Stern's King Of All Media throne.

Listen here: https://soundcloud.com/america-w-k

Zingerman's now available at Detroit airport

Travelers cannot (and should not) eat by fast food alone. It's about time that DTW got something a little better than bags of processed food dropped into a multinational franchisee's fryer.

Enter Ann Arbor foodie stalwart Zingerman's! Hopefully sales will be good enough to inspire an actual Zing's cafe. Until then...


"Hungry guests passing through the McNamara terminal will be able to enjoy Zingerman's foods and coffee at an HBF-operated kiosk near terminal gates 70-78. Visitors to the kiosk will be able to purchase such classic Zingerman's staples as packaged pastries from Zingerman's Bakehouse, savory cheese plates and packaged cheese spreads from Zingerman's Creamery, delicious Cold Brew from the Zingerman's Coffee Company, sandwiches made using Zingerman's Deli meats, cheeses, and condiments, as well as fresh-baked bread from the Bakehouse. To top it off, guests can enjoy handmade, fresh candy from the Zingerman's Candy Manufactory. "

Read the rest here.

First steps in connecting Ann Arbor and Detroit public transit begin

It's been a long torturous route and there's no doubt the logistical and political agony will continue, but progress is being made -albeit slowly- to link Ann Arbor, Detroit and the surrounding suburbs via public transit. Knock on wood, say a little prayer and light a candle for things to develop at reasonable pace.


Michael Ford is the CEO of RTA. He says the region is way behind other metro areas in terms of transportation.
"Think about this: how many people can get where they need to go right now? There's needs for frequency, late night service, earlier morning service. So people can get to jobs and get home. So people can get to shows and get home, people can get to sporting events and get home. So right now, that’s an issue.

“What if we just do nothing? People are going to continue to move out, because they can't get to good jobs, they can't get home. They can't just function normally.”

Ford also says the region isn’t keeping up with other areas in terms of investing in public transportation.

Read and listen to the rest here.

Cars, pedestrians, race and the fate of 2 downtowns

James Fallows has an interesting report on two California cities struggling to revitalize their downtowns in diametrically different ways - and the response of local residents to the proposed changes. It's a provocative set of reactions and a compelling view on how people form opinions.


"Eliza Tibbets and her husband Luther built an orange empire in the inland-Southern California city of Riverside, which we introduced briefly here before. As Deb points out, Riverside has undertaken a downtown-revitalization project based on exactly the opposite premise from the one now being applied in Fresno, as chronicled most recently here. Fresno has an arty, high-concept, half-century-old pedestrian mall that was once a commercial success but is now a half-occupied distress zone. The city’s solution is to dig up the mall and open Fulton Street once more to cars. Riverside, by contrast, turned its Main Street into a pedestrian mall not long after Fresno did—and it is sticking with that plan.
Who’s right? Readers weigh in."

Read the rest here.
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