We went to the Ann Arbor Film Festival opening party last night. I wore a brown dress and a scarf with muted colors. Based on prior events, I worried a little that it might be too drab for the festivities.
Nope. Turns out I was one of the more colorful things there.
We went to the event because we had skipped the past few years, due to both scheduling and a bit of skepticism about the direction the festival was going. We were hopeful that by now it had found its feet.
Nope. Its feet are in the same dull, grey, grave of “safety” and conservatism that the rest of Ann Arbor is in.
There are a great many things that bother me about Ann Arbor, but the greatest is this: the enormous sense of denial by its citizens about what kind of town it is. Wake up, folks: this is not a progressive town. It is not even a liberal town.
When a beautifully designed, LEED certified, affordable housing development gets fast-tracked through the planning commission, that’s a progressive town. When the state legalizes medical marijuana and the city attorney swiftly paves the way for local dispensaries, that’s a progressive town. When public art pieces are a natural and integral part of development plans, that’s a progressive town. When a tiny millage to continue public transportation funding is widely supported by both council and voters, that’s a progressive town.
Ann Arbor does none of those things.
Maybe moving to nonpartisan elections would help - at least the real election would be on election day, instead of hidden in a “democratic” primary in August when there’s no one around to vote. But saving Ann Arbor is not really on my list of priorities any more. The town has chosen its path. I no longer want to be on that path. And we’ll part ways soon enough.
So with that, I will shut up about Ann Arbor. No more opinions voiced (though you may catch an occasional eye roll). From here on in, my mantra is:
Not my circus, not my monkeys.
There is snow on the ground here. Lots of it. A foot or more.
This is how I remember it, how my birthday is supposed to look.
So I feel very young today, like I was just a little girl again. There’s even a cake with my name on it for later.
Granted, the manhattan I’ll enjoy before dinner is decidedly adult, but even so, will likely remind me of the cherries I used to fish out of my father’s glass.