Here’s what to know:

Daniel Castro, Cohort 2011, Biopsychology.

Since moving to Ann Arbor, I learned a number of important lessons and factoids that I believe may be of use to the incoming students. I will begin with some places to check out:

  • Good eats
    1. Frita Batidos (Cuban-esque fusion)
    2. Raven’s Club (American/fusion)
    3. Madras Masala (Indian)
    4. Iorio’s Gelateria (gelato)
    5. La Dolce Vita (desserts)
    6. Chop House (steaks)
      1. Also underground cigar lounge
    7. Lena’s (latin-fusion)
    8. Fleetwood Diner (American Diner)
    9. Mark’s Carts (Food trucks)
    10. Isalita (latin-fusion)
    11. Aventura (tapas-fusion)
    12. Belly Deli (Asian-fusion)
    13. Totoro (sushi)
    14. Ginger Deli (Vietnamese)

  • Good drinks
    1. Raven’s Club (cocktails)
    2. Lena’s (cocktails)
    3. Isalita (cocktails)
    4. Aventura (cocktails)
    5. Ashley’s (beer)
    6. Vinology (wine)
    7. Mash (whiskey)
    8. Bab’s Underground Lounge (ambiance)
    9. Grizzly Peak (beer)
    10. Last Word (cocktails)
    11. Bill’s Beer Garden (beer)
    12. World of Beer (beer)
    13. Bar 327 Braun Court (cocktails)
    14. Dominick’s (sangria, beer)
    15. Comet Coffee (coffee)
    16. Espresso Bar (coffee)
  • Movies
    1. State Street Theater (indi, foreign, midnight, festivals)
    2. Michigan Theater (indi, foreign, festivals)
    3. Rave (box office)
  • Dance Clubs
    1. Live (23-40)
    2. Rush Street (21-45)
    3. Ricks (just no. Undergrads only)

  • Parks
    1. Arboretum
    2. Gallup Park (canoe/inner tubes)
    3. Argo Park (canoe/inner tubes)
  • Music/Live Show Venues
    1. Circus (karaoke, moth readings)
    2. Blind Pig (touring bands)
    3. Ark Theater
    4. Comedy Club
    5. Most big name stuff in Detroit

Here are some helpful hints for orienting yourself to the city:

  • AATA (local bus system) is very limited
    1. Specific hours of operation (all buses DONE by 11pm, 6pm on weekends or not at all)
    2. Low frequency (unless you are on a major line)
    3. Poor mobile phone compatibility
    4. Decent bus lines: 2, 4
      1. You can also rent bikes
      2. Zipcar is an option

  • Small city (relative to Seattle, L.A., NYC, Miami, Chicago)
    1. Most arts/events are driven by university
      1. Lots of events put on by city, though (e.g., Top of the Park in the summer)
      2. Close proximity to Detroit for anything else (e.g., DIA)
  • Weather can be tricky (except Fall; Fall is amazing)
    1. Humid in summer
      1. Prepare for super intense, 20 minute storms (umbrella = necessary)
      2. Generally hot, feels hotter because of humidity
    2. Cold in winter
      1. Semi-sunny during winter (relative to Seattle)
      2. Really cold (negative teens with the right amount of wind chill)Coldness can be combated by:
        1. Winter coat (wind resistance a +++)
        2. Snow boots (Seriously makes a world of difference)
        3. Scarf (easy and effective barrier between wind and your face)
  1. Spring is meh
    1. Depending on intensity of winter, can start by February, or not until late April
    2. Rainy-ish
  2. Fall
    1. Wonderful
    2. Beautiful
    3. Cozy
    4. Looks like a movie set