This past October Husband and I went on a road trip to Ann Arbor, Michigan to visit EH, a close friend and fellow writer. No, we did not make it to the famous Zingerman’s Deli—which I am totally over, I swear—and despite the fact that I wasn’t able to convince Husband to let me purchase an antique chair from the Treasure Mart (It would have fit in the car! If we pushed…), I still had an enjoyable time.
Ann Arbor has that typical college town flavor mixed with, ‘I want to be more urbane, but there’s a farm ten miles away.’ There were so many funky local businesses that I just don’t have the space to highlight them all here (like a magic shop/sports memorabilia store in a somewhat creepy basement and one of the largest comic books stores I’ve ever been in). The only store that I must mention, because I found a yellow fashion scarf with swallows on it—the exact scarf I imagined Katniss Everdeen would wear if she had an MFA—was Heavenly Metal.*
Vicki, the shop’s proprietor can be seen here:
And these are some of her wares:
Because of time and space, I can’t go on and on about how funky the store was or the friendliness of the staff, but I will say this—if you happen to be in Ann Arbor, Heavenly Metal is worth checking out.
Between stuffing our faces and window-shopping, we had time to visit the State Of The Book symposium where I met David McLendon, editor of Unsaid, the journal of new and lasting writing.
I wanted to blog about Unsaid earlier, but after I read it, I was left speechless.
This journal is uniformly disturbing in a very good way, like walking though an art museum or reading a Miranda July story. Not only is it mind candy, but it’s a departure from the classic narrative, the stuff that’s getting routinely published every where else. The whole time I was reading it, I felt like I was eavesdropping on a smart conversation about art and our emotional response to it. This volume of Unsaid contains fiction, poetry, lyric essay, and even a lecture from sixty-two different writers.
It’s a great place for up-and-coming artists to showcase their work, so buying a copy would be the equivalent to shopping locally.
That’s all I got on Ann Arbor, for now, but if you know of some more hidden treasures, please don’t be afraid to comment.
*207 E Ann Street, Ann Arbor, MI (734) 663-4247 http://www.heavenlymetal.com/