Oh the places you'll go... in Ypsilanti

After volunteering to write a column on the best things to do in Ypsilanti, it occurred to me perhaps an article proclaiming the Double Eagle Coney Island at 3:30 a.m. as the pinnacle of Ypsilanti life would be neglectful of significant city sites  Therefore, I began to think in order to correctly write for the reader, it would be best to do a bit of investigating.

Shortly after, I wandered into the Michigan Firehouse Museum.  I’m quite content with what I got for my $2 student ticket.  More interesting than the actual content of the museum is little of it is fenced off, allowing you to walk through the exhibited trucks as close as you want.

Admittedly, beyond the museum, I ran short on ideas and turned toward others for places to look at.

The result of a brief survey of friends was roughly summarized by an unidentified acquaintance of mine who told me there’s not much to do that doesn’t involve alcohol.  In earnest, I disagree with the exaggeration but would also attest some of my better memories living in Ypsilanti have included the moderate consumption of gin. 

In any event, I’ve always wanted to go to Powell’s Pub near the poorly lit bend of Huron Street. So, accompanied by two friends, I went. 

From outside, I got the impression it was a shady place sparsely filled by former police officers and drunken IRA supporters.  Upon pushing through the door, however, I found my delusions were quickly ended by the pub’s disappointingly clean interior, perfectly kind staff and the on-going conversation at one table about e-mailing Steve Jobs.

Next, we stopped by the Sidetrack in Depot Town. It was comfortable and conveniently located, and the prices were reasonable.

The following night, three of us went downtown to visit the Tap Room and Pub 13.  The Tap Room had quite a charming atmosphere. There was enough going on to distinguish it as unique, but mercifully; enough calm that I didn’t mind the subpar service.

Pub 13, at the time we were there Thursday evening, was pretty close to empty. Valiantly, a DJ continued working despite not being listened to by anyone except a middle-aged man sipping on a glass of beer alone at a table.

While the idea of having no person to talk to may remind us of the fact many things we actually do are essentially catalysts for conversation, it would be hollow and false to announce the broader experience that captures that interaction is not without qualitative value itself.

I returned to the Double Eagle at 3:30 a.m. Its appeal lies in the whole of being there. The food was not the absolute best in the city, but when taken with the intimate layout of the restaurant, its worn decorum and the pleasant Albanian lady eager to talk, the Double Eagle holds a distinct position as being a place-owning character.

These sorts of places can be restaurants, bars, or a shop like Cross Street Books. Since they’re small and cater to certain tastes, I’d generally recommend taking a walk sometime and seeing what catches your interest.


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