I came to Ann Arbor on July 9, 1991, following my then-boyfriend for his job. I planned to stay for just three years. Now, the boyfriend’s gone, but I’m still here.
My first impression of the town was that it was very small. I’d lived in places like London before and wondered just how I would survive three years in Ann Arbor. But after a few months, I started enjoying life here in this quaint college town.
Because Ann Arbor is small, you can get around easy and see friends without having to plan a visit like a project. I love summer afternoons canoeing on the Huron River, and evenings spent with friends, barbecuing in the backyard. I love the town’s European feel, with a lively downtown, street cafes, parks, and street events in the summer.
I like to take visitors to downtown and, depending on the weather, the Arboretum and Gallup Park. I also like to take people to the Michigan Theater or Hill Auditorium, or the Ark (a small, live-music venue) or other places with live performances. Friends with children always love the Hands-on Museum and the planetarium.
What don’t I like about Ann Arbor? Every year the winter is harder to take; it seems to get longer and more gray. I would like for the downtown to be more livable with a real grocery store.
At one point, I would love to live in a big city again, either New York or a city like Berlin, London, or Paris. But I can imagine myself staying here and having a winter-home somewhere warm with occasional visits to New York City or Europe.
I think in the end what matters most are the people around you. I am lucky to have absolutely wonderful friends, which make Ann Arbor very special for me.