A New Yorker Tries the Mitten State On For Size

Jake Steinerman, a New York native, moved to Michigan several years ago to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Now, he can’t imagine living anywhere else and plans to further discover what the Mitten State has to offer by visiting five cities in five weekends later this summer. He’s looking to Pure Michigan fans to help determine the path of this adventure, and today tells us what he thinks makes our state so great.

A few years ago, if you would have told me I was going to be a graduate of the University of Michigan and subsequently live in the state, I would have given you the same response I gave my dad when he recommended I look into applying to UofM: “Michigan? Why Michigan? What a random place to think of.”

Growing up in Woodmere, New York, I was a naive teen living in a bubble community, in the shadow of New York City – I had no exposure to any kind of college sports, or anything resembling a Big 10-style college atmosphere; that culture doesn’t exist on Long Island. To me, I found it extremely odd that football was a big deal in Michigan. Football and Michigan? That’s not at all what I thought of when I thought of the mitten state; then again I didn’t know much of anything about Michigan growing up.

Well, it has been five years since my dad suggested I look into going to Michigan, and I could not be happier with how my four years there have gone. Now a proud Wolverine graduate with a degree in Social Computing Informatics, I have decided to remain in Michigan – in Midland to be more specific – to work in Information Systems at the Dow Chemical Company.

I’m excited for my new life here in the “City of Modern Explorers,” and if my four years in Ann Arbor – my favorite city in the country and one that will forever be my home – are any indication, I’m just starting to discover the magic of Pure Michigan.

Now I should point out, my moving out here is not a case of “big city boy experiences life in small town America for the first time.” Growing up, and still today, my family frequents northern Vermont. That has given me plenty of exposure to the beauty that rural America holds, and a true appreciation for the outdoors. Some of my favorite things to do are kayaking down the river on a warm summer day, biking along the lake with boats passing by, apple picking in the fall, and snowboarding in the winter. There is something truly special about Michigan though that makes it stand apart from other places that I’ve lived in and visited. I look forward to discovering just what that is, starting this summer.

Be sure to follow me along as I explore all that the Mitten has to offer, and find out what makes Michigan “Pure MIchigan” on Twitter using #JakesPureMichigan.

Jake Steinerman is looking to fans of Pure Michigan to help determine the path of his “five cities in five weekends” adventure. What cities should he discover in Pure Michigan?

Peter Greenberg Puts Spotlight on Ann Arbor, Michigan

When you think of Ann Arbor, the University of Michigan might first come to mind. But did you know that Ann Arbor is also home to a number of unique cafes, storefronts and art galleries? With a mix of eclectic shopping, world-renowned music venues and more than 200 restaurants, it’s a town that offers something for everyone.

This past Saturday, May 26th, Peter Greenberg put Ann Arbor in the spotlight to explore these unique offerings during his weekly radio show. While broadcasting from the University of Michigan Museum of Art, Peter spoke with local influencers and subject matter experts that helped him answer questions like “How did the town of Ann Arbor gets its start?” and “What on earth is a ‘fairy-door’?”

Guests include:

  • Dhani Jones, former University of Michigan football star and current collaborator on the non-profit organization Bow Ties for a Cause
  • Tom Murray, owner of Conor O’Neills, Ann Arbor’s “real” Irish Pub
  • Jonathan Wright, founder of urban-fairies.com and creator of Ann Arbor’s “fairy-doors”
  • Joseph Rosa, director of the University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA)

Check out a recap at PeterGreenberg.com, or visit iTunes or stitcher.com to download the full show.

Nostalgic Football Weekend

Emily Tennyson, a contributing writer for Michigan Travel Ideas, cheers on her alma mater during a football-weekend trip with her husband.

As a proud Michigan alum, I love to visit nearby Ann Arbor, especially now that I don’t have to take exams. My husband, a fellow Wolverine, also enjoys trips to his alma mater, especially for sporting events. While I’m a (fairly) devoted Wolverine, Ann Arbor caters to my more artsy side. I opt out of the game and use the time to explore the eclectic shops and art galleries.

When planning our last-minute weekend getaway, I knew that on-campus lodging would be overbooked and spendy due to the game, so I moved to Plan B. On State Street, the Comfort Inn & Suites offers a Michigan Travel Ideas discount; free Internet, a pool and breakfast sweetened the deal.

Once on campus, I explore old haunts. First, at the University of Michigan Museum of Art, I examine Tiffany architectural glass from a demolished early-20th-century Fifth Avenue mansion in Manhattan. Next on the list—cheese shopping at Zingerman’s and a Sister Hazel sub packed with provolone cheese, mushrooms, green peppers, onions and sub sauce at Pizza Bob’s, a favorite college hangout. My husband, meanwhile, bonds with 100,000 new friends in the Big House. After a Michigan win (thank you, Brady Hoke!) the whole city beams.

Alfresco dining at the elegant and contemporary Logan, a tiny storefront bistro on Washington, seems like a great way to celebrate and avoid the college swarm. A toast for the Michigan football victory with our glasses of Viognier starts off the meal. The pan-seared grouper is amazing, but the chocolate mousse dessert is my favorite. Post dinner, we cruise past ivy-covered dorms, throngs of happy coeds and campus bars blaring the Michigan Fight Song. I hum along and throw in a fist pump for good measure, even though my college days are long gone. Deep sigh. Was I ever really 18?

Back at the Comfort Inn, it’s time for a dip in the pool and some relaxation in the hot tub. When we get to our room, my husband turns on the 46-inch flat-screen TV and finds yet another football game. I cozy up in the king-size bed with a book.

The next morning, we head to the sunny breakfast room for our complimentary meal—fresh fruit, cereal, yogurt, hard-boiled eggs, bagels and make-your-own waffles. After eating, it is time to check out and bring our fun weekend trip to a close. Our short trip almost makes us feel like college students again. I sigh as the car pulls away and realize that we definitely don’t come here often enough.

Emily Tennyson, devoted University of Michigan alum, relishes any time spent at her alma mater and appreciates a good getaway.