For many U-M alums, Ann Arbor is more than the location of their alma mater; it was their home during some of the most formative years of their lives. So it isn’t surprising that when the Alumni Association asked via its Facebook page in July “What do you miss most about Ann Arbor?” it received more than 400 likes and 317 comments.
Many people named their favorite restaurants, whether still serving or long gone. Christine Fordstrom, for example, remembered the rare deals she’d get at Zingerman’s Deli. “As a grad student I would get a coffee and grade papers for hours, and sometimes at closing score a bag of free bagels as they gave away what they had left that no one wanted.”
The legendary Drake’s Sandwich Shop, which closed in 1993, was another favorite. When David Rigall wrote about the “Cream cheese and olive sandwiches with my wife at Drake’s,” Christine M. Brzezinski chimed in, “I used to work there, I miss the limeade and grilled pecan rolls.”
Alums also mentioned a wide range of musical acts, such as Ranny Levy, who remembered “Commander Cody and the Lost Planet Airmen playing at Mr. Floods,” and Christine Seltsam Lameti, who worked on the Ann Arbor Blues Festival. “It was a life altering experience. I got to experience the living history of the blues.”
For others, Ann Arbor memories centered on the people. Mary Finlay-Sims was just one alum who called out “Doctor Diag and Shakey Jake,” while Shelia Auten just liked “knowing where Iggy Pop lived!”
At least one alum took his affection for his old college town to a different level altogether. What did Dwight Herdrich miss most? “Everything—so I moved back here.”