Gardening in the City

It is becoming more and more popular for people to be growing their own food, or at least part of their food.  Many people have small gardens in their yard that they will grow tomatoes and other vegetables that they can put into their meals.  For people in larger cities this is a challenge because they do not have the outdoor space to plant a garden. People in larger cities are becoming creative in the way that they can plant things, even with their limited resources.

Several new trends has started in some bigger cities that don’t offer much grass and land to garden in, like New York City.  One is rooftop gardening. Most people are familiar with this concept from seeing it on TV shows and movies if nothing else. This idea utilizes the space that is available in bigger cities with lots of buildings and not much grass or open area.  It is also a great spot for a garden because of all the natural light that rooftops get. Some rooftops are also used as a community leisure area, with tables, chairs, and a grill for the residents of the building to go up there and enjoy themselves.  These rooftops are an alternative to a backyard.

Some other cities, like Ann Arbor, utilize community gardens.  Community gardens are spaces with lots of land that anyone can come and plant food or flowers in and they can continue to visit the spot to water them and let them grow.  Some, like the one in Ann Arbor, are sectioned off by the type of plant to keep the area organized. Community gardens are used in areas that don’t have a lot of grass in the city but the roofs aren’t built to have people utilize them.  For example; Ann Arbor utilizes a community garden because the houses on campus and downtown have little to no yard, and even if they did most yards are not suitable for gardening. So the community garden is a great place to go and make the garden that they can not have at home.

Springfest

The University of Michigan has a lot to offer.  From academics to sports to arts and culture. The University and the city of Ann Arbor have several big events throughout the year to highlight the art and creative side of Ann Arbor.  The Ann Arbor Art Festival is the most popular of these events. The University puts on an all day event each year in the beginning of spring called Springfest. Springfest is a way to bring the community together and to highlight the arts at Michigan.  This year Springfest takes place tomorrow (4/4).

The highlight of Springfest each year is the musical guest that comes to perform at Hill auditorium.  This year the performers are Louis the Child, and the Lost Kings. This musical event is what makes Springfest popular because students get a chance to see some pretty popular artists.  In 2016, Migos performed during Springfest.

Music isn’t the only thing happening during Springfest.  During the day there are also events going on on the Diag.  Clubs and organizations set up booths for people to attend and play a game or do a fun activity in between or on their way to class.  There are also food trucks set up for students to buy food and walk around the Diag.

Springfest is an event to help students to relax and have fun in the middle of the day.  It showcases fun events and activities for people to try, and ends the night with a big concert.  It is a wonderful event to remind people what Michigan has to offer.

Museums

The University of Michigan is a large campus composed of many buildings with diverse purposes.  While the majority of the buildings on campus are used for lectures and discussions, some are there for everyone-even non university students- to use.  A good example of these is the many museums that the University has on campus.

This most popular museum on campus is the University of Michigan Museum of Art, or better known as UMMA.  Art museums are common throughout the world.  Some art museums are specific to a type or subsection of art, for example photography or sculptures. Major cities often have multiple art museums of different sizes.  Chicago has dozens of art museums, the two most popular being the Art Institute of Chicago, and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Apart from that, most of the Universities have their own art museums as well.  College art museums tend to be smaller than the others that are found in big cities.

Another popular museum at the University of Michigan is the Museum of Natural History.  The museum has exhibits that show dinosaur bones and the process of evolution. Just like art museums, there are natural history museums in most of the big cities throughout the world.  Unlike art museums, there is generally one big natural history museum per city, this could be because natural history is not up to interpretation like art is. Most of the natural history museums have the same general information with different bones and animal exhibits to show the history of that area or others in the world.  These different bones and exhibits are what make each natural history museum unique.

The University of Michigan has an archeology museum that showcases artifacts from places in history like bowls and other artifacts that people of the past used to use.  Archeology museums are more uncommon than art and natural history museums. Some very large natural history museums have an archeology section in the museum that will give guests a small taste of how people of the past used to live.  Full archaeology museums are just larger versions of the small sections in natural history museums.

The University of Michigan has a Museum of Dentistry.  This is somewhat unique, most cities do not have a dentistry museum.  Museums of trades and specific events and places are common all over the world.  These types of museums have a niche audience for people who are very interested in the topic that the museum spotlights.  For example: the Museum of Dentistry at the University of Michigan is at the School of Dentistry at the University. So this museum has its audience of people that would enjoy the museum right on campus.

Museums are wonderful places to find to new interests and to learn about a variety of topics.  There are so many different categories of museums to learn about, and small museums are great to harvest that curiosity.  College museums are great to investigate topics on a small level and form curiosities that one can apply and go to larger museums to continue looking at and discovering their interests.  The museums at the University of Michigan are no different. People should utilize them and further their interest in a variety of things from dinosaurs to paintings.

Personalize Your Holiday Gift Giving

When people hear the word “art” they think of paintings, photographs, sculptures, music, or maybe movies.  But not paper.  People commonly think of paper as a mode to transport art, or a medium that art is displayed through, but they don’t think of the paper itself as art.  Cards a common form of a present to loved ones, whether they are store bought or handmade.  This holiday season make cards extra special by creating the whole thing by hand,  even the paper.

The kerrytown bookfest in Ann Arbor teaches people that paper itself is creative and can be a form of art.  There were stands that were dedicated to making paper.  The paper that these stands were selling looked vintage, like the paper you would see a medieval letter written on.  Each piece was different and they all varied in colors, size, and even texture.  The texture, thickness, and color of the paper depends on what it is made out of.  Paper can be made out of different materials; the easiest material to make paper out of is other paper.  But it can also be made out of leaves, grass, flowers, or even a wasps nest.  Keep this in mind while making a card, and use the materials and colors that the recipient will love.  This uniqueness will translate well into a nice holiday card for a loved one, because they will see all of the effort and love put into it and appreciate it even more.

The people who worked at the Kerrytown bookfest were so passionate about there craft of making paper, they wanted to show and teach every person that worked by how to do what they did so that they could share in their happiness with this overlooked artform.  These people were more enthusiastic about their craft than most other professionals are about there job, and that is because they make paper because they loved it, and it is something they are truly passionate about.  It is no longer a necessity to make paper from scratch, it is much easier and less time consuming to go to the store and buy whatever size and color paper you want than to make it yourself.  But the paper we all buy at the store lacks the uniqueness of the paper that the people at the kerrytown bookfest put into their paper.  This passion and compassion will come through a handmade Christmas card, the loved one it’s made for will love the gift made with love.

Link to learn how to make paper:   https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Paper

Springing Forward: My Spring Bucket List

Happy first day of Spring! March 20 marks the Spring Equinox and if the warmth of the sun rays today showed us anything, it was that the calendar and the earth have finally connected via speed dial and coordinated their outfits.

Image via wallcoo.net

Spring is, of course, a time associated with fresh starts, rebirth, blossoms, and joy. But this so often is spring “in theory,” “in the ideal greeting card world,” “in warm-weather latitudes.” When the rains come, all too often with exams and papers in accompaniment, it is easy to get a little down. In order to motivate myself (GRADUATION IS ALMOST HERE!), I’ve made a list of tasks and skills I want to accomplish or at least take a stab at to remind me that spring has sprung and that there’s no better time to discover, learn, and live.

(Feel free to steal some of these bullet points for your own Spring 2016 bucket list! Or add to my list in the comments below!)

  • Visit the UMich Botanical Gardens
  • Sneak into an East Quad music practice room and learn how to play this on the piano.
  • Write a few of my favorite quotes on paper with a purple calligraphy pen, and have them framed.
  • Attend a Swing Ann Arbor event.
  • Participate in National Poetry Month (30 days of April, 30 poems!)
  • Contribute something to the chalk wall at Mash 
  • Explore Detroit (if you have any recommendations, let me know!)
  • Buy flowers at the Saturday morning Farmers Market 
  • Start sending more snail-mail letters to friends.
  • Ummm…find a job for next year!!!
  • Enjoy every day as it comes and make the most of it.

What will you do this spring?

 

 

Thanksgiving Poem

Every year on Thanksgiving, my great aunt would read a poem her father read to her called The Turkey Gobbler. In honor of that tradition, here is a poem of all of the things I am grateful for (and you should be grateful for!) at The University of Michigan.

Thanksgiving day comes but once a year
And always it is filled with cheer
Unless of course we do forget
To say our thanks to the people we’ve met
So tell your family and tell your friends
How happy you are that your love never ends
Then look to the west and HAIL the Big House
Pizza House feta bread could please a Michigan mouse
Say thanks to the profs and all the GSIs
Shake your advisor’s hand as you say your goodbyes
Make sure your colors always bleed maize and blue
And take a big sip of some Ann Arbor brew
Then head to the Diag and skip over the M
Say thanks to the squirrels as they scurry to the Den
Take a walk by the Huron
Meet your friends in the Ugli
Sneak some food out the dining halls
Quote JFK smugly
The law quad is perfect for some quality pictures
At Charley’s you’ll surely find some top notch mixtures
So gather your blue books and your number 2 pencils
The Union’s got you covered for fun UMix late night specials
Check the tea out at Wisdom
And down at Tea Haus
Try the coffee at Amer’s
And Espresso Royale
Be jolly at Pumpkin
For a nice stout or pale ale
Run around the Arb
And pet the dogs at finals
Paint the rock at night
Play your hipster rock vinyls
Do trivia at Brown Jug
Or maybe someplace else
Find some chalk at Mash
Hunt fairy doors
Look for elves
Work hard all day
Then play hard at night
Dance ’til the morning
Skeeps, Rick’s, and Necto dim the light
Have an egg on your Frita
Walk barefoot in the fountain
Find your painting at UMMA
Trek off to North like it’s a mountain
Grab a book at the Dude, or maybe at Dawn Treader
Literati has coffee
And typewriters with letters
Act chic in the Ross garden still sunny in winter
Toast mason jars at Dom’s when the sun is a squinter
Spend a dollar on Ground Cover and help someone out
But check out The Daily for news without doubt
Remember orientation as you don your cap and gown
Think of it gratefully and don’t you dare frown
Theres another thing you really must do
And if you don’t, this day you’ll rue
Take hold of your tassle and move it side to side
While you’re at it tell Schlissel he’s a really great guy
The last thing to do is maybe most important
Remember the block ][v][
And say hello victors
Do the right thing
Shout Harbaugh’s name
As we all come together to cheer for this thing we call
the game, the game, the game
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
Beat OSU!