motss.con.xxvi Proposal and Schedule: Ann Arbor, MI

Update, Sat Feb09/13: This proposal won the vote; please see the motss.con.xxvi web site for updates and revisions.

We're here and we're awesome! Do you need a better reason?

Fine. The Ann Arbor area is the state's rare jewel: A small, friendly town with big city sophistication; a world-class educational and high-tech research center nestled in a peaceful rural setting; a close-knit community of charming neighborhoods with a rich mix of cultures.

Although geographically small (28.2 mi²), the area is perhaps most renowned for its cultural offerings. From exclusive art exhibits to performances by jazz legends, there are abundant opportunities to enjoy arts and culture. More than 30 independent bookstores, dozens of unique galleries, and a variety of top-notch museums — including the newly-renovated University of Michigan Museum of Art — are all within the downtown limits.

The Ann Arbor area also offers a bounty of recreational activities for those looking to golf, hike, or cycle, and three metroparks are within a short drive of the city center.

Dining aficionados will appreciate the nearly 300 restaurants within a 20-mile radius of Ann Arbor. Options range from old-fashioned Italian bistros to trendy, contemporary American restaurants. Many offer alfresco dining in the warmer months, which, when combined with the array of jazz and dance clubs in the area, makes downtown Ann Arbor a vibrant destination for nightlife.

Ann Arbor is also home to The University of Michigan, with over 42,000 students (only a few of whom will be here in the summer), 20 libraries, 10 museums, and over 3,100 acres (including 350 acres of botanical gardens and 123 acres of arboretum). U-M offers over 600 academic programs.

Some videos that may be interesting or amusing:

Some other links of interest:


Schedule in Brief

Our schedule in brief is:

See the "Detailed Schedule" section below for the full details.


con.hotel

Unfortunately, our first choice for con.hotel, located in the heart of Central Campus, has both Friday and Saturday nights booked this weekend; the reservations clerk mentioned it's wedding season. We're therefore willing to fall back to our next best option, the Bell Tower Hotel ($180/night also including wifi and parking); if they're full, there's always the Embassy Suites downtown, and the major chain hotels south of campus by Briarwood Mall (I-94 and State Street).


T-shirt

We have ideas for a con T-shirt should this proposal be accepted.


Transportation

Getting to Ann Arbor is reasonably easy, by planes, trains, or automobiles, or even bus:


Detailed Schedule

Early Arrivals
Guests arriving early who are interested in any coordinated activities before Thursday evening should contact the Committee. We can provide additional suggestions as needed, and make arrangements to get you your con.packet before the Thursday evening activities.
 
Thursday, June 20
7pm Detroit Tigers vs Boston Red Sox
Note: Guests attending the game will not be able to make the foodie dinner. There's a Sunday afternoon game possible too.
8pm Foodie dinner at Zingerman's Roadhouse
 
Friday June 21
10am Day trips:
Cranbrook Educational Community

Josh will lead interested parties on a walking tour of the Cranbrook grounds in Bloomfield Hills. Cranbrook is one of the world's leading centers of education, science and art. Comprised of a graduate Academy of Art, contemporary Art Museum, House & Gardens, natural history museum and Pre-K through 12 independent college preparatory schools, Cranbrook welcomes thousands of visitors and students to its campus each year. Founded by Detroit philanthropists George and Ellen Booth in 1904, Cranbrook's campus features the work of world-renowned architects such as Eliel Saarinen, Albert Kahn, Steven Holl, Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, Rafael Moneo, Peter Rose and sculptors Carl Milles, Marshall Fredericks and others. Critics have called Cranbrook "the most enchanted and enchanting setting in America" and in 1989, it was designated a National Historic Landmark.

 
Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA)

Take yourself on a self-directed tour of The Detroit Institute of Art ($8 adult, $6 senior, $5 college student). It covers 658,000 square feet that includes more than 100 galleries, a 1,150-seat auditorium, a 380-seat lecture/recital hall, an art reference library, and a state-of-the-art conservation services laboratory. Their collection is is among the top six in the United States, comprising a multicultural and multinational survey of human creativity from prehistory through the 21st century.

Depending on interest (and Arthur's schedule), we may also offer Wheelhouse Detroit-based bicycle tours of Detroit, or perhaps an urban desolation tour.

 
Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village

Bitty will lead a group to Dearborn for the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.

The Henry Ford Museum ($17 adult, $15 senior, $12.50 child) began as a simple yet bold idea to document the genius of ordinary people by recognizing and preserving the objects they used in the course of their everyday lives. It grew into the ultimate place to explore what Americans past and present have imagined and invented — a remarkable destination that brings American ideas and innovations to life. The sheer scope and design of Henry Ford Museum is as grand as the vision that inspired it. It's impossible not to feel a sense of awe as your mind adjusts to a different sense of scale — more vast, more expansive and more diverse — by far — than anything you'll encounter in everyday life. The sweeping, single-floor space with its soaring 40-foot ceilings covers nine acres dedicated to showcasing the finest collection of its kind ever assembled.

Entering Greenfield Village ($24 adult, $22 senior, $17.50 child) is like stepping into an 80-acre time machine. It takes you back to the sights, sounds and sensations of America's past. There are 83 authentic, historic structures, from Noah Webster's home, where he wrote the first American dictionary, to Thomas Edison's Menlo Park laboratory, to the courthouse where Abraham Lincoln practiced law. The buildings and the things to see are only the beginning. There's the fun stuff, too. In Greenfield Village, you can ride in a genuine Model T or "pull" glass with world-class artisans; you can watch 1867 baseball or ride a train with a 19th-century steam engine. It's a place where you can choose your lunch from an 1850s menu or spend a quiet moment pondering the home and workshop where the Wright brothers invented the airplane. Greenfield Village is a celebration of people — people whose unbridled optimism came to define modern-day America.

Lunch For those staying in Ann Arbor (as opposed to in Bloomfield Hills, Detroit, or Dearborn for one of the day trips), we can suggest any number of local restaurants for lunch. See your con.packet for more information.
7pm Welcome dinner, Arbor Brewing Company
9pm Evening activities, possibly including concerts, shows, Top of the Park, and a bar crawl including the Aut Bar and Necto
 
Saturday June 22
9am Josh will lead a walking tour of the University of Michigan's Central Campus and the City of Ann Arbor's downtown shopping areas. We'll finish up in the Kerrytown area in time for lunch.
11:30am Lunch at Zingerman's Delicatessen, with an option for the Farmers Market across the street. Started in 1982 by Paul Saginaw and Ari Weinzweig in a historic building near the Ann Arbor Farmers' Market, today, Zingerman's Deli is an Ann Arbor institution, the source of great food and great experiences for thousands of visitors every year. Featuring huge corned beef sandwiches, an exceptional array of farmhouse cheeses, estate-bottled olive oils, varietal vinegars, smoked fish, salami, coffee, tea and much, much more.

The Ann Arbor Farmers Market offers a wide variety of produce, dairy, honey, salsa, breads, coffee, prepared foods, crafts and much more.
1pm After lunch, we'll send you on your own. You can visit the Farmers Market, any of the campus museums, and if there's interest Josh can lead a walking tour of Athletic Campus. The museums open on weekends include:
7pm Dinner at Mark's Carts and Bill's Beer Garden. If there's inclement weather we have fallback plans for Blue Tractor BBQ and Brewery or Pizza House.
9pm Evening activities, possibly including concerts, shows, Top of the Park, and a bar crawl including the Aut Bar and Necto
 
Sunday June 23
11:30am Either dim sum (at a restaurant to be determined, probably either Asia City or Lai Lai) or brunch at the Aut Bar or Gandy Dancer. We still need to check all four of these places out for the best choice.
1pm Visitors' choice. We have four ideas: We can see who wants to do what on Sunday and decide then.
6pm Dinner, probably one of the places we didn't do Saturday night.
 
Monday June 24
8am+ Stragglers' breakfast at Mr. Greek's.
After We're willing to work with people who're staying longer so they have something to do besides "pack" and "wait to go to the airport." Let us know if you're in this category.


Committee

The planning committee for the Ann Arbor motss.con is Arthur Prokosch, Bethany Ramirez, and Josh Simon.


Last update Jan17/17 by Josh Simon (<jss@clock.org>).
Some portions of this text adapted from their corresponding web sites' About pages and used under the Fair Use doctrine.