lil’ ypsi

I received an email a few days ago from a reader who wanted to let me know that there’s a neighborhood in Ann Arbor that residents have begun referring to as “Little Ypsi.” This reader, I think it’s fair to say, was pissed, the fuck, off. She didn’t like the tongue-in-cheek tone in which the information was relayed to her, or the idea that our city was being used to either make a joke about the relative ramshackleness (by Ann Arbor’s standards) of the homes in the neighborhood, or, in the best case scenario, to make a part of Ann Arbor seem “edgier” or “cooller” than it in fact is.

When she first mentioned it, I shared her outrage, but then remembered having heard a few people here in town refer to Ypsi as “Little Detroit.” As that didn’t piss me off at the time, I don’t think I’m going to let this bother me, even though in this case it does seem, perhaps due to the immediate proximity of our two towns, to be a little more obnoxious. It’s not a perfect analogy, but I can see how, to some people, it might seem like when well-off suburban kids try to pass themselves off as street-wise by parroting things they’ve heard rapped about on television and pulling their pants down so that their Tommy Hilfiger underwear hangs out… I guess you could also look at it like a compliment though, a recognition of the fact that interesting stuff is happening here in Ypsi… Unfortunately, I’ve got too many other things to worry about right now, in the real Ypsilanti, to care one way of the other.

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  1. Posted September 20, 2005 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    I’ve seen a house on North Main in Ann Arbor that has a sign in the window saying “Little Ypsi”. I hadn’t heard of it as a neighborhood.

    Judging from the event you linked to (held at Natural Canvas (next door to the little Ypsi house) and the names mentioned, I’d chalk this up to “sign of genuine affection” and not “snobby undergrads and/or yuppies appropriating the name”.

  2. Teddy Glass
    Posted September 20, 2005 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Maybe it’s like a theme park version of Ypsi where they have actors pretending to be living in poverty.

  3. Posted September 20, 2005 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Yea, doesn’t look all that negative. I guess it coulda been “Lil’ Ypsitucky,” eh?

    Hey, ‘least we’re not in Livonia:

  4. mark
    Posted September 20, 2005 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    Maybe I’ll start calling my neighborhood “Little Ann Arbor.”

    It couldn’t hurt property values.

  5. Posted September 21, 2005 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    Sorry, the prior link went down re: Livonia. Here’s the new one:

  6. mark
    Posted September 21, 2005 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the link, Getto. It’s hard to believe that’s actually happening here in Michigan.

  7. Posted September 21, 2005 at 11:26 pm | Permalink

    Mark, I used to live in Livonia. I had to get out of there. It was a scary, scary place. In fact, I sold my 1100 sq. ft. ranch to a dubya supporter for more than I bought my 2000 sq. ft. Victorian I live in now.

  8. mark
    Posted September 22, 2005 at 12:07 am | Permalink

    (For those of you who didn’t follow Mr. Getto’s link, it looks as though there’s a great deal of public outrage in Livonia, Michigan over a proposed WalMart store… Which, in itself, might not be news, as many people don’t like the idea of WalMart coming into their community, driving competitors out of business, and driving down the average wage of workers… Here’s the difference though. It seems that quite a few of the complaints aren’t on those grounds, but because the people of Livonia fear that the new store might attract BLACK people!!!)

    I don’t know if it’s true, but I heard on the radio this afternoon that Livonia’s population is less that 1% black… How could that be possible?

  9. Posted September 22, 2005 at 9:05 pm | Permalink

    Frankly, from my experience, I think the 1% number may have been rounded up.

    As to what’s possible, I sure wouldn’t want to live anywhere if I perceived that my neighbors didn’t want me living near them, eh?

  10. mark
    Posted September 22, 2005 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    This story, when taken together with story I posted last night about Asian students being urinated on in Ann Arbor, paint a pretty ugly picture of southeast Michigan.

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