buying local in ypsi: the new initiatives

Several positive things have happened in the wake of our YpsiVotes event a few weeks ago on the subject of downtown business development. (If you weren’t at the event, audio and video can be found here and here.) Most importantly, we got a few more people not only buying into the idea that we, the citizens of Ypsilanti, can help determine how successful our city will be, but actually doing something about it. Toward that end, I’d like to tell you about two initiatives that have just gotten underway.

First, Depot town resident Karen C has put together a brochure encouraging other Ypsilantians to do their holiday shopping in Ypsilanti, from locally-owned and operated stores. (For why doing so might be important, see Think Local First or my rambling post a few days ago on the work of Michael Shuman.) A pdf of the brochure, which provides a comprehensive list of downtown businesses grouped by the types of products they carry or services they provide, can be found here. If you have thoughts on other things that should be included, or if you’d like to help by chipping in a few dollars to cover printing, please leave a note in the comments section. And, by all means, please feel free to print a few out and leave them around town. (We’ll have a bunch out at the Shadow Art Fair, if you’d like to pick some up to distribute.)

Karen’s been going store to store this past week, talking with business owners, and she says that so far the response has been incredibly positive. Not only are they offering to put the brochures on display in their own stores, but several are offering to help out. I’m told that Jim from Caf

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10 Comments

  1. ol' e cross
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, I was born without much of an appetite for strippers, porn and sweets. This leaves me with immense guilt for the local establishments that I do not more properly support.

    That said, we were giving extened family the tour of Ypsi today and stopped in to the finally open Queen of Hearts.

    My aunt-in-law took a sample and said, “That’s the best [whatever-it-was, insert french sugar-puff word] I’ve ever tasted.”

    So for those that enjoy such delights, I’m told their exceptionally nice. And I hear that that girls at Deja Vu are fuckin’ hot.

  2. ol' e cross
    Posted November 24, 2006 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Sadly, I was born without much of an appetite for strippers, porn and sweets. This leaves me with immense guilt for the local establishments that I do not more properly support.

    That said, we were giving extened family the tour of Ypsi today and stopped in to the finally open Queen of Hearts.

    My aunt-in-law took a sample and said, “That’s the best [whatever-it-was, insert french sugar-puff word] I’ve ever tasted.”

    So for those that enjoy such delights, I’m told their exceptionally nice. And I hear that that girls at Deja Vu are fuckin’ hot.

  3. mark
    Posted November 25, 2006 at 12:16 am | Permalink

    It had not occurred to me that I might be called upon to go in and review our local nudie bars, but I suppose if it’s for the good of the community….

  4. mike_1630
    Posted November 25, 2006 at 12:53 am | Permalink

    I just got my ‘Democracy Player’ t-shirt from the VGKids in the mail today!!! :)

  5. egpenet
    Posted November 25, 2006 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    Critical mass … as we’ve discussed at RNA meetings, there are enough occupied homes, duplexes, apartments and towers to create retail, entertainment and recreational demand in downtown Ypsi. Like Ol’Cross, some midwesterners are so put off by some changes in the city, the Vu and homeless … they lost touch with what’s really going on. Bush and his over-hyped post-911 war on terror (read: war on us) hasn’t helped get people out. His approach to the economy has also hurt folks like us. BUT WE’RE FIGHTING BACK!

    Get copies of the brochure … sign the petition … lace up your boots and get out on the streets … sample what there is to sample … the Vu DOES HAVE a gift shop … get a tatoo … an authentic Mali hair weave is damn gorgeous in my opinion … buy a sack of rice or other dried delicacy at the African store on N. Huron … fire your expensive CPA and get your taxes done at Liberty Tax (corner of Huron & Michigan) … switch your accounts to Ypsi/A2 Bank on Michigan … and while you’re theree, take out some spending money and go nextdoor to the spa and relax …

    For those of you with lots of bucks … there are historic homes and superb turn of the century buildings downtown for sale … and the ones for sale that look like SHIT are for sale, too, at the right price, and SHOULD be ripped from the hands of their owners, fixed up and put to good use!

    IT has begun …

  6. Karen
    Posted November 25, 2006 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Hi egpenet,

    I understand what you’re trying to say. On the other hand, you should still check out our brochure and http://downtownypsi.org. If you include the businesses in Depot Town and Michigan Avenue (and those in between, on Huron and Pearl Street), we do have a nice selection of places to buy gifts. Sure, we’d like to see a larger selection of shops, but we’re not going to achieve that if we don’t support the businesses we have. (Oh, and you’d never know it from this post, but I’m normally a pretty cynical person, so it says a lot about Ypsi that I’m here defending its shopability…)

  7. mark
    Posted November 25, 2006 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    And, I should point out, there is an

  8. egpenet
    Posted November 25, 2006 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Karen … whoa! I LOVE shopping and living downtown! I was being serious … about the VU, about the African store, about hair braiding … AND Bowerbird, Rocket, etc. I’d like to seeeee enough and varied retail to KEEP us downtown … which is why we are pushing for a few produce and meat markets, more cards and gifts, clothing, menu changes at the current eateries or better eateries … I’d like some outskirt joints to move in closer … the Tacceria on West Michigan, Mantis, Kana Korean, the new Korean and Lucky Chinese by campus on Huron River Drive … and more. We have space. Karen … I was serious … there is nothing more beautiful than Malian or Nigerian hair braiding.

  9. Karen
    Posted November 25, 2006 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    Oh, well then, cool. That’s what I love about Ypsi, actually. Every time I think someone is sarcastically ripping my ideas apart, they’re actually in earnest agreement. It’s like we’re less cynical than other towns or something. (I for one seem to have left my cynicism behind when I left Ann Arbor for friendlier skies…)

  10. egpenet
    Posted November 25, 2006 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

    Karen … just for yuks …

    Ypsi Humor … Word has it that the new Mongolian BBQ plans to top Cafe Luwak’s civet coffee bean stunt, you know, coffee beans pre-digested by wild Amazonian civet cats, then ground up for coffee … I kid you not … well, the new Mongolian is going to be the first in the County to serve BBQ civet on a stick.

    Ypsi Sarcasm … Good news is, hands down, the Deja VU gift shop has the best “I Love Ypsi” gift for this Holiday Season … a 15″ tall, 3″ in diameter, soft, flexible, model of the Ypsi Water Tower, powered by 3 “D” batteries. Puts a whole new twist on pumping for local pride.

    Ypsi Cynicism … Bad news is, the team at the Deja VU has failed once again to come up with a good Christmas Charity promotion. “Toys for Tits” just isn’t it. Never at a loss for words, the A2 news said the promotion failed, quote, “on the face of it.” Huh? Worse still, the Courier wrote that the promotion simply, quote, “fell on its ass.” I think a lesson in the anatomy of a joke is in order at both papers.

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