don’t worry, they’ll be back when they get thirsty

As we mentioned a week or so ago, according to new census data, it looks as though the population here in Ypsi is growing. Or at least it was as of 2007, when the data was collected. Apparently, however, the rest of Michigan hasn’t fared so well. According to today’s Detroit News, the state’s population is falling precipitously… Here’s a clip:

…Michigan’s loss rate increased, with an estimated 46,368 fewer people in the state on July 1, 2008. The bureau estimated the state lost 34,000 people the year before, and nearly 10,000 in 2006.

If the state maintains its losses for another year, its population could fall below 10 million for the first time since 2000. According to the Census Bureau, Michigan has 10,003,422 people…

The only other state to lose population this year was Rhode Island, where unemployment is also high.

If it is true that Ypsi is growing, I may have an idea as to why… It could be the blogs. Seriously. According to at least one Ypsilanti citizen – City Planner Richard Murphy – he’s here because, while a grad student at the University of Michigan, he read this blog, and the one that used to be run by Steve and Hillary Cherry… The following quote is from Murphy, who is guest blogging this week on Concentrate. In this particular passage, he’s commenting on the importance of human interaction in development.

…Some can be approximated online – the example of Mark Maynard and Steve Cherry’s blogs recruiting me to Ypsi being foremost in my mind…

So, if you just moved to Ypsi, why are you here? Was it And, if so, do you now want to beat me up?

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  1. Kazoo
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 8:12 am | Permalink

    I moved to Ypsi last spring from the west side of the state due to my wife taking a job in Ann Arbor. I found MM when I was researching the area. I have to admit, the blog initially turned me off from Ypsi based on the majority of the posts defending Ypsi. Generally speaking, when something must be defended there is usually something substantial causing it. And while I found this to be true, Ypsi is not as bad as I thought it was. Do I want to stay here for much longer? No. But its not the haven of gunfire and crack I envisioned. Not most parts anyway…

  2. UBU
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I moved here because I heard you’d gone to California…

  3. Prawn
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    As there’s no other industry to speak of, most people moving to the area are probably, in one way or another, tied to either EMU or UM.

  4. egpenet
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    While living in Ann Arbor … I got tricked into going to a Jazz Concert at the Freighthouse … and I became lip-locked to this town.

    The Ann Arbor I once knew and loved doesn’t exist any more. And, besides, life in Ypsilanti is more meaningfully gritty in Ypsilanti than in the Ann Arbor I remember … except for a few people like The Howling Man, the Original Canterbury House, the Jazz & Blues festivals, The Panthers, and Jake.

  5. Brackache
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    life in Ypsilanti is more meaningfully gritty

    There it is.

    I needed somewhere to live a few years ago and didn’t have a job. My brother lived in a cheap apartment in Ypsi so I stayed with him and did a little work for the landlord. OEC found me on someone’s porch in Ferndale and suggested I try stop-motion corpse animation as an art project. I discovered he also lived in Ypsi.

    I decided that if I were going to have a 500 pound bomb drop on my head one day, I’d like to make sure it took him and his loved ones out too, so I stayed in Ypsi.

  6. amanda
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    my time is a student and non-student in ann arbor was lovely, but i was ready to be back in the real world, where life didn’t revolve around academic schedules, and stresses were about things other than finals. i love being in a place where there are real people of a for real variety of backgrounds (unlike somewhat manufactured campus diversity) working to both make lives for themselves and their family, and dedicated to the community they’re in. in ypsi we have this amazing space– because of the lack of funds and therefore staff and therefore too much bureaucracy and empty buildings– to make anything work. and, people are doing it, and it fosters creativity and pushing the limits. i’ve fallen in deep love with everything in ypsi, minus the winter grayness.

    and, i also live here because of the downtown post office, where everybody knows your name and i get almost teary-eyed at how the community mixes there and everyone is so friendly. it’s sort of where i go for my daily cry, even.

    mark, i might challenge you to how many people personally recruited to ypsi. i can count a bunch who’ve come and lived here to work for us, and several others who i’ve repeatedly sent house listings and renting postings and given community tours. since i lost the “how many times you’re at beezy’s each day” competition with murph the first week in, i need something else to base my self worth on. maybe it can be this.

  7. Ol' E Cross
    Posted December 23, 2008 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    I moved to Ypsilanti because it had everything. Everything. Everything from rivers to ruins, sexaholics to segueways, busses to bust, pimps to pints, grits to glory. Don’t deprive me pleasure or pain. I am a greedy man and want both, want everything. And I have it. And brackache and blogs, to boot.

    But no, I didn’t move to Ypsi due to blogs. Frankly, probably had more to do with Sidetrack, the giant 4×4 Gremlin parked on Cross, the front yard with all the flowers, the Huron, and public policy probably best attributed to Mayor Farmer.

  8. applejack
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 1:39 am | Permalink

    My girlfriend and I moved here because it’s close to both U of M and Eastern, and because it’s cheap. I wanted to see what was going on locally, and googled “ypsilanti politics” and found this blog, where I have been ever since.

  9. mark
    Posted December 24, 2008 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    I moved back primarily because of the Freighthouse, which closed soon after I returned. There were no blogs back then. When I was in LA, I had no way of knowing what was going on here, other than sporadic contact with a few friends.

  10. Posted December 26, 2008 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    I moved to Ypsi 12 years ago to attend EMU, eventually dropped out to join a band (brilliant move! Actually…it was in a way, but i digress), and have bounced between Ann Arbor and Ypsi since, with the majority of my time spent in Ann Arbor to be closer to my job. After Leopold’s clossed, I realized that most of my favorite places to patronize had moved or gone out of business or were in Ypsilanti. Also, My job had moved to the outskirts of Ann Arbor–off Elsworth near State–and that the bus ride from my place on Adams in Ypsi is actually shorter than it was from my place on Fountain in Ann Arbor. And the rent is cheaper, which makes it easier for me to afford making woodcuts and paintings and making music. I can’t tell you how much happier I’ve been living in Ypsi this last year. My life, other than the drive to my job (I’m driving now, because of the snow + lack of sidewalks on Ellsworth), is pretty much completely centralized, though i am sad about the closing of Art Attack, since the amateur artist in me is now forced to search for supplies online or elsewhere.

    Aside from all of that, I’ve loved the feel of Ypsilant ever since I spent my first years here in the mid- to late-’90s. That and AA has lost nearly all of its local charm. Other than Encore, a few of the bookstores, and a very small handfull of other shops, everything’s a Potbelly or a Starbucks or another big chain whose detatched environment has never resonated with me.

    Last, it’s a short trip to Detroit, which is a city I love but where I would never be able to find a comparable job.

  11. egpenet
    Posted December 26, 2008 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

    Duh. When did Art Attack close!!??

  12. Posted December 26, 2008 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    I just shopped there for Christmas!!!! When did they close!?!

  13. Posted December 26, 2008 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

    And I moved here long before blogging was a concept. The Internet was text-based and we used Lynx. ;-) But I stay because, yes, the coolness of Ann Arbor was just passing away when I moved there as a UM student in *gas-puh* 1978. You could tell that activism had once been important there, but no longer. Everyone was jaded and cynical and lonesome for the excitement of just 6 or 7 years before. I moved to Ypsi with friends in 1986 — I had a four year old. We lived in a house purchased for just $65,000 on Pearl Street. (The Board of Ed president lives there now.) I bounced around a little and then bought our house on Grant for $95,000 in 1990. Like Amanda, I love the neighborhoods — the sense that we can do whatever and make it work — the freedom and the creativity — the ability to know a critical mass of people personally. I can make an impact. I never thought this would be the case, but all my closest friends now live within a few blocks of me. It’s life on a scale I can handle.

  14. Ol' E Cross
    Posted December 26, 2008 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    I never thought this would be the case, but all my closest friends now live within a few blocks of me. It’s life on a scale I can handle.

    Life in Ypsi.

  15. Posted December 27, 2008 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    Art Attack closed last week, sadly.

  16. egpenet
    Posted December 27, 2008 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    EMU dumping their art department?

    Don’t children in Ypsilanti draw in school anymore?

    Don’t families have crafts in their homes?

    Do we have to freakin’ DRIVE to Staples for crappy supplies!!??

    The heck!

  17. Posted December 28, 2008 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    I moved hear a bit over two years ago, from Iowa, to take a job at U-M. When looking around for a place a live, about half of it was just looking around online to find a place to live, seeing rent a little bit cheaper in Ypsi and still being close to an AATA bus line I could ride to work.

    The other half was looking at a map to find out where the damn stadium is at, and then living as far away from it as possible and still be in the area….

    I consider myself very lucky to have found Ypsi, and to me the more interesting question is why I stay here. I now live in an apartment that’s within walking distance of downtown and Depot Town, three excellent coffeehouses, some solid restaurants and random things to do. Sure, there may not be an overflowing abundance of stuff, but what is here is good, for the most part. And, when I want more, I’m close to other stuff in the area, be it in Ann Arbor or Detroit or somewhere in between. It’s easy to get to, and just as easy to get back home to Ypsi.

    The greatest thing, however, is the people living in the area. There’s a lot of interesting folks doing meaningful and creative things around here. I genuinely feel that Ypsi has a higher per-capita level of Awesome than many other places.

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