Ann Arbor is a college city full of character. It’s the kind of city that’s best “kept weird.” From the quirky, vast food chain Zingerman’s to multiple music venues and even local lore, you’re sure to find things that set Ann Arbor apart from anywhere you’ve ever been. Need more incentive to visit? Here are a few fun facts about Ann Arbor:
Argus Camera Company
Argus Camera Company was founded in Ann Arbor in 1936 and sold off until about 1969. Its cameras, however, remain part of popular culture, particularly the popular C3. You may have seen one in several famous movies, including Abbott and Costello’s In the Navy, The Philadelphia Story, and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. In Harry Potter, muggleborn Colin Creevey carries with him a beloved C3 to eagerly take wizard photos.
An arbor is defined as a garden grove shaded by trees, and it’s a fitting name for Ann Arbor, home to 158 parks and 14.5 million trees. In a world where deforestation is a massive environmental issue, it’s reassuring to know that Tree Town is still going strong.
These days, going green is an important issue to many cities, but Ann Arbor is a little ahead of the game. It was named a “Recycling Pioneer” by the EPA as early as 1998. In fact, it’s known to be one of the top 20 cities when it comes to waste reduction in the United States.
Path to the Academy Awards
The Ann Arbor Film Festival is not just a place to catch a cool new film. It’s also one of the only Academy Award qualifying festivals in the United States. It’s been host to a number of famous guests over the years, including Andy Warhol, Gus Van Sant, Yoko Ono, and George Lucas.
One of the most whimsical things about Ann Arbor is the series of fairy doors you may find throughout the city. These tiny doors are built into walls both inside and out throughout the city. You may even find a goblin door. Fortunately, you can make a scavenger hunt out of it by checking out the tour map provided by self-proclaimed “fairyologist,” Jonathan B. Wright.
Until a year ago, Ann Arbor was home to something of a local delicacy: the fragel. It started with with a mere raisin bagel. From there, MD Bagel Fragel deep-friend the dough and rolled it in cinnamon and sugar. The end result was perhaps an acquired taste but certainly fun and distinctly Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, MD Bagel Fragel closed last fall after 25 years, but many locals still look fondly on the fragel.
These are only a few of the characteristics that make Ann Arbor as funky and fun as it is. The best way to learn more is to visit and experience it for yourself. Looking for accommodations? University Inn of Ann Arbor offers a 10% discount to students and families visiting University of Michigan, as well as U-M or Eastern Michigan University student athletes and families of student athletes. Contact us today to book directly.