Welcome to Fatemeh Abdollahi's Hometown!

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Ann Arbor Michigan began with settlers from various eastern states in January 1824. The original founders were John Allen (from Virginia) and Elisha Rumsey (from New York). Their wives' names were both Ann (in the latter case, either Ann Rumsey or Ana Rumsey, depending on the text consulted). One account states that Allen and Rumsey decided to name the settlement "Annarbour," for their spouses (after discarding the alternative names Allensville and Anapolis) and for the stands of burr oak in the 640 acres (2.6 km squared) of land they had purchased for $800 from the federal government.

Currently Ann Arbor is home to:

. . . the University of Michigan, where I got my start in Linguistics, which is internationally renowned for its academics. In its last published survey in 1995, the National Research Council ranked UM 3rd in the United States in a study that aggregated evaluations of 41 graduate disciplines. In 2007, U-M produced the highest number of Fulbright awards for any American University, surpassing both Yale and Harvard. The university also has one of the largest number of living alumni at 420,000. The university has produced three Heisman Trophy winners: Tom Harmon, Desmond Howard and Charles Woodson, former U.S. president Gerald Ford, twenty-five Rhodes scholars and 116 Olympic medalists, seven Nobel Prize winners, actor James Earl Jones; actresses Lucy Liu, Selma Blair, and Ruth Hussey. Pop singer Madonna, professional baseball player Derek Jeter, and rock legend Iggy Pop attended but did not graduate, and many more notable alumni.

. . . the Michigan Stadium, which is the largest college football-only stadium in the world, the largest American football stadium, the fifth largest stadium in the world, and the 30th largest sports venue in general (which includes NASCAR and horse racing tracks, among others). The Stadium has an official capacity of more than 107,501, though attendance-frequently over 111,000 spectators-regularly exceeds the official capacity. The one "extra seat" in its capacity was "reserved" by former head coach Fielding Yost for the then athletic director Fritz Crisler, although its location is not specified. Home games are always sold-out, and residents of Ann Arbor are aware of "football Saturdays" because of the HEAVY traffic and business at local establishments. The size of the crowd in the stadium nearly matches the city's population of 114,000.The largest crowd in NCAA college football history was 112,118 on November 22, 2003 for a game against Ohio State.

...Food! You can imagine that, as a college town, there has to be an amazing number of restaurants and cafe's to choose from, but Ann Arbor takes it to an extreme. On every block you can find probably multiple restaurants, and they will all be filled to the brim with customers. Dining out is a frequent occurrence, and there is somewhere for the pickiest eater, the food connoisseur, or just the college student looking for a cheap and fast bite to eat. A few of my favorite places to dine are:

Backroom pizza- located at 605 Church Street, this is by far my favorite pizza place in Ann Arbor, at $1 a slice, and open till 3 a.m., not to mention delicious, you can't find a better deal than this place!

Big Ten Burrito (now BTB Burrito)- located at 810 S. State Street, this place features amazing Mexican food, at amazing prices. With only three locations, two of which are in Ann Arbor, this is truly a place you'll want to visit if you're in the area.

. . . Culture! Ann Arbor is home to a plethora of Museums, Art Galleries, Libraries, theatres, comedy clubs, and of course, the graffiti alley. There's never a want of things to do, with midnight movies at the State Theatre, Art Exhibits at U-M Pierpont Commons, constant talks at the University of Michigan, etc.

The Michigan Theatre was created in the early 1900's, and has been maintained since then as a beautiful relic of that era. Showing mostly independent movies, this theatre will make for an amazing movie-going experience, with it's magnificent architecture, and comfortable seats! For less than the price of going to another movie theatre, you can get a lot out of taking a trip here.

The graffiti alley in Ann Arbor, right behind the Michigan theatre is one of my favorite parts of Ann Arbor. This is just a small alley that is covered with beautiful graffiti from various people in Ann Arbor. There are really intricate pictures on the walls, and it's kind of a little piece of Ann Arbor that has remained untouched by the outside world. The third picture is of the gum wall that's in the graffiti alley. Everyone who visits it, at some point, will attach a piece of gum to the wall. There are actually some elaborate pictures on the wall made out of gum!

. . . The Art Fair! Established in 1960, the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is the Original of the now four award winning art fairs together attracting over 500,000 attendees from across the nation. The Art fair is the Number One Art Fair rating in the country (October 2004) and Top Ten Art Fair (October 2005 and 2006) by the AmericanStyle readers survey. Streets are blocked off and parking is a faint memory, but the energy and art in Ann Arbor during this time is amazing. Everywhere you walk there is something amazing to see, and the stores turn their merchandise into the streets for display. This is something you won't want to miss!

Fun Facts!

* Ann Arbor is home to the First Borders ever! This is located at 612 E. Liberty Street, and is the original from when it was created in 1971 by brothers, Tom and Louis Borders during their undergraduate and graduate years at the University of Michigan. Borders Book Store is regarded as one of the two best book stores in the country. Its closest rival for this distinction is the Tattered Cover in Denver, Colorado.
* The Nichols Arboretum has more than 60 different species of trees, and 50,000 trees grow along Ann Arbor city streets. Another 50,000 can be found in the 147 city parks. It is not a surprise that Ann Arbor is known as Tree City, USA.
* Ann Arbor is the world's capital for lithography.
* In 1929, Ann Arbor had more cars and telephones per capita than any other city in the world.
* Presidential candidate John F. Kennedy first proposed the organization of the Peace Corps on October 12, 1960, while speaking from the steps of the Michigan Union. A bronze plaque now marks the spot.
* The U/M Medical Center is the largest university medical center in the world and its Medical School is the oldest such university-owned teaching facility in the country. The U/M Hospital had the first helicopter emergency service in the state. The burn unit was the first in the country, and is believed to be the best in the Midwest. One of the first infant open-heart operations in the world was performed here. It was the first, and still the only, American hospital to use robocarriers, which perform 1,200 tasks each day, carrying 800 lbs. of materials such as linens, supplies, and food.
* The University Musical Society has the longest ongoing classical music series in the country.
* The Washington Street Carport, built in 1949, was the first municipally-owned parking structure in the country.
* Nickels Arcade, built from 1915 to 1918, is one of the few glass-roofed shopping arcades in the country. Stone owls like the ones in the mall have been used since the time of the ancient Greeks to rid public spaces of pigeons, but the ones in Ann Arbor must not be Greek. As anyone who visits the Arcade will tell you, the owls don't seem to work.
* The printed version of the letter Columbus sent to Queen Isabella of Spain, in 1493, is part of the collection at the Clements Library. A photocopy of the original printed version is available for viewing.
* Ann Arbor is one of only 11 cities in the country boasting a Presidential library. The papers of President Gerald Ford and related holdings comprise nearly 15 million pages and require over a mile of shelving.


1. http://www.arborweb.com/restindex.html
2. http://www.umich.edu
3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_Michigan
4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigan_Stadium
5. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Ann_Arbor,_Michigan
6. http://www.arborweb.com/
7. http://www.a2gov.org/Pages/default.aspx
8. http://execed.bus.umich.edu/DuringYourStay/AARestaurants.aspx
9. http://www.btbburrito.com/locations.php
10. http://michtheater.org/
11. http://www.artfair.org/
12. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borders_Group
13. http://www.annarbor.org/aboutA2/history_funfacts.asp