Ann Arbor is a city of contrasts. It features retail boutiques and a major shopping mall; national chains alongside local art galleries; historic homes along brick-paved boulevards as well as cutting-edge architecture; a vibrant downtown and beautiful tree-lined streets. (The Campus Information Centers website provides exhaustive listings of what the city has to offer.)
There are over 140 parks within city limits, bike paths along most major streets, and a variety of recreational facilities. Numerous national and international figures come to Ann Arbor for lectures, presentations, shows, dance performances, and concerts—the city, in fact, has earned a national reputation for excellence in the performing arts—so students can see Broadway touring companies or avant-garde drama, attend University Musical Society performances featuring world-renowned symphony orchestras, ensembles, and choral societies, and frequent local clubs and concert halls featuring jazz, hip-hop, techno, classical, indie, alternative, folk, zydeco, and other genres. Two independent movie theaters are within easy walking distance of the Law Quad and they, along with nearby multiplexes, offer art films, national film festival winners, cult cinema and classics, not to mention first-run traditional movie theater fare. Culinary needs are easily satisfied by an array of cafés, bistros, restaurants, and pubs on the one hand, and on the other, outstanding artisanal, ethnic, regional, and gourmet food, wine, and microbrew selections at farmer’s markets, specialty stores, and multiple national groceries. And few areas of the country can rival the range of college and professional sports events available for spectators. Such richness of arts, culture, and entertainment offerings is hardly typical of a small city, but it is an integral part of what makes Ann Arbor vital and attractive.Unlike many other universities, the University of Michigan is completely absorbed into the city. The heart of downtown is within a few blocks of the Law Quadrangle. University housing is readily accessible, either in the Lawyers Club (part of the Law Quadrangle) or in other graduate dormitories and apartment complexes for individuals or families. Private housing is available in apartments, cooperatives, condos, and houses near campus. Detroit Metropolitan Airport, a major hub, is 30 minutes away by car. Detroit is less than 50 miles to the east, while Chicago and Toronto are just a few hours away. Train and bus stations are conveniently located in downtown Ann Arbor.
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