The sudden downpour has not stopped the slackliners. [photo]
Outside Hatcher Library, a guy decked out completely in black and dark gray – from his patent leather dress shoes, to his overcoat, to his fedora, to a black knit face covering – stood silently, paging every once in a while through a USA Today newspaper. It was the day after Black Friday, and The Chronicle was beginning an afternoon walk from the UM Diag westward along the Liberty Street corridor.
Outdoor performance was the common thread of the walk. The theme started with that apparent performance art piece, continued to a standard bell-ringing number at a Salvation Army kettle, was punctuated by the “Michael Jackson guy” in the alley adjacent to the Michigan Theater, and finished with news of an appearance next Saturday at Downtown Home & Garden by Santa and Mrs. Claus.
On any given day, you’ll likely find an eclectic collection of people on the Diag – even on a frigid November day like today, when the disparate groups included war protesters, an iPod promotion and several Men’s Glee Club members dressed in tuxes.
At noon, about three dozen people gathered in front of the Hatcher Graduate Library, as several speakers urged president-elect Barack Obama to push for a quick conclusion to the war in Iraq.
The protest was organized primarily by Michigan Progressives, a coalition of student groups. Speakers included Lars Ekstrom of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Ann Arbor mayor John Hieftje and Laura Russello, executive director of Michigan Peaceworks.
Russello told the group that as of 10 a.m. this morning, the war had cost American taxpayers $569 billion – $15 billion of that coming from Michigan. “We don’t want any more of our money to go toward this war,” she said.
Juxtaposition can be an oddly wonderful thing. That was the case Wednesday as The Chronicle swung between two disparate events on the University of Michigan campus: a demo on the Diag by the men’s gymnastics team, and a reception at the Michigan League to celebrate UM inventors.
First, the physical tumbling. Each fall about this time, the men’s gymnastics team hauls out some of its equipment and sets up on the Diag, where team members jump, flip, work the pummel horse and otherwise wow passersby with feats of strength and flexibility. It’s a way to promote their season – their first meet isn’t until Dec. 13, but their daily practices at the UM sports coliseum from 2:45-5:45 p.m. are open to the public.
On a lazy Saturday August afternoon, there’s still plenty happening on the University of Michigan Diag. This couple chose the steps of the Hatcher Graduate Library as a perfect location to stage a wedding kiss.
From left-to-right: the bride’s white shoes, the parasol holder, the bride and groom locked in a kiss, the photographer lying on her side to get just the right angle, and one of Ann Arbor’s finest pedaling past.
Some questions not answered for Chronicle readers:
- What’s special about the Hatcher Graduate Library? Did they meet in the …