Street Questions

Christine Gliha and Brian Geiringer

Despite the cold of late January, we hit the streets on a couple evenings to talk to folks who were out and about in Ypsilanti.

Question 1: What will Ypsi look like in 2030?

Question 2: Last Saturday, people gathered across the country for National Women’s Marches, and Monday is Martin Luther King Day. If a national holiday were created and dedicated to any woman, living or dead, who should it be?

Question 3: What’s your favorite thing about Michigan winter?

Betty

Betty waits for the bus in Depot Town

What will Ypsi look like in 2030?
I can’t say quite ‘cause I don’t know ‘cause I ain’t from Ypsi. I’ve lived here about three years. It’ll be how it is. It’s pretty to me; it’s a nice place to live. I like it. I ain’t been back home yet. I came from Detroit; my home is in Arkansas.

If a national holiday were created and dedicated to any woman, living or dead, who should it be?
My mother.

What’s your favorite thing about Michigan winter?
Cold!

Deepmala

Deepmala holds a copy of What’s Left Issue 3 in Depot Town

What will Ypsi look like in 2030?
I hope when I see this old time charm, I’m hoping it will still stay. I love the atmosphere and I love lights, seeing all these lights in the streets and the sidewalks. So I’m hoping in 2030 it won’t change too much. I’d like to see it stay the way it is.

If a national holiday were created and dedicated to any woman, living or dead, who should it be?
I’m very passionate about this because I have four daughters myself so this is gonna be a tough one. […] There’s so many women that we’ve talked about and that we admire so give me a second to think about it. […] I would have to say y’know what bottom line I think any woman that’s out there and stands up for what they believe in, who stands up for the rights of women, especially nowadays even more so, who are confident and strong enough to voice their opinions and to show their support. […] My dad, he just passed away two weeks ago today. The thing was in our culture he grew up, Indian culture, they say women aren’t respected this that and the other. But we found this book where he put his thoughts down and he said something along the lines of, “Until women get respect, a bird can’t fly on one wing.” So that’s why I’m saying I think it’s not just one person but it’s the women that stand up that want to fight for the women and make it better for them. 

What’s your favorite thing about Michigan winter?
Oh! It’s not as bad as upstate New York because that’s where I came from.

Drue and Elliot

Elliot takes a break from sledding with his Dad, Drue, in Riverside Park

What will Ypsi look like in 2030?
I kind of imagine not much different than this. […] We’ve lived here for 13 years and it hasn’t changed a whole lot. I mean, the play structure is here [in Riverside Park], that’s about it.

If a national holiday were created and dedicated to any woman, living or dead, who should it be?
As far as I know we don’t have a national holiday for, like, Sojourner Truth or Harriet Tubman or anyone like that do we? That comes to mind.

What’s your favorite thing about Michigan winter? 
Drue: Sledding is pretty cool. For sure. 
Elliot: Christmas!
Drue: That’s not just in Michigan.

Jason

Jason hangs outside, Downtown Ypsilanti

What will Ypsi look like in 2030?
I envision a lot more density, a lot more diversity. Hopefully it’s not a refuge for high prices for living in Ann Arbor, but whatever causes a city to grow—it is what it is. But I definitely see a bright future for Ypsi.

If a national holiday were created and dedicated to any woman, living or dead, who should it be?
That’s rough. […] There’s all these amazing women and then you have to pick one! But like, Sojourner Truth, Betsy Ross, bell hooks, Simone de Beauvoir, there’s a lot out there. […] It doesn’t really matter; it just needs to happen, it should’ve already. […] Martin Luther King Day only became a holiday [in 1983] so it’s insane that it’s just now coming around. We should honor more people other than white people.

What’s your favorite thing about Michigan winter?
Oh the snow, absolutely. For some reason, for me whenever it’s actually snowing it’s never cold out. So, like I never get frigid or anything. I just am able to enjoy the tranquility of it all.

Sean

Sean invites us in from the cold on N. Washington St.

What will Ypsi look like in 2030?
It won’t be such a little brother to Ann Arbor. I really think it’s gonna bring a lot more vibe and a lot more culture just in the area itself. The downtown area, of course, is gonna expand out to the suburb part of Ypsi and the townships and things. I really believe it’s gonna become more of a more popular town like Ann Arbor where it’s like it has its own identity and it’s not like the city next to Ann Arbor, y’know? That’s what I feel, that’s why I’m here.

If a national holiday were created and dedicated to any woman, living or dead, who should it be?
It’s funny, I would say my mother […] but you already got a date for that. I think back to the 20’s with the iconic march of them taking cigarette puffs in New York to symbolize the fact that they were going more into a dominant roll as well. […] I think Michelle Obama has really set a precedence for women in the community, making it seem like you don’t have to walk around with that whole ambience, in the sense of wearing dresses and being that person that they want you to be. You can be laid back, down-to-earth, and still grow the respect that you’re looking for, and I really feel that she has done that.

What’s your favorite thing about Michigan winter?
I grew up in the woods, man, boonies. Ditches. Deep ditches. My favorite thing was leaving the house to go to your girlfriend’s house, and getting stuck in the snow. That’s my favorite thing, but no, on some real deal, I think my favorite thing about the Michigan winter is the creativity that it brings to Michigan. I mean, Michigan is a beautiful state. […] So I just think that it creates this beautiful ambience of where you’re located or where you’re at. But it also gives you that idea that man it might suck, but it looks good. I grew up in the woods. We had this big ol’ window in the front, and when it snowed you’d hate it, but it looked so pretty coming off the trees and stuff. […] Other than that, man, I hate the winter.

Don

Don strikes a pose on Michigan Ave. in Downtown Ypsilanti

What will Ypsi look like in 2030?
Not a lot different. I don’t think so, no not a lot different. No, it’s always looked pretty much the same since I’ve been here, 47 years. 

If a national holiday were created and dedicated to any woman, living or dead, who should it be?
I don’t know her name but I believe she was the first city councilwoman in the country.* I don’t know her name, I saw it one time in an article. So that was way way back, before that it had always been city councilmen. So that’s a feather in Ypsilanti’s cap, huh?
*The What’s Left Team can not verify this fact at this time

What’s your favorite thing about Michigan winter?
It being over with. (laughs)