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Posted on Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

'Graffiti alley' on East Liberty provides glimpse of changing street scene in downtown Ann Arbor

By Kyle Feldscher


Brian Woolridge dances to a Michael Jackson song in the graffiti alley on Liberty Street. Woolridge has been coming to the alley to dance since 1995.

Melanie Maxwell |

The so-called "graffiti alley" on East Liberty Street can be one of the most interesting places to walk past in Ann Arbor, but this fall it's also described as one of the few places downtown that puts pedestrians on edge.

The alley’s walls are covered with graffiti, and various types of music typically echo from them onto Liberty Street. The sounds can come from the acoustic guitar songs of a new street performer or well-known Michael Jackson songs providing a beat for the dancer who has performed in the alley off and on since 1995.

The combination creates a distinctive space along the retail corridor that extends west from South State Street and the shopping hub of the University of Michigan's central campus.

Yet that hub is changing. Poshh, a fashion boutique near the alley, is closing on Oct. 30, with owner Wendy Batiste-Johnson citing the “homeless problem” on Liberty Street as one of the reasons. Panhandling in the area also has grown as a downtown concern this fall.

Batiste-Johnson told earlier this week that the scene on Liberty Street is “driving customers away.”

The heart of that scene for many who spend time on East Liberty is that alley, located between the Liberty Square Parking Structure and Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory across the street from The Necto Nightclub.

Opinion on the area is split — the alley is either a piece of urban culture in the middle of Ann Arbor, where a feeling of community is palpable, or it's a place for homeless or transient people to loiter depending on who's speaking.

In the past 16 years, one Ann Arbor native has identified with the alley more than any other one person.

Brian Woolridge has danced to Michael Jackson songs in that alley since 1995 — before it was covered in graffiti. Woolridge works at Whole Foods in Ann Arbor, a job he began after a period of unemployment, and has auditioned for the TV show "America's Got Talent."

“It wasn’t really used for anything and everything was plain and I just tried to see what would happen if I danced," he said, "and I've been dancing ever since."

Woolridge's persistence in returning to the graffiti alley year after year has made him into an Ann Arbor icon. He recalls the cement base of the alley being painted like a yellow brick road, a la "The Wizard of Oz," and watching all of the other writings appear over time.

Also known for his presence in the alley in more recent times is "Sincere." Sincere doesn't give his name, talks about his wounds and plays guitar and sings there. He tries to talk to most who enter, and many who pass seem to know him.

Sincere's ability to work is limited — he says he has gout in one of his feet, a bullet in one of his thighs and his left calf muscle no longer works, something he demonstrates by flicking the muscle with his hand and letting it simply sway before comparing it with his much-more-defined right calf muscle.

He says, after near-daily visits to the alley during this summer when he first arrived in the city, he was brought to it “by the grace of God.”

He envisions himself as a protector of the alley, playing his guitar and singing his songs while also making sure everyone who hangs out there behaves. Sincere admitted to having to call authorities after some incidents in or near the alley, but otherwise he finds "graffiti alley" to be one of the places in Ann Arbor that people can be artists.

“This is a beautiful place in a beautiful city with beautiful people, very intelligent people and it’s beautiful,” he said. “They’re all very open-minded people and it’s a liberal place and everyone’s just doing their thing. You just gotta take a closer look at what you see because if you just take a glimpse, it seems ugly.”

Sincere often attracts groups of people, ranging from teenagers writing in their notebooks while they listen to him to haggard-looking men who chat with him while they smoke cigarettes. His guitar case always sits open near the front of the alley, bills and coins sprinkled across the bottom.

Sincere never described himself as homeless, and even goes so far as to bring milk crates to the alley for people to sit on while he plays guitar and sings for them.

The alley’s acoustics were praised by both Sincere and Woolridge, who said that the music just sounds much better  in there. The secluded nature of the alley gives Woolridge a chance to lose his inhibitions and simply dance, he said.

The alleyway is covered from floor to ceiling with spray-painted art and short writings and stretches from the opening on Liberty Street, around a couple corners and onto Washington Street.


The graffiti alley off of Liberty Street in Ann Arbor has served as a canvas for many graffiti artists over the years.

Ryan J. Stanton |

Russ Collins, the executive director of the Michigan Theater, said there are many owners of the alley space, including the Michigan Theater, the city of Ann Arbor, McKinley Properties and the Michigan Theater Office Building. All of the properties that back up to the alley have a stake in its ownership, he said.

Collins said the alley is used as a photographic backdrop for many high school seniors' pictures and for student films made in Ann Arbor.

He said there are areas where graffiti is painted over, and the area is supposed to remain either gray or red, but otherwise the artwork is tolerated.

"It's kind of an interesting urban dynamic and to a limited degree we're tolerant of it," he said. "It's a community thing."

Business owners on East Liberty Street disagree about the effect the people that hang out in the area are having on their stores. 

Ann Arbor police Chief Barnett Jones said he didn’t know offhand if there were a higher than usual amount of calls coming to police from the "graffiti alley." He added that, while he hasn’t received complaints about the area into his office, it’s an area patrol officers pay attention to.

“I can honestly tell you that officers on patrol know that area very well and they know the people who would frequent that area,” he said.

Jones said he’s traveled through the area before, including one time about 3 weeks ago when he and an officer walked through the alley. He said one of the more frequent visitors to the graffiti alley was sweeping up dust and trash.

Keenan Mayberry, the son of the owner of Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory who works most day shifts, said he was pretty sure people are using drugs while in the alleyway. He said the scene at the alley can scare away customers who might otherwise come into the shop.

“Sometimes they loiter around and they kind of smoke cigarettes. I’m pretty sure they do drugs,” Mayberry said. “They kind of scare away customers. They’re not people you want to be around.”

Mayberry said his mother has called the police a few times to try and get the crowd to stop hanging around the store. He said a lot of the people who have been coming by this summer have been train-hoppers, going town-to-town. Often they have dogs and sit around the area asking for money, he said.

Many city residents are suspicious of the alley, worrying about drug deals and usage. Tom Heywood, of the State Street Area Association, said the alleyway has become a place where people can go to hang out and potentially do illegal things because it isn’t extremely visible from the street.

“The alleyway has become a hot hangout again. It hasn’t been in years, but it is again,” he said. “Until those kids are caught doing something illegal, I don’t think it’ll change.”

Ann Arbor City Council Member Sabra Briere, 1st Ward, said problems have arisen in alleyways between Washington and Liberty in the last couple of years. She said there’s a certain lawless nature to the area.

She tells a story about city officials once standing in the alley during a discussion when somebody walked up and started urinating on a Dumpster. "That was clearly an issue. And yet, nobody yelled at the guy.”

The new groups of people hanging out in the graffiti alleyway have also caused one of the area’s iconic figures to be seen less and less.

Woolridge said he’s been making fewer appearances in the alley this year because there’s been other people hanging out there and he doesn’t want to cause any disturbances by setting up his stereo and dancing around them.

“Usually if there’s someone here I don’t try and bother anyone, and I’ve been working so I’ve had less time,” he said. “I don’t want to cause a bunch of drama.”'s business reporter Lizzy Alfs contributed to this story.

Kyle Feldscher covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 1:48 p.m.

As someone who is new to the area but not new to city life I will say that the panhandlers in the alley are aggressive but not in a thuggish manner. They are off putting though. When I was asked for spare change I replied that I didn't have any. Then the man got closer to me and suggested that I use my credit or debit card to buy him something. What a relief! I was worried that the bums of Ann Arbor didn't accept credit or debit! Ridiculous.


Sat, Oct 1, 2011 : 2:39 p.m.

You have to adjust to your market. Some of you may not know that there is a recession going on, and if you are noticing more homeless, and less people are willing to spend money on expensive clothing, you may want to reconsider your product and not blame it on your lack of customers.

Christy King

Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 12:34 p.m.

I've been walking through there during the day (but mostly in the evenings when it's the quietest) for photo shoots and to read the poems and I've never once been made to feel uncomfortable. If someone says something (in general) that it's rude in nature, a firm "STFU" works nicely. I will say, I never go in there alone. I am big on the buddy system. Safety first.

Debra M. Schwartz

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 8:38 p.m.

I'm all for graffiti and urban spaces that encourage creativity, but the ally is uninviting and ominous. I would not walk in there because it is dark and gloomy and I can't see what's around the corners. I see no easy way out and the way in is, indeed, blocked by people who, to my eye. look more like panhandlers than artists. I don't want to pay admission to the alley. Indeed, the panhandling is a nuisance on LIberty. I walked by the store formerly known as Borders the other day to see if the panhandlers were still there. I noticed one. They're down, but not out.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:17 p.m.

Oh boy, here we go again. Some group of a small minority will complain to council then shortly thereafter this alley will be painted over, gate erected, and another quirky bit of Ann Arbor will soon go away. Once "certain" type of people begin hanging out here city leaders will find a way to end it. Thanks for Russ Collins ,who more than most, has a stake in the area and seemingly gives a more level headed response. Still this is just the beginning of the alley becoming extinct. Unless the owner of that chocolate store can actually prove that drugs are being used this is just hearsay. I bet its more to do with the attire and the outward appearance of some people that leads him to believe this. However, its not the people keeping customers away from his store, but maybe the high price for his goods and services in this high rent district. I mean really, how much chocolate do people really eat?


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 2:48 p.m.

Based on the comments I've read here and in the previous article about panhandling, I am surprised Ann Arbor doesn't have its own Tea Party chapter yet (maybe it does and I don't know about it yet?). I am also willing to bet that as a city votes Ann Arbor for Republican in the 2012 national election. I'm glad I knew Ann Arbor at its BEST, and that I no live in this hotbed of barely closeted conservatism and current cultural WASTELAND.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:41 p.m.

There is a lot of this in Europe & it's ugly.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:35 p.m.

Gee, urinating in the ally, homeless, panhandlers, graffiti (which is a prettier word than ... destruction or defacing property).... remind anyone of DETROIT? If this type of behavior isn't stopped it will just continue and spread. Look at the bridges just outside of A2 ….stuff spray painted all over. 50 years ago you might see a heart done with chalk that says Bobby loves Suzie. Now the entire walls are painted with words and pictures of who knows what (except maybe want-to-be gang members). If this kind of behavior is CONDONED .. it will CONTINUE.

Christy King

Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 12:31 p.m.

Hey those murals painted on the Main Street bridges are gorgeous. The gal that did those as well as the electrical boxes is incredibly talented. Granted, art is subjective, but still.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 9:41 p.m.

GoneGoneGone ... my "pile of money" ... what a joke. I grew up in A2 in the 60's I chose not to smoke pot, I chose to work hard, pay taxes, contribute to hospice, diabeties, and many more charitable organizations .... and gave my time volunteering at hospitals, and I RESPECTED other peoples property. Actually, I'm a very optimistic person, it's when I see/hear stuff like this I just shake my head .... it's sad how some things have changed.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:51 p.m.

The world must seem very dark to you...


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:22 p.m.

Oh, a heart that says Bobby loves Suzie isn't graffiti? If anything you've learned is that in over fifty years some things just stay the same. Any given football Saturday you'll see more people urinating in public than any other time of the year; even in this ally! Yup. We're sure becoming Detroit! Look at the poor schools, the economic collapse of our industry's here in A2, the decades of mismanagement of our city, the flight of the middle class....


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 2:50 p.m.

Your comment is hysterically funny. Detroiters are simply more enlightened than you are . I wonder if before you made your pile of money you were as closed minded as you are now?


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:31 p.m.

Those aren't wannabe gang members..................

Mumbambu, Esq.

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

Nice picture, Melanie.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 10:38 a.m.

If the homeless drug users had money, they'd be arrested for loitering and drug possession. Unfortunately law enforcement has become a financial industry. They need to justify their existence somehow.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:53 a.m.

this poll is silly and the article is a sad attempt to muster up page views and drag around a story line. Whether or not someone likes graffiti alley is irrelivant to the increase of problems, panhandling (et al). The alley has been around for quite a while, a number of years, the Michael Jackson dancer has been there over 15 years, obviously it has not been that big of a problem up until the mass of panhandlers/dirties that have landed on downtown within the last few years. Less police presence in downtown has attributed to the problem. (of course the chief and mayor and city council would like to deflect any notion of this away, even as the citizens and business owners think it is plain as day to see). Sure there is an increase of public urination in the alley, but only because there are more people hanging around with nothing to do all day but aggressively panhandle. stupid

J Shaker

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:04 a.m.

yep the alley's alright, wish we had more. its the people who hang out there that i really like.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:31 a.m.

Keep Ann Arbor weird! Oh, wait, isn't that the slogan of another college town in the ever so enlightened state of... ah, never mind. We're more narrow minded here.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:27 a.m.

You know who scares me? Drunk middle-aged men reliving what they believe is their storied history in Ann Arbor. Who do I talk to to rid the streets of them?

hut hut

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:04 a.m.

I bet that more people will check out the alley than the Driesetl urinal at City Hall.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1 a.m.

The graffiti appeared much earlier than 1995--it was there when I worked in Tally Hall as a teenager in '80s. Also, as an A2 townie who then moved to a real city with real urban issues, I find Mike's comment about going to Brighton to shop HYSTERICAL. The idea of A2 being threatening really made my day.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:34 a.m.

OMG, Please clean this place up. I worked in a store in the late 50's and there was an alley behind it. (nothing like this). Most customers came in the front door and left by the front door. (off the street) I would think the business owners would lock/bar/ or remove the door to the alley. AA Police can't live in the alley, but as long as they pay attention to it, and make some arrests all will be well.

Christy King

Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

Wait, did you really just pass your objection along beginning with, "I worked in a store in the late 50's with an alley behind it"? What exactly happened in that alley, was it even in Ann Arbor?

rusty shackelford

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 11:59 p.m.

This strikes me as a non-issue. Given the tone of comments and coverage on previous stories here, one gets the impression the average Ann Arborite immediately has a stroke when they set eyes on a poor person. So isn't it better if they congregate in one spot, mostly out of the way, where they won't ask you for spare change? Seeing as even the cops can't say there's any more crime there than anywhere else, let's all just simmer down and let people be. Also, as regards vague intimations of "drug use," in the context of A2 it's important to ask what drugs are being implied. Marijuana possession is barely illegal here, let's remember. As a town we've rightfully decided not to go around cracking skulls over a doobie.

hut hut

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:02 a.m.

I guess we'll crack some skulls over asking for spare change. After reading some of the comments, I'm (sadly) anticipating a police report about a homeless person being assaulted.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 11:35 p.m.

I really dislike bums but the dude that dances to MJ can stay. He's really good and pretty friendly.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 8:53 p.m.

I know he's not a bum...I can read you know. He works at whole foods.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:59 a.m.

he's not a bum


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 11:12 p.m.

If they really want to deal with this, they will gate in both ends of it to close it off entirely and call it a day. It should have been done years ago.

Kai Petainen

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 10:33 p.m.

That's a great photo that Melanie took. Nice!

Christy King

Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 12:24 p.m.

We need to be more productive with our lunch hours, Kai. We should be photographing the Douglas J and Aveda smoking girls in the "Ant" alley off of Maynard. They're gorgeous.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 10:16 p.m.

Typical comments busting on a business owner who has to argue with urine soaked bums all day trying to make a buck to pay the hideous rent and freight that goes along with owning a business in this town. To all the poverty tourists who have plagued this city for decades, why don't you go get some realism in your sheltered lives about 30 miles down east I-94. I guarantee you'll will be burning rubber all the way home in your Volvo wagons. This town has lost it's true diversity over the years in a perverse effort to create diversity as defined by college town leftists. I plan to go to Rocky Mountain Chocolate just to give him my support.

Woman in Ypsilanti

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 10:06 p.m.

All I know is that the Wall of Gum is a tradition and I will fight to keep it ;)

hut hut

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

Then chew your gum and save it for the next time you pass by the alley!


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 10:03 p.m.

This is exactly what Ann Arbor needs and deserves. The rights of the homeless and druggies trump that of society and those that earn money and want to spend it free from panhandlers. One day you'll wake up and wonder what happened. Until then enjoy the ride.............. I'm tired of being panhandled and avoid those areas. Best of luck to those businesses that have to battle through it; I go to Brighton


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

"If the yuppies have their way they'll clean the graffiti, push out the panhandlers, and set up a boombox playing Jimmy Buffet." Wait a second, what's wrong with Jimmy Buffet?!?

Christy King

Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 12:23 p.m.



Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:12 p.m.

Actually, it would be an improvement to clean the graffiti, push out the panhandlers, and set up a boombox playing Jimmy Buffet.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 3:58 a.m.

nothing. There are two types of people I do not trust, those that don't like dogs and those that don't like Jimmy Buffet.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:51 p.m.

I guess we shouldn't really be that surprised with the outcome. Encouraging and allowing the "Taggers" to deface this property is one of those be careful what you wish for kind of decisions.

hut hut

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:58 a.m.

So why aren't the AAPD enforcing the anti graffiti law that council passed last year? It was a big deal for State ST merchants.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:51 p.m.

well if you dont go downtown much or your from out of town perception is everything.People dont know if those are hoodlums in the ally or nice guys so they might feel uncomfortable.Lets face it ,all you guys that say you wouldnt do business there because of his comments wouldnt have bought anything there in the first place


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:40 p.m.

A lot of words about an alley hang out for Homeless, drug users and weird kids.

hut hut

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:13 p.m.

There are a lot of posters here have forgotten the golden rule and would prefer if the people they don't like would just go away. I guess there are people who post here who would have booed the gay soldier who asked a question at a recent Republican debate. Or when the same Republican candidates stood idly by while people applauded when it was said that it would be ok if someone died because they couldn't afford health care. Shameful for a civil society.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:20 p.m.

I agree with James; I'm now a whole lot less likely to shop at Rocky Mountain after the judgmental comments made by the son of the owner, and the admission that they've been calling the police to harass people that were in all likelihood just minding their own business. One of the things that I like most about Ann Arbor is the diversity of cultures, social status, and ideas, and the "undesirables" and loiterers are part of the experience. I suggest that those business owners that don't like that which makes it a vibrant, healthy commercial district move somewhere they and their customers won't have to mingle with the commoners, like Birmingham. Or perhaps a freeway-offramp strip mall with an army of rent-a-cops to keep people moving.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:02 a.m.

Mike, that's an awfully slippery slope you're on there! I hope you're wearing your crampons.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 10:07 p.m.

If you were risking your own personal capital and trying to make a living as a business in that area you wouldn't be saying that. It's easy to say something when you've got nothing to lose and most likely envy the business owner anyhow. Be careful what youi wish for because with the rents they charge down town you may end up with a lot of vacancies and more buildings to paint until it looks like Detroit.........


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:43 p.m.

I don't know. I don't want to scare anyone off if they are peaceful and law abiding. I too love diversity that's one of the reasons why I'm here. Some people could argue that you open your yard up for them, let them hang out there. If one is not willing to do this then maybe one shouldn't be so harsh or critical of anyone.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

This alley is a haven for drug users and a place for the homeless to pee and and for drunks to fight. Clean it up. It's just another example of the deterioration of downtown A2, which used to be a nice place to walk around.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Have you ever even been there Sally? I doubt it.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 10:09 p.m.

@hut hut - Raising taxes always seems to be the answer. the only problem is who has the money to pay more taxes?

hut hut

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:41 p.m.

How about raising taxes to provide a few more beat cops or more social services for less fortunate. Maybe you'd like to volunteer at a shelter or donate to a church that helps put a temporary roof over their heads or helps them get drug counseling? Maybe you already do, but your comment does not reveal much compassion.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:51 p.m., I realize that your polls are not scientific, but this one is particularly flawed. The way you have it set up, it breaks down those that think the alley is a problem into two groups which makes it look like the majority like the alley the way it is. The truth of the matter is that those that "no longer feel safe" and those that think "It's a problem" to get a more accurate result. Clearly if someone no longer feels safe there, IT'S A PROBLEM. For some reason you feel the need to do this quite often with your polls, which make them ridiculously inaccurate. If you REALLY want to poll how people feel, stop editorializing and trying to be cute and just ask "Do you think it's a problem?" Yes, No or No Opinion.

rusty shackelford

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:56 p.m.

Wouldn't 'no opinion' be the same as 'no'?

Kara Marie

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:44 p.m.

I love it there and I hope they do not take it away. It is always fun to take an out of towner down there to see the gum wall, graffiti, etc. :)


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:41 p.m.

Like the Washtenaw Rock, I do not need Graffiti Alley. I think both the rock and the alley are eyesores. Both are examples of disrespect of someone else's property. Both represent the trashing of Ann Arbor! I would be in favor of cleaning up these so called examples of public art. It is wrong to condone and glamorize such graffiti. The City of Ann Arbor should tell it like it is, it is a shameful act of disrespect!


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:08 p.m.



Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 1:34 a.m.

Yeah..... those artists really ruined our fine city with the spray painted work that has been building in the alley for what.... 20+ years now? If you see someone spray painting a stupid tag in the diag or on main street, you would be right. But this just one small area where it is semi-condoned. Get a grip if you think this ruins the city. I think this alley is awesome and took some of my engagement photos in there.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:03 p.m.

Oh. The shame of it! The disrespect!


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:03 p.m.

Why is it wrong to support graffiti in the places it's welcomed (i.e., the rock and the alley)?


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:40 p.m.

Embrace it. It is a part of our community and Ann Arbor's culture. Maybe the next Banksy is hanging out there LOL


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

The place has become scary. The last time I went by there were obviously inebriated men fighting with each other.

Charley Sullivan

Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:47 a.m.

You sure that wasn't Scorekeepers? hehehe


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 10:10 p.m.

Watcher - there are a lot of people on here who are basically saying get used to it. It's like reality TV without the TV.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:37 p.m.

Seems to me this is all the "ART" that Ann Arbor needs.

Clinton Resident

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:36 p.m.

While it is a unique place and many different types of people visit the alley, it is a place of drugs. My daughter and her friends liked to hang out and talk with the various people that hang out there and listen to the music and such when they come into A2. But one of her (so called) friends tapped into buying some drugs from someone hanging out in the Alley. After that I asked her to stay away, with other things happening in A2 this summer this seemed like another area that could be dangerous to visit.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:02 p.m.

I have news for you. Kids get most of their drugs at school.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:34 p.m.

Reason number 8 why I dislike Ann Arbor lackys. "I'm pretty sure they do drugs." "train-hoppers, going town-to-town" I mean... Is this guy serious? Was he polling alley goers as to what their mode of transportation to get to town was? Hate to break it to you brah, but people do drugs everywhere; I would think the majority of them would not pick the brightly colored alley which draws attention from every passer by to do them in. Just an observation. If this isnt just a blatent sterotype of people that hang out in or near the alley, including the people that do their thing, that we all give money to, then I don't know what is. I was very put off by Mr. Mayberrys comments... And it will be his comments that keep me from visiting his store, not the people hanging out in the alley near by.

Christy King

Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 12:20 p.m.

Yeah, have you guys seen the woman that usually sits outside on the bench in front of Border's on Maynard? Dressed as if she's about to go to a business meeting, and she will offhandedly ask passerby for money. I've nearly decked her more than thrice. She's wearing gold for crying out loud.

Mike Martin

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:48 p.m.

And by the way- What's an "Ann Arbor lacky" ?

Mike Martin

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:47 p.m.

There was nothing wrong with his comment. Downtown merchants are being overrun with street people. It's irrelevant what "mode of transportation" they are using. His point was speaking to transience and and drug abuse. Hate to break is to you brah but Mr. Mayberry won't really miss the $4.50 that you MIGHT have spent in his store. Your lack of patronage isn't the problem.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

Mr. Mayberry may know than the average bear since he's there. I will support his business. It would be a shame if another business left the area.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:31 p.m.

"Street Sceen" and "Ann Arbor" being used in the same sentence is both hystercial AND shows the ignorance of this paper. Spend a little time in a big city somewhere...this doesn't pass for 'street scene' - a think layer of wannabe paint maybe.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:21 p.m.

I love it. I wish it smelled less like pee.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:20 p.m.

Well, I for one am glad that "Sincere" moved here this summer. We just didn't have enough local colorful people before. ...and I am "sincere" about that. Yep, very "sincere" indeed.

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 7:03 p.m.

'Graffiti alley' on East Liberty provides hepatitis b, vomit, bad art, public urination, and bad graffiti.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

If the yuppies have their way they'll clean the graffiti, push out the panhandlers, and set up a boombox playing Jimmy Buffet.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 12:06 p.m.

That would certainly be an improvement.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9:17 p.m.

Playing "muzik" would help to keep people out of the area. No one likes to hear muzik for very long. The company actually sells people on the fact that it keeps lingering long.


Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 9 p.m.


Ben Connor Barrie

Mon, Sep 26, 2011 : 6:41 p.m.

I believe it's actually called Tripper's Alley or Poet's Alley. Graffiti Alley has slipped into the local lexicon relatively recently. <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>'s_Alley <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a>

Christy King

Wed, Sep 28, 2011 : 12:18 p.m.

Everyone I know has called it Satan's Alley since I was about 11 (I'm 35 now). I only knew we were talking about the same alley because of the graffiti. Interesting names, but the first I've heard of them.


Tue, Sep 27, 2011 : 4:14 p.m.

I thought Tripper's Alley was on Liberty between Kilwin's and Cafe Japon! At least that is what I have been told the last 20 years or so!