Ah, Main Street.

From the small town to the big city, it’s a place to stroll, shop, eat and gather. A place where the real flavor of a town can be taken in and first-time visitors and locals can mingle among one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques and storefronts. These are the charms of the thousands of Main Streets across America.

Ann Arbor’s own Main Street isn’t so different. And yet, only Ann Arbor’s cruises past the biggest football stadium in the country; only Ann Arbor’s hosts the summer Ann Arbor Art Fair and Ann Arbor Restaurant Week in the winter.

You might feel hard pressed to spend 36 consecutive hours on this single street, but it can be done. And as December rolls into town, consider this a modest selection of the restaurants, shops and venues worth paying a visit before heading home for the holidays.

Day One

12 p.m. at Jazzy Veggie There are at least two good reasons to pop into Jazzy Veggie near the corner of South Main and West Huron streets: 1.) the food and 2.) the people. The all-vegan restaurant just celebrated its two-year anniversary in November, but that hasn’t stopped the eco-friendly eatery from continuously coming up with new “100-percent plant-based” foods made in-house from local ingredients, such as the sweet potato quinoa burger and a variety of pastas, noodles, sandwiches and pizzas. But what makes Jazzy Veggie a Main Street staple is the casual atmosphere and the genuine satisfaction the staff show. I was told during a visit that restaurant manager Tim Leonard once made a cheese pizza for a young girl with a dairy allergy that was so tasty it moved her to tears. Pizza with tear-inducing tastiness? I need not say more.

1 p.m. at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tearoom: Established on the equinox in March 1982, Crazy Wisdom has been a legendary Ann Arbor bookstore for its cool vibes, good eats and alternative book selection for 30 years. Upon entering the store, as you wander among the dream catchers, incense, candles and other tools to nurture the body, mind and spirit, be sure to check out the Crazy Wisdom bestseller’s shelf, where you’ll find titles like the “Pocket Guide to Spirit Animals” and “Children of the Fifth Word.” Grab a book to peruse and head upstairs to the tearoom, where you can snack on some goat cheese and spinach dip while sipping on a cup of herbal tea (the five flower fairie blend comes highly recommended). On the weekend, visit the tearoom to groove on some live music or sit down for a psychic or tarot card reading. Have no fear if you’re a student feeling too stressed to be in so calm a place. As one store employee told me, Crazy Wisdom “welcome(s) all paths.”

3 p.m. at Workantile: Comprised of independent workers, freelancers, web developers, graphic designers, engineers and folks from all different backgrounds, Workantile is an office space alternative for the self-employed. Rather than being stuffed up at home or in a noisy coffee shop, members of the Workantile community come to the space between Huron and Washington streets to get some serious work done in an environment akin to a co-op.Minus the bumming around on the couch with the hippiest of friends. Complete with conference rooms, a kitchenette, lockers and an indoor bike rack, Workantile has all the amenities of an office or home workspace without the noise and distraction. If you’re a student looking for a quieter, more professional workplace than the library or the lab to collaborate on a project or work independently, for a discounted fee of $40 per month, Workantile can be your saving grace.

5 p.m. at Cherry Republic: Free chocolate covered cherries. Free hot cherry salsa. Free cherry butter, cherry jam, cherry BBQ sauce … there’s a lot to love about a store that dishes out free samples and a lot more to love when those samples are sweet, sour or a little of both. This Michigan-based store is a much-deserved celebration of Michigan cherries, and its fourth and newest location is here in Ann Arbor at the corner of East Liberty and Main. It has continued to attract people from all over the state not only for its free samples, but for its downright amazing cherries. The store offers a multitude of cherry-inspired snacks, beverages and gifts that are beloved by Michiganders and beyond. What’s more, they have an awesome motto: “Life, Liberty, Beaches, and Pie.” There is absolutely no reason not to pay this store a visit.

6 p.m. at Vault of Midnight: Whether you’re into comic books or not, is one of the coolest shops on Main Street, if not in Ann Arbor. The origins of the store are mysterious, the legend being (according to the store’s website) that Vault of Midnight “was formed in a type 1b supernova, probably during an interstellar war between rival comic shop-planets.” Suffice to say that owner Curtis Sullivan and his family have been dishing out issues of “X-Men,” “Batman,” “Captain America” and the like at the store’s current Main Street location for the past seven years. The store hosts gaming events throughout the week, which include a different featured game every week. Head to the shop Thursday, Dec. 6 to play Doctor Who: The Card Game.

7 p.m. at Jolly Pumpkin: It’s not easy to choose just one bar for the night on Main Street, but if it’s only going to be one, head to the Jolly Pumpkin. Offering a variety of microbrews, gourmet pizzas, salads and sandwiches, there’s a little something for everybody. Try the truffle fries, the carnivore granite baked pizza or the newest holiday-inspired beer on tap: Noel de Calabaza, a genuine Jolly Pumpkin artisan ale.

8 p.m. at The Ark: Anyone with an ear for acoustic music ought to attend The Ark at least once. With a capacity for about 400 people, performances at the Ark are intimate, making you feel like you’re listening live to a favorite band in a cozily crowded basement. Steeped in folk music history, past performances include Arlo Guthrie, Peter Yarrow, Tom Paxton and hundreds more. The venue also hosts tribute concerts to such folk legends as Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger. Upcoming December performances include bluegrass singer/songwriter Tim O’Brien and Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin.

Day Two

11 a.m. at Rock Paper Scissors: Specializing in stationery, kitchenware and other trendy décor, this gift shop has an appreciation for snail mail and a sense of humor. Opened in June 2012 by Lisa Roberts and her mother, the store operates under the belief of “celebrating everything,” and caters to customers who are of the same mind. Customers can even celebrate on certain days by playing a game of rock-paper-scissors to receive discounts on store merchandise. There are plenty of gifts for the writing-inclined, those looking to add a few decorations to their walls or to keep some small reminder of Michigan. The shop also offers customized wedding invitations, save the dates and other paper products. Aside from weddings, however, this is the place to go if you’re using the words “small and gifty” for someone on your holiday shopping list.

12 p.m. at Washtenaw County Historical Museum: On the typical University student’s mental map of Main Street, this museum is probably missing. Located on the corner of North Main and East Kingsley streets, this tiny museum is a bit of a stroll from other points of interest, but if you’ve already hit every other museum in town, pop into this one to get your fix for local, Washtenaw County history. The exhibit “Rest in Peace: The Washtenaw County Way of Death,” currently on display, depicts a Washtenaw County in-home funeral in the late-19th to the early-20th centuries. Past exhibits include a history of the streets, roads and individual lives of Washtenaw County residents as well as “Bad Habits: Drinks, Drags, and Drugs in Washtenaw County History.” The museum is open Saturdays and Sundays from 12 to 4 p.m., or by appointment.

2 p.m. at Fleetwood Diner: OK, so it’s not exactly on Main Street, but the Fleetwood Diner is so quintessentially Ann Arbor, it might as well be. Located just a block away on South Ashley Street, Fleetwood is the type of small-town diner where everyone seems to be on a first name basis. It’s open 24 hours, there’s no manager and there’s only enough room inside to seat about 20. With a set up like that, it means people actually talk to each other and get to know each other over omelets, burgers, or hippie hash — Fleetwood’s famous homemade hash browns with grilled tomato, green pepper, onion, mushroom and broccoli topped with feta cheese. Fleetwood is the kind of place where, when regulars are away, they send postcards back to the diner, which get posted on the wall behind the counter. Built in 1949, Fleetwood holds a special place in the heart of Ann Arbor and its customers. As Earl, a 17-year regular put it: “It’s home.”

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