I would never assume that since I”m on this side of the newspaper column and you”re over there on yours, that you would care in the least about my opinions, random musings, and the details of my personal life. But yes, as I”m sure many of you are wondering, I did have a fun summer. I spent my summer in Manhattan. If you”re ever in the NYC-area, perhaps in the midst of a road trip visiting friends in New Jersey, Boston or Philadelphia, do try to spend some time there. Trust me, it”s way better than Ann Arbor. There are many reasons why this is:

Paul Wong
The gang of American Pie 2 reunite after a summer away at the fictional universities of “”Michigan”” and “”Sate.<br><br>Courtesy of Universal Pictures

Every night, hip music concerts go down all over the city. You don”t need a car to get to them, and you don”t need to venture into a hellhole like Detroit to see big names. In Ann Arbor, you”re stuck with whatever”s playing at the Pig, or if you”re into jazz, the Bird. So if you like live music, you”re screwed.

Manhattan has the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Whitney and countless smaller and more exotic galleries scattered throughout. Ann Arbor has a couple of museums, but I don”t think they”re very reputable.

Central Park is kind of like a lush garden paradise bordered by the ritziest part of town. It”s where I went to jog, sunbathe and at night look for women. The park is enormous and is easily reached by taking either the 1, 2, 3, 9, A, B, C, D, N, R or Q lines. As far as Ann Arbor”s “Arb,” I wouldn”t recommend it unless one of your hippie friends has a car, and even then it”s not very interesting unless you bring either pot or your girlfriend and a couple of blankets.

Going along with this, Ann Arbor doesn”t even have a subway system. We have a few buses that come along every half-hour or so, but no series of underground trains that show up every five minutes that can take you basically to anywhere from anywhere. Here, if you need to get from Lorch Hall to the Music School in 20 minutes, lots of luck you”d better get moving and hope the bus gods are smiling down on you. In New York, you”d have time to spare. Over there, it took me an average of eight minutes to get from Lorch to the Music School, waiting time included.

Maybe the biggest margin of difference comes in the nightlife category. I won”t even go into how awful Ann Arbor”s “bars” and “dance clubs” are. By sharp contrast, it”s frighteningly easy to find a good time in New York. It”s almost like you can find a new hot spot every night to get your freak on, and there”s not just one place for every vibe or type of person, but like 20 or 30.

New York has no “North Campus.” This is key.

And most importantly to me (as a dashing man-about-town), the women in Manhattan are amazing. A lot of them are models, and many of the rest are of the type that gets told “you should be a model” by men who have not yet learned better pickup lines. There are many beautiful women in Ann Arbor, but let”s face it, they”re mortals.

Still, there were many things I missed about A2 as I was living the high life this summer, as crazy as that may sound. For instance, the lack of comfortable porches in Manhattan was upsetting, because is there anything quite like chillin” on the porch with iced tea and a good book? Or, if you have friends, chillin” on the porch with friends and alcohol?

As a University student, I of course missed having incredible public sex in the grad library stacks.

Ann Arbor house parties have a crude, barbaric charm that can”t easily be found in the sophisticaton of New York. You don”t have to pay $25 to get in (and maybe even more to the bouncer if you”re clearly underage and your fake gets rejected house parties don”t have bouncers or require ID), and another $20 to drink. House parties are almost always free, and on the rare occasions the hosts ask for money to cover alcohol costs, it”s usually only about three bucks and even that is considered “bullshit.”

On the topic of money, my monthly rent in Ann Arbor last year was $373, washer/dryer and phat-ass porch included. In New York well, let”s just say it was considerably more than $373, and one might even go as far as to say considerably more than three times that amount. I did have my own bathroom and kitchenette, but still, that”s truly outrageous.

Make no mistake, Ann Arbor is small and pathetically boring, especially when compared to someplace fun and metropolitan like, say, New York City. But living there made me appreciate the little things about the dismal college town I”ve made my place of residence for the past three school years. And after all, I can always go back after graduation.

Only 227 days to go …

Ben Goldstein can be reached at bjgoldst@umich.edu. His prayers go out to everyone affected by Tuesday”s tragedy. God bless New York still the best city in the world.

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