So... I was walking into work this morning and saw people waiting for Harry Potter to be released at midnight tonight. This would not be so big a deal if it wasn't for the fact that this Borders is on Liberty Street in Ann Arbor, right in the heart of one of the country's largest summer street art fairs. By 8:50AM, they were already formed a line almost half a block long. I cannot actually imagine the amount of traffic flow issues that will be caused by backups due to so many HP fans sitting quietly (or not so quietly) in the way of all the people descending on the city with art fair fever. (That so many people coming into town do not know how to operate in crowded conditions is also a grave concern.) The part of me that exults in schadenfreude wants me to be happy with this predicament. However, the part of me that is a HP nerd hopes that all these hard-core fans don't have to suffer the slings and arrows of the thousands of Art Fair maniacs that will descend all around them. (Hopefully Borders will come up with an ingenious method of reserving books to all those who come by - kind of like a waiting ticket that people can pick up during the day to guarantee themselves a place in line in the evening.)
In related news, Art Fair is ready to launch itself into the day (again); ready for sun, rain, or tornado as yesterday proved. Mornings are quite nice and still quiet around the white tents of. Of course, just because all the artists are only just starting to open up their stalls at 9AM doesn't mean that the coffee houses aren't selling coffee to students, residents, visitors, and artists. The fact that the entire stretch of State Street in the UM area is closed down means that the coffee shops can have their seating spill out onto the streets.
This makes the city look more like a European city, with a pedestrianized core area, wide sidewalks and lots of cafe tables with people quietly sitting and going about their morning business. There is something fundamentally different from this picture and one that you would take when you go around this area during the rest of the year: seating crammed onto the sidewalk and cars whizzing by, both destroying any feeling of ease and leisure.