on saturday, this article appeared in the ann arbor news, detailing the struggle a certain bar (which i normally try to keep nameless, so go ahead and forget about it right after you read this) in ann arbor has been going through with the city, trying to get a permit for a tent party on st. patrick's day.
anyway, even a quick read of the article shows the silliness of the arguments against our tent party--but i have to tell you that a lot more really silly things have been said in the history of this whole shenannigan, and it's all getting pretty annoying.
basically, the city is trying to argue that we shouldn't be allowed to profit from closing a street and selling alcohol, even though the bar across the street from us does the exact same thing (on the exact same street!) every year for oktoberfest.
and, we're only talking about a side street here. every august, the busiest section of MAIN STREET is shut down when our city hosts a huge national plumber's convention, so that they can HOLD A POKER TOURNAMENT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET.
the point is, it seems pretty clear to me that they aren't really against closing the streets and letting people make money from selling alcohol (and gambling! which is not legal here!), just against our business in particular.
anyhow, reading THE COMPLETELY RIDICULOUS CONCERNS OF SOME OF THE CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS really pissed me off.
so i wrote a letter to the editor.
i sure did.
and here it is, for your reading pleasure:
In an article appearing February 3rd chronicling the controversy over The Arena Sports Bar and their would-be St. Patrick's Day/ March Madness street event, City Council Member Joan Lowenstein explained her opposition to the event by pointing out that an inflatable beer bottle--which was on display near the bar's tent last year--would promote excessive drinking.
I don't know how familiar Lowenstein is with St. Patrick's Day, but I feel confident in pointing out that an inflatable beer bottle can hardly be considered responsible for the heavy drinking undertaken by people all over the globe every March 17th.
I think we would be hard-pressed to find a single individual who was innocently walking the streets last year, off to study or do some grocery shopping or what-have-you, who then instead decided to get hammered after seeing the inflatable beer bottle.
Much like people pass out candy on Halloween, people drink on St. Patrick's Day. Inflatable beer bottles have nothing to do with it.
Further arguments from those in opposition to The Arena's tent event cite the possible youth of the age group who would be in attendence. Can any one else smell the age discrimination? Because I think it reeks in here.
We could begin by asking if those standing behind this argument have ever even been to The Arena, where a glance down the bar almost always reveals a line-up of middle-aged faces.
But every point I could make pales in comparison to this:
The legal drinking age is 21.
The college age crowd imagined by The Arena's opposition has as much of a right to party as the 'older' OktoberFest crowd whom they allow to party in the street every year.
If the City Council feels that 21 year olds are too young to drink, perhaps they should spend some time trying to change that law, and less time trying to neuter our local businesses.
i even used capital letters.
aren't you proud of me?
anyway, maybe i'll give you an update on this situation as new events unfold.
or maybe i'll get bored of it and you'll never hear of it again.
update: they are going to publish my letter! maybe this is dumb, but I'm really excited. I did have to edit it a bit for them--apparently they have to keep it under 250 words, and my letter was a little wordy. big surprise, huh? anyway, i'll link to it when it shows up in the online news. i'm guessing it will be tomorrow.