I asked other people what they think it means to be an Ann Arborite. One colleague, a longtime resident, suggested that "townies"--people who grew up here--are the thriving core of Ann Arbor. A friend said that a true member of the community has an open mind, an open heart, and some relationship with the University of Michigan; she feels that the university makes Ann Arbor the hub of creativity that it is. Still another person told me with a groan that being a true Ann Arborite means "you have been to enough art fairs that you just want to get out of town for those four days!"
The results of my survey were inconclusive. To be a part of the Ann Arbor community, I was told, is to love the art fair, hate the art fair, love the university, hate football Saturdays, go to the townie party, avoid the townie party, express a fierce liberal ideology but welcome all political and social thought, rave about Zingerman's but never go there (way too many tourists!), hold a firm preference for one high school over the others, buy local, and love dogs, to name a few.
To this eclectic and contradictory blend I would like to add my own, admittedly limited, thoughts.