Photo Tour: Buchanan, Michigan
I’ll bet I know what you’re thinking. Buchanan, Michigan? What’s in Buchanan, Michigan?* That sounds like a made up name. But it’s not. It’s a real town, and it’s awesome. I made the drive last weekend, making my way down back roads cut through vineyards and farms, taking copious notes for this report. Keep reading for details, but I see no sense keeping you in suspense; I’m most definitely (or mos-def, as the kids say) drinking the Buchanan Kool Aid (I don’t know what the kids call this).
What’s so great about Buchanan? The well-preserved architecture for one. Alan Robandt’s spectacular Italian Renaissance Revival style building is just one example of the fine housing stock this little burg boasts, whether they be smallish cottages (I photographed a really swell one last weekend), mid-century modern gems (ditto) or spectacular commercial buildings (also ditto).
Until recently, downtown Buchanan was derelict with few businesses among the many abandoned buildings. But thanks to a Chicago gang who rolled into town pioneer-like with big plans to revitalize the town, three such shops opened in the last year, joining Robandt’s showroom. And there are rumors of more in the planning stages. Yee-haw!
Continued . . .
But in the end, it all boils down to the people, and the Buchananites I met (glossing over the fact I interacted with no actual locals other than the surprisingly large scarecrow population**) are very welcoming, friendly, intelligent and community-minded folks with big dreams for their new home.
After chatting with Alan and a few of the other fellas, I met a couple friends at Wheat Berry, a restaurant located just outside downtown near the gently rolling landscape along the river. The food was good (the blueberry crumble served ala mode was pretty darn great), and the crowd was positively cosmopolitan. That’s three thumbs up in my book. Oops! I need another thumb.
Stay tuned for a more detailed look at the new Buchanan home stores. In the meantime, please enjoy these photos. And while you’re at it, please take this time to leave a comment about your favorite antique store keeping in mind to weave that opinion into a compelling narrative with character progression, a conflict, climax and resolution. Also, I’d like to use this as a way to explore a universal theme such as love, death, freedom, fear, etc. I’ll need this comment by the end-of-the-day. OK, have fun.
* As a joke, I really wanted to write something like, If you liked Twin Peaks, you’ll love Buchanan, but I didn’t know if I could pull it off without conveying my sarcasm. Although it is kind of true. Not really though. It’s worth a trip, so go now, before another year has passed or at least before its cold again. Go now to Buchanan and savor September warmth in a lovely place (although I’m sure October will be nice too).
** Doesn’t the word scarecrow sound like it originated from a particularly inarticulate person? Imagine him or her pointing at a bail of hay that had been inadvertently bunched in the approximate shape of a body. “Scare crow,” they’d shout. “Scare crow, scare crow, scare crow!!!” It’d be like trying to decipher Lassie. But it stuck, which is more than I can say for Decoratus Absurdum. sniff.