For the last few years, I've heard talk of "fairy doors" in downtown Ann Arbor, but only in hushed whispers or as snippets of conversations. Well, Ann Arbor is a college town with a lot of very artistic and creative people with wonderful powers of imagination, so it never occurred to me that these fairy doors might in fact actually exist. It turns out that they do! For the last few years, several businesses have created dollhouse-sized doors for fairies, either outside or inside of their establishments.
Who knew?! (I don't go downtown much!) Well, the nice folks of the Washtenaw Wanderers Volksporting Club knew, that's who. On Sunday, they hosted three walks that featured fairy doors. Curious and eager for some exercise, my friend Julia and I undertook the 5K (3.1 mile) walk. All of the fairy doors are downtown but the walk took us all the way out to the University of Michigan Stadium (up a hill with a rather long incline, pant huff puff), through a residential neighborhood (more hills, pant wheeze), and down (down, yay!) through Wurster Park back to the starting point. (I had recently visited Wurster as part of Parkathon 2009, and it is home to a gorgeous, huge chinkapin oak, which I was happy to see again.)
Some of the doors were inside, like this lovely teal door in the stairway of Adorn Me, a boutique way too fashionable for me (but not for Julia!). I like the little fenced balcony. For perspective, the door is about 8 inches high.
Another teal fairy door was hidden on the side of a blue bookshelf at the main branch of the Ann Arbor District Library. And if you look closely (or at the first photo in this post), you can see two small friendly visitors on the doorstep! You can imagine my surprise and delight to catch a glimpse of these creatures, but after I blinked, they were gone. I wouldn't have believed I had truly even seen them, if it weren't for this photographic evidence of their mystical and ethereal forms!
This door is on the bottom of a counter at Jefferson Market, which sells sundries and baked goods. It also had a little mailbox (to the right of where the photo ends) for people to leave notes to the fairies. People also like to leave coins and other little trinkets. At the library door, their was a stone, some seeds, and two walnuts.
The Jefferson Market also had these fairy cards for sale, but they were too big to fit into the fairy mailbox.
I liked how this fairy door at Hathaway's Hideaway (a meeting venue) echoed the design of the door for humans. (Yes, that is a blue M&M as an offering.)
The fairy door inside the Crazy Wisdom bookstore is as new age as the store. Note the offerings here include pine needles and a small portrait of the Mona Lisa! Natural and classy combined!
This bright red door at Red Shoes (which incidentally doesn't sell shoes; remember, Ann Arbor is creative!) resembles the bright red main entry door. I think it looks very nice against the teal house and it matches the red mailbox (I don't know what the bag's about). This was the only fairy door that incorporated any kind of plants or flowers, which is what I believe fairies prefer. The owner of the store changes the plants by the season.
The Ark, a music venue on Main Street, not only had a fairy door (under the second window from the left) but a fairy ticket window (on the middle panel under the main window) as well! So clever. Unfortunately, we missed The Ark on the tour Sunday (based partly on the directions and partly on my interpretation) so I went back on Monday, during the snowstorm mentioned in my previous post, to take the photo.
The Ark makes special tickets for fairy lovers, hand-stamped and with intriguing messages, and the handout to the walk says you could take one. Unfortunately, there were no tickets left on Monday and the little window was empty. Apparently, early on when the tickets were first made, people didn't just take one but pulled out the whole roll, so now The Ark only does a limited amount of tickets and only for special events. Fair enough. But, naturally, that's the one fairy door I missed on the one day it would have been best to see it! Grumbles.
But, wait, what's this? Oh, look! It's the little fairy who was all blurry at the library! She must have followed me to cheer me up and here she holds still for a beautiful pose! Thank you, lavender fairy, for brightening my day. I'm sure my blogging friends are happy to see you, too!