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Friday, December 31, 2010

Saltwater at the MGM Grand Hotel in Detroit


Saltwater within the MGM Grand Hotel, is an award-winning outstanding restaurant in Detroit. Egyptian-born Celebrity Chef Michael Mina, known by foodies in San Francisco and Las Vegas, developed this one and the Bourbon Steak House in the MGM Grand as well. On the New Year's Eve menu tonight is is his signature caviar appetizer or you might want to go for the five pound Maine lobster entrée!  The desserts are masterpieces. This coconut sorbet with lava cake was the finishing touch to a perfect dinner we had here. Wherever you dine tonight, we wish you all a Happy 2011. 

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Buick Gallery in Flint

The Buick Automotive Gallery is contained within the last remaining building of the entire Buick plant in Flint. Amidst antique pumps and a Vernors Wagon are dozens of classic Buicks and Chevrolets including many concept cars. On display is the Hellcat Tank Destroyer which was used in World War II and built by Buick. It is part of the Sloan Museum, but although the Sloan Museum is open on Sundays, this special Buick Gallery is open Monday through Saturday only. Did you know that the founder of Buick, David Buick, was born in Scotland in 1854? He moved to Detroit with his parents as an infant. He and Benjamin Briscoe formed the Buick Motor Company (the oldest American car manufacturer) in 1903 when David was 49 years old. Taking a stroll through the Buick Gallery is like walking back through history.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meyer May Home in Grand Rapids

The Meyer May Home in Grand Rapids is the most completely restored Frank Lloyd Wright house in America! Built in 1909 for a well-to-do Grand Rapids businessman, it was Wright's first important architectural project in Michigan. Vacant and having fallen into disrepair, the company Steelcase purchased the home and painstakingly restored it in 1987 after considerable research.  Tours of the home are free and they are well worth it.  Seeing the sunlight dancing through the stained glass windows or the hollyhocks on the dining room wall as well as his open spaces and minimalist style surely make you appreciate a man who was way ahead of his time. Frank's spirit oozes from its walls.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Honeyflow Farm in Dryden

Michigan may experience more than its share of dark and dreary days, but we have learned to make our own sunshine. The Honeyflow Farm in Dryden raises bees and sells their own honey and pure natural beeswax candles (with 100 styles to choose from). It is also the largest producer of grapes in Southeast Michigan. People buy them to make their own jelly, juice and wine. Some buy the honey to make mead! We purchased their candles on-line, but they gave us the option of saving shipping by picking it up at the farm. We couldn't resist taking a peek yesterday!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Fox Theatre in Detroit

Did you catch the production of Dreamgirls last night at the Fox Theatre? How fitting that they performed on the same stage that saw The Supremes! A stone's throw from the Detroit Opera House, it was built in 1928 by the same architect, Charles Howard Crane. At the time, it was the second largest theatre in the world and it had a heck of a run.  Mike Ilitch, whose Little Caesar's Headquarters moved here, was its savior in 1987, manning a $12 million dollar renovation. Known as "the Temple of Amusement", it has an opulent 10 story lobby! Restored to its 1920's glory, you have to see it to believe it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Detroit Opera House

The Detroit Opera House is home to the Michigan Opera Theatre which puts on several operas per year like La Bohème last month and the Magic Flute and Rigoletto, playing this Spring.  The world premier of Cyrano De Bergerac, written by MOT's director David Dichiera, was held here in October 3 years ago. This venue also hosts some fabulous dance and ballet companies. The Nutcracker was just performed here and coming up is the Joffrey Ballet and Alvin Ailey. The musical Mary Poppins ("Magic on stage" according to the Free Press!) is currently performing through January 2, 2011. The building, which dates back to 1922, was extensively renovated by the MOT and reopened in 1996 and is a pretty glorious showplace.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas from Livonia

The Free Press declared this home in Livonia as one of the best Christmas displays of the year.  Synchronized to music, if you put your radio station on 88.5 you can listen to the carols and messages spoken which honor the birth of Christ while blinking lights dazzle and dance. Blessings to all.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is about the birth of the Christ child for which there are thousands and thousands of churches across our state tonight holding services, lighting candles and praying for peace.  And we celebrate the birth of twins, Andrew and Mary, who through the miracle of modern medicine at St Joseph Mercy Hospital in Pontiac and much prayer were able to survive birth two months prematurely. Last Christmas, we featured Edgar A Guest, who is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery on Woodward south of 8 Mile. On Christmas Eve, we feature another of his poems today in honor of those serving in our armed forces and the families who await their safe return.

A Christmas Greeting

Here's to you, little mother,
With your boy so far away;
May the joy of service smother
All your grief this Christmas day;
May the magic of his splendor
Thrill your spirit through and through
And may all that's fine and tender
Make a smiling day for you.

May you never know the sadness
That from day to day you dread;
May you never find but gladness
In the Flag that's overhead;
May the good God watch above him
As he stands to duty stern,
And at last to all who love him
May he have a safe return.

Little mother, take the blessing
Of a grateful nation's heart;
May the news that is distressing
Never cause your tears to start;
May there be no fears to haunt you,
And no lonely hours and sad;
May your trials never daunt you,
But may every day be glad.

Little Mother, could I do it,
This my Christmas gift would be:
That he'd safely battle through it,
This to you I'd guarantee.
And I'd pledge to you this morning
Joys to banish all your cares,
Gifts of gold and silver scorning,
I would answer all your prayers.

Edgar Albert Guest 

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mount Holly Ski and Snowboard Resort

video
In southeast Michigan we enjoy the winter resort of Mount Holly in the city of Holly, off I-75. They call it "Where the north begins". With 13 lifts, 17 ski trails and 100 acres of ski terrain, it's an affordable and fun place for the city dwellers who don't have the time to trek 4 hours north.  It's a warm-up, practice area for the big slopes.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad in Flint

Crossroads Village in Flint with its Huckleberry Train are well worth a visit in the summertime, but it is quite special at Christmas.  Last night the weather was just perfect, holding at 30 degrees and the snow, of course, put everyone in a great mood as Christmas carols were blaring over the speakers.  The train with its lights, wreaths, steam engine and whistle toots totally delighted the crowds. Many passenger cars are able to handle the crowds that want to take a ride on these vintage trains. The Village is part of the Genesee County Parks which has been carefully and strategically adding historical buildings to the site since it opened in 1976.  Today there are 30 of them like the toy barn, a cider mill, grist mill, doctor's office, and a 1912 carousel. Costumed carolers add a great deal of fun and there is live entertainment at the Colwell Opera House. You can even mail postcards from the Crossroads Village US Post Office. It is open through December 30th.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Schuler Bookstore in Okemos

Schuler Books and Music, indigenous to our state, are the largest independent bookstores in the nation.  We are blessed to have not one, but 5 of them in Michigan. There are three in the Grand Rapids area where it started and one in Lansing and the one pictured above is in Okemos. They are also known for their music. Two weeks ago the Okemos store had a harpist in for everyone's enjoyment. Tonight it is the Lazet Percussion Ensemble at 6:30. It has been owned and operated since 1982 by the book/music loving couple of Cecile and Bill Fehsenfeld. For your reading/listening pleasure, they also offer a gourmet café.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Founders Brewing Co. in Grand Rapids

Founders' Brewery right in downtown Grand Rapids really surprised us. We arrived at 5pm on a Saturday and it was wall-to-wall packed.  Even the long bar did not have a seat available. Ratebeer.com ranked them as the 4th best brewery in the world. They've won many medals in recent beer competitions and beeradvocate.com has several of their beers listed among their top 100 beers of the world.  Obviously they are doing something right! The atmosphere is unpretentious with a huge glass wall separating the restaurant area from the brewing process which encourages public observations and exudes pride of operation. We not only enjoyed their brews, we thought their food was outstanding.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester

Meadowbrook Hall in Rochester Hills, part of Oakland University, is a lovely home to tour anytime of the year, but it is especially beautiful during the Christmas holidays. The home of Mathilda Dodge Wilson (widow of John Dodge) was completed in the 1920's and is considered one of the outstanding auto baron dwellings in Michigan. There are over 100 rooms in this spectacular edifice, making it the fourth largest historic house museum in the US. In 1957, the home, 1500 acres of land and 2 million dollars were donated by Mathilda and her second husband Arthur Wilson, with the stipulation that a university be built upon it. She gave a diamond ring to every student in the first graduating class in 1963. For the first time this year, you can climb the narrow stairway leading to the children's playrooms above the library.  A collection of 500 bears is on loan from a lady in Port Huron that are used for decoration! Docents enjoy telling all the little details.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Tanger Outlet Mall in Howell

The Tanger Outlet Mall in Howell attracts a whopping 3 million visitors a year. We have a German friend, Rolf, who comes frequently for business to the Detroit area. He's a devotee of US shopping and told us this Tanger Mall on Burkhart Road is his favorite. The day we visited, there was even a large local chorus providing entertainment. These 75 or more stores receive goods direct from the factories and prices reflect up to a 70% discount. 

Friday, December 17, 2010

Voigt House in Grand Rapids

 
A fine example of victorian architecture can be seen in the historical district of Grand Rapids at the Voigt house. A team of volunteers arrives in November to painstakingly decorate for Christmas according to the late 1800's time period.  The results are stunning.  Hostesses dressed in bygone attire guide visitors through each lovely furnished room breathing life and history into this exquisite home.  What a treat. The last tours are this weekend. Dec 20-30 they hold kids camp where the young ones can learn about 100 year old holiday traditions and get into some hands-on baking and craft-making.  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Bethlehem Alive! in Coopersville

A unique tradition called an indoor living nativity has been the focal point of Little Farms Chapel on December weekends for more than 20 years.  People come from miles around Grand Rapids to experience it.  They leave the larger animals outdoors like the donkeys and the horses. Wandering around the village, you can see people set up in their markets, selling different foods like the fishmonger above. Children work right alongside adults weaving rugs, making baskets, baking bread and selling pottery. A number of beggars in the streets lend authenticity to the Bethlehem village.  The local inn had no rooms available. Eventually you follow the light to a chorus of angels and the manger scene we are all familiar with.  Kudos to this small Coopersville church who has obviously put in a lot of time and research on this living tableau.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Gerald R Ford Museum in Grand Rapids

The Gerald R Ford Museum in Grand Rapids is a place all Michiganders should visit at some point in their lives. There is lots of history here displayed very attractively. Upon entering, you cannot help but notice the golden colored presidential seal doorknob. Christmas on the Grand is their special exhibit of handmade quilts made by local ladies and uniquely decorated trees sponsored by various local service organizations. The upper floor is devoted to the 38th president of the United States, Gerald Ford, who grew up and married in Grand Rapids. Everyone can learn something from these exhibits. That Huey helicopter sure brought back memories.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Coopersville Santa Train

Coopersville is about 15 minutes west of Grand Rapids and it offers families a phenomenal train ride on old-time passenger cars with Santa....and his cute little elves. A story-telling princess reads the classic "Polar Express".  Did you know its author, Chris Van Allsburg, is a Grand Rapids native? There are several scheduled Santa rides Dec 18th and 19th.  A 1950's locomotive pulls the 4 passenger cars and the caboose all the way to Marne and back.  Don't miss out!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Santa visits the Howell Nature Center

Knocked our boots off the Howell Nature Center surely did this past weekend. It was quite astounding to see close to 300 acres of such pristine beauty so near to the metropolitan area. Their mission is education and rehabilitation of wildlife. Those they cannot re-release into the wild, they keep for visitors to enjoy, which is why we saw this bird up close taking a bath in sub-freezing temperatures.  Other visible critters include a great horned owl, coyotes, possums, a flying squirrel, an eagle and Santa! Yes, in one of their beautiful lodge buildings overlooking Pleasant Lake, they hold breakfasts with Santa on the weekends. Kids were squealing with delight as they could see the Jolly Old Elf peeking in the windows out on the deck before he made his grand entrance. If that is not enough, they have hayrides with Santa in the evening. Plenty of groups and organizations use this idyllic setting for retreats year-round, as they have enough lodges and housing for over 200. They are selling beautiful Christmas trees daily until they run out.  They put them in a machine to shake any snow and loose needles off of them. The gift shop is super cute, too.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Troy Museum and Historical Village

On the corner of Wattles Rd (17 Mile) and Livernois, stands the recreated Troy Historical Village.  Volunteers have cleverly worked over the years to gather all these wonderful buildings in one area.   It's like a walk back in time.  Pictured here is an 1837 church with stained glass windows over 100 years old. It's a wonderful intimate place for wedding services today!  Visitors are encouraged to sit at desks in the Poppleton one-room school house built in 1877. The general store is a recreation of the one that was built in 1832, but demolished almost 50 years ago.  Also in the village is a beautiful Greek revival home dating back to 1832, a log cabin from the 1840's and a very cool blacksmith shop filled with memorabilia from a bygone era and much more. Some very knowledgeable docents with a passion for history love to show you around.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Cheeky Monkeys Foods from Goodrich

We found some delightful tidbits at the Royal Oak Farmers' Market--organic pumpkin scones made by Cheeky Monkeys, out of Goodrich southeast of Flint. A certain someone ate the entire bag and can attest to their addictabillity--which is not a word in our language but should be!! So, we succumbed again when we found those Cheeky Monkeys at the Birmingham Winter Market and bought their mint chocolate chip scones, their cranberry apricot scones, their cranberry almond scones and their ginger scones....they were out of pumpkin. They make great holiday gifts!  Warning though--if you open the bag and eat one....you won't be able to resist returning for more.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills

If you are interested in cars and you're a history buff, then the Walter P. Chrysler Museum in Auburn Hills will be a treat for you. Through December 30th, they are featuring Cars, Trees and Tradition. Vehicles are grouped according to time periods and the Christmas tree decorations also reflect that era.  We were very surprised to see this mid-50's pink and white La Femme. Do these names mean anything to you? --a Hudson Roadster, a Plymouth Prowler, a Nash Sedan?  Come relive the past or learn about it viewing all three floors in this beautifully maintained museum.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

35th Annual Potter's Market in Madison Heights

The 35th annual Potter's Market in Madison Heights took place Dec 3-4-5th. Put on by Oakland Community College, more than 100 artists sell all kinds of beautiful hand-crafted clay work from jewelry to hanging pieces, plates, bowls, mugs, decorative pieces, serving dishes and more. It was held in a huge warehouse and very well organized.  Is it any wonder they sell 30,000+ pieces of art in a weekend? They call it the largest pottery sale of its kind in the country. Pretty cool.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Cranbrook House in Bloomfield Hills

Cranbrook's 319 acres are filled with beauty and charm in Bloomfield Hills.  The greenhouse, part of the Cranbrook home, has been offering special holiday plant sales on Saturdays. The beautiful residence is open for Cocoa and Cookies with Santa this coming Saturday and the Holiday Tea takes place Wednesday and Thursday Dec 9 and 10th at both 1:15 and 4:15pm.  It is a great opportunity to tour this historic home, designed in 1908 by Albert Kahn, and decorated for the holidays.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Royal Oak Museum--Pearl Harbor Remembered

It opens today--the Pearl Harbor exhibit in the Royal Oak Historical Museum.  The fire station, dating back to 1928, was restored and opened as a museum housing the Royal Oak Historical artifacts about eight months ago. The exhibit opens tonight from 4-8pm, featuring memorabilia from Pearl Harbor Day and World War II.  We haven't seen what it entails yet, but we are looking forward to the event. This special show will run until March 19th. Come learn about "the day that will live in infamy".

Monday, December 6, 2010

Winter Market in Birmingham's Shain Park

It was a very festive atmosphere at Birmingham's first Winter Market in Shain Park this past weekend. This three-day event was a German-style outdoor market, and fortunately, the weather was a warmish 32 degrees and the winds were not howling! Lovely ice sculptures were everywhere and lots of people were enjoying the carriage rides. There were dozens of little white tents decked out with greenery and red bows offering all kinds of goodies and holiday gift ideas amidst Marshall Fredericks' soaring sculpture.  An outdoor food area was set up at the Community House with a few brave folk eating around the tables. Everyone seemed to really be enjoying themselves.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills

What a treat it was to be at Christ Church Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills yesterday. The church itself is an astounding piece of architecture, but the crowd was delighted with Ian McEwan's reading of The Night Before Christmas, the medley of seasonal songs by the St Dunstan's Ensemble and the sheer joy and energy from the Mosaic Youth Theatre group. Add the flute soloist and the resounding organ playing, and well, it's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Chi-Town, Union Station in Commerce

The town of Commerce, west of Pontiac, is home to a museum that houses one of our nation's largest displays of Model "O" trains. Chi-Town Union Station holds the record for the world's longest model train. We saw an engine pulling over 200 cars. Paul Gribbell, the creator of this marvelous display, has them up and running in a mock-up of Chicago from the days when railroads where the kings of transportation. Docents are on-hand to explain the history and the makings of the museum. Doesn't this make for great inspiration about what to put under your Christmas tree. The museum is open daily except Sunday.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Atwater Brewery in Detroit

On Joseph Campau St in Detroit's rivertown district, you'll find a brewery hidden away....near the water's edge in an historic 90 year old factory. It's the Atwater Brewery which doesn't look like much from the outside, but you'll be pleasantly surprised upon entering.  The beers, made in the German lager style, are known way beyond our Michigan borders.  Our state's Montmorency cherry concentrate goes into the cherry stout.  Why the hands on the draft pulls, you ask?  If represents how we pinpoint where we are from in our state. Atwater is clearly marked in the flesh of the palm.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Detroit Repertory Theatre

The Detroit Repertory Theatre, offering four fine productions a year, located on Woodrow Wilson near the Lodge (M-10) Freeway/Davison intersection. It is currently in its 54th season and is known as Michigan's oldest alternative professional theatre. They offer food and beverages during intermission as well as before and after theatre. It's a small intimate place where every seat has a great view. The world premier of Elena Hartwell's A Strange Disappearance of Bees is currently playing through December 26th.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Detroit Princess Riverboat Cruise

Traveling on the Detroit River on the Detroit Princess Riverboat can be a lot of fun no matter what the time of year.  Holiday cruises are running on the weekends in December with a large bash on New Year's Eve. Originally from Louisiana, the Detroit Princess has been plying our Detroit River offering wonderful cruises, food and entertainment for five years now.  The boat can carry over 1500 people and travels at 10 miles per hour.    

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Michigan Toy Soldier in Royal Oak

You've probably heard about this place but it's a "you won't believe it until you see it" kind of thing. The Michigan Toy Soldier on 11 Mile in Royal is one of a kind.  They even bill themselves as the world's largest complete source for plastic or medal soldiers and figures, historical military miniatures, figure and model kits, die cast armor, and on and on. It's an incredible walk through history. Talk to anybody employed there and you will find that they are a collector and a history buff.  They have these awesome scenes set up to represent the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution, the Civil War, medieval times, the far west back in the day, the Roman Empire, World War I, WWII, etc.  Need to brush up on your history? They have books and dvd's that cover everything. We only asked, "Where is Napoleon in this group"?  And we were shown the Emperor and Marshall Ney and Wellington and before you know it, we we get into battle details. Amazing!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Detroit's Parade Company

Part of the Michigan Thanksgiving festivities is the parade down Woodward Avenue where participants brave whatever weather Mother Nature hands out to hold places at the curb from early dawn on. The floats are magnificent and everyone had the opportunity to view them up close this past Saturday at the Parade Company storage facility on Mt Elliott. The event was called Day in Paradeland and featured entertainment, food, photos with Santa, games and much more. Tours are available all year round by appointment for groups of 10 or more.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Silent Night Chapel in Frankenmuth


Most people who come to Frankenmuth also visit the Silent Night Memorial Chapel which sits on the corner of Bronner's Christmas Wonderland. It is a copy of the one in Oberndorf Austria that the Bronner family so adored when they visited there in the 1970's. Built in 1992, the former mayor of Oberndorf --whom they met in the 70's --came for its dedication. There are plaques with "Silent Night" in hundreds of different languages posted throughout the grounds. It was written by pastor Joseph Mohr and the music was composed by a teacher, Franz Xaver Gruber. It was first sung in Oberndorf in the St Nicholas Church in 1818. We think that's a pretty cool story.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Farmer's Market in Royal Oak

It's jam-packed on Saturdays--the Royal Oak Farmer's Market. The Great Lakes pies just inside the door grabbed our attention immediately--we had to have one. Then it was the McClure pickles and the homemade Cheesy Monkey pumpkin scones, the wreaths and table decorations, the homemade soaps, the alpaca hats and socks, made in Michigan. And with all the fresh veggies and herbs, it was a veritable feast. You can easily see why this place is so popular.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sherwood Forest in Rochester


On Black Friday the world goes shopping and one of our favorite places at this time of year is the Sherwood Forest Garden Center in Rochester on the corner of Adams and Silverbell. They have live animals to the great delight of children and lots of decorations for inside and outside the home. Their village displays are stunning.  Their trains and villages fascinate kids and adults alike.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sojourner Truth in Battle Creek

One bigger than life statue of Sojourner Truth stands in Battle Creek just a couple of miles from where she is buried in Oak Hill Cemetery. Part of Highway 66 in Michigan was renamed after her. Born into slavery in New York, she escaped and assumed her calling as a prophet and a preacher, dropping her given name of Isabella. She dictated her memoirs which were published in 1847: The Narrative of Sojourner Truth which spoke of her life as a slave, having her own son sold illegally, her escape and her religious experiences. She travelled all the way to Washington to meet with and encourage Abraham Lincoln in his fight against slavery. She died on November 26, 1883, but a few days prior she was quoted as saying, "I'm not going to die, honey. I'm going home like a shooting star." We are grateful for our freedom! Wishing everyone a beautiful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Cloverleaf Wines in Royal Oak

Housed in a 100 year old renovated power plant adjacent to the railroad track in Royal Oak is a wonderful wineshop called Cloverleaf. We have four reasons for your to stop in and browse: 1) They carry two different beaujolais nouveau and 2) the Detroit Brewing Co's Sanders Chocolate Stout. 3) Fritz knows swill from the good stuff and 4) they provide delicious homemade breads to go with your wines.  When asked why their business cards were half size (1" by 1"), they said they were going green.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Lockhart's in Royal Oak

We haven't had ribs this lip-smackin' good in a long time.  Please check out Lockhart's BBQ in Royal Oak, just behind the Royal Oak Brewery.  In fact, the two are affiliated.  Funny thing is though, Lockhart's is featuring a brand new Sanders Chocolate Stout starting today-- which is a collaboration of efforts between the Detroit Beer Company  and Sanders Candy. Don't you love a local craft beer? Lockhart's has a variety of hearty Michigan brews on tap.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Royal Oak Holiday Magic Parade 2010

It was a fabulous day for the 9th annual Royal Oak Holiday Magic Parade down Washington this past Saturday. And the crowds were well pleased with bunches of bands, dancers, horses, Shriners in their little cars, clowns, stilt jumpers, and of course Santa himself and Mrs. Claus. With the sunshine out, most people did not mind the mid-forties temperatures. It was a blast. Parking was free. The candy canes were flying all over the place.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

In Memory of John F Kennedy


Tomorrow marks the 47th anniversary of the assassination of JFK. We found this brass plaque of the St Francis Prayer on the wall of our state capitol, dedicated to the memory of our former president.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Bay City Players in Fantasticks

Michigan's oldest continuously operating theatre is in Bay City and doing quite well thanks to its large and supportive donor base. Finishing up this weekend is The Fantasticks--a cute little play whose original showing in New York was the longest running musical in the world (over 60 years)! The Bay City Players provide theatre shows from September through May. In the summertime, there is Youththeatre which offers  over a dozen one act plays to young kids.  What's cool is that they are all directed by high school students.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Michigan artist: Marilynn Thomas

Can't you just feel this little critter's pain? What a darling little watercolor, created by Detroit-area artist, Marilynn Thomas.  Having enjoyed her work at other venues like the City Gallery in Mt Clemens, it was easy to spot this one recently in the Warren Community Center among several pieces of work that are for sale.  She loves birds and outdoor settings.  Marilynn also teaches watercolors at Macomb College in Warren. It's not too late to sign up for this winter's classes.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Craft Shows in Michigan

'Tis the season for craft shows and Michigan has a super abundance of them in every nook and cranny of our winter wonderland. This past weekend we were at Clawson Schools and the Warren Community Center gathering all the goodies above. What a haul! Warm doggie coats seem to be very popular, as well as collar scarves and animal hats. This coming weekend you'll enjoy the homemade creations at Warren Woods Tower and Mott, two high schools in Warren. But the mother of all craft shows is the 31st annual St Nick's Warehouse at Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights Saturday/Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Wolfgang Puck Grille in Detroit

Doesn't this coconut sorbet and lava cake look absolutely scrumptious?  It comes from the Wolfgang Puck Grille, a gem of a restaurant in Detroit's MGM Grand Hotel.  Its unique decor gives us a feeling of a woodsy cabin with over 350 Canadian elk antlers dangling overhead.  Dress is smart casual. Food is outstanding.  Thursdays are special nights where they offer 50% off bottled wine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Beast Disc Golf Course in Ludington

The Beast is a challenging and scenic disc golf course in Ludington with some wonderful views of Lake Michigan.  Part of Mason County Park, it's almost a mile and a half to walk the course with varied elevations for some great hiking.  The other disc courses within the park are Beauty and Goliath, but most people love the challenge of the Beast.  It's an intense hike up to the first hole.  Polish up your frisbees.  Yes, there are even winter leagues in many of the 100+ courses around Michigan.  Why they give double points when playing below 15 degrees. Ya gotta love it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Historic White Pine Village - Ludington

The historic White Pine Village is crammed full of some incredible artifacts.  There are a total of 29 buildings that awesomely recreate Ludington's past. Pictured here are the Cole's General Store and the one room school house, but you can also take self-guided tours through the old Mason County Courthouse, the Pentwater Post Office, a lumber camp, an 1880's farmhouse, sugar house and a hardware store to name a few.  This historic village that opened in 1976 is well worth a visit.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Ludington Reservoir Overlook

The Ludington Power Plant, a 37 year old hydroelectric plant and reservoir in Ludington, is owned by Consumers Energy and Detroit Edison.   Built between 1969-73, it consists of a reservoir 110 ft deep, 2.5 miles long and one mile wide, holding 27 billion US gallons of water.  Water is pumped up to the reservoir from Lake Michigan at night and during the day the turbines run in the opposite direction to create electricity. It can produce 1872 megawatts of electricity and provide enough power for 1.4 million people.  There's an observation overlook and trail where we viewed the engineering marvel and the huge reservoir that is considered one of the world's biggest electric batteries. 

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Re:View Contemporary Gallery in Detroit

Welcome to Re:View, a Contemporary Gallery in Midtown Detroit. Owner and Director Simone DeSousa has created this art gallery with two distinct components: an Exhibition Gallery focusing on one or two-person exhibits by accomplished local and national artists and a Commercial Gallery and Design Store. The current exhibit showcases the work of Simone and Coley McLean (co-founders of the Salt-Mine Studio in Detroit) and runs until the 27th of November.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Peace on the Grand River- Grand Rapids

This is one of the sculptures that remains from Grand Rapids' 2009 Art Prize with a great message.  Peace!  It is visible when you cross one of the pedestrian bridges of the Grand River in this vibrant downtown   area.  Now there is talk of a kayak park being built to create new recreational opportunities that would improve the fish habitat in the area as well.  There is always something fun to do in Grand Rapids.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Algonac's Veterans War Memorial

This Veterans Memorial in St. Clair County was just completed last year at this time, honoring Algonac's war dead from each branch of military service since the Civil War. As we attend parades, listen to speeches and place flowers and flags on military graves and memorials on this national holiday, let us remember each and every veteran with gratitude.