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Friday, April 30, 2010

The Ark- enriching the human spirit

Ann Arbor's Ark was created by four churches in the early 60's to give students a stress free outlet to share music, poetry and art. Nearly 50 years later it's still afloat as its own organization with Ark members acting as crew. Iggy Pop, Gilda Radner, Arlo Guthrie are just a few of the thousands who've appeared here. Most every night of the week there's some kind of unique performance at The Ark.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

High Flying Kite and Music Festival

Wayne County Parks is hosting a High Flying Kites and Music Festival on May 1, from 1:00 - 3:00PM. The admission is free for stunt kite flying demonstrations, open flying field, kite crafts and moonwalks for the kids. Gratitude Steel Drum Band will be performing at this event at Nankin Mills Park on Hines Drive in Westland. For more info visit Wayne County Parks and Go Fly A Kite!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Divine smells: Avalon International Breads

Avalon International Breads was voted best bakery of Detroit in 2009. It was a very busy and happy place on a recent visit with smells and sights off the scale. This little store front on Willis near Wayne State features a wide variety of baked goods such as homemade scones, muffins, danish, whole grain breads, quiches, sticky buns, foccacia, blueberry brickle and a wonderful friendly staff! They specialize in organic breads and baked goods done in the traditional way. They also have a commitment to use local produce and to give back to the community. Any leftover breads go to charities.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Chelsea House Victorian B and B

We love historic homes that have been beautifully restored like the Chelsea House Victorian Bed and Breakfast. It's location directly behind the Purple Rose Theatre makes it the perfect spot to spend a few nights when taking in the lovely town of Chelsea. The beds are heavenly, the breakfast is sumptuous and the innkeepers, Jim and Kim Myles are very knowledgeable and friendly. The play Our Town by Thornton Wilder is currently showing --it is very well done!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Tahquamenon Falls

Tahquamenon Falls are the pride and joy of the UP, aptly located near Paradise in the UP. The Tahquamenon State Park is the second largest in the state. Besides the fantastic waterfalls, there are 40 miles of hiking trails, 13 lakes, and 24 miles of river, with fishing, birding, and paddling. People always ask, why is the color of the waters clear brown? A Yooper would you?

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Macomb Orchard Rail Trail

Michigan has converted many abandoned railroad tracks to multi-use rail trails. Last weekend on the Macomb Orchard Rail Trail, we saw joggers, bikers and roller bladers, hikers, strollers, dog-walkers and all sorts of Spring vegetation and wildlife. This beautiful path runs almost 24 miles from Richmond, through Armada and Romeo, down through Washington Township and Shelby and connects to the Clinton River Trail in Oakland County at Dequindre near 24 Mile Road. Plans are in the works to connect all these cool trails in our state. Remember when we wrote about the Dequindre Cut Greenway?

Saturday, April 24, 2010

La Dolce Vita in Detroit

A live combo for Sunday brunch --you can't beat that. We thoroughly enjoyed everything at La Dolce Vita--the atmosphere, the service, our eggs benedict, mimosas, and the delightful music. When the weather is warm they extend their seating out onto the lovely brick patio. They need it, because it was packed wall-to-wall this past Sunday. It is located on Woodward, just north of McNichols with the entrance behind the restaurant as well as convenient valet parking. La Dolce Vita means The Sweet Life.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Atlas holds the world on his shoulders

This sculpture is part of the G&T Recycled Auto Parts on Gratiot Ave in Chesterfield Township. During the war of the Titans, Atlas stormed Olympus and threatened the gods. As punishment Zeus sentenced him to hold up the heavens and bear the weight on his shoulders forever. What a creative rendition from recycled auto parts! It was worth pulling the car over and snapping a photo.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

White Fish Point on Lake Superior

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum will take you back in time walking through the restored 1861 lightkeeper's quarters in the upper peninsula. Their bed and breakfast at Whitefish Point is for true lighthouse aficionados! You can also tour the museum gallery and see shipwreck legends with artifacts and exhibits that tell stories of sailors who've braved the waters of Lake Superior. Remember our earlier post about the Edmund Fitzgerald Bell? The museum reopens May 1st. Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Frankenmuth Funships Chocolates and More

Funships Chocolates and More has a a twelve passenger boat on the Cass River in downtown Frankenmuth that pairs wines with chocolate tastings. The cruises typically last about an hour. During inclement weather, the tastings are held inside the chocolate wine shop. Andrea shared some great stories with us as well as some interesting wines from Michigan. How interesting to choose a wine to go with a chocolate. We enjoyed!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Detroit Public Television

Detroit Public Television was recently named "Public Station of the Year". Its 1.6 million weekly viewers have been blessed daily with great, commercial free programming since it began broadcasting in 1955. There are many opportunities for viewers to participate live in the audience while it's taping. We had so much fun sitting in for the Start Up Nation which aired a couple of weeks ago. The studio is located in Riley Broadcast Center in Wixom. Check with DPTV for more info.

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Dearborn Inn

Henry Ford hired Albert Kahn to design the elegant Dearborn Inn. It was built in the Georgian style and served as a hotel for the Ford airport across the street. The landing strip closed in 1933 and is now the Ford Vehicle Track. Since opening in the early 1930's, hotel guests have included Orville Wright, Eleanor Roosevelt, Bette Davis, James Doolittle and Norman Rockwell. In 1937 Henry Ford had five historic replica homes built on the hotel campus in a colonial village setting which can also be reserved. Can you imagine staying in the replica home of Edgar Allen Poe (complete with Raven on the porch), Walt Whitman or Patrick Henry? We recently attended the Michigan Historical Conference at the Dearborn Inn. All attendees seemed very pleased with the food, ambiance and their accommodations.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Berkley's Have You Any Wool Yarn Shop

We have been in a lot of knit/crochet shops, but the one in Berkley, "Have You Any Wool?", really impressed us. They have lots of classes to take to learn how to make all these wonderful creations, and tons and tons of the most gorgeous yarns to work with. You can feel the warmth oozing from this boutique when you walk in. It's a friendly place, perhaps our favorite yarn shop in Michigan.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Potter Park Zoo

The Potter Park Zoo is 100 acres of park and gardens along the Red Cedar River in Lansing. Open year round, it has over 400 animals, a farmyard petting zoo, pony rides and an aquarium in the Exploration and Discovery Center. The beautiful grounds outside the zoo are used for picnicking, jogging, walking and biking. We so enjoyed our visit.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Mount Clemens Depot Museum

This Mount Clemens Railroad Depot is the station where young Tom Edison learned to operate the telegraph and where at the age of 12, he saved the station master's three year old child from being run over by a freight train! The museum contains many artifacts and wonderful docents who make the history come alive. During summer months small train trips are available.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Kerrytown's Spice Shop

We really enjoyed the wonderful aroma of the individual spices, dried herbs and teas from around the world at the Spice Merchants in Ann Arbor's Kerrytown Market and Shops. This Michigan based store also has locations in East Grand Rapids and Saugatuck. Their website conveniently gives you recipes by the spice.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum

This museum, sandwiched between stores in a shopping mall on Orchard Lake in Farmington Hills, is packed with historical and modern arcade machines, sideshow wonders, fortune tellers, automations and curiosities. Behind, above, around are posters, airplanes, animations and odd and unusual coin operated games. Marvin is a pharmacist whose hobby grew out of control. Now anyone can enjoy it. Admission is free and the sign on the door, says highly recommended by the owner! Kids and adults inside would agree that Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum is fun, fun, fun.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

North Lansing Brenke Fish Ladder

This fish ladder is 6th in a series of fish ladders on the Grand River to allow trout and salmon to migrate the 184 miles from Lake Michigan to South Lansing. Using the ladder, the fish are able to by pass the obstacles like this waterfall. We witnessed many fishermen enjoying their catches on the mighty Grand River at the ladder in old downtown Lansing.

Monday, April 12, 2010

FOCIS Symposium on The Michigan Economy

FOCIS (Forum on Contemporary Issues in Society) directed by Dr. Irvin D. Reid, president emeritus of Wayne State University, presented a day long symposium this past week exploring issues that hinder growth in Michigan's economy and analyzing factors that could energize our long awaited recovery. Speakers included Dr. Alice Rivlin, senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institute as well as many knowledgeable panelists. We learned that many positive things are going on in Michigan to create jobs, security and change.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Holocaust Memorial Center, Farmington Hills

Today is Holocaust Remembrance Day and Michigan has the distinction of having the first free-standing museum dedicated to the memory of this horrific event: The Holocaust Memorial Center on Orchard Lake Road. It is open to the public everyday of the week except Saturday. You can see the six glass peaks on the exterior of the building, representing over six million Jewish victims. The free public tours are very informative and given by knowledgeable and passionate docents. We were fortunate to hear and meet holocaust survivor, Mrs. Mania Salinger, author of the book "Looking Back".

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ladybug Gallery

Whitdel Arts (formerly known as the Ladybug Gallery) is located in the Whitdel Building in Southwest Detroit. You have until April 17, 2010 to see the show "EXIT Detroit" featuring the works of 29 New York Artists from Detroit, including Doreen's sister, Mary Sobiechowski. The show is presented by the Southwest Artists' Network of Detroit (Swan) with support of CAID (Contemporary Art Institute of Detroit). It was curated by Robert Sestok. Open Wed-Sat from 1-6 pm, the beautifully rehabbed Whitdel Building also has a great story. To find it on a map, click here.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Detroit Peace Community Way of the Cross 2010

At noon on Good Friday for over the last 30 years, The Detroit Peace Community has held a Way of the Cross March in downtown Detroit. This year began in Corktown at St. Peter's Church on Michigan and Trumbull where hundreds marched, prayed and sang for the hungry, homeless, uninsured and jobless, the financial industry, our military and the overall well-being of our country.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Strand Theatre Building in Lansing

Sometimes you just have to stop and look at the beautiful historic buildings in Michigan. This is the Strand Theatre and Arcade that was built in 1921. Although it is used for offices now, in its heyday the Strand had 2000 seats making it the largest vaudeville and motion picture theatre, with bowling alleys, a ballroom and 14 specialty stores. In 1941 it became the Michigan Theatre which closed in 1980.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Oldsmobile Park

Not only did we lose the Oldsmobile brand of cars in 2004, the baseball park in Lansing is changing names from Oldsmobile Park to Cooley Law School Stadium this year. Last month, we still found the Olds name on the stadium. Oldsmobile was founded by Ransom E. Olds in 1897. They built 35.2 million cars including 14 million in the Lansing factory. The Stadium is home to the minor league team --the Lansing Lugnuts whose opener is tonight at 7:05 against MSU.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The W.A.B.

The WAB rhymes with "FAB" meaning the Woodward Avenue Brewery in Ferndale just south of Nine Mile. Upon entering, you're immediately struck by a lively atmosphere, engaging music and unique d├ęcor. The upstairs tables by the wall of windows give you an exciting view onto the famous street below. The menus are artfully presented between two Michigan license plates. There's cool art exhibited hung by chains from the loft ceilings, a pool hall corner and a super jukebox. As for their in house beers, we tried their Blonde, Raspberry Blonde, Hefe-Weizen, Pale Ale, and the Root Beer! All were tasty. Big fat burritos for the hungry. The downstairs patio opens up for the summer. Hour Detroit voted it the best microbrewery of metro Detroit in '08 and '09. It's the place to hang. We liked.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bookie's Bar & Grill in Detroit

It's Sports Heaven for basketball and baseball fanatics this week. It's the final basketball game tonight for the NCAA tournament and Friday is Opening Day for the Tigers at Comerica Park. Today we feature Bookie's rooftop patio downtown and a short walk to the ballpark. No tickets for the game? They have multiple huge screens set up for their patrons. You can't beat the glorious view!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Nancy Brown Carillon Tower, Belle Isle

One of the reasons we love doing this blog so much is that occasionally we stumble across something phenomenal that we never knew about. Tooling around Belle Isle last month, the weather was sunny and warm (in the 40's!), we had the windows down slightly....and we could hear strains of music! What is that? Nearing the conservatory we saw this tower structure. It is a carillon that has been there since the 1940's. How is it possible we have missed this all our lives? Back in the day, there was this very inspiring columnist for the Detroit News named Nancy Brown and she rallied people to do things like come out to Belle Isle every Easter for a sunrise service. This tower was built in her honor. 70 years later... we still feel blessed. Happy Easter to all.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

General Alexander Macomb

Today is Macomb County Heritage Day and we celebrate the birthday today of Alexander Macomb who was born in Detroit in 1782. This historical marker honoring him is located in Mt Clemens on Gratiot and Macomb. He became famous in the War of 1812 for his victory in Plattsburgh over a far superior force of British invaders. Later as Chief Army Engineer he promoted the building of military roads in the Great Lakes area. There's also a statue of him in Detroit across from the Book Cadillac Hotel. He is buried in the Congressional Cemetery in Washington DC.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Palace of Auburn Hills

The Detroit Pistons have provided the excitement of professional basketball to Detroit fans for over 50 years. Prior to the 88-89 season the team moved into their new home at The Palace of Auburn Hills. The 1989 Pistons won 63 games shattering their old franchise record and ended the season with their first NBA championship. They added a back-to-back championship in 1990 and another in 2004. This season their current record is 23-47. Let's return to Championship status!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

St. Lucy Catholic Church, The Last Supper

This Last Supper sculpture is displayed at St. Lucy Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores. It was created by Father Bohdan Kosicki who served as pastor of St. Lucy for many years and created numerous wooden sculptures depicting the stations of the cross and many other scenes. The detail is precious.