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Friday, May 31, 2013

Harbor Springs drinking fountain

Residents and tourists fill up their jugs and water bottles at the Bay Street drinking fountain from a natural spring in Harbor Springs. It is situated on the waterfront across from Zorn Park. And it tastes delicious.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

American Spoon in Petoskey

The copper kettle pictured here was one of the original pieces of equipment in Petoskey's American Spoon where the great recipes were developed for their preserves using Michigan fruit over 30 years ago. Today there is the café adjacent to their store which overlooks Pennsylvania Park. It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner with housemade gelato and a full bar--serving beer from seven different Michigan breweries and wine from 2 Lads on Old Mission Peninsula.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Grandpa Shorter's in Petoskey

If you are hanging out in Petoskey, be sure to stop at Northern Michigan's favorite gift shop: Grandpa Shorter's.  It has been there since 1946 in a building within the historic gaslight district since 1880. They have an assortment of Petoskey stone kitsch--cheese knives and bottle stoppers, beads, jewelry, magnets and of course, the stones themselves. They also carry the largest number of in-house comfy Minnetonka Moccasins. The store is still run by the descendants of Grandpa Carl Shorter and we think it's a keeper.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Michigan Photographer Dave Dinsdale

It was a pleasure meeting Dave Dinsdale, photographer from Rochester Hills, whose favorite subject is Michigan's nature. His Jordan Valley masterpiece was made from piecing together 16 of his photos. Although he has captured wonderful images from his travels both here and abroad in France and Germany, he loves his home state. He and his wife Nancy (also his business partner) have transferred many of his pictures to tiles that can either be used as wall art or trivets and coasters.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Detroit's Electronic Music Festival in full swing

Music galore continues through today in Detroit's Hart Plaza with what seems like hundreds of different musical acts in what as known as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival. With the good weather, projected attendance should soar over 100,000 for the 14th DEMF. Thanks for the photo, Moon.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Elk Rapids Historical Museum

This absolutely gorgeous 1901 building was donated by the Methodist Church to the Elk Rapids Historical Society. For two years now they have been renovating and fixing it up to house their Historical Museum. It has our vote for the most unique and intriguing edifice for such a museum. The yellow bricks used to create this house of worship were made right in Elk Rapids. The church has its original stained glass windows, tin ceilings and lovely oak woodwork. Open Friday, Saturday and Sundays from Memorial weekend through the end of September.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Romeo's Crooked Creek Dairy Farm

Ice cream lover alert! Crooked Creek Dairy Farm in Romeo raises cows, milks them and whips it up into some fabulous ice cream flavors.  We trekked all the way out here to see it and taste it for ourselves. They not only sell the frozen dessert, they bottle their milk in both white and chocolate variety and sell both milk and dark chocolate candy bars. It is hormone and steroid free! There are picnic tables on the grounds and animals to enjoy. Greg and Dory have been running the farm for over 30 years.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Rodin in Detroit

Love the new little bar/eatery across the street from Detroit's DIA called Rodin in the retro Park Shelton building. It stands in the shadow of The Thinker created by artist Rodin on Woodward. Chef Kate Williams offers many interesting dishes.  We tried a few small plates and they were all delectable. Rodin opens at 4pm and offers only French wines which were most delicious also. Sunday brunch is from 11-4pm. Owner Torya Blanchard also runs the crêperie Good Girls Go to Paris next door.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Ice Cream Peddlers in Elk Rapids

Nothing screams summer or Memorial Weekend more than homemade ice cream and the Ice Cream Peddlers in Elk Rapids have the right stuff right on River Street. They serve brownies and cream puffs with Saunder's hot fudge! Also available are shakes and malts, floats and sundaes.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Central Lake's Blue Pelican Inn

The village of Central Lake near Bellaire is home to the Blue Pelican Inn which is a popular place to eat and even has seven hotel rooms available, too, to spend the night. The inn has changed hands numerous times since 1924 and many people will tell you that ghosts haunt the place. That must be why it is so popular! The Side Door Saloon opens at 4pm (all you can eat haddock on Fridays with Happy Hour all night). Today, Wednesday, they offer specials on their rib baskets. Live entertainment on the deck Fridays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Artist Gary Odmark from Holland

Your first impression oil painter Gary Odmark, is that he looks a lot like Ernest Hemingway. This oil painting artist hails from Holland where he loves the roiling waters of Lake Michigan and the wildflowers and peaceful nature scenes of his backwoods. If you give him a photograph, he can bring it to life with his magic brush and tubes of color.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Mackinac Bridge from McGulpin's Point Lighthouse

Walking down the trail from the McGulpin Point Lighthouse one finds a terrific view of the Mackinac Bridge. The water is crystal clear and the beach pretty much secluded. When visiting the Lighthouse you must walk the short trail to the beach or you will only have seen part of the attraction of McGulpin.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mootown Ice Cream in Detroit

Today is Flower Day at Eastern Market when thousands of people from metro Detroit come down to by a part of all the fun. Mootown Ice Cream sits on Russell Street and has been serving up some enormous scoops of Michigan's delicious Hudsonville ice cream for two years now. Mootown is one of those "must stops" at Eastern Market--all natural and MOOlicious!

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Fine Art in Rochester Hills Village

What perfect weather this weekend for Rochester Hills' Fine Art in the Village on Adams Rd at Tienken which is running until 8pm today and 6pm on Sunday. About 6 dozen artists were set up and selling their wares from near and far. Two young girls were adding ambience by playing the violin and the flute. It was very well attended.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Sculptor Tim Burke in Detroit

There are some unusual sculptures in Detroit's Lafayette Greens by native Detroiter Tim Burke. He recycles old metal parts into unique creatures. Iron man was created from discarded parts of St Paul's Cathedral reroofing. Volunteers maintain the raised bed gardens in this beautiful 1/2 acre park on Michigan Avenue that is sponsored by Compuware.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

West Bloomfield Rail Trail

We had an opportunity to hike the West Bloomfield Rail Trail earlier this afternoon and were very pleased with the serene natural beauty. It is about 7 miles long paralleling Pontiac Trail. There is a wee parking lot on Haggarty Road adjacent to the crushed limestone path and a well constructed boardwalk that traverses the low-lying marshy areas. At the opposite end is the Sylvan Manor Park. This is part of a network of hiking paths that extend across our state called the Michigan Airline Trail. Dogs are most welcome on leashes and they provide disposal bags for picking up after them.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Selinsky-Green Log House in St Clair Shores

St Clair Shores has nicely preserved one of their log homes from the 1800's that had been lived in by a long line of family members until 1974.  The Selinsky-Green home would have been razed for the I-696 expressway, but those with foresight fought to preserve it and it was moved to 11 Mile Rd and Jefferson adjacent to the library.  Volunteers restored this salt box house and maintain it. Pretty cool. This Saturday an old-time toy-making class is being held in the log house at 1pm.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Woodcarver's Pavilion in Frankenmuth

The woodcarver's pavilion is an interesting focal point in one of Frankenmuth's parks. Located on Main Street alongside the river, it represents various fairy tales of German origin in Zehnder Park. The beautiful carvings were done by members of Frankenmuth's guild and date back to 1986.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Java and Jazz at Detroit Public Library

Once a month there is a Java and Jazz series at the almost century old Detroit Public Library sponsored by Comerica Bank. In the midst of their 13th season, this month you can hear Saxappeal on Tuesday evening, May 21 at 6pm and they are free. This is a super cultural experience for all ages.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Celebrate Mother's Day at Fisher Theatre

One of the best presents for Mother's Day is a special moment. Take her to the Fisher Theatre in Detroit's new Center area to see Catch Me If You Can. Moms love musicals! The venue is gorgeous. Completed in 1928 inside the opulent Fisher Building, you will see lots of ornate art deco touches. Going to the Fisher Theatre is an experience she will not forget. This play runs through May 19.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Detroit Windsor Tunnel

One of the huge draws about visiting Detroit is the ability to zip through the auto tunnel 75 feet below the Detroit River to Canada. It's an architectural wonder about a mile long that was built between 1928-1930. The US and Canadian flags rest side by side on the wall at the midpoint. After the Ambassador Bridge, it's the second busiest crossing between Canada and the US with on average 25,000 cars using it daily. The first car through in November of 1930 was a 1929 Studebaker.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Joe Muer Seafood in Detroit

Yesterday was deliriously beautiful with sunny skies and warm temps. Al fresco dining was de rigueur. What better spot or better food than Joe Muer Seafood overlooking the Detroit River? This new venue within the Renaissance Center for the 1929 flagship eatery is absolutely superb and voted the restaurant of the year in 2012. Mother's Day dinners are served between 5-9pm in Sunday. Those pillars of fire outside are pretty dramatic in the evening!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Rackham Golf Course in Huntington Woods

133 acres were donated to the city of Detroit with its beautiful art deco building back in 1924 by Horace and Mary Rackham. The stipulation was that beautiful Rackham Golf Course which began in 1923 and was located adjacent to the Detroit Zoo would remain a golf course. In 1926, the area became Huntington Woods, all of its 1.5 square miles, 20% of which is the golf course!  It is listed as one of the top ten municipal golf courses in the state. The street leading to the golf course off I-696 now sports a new name after the legendary African-American golf pro Ben Davis who used to give lessons out at Rackham. The dedication took place today.  Ben passed away in Southfield last month at the age of 101.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Penobscot Building in Detroit

One of Detroit's most recognizable skyscrapers is the Penobscot Building on Griswold with its glowing red neon ball at the top. This 47 story structure was named after the Penobscot Indians of Maine. The architect, Wirt Rowland, also designed the Guardian Building. It was the tallest building in the US outside of NYC and Chicago in the 1920's. Corrado Parducci did much of the architectural sculptures on the building like in Midland.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

El Guapo's Food Truck, mostly in Detroit

His twitter account today said El Guapo would be at Campus Martius from 11-2pm where we found his food truck and a long line for his delicious Mexican fare.  With the warm weather this week, the foodies came out in droves. El Guapo only takes cash. Menu items include the obligatory tacos and burritos, but they also serve fresh guacamole, beans and rice, salsa with chips and sweet potato friend. This may be Michigan's Number One Food Truck!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Roasting Plant in Detroit

Word travels fast when there is a new hot coffee spot in town, mainly the Roasting Plant at Campus Martius. After opening two successful ones in Manhattan, they decided Detroit would be a great spot! You have to see their unique system of pneumatic tubes. called a Javabot, that deliver their perfectly roasted varietals. Closed on Sundays, Mon-Fri they open at 7am and Saturday at 10am. We confirm that their java is delicious!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Detroit

Standing resolutely in Detroit's Campus Martius is the 60-foot tall Soldiers and Sailors Monument honoring those from Michigan who gave their lives during the Civil War. One of Detroit's oldest pieces of public art, Randolph Rogers from Ann Arbor created it in 1872. On top rests a figure known as victory who wears a winged helmet and is carrying a shield and a sword. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Chimera Mural in Detroit

One of the most striking murals in Detroit was done by street artist Kobie Solomon at the Russell Industrial Center. You can see this gigantic mural on I-75 in Detroit when zooming by. This spray can art is a lion with wings or a chimera.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ferndale Public Library

Lots of great things happening at the Ferndale Public  Library these days. They've somehow found out about this tradition in Spain that takes place on April 24th called Saint George (Jordi) Day where friends give books and roses to one another. How cool is that?  The current library on Nine Mile, built in 1954, is also one of the venues for the concerts being held around Ferndale for the Metrotimes Blowout.  Those 18 and older can stop by tonight or tomorrow for some great music.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Hotel St Regis in Detroit

When the Hotel St Regis opened on W Grand Boulevard in Detroit 47 years ago, it was the most expensive and luxurious hotel in the US. With a French Regency architectural design, they wanted to combine the elegance of the past with the comforts of the present. They showed off the lobby area with a sea of crystal chandeliers, marble flooring, fleur-de-lys and 23k gold trimmed walnut paneling. This boutique hotel has undergone extensive renovation, has 125 elegant rooms and the full service restaurant, La Musique, and banquet facilities. Pedestrian overhead tunnels connect the hotel with the Fisher Theatre, Cadillac Place and New Center One. The musical Catch Me If You Can is showing at the Fisher this month. We can conveniently valet park at the St Regis, dine at the hotel and walk to the theatre and spend the night in a luxurious hotel.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Christine's Cuisine in Ferndale

We've had several very wonderful meals at Christine's Cuisine in Ferndale over the years. There've been hundreds of positive reviews on Yelp, Urbanspoon and Tripadvisor as well.  It's an unassuming place in a strip mall, but very popular for three reasons.....their food is outstanding, reasonably priced and their staff is genuinely welcoming. Some of our favorites are the pierogis, burritos, veggie pasta, black bean salad, lava cake and Athena salad. It's tiny, but we managed to pack in 35 once for dinner before heading downtown for a play. We've met Christine and love the flair of her European fare.