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special feature

Holiday Gift Guide

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f you’ve exhausted your holiday gift ideas, let us help. We’ve collected a slew of quirky characters that show up in everyone’s life

and paired them up with local gift ideas. Got a creepy uncle? There’s a great little cinema in Grand Rapids where you can send him. Don’t understand why your friend insists on dressing up outside of Halloween? It’s OK, we have some suggestions that will help you two connect. (It’s called cosplay, by the way.) Read on for more gift giving ideas. I l l u s t r at e d b y C r a i g H o r k y

gift ideas for your favorite… 18 10 24 16 15 14 11 8 28 20 4 5

‘90s Child Artist Beer Geek Biker Bookworm Cosplayer Creepy Uncle Critic Doomsday Prepper Eccentric Fashionista Film Buff

36 26 6 32 29 22 34 30 12 2

Fitness Freak Foodie Internet Activist Libertine Music Geek Parent Person Who Has Everything Thespian Thrifty West Michigan Enthusiast


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west michigan enthusiast

The West Michigan Enthusiast lives by the motto “West is Best.” They troll the Internet for top 10 lists to be the first to post their hometown love on Facebook. B y S t e v e n D e p o l o

It is not enough that the West Michigan Enthusiast enjoy the beautiful beaches, the freshly picked fruit and vegetables and mega churches. She needs the attention of others to validate her enthusiasm for her home town. She sets of a Google Alert to search for mentions of “Grand Rapids,” «top» and «best» in any random newspaper, blog or Myspace page. When Grand Rapids is included in a listicle, she pounces.

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Voting for Grand Rapids Google Search: Grand Rapids, Best Cities

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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Nothing is more West Michigan than getting your drink on in the LEED chic CityFlatsHotel in Holland. CitySen Lounge, located on the hotel’s first floor, will be serving Garnet Punch to tipplers in this formerly dry city. Designed by Carrie Zandbergen, CityFlats’ operations manager, Garnet Punch will be the cocktail of choice this holiday season. Reminiscent of a high-octane drink served at annual family gatherings of one of the hotel’s employees, Garnet Punch has the luscious colors and daring flavors of fresh cranberries and rosemary that are so prevalent during the holidays.

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Garnet Punch CityFlatsHotel 61 East 7th St., Holland cityflatshotel.com, (616) 796-2100

The Crane Wives are the “Next Big Thing” in the indie folk-rock world. The band represents the area well with their three-part vocal harmonies, eclectic instrumentation and passion for song craft. Fans flock to the live shows that are known for their contagious energy as well as original music

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that ranges from beautiful ballads to danceable grooves. Catch the group on Dec 12 at Watermark 920 and Dec. 31 at The Intersection. The Crane Wives thecranewives.com

After taking in the sights on the lakeshore, the West Michigan Enthusiast will stop for a firstclass meal at Everyday People Café. Formerly called the Douglas Dinette when co-owner Margaret Balmer worked there in the 1970s, Everyday People Café is one of the best restaurants in the region. Matt Balmer, Margaret’s son and current co-owner and chef, serves great food using fresh, locally farmed ingredients and offered at an affordable price. Try the 6 oz. Alaskan Skuna Bay Salmon with Hoffer Farm tomato-curry broth and market vegetable salad. Go on a Wednesday and get 30 percent off any bottle of wine.

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Everyday People Cafe 11 Center St., Douglas everydaypeoplecafe.com, (269) 857-4240

The West Michigan Enthusiast was most likely the first to know that Grand Rapids was once again voted Beer City, USA. Support her we’renumber-one attitude by taking her to see Michigan Beer Film, which celebrates our state’s craft beer growth.

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Rhino Media presents Michigan Beer Film Wealthy Theatre 1130 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids Dec. 5-6, doors at 7 p.m. $13-$15, grcmc.org, (616) 459-4788


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fashionista

The Fashionista’s favorite movie is Pretty in Pink. She’s got designer jeans that cost more than you make in a year. She spent the last four hours in hair and makeup and she’s not even on TV. B y M i s s y B l a c k

The Fashionista’s holiday rule: one for you, one for me. Head to the Holiday Soiree at Lee & Birch on Dec. 6, from 5 to 8 p.m. and start shopping in twos. The evening features live music, drinks and personal styling by two (I sense a theme here) of the store’s “It Girl” finalists. They’ll be showing off holiday party style selections plus debuting a new dress line called Fable — known for reasonable price points, statement silhouettes and playful patterns.

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Lee & Birch 21 Ionia Ave. NW, Grand Rapids leeandbirch.com, (616) 233-4001

To the Fashionista, every party requires a wardrobe consult. A tea party might mean lace, pearls, refined attire and polite gossip. Drink up and socialize at Saugatuck Tea Party Café, where there’s a light menu that pairs well with the teas — sort of like how oversized sweaters pair with skinny jeans. Grab some fashion mags and sip on some Amsterdam Licorice or Japanese Matcha.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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Saugatuck Tea Party Café 321 Water St., Saugatuck saugatuckteapartycafe.com, (269) 455-5351

Lead singer Kari Lynch of The Kari Lynch band focuses on what she wears for every show. “Obviously music is my first love, but I’ve always been super interested in fashion.” This songwriter has stage style galore resulting in girls asking about her clothing after shows. Her music style is “country rock with folky flare.” Fashionistas can hear it and see it at Country Night at The B.O.B. Dec. 6, at The Intersection on Dec. 7 and at Stagecoach Barn in Richland on Dec. 28.

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The Kari Lynch Band karilynchband.com

The constant consumption of salads to fit in designer duds makes the Fashionista grumpy. Once in a while a girl needs a hearty meal — something that sticks to her bones, and the Naughty Prime Rib Dip is it. Appropriately named, our girl might feel a little bad about all the calories, but the combination of shaved prime rib topped with carmelized onion jam, creamy horseradish sauce and brick cheese on toasted Ciabatta bread has lasting power and gets her through her marathon shopping and mani/ pedis.

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Salt & Pepper Savory Grill and Pub 11539 E Lakewood Blvd., Holland saltandpepperpub.com, (616) 355-5501

The Fashionista is in for some sensual fantasy with faux fur! “This is a play that has a nice spin on who’s in charge. It’s a battle of the sexes,” says Director Michelle Urbane who talks of fashion as a way to play out fantasies as well. Dubbed by the New York Times as “90 minutes of good, kinky fun” this smash Broadway hit is both an intellectual adventure and laugh-outloud study of the politics of sex and power — and really, isn’t that a lot of what fashion is rooted in?

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Venus in Fur Spectrum Theatre, Grand Rapids Dec. 12-14 & 19-21, 8 p.m. $22-$26 actorstheatregrandrapids.org, (616) 234-3946


film buff

When buying gifts for film buffs it’s all too easy to resort to buying the predictable bundles of DVD’s for Christmas morning. Sure, it’s quick and simple and sure to please, but come on, don’t be lazy. B y J o s h S p a n n i n g a

The Shocking Stor y of Helmuth Schmidt: Michigan’s Original Lonely Hearts Killer Grand Rapids Public Library, Main Branch Dec. 12, 7-8:30 p.m. Free!, grpl.org, (616) 988-5400

If your film fanatic prefers a quiet night at the theatre to a wild night out at the bar, there’s still a good way for them

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to get their drink on. For $36 you can buy a CMC membership which, among many other perks, grants you access to Wealthy Theatre’s bar. For those interested in immersing themselves in Michigan beer culture, Wealthy Theatre will show Michigan Beer Film. Crack open a Founders Pale Ale and learn all about the finest beverages this great state has to offer. Michigan Beer Movie Wealthy Theatre, Grand Rapids Dec. 5-6, 7 p.m. $13-$15 grcmc.org, (616) 459-4788

Local musician/photographer/aspiring filmmaker John Hanson is the creative force and songwriter behind local indie folk act Strawberry Heritage. Hanson also has a lesser-known side project called Saltbreaker, an all-instrumental, sweeping ambient project. The

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song “Reptile Music (II)” was even featured in one of Hanson’s experimental short films featured on his Vimeo channel.

to be something on the menu that pairs perfectly with the feature presentation.

Strawberry Heritage and Saltbreaker strawberryheritage.bandcamp.com saltbreaker.bandcamp.com

Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo 180 Portage St., Kalamazoo drafthouse.c om/kalamazoo, (269) 532-7990

Rather than going out to see a movie after dinner, why not see a movie during dinner? The folks at the new Alamo Drafthouse Kalamazoo location loved the idea so much that they have enlisted inhouse chefs to whip up gourmet accompaniments to your favorite films, old and new. This isn’t your standard concession stand fare; chefs use only the freshest (oftentimes local) ingredients and deliver the food to your table as you watch a movie. Boasting a full menu with appetizers, entrees, pizzas, salads, sandwiches, craft brews and more, there’s guaranteed

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On Dec. 12, Celebration! North and IMAX will screen Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker. The film includes footage from Peter Wright’s live production of the ballet, and follows the magical story of everyone’s favorite anthropomorphized nut-cracking hero as he guides the audience through the Land of Snow to the Kingdom of Treats, all to the tune of Tchaikovsky’s famous soundtrack.

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Royal Ballet: The Nutcracker Celebration! North and IMAX Dec 12, 7 p.m., $15 celebrationcinema.com, (616) 530-7469

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Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

True film buffs have a special place in their heart for classic noir. Local author Tobin Buhk presents the true story of Helmuth Schmidt, a Michigan native (and killer) who stalked local matrimonial ads to find his victims. From secret graves and front yard lineups to jealous wives, Buhk unpacks every grisly detail of the case in a way that rivals the skills of the finest private eyes Hollywood has to offer.

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internet activist

The Internet Activist is going to change the world. . . right after they finish lampooning the global power structure by posting memes of questionable origin to your news feed. B y K y l e A u s t i n

Having tirelessly served humanity during a long day on the web, the Internet Activist loves to turn to the escapist pleasure of video games to ease the stress that comes with educating the masses one dubiously sourced blog post at a time. Grand Lan has your friend covered: They’ll enjoy a virtually unlimited option of lagfree games to choose from across all platforms, while you’ll savor the delicious irony of playing Call of Duty alongside someone who publicly rants about the evils of the military-industrial complex.

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Grand Lan Gaming Center 56 N. Division Ave., Grand Rapids grandlan.info, (616) 975-7911

When not posting on Facebook or engaging in heated political debates on the mLive comments section, your Internet Activist friend will resort to talking your ear off as a backup. Nothing makes hearing a painful disjointed explanation of the housing bubble more bearable than a hefty mug of beer, and the Hideout has more than enough beers on tap to keep your spirits as inflated as your friend’s sense of his own intelligence.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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Hideout Brewing Company 3113 Plaza Dr. NE, Grand Rapids hideoutbrewing.com, (616) 361-9658

Typically, the Internet Activist’s self-righteous opinions carry over into their music tastes as well. Good thing Delilah DeWylde and The Lost Boys play a brand of reverb-soaked rockabilly that is scientifically impossible to resist. One of the region’s hardest-working bands, Delilah and co. put on a show that will replace the condescending smirk on your friend’s face with a truly joyous smile.

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Delilah DeWylde and The Lost Boys Harbor Cinema, Muskegon Dec. 7, 8 p.m. delilahdewylde.com

If there’s something fishy about food, your Internet Activist friend knows about it, because they watch documentaries like kids watch Saturday morning cartoons: with their mouths wide open. That’s why you should take them out to eat at Fourth Coast Café. They serve only highquality fair trade coffee, and The Crow’s Nest diner inside serves up locally sourced, antibiotic and hormone-free ground beef, pulled pork and breakfast sausage straight from Lake Village Homestead Farms.

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Fourth Coast Café 816 S. Westnedge Ave., Kalamazoo fourthcoastcafe.com, (269) 383-0202

You already know that your Internet Activist friend doesn’t trust any “mainstream” media, so lure them away from reddit for a few hours with the promise of a truly independent film experience. Essentially an open mic for film, Open Project Night lets anyone and everyone bring their cinematic ideas to the silver screen. The audience votes for the film they like best and the winner gets free movie passes and the chance to screen their favorite movie at UICA’s theatre. Unlike your friend’s sanctimonious rants about Obamacare, this is the kind of free speech we can all get behind.

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Open Projector Night Urban Institute for Contemporary Art 2 W. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Dec. 18, 8 p.m. uica.org, (616) 454-7000


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critic

The Critic plays an important role in the life of a community. By thinking for everyone, the Critic suffers from the tone-deaf musicians and the vinegar swill and culinary claptrap so you don’t have to get up from your Xbox and experience life in real time. B y S t e v e n D e p o l o

Built in 1909 for a Grand Rapids clothier, Meyer May House is Frank Lloyd Wright at the peak of his powers as he fully expressed the elegance and organic dynamism of his Prairie-style of architecture. Steelcase, the crown jewel of West Michigan manufacturing, acquired the Meyer May House in 1985. A team of scholars, engineers and preservationists undertook a two-year, multimillion dollar renovation of structure, including expert attention to hundreds of exterior and interior details. The house is open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Sundays from 1-5 p.m.

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Meyer May House 450 Madison Ave. SE, Grand Rapids meyermayhouse.steelcase.com, (616) 246-4821

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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In downtown Rockford, you will find understated luxury, culinary excellence and wondrous natural beauty steps from your table. Reds has a stunning wine cellar that could make a critic blush. Before tackling the 400-bottle monstrosity, consider signing up for Reds Wine School, which is held monthly 7 to 9 pm (January–April and October–December). Perfect for novices as well as wine experts, the class is well worth the $35 tuition. Reds on the River Reds Wine School 8 E. Bridge St, Suite 100, Rockford reds-live.com, (616) 863-8181

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On Dec. 13, the Hildegard Singers will perform the hauntingly b eautiful music of Renaissance composer Saint Hildegard of Bingen. The Sibyl of the Rhine (1098-1179) was a writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary and polymath whose 69 musical compositions were concerned

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with the anatomy of female desire. Suck it, Lady Gaga. These serious vocalists have celebrated solo careers, but they have earned national acclaim for their collective work. MAJIC Concert Series presents The Hildegard Singers Bethlehem Church 250 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Dec. 13, 7:30 p.m., Free! bethlehemchurchgr.org/majic-2, (616) 456-1741

Located in a charming Kentwood shopping mall, where you can pick up a CD of Vietnamese gangsta rap, Wei Wei Palace is the place to go for authentic Chinese seafood dishes and excellent Cantonese cuisine. A true critic will go with a group on Sundays for the dim sum, which consists of bite-sized portions of food traditionally served in steamer baskets. Trust Wei Wei Palace’s master chef to turn each morsel into a sweetly savory masterpiece.

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Wei Wei Palace 4242 S. Division Ave. #2, Kentwood weiweipalace.com, (616) 724-1818

West Michigan gets a little taste of New York when Broadway performers Teri Dale Hansen and Nat Chandler join the West Michigan Symphony for two nights of holiday swing. Classics like “Baby It’s Cold Outside” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” make up the set list and are performed by Hansen and Chandler, with guest conductor Clyde Mitchell.

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West Michigan Symphony Pops presents Swingin’ Holiday Celebration Frauenthal Theater, Muskegon Dec. 13-14, 7:30 p.m. $10-$50 westmichigansymphony.org, (231) 726-3231


THE ABDUCTION FROM THE SERAGLIO BY MOZART 7:30PM, MARCH 7 & 8, 2014 EAST GRAND RAPIDS PERFORMING ARTS CENTER

MADAMA BUTTERFLY BY PUCCINI 7:30PM, MAY 9 & 10, 2014 DEVOS PERFORMANCE HALL

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Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

TICKETS START AT $21 616.451.2741 EXT. 2 TICKETMASTER OPERAGR.COM

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Artist

Whether your list includes a reclusive Twombly quietly painting away somewhere remote, a gregarious Whistler making the rounds about town or a Grandma Moses, who might just find their artistic side later in life, there’s a little something here for the variety of artists in your world. b y K e r r i V a n d e r H o f f

Sign up for a workshop at Holland Area Arts Council and get creative in the social setting of this popular community arts center. Since moving into its current location in 1997, the Council has taught more than 15,500 participants in 1,800 classes. The website encourages us to “Be brave. Make art!” and includes a list of current class offerings from acrylic painting to photography and more.

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Holland Area Arts Council 150 East 8th St., Holland hollandarts.org (616) 396-3278

Let’s be real here, rare is the artist who can live without a little café culture in their routine, and the Drip Drop Drink is perfectly suited for the creative crowd. Owner Todd Johnson brings the art of hand-crafted, poured-over coffee to a “chill space” with eclectic, industrial décor. And when morning turns to afternoon and it’s time to mellow out, step on over to the common area and get a beer at the adjacent Unruly Brewery located in the same historic building.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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Drip Drop Drink 360 W. Western Ave., Muskegon downtownmuskegon.org/visit

Rezervoir Lounge is a place where artists like to hang when they don’t feel like hanging at the downtown see-and-be-seen spots. It proclaims “a dining experience that doesn’t end with dinner,” which by the way, serves late into the evening to accommodate those artists with an aversion to daylight. Food is made from scratch with local ingredients, more than 24 craft beers are on tap, and there are

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plenty of board games, pool tables and special events to keep things entertaining. Rezervoir Lounge 1418 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids rezlounge.com (616) 451-0010

Pistolbrides formed in 2009, originally as a solo act and creative outlet before the band expanded and defined a new sound with melodic bass lines, diverse synth/key tones and classic back beats. A favorite with many local artists, the band has played at several studios/lofts and collectives, including Hugo Claudin’s Avenue for the Arts space Mexicains sans Frontieres. The band’s music is available online at iTunes, Amazon and other sites. Check out their website for upcoming gigs.

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The Pistolbrides pistolbrides.com

Speaking of reclusive artists, Calvin & Hobbes comic strip creator Bill Watterson has kept an extremely low profile since retiring the strip on New Year’s Eve in 1995. According to the official website, the documentary film Dear Mr. Watterson is not a quest to invade the artist’s privacy, but is an exploration to discover the value of his art and the human impact it had on so many readers in the ‘80s and ‘90s, and why it still means so much to people today. After making the rounds and winning awards on the festival circuit, the film arrives in Grand Rapids on Dec. 6.

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Dear Mr. Watterson Celebration! Cinema Opening Dec. 6 celebrationcinema.com


creepy uncle

The Creepy Uncle may be a little too touchy, racist and drunk, but he’s family and you love him — once a year. B y J o e G a s m a n n

While not allowed to publicly advertise the specific films playing at the Cina-Mini-One, they have much more than a Creepy Uncle would need playing at any given moment. For the price of an all-day-ticket, your CU can occupy one of their single-serving booths, or bring his sponsors along for a feature in one of their larger theaters.

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The Cini-Mini-One 1358 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids $14 for the day

A 300-foot jaunt down the road from the Cini-Mini, your CU can replace some lost fluids at the Rezervoir Lounge. The Rezervoir Lounge boasts 24 beers on tap, with a constant rotation of both local and national microbrews, as well as a full bar. In addition to the impressive drink catalog, Rezervoir features multiple corners to leer at patrons from. A specialty of theirs is not having creepers in the bar so make sure he wears his most inconspicuous Hawaiian shirt.

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It’s back to the non-judging confines of the Cini-Mini-One, where you can pick up a ready-to-eat meal fit for a king! The vending machines feature your typical vending fare and range in price between one dollar and one dollar. With a full belly and cleared schedule, he’s ready to pick up where he left off.

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Why should your holiday celebration be the only thing your CU ruins with his drunken singing? The Lazy-T Motel doesn’t feature anything close to a karaoke night, but I was told by a man who I assume has a hook for a hand, and claimed to be the manager, that you could sing quietly in your room. And let me save you some time should you Google their name: The death was ruled accidental.

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The Lazy-T Motel 3370 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids $40 night with a $10 deposit. Hourly rates are the same

Don’t bother making an extra trip anywhere when there’s ear butter just beyond those thin, yellow-tinted walls and stained carpeting. Your personal karaoke bar doubles as an all-access pass to the Lollapalooza of depression. Who’s performing on the room 2b stage? Why, that’s the “Last Breath, Needle Still in Arm” concerto. By pressing his ear up to 4b, he’ll hear the sounds of a love he’ll never truly know… unless he has an extra $20.

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The People in the Room Next to You Your Room at The Lazy-T Motel 3370 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids $40 night with a $10 deposit. Hourly rates are the same

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Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Rezervoir Lounge 1418 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids rezlounge.com, (616) 451-0010

Cini-Mini-One Vending Machines 1358 Plainfield Ave. NE, Grand Rapids The corner between the door and the last booth on the left $1 per item

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thrifty

That one friend or family member that will do anything to save a penny. From extreme coupon cutting to popping some tags at the local secondhand store, the thrifty senses a deal from any distance. B y Sh e l b y P e n d o w s k i

Goodwill and Salvation Army are fine and dandy, but local consignment shops offer high-end fashion without the price tag or digging and hunting through multiple shops. Rock Paper Scissors Consignment Boutique offers unique clothing, accessories and treasure for a reasonable price. Find the perfect gift for the thrifter in your life or take them on an affordable shopping spree this holiday season. You never know what is waiting until you look.

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Rock Paper Scissors Consignment Boutique 145 Diamond Ave. SE, Grand Rapids rpsgr.com, (616) 805-6848

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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Kalamazoo Beer Exchange offers a variety of local, international and domestic brews as well as cocktails and wines at fluctuating prices. Resembling the national stock market, drinkers get their money’s worth when the market crashes. The prices of drinks change every 15 minutes, which could keep the thrifter in your life entertained the entire night.

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The Kalamazoo Beer Exchange 211 E Water St., Kalamazoo kalamazoobeerexchange.com, (269) 532-1188

A evening of free music should do the trick for that money saver in your life. Rubblebucket, an alternative band from Brooklyn, NY, takes the stage at Founders for

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a free performance on Dec. 5. Drop a few bucks on a Dirty Bastard or a Pale Ale from that money you saved on cover. Rubblebucket Founders Brewing Company 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Dec. 5, 9 p.m., Free! foundersbrewing.com, (616) 776-1195

Breakfast, it is the most important meal of the day and Wolfgang’s help with accomplishing the task of devouring breakfast with cheap prices. Come before 8:30 a.m. to get the early bird special of two pancakes and three slices of bacon for $2.49 or get a full order of cinnamon french toast anytime for $5.25. With these deals, you are able to retire the safety scissors, Band-Aid up the paper cuts and throw away the Sunday ads.

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Wolfgang’s 1530 Wealthy St SE, Grand Rapids mattwolfgang.com, (616) 454-5776

A completely free evening if you ignore gas prices, the City of Battle Creek lights up for the holiday season for the International Festival of Lights. With the city aglow and no price tag, it is sure to please anyone of the thrifty nature in your life.

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2013 International Festival of Lights Downtown Battle Creek Through Dec. 31 bcfestivals.com, (269) 420-4031


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cosplayer

To the Cosplayer, pop culture-based costumes are not just dress-up, they’re a way of life. While outsiders view San Diego Comic-Con, Dragon*Con and MegaCon as events for fanatics, the Cosplayer, thinks of them as religious experiences. B y A e H e L e e

When not attending the latest comic book convention, the Cosplayer turns to board games as the next best social event. West Michigan Tabletop Gamers (WMTG) beckons the Cosplayer to drop by Schuler Books for a time of Euro, RPG, war style or some other tabletop games. Ace or tyro, anyone is welcome to join and play in a friendly and stress-free manner, until someone refuses a trade or declares war on you, of course.

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West Michigan Tabletop Gamers Schuler Books 2660 28th Street SE, Grand Rapids Dec. 4, 18, 6:30 p.m. schulerbooks.com, (616) 942-2561

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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Just because the place is called The Pyramid Scheme, it doesn’t mean conspiracy, but it might as well be. A neighborhood pub and music venue, the place features a divine array of pinball machines (Attack From Mars, Cirqus Voltaire, Medieval Madness, Star Trek The Next Generation, Star Wars, X-Men LE and more), an array of Michigan beers, including 10 from Short’s Brewing Company. Now imagine: The Magician, a London ale with hints of caramel, raisins, chocolate and roasted toffee in one hand, and a pinball machine in the other — it would just be too good to be legal.

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The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce SW, Grand Rapids pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758

The Outer Vibe’s five members are no cosplayers themselves, but they don’t skimp when it comes to colorful and resplendent stagewear and mega-dynamic live performances. This is a band that has independently composed a

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catchy combination of alternative rock and snazzy pop. And it might just be the perfect music to accompany your epic days of costume making. The Outer Vibe Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville Dec. 28-29, 8:00 P.M. theoutervibe.com, (216) 344-0743

If you want to know more about your Japanese cosplay ancestry, the best way to learn about a culture is through your palate. Among many traditional dishes, Wild Chef Japanese Steakhouse, Grill & Bar presents a fresh-cut set of sashimi, tuna, and rolls in a love boat (literally a large wooden boat serving as a platter). But perhaps you are not a fan of raw. Then try the hibachi — they will cook your food right in front of you in a showy spectacle of spouting fire.

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Wild Chef 2863 W. Shore Dr. Suite 112, Holland wildchefrestaurant.com, (616) 399-8398

A true fan knows what premieres Dec. 13. And the Cosplayer knows what must be done. Because if you are going to stand in line for hours to get a decent seat for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, you might as well turn the hall into a runway, right? Dress up as your favorite (and handsome) hobbit, wizard or elf.

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Celebration! Cinema North and IMAX Theatre 2121 Celebration Dr. NE, Grand Rapids celebrationcinema.com, (616) 365-2051


bookworm

The bookworm doesn’t care about what’s happening on “Game of Thrones” — they already know, more deeply and intimately than you could ever imagine, because of one simple fact: they read the book. And the book was way better. B y K y l e A u s t i n

Redux Books 1349 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids reduxbooks.com, (616) 742-2665

It doesn’t matter that Shakespeare’s Pub was named for a rod and reel maker and not the famous playwright, the name alone should be enough to get the bookworm’s nose out of a book and into a

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beer for the first time since their brief Bukowski phase back in grad school. With 44 beers on tap, your bookworm will be getting their 50 Shades of Grey on in no time. Or 50 shades of green. It could go either way.

355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Dec. 20, 9:30 p.m. bellsbeer.com, (269) 382-2332

The intertwining complexity of Soil and the Sun will remind the bookworm of her favorite novel. A lover of all genres, they will embrace the bands self-dubbed blend of “Experiential Spiritual Folk-Rock and New Mexican Space Music.” For the bookworm, music like this is worth reading into.

Schuler Books in an obvious destination for the bookworm, but it also has the added benefit of the Chapbook Café, which serves up a diverse menu of homemade soups, sandwiches and quiches. Your bookworm can dine in the warm and inviting café atmosphere and enjoy some caffeine while reading their heart out from the store’s expansive shelves. And unlike the freeloading grandpas who read an entire Johnny Unitas biography over one cup of coffee, the bookworm actually will buy the books, because they aren’t happy reading books that they can’t crease, contort and make their own.

The Soil and the Sun Bell’s Eccentric Cafe

Schuler’s Chapbook Café 2660 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids

Shakespeare’s Pub 241 E. Kalamazoo Ave. #100, Kalamazoo shakespearespub.com, (269) 488-7782

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3165 Alpine Ave., Walker schulerbooks.com/chapbook-café

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The bookworm is nostalgic about the stories they g rew up w ith . The Nutcracker, especially the classic annual rendition performed by the Grand Rapids Ballet, is one of those magical tales that are forever in the bookworm’s heart. With eight different showings, you’ll have more than enough opportunities to remind your friend why they fell in love with the magic of reading in the first place.

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Grand Rapids Ballet presents The Nutcracker DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids Dec. 13-22, show times at 2 and 7:30 p.m. $20-$54 grballet.com, (616) 454-4771

REVUEWM.COM | December 2013 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

A no-brainer, really: buy them some books! Redux is a specialty bookstore that carries everything from the latest bestsellers to rare, out-of-print and antiquarian books. Voracious as their literary appetite may be, it won’t take you long to find your bookworm something they haven’t read yet. Or better yet, bring them with you and watch them go crazier than the proverbial kid in a candy store. A really weirdsmelling candy store.

Do

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Biker

Your biker bud is a creature of intensity, wielding a fitnessorientated take on counter culture that makes them a loveable eccentric. The things that get ‘em in gear (oops) often mix practical utility with heady awesomeness. B y N o l a n K r e b s

Just cause there’s snow on the ground doesn’t mean people aren’t riding. Check out Michigan’s biggest Fat Bike snow race on Jan. 11, 2014 at the Cannonsbury Ski Area for all the excitement of a multi-lap bike race – but with a foot of snow on the ground and really fat bike tires. The event features a three-hour solo format or a two-person relay team. Register at bikereg.com.

Do

Farmer’s Fat Bike Race Cannonsburg Ski Area 6800 Cannonsburg Rd. NE, Belmont cannonsburg.com, (616) 874-6711

Head over to Harmony Brewing Co. in Eastown for a low-key spot to sip a beverage. Open seven days a week, the cozy digs and the smell from their wood stove have all the earthy vibrations to keep you comfortable. Their tap list includes the Black Squirrel Smokey Porter, Brownson Brown Ale, Grand Pumpkin Chai Ale, Capricorn Dark Chocolate Absinthe Stout, Grapefruit Moon IPA shandy and more.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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drink

Harmony Brewing Company 1551 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids harmonybeer.com, (616) 233-0063

All that time ripping up the trails and streets has got your biker in tune with the great outdoors, so they probably would enjoy the acoustic-folk leanings of Grand Rapidsbased Antrim Dells. With instrumentation and melodies often described as haunting, they’re the perfect band for clearing your head. Check

listen

out their new album, Given Name, at antrimdells.bandcamp.com. Antrim Dells antrimdells.bandcamp.com

The brewpub at Arcadia Brewing Co. serves up light dishes, as well tough-guy staples. Some of the more righteous menu highlights include:the Ploughmans Platter (Carlson Farm sausage, house smoked cheddar, hop mustard, house flat bread), the awesomely named Leeeeeroy Jenkins pizza (pesto, roma tomato, sausage, Gorgonzola) and the house-smoked barbeque beef brisket.

eat

Arcadia Brewing Company 103 Michigan Ave., Battle Creek arcadiaales.com, (269) 963-9690

Catch Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys laying down their made-in-Michigan Americana tunes at Rockford Brewing Company on Dec. 12. If your Biker hasn’t seen them live before, they are sure to dig the tight-knit harmonies and a whole lot of oldtimey goodness. As an added bonus, this venue is right off the White Pine Trails. So take your biker for a winter cruise and warm up with awesome music and excellent brews.

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Lindsay Lou & The Flatbellys Rockford Brewing Company 12 E. Bridge St., Rockford Dec. 12, 8 p.m. rockfordbrewing.com, (616) 951-4677


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/// Gift Guide

‘90s Child

The ‘90s Child just can’t seem to shake Uncle Jessie’s mullet, continually seeks wisdom from Wayne and Garth (we’re not worthy!) and is still mysteriously consuming Crystal Pepsi. Skip the high-tech gadgets for your ‘90s Child and instead wrap up a big, steaming mug of nostalgia. B y J a m i e L i n a r i

If you’ve ever ridden in a car with your ‘90s Child pal, chances are you’ve heard them belt out an off-key “heeeeeey jealouseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...” at least three dozen times. Treat them to the real thing when Gin Blossoms visit Battle Creek’s Firekeepers Casino on Dec. 21. And after the show, you can hear them belt out “Found Out About You,” “Til I Hear It From You,” “Follow You Down,” “Allison Road” and, well, at this point, you may need earplugs.

Do

Gin Blossoms Firekeepers Casino, Battle Creek Dec. 21, doors at 8 p.m. Tickets start at $10 firekeeperscasino.com, (877) FKC-8777

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

18 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2013

Take a hint from The Dude and quench your thirst with his signature drink: The White Russian. This alcoholic milkshake gained acceptance after the tremendously quotable movie The Big Lebowski. It’s a pretty good bet every ‘90s Child will appreciate the gesture. Head over to On Deck Sport Bar and Grill in Battle Creek to sip and see how many movie lines you can correctly recite. Another Caucasian, Gary!

drink

On Deck Sports Bar 225 West Michigan Ave., Battle Creek ondecksportsbarandgrill.com, (269) 339-3483

Music in the ‘90s is summed up by one word: Alternative. Nirvana, Oasis, Third Eye Blind, The Cranberries, Bush, Green Day, Stone Temple Pilots, we could go on. The Electric Red remembers these chart toppers fondly and has created a set list that covers alternative bands

listen

from 1992 to 1999. See the band perform at The Itty Bitty in Holland on Dec. 21 and Jack’s in Spring Lake on Dec. 27 and 28. The Electric Red facebook.com/electricred

Pay homage to your favorite ‘90s ‘stached celebrity by eating a sandwich named in his honor. Two Beards Deli in downtown Grand Rapids offers more than 90 sandwiches, soups, salads and several tasty desserts for your ‘90s Child to marvel over. The Super Mario Brothers, Chuck Norris and the LeVar Burton are just a few badass icons whose facial hair have been immortalized in Two Beards’ tasty delicatessens. Looks like Joey Tribbiani’s not the only one who can whip up a mean sandwich.

eat

Two Beards Deli 38 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids twobeardsdeli.com, (616) 719-3802

The ‘90s Child loves a good cult classic. Bring yours to reminisce with everyone’s favorite pizza-loving reptiles at this month’s Meanwhile Movie: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. This movie series combines classic films and adult beverages for Grand Rapids’ only brew and view. Turtle Power!

watch

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Wealthy Theatre 1130 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids Dec. 3, doors open 7:15 p.m. $6, grcmc.org, (616) 459-4788


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/// Gift Guide

Eccentric

Eccentric and eclectic personalities love the commingling of styles, and with a little holiday derring-do you can craft the perfect holiday gift package. B y A u d r i a L a r s e n

Adventurous souls tend to like a touch of mystery and illusion mixed into the everyday. Instead of a predictable day of revelry, head over to the American Museum of Magic. Countless memorabilia like handbills, programs, posters and photos, plus treasures like Harry Houdini’s Overboard Box, are on display, as part of over half a million objects spanning three floors.

Do

American Museum of Magic 107 E. Michigan Ave., Marshall $3.50-$5 americanmuseumofmagic.com, (269) 781-7570

At Old Dog Tavern, you can enjoy a diverse range of live entertainment on any given night, along with an impressive menu featuring locally sourced ingredients, plus a blend of good ol’ brews and snazzy Prohibition-inspired cocktails whipped up by the house mixologist. Try the fancy, signature drink, I’ve Got a Gal, which features Journeyman, White Rye Whiskey, pineapple juice, fresh squeezed lime juice, simple syrup and the kicker, muddled habanero pepper.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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drink

Old Dog Tavern 402 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo olddogtavern.com, (269) 381-5677

When selecting music for your eccentric squeeze, you can’t go wrong with a band that’s wildly distinctive. Mail Order Monsters is an 8-bit electro prog pop band based out of Grand Rapids with a sound entirely created from old Commodore 64 video game audio chips. “I think what makes us unique is our work is creating something new and fresh using the commodore as our sound source. It’s more about original composition than sounding retro or ‘chiptune.’

listen

We just love the sound of the Commodore audio chip and want to make new things with it,” said Rich Vogel, band founder. Mail Order Monsters mailordermonsters64.com

Finger bowls, eating sans utensils and decadent-tasting vegan food… what could be more eclectic? Little Africa, featuring Ethiopian cuisine, is a shining diamond in an unassuming, but cozy spot nestled among antique shops. The rich, spiced tea pairs perfectly with giant platters of spongy injera bread heaped with a selection of the delicious offerings. Don’t bother selecting a single dish, opt for the sampler platter, which is meant for sharing, and enjoy just about every item from the menu like gomen, red lentils, alicha and other exotic choices that will leave you swooning.

eat

Little Africa 956 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids (616) 222-1169, accepts cash only

Sometimes you just need a night of theater replete with lush costuming, a classic tale and, wait for it, giant puppets. Take your eclectic beau out to Tales From the Arabian Nights. “Tales From the Arabian Nights is going to be a beautiful piece. I think audiences will enjoy being reintroduced into the Aladdin story. It’s… great for anyone interested in fairy tales,” said Bob Hoffman, public Relations manager.

watch

Tales From the Arabian Nights Wharton Center 750 W. Shaw Ln., East Lansing Jan. 12, 1:30 and 4 p.m. $12-$17.50 whartoncenter.com, (517) 353-1982


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Were you aware?

LADIES LITERARY CLUB 61 SHELDON BLVD SE

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/// Gift Guide

Parent

The Parent is trailed by small, loud, energetic ragamuffins. Throw some graham crackers in their general direction and watch chaos unfold. By the way, the stroller means MOVE! B y M i s s y B l a c k

Illustrations in a child’s bedtime story shouldn’t be someone’s only brush with art. Keeping in theme, the parent might head to an exhibit filled with 31 artists and 120 drawings from the print drawers of some of the world’s best-known children’s book illustrators. If you drag the kids along, there are book displays and a reading nook. “There’s more of an art element to it for adults,” said Marketing and Public Relations Coordinator Phil Meade. An opening-day event is held with illustrator Matt Faulkner.

Do

Fantastic Rumpus: 50 Years of Children’s Book Illustration Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Dec. 14–Feb. 9 $5, kiarts.org, (269) 349-7775

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

22 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2013

The parent requires a stiff drink—something to transport them to another place—away from the soccer fields or two-hour tantrums. The Hemingway Daiquiri does this. Made up of Clement Martinique Rum that only comes from Martinique Island and Maraschino Liqueur out of Italy, every sip feels like you’re going places. Add some fresh-squeezed lime juice and seasonal fruits like strawberry or watermelon and you get a taste of “clean but sweet notes,” according to bartender Rob Hanks, who provides a little history. Ernest Hemingway would go to a bar in Cuba where only a certain bartender was allowed to make his drink. Score for liquor that teaches a lesson.

drink

Reserve 201 Monroe Ave. NW, Grand Rapids reservegr.com, (616) 855-9463

listen

The band’s bio reads “From Midwestern landscapes of Michigan, and the vinyl collec-

tion of parents› basements.” Valentiger knows where to spot the cool factor from mom and dad. Both parents and kids can rock out to Oh, to Know! and not feel like the other is stepping on anybody’s music tastes. Take in a show on Dec. 19 at Rockford Brewing Company or raid your parents› own song stash. Valentiger valentigermusic.com

Bringing a tradition of goodness since 1916, Crane’s has that wholesome, family friendly appeal and after a day of shopping in downtown Holland the ‹rents need to take a break someplace where the kids are amused, too. It’s all about bringing a homemade, country taste to you with items such as the famous City Cristo sandwich made with apple butter bread or the Open-Faced AppleBerry Sandwich. Slacker moms will appreciate the baked pies on-hand.

eat

Crane’s in the City 11 East 8th St., Holland cranesinthecity.com, (616) 796-2489

Get a front row seat to somebody else’s dysfunctional family for a change. The Addams Family Musical is a dark comedy featuring the zany characters of Morticia, Uncle Fester and that creepy little girl Wednesday. “Families are funny and have unique characters within them,” said Meggan George, manager of the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center, so this show will certainly speak to quirky family dynamics. This slaphappy production is held Jan. 26 at 3 p.m. with ticket prices ranging from $42 to $56.

watch

Forest Hills Fine Arts Center 600 Forest Hill Avenue SE, Grand Rapids fhfineartscenter.com, (616) 493-8965


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/// Gift Guide

beer geek

The Beer Geek is a lover of the finer brew, turning to smaller production breweries and unique taps rather than settling for a fizzy yellow beer. They have more bottle openers on their keychain than keys, choose beer over wine at dinner, take to aging unique bottles in basements, closets and cellars, and are unafraid of battling freezing temperatures for a chance to taste our state’s offerings with thousands of others at beer festivals. B y B e n D a r c i e

O’Connors Homebrew Supply in Grand Rapids offers handson homebrew classes once a month, taught by some of the best homebrew minds in the city. There’s no better way for your Beer Geek to deepen their knowledge of beer than to get into making their own, and this is a great opportunity to start them on their journey. Find them on Facebook for homebrew class information, other events and lectures.

Do

O’Connor’s Homebrew Supply 619 Lyon St. NE, Grand Rapids oconnorshomebrew.com, (616) 635-2088

HopCat East Lansing is the newest HopCat entity, and offers an extensive menu alongside 100 taps to choose from and an extensive bottle list. HopCat EL offers two floors of seating and will keep your Beer Geek drooling over the ever-changing tap list of international, national, regional and local selections.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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drink

Hopcat East Lansing 300 Grove St., East Lansing hopcatel.com

Drench your Beer Geek in bonerattling blues for a whole day, featuring sets by Jimmie Stagger & the Hank Mowery Duo, Stan Budzinski & the 3rd Degree and the Big Boss Blues Band. Nothing goes better with the blues than Billy’s fantastic selection of Michigan, regional and national craft brews.

listen

WMBS Winter Spectacular Billy’s Lounge 1437 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Dec. 8, 1 p.m., $5 billyslounge.com, (616) 459-5757

TerraGR offers a diverse menu that is very seasonally influenced. Embracing locally sourced ingredients, TerraGR offers unique and engaging plates that will please your Beer Geek to no end – alongside a fantastic selection of craft beer, wine and liquor. (The restaurant also resides down the street from Harmony Brewing Company, so you can treat your Geek to a whole night of beer and food, if you like.)

eat

Terra 1429 Lake Dr. SE, Grand Rapids terragr.com, (616) 301-0998

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus (UV Hippo) comes to Bell’s Brewery two nights in a row for their New Year’s Bash. The band brings its explosive progressive improvisation to the stage alongside some of Michigan’s best brew, giving your Beer Geek a New Year’s Eve they are never going to forget.

watch

Ultraviolet Hippopotamus Bell’s Eccentric Cafe 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave., Kalamazoo Dec. 30-31 $30 for two-day pass, $15 Monday, $25 Tuesday bellsbeer.com, (269) 382-2332


DEDICATED, EXPERIENCED, BEER ENTHUSIASTS.

418 ADA DRIVE SE, ADA, MI 616.920.7398 GRAVELBOTTOM.COM

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

A hands-on brewery promoting craft beer with a variety of brews on tap, classes and a fully stocked supply shop.

TUESDAY 4PM - 11PM WEDNESDAY & THURSDAY 2PM - 11PM FRIDAY & SATURDAY 11AM - 12AM

REVUEWM.COM | December 2013 |

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Guide

foodie

At night, the foodie dreams of tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch and dinner menu. The foodie never passes up an invitation to check out that new restaurant in town and always has an opinion on the latest gastronomic trend. The way to a foodie’s heart is, naturally, through the stomach. B y A l e x a n d r a Kadl e c

Give the foodie in your life the opportunity to impress friends and family with some newly honed hosting chops acquired at the Downtown Market’s Bite-Size Holiday Entertaining class. Taught by the manager of Old World Olive Co., the menu will include appetizers, desserts and cocktails incorporating a variety of olive oils and balsamic vinegars from the store. The class takes place Dec. 12, 6-8 p.m. and costs $55.

Do

Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave. SW, Grand Rapids downtownmarketgr.com, (616) 805-5308

Invite your best-known wine taster to the 22nd annual Nouveau Fest, hosted at Fenn Valley Vineyards. Modeled after the Beaujolais practice, the festival will present the Nouveau, a dry, fruity red released in its harvest year. After appraising a glass, feast on homemade pizza, attend a wine cellar tour and sample additional varieties at the tasting bar. The best part? The event, held on Dec. 7 (1-5 p.m.), won’t cost you a dime.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

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drink

Fenn Valley Vineyards 6130 122nd Ave., Fennville fennvalley.com, (269) 561-2396

A generous offering of Michigan pride is provided with local eats and entertainment at Salt of the Earth, an American restaurant delivering seasonal fare sourced from nearby farms. On Dec. 22, local bluegrass band Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys—which has been described “Americana with a powerful vocal style that recalls Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday”—will create a feelgood ambiance for enjoying bites of savory dishes like rosemary-seasoned country potatoes, balsamic-glazed fried brussels and crispy confit pork belly.

listen

Lindsay Lou & the Flatbellys Salt of the Earth, Fennville Dec. 22, 7 p.m. $15 saltoftheearthfennville.com, (269) 561-7258

Housed in downtown Holland’s historic Baker Lofts building, Theodore’s is marked by a minimalist décor of exposed brick walls, a granite bar and ceiling spotlights—a sophisticated backdrop for enjoying the treasures on its seasonally updated menu of modern American cuisine. Gather your foodie friends for holiday cheer over wine (the cellar list is lengthy), Michigan craft beers or handcrafted cocktails—the Cranberry Kiss and Frostini feel especially festive. Continue on to epicurean delights made for sharing, like smoked salmon parfait and creamy goat cheese fritters.

eat

Theodore’s 217 East 24th St., Holland theodoresholland.com, (616) 392-6883

Fine dining and theater make a fashionable pair for an evening out, as the folks behind Kalamazoo-based Millennium Group Restaurants know. Their Dinner & a Show nights offer a three-course menu at one of their establishments, followed by a local performance. This month, hit musical I Love a Piano, featuring works by Irving Berlin, runs on select nights at the Farmer’s Alley Theatre. The night begins at Martell’s, where a choice of appetizer, entrée and dessert is served in a cozy, comfortable setting. Tickets are $30.

watch

Martell’s 3501 Greenleaf Blvd., Kalamazoo Farmer’s Alley Theatre 221 Farmers Alley, Kalamazoo


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/// Gift Guide

doomsday prepper

The Prepper spends every waking moment ensuring their deplorable lifestyle will continue on long after all of the normal humans have been wiped off the planet. What to get the person who has, literally, years worth of everything stacked ceiling high in their double-wide? B y J o e G a s m a n n

What could be better than sinking into lunacy by yourself? How about a fellowship of nutjobs who love guns, burgers and the false belief that the training they do serves an actual purpose! By the looks of their vintage website, they’ve got all sorts of batsh*t activities to attend year round.

Do

Michigan Militia michiganmilitia.com

termite mounds, tis the season to indulge! Head on over to 36th and Clyde Park because Steve DeYoung’s Big Top Market is serving up raw beef hearts for a very reasonable $2.99 a pound! Their hours are listed on their site and are subject to change should the world end. Steve DeYoung›s Big Top Market 3630 Clyde Park Ave., Wyoming bigtopmarkets.com

Served steaming hot and about once every two hours (if you’re a healthy adult[1]), urine is the manna of Preppers. Serve it straight from the tap or in a decorative demijohn.

drink

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

Your Own Urine Yourself Free!

28 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2013

Keep your Prepper informed with a triple-shot of Beck, Limbaugh and Hannity, from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily on Wood Radio 106.9 FM & 1300 AM. Take a few hours off for knife sharpening and grab yourself another serving of Beck at 9!

listen

Wood Radio woodradio.com

eat

Though gas is now a priceless commodity, the drive to the Port of Muskegon will be well worth it. Here is where our Prepper will watch the world fall silent and mock those who doubted his Lord would taketh away. The tranquil waters will give respite from the memories of having to deny his barren wife access to the shelter, as she could not assist in re-population. As a bonus, the port will be having a “Everyone Who Would Have Stopped You From Looting is Dead, So Everything is Free” sale on all freight that hasn›t been rendered impenetrable by the plague of radioactive mole-people.

watch

Nuclear Fallout Reflecting Off the Port of Muskegon Free There are no more phones or Internet, silly [1]  Source: Living Well Expert, Dr. Jennifer Shu

Though the Prepper is content to eat most of his or her foods (his) out of cans and


music Geek

Spending money on concert tickets and new music may have severely altered your monthly budget. Album covers are the only type of art you care about and long drives are never boring because you can bond with your favorite artists. b y C a r ly P l a n k

Corner Record Shop 1710 W. Main St., Kalamazoo k zooc or nerrec ordshop .c om, (269) 381-0218 Vertigo Music 129 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids vertigomusiconline.com, (616) 742-5106

It is no secret that Founders’ tap room has been extravagantly remodeled, but the beer often outshines the talent that frequents the stage. The brewery is earning a name for itself not only as a music venue, but a post-concert hangout, with David Byrne stopping by last summer. As far as local and regional talent, Founders often gets the pick of the litter, with Cymbals Eat Guitars, The Crane Wives and The Fuzzrites performing.

drink

Founders Brewing 235 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids foundersbrewing.com, (616) 776-1195

At some venues, crowds drown out the music and mosh pits leave battle scars. At Seven Steps Up, civilized and focused listening is mandatory. One of a select few “listening rooms” throughout the nation, the venue features touring singer

listen

songwriters in the acoustic Pin Drop Concert series. With seating in a historic building limited to 110, a fully equipped bar and satisfied artists, what more could a music purist want for the holidays? Pin Drop Concerts at Seven Steps Up 116 S. Jackson St., Spring Lake pindropconcerts.com, (616) 678-3618

Just like an old time rock and roll club, the atmosphere at Stella’s Lounge is dark and edgy. Retro arcade games and earsplitting music complete every ‘80s fanatic’s dreamscape. Unlike the notoriously unhealthy diets of rockers, however, the menu offers a wealth of vegan and vegetarian options alongside the burger GQ named the best in America. But super strong drinks will guarantee a less-thanpredictable night that may involve some form of karaoke, with or without the traditional equipment.

eat

Stella’s Lounge 53 Commerce Ave., Grand Rapids stellasgr.com, (616) SHAG-444

Classic songs may last for decades, but covers are a completely different art form. On New Year’s Eve, two Kalamazoo bands will converge at the State Theatre to play the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Abbey Road from front to back. Red Sea Pedestrians will bring an updated, worldly flair to the classics and Corn Fed Girls will give them a stripped down, Americana treatment. You may even walk away with a new favorite Beatles cover.

watch

Kalamazoo State Theatre 404 S. Burdick, Kalamazoo kazoostate.com, (269) 345-6500

REVUEWM.COM | December 2013 |

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

Music junkies are audiophiles at heart, which is why vinyl’s popularity has seen an upsurge. Listening to your favorite tunes the way they were meant to be heard certainly makes for a more intimate experience than, say, on your computer. Take a few hours (or days) and indulge your inner music nerd completely. From modern vinyl releases to obscure singles and retro memorabilia, the contents of local record stores will enchant any music enthusiast.

Do

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/// Gift Guide

thespian

Ardent lovers of show, Thespians idolize all things extravagant and grandiose that have just a hint of class. They are also avid appreciators of hardcore drama and a tale well told. B y A l l i s o n P a r k e r

There’s nothing drama llamas love more than a brutal onstage bloodbath. Unleash your inner musketeer with rapiers, daggers and more at the Academy of Combat and Movement Education’s stage combat classes. Students will receive training so that their “every gesture can potentially tell a story,” according to the Academy’s philosophy statement. Single session, one month and quarter-year classes are available. What’s that you say? Not all theatregoers are vicious, blood-lusting animals? Touché.

Do

Stage Combat Class Dog Story Theater 7 Jefferson Ave. SE., Grand Rapids $20-25 per class, $75-80 per month, $200-225 per quarter, Mondays at 7 p.m. dogstorytheater.com, (616) 894-1252

Just half a block from Kalamazoo State Theatre and a mere sixminute drive from Miller Auditorium, Central City Tap House is a perfect stop for thirsty thespians. A robust selection of American and imported beers provide a refreshing guzzle with fellow theatergoers before a show. Declare your love for orchestral music with the local wheat ale, Violin Monster or go for something dramatic like the intense ESB import, Hobgoblin.

Schedule | Dining | sights | Sounds Scene

30 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2013

drink

Central City Tap House 359 S. Kalamazoo Mall, Kalamazoo millenniumrestaurants.com, (269) 492-0100

Soprano sensation Teri Dale Hansen will be performing leading-lady showstoppers from West Side Story, Show Boat, Cats, Carousel and more at The Block. Boasting lead roles in multiple Broadway tours, Hansen is internationally recognized for her crossover abilities as a singing actress and as an interpreter of Kurt Weil. Two of her numbers will give audiences a taste

listen

of up-and-coming talent by featuring students from Western Michigan Musical Theater Program. Singer. Actress. Gingerbread. West Michigan Symphony Orchestra The Block, Muskegon Dec. 15, 3 p.m., $28-50 westmichigansymphony.org, (231) 726-3231

Let’s be honest — theatergoing wouldn’t be nearly as much fun if it weren’t for the theaters themselves. Whether studded with glitzy marquees or vying for the title of World’s Tiniest Stage, a theater is always a hallowed space for the thespian. Located in the lobby of the historic Grand Theatre, The Grand allows theater worshipers to dine in one of their beloved sanctuaries while enjoying fine art and live music. A wide array of exotic seafood is also perfectly suited to the thespian’s colorful and passionate nature; the menu’s mantra is, “Eat oysters, love longer.”

eat

The Grand 22 Washington Ave., Grand Haven harborrestaurants.com/TheGrand, (616) 847-8944

Cirque Dreams has performed for more than 50 million people worldwide and received critical acclaim from The New York Times, The Associated Press, CNN and more. If you’re looking for a stage spectacle, it’s hard to do better than more than 30 soaring acrobats decked out in holiday regalia. Filliping gingerbread men, balancing snowmen and flying reindeer are just a few of the astonishing sites in store for lovers of daring feats and over-the-top glitz.

watch

Cirque Dreams Holidaze DeVos Performance Hall, Grand Rapids Dec. 26-29, show times at 1, 2, 6:30, 7:30 & 8 p.m., $32-72 broadwaygrandrapids.com, (616) 235-6285


CLEAR VISION IS THE BEST GIFT OF ALL Michael L. Keil, D.O., FAOCO 2500 E. Beltline SE, Suite C Grand Rapids, MI info@keillasik.com (616) 365-5775

Scene Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule REVUEWM.COM | December 2013 |

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libertine

The Libertine is not one for the mild or mundane. He grabs life by the horns and then rides it until the sun comes up. Sure, morality may be a second priority to this type, but who’s to blame him? When the finer things are ever so fine, it’s hard not to over-indulge. And the holidays are a perfect time to get a little gluttonous. B y L a u r e n A l l e n

Health is probably not on the forefront of the Libertine’s mind, so chances are they love a quality cigar. Tuttle’s Cigar Lounge could quite possibly be their new Mecca. When you think about it, what could really be better than hand picking the perfect cigar to meet your tastes from more than 30 different brands and lighting up about six steps away on a plush leather couch, only to converse with other indulgent folk? Maybe a stiff drink could enhance the experience.

Do

Tuttle’s Cigar Lounge 3835 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids tuttlescigars.com, (616) 942-6990

If your Libertine is like most, they have a palette for a drink that kicks them in the face. Take a jaunt over to Rockwell/Republic for the R&R Old Fashion. The swimming mixture of Crown Royal whiskey, muddled apple and cherry, and angostura bitters is sure to transport any Libertine to a state of unencumbered bliss. For nine bucks, this is one drink that screams decadence.

drink

Rockwell/Republic 45 S. Division Ave., Grand Rapids rockwellrepublic.com, (616) 551-3563

There’s only one kind of music that’s sure to please every Libertine – jazz. It oozes class with every saxophone riff and speaks to those with an appreciation for free verse. St. Cecilia’s Jazz Series is the hot ticket item in 2014, with The Davis and Brewer Family Reunion making an appearance Jan. 24.

listen

The Davis Brewery Family Reunion St. Cecilia Music Center 24 Ransom Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

32 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2013

Jan. 23, 7:30 p.m. $10-$40 scmc-online.org, (616) 459-2224

You can save the pizza and fries for your other friends this year because the place ever y Libertine needs to check out is Bold Restaurant in Kalamazoo. Indulge in shrimp and scallops or order up a $33 New York strip steak. Either way, you’re going to immerse yourself in the epitome of fine dining at Bold.

eat

Bold Restaurant 6915 W. Q Ave., Kalazmazoo bolddining.com, (269) 375-8551

The Libertine embraces the taboo, and so does Super Happy Funtime Burlesque. There are boobs, butts, politics, sex, religious blasphemy, original music and most importantly, comic relief. It’s a big indulgent package nicely wrapped up for an indulgent person.

watch

Super Happy Funtime Burlesque superhappyfuntimeburlesque.com The Pyramid Scheme 68 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids Dec. 28, 9 p.m., $10 pyramidschemebar.com, (616) 272-3758 Acorn Theater 107 Generations Dr., Three Oaks Dec. 30, 8 p.m., $30 acorntheater.com, (269) 756-3879


Scene | Sounds | Sights | Dining | Schedule

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REVUEWM.COM | December 2013 |


/// Gift Guide

the person who has everything

They’re that one person who brings frustration to the holidays. The person who has everything accepts each gift graciously with a smile, but the gift is yet another duplicate of one of the gifts of Christmas pasts. B y Sh e l b y P e n d o w s k i

It’s no walk in the park, but a nice horse-drawn carriage through sculptures and art pieces may be even better. Through December, Frederik Meijer Garden & Sculpture Park offers these scenic rides where you can make time meaningful with a friend, family member or special someone.

Do

Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides Frederik Meijer Garden & Sculpture Park Dec. 3, 10, 17-21 & 23, 5:30-9 p.m. Members: $65 per carriage, up to four adults; Non-Members: $90 per carriage, up to four adults meijergardens.org

The Wine Loft in downtown Kalamazoo offers a small, comfortable atmosphere with an extensive wine selection. Take a stroll downtown beneath the twinkling lights before entering The Wine Loft to warm up with some Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Cabernet or Chardonnay.

drink

Schedule | Dining | Sights | Sounds | Scene

The Wine Loft 161 E Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo Open Tues.-Sat. at 4 p.m.; closed Sundays and Mondays millenniumrestaurants.com, (269) 343-9227

34 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2013

A time to reflect, enjoy and relax under candlelight in the historical St. Andrews Cathedral while the Grand Rapids Symphony, chorus and youth chorus perform. The music of Bach, Lockington, Handel, Hovhaness, Britten, Lancaster, Rutter and Wilberg will echo through the holy hall, creating an experience to usher in the true sense of the holidays.

listen

Sacred Dimentions Candlelight Cathedral Concert St. Andrews Cathedral

Dec. 10 at 7:30 p.m. $26 grsymphony.org, (616) 454-9451

Dine like royalty in a castle built for royalty at Henderson Castle (built in 1895), which overlooks downtown Kalamazoo. The 25, Queen Anne-style rooms originally housed Frank Henderson, but today the Lake Superior stone, mahogany and brick encloses a truly unique experience. The menu ranges from an exquisite American breakfast to Chicken Marsala for lunch to Fresh Roasted Atlantic Salmon for dinner. Upon entering the castle you feel common, but following the delectable dishes you leave feeling truly royal.

eat

Henderson Castle 100 Monroe St., Kalamazoo hendersoncastle.com, (269) 344-1827

Someone who has everything may be easier to purchase for after all. Look past the 50-piece Tupperware set, the buy-three get-two free sale at Bath and Body Works and the diamond necklace at Kay’s. The holiday season is not all about the presents, but about the experiences. Master Arts Theatre gets this and is performing It’s A Wonderful Life to emanate the true spirit of Christmas. This classic movie reminds the audience of the true meaning of the holiday and gives someone more than any present could.

watch

It’s A Wonderful Life Master Arts Theatre, Grand Rapids Through Dec. 14, show times at 2 and 7:30 p.m. $14-$16 masterarts.org, (616) 455-1001


REVUEWM.COM | December 2013 |

35


/// Gift Guide

fitness freak

Fitness Freaks come in many forms. Whether they’re a Yogi or a lunk, just don’t forget… their body is their temple. B y J a m i e L i n a r i

Buy, or better yet, join your Fitness Freak in classes at Eastown’s Allegro Coaching. “93 percent of Americans feel that their health and the health of their loved ones is one of the most important things in life,” said Kendra Bylsma, owner and lead health coach. Instead of giving things that can be thrown away in a few months or more sweaters that we don’t really need, the gift of health is something that will always pay back tenfold.” And, the best part is you’ll actually enjoy your workouts. Allegro Coaching offers a wide variety of classes such as TRX, Body Pump and P90X and more traditional classes like circuit training and Pilates. “The comment we hear most at Allegro is that our classes and studio are fun,” said Bylsma. “It feels like a community where we all share similar goals for better health.”

Do

Allegro Coaching 1422 Robinson Rd SE, Suite 201
 Grand Rapids allegrocoaching.com, (616) 451-9000

Schedule | Dining | Sights Sounds | Scene

36 | REVUEWM.COM | December 2013

True fanatics know that heavy beers and fruity cocktails only offer up empty calories. Instead, fuel up with fresh juice made daily at Malamiah Juice Bar inside the Downtown Market. Health benefits range from treating headaches, fighting colds and kidney cleanses. Try the Rise and Shine immune system booster with orange, apple, carrot and ginger. Or, try something a little more daring like the Southern Greens for weight loss combining collard greens, kale celery, cucumber, lemon, apple and ginger.

drink

Malamiah Juice bar Downtown Market 435 Ionia Ave., Grand Rapids malamiahjuicebar.com, (616) 730-1532

Stepdad is the cure for the training blues. The band’s upbeat, electric sound and catchy lyrics will get any Fitness Freak through the toughest workout. Try warming up with “Will I ever Dance Again?” work up to “To Ribbons” and cool down with “Warrior.”

listen

Stepdad stepdad.us

Workouts aren’t the only way to meet fitness goals. Eating healthy is just as important. Fueling the body with only healthy ingredients is what Apple Valley Natural Foods is all about. The exclusively vegetarian food store encourages health and wellness with the supplies you need to stock your kitchen.

eat

Apple Valley Natural Foods 5275 Beckley Rd., Battle Creek 6070 Kalamazoo Ave. SE, Kentwood 3013 West Shore Dr. Suite 70, Holland avnf.com

Take your Fitness Freak to envy some of the most energetic chics around. The Grand Raggidy Roller Girls combine athletics, energy, high speed and excess amounts of fun. Check out the full contact sport December 14 for their annual beer brawl pairing up skates and the best craft beer in the area.

watch

Grand Raggidy Roller Derby Girls Rivertown Sports 2605 Sanford Ave SW, Grandville $8-$15 http://grandraggidyrollergirls.com


DEC

5

DIEGO GARCIA

with Jenn Grant | Ladies Literary Club | 8pm | $10

JAN

24

THE LONE BELLOW

with special guest | Covenant Fine Arts Center | 8pm | $15

Scene | Sounds | Sights Diing | Schedule

JAN

29

THE BRILLIANCE Ladies Literary Club | 8pm | $10

Changing the conversation about popular culture.

www.calvin.edu/boxoďŹƒce

616.526.6282 REVUEWM.COM | December 2013 |

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Revue’s Holiday Gift Guide 2013  

Check out our most popular issue of the year — the sixth annual guide to giving the gift of local entertainment to a plethora of personaliti...

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