P r e m i e r d e s t i n at i o n g u i d e to w e s t m i c h i g a n
fa l l & w i n t e r 2 0 1 4 â€“2 0 1 5
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Our investment in West Michigan goes well beyond exceptional care. At Spectrum Health, our commitment to the communities we serve is impacting lives in ways people donâ€™t always see. As a not-for-profit health system rooted in West Michigan, we invest in improving patient care, building and renovating facilities, providing health education, and funding programs that proactively address disease and illness. To see the full value of a health system creating greater possibilities, visit spectrumhealth.org/csr. 4
Community Benefit Community Engagement Education Employee Engagement Healthier Communities Inclusion and Diversity Innovation
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EVERY ISSUE 15 73 77 85
Guest Editorial Savor the Season Hotel Dining Guide Calendar of Events
FEATURES 31 41 53 63
Grand Rapidsâ€™ Other Favorite Craft Brew Experts Among Us The Ale Trail A Hotel History Lesson
LIFE 19 23 25 27
What the Truck New Cool Schools An Accordian Education Making: GR
VO LU M E 8 N U M B E R 2 A N E D U C AT I O N I N W E S T M I C H I G A N An Amway Hotel Corporation Publication Editorial Director Dave Kantor Creative Director Wendy Wassink Editor Amy Marinari Design Kantorwassink
O N T H E C OV E R Art Direction Wendy Wassink Photography Mitch Ranger Photography
A M WAY H OT E L C O R P O R AT I O N Chief Marketing Officer Chad LeRoux Marketing Manager Carrie Smith Kolehouse
Model To find out the identity of our cover model, like our Facebook page www.facebook.com/solacemagazine for the big reveal.
SOLACEâ„˘ magazine is published two times per year by Kantorwassink on behalf of the Amway Hotel Corporation. No portion of this magazine may be reproduced in whole or in part without the expressed written consent of Amway Hotel Corporation. For advertising information, please call 616.776.6980 or visit us online at solacemag.com. Follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/solacemagazine and Twitter at @solacemag.
A BRIGHTER FUTURE FOR DOWNTOWN
Every day, new ideas are shaping our future. Join the conversation and find out whatâ€™s next.
Seen everything there is to see downtown? Explore Uptown, where more than 300 of the hottest restaurants, shops, boutiques, coffee houses and more offer a side of Grand Rapids unlike any other. You’ve been downtown. Now come Uptown.
It’s what’s UP.
L A KE
EAST HILLS WEALTHY
WEALTHY STREET Gaslight Village
City bus service (#5, #6, #14) or a quick cab ride will get you to Uptown. Once here, you’ll find four walkable districts encompassing two square miles within the city.
Get UP early. Stay UP late.
From dawn until dusk (and well beyond), there’s always something to do in Uptown. Whether you’re looking for breakfast, lunch or dinner, rare antiques, boutiques, salon services, galleries, or a night on the town, Uptown offers four neighborhoods full of options. No matter what you’re UP for, we’ve got it.
WEALTHY ST. ART ART OF OF THE THE TABLE TABLE 606 606 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-301-1885 616-301-1885 artofthetable.com artofthetable.com
EAST HILLS BREWERY BREWERY VIVANT VIVANT 925 925 Cherry Cherry St St SE SE 616-719-1604 616-719-1604 breweryvivant.com breweryvivant.com
BRICK BRICK ROAD ROAD PIZZA PIZZA CO. CO. 1017 1017 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-719-2409 616-719-2409 brickroadpizza.com brickroadpizza.com
CLOTHING CLOTHING MATTERS MATTERS 141 141 Diamond Diamond Ave Ave SE SE 616-742-2818 616-742-2818 clothingmatters.net clothingmatters.net
ERB ERB THAI THAI 950 950 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE Ste. Ste. 1A 1A 616-356-2573 616-356-2573 erbthaigr.com erbthaigr.com
GLOBAL GLOBAL INFUSION INFUSION 143 143 Diamond Diamond Ave Ave SE SE 616-776-9720 616-776-9720 welovechai.com welovechai.com THE THE GREEN GREEN WELL WELL GASTRO GASTRO PUB PUB 924 924 Cherry Cherry St St SE SE 616-808-3566 616-808-3566 thegreenwell.com thegreenwell.com
JEFFREY JEFFREY LAKE LAKE FARMERS FARMERS INSURANCE INSURANCE 1136 1136 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-726-2475 616-726-2475 farmersagent.com/jlake farmersagent.com/jlake
GROVE GROVE 919 919 Cherry Cherry St St SE SE 616-454-1000 616-454-1000 groverestaurant.com groverestaurant.com
ALWAYS, ALWAYS, BETTI BETTI 1141 1141 EE Fulton Fulton St St 616-458-8212 616-458-8212 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com BLUEDOOR BLUEDOOR ANTIQUES ANTIQUES & & ELEMENTS ELEMENTS 946 946 EE Fulton Fulton St St 616-456-7888 616-456-7888 bluedoorgr.com bluedoorgr.com
HYPEROPTIK HYPEROPTIK 1134 1134 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-301-1911 616-301-1911 hyper-optik.com hyper-optik.com
JEFFREY JEFFREY RICHARD RICHARD SALON SALON 742 742 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-235-9100 616-235-9100 jeffreyrichardsalon.com jeffreyrichardsalon.com
HOP HOP SCOTCH SCOTCH CHILDREN’S CHILDREN’S STORE STORE 909 909 Cherry Cherry St St SE SE 616-233-4008 616-233-4008 hopscotchstore.com hopscotchstore.com
KITCHEN KITCHEN DESIGN DESIGN STUDIO STUDIO 750 750 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-451-9779 616-451-9779 kds-inc.net kds-inc.net
LAFONTSEE LAFONTSEE GALLERIES GALLERIES 833 833 Lake Lake Dr Dr SE SE 616-451-9820 616-451-9820 lafontsee.us lafontsee.us
REAGAN REAGAN MARKETING MARKETING + + DESIGN DESIGN 912 912 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-459-4064 616-459-4064 reaganmarketing.com reaganmarketing.com
CITY CITY ANTIQUES ANTIQUES 954 954 EE Fulton Fulton St St 616-776-5500 616-776-5500 facebook.com/cityantiques facebook.com/cityantiques
APSARA APSARA SPA SPA 1514 1514 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE Ste. Ste. 272 272 616-451-4505 616-451-4505 apsaraspa.com apsaraspa.com
FULTON FULTON STREET STREET FARMERS FARMERS MARKET MARKET 1147 1147 EE Fulton Fulton St St 616-454-4118 616-454-4118 fultonstreetmarket.org fultonstreetmarket.org
EASTOWN EASTOWN ANTIQUES ANTIQUES 1515 1515 Lake Lake Dr Dr SE SE 616-776-1076 616-776-1076 facebook.com/eastownantiques facebook.com/eastownantiques
ROCK ROCK PAPER PAPER SCISSORS SCISSORS CONSIGNMENT CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE BOUTIQUE 145 145 Diamond Diamond Ave Ave SE SE 616-805-6848 616-805-6848 rpsgr.com rpsgr.com
FOOT FOOT OUTFITTERS OUTFITTERS 1411 1411 Robinson Robinson Rd Rd SE SE 616-451-4732 616-451-4732 footoutfitters.com footoutfitters.com
SÉRENDIPITÉ SÉRENDIPITÉ ORGANIQUES ORGANIQUES 959 959 Lake Lake Dr Dr SE SE Ste. Ste. 22 616-419-8115 616-419-8115 serendipiteorganiques.com serendipiteorganiques.com
VERHEY VERHEY CARPETS CARPETS 1113 1113 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-459-7344 616-459-7344 verheycarpets.com verheycarpets.com
HARMONY HARMONY BREWING BREWING 1551 1551 Lake Lake Dr Dr SE SE 616-233-0063 616-233-0063 harmonybeer.com harmonybeer.com
SIGHT SIGHT OPTICAL OPTICAL BOUTIQUE BOUTIQUE 924 924 Cherry Cherry St St SE SE 616-350-9927 616-350-9927 sightopticalboutique.com sightopticalboutique.com
WEALTHY WEALTHY AT AT CHARLES CHARLES 738 738 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-458-6664 616-458-6664 wealthyatcharles.com wealthyatcharles.com
REBEL REBEL 1409 1409 Robinson Robinson Rd Rd SE SE 616-218-9257 616-218-9257 rebelreclaimed.com rebelreclaimed.com
SWIRLS SWIRLS BOUTIQUE BOUTIQUE 963 963 Cherry Cherry St St SE SE 616-451-0800 616-451-0800 swirlsboutique.com swirlsboutique.com
WEALTHY WEALTHY STREET STREET BAKERY BAKERY 610 610 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-301-2950 616-301-2950 wealthystreetbakery.com wealthystreetbakery.com
SPIRIT SPIRIT DREAMS DREAMS 1430 1430 Lake Lake Dr Dr SE SE 616-456-9889 616-456-9889 spiritdreamsgr.com spiritdreamsgr.com
UNDER UNDER THE THE VINES VINES 959 959 Cherry Cherry St St SE SE 616-356-1986 616-356-1986 On On Facebook Facebook
WEALTHY WEALTHY THEATRE THEATRE 1130 1130 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-459-4788 616-459-4788 wealthytheatre.org wealthytheatre.org
GRIFFIN GRIFFIN PROPERTIES PROPERTIES (Associated (Associated with with Keller Keller Williams Williams Realty) Realty) 557 557 Crescent Crescent St St NE NE 616-915-6060 616-915-6060 griffinproperties.net griffinproperties.net KANGAROO KANGAROO KITCHEN KITCHEN & & CATERING CATERING 1007 1007 EE Fulton Fulton St St 616-451-6775 616-451-6775 kangarookitchengr.com kangarookitchengr.com URBAN URBAN EXCHANGE EXCHANGE CONSIGNMENT CONSIGNMENT BOUTIQUE BOUTIQUE 926 926 EE Fulton Fulton SS 616-889-0947 616-889-0947 myurbanexchange.com myurbanexchange.com
Find these featured businesses and more at: www.uptowngr.com
ROWSTER ROWSTER COFFEE COFFEE 632 632 Wealthy Wealthy St St SE SE 616-780-7777 616-780-7777 rowstercoffee.com rowstercoffee.com
L E T T ER FROM CHA D L ER OUX
DEAR GUEST, Welcome to West Michigan! Welcome to Grand Rapids! Whether this is your first visit, hundredth visit, or you’re a long-time resident, there is always something new to learn in Grand Rapids. This issue of SOLACE is dedicated to motivating people to “learn locally” about our city and its citizens in new ways. Focusing on how local experts with a variety of skills are dedicated to sharing, and essential to shaping our wellrounded community.
If all this talk of local experts has you inspired to discover your next big idea in Grand Rapids, but you don’t know how to execute it, GR Makers is your place. Also referred to as “a gym membership for your brain,” GR Makers warehouse provides all the tools and toys to make even the most out-of-ordinary idea happen (p. 27). See how the youth of Grand Rapids is defying the status quo through education. New (cool) schools are exciting and motivating our students. Whether the interest is in aviation or animals at the zoo, Grand Rapids Public Schools now have 13 unique school choices (p. 23).
One of the things most people know before visiting is that Grand Rapids is “Beer City U.S.A.” The West Michigan Ale Trail begins a few blocks outside of your lobby and expands to over 40 microbreweries within an hour of your hotel (p. 53). Further your thirst for exploring new places and opt for “seed-to-table” coffee at Madcap Coffee, and other locally owned coffee shops (p. 31). Or, end on a savory note with Grand Rapids’ first food truck called, “What The Truck,” serving a delicious and fresh, walk-up dining experience right outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum (p. 19).
As Chief Marketing Officer for Amway Hotel Corporation—the operator of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, the JW Marriott Grand Rapids, and the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott—I’m thrilled to be able to introduce you to your first lesson on West Michigan through the unique stories and photographs in this issue of SOLACE. Please use SOLACE as a guide to your time here, and be sure to take it home with you to enjoy after your visit.
Another educational opportunity is available to guests and locals alike at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel—a history lesson of sorts about the hotel itself, its origins, architecture, evolution, and some of its more famous guests. A pamphlet that makes it easy to take a self-guided tour of the hotel is available at the hotel’s concierge desk (p. 63).
Ask any local and they will say that Grand Rapids looks nothing like it did 20 years ago. Part of what is responsible for the city’s continual growth and expansion is its population’s diverse interests. Grand Rapids is home to a wide range of business expertise, from beekeeping to cooking to paranormal research and more (p. 41). Even the unique talents of accordion player and teacher, Michael Schaeffer, are embraced as an educational opportunity at his regular gig in Grand Rapids’ restaurant, Mangiamo! (p. 25).
Chief Marketing Officer Amway Hotel Corporation
K R SPA
S E C N IE
R E EXP
By leading our students to experiences that nurture creativity and reward curiosity, Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University (KCAD) develops the unique talent of tomorrow’s artists and designers into a force for impact. But our identity extends far beyond the walls of our campus.
Kendall College of Art and Design of Ferris State University 800.676.2787 kcad.edu
Through collaborative community initiatives like the Grand Rapids Public Schools’ new Museum School, featuring an innovative curriculum driven by human-centered design thinking and place-based education, we’re committed to building shared value and collective intelligence in West Michigan and beyond. Discover more at kcad.edu
G U E ST ED I TO RI AL
D O UG SM ALL
Photo by Terry Johnston Illustration by Kantorwassink
EVERY DAY A NEW EXPERIENCE So Many Opportunities to Learn, Explore, and Discover I had to be convinced to come to Grand Rapids to interview for the presidency of what was then called the Grand Rapids/Kent County Convention & Visitors Bureau. After all, it was 2008 and Michigan was mired in a recession. The state had the lowest hotel occupancy rate in the country. And I was already employed in a senior position with VISIT DENVER, the convention bureau for the mile-high city. Moving to a smaller, lower-profile destination was not on my career radar. I will forever be grateful to the two friends who pushed me to give Grand Rapids a try. What I found here matched up perfectly with both my professional goals and my personal interests. The city boasts first-rate tourism infrastructure as well as a can-do entrepreneurial spirit that never backs down from a challenge—like competing against much larger, more glamorous cities for convention and meeting business. (Let me assure you that we win more than our fair share of these contests.) I tell potential meeting clients and tourists that they’ll learn to love Grand Rapids in no time at all. I certainly did. As a foodie, I was struck by the city’s culinary experience. The easy availability of farm-fresh ingredients, the training provided by the Secchia Institute of Culinary Education, the creativity of local restaurant chefs, the dazzling Downtown Market … all of this and more makes Grand Rapids a true food destination. If you’re a lover of art and culture—as I am— Grand Rapids offers the best of the Midwest outside of Chicago. ArtPrize is the culmination of the city’s long-standing commitment to promote visual art and it’s not to be missed. But I also like to brag about our performing arts community. From Michigan’s only professional ballet and a world-class symphony to music concerts and touring productions of Broadway shows, Grand Rapids is a great place to discover what moves, inspires, excites, and enlightens you.
That kind of learning experience extends to many of the other attributes we market to visitors. A number of the breweries here in Beer City U.S.A. offer behind-the-scenes tours filled with fascinating tidbits. Six museums within city limits entertain while they educate. Various walking and running tours deliver unique perspectives on our history and culture. And, of course, Grand Rapids is a great place to learn new swimming, fishing, boating, biking, hunting, and skiing skills! In 2010, we rebranded our organization as Experience Grand Rapids, in part to recognize the city’s ability to engage visitors on an active level. Since then, we’ve helped develop new experiences that promote learning by doing. For instance, I knew from almost the day I arrived here that our restaurants were not getting the attention they deserved. Restaurant Week Grand Rapids grew out of a desire to support and tout our local dining scene. Since its start in 2010, Restaurant Week has introduced thousands of locals to the diversity and sophistication of our culinary community—and turned them into promoters of our culinary craft. Speaking of craft, we’ve also helped increase the visibility of our amazing craft brewers. We organized support for Grand Rapids in the online Beer City U.S.A. poll and we continue to produce a Beer City U.S.A. Ale Trail map of the region’s more than 40 craft breweries. We’ve also made it easy for visitors to identify experiences that will appeal to their particular interests. Our City Twist application (grcitytwist.com) is a virtual concierge service enabling users to search for attractions and events based on 18 categories, including Art Enthusiast, Chic Shopper, and Outdoor Explorer. Just recently, we’ve made it possible for visitors to take a little bit of their Grand Rapids experience home with them. Grandrapidsstore.com offers
official merchandise and apparel from such hometown brands as ArtPrize, LaughFest, Beer City U.S.A., and GR&. I am confident in recommending all of these experiences to visitors because I continue to engage in them myself. I learn something new about Grand Rapids every day—and it just increases my enthusiasm for the city. I’m happy to say that my family shares my enthusiasm. We’ve lived in some great places over the years, including Denver, New York, and Palm Springs. But Grand Rapids is handsdown our favorite. It’s the best move we’ve made in my 31-year career.
Doug Small is President and Chief Executive Officer of Experience Grand Rapids, which provides destination and marketing service for the Greater Grand Rapids region. He and his wife, Kimberly, have two children—Alexandra and Davidson—and reside in Grand Rapids Township.
FO O D T RUCKS
By Victoria Mullen Illustration by Kantorwassink
WHAT THE TRUCK Rolling with the Punches, Driving a New Trend Tempted to rev up your own food truck? Paul Lee has a word of advice: “Don’t.” There’s no malice behind that advice, no competitive spite. “People just need to be told the truth,” says Lee. “This business is not easy. It’s not glamorous. It’s seasonal work with long hours and the alarm going off at 4 a.m. You’re living and breathing ‘food truck’—you can’t escape it.” Let’s just say it takes a certain type of person. Lee and his wife, Jessica, also own The Winchester at 648 Wealthy St. SE in Grand Rapids, and Donkey Taqueria, just down the street at 665 Wealthy. The Lees are energized by the chaos their three businesses serve up. “Every day is different,” says the laid-back Lee. “There’s a certain level of stress that makes me feel alive. I do it because I enjoy creating a great experience for our guests. I want to please them, connect with them. That’s why I love it.”
Lee had no preconceived notions about the food truck business, but he learned very early on that the road was fraught with frustration. Hence the name, “What The Truck.” First, there was the long road trip to Maine to purchase the 1988 commercial truck from a university. There was no title because the truck was state-owned. After a frantic search, the university located the 26-year-old purchase order. Then, on the way back home, the truck broke down in Ohio. Thankfully, it was an easy fix: a $50 engine sensor. After that, it took two weeks to straighten things out with the DMV. Lee used that time to plan the truck’s reconfiguration. But the roadblocks were only beginning. Because Lee’s food truck was the first of its kind in Grand Rapids, the city had no regulations in place. And some existing brick-and-mortar restaurants weren’t sure what to make of this newcomer.
He’s only half joking when he says that the business is mentally preparing the couple for retirement. “We work closely together, so when the kids finally leave home, Jessica and I won’t wonder how to get along. We have our moments, but we enjoy working with each other.” A second food truck is in the works. You’ll find What The Truck parked outside the GRAM throughout ArtPrize. It’s a mainstay throughout the summer at that same location, three days a week.
What The Truck, indeed.
Local advertising and design firm Kantorwassink created the truck’s ADDY Award-winning exterior, which echoes the Lees’ sense of play. Inside the serving quarters, everything is made to order, with fresh ingredients. On the road since summer 2009, What The Truck serves up unexpected, easy eats, like tacos that tease with Asian ingredients.
Food trucks are a common sight in cities like Los Angeles, New York, Austin, and Portland, Oregon. In fact, the more the merrier. “A cluster of food trucks builds energy and creates more foot traffic, which in turn supports other businesses, like retail and sit-down restaurants,” says Lee. “We need a critical mass. The development along Wealthy Street is a good example.”
Because the truck has no kitchen, food is made from scratch at The Winchester, then transferred to the truck. Lee sources all produce locally when he can. Up to 200 customers can be served before supplies need replenishing. If there’s a big run on food, a simple phone call is all it takes to get more.
In July 2012, the Grand Rapids City Commission approved an ordinance allowing food trucks to vend on private property.
What The Truck caters to a variety of events: graduation parties, wedding receptions, business events, Jazz at the Zoo, and festivals, too.
Lee swore he would never treat his employees badly. He pays his staff above minimum wage, and everybody gets holidays off. “I want my staff to have a life,” he says. “I implement only the good into my own businesses. People may forget your name, but they never forget the way you make them feel.”
Stay in touch with What The Truck by visiting their facebook page or whatthetruckgr.com.
Lee gleans the good from experiences and learns from the bad—like the time he was fired from his first job waiting tables at a now-defunct Italian restaurant. “I had worked there two years and never asked for time off,” he says. “The one time I did—to go to my own high school graduation— they told me to come in, or I was fired.”
648 wealthy street se grand rapids, mi 616.451.4969
DONKEY TA Q U E R I A Authentic Mexican food and drinks 655 Wealthy Street South East. donkeygr.com
If itâ€™s gringo you want, kick off.
ED UCAT I O N
By Tommy Allen Photos by Terry Johnston Illustration by Wendy Wassink + Steven Scharrer
NEW COOL SCHOOLS An Education in Innovation Over the years, the second largest Michigan city has been topping lists all over the state and country as one of the best-kept secrets for those seeking out-of-the-box opportunities. As West Michigan experiences the fastest population growth in the state, the demand for an educated population is critical to the city’s future. And with programs at both the public and charter level advancing at exciting rates of success, we will hit those goals. One early success began 40 years ago when a community member, Dr. Mary Jane Dockery, sparked the imagination of the Grand Rapids Public Schools (GRPS), leading them to create the Blandford School at their 143-acre Blandford Nature Center. At Blandford, sixth grade students engage in foundational educational studies, but conduct this study against the background of an agricultural experience. “The program is wildly popular with waiting lists as long as 200 for the 60 openings each fall,” says Blandford Principal Greg Ramey. “We have entertained expanding the school but land at Blandford is finite so we don’t want to upset the delicate ecosystem of the preserve.” The GRPS Zoo School is not just a one-of-akind institution in Michigan, but it is also a rarity throughout the country. Instead of sixth grade students sitting at desks all day, the Zoo School uses the science of zoology as a vehicle to achieve high test scores within the foundational subjects of writing, science, and health. “The result of our innovation in education is that in 2012, Scholastic Parent & Child magazine named the Zoo School one of the top 25 ‘Coolest Schools in America,’” says John Helmholdt, GRPS’ executive director of Communications and External Affairs. “In addition to Blandford and Zoo School receiving numerous awards, our Center for Economicology and City High-Middle
have all four ranked in the top 1 percent in the state’s Top To Bottom Rankings.” GRPS now boasts 13 unique school choices from pre-K to 12th grade including two more urban schools as a result of the newly adopted Downtown Master Plan: a Museum School (fall 2015) and an expanded one-stop Innovation Central High campus. This campus is redesigned with even greater interactions between science, medicine, entrepreneurship, design, and a new urban farm nestled close to the new Downtown Market. The West Michigan Aviation Academy (WMAA) is a charter school educational choice. The new specialty high school focuses on STEM education (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Classes are conducted at a new campus next to the Gerald R. Ford International Airport. At the Aviation Academy, students complete their core high school requirements, while also pursuing real-world experience by participating in hands-on projects ranging from engineering to design to flight simulation. In the fall of 2014, students will have an opportunity to build an airplane from the ground up.
produced three pilots who, at age 17, can venture down the street from our school and rent an airplane. And yet, they are not allowed to rent a car at the rental agencies also on this street.” Outside of the WMAA there is a kinetic sculpture pointing to the sky with an inscription on the base by the Academy founder that truly applies to all the adventures in education this region is experiencing, “The higher your altitude, the broader your horizons.” Our impact on the future does not stop at educating our children; it is continuing to discover what a working young mind can deliver.
Blandford School www.grpublicschools.org/blandford Zoo School www.grpublicschools.org/zoo West Michigan Aviation Academy westmichiganaviation.org
“The Aviation Academy, created by area businessman Dick DeVos at the encouragement of his wife, Betsy, provides a culture of opportunity for students. Parents no longer have to accept the status quo of education for their children,” says Patrick Cwayna, CEO of the WMAA. WMAA began operating with just 80 ninth graders in 2010, but by the fall of 2014 they will welcome 600 students to their ever-expanding facility that attracts students from as far as 60 miles away. “In 2014 we were excited to not only hold commencement exercises for our first graduating class of 73 students, but we celebrated that three of these graduates secured their pilot’s license,” says Cwayna. “It is quite ironic that we have
M USI C LESSO NS
By Paul Flower Photo by Josh Tyron
AN ACCORDION EDUCATION The Music Teacher You Wish You Had If you were asked to choose a musical instrument and a musical genre to teach in West Michigan, “the accordion” and “swing gypsy” likely wouldn’t be on the tip of your tongue. Then again, Michael Schaeffer isn’t your typical musician or music teacher. An accomplished painter—he studied at the Royal College of Art in London and earned his degree from Kendall College in Grand Rapids— Schaeffer awakened one day from a dream in which he was playing “a bellowed instrument in a dark room.” The dream inspired Schaeffer, who was a lapsed piano student, to buy an accordion at a garage sale. And from there, it inspired him to launch a second career as a performer and instructor. Today, he has a regular gig at the Grand Rapids landmark Italian restaurant Mangiamo!, and he performs at everything from weddings to dinner parties to backyard get-togethers, and teaches a growing list of pupils. “Word kind of got out that I was giving accordion lessons. Before I knew it I had a couple of other people inquiring about lessons and it just slowly became something people wanted to do. And the more I ‘gigged,’ the more I’d tell people that I also teach. Word of mouth got me to the point of where I have 11 students. And I love it. It’s wonderful,” he says. While he is admittedly a little taken aback by the growing interest to learn the quirky instrument, he understands why his students fall in love with it. “It is surprising, the notion that someone would want to take this up compared to something more popular, like guitar,” Schaeffer says. “But it’s not surprising in that being an accordion player I know how good it feels. You’re very connected to the musical instrument.”
Schaeffer admits that, yes, some students come to him with an interest in playing an old-fashioned, rousing polka. But his students quickly learn there’s much more to the accordion than that. And, contrary to West Michigan’s near-legendary reputation for button-down, no-nonsense conservatism, many local accordion pupils come to Schaeffer already interested in a diverse range of musical styles—schooled by everything from YouTube to movies—and they want to embrace the accordion’s more romantic side. “There’s a place for polka, and it’s great and all, but it’s not true that the accordion just plays loud polka music. Really it can be a very expressive, very sensitive instrument,” he says. “There’s a lot of nuance in it. So when you’re talking about something like French musette, it’s easy-going music—it’s Paris, relaxing in a café with an espresso; it is romantic.” Schaeffer said whatever the case, his students’ tastes usually evolve as their lessons progress. He enjoys watching them discover the accordion’s remarkable range. “Most of my students I have now are interested in French (accordion music) and second in line would be Tango,” he says. “Swing gypsy music is becoming popular in bigger cities and I think people are probably hearing more of that, too.”
You can see Schaeffer’s art at LaFontsee Galleries in Grand Rapids. You can enjoy his accordion music at Mangiamo!, or you may just run into one of his students at a wedding or restaurant in the near future. While Schaeffer can’t predict where all of his musical prodigies will go from here, he is pleased with the journey he’s sharing with them, and how it is impacting the area’s culture. “It makes me very happy to know that people are interested in other types of things besides the mainstream. I think that really catches some people and I’m really glad it has because it’s going to open up something very new for people to experiment with,” he says.
Michael Schaeffer michaeltheaccordionist.com LaFontsee Galleries 833 Lake Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 lafontsee.us Mangiamo! 1033 Lake Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 thegilmorecollection.com/mangiamo.php
Schaeffer suspects he plays a role in influencing what students want to play. But he also finds many of them come with open minds. Their tastes in music grow as lessons progress. “A lot of them spend time listening to a lot of different kinds of music, and they really start connecting with a certain kind of culture, whether it be French, Tango, Irish, or German. Along the way, through the process, they do evolve. The things they thought they were into they might still be into, but they find new loves with different kinds of music,” Schaeffer says.
B RAI NSTO RM
By Steven Scharrer Illustration by Steven Scharrer
MAKING: GR Ingenuity Afoot on Michigan’s Best Coast I’m touring the Geek Group, a local, nonprofit maker space connected to and serving a global community of thinkers and doers. Talking with Josh Spencer, the Geek Group’s Director of Development, he tells me, “It’s about providing access.”
Understanding this is fundamentally important.
Online, the Geek Group provides 40,000 YouTube subscribers and over 25,000 online members access to a community where they can connect with other makers, sharing ideas and know-how completely free of charge. On site, a day pass or monthly facility membership, (both of which cost less than a tank of gas), provides users access to some serious can-do firepower.
As the ability to share ideas and expertise becomes increasingly demotic, and access to the tools and software necessary to move from an ethereal concept to a material reality become increasingly open, we’re seeing a move to reconnect to the objects in our lives—the things that shape the world around us. When we understand how things are made, we engage with them in more meaningful ways. And the language of design and innovation becomes a kind of lingua franca, helping to foster and catalyze new forms of entrepreneurship and allowing us to really pursue our passions across a wide range of scales.
There’s a high voltage lab, a laser lab, and a circuits lab where you can program and print your own boards. There’s a computer lab and 3-D printers. There’s what amounts to your high school woodshop on steroids: all the traditional tools you’d expect alongside CNC mills and KUKA robots, and there’s an auto shop where they’re currently converting a Louts Esprit into a faster, fully electric version of itself. But perhaps, most importantly, there are people there with the know-how to show you how to use the resources they provide and how to approach your project.
A week after my tour of the Geek Group, I found myself at GR Makers, a low-profit community maker space, sitting in a tiny yellow submarine. The inside was exactly what I imagined it would be like; Knight Rider meets Jules Verne. Outside, the sub’s owner, designer, and maker, Gary, was beaming about his third-generation DIY submersible. When I asked him how he got into this sort of thing, his answer was simple, thoughtful, and inspiring. He’d always admired Jacques Cousteau, and making a submarine was something he’d always wanted to do.
Standing there, you have to ask yourself: What will I make now that I can make anything? That’s the big question and sort of unofficial mantra of the maker movement. And it’s worth thinking about.
Exiting the sub, I continued my tour of the space—recently opened to the public and taking occupancy in a warehouse on Hall Street. To my left: a mobile blacksmith’s forge where an ArtPrize entry is taking shape. Inside: a small team of people screen-printing t-shirts and a medium-size group gathered around a large commercial laser cutter, watching an intricate pattern being cut from paper come to life.
Two dads maneuvering strollers pass by and I’m struck by something I hear while within earshot, “This is like a gym membership for your brain,” one says to the other. It was an a-ha moment. I had been trying to think of ways to simplify and convey what maker spaces do or what they are, but was falling a little flat. Comparing them to a fully stocked pantry seemed like a stretch, but a gym membership for the brain seemed like it could be appropriate; you are, after all, exercising your curiosity and strengthening your knowledge base. On my drive home from GR Makers, I thought about the idea of the gym membership for your brain. Then I thought back to my tour of the Geek Group and something from my visit that was still immediately resonant. After a demonstration in their laser lab, Geek Group vice chair Chris Boden was talking about the virtues of maker spaces, education, and access. He picked up a component from one of the lasers and held it up. “You don’t know what this is, do you?” he asked politely. I didn’t and acknowledged him by shaking my head. “But you want to,” he earnestly followed up. That might be perfect.
Near the end of my tour of the Geek Group, Josh Spencer talked with me about how, in some ways, he sees the maker movement as part of a cultural move away from a “throwaway culture,” where things are more disposable, toward a culture that can make things, fix things, improve things, and innovate. These sentiments were similarly echoed in an email interview I conducted with GR Makers cofounder, Samuel Bowles. He wrote, “The objects we have grown accustomed to consuming blindly are being opened up to be altered, hacked, and reinvented.”
Samuel Bowles tells me that GR Makers operates on three pillars: expression, entrepreneurship, and education. In fostering these things, he says that they’re working to create a place where the next great idea can be born and come to fruition. He says, “West Michigan needs new, fresh ideas. We need a little bit of crazy and a whole lot of energy.” On this day, that sentiment was palpable.
Get Involved. The Geek Group 902 Leonard St. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504 geekgroup.org GR Makers 401 Hall St. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503 grmakers.com
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GRAND RAPIDS’ OTHER FAVORITE CRAFT BREW COFFEE CULTURE IN GRAND RAPIDS
Carrie Smith Kolehouse PHOTOGRAPHY BY
Carson Davis Brown
COFFEE IN GRAND RAPIDS MAY BE BECOMING THE NEW CRAFT BEER, DRAWING MORE AND MORE DISCERNING CONSUMERS—AND MORE AND MORE ENTREPRENEURS OPENING COOL PLACES TO SERVE THEM A CUPPA. BUT THAT WASN’T ALWAYS THE CASE. Less than 20 years ago, coffee was, for many Grand Rapidians, a drink that had to be endured in order to achieve that morning jolt or afternoon refresh needed to make it through a hard day’s work. And any curiosity about where one’s coffee came from rarely extended further than which grocery store brand bag it was born of, or which fast-food restaurant it was served from. This was also the time when the corner of Monroe Center and Ottawa Avenue was part of a struggling pedestrian-only mall in a seemingly dead downtown, and the corner of Wealthy Street and James Avenue was a boarded-up storefront in a seemingly unsafe part of town. These would be the future sites of two of the city’s craft coffee purveyors—where business people and artists alike would pay upwards of $4 for one small cup of black coffee, and appreciate its notes of dark chocolate and raisins during an hour-long sipping experience. But much had to happen in-between. In the ’90s, more coffee shops began offering sweet, highly accessible coffee drinks with flavored syrups and artisan whipped creams. A beverage that was as tasty as it was caffeinated—especially when it included five ingredients—seemed worthy of a few extra dollars. This conditioned the Grand Rapids coffee drinker to spend a bit more for a dramatically better coffee-drinking experience. While people were falling in love with extra whip, sprinkles, and long menus written on chalkboards, many were also falling for something much deeper than that: coffee shop culture. One of those people was Trevor Corlett, who stepped inside Four Friends Coffeehouse in downtown Grand Rapids as a Computer Information Systems major at Cornerstone University. In that coffee shop, Trevor saw more than a place to have a café mocha and watch his roommate play acoustic guitar—he saw a place where creative people could come together to fuel up, wind down, or get inspired. He decided owning a coffee shop was his dream. 31
Trevor’s pursuits led him to Illinois, and many years and coffee shops later he met Ryan Knapp, a college student whose recent trip to Uganda and Rwanda (where coffee is a top export) had opened his eyes about the global impact of the coffee business. The two men found they had a common passion in the entire process of coffee—what they call “seed-to-cup”—along with the serving and presentation of it, and decided to open their own coffee business. But where was the best place to do it? When scouting Grand Rapids as the potential home for their coffee venture, Ryan and Trevor saw signs of what they describe as “intentionality” in the choices of the city and its residents. They saw an appreciation for craft and process reflected in the brewery and food culture. “People were asking questions about where things come from, and this was causing the restaurant scene to change, so you were seeing much more of the concept ‘farm-to-table.’ So we thought ‘seed-to-cup’ could fit right in,” Ryan says. With evidence of the city’s growing arts and culture scene like the new Grand Rapids Art Museum appearing, Trevor and Ryan selected a location at the corner of Monroe Center and Ottawa Avenue, confident there would be a market of residents interested in carefully sourced coffee prepared by uber-experienced baristas. Not everyone was quite so confident.
Attaching to the artistic community was vital to the blossoming of other Grand Rapids coffee businesses—including ROWSTER Coffee, located at the corner of Wealthy Street and James Avenue in the East Hills neighborhood. This connection came naturally, as co-owner Kurt Stauffer first stationed his bean roasting operation in the back of Richard App Gallery on Cherry Street. “Richard thought it would be fun and interesting, and it was a great place for people to stop by and sample the coffee informally. And then I knew they would keep coming when we opened our own shop,” Kurt says. Kurt’s business partner, Stephen Curtis, former owner of the Essential Bean in nearby Caledonia, was also optimistic that the city was ready for multiple high-end cafés, based on its brewery culture. “I knew people understood that you can make something taste really good through a careful process with attention to detail—just like you do with beer,” said Stephen. A respect for craft, a curiosity about source, an appreciation for flavor, and an enjoyment of the café atmosphere proved to be the perfect recipe for a flourishing coffee industry in Grand Rapids. Madcap now roasts and sells coffee beans for more than 100 locations around the U.S., and plans to open an expanded roasting space and second coffee shop on Fulton Street in 2015.
“The front page of the business section in the local paper read, ‘Does Grand Rapids really need another coffee shop?’” says Trevor. “I thought, ‘Oh no. Are we crazy?’”
With staple establishments like Kava House and The Bitter End still going strong, and the recent opening of new cafés like Lantern and PaLatte, the future for local coffee culture appears promising.
It was this skepticism that inspired the coffee company’s name: Madcap. A word said to have been invented by William Shakespeare, Madcap means, “done or thought up without considering the consequences; crazy or reckless.”
“It’s thrived because it’s authentic,” says Ryan Knapp. “We love it and we are sharing what we love—with our suppliers, with our staff, with our customers. And when that positive energy flows through the entire process, you can’t help but be successful.”
Thankfully, Trevor and Ryan received just as much encouragement as they did cynicism, and credit much of their success to this support. “Grand Rapids is small enough that there is hometown support, and people are excited to get behind new things. It was easy to get connected—not just with coffee people—but with artists, brewers, and chefs,” said Ryan.
“I KNEW PEOPLE UNDERSTOOD THAT YOU CAN MAKE SOMETHING TASTE REALLY GOOD THROUGH A CAREFUL PROCESS WITH ATTENTION TO DETAIL— JUST LIKE YOU DO WITH BEER,” SAID STEPHEN.
VISIT LOCAL COFFEE SHOPS
“IT’S THRIVED BECAUSE IT’S AUTHENTIC,” SAYS RYAN KNAPP.
THE BITTER END COFFEE HOUSE 752 FULTON ST. thebitterendcoffeehouse.com An 18-minute walk from your hotel COMMON GROUND COFFEE SHOP 1319 FULTON ST. commongroundgr.com A 10-minute drive from your hotel KAVA HOUSE 1445 LAKE DR. SE (visit their facebook page for more info) A 9-minute drive from your hotel LANTERN COFFEE BAR AND LOUNGE 100 COMMERCE AVE. SW lanterncoffee.com A 10-minute walk from your hotel MADCAP COFFEE 98 MONROE CENTER NW madcapcoffee.com A 3-minute walk from your hotel PALATTE COFFEE & ART 150 FULTON ST. NW (visit their facebook page for more info) An 11-minute walk from your hotel ROWSTER COFFEE 632 WEALTHY ST. SE rowstercoffee.com A 7-minute drive from your hotel THE SPARROWS COFFEE TEA & NEWSSTAND 1035 WEALTHY ST. SE thesparrowsgr.com A 10-minute drive from your hotel
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W E LC O M E TO
EXPERTS AMONG US WRITTEN BY KARIN LANNON
P H OTO G R A P H Y BY M I TC H R A N G E R
D R E WJ O H N S O N FISHING EXPERT
READING, WRITING, AND A RI T H ME T I C … S U R E , THEY’RE HANDY SKILLS TO KNOW. BUT IF YOU WANT TO LEARN SOMETHING WO RT H WR I T I N G H O ME ABOUT, YOU’RE BETTER OFF ASK I N G A N E X P E R T—AND THEY’RE ALL AROUND US I N WE ST MI C H I GA N .
Michigan has 36,350 miles of rivers and countless salmon, trout, and steelhead. Where the fish are and what they’re biting is always changing, but spend a day with Drew Johnson, and you’re bound to find them. As a fishing guide for the Orvis Lodge in Baldwin, Michigan, Johnson specializes in traditional fly fishing and light tackle fishing. Whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned fisherman, he can show you where to look, what equipment to choose, and how to use it correctly in the age-old tug between man and nature. What sparked my interest: My dad took me steelhead fishing for my 13th birthday. I caught my first steelhead, and I was hooked. I spent basically the next 15 years fishing. I was out there every weekend, whenever I could. How I became an expert: I learned the basics from my dad, but in fishing these rivers, there are so many variables that change every day. I just had to figure it out the hard way. As you grow, you meet other people who have learned different things. You combine your experiences and learn as a group. Why it’s worth knowing: Fishing is something that you can spend time doing with your friends and family, but it’s also something you can enjoy by yourself. I can have just as much fun spending a day in solitude as I do with a group. And you definitely get a new appreciation of what it takes to keep these fish here. A lot of our smaller rivers rely on natural reproduction, so I don’t keep them. I figure, I could eat this big fish, or I could come back and try to catch it again.
DREW’S TIPS FOR REELING IT IN 1 / When you set up, you have to read the water. Water’s moving, and it tells you different things as it moves. If you’re in a bend and there are two currents coming together, that’s often where the food is collecting and that’s where the fish are going to be. 2 / Make a quality presentation to that spot. If your presentation’s not right, your fly is drifting down and moving at the wrong speed, or it’s the wrong color for that time, they’re not going to bite. There are a lot of different things that can go wrong. But if your presentation doesn’t work, we’ll change it. 3 / If you don’t catch a fish, you’ll have to make an adjustment. Change your fly, change your leader, or change your depth. 4 / Be patient. In fishing these rivers, a lot of times it doesn’t happen right away. You can fish 10 spots and not catch a fish. That’s normal. 5 / Bring a positive attitude into every spot you fish. That’s the thing I preach the most. Every time I approach a spot, I come with a positive attitude. Sometimes fishing is really good, and sometimes it’s difficult to fish here. If you go with the attitude that you’re only going to have fun if you catch fish, you’re not going to have a good time. Well, if you look at where you are, what you’re doing, and who you’re with, you should be having fun.
LEA R N MORE:
What I can teach you: When I take someone fishing, I’ll evaluate where they’re at and gauge where we should start. There are so many different things to learn: the cast, presentation, hook set, how to fight them, and how to land them. If someone’s starting from scratch, the first few hours aren’t really spent fishing for fish. I’ll park the boat, and we’ll get out and practice. You’ve got to get the basics before you even start, and the hard thing is putting them all together! Then you can fish.
DONSNOEYINK BEEKEEPING EXPERT
Just moments after blowing a puff of smoke into the hive and prying off the lid, Don Snoeyink runs his bare hand across a frame of honeybees. Behind the veil of his bee suit, his face expresses many things: awe, fascination, and a keen scientific interest in the goings-on of the hive. What he doesn’t feel is fear—confident in his methods, his protective equipment, and the temperament of his bees. It’s something close examination has taught him, through years of watching the observation hive inside his home and tending his many outdoor hives. Both his enthusiasm and his confidence are catching, and through the years, he’s taught many others to appreciate bees or even start hives of their own. What sparked my interest: My friend was a beekeeper. We bought honey from him, and he said, “Don, you ought to keep bees yourself.” After a couple of years I decided I would try it, and he brought a hive over for me to take care of for the season. A month later, there was a swarm of bees above my chicken house. I heard the buzzing, looked up, and wondered what all those flies were doing on a branch. Then I realized they were honeybees. So I called my friend, he cut the branch, shook it into a hive, and I was hooked. I’ve been waiting for the thrill to wear off, but this is season number nine. There’s always something more to learn, and I’m still thrilled every year.
What I can teach you: With a first-year hive, their job is to build up enough honey to live through the winter. A second-year hive wants to swarm. So the second-year hive has to be treated totally different from a first-year hive if you want honey production. We also do educational presentations at nature centers, retirement centers, libraries, and schools. I love to teach. When kids say to me, “How do bees do that?” I know they are thinking. The answers they find may enhance their character and deepen their relationships with the people around them.
DON’S 4 TIPS FOR BEGINNING BEEKEEPERS 1 / Purchase a hive. 2 / Get protective equipment. I always wear a veil because bees instinctively go for the eyes, nose, mouth, and ears. I don’t want bees in those places! 3 / Buy a package of bees. They take full hives and shake them through a funnel into a screened cage. They fill that with 10–12,000 bees, put a queen in its own cage inside of that, and put a feeder can in for them to eat on their way.
How I became an expert: My goal is to learn as much as I can as fast as I can. I read as much as I could about bees. I subscribed to the two main beekeeping magazines. I would go visit my friend and say, “I’ve got 25 questions for you. Are you ready?” I joined the Michigan Beekeepers Association and went to all of their meetings. I just flooded myself with information.
4 / Buy my class! (Or take one from somebody else.) When I got into beekeeping, I needed to have my hand held for a little while, and my friend didn’t have time to do that. It made me realize what I would want in a class, so I wrote a curriculum based on that. It was probably a good thing in the long run that I had my frustrations the first few years.
Why it’s worth knowing: Beekeeping encompasses so much of nature and the cycles of nature. It’s affected by the weather, so I have to pay attention to what the weather does. I don’t go into a beehive when there’s a storm approaching because the bees are aggravated by that. I know more about flowers and weeds now. If you showed me a picture of any time in the summer, I could tell you within two weeks what date it was by the leaves or flowers in bloom, and that’s because I keep bees. For me, it just expanded an interest in nature that I already had. Not to mention the cycles of the bee world itself: of the queen laying eggs, developing into larva, and then hatching out of the cell.
5 / A single bee doesn’t make very much honey. It takes at least eight bees all their life to make one single teaspoon full. So enjoy every drop.
DON’S BEEKEEPING 101 CLASS I have a beekeeping 101 class where I teach people what they need to buy, how much it’s going to cost, and how to get started with bees. It’s a one-day, six-hour class, and I’ll teach it anywhere someone provides a venue. I also do a second-year class. A second-year hive wants to swarm. So the second-year hive has to be treated totally different from a first-year hive if you want honey production.
BEES 101 Beekeeping 101 Class Schedule NORTH CENTRAL MICHIGAN COLLEGE P E T O S K E Y, M I
LEA RN MORE: THOR N A PPLEWOODL A N DS.COM
D O R E E N P L OT KO W S K I C O M PA N I O N B I R D E X P E R T
There’s never a quiet moment for the owner of Casa La Parrot, and she wouldn’t have it any other way. From the second she steps in the door of her companion bird store, she’s surrounded by a chorus of squawks, cheeps, whistles, and songs— all telling her that her feathered flock is awake and literally ready to say hello! Casa La Parrot is West Michigan’s go-to place to buy, groom, or board companion birds, from tiny zebra finches to crested cockatiels and dazzling blue macaws. Whether you’re looking for a bird to sing with you, snuggle, or make you laugh, Doreen can find the perfect match for you. What sparked my interest: I’ve always had lots of animals, but when my daughter was eight, she decided she wanted a bird. We went to a bird fair, and that was it! When you hit other people’s excitement and add yours, it’s contagious. How I became an expert: I’ve had all kinds of mentors and read everything I can get my hands on. Birdchannel.com is great. And experience is a big thing. Why it’s worth knowing: Birds are fascinating, intelligent, and fun, but there isn’t a whole lot of information out there. People are used to having dogs and cats, but birds are totally different. It surprises people that you can hold them, touch them, talk to them. If you’re going to be a “parront,” you have to include your “fids,” or feathered kids, in your family. They need someone who is willing to learn and become part of the flock. What I can teach you: We don’t do any formal classes yet, but that is something I will be working on. I’m putting together an education station in the store with flyers about specific issues. I also encourage people to attend bird club meetings, and we teach all of our customers as they come in the door.
DOREEN’S TOP TIP FOR A BEGINNING BIRD OWNER Come in and hold them all. The owner doesn’t choose the bird, the bird chooses the owner. You can pick up every bird in the store and there will be one that decides, “This is my dad.” I just love that!
L E ARN M O R E : C ASAL A PA R R OT. B IZ 44
JENCHICHESTER + M A R K D AV I S PA R A N O R M A L E X P E R T S
When something goes bump in the night, ever wonder what it is? You’re not alone. Jen Chichester founded Grand Rapids Paranormal Investigation to set people’s minds at ease by finding explanations for eerie circumstances. When someone contacts the group, GRPI conducts an interview, asking non-leading questions to determine the scope of the issue. Next, they visit the home, using multiple video cameras, voice recorders, and electromagnetic recorders to take scientific measurements and gather footage, which will be reviewed and analyzed by the team. In some cases, the culprit is exposed as nothing more than faulty electrical wiring, and everyone in the home breathes a sigh of relief. In others, the measurements are completely normal. But in a handful, something unexplained is captured in the data—and the team must tell the homeowner, “We don’t know what it is. But something’s there.” What sparked our interest: Jen: I had a few experiences when I was a kid that I couldn’t come to grips with. In college, I heard a lot of stories and met a few like-minded people, and we decided to form a team. I’d watched the shows and thought, we could do that, but we could do it even better, and make it about the people and actually help them. Mark: The reason I got into it was I didn’t know if I believed in it. I’d never had a ghost bother me. I wanted to know, is this real or are these people just crazy? It’s hard to believe without actually seeing or experiencing it. I remember catching my first EVP (electronic voice phenomenon), sitting there with my headphones on, and a voice went across a few times. I still don’t know what they are. There’s got to be something going on, but I can’t tell you where it’s coming from. How we became an expert: Jen: I started the team back in 2008. Since then, I have contacted more established teams who also place value on the scientific method and gotten advice from them. It’s helped us develop and see what we could be doing better and what we should not be doing at all. We don’t mess around with Ouija boards. We don’t bring psychics in. We’re there to try to capture what we can to say, “We can validate that this is happening,” or “No, we cannot.” We like to try to debunk and find natural explanations for things. L E A R N M O R E: FAC E B O O K .COM /GRAND RAP IDS P I
O U R A DV I C E O N B E CO M I N G A PA R A N O R M A L I N V E S T I G AT O R 1 / Take the time to think about WHY you want to be an investigator. 2 / Research established teams in your area and contact them with questions on their ideas and methodologies. 3 / If you land an interview with a reputable team, be professional. Bring a list of qualifications and skills as well as your unique personality. 4 / If you decide to venture off and start your own team, look for like-minded individuals to help you build it in a step-by-step process. 5 / Be able to communicate in a way that expresses passion and think analytically.
L A U R A S Z C Z E PA N E K POLISH COOKING EXPERT
You might say that Polish cooking is in Laura Szczepanek’s blood. As owner of That Polish Girl Catering, she’s an expert at golabkis, pierogies, chrusciki, and other Eastern European delights— a craft she learned from her Polish grandmother. But it wasn’t until her corporate career ended that she considered going back to the kitchen … and realized that the West Michigan market was downright starving for someone who could cook like their own busia (grandmother) could. That’s when she took a chance on opening her catering business in the Polish neighborhood of Grand Rapids, not far from where she grew up. Since then, she’s had a steady stream of requests for catering weddings, funeral luncheons, and baby showers, serving up a heaping plate of good Polish food with love and tradition baked in. What sparked my interest: There’s no good Polish food here. You open a can of sauerkraut and dump it out and it’s like, ‘Ugh!’ And frozen golabkis are terrible, when you’re used to going to Grandma’s house and having the good stuff! It’s just those little things. It needed to be done, because nobody was doing it right. All of the little old ladies who used to do it have died.
BOW TIES / LOVE KNOTS POLISH COOKIES Ingredients: 2 eggs 2 egg yolks ½ tsp. salt ¼ cup butter, softened ½ cup sugar 2 cups flour vegetable oil for frying confectioner’s sugar Directions: 1 / In a large bowl or KitchenAid® mixer combine eggs, yolks, and salt. Add softened butter and sugar, mixing well. Gradually add in flour until creamy. Mixture will be very sticky; cover and refrigerate over night. 2 / Place one quarter of the dough on a floured work surface—this makes the dough easier to work with and not so sticky. Roll out thin with a rolling pin, about 1/8" thickness, but not so thin the dough rips when handled. With a pizza cutter cut into 5" strips, 1 ½" wide.
L A U R A’ S FAM ILY R ECI PE FO R P I ER OGI E D OU GH Our recipe is six, six, six and a pinch. My busia always called the small container a six.
1 C O N TA I N E R O F SOUR CREAM
6 CUPS OF FLOUR
How I became an expert: I am that Polish girl. My busia came from Poland on a boat and raised 10 kids. She cooked for extra money with her sisters from Poland, and then she cooked with her daughters. I grew up doing it with my busia every day. We’d get out of school, walk the railroad tracks to her house, and make golabkis and pierogies. Why it’s worth knowing: I love teaching people, because if you don’t tell them how to do it, the next generation isn’t going to know. They’re going to think they go (to the store) and put this pan of frozen food in the oven. But making kapusta is an art. It took me forever to learn. Good food doesn’t fall out of trees and come in frozen pans. You’ve got to make it yourself. What I can teach you: I’ve done cooking classes at the Polish Heritage Festival. We’re also doing something for Camp Sparkle at Gilda’s Club this year. I always invite people to come in and learn, or they can email me. My main advice is just do it how it’s supposed to be done. Get yourself calmed down. Don’t be in a rush. Turn on a polka CD. Sit there with family and friends. Don’t open a box and rip off the lid, but take your time. You’ve got to put love into it. The secret is handmade with love.
3 / Make a slit in the middle of each strip, bring one end of the strip through the slit, pulling it through until it resembles a bow tie, repeat; scraps may be re-rolled until all dough is used up. 4 / Fill electric frying pan 1 ¼" deep with vegetable oil, heat to 350 degrees. Place a few bow ties at a time in the hot oil, turn over until slightly brown, remove and drain on paper towels, cool, dust with confectioner’s sugar, and serve.
& A P I N C H O F S A LT
That’s the dough.
POLISH PICKLE SALAD Ingredients: 6 small to medium pickles 1 bunch green onions ¾ cup sour cream fresh cracked black pepper to taste Directions: Wash and pat dry pickles. Leave the skins on and slice into a bowl. Clean and dice green onions into bowl, add sour cream and gently mix. Add black pepper to taste and serve. LEA RN MORE: THATPOL ISHG IRL .COM
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community since 1914
Grand Rapids Community College has been nestled in the heart of West Michigan for 100 years. The first community college in Michigan, GRCC was founded in 1914 to provide educational opportunities that would open doors for local citizens. That mission continues today as the college celebrates its centennial. The GRCC Experience is seamless transfer to more than 35 college and university programs; faculty with industry practice; state-ofthe-art, flexible and online learning options; honors, study away and experiential learning courses; and business partnerships to develop tomorrowâ€™s workforce.
Grand Rapids Community College West Michiganâ€™s Best Choice.
DRINKING IN THE MAGIC OF MICHIGAN ONE PINT AT A TIME BY DAVID WENZEL
IF YOU LIVE IN WESTERN MICHIGAN, IT IS EASY TO FIND (AND DRINK) A HANDCRAFTED BREW—AN ALE AGED IN A SCOTCH BARREL, A COFFEE-RICH STOUT, OR AN IPA WITH A HINT OF GRAPEFRUIT. When you come across a brewer, and statistically you probably already have, he or she may tell you that beer can be made with a few basic ingredients. He or she may even elaborate on the impressive range of flavors these few ingredients can achieve. But no brewer will tell you just how it is that at the end of this sip you taste a slight oceanfront breeze. Or how the next beer tastes exactly like a late-night campfire filling your nose with the aroma of s’mores. Secret ingredients? Perhaps. A bit of Michigan wizardry? Absolutely.
“THE EMERGENCE OF CRAFT BEER CAME OUT OF AN ERA OF INDUSTRIALIZED ‘WHITE BREAD' FOOD AND DRINK, FROM 70 YEARS AGO. EVENTUALLY, PEOPLE STARTED WAKING UP ...”
The West Michigan Ale Trail has grown to more than 40 microbreweries within an hour’s drive of downtown Grand Rapids, but no one would have predicted it thirty years ago. In the ’80s, the general masses weren’t too interested in craft brewing. We were perfectly pleased with our wine coolers, Zima, and Crystal Clear Pepsi. But the Michigan microbrew industry began in the heads of a few individuals—most notably, Larry Bell, the Lewis and Clark Expedition of Michigan home brewing. After creating Bell’s Brewery in 1985, his company began brewing and distributing small amounts of beer to local establishments. But in 1993, when Michigan passed a law permitting brewers to sell beer at their own locations, Bell’s Brewery immediately began serving pints to the thirsty public as the first microbrewery in Michigan. In order to understand the thinking behind these near-prophetic companies, I was referred to a man many identify as “The Godfather of Michigan Beer,” and “The Beervangelist,” Fred Bueltmann, from New Holland Brewing Company. He enlightened me as to what was happening in the heads of beer makers in those days. “The emergence of craft beer came out of an era of industrialized ‘white bread' food and drink, from 70 years ago. Eventually, people started waking up. We stopped wanting processed food, packaged, frozen,
and shipped across the country to our dinner plates. We wanted to get to know our local farmers. And as the food-to-table industry was born, we started to care just as much for our beverages. We wanted to know who was making our beer and where they were coming from.” This awakening led many to a beer-making experience known as a “home-brewer’s epiphany” (i.e., “I can do this, too!”). If the Michigan microbrew industry truly has an origin story, it begins with Steve at Siciliano’s Market, the local beer grocer who started out serving slushies. Siciliano’s became the first stop on this crazy Breaking Bad of beers science experiment as Steve offered yeast, hops, and fermenters to those brewing bathtub beer in Michigan basements. Similar to Walter White, a select few had a bit of that magical wizardry up their sleeves. This led to the next round of breweries forming in 1997, including Founders Brewing Company, New Holland Brewing Company, and B.O.B.’s Brewery.
Some of today’s successful breweries have a bit of a dicey past. During a recent brew tour, Gabriel Rains, my beer-sherpa, explained the history of Founders Brewing: Around 2002, Founders was in trouble … deep trouble. The landlord threatened to put chains on the front doors due to its long overdue rent. Cofounders Mike and Dave had defaulted on all of their loans, and with their last line of overextended credit produced what they thought was their last batch of beer—Dirty Bastard. Dirty Bastard ended up being so popular the founders managed to pay off the landlord and create more incredible beers like Double Trouble, Curmudgeon, and Kentucky Breakfast Stout. Founders Brewing emerged from rock-bottom by stumbling across its own path toward greatness. New Holland Brewery’s Dragon’s Milk carries quite a story as well. Dragon’s Milk is a bourbon barrel stout, an extremely rare concoction for 2001. The nation instantly fell in love with this beer, inspiring the building of a 6,000-squarefoot barrel cellar where New Holland ships more than 1,000 barrels each month of Dragon’s Milk alone.
“... AS THE FOOD-TO-TABLE INDUSTRY WAS BORN, WE STARTED TO CARE JUST AS MUCH FOR OUR BEVERAGES. WE WANTED TO KNOW WHO WAS MAKING OUR BEER AND WHERE THEY WERE COMING FROM.”
West Michigan started making serious growth in 2008—strangely enough the exact same year Michigan’s overall economy tanked. Hopcat Brewing entered the scene, receiving incredible recognition when Rate Beer and Beer Advocate named it the best brewpub in the country and the third best beer bar in the world. In 2012, Brewery Vivant became the first LEED-Certified Brewery with its version of Belgian beers. Grand Rapids Brewing Company was recently purchased by investors to preserve its 120year-old history. They honored the company’s heritage while simultaneously modifying its age-old processes to become the first entirely organic brew house in Michigan. Bell’s Brewery is regularly placed in the top-ten lists of best breweries in the country and is planning to create over 300,000 barrels of beer this year. And in 2013, Rate Beer named Founders Brewing Company the third best brewery in the world!
Barry looked both ways before he mentioned West Michigan’s version of the Michigan Brewers Guild, unofficially named G.R.S.O.B.— a title, I imagine, cheekily agreed upon to represent the “Grand Rapids Society of Brewers.” Each member signed up under the motto that, “A rising tide lifts all boats.” They knew that for beer to take off, an honest collaboration would be needed. Information was openly shared while competitors cheered each other on. This groundswell of support was exactly what was needed to unite the public and win voter-based awards like Beer City, U.S.A. It seems another type of trail has been happening underneath the Ale Trail map—not a map of locations, but a journey that started nearly 30 years ago when these brew masters finely tuned the precise art of craft brewing. Today, these brew master artists continue to serve as pioneers, astronauts, and unnameable visionaries who have painfully paved the way for the onslaught of up-and-coming breweries. Because of them, you are never more than an hour away from a brewery, and your options have never been better. If you have a craving for craft beer, you will find it in abundance at new breweries continuing to appear: Elk Brewing, Our Brewing, White Flame Brewing, Pike 51 Brewing, the list goes on and on. Michigan is filled with makers. We make and share things we love, in a place we love. Maybe it’s this love that serves as the final ingredient that infuses our beer, the last element brewers always forget to mention.
Since 2008 we have experienced an astounding 400 percent increase in breweries. I sat down with Barry VanDyke from Harmony Brewing Company to wrap my arms around this concept. He elaborated on the creation of the Michigan Brewers Guild in 1997, an organization that built strong communities between existing breweries across the state and helped connect them to their consumers.
1 14 MILE
131 LAKE MICHIGAN
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12 W E A LT H Y
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57 BREW PUB & BISTRO 1310 W. Washington St. Greenville, MI 48838 (616) 712-6226 57brewpub.com
13 FOUNDERS BREWING COMPANY
ARCADIA BREWING COMPANY 103 W. Michigan Ave. Battle Creek, MI 49017 (269) 963-9520 arcadiaales.com
14 GONZO'S BIGGDOGG BREWING
B.O.B.'S BREWERY 20 Monroe Ave. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616) 356-2000 thebob.com
15 GRAND RAPIDS BREWING
BELL'S BREWERY 355 E. Kalamazoo Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 (269) 382-2332 bellsbeer.com
235 Grandville Ave. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616) 776-1195 foundersbrewing.com COMPANY 140 S. Westnedge Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 (269) 382-2739 COMPANY 1 Ionia Ave. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616) 458-7000 grbrewingcompany.com
16 GRAVEL BOTTOM CRAFT BREWERY & SUPPLY STORE 418 Ada Dr. SE Ada, MI 49301 (206) 403-8563 gravelbottom.com
BIG LAKE BREWING COMPANY 977 Butternut Dr. #4 Holland, MI 49424 (616) 796-8888 blbrewing.com
17 HARMONY BREWING COMPANY LLC
BOATYARD BREWING COMPANY 432 E. Paterson St. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 (269) 808-3455 boatyardbrewing.com
18 HIDEOUT BREWING
BREWERY VIVANT 925 Cherry St. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 (616) 719-1604 breweryvivant.com
CELLAR BREWING COMPANY 500 E. Division St. Sparta, MI 49345 (616) 883-0777 cellarbrewingco.com
20 JADEN JAMES BREWERY /
CRANKER'S RESTAURANT & BREWERY 213 S. State St. Big Rapids, MI 49307 (231) 796-1919 crankersbrewery.com
10 CRANKER'S RESTAURANT & BREWERY 454 68th St. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49548 (616) 827-1919 crankersbrewery.com
11 EB COFFEE AND PUB 8980 N. Rogers Court Caledonia, MI 49316 (616) 891-7700
12 ELK BREWING 700 Wealthy St. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616) 238-5227
1551 Lake Dr. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49506 (616) 233-0063 harmonybeer.com 3113 Plaza Dr. NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525 (616) 361-9658 hideoutbrewing.com 25 Ionia Ave. SW Grand Rapids, MI 49503 (616) 451-4677 hopcatgr.com CASCADE WINERY 4665 Broadmoor Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49512 (616) 656-4665 cascadecellars.com
21 LATITUDE 42 BREWING COMPANY 7842 Portage Rd. Portage, MI 49002 (269) 459-4242 latitude42brewingco.com
22 NEW HOLLAND BREWING CO. 66 E. 8th Street Holland, MI 49423 (616) 355-6422 newhollandbrew.com
23 ODD SIDE ALES 41 Washington Ave. Grand Haven, MI 49417 (616) 935-7326 oddsideales.com
25 OLDE PENINSULA BREWPUB & RESTAURANT 200 E. Michigan Ave. Kalamazoo, MI 49007 (269) 343-2739 oldepenkazoo.com
26 OSGOOD BREWING 4051 Chicago Dr. SW Grandville, MI 49418 (616) 432-3881 osgoodbrewing.com
27 OUR BREWING COMPANY 76 E. 8th St. Holland, MI 49423 (616) 994-8417 ourbrewingcompany.com
28 PERRIN BREWING COMPANY 5910 Comstock Park Dr. NW Comstock Park, MI 49321 (616) 551-1957 perrinbrewing.com
29 PIKE 51 BREWERY 3768 Chicago Dr. Hudsonville, MI 49426 (616) 662-4589 pike51.com
30 ROCKFORD BREWING COMPANY 12 E. Bridge St. Rockford, MI 49341 (616) 951-4677 rockfordbrewing.com
31 SAUGATUCK BREWING COMPANY 2948 Blue Star Hwy Douglas, MI 49408 (269) 857-7222 saugatuckbrewing.com
32 SCHMOHZ BREWING COMPANY 2600 Patterson Ave. SE Grand Rapids, MI 49546 (616) 949-0860 schmohz.com
33 THE MITTEN BREWING COMPANY 527 Leonard St. NW Grand Rapids, MI 49504 (616) 608-5612 mittenbrewing.com
34 WALLDORFF BREWPUB & BISTRO 105 E. State St. Hastings, MI 49058 (269) 945-4400 walldorffbrewpub.com
35 WHITE FLAME BREWING COMPANY 5234 36th Ave. Hudsonville, MI 49426 (616) 209-5098 whiteflamebrewing.com
24 OLD BOYS' BREWHOUSE 971 W. Savidge St. Spring Lake, MI 49456 (616) 850-9950 oldboysbrewhouse.com 57
In a bonded room on the shores of Lake Michigan, we've been distilling Michigan's finest whiskey since 2005 in our 60 and 600 gallon pot stills. Itâ€™s a long, painstaking process, but when the deep caramel liquid pours out of the barrel for the first time all the work fades away.
Stop & Taste Michigan's Whiskey Maker
Zeppelin Bend, Straight Malt Y Bill's Michigan Wheat Y Beer Barrel Bourbon Hatter Royale, Hopped Whiskey Y Double Down Barley Malthouse, Malt Whiskey Y Walleye Rye Y Cask & Smoke, Smoked Whiskey
WELCOME TO GRAND RAPIDS! VISIT 340 STATE ST. SE GRAND RAPIDS, MI STORE HOURS MON-THUR 11AM-11PM FRIDAY 11AM-12:30AM SATURDAY 12PM-12:30AM SUNDAY 12PM-11PM
ORDER ONLINE GRANDRAPIDSPIZZA.NET NIGHT DELIVERY THURS, FRI, SAT UNTIL 2:30AM
DELIVERY UNTIL 1HR BEFORE CLOSE
CALL 616-742-GRPD (4773)
GRAND RAPIDS PIZZA & DELIVERY
GRPD PROUDLY USES LOCAL, MICHIGAN BUSINESSES AND THEIR PRODUCTS TO KEEP OUR ECONOMY STRONG
Besides the warm West Michigan welcome, I would like to encourage you to enjoy a great meal at any of the many locally owned restaurants. Many of these local establishments are committed to sourcing local produce, meat and other ne ingredients from Michigan farms in addition to using local packaging with the area's economy in mind. You need not walk, ride or travel very far from your hotel to experience unique and varied tastes here in Grand Rapids — or what I like to call, Flavor Rapids. Look for the “Local First” logo and be assured you are supporting a local business that, in turn, is supporting other local businesses in our community. This is just another way of supporting West Michigan business owners and the Grand Rapids economy. Whether you are seeking a ne dining experience or a more value based meal, you are sure to nd it here, and supporting local merchants just sweetens the deal. Grand Rapids Pizza and Delivery is a locally based
restaurant, located in the historic Heritage Hill district and part of the Local First community of merchants. Using family recipes and sourcing locally is not just an idea for us — it is how we do business. We are committed to making pizza, pasta, sauces, salads and sandwiches in line with that philosophy. At GRPD, we offer thick, thin and traditional crusts to go with our specialty, gluten-free, pan and stuffed pizzas. We also provide a variety of sauce options that local folks have embraced. We would be honored to share these award-winning pizzas with you. Our goal is to enhance your visit to our community and add to your Grand Rapids experience. Be it dine-in, take-out, delivery or catering, we look forward to cooking for o you.
Michæ Mi h l D. Raymond
Owner of Grand Rapids Pizza & Delivery
FO FOODS OODS
SSS yyy tttiihh!
45 S DIVISION |DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS | 616.551.3563 ROCKWELLSREPUBLIC.COM
Whenever possible, we use locally grown ingredients to create our ‘out of this world’ dishes. Chef Christian Madsen’s house-made specialties and use of local ingredients, along with his unconventional but approachable style, pair perfectly with the settings at six.one.six. restaurant and mixology lounge. Both provide an inviting experience for hotel guests and local diners alike; as well as private dining, events, banquets and in-room dining options.
SWIM, SNORKEL, SAIL, FISH, DIVE, PICNIC, HIKE, BIKE, DINE OR... DO ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL. Stay at Peter Island Resort and Spa and the entire island is yours. Literally. 1,800 acres of paradise – perfectly preserved with five private white sand beaches, world-class snorkeling, sailing, fishing, diving, a spa that’s second-to-none, dining that’s continuously rated the best in the BVI and a staff you’ll swear knows what you want before you do. Check into one of only 52 rooms or three villas and see why people who stay on Peter Island refer to it as “that place.” Start your trip today at peterisland.com.
A HOTEL HISTORY LESSON BY JON DUNN
British stand-up comedian Eddie Izzard has a bit about the lack of historic preservation in the United States. He says he was watching TV in Miami when the commentator proclaimed they had “redecorated this building to how it looked over 50 years ago. Surely not,” he quips. “No one was alive then!” It’s a joke, but as most jokes do, it hits close to home. A lack of historical preservation across most of the country means much of our history is gone forever. Here in Grand Rapids, the historic old city hall was razed in the late 1960s despite very vocal opposition. Beautiful and historic artifacts, too, often have been bulldozed to make way for new ones, all in the name of progress. Maybe that’s part of what makes the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel so special. The hotel underwent an extensive renovation in the early ’80s, with an eye on preserving both the building and as much of the building’s history as possible. And it’s a very deep history at that.
Some 110 years before the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel came to life, in 1868, Martin L. Sweet built his eponymous hotel on the northwest corner of then Canal (now a part of Monroe Avenue) and Pearl Street right in the heart of the bustling turn-of-the-century city. The Sweet’s Hotel was a good hotel by any measure, but it was not considered to be a great hotel. Its best years were still ahead.
J. Boyd Pantlind
J. Boyd Pantlind was raised in the hospitality industry, working as a bellboy, porter, and clerk in his teenage years at Morton House—a hotel owned in part by his uncle. A grown-up J. Boyd Pantlind bought the Sweet’s Hotel and by 1916 it had reopened under the new name, The Pantlind Hotel. The design was completed by legendary New York City architecture firm Warren and Wetmore in the “English Adams” style and offered 750 newly rebuilt rooms. The majestic Pantlind was off and running. By 1925, the hotel was named as one of the “Ten Finest Hotels in America.” The distinguished hotel pushed the city of Grand Rapids to further thrive by truly turning the city into a destination, including a place for many major conventions.
Martin l. Sweet
1979 Pantlind Hotel
1981 aMway Grand Plaza
1925 Pantlind Hotel
Karen Johnston and Russ Aubil are two people who may know more about this story than anyone alive. As longtime employees of the hotel who love the hotel and the history, they consider themselves the “historians” of the Amway Grand Plaza. For both Karen, the assistant director of the Rooms Division, and Russ, the director of Security and Safety, the hotel is a very special place. “It was interesting for me,” said Aubil, “to be here on property during the transformation of the old run-down Pantlind [Hotel] to see it become what it is today.”
The Pantlind Hotel did start to fade as the years took their toll. In 1979, the Amway Corporation stepped in and bought the languishing Pantlind. “These two men, Rich DeVos and Jay Van Andel [Amway Founders], had a vision to take this sorry old hotel and make it what it is today, ”said Johnston, who believes the Amway Grand Plaza served as a catalyst for the growth of the downtown core of the city. “Since the hotel opened, now you have DeVos Peformance Hall, Gerald R. Ford Museum, the Grand Rapids Public Museum, and all the medical mile development.”
CELEBRATING 100 YEARS IN 2016. CHILL THE CHAMPAGNE.
The hotel reopened in 1981, after an extensive renovation. The work brought back the old beauty, much of which is on display today. There are many unique and stunning features of the hotel, but one of the most beautiful may well be the Imperial Ballroom and its incredibly ornate painted wood ceiling. “This used to be a bank, with the tellers over here,” Johnston said giving a tour of the Imperial Ballroom. “You’d come down here in the ’70s when at that time it was a bar called “The Bank,“ and you’d see a drop ceiling. During the renovation they took the drop ceiling off and found that underneath.” As you walk through the old Pantlind lobby today, it’s easy to imagine a full house in the 1940s, busy guests coming and going. The renovation saved as much as possible of the old lobby, such as the original oriental crystal chandeliers and the elaborate brass railing. The railing, which had been hit hard over time, did need a local Grand Rapids die caster to fill the broken gaps. The original goldleaf ceiling was saved and it covers thousands of square feet, making it one of the largest in the world.
RAEGAN AND DEVOS
The hotel has served as host to many celebrities over the decades, such as Babe Ruth, James Cagney, Jack Dempsey, Spencer Tracy, both Robert and John F. Kennedy—and, of course, Grand Rapids’ own President Gerald R. Ford, a frequent guest of the hotel. “We had the opportunity to host the rededication of the Ford Museum, so we had the Carters, the Clintons, Caroline Kennedy, and the Bush family. It was a lot of fun, they were all just down-toearth people,” said Johnston. If all of that sounds interesting, you are free to take a walking tour of the hotel and immerse yourself in the vast history. The short, selfguided tour administered through a booklet available from the front desk offers a look at the old Pantlind history along with some of the
HOWARD MILLER GRANDFATHER CLOCK
WOODEN GILDED SUNBURST
“... I LOOK AT THIS PLACE AND THINK, YOU KNOW, THEY DON’T MAKE HOTELS LIKE THIS ANYMORE. THIS IS A GEM, AND THE HISTORY IS SOMETHING WE NEED TO PRESERVE.”
RESTORED BRASS RAILING
more interesting pieces in the hotel, such as a Howard Miller grandfather clock, or the wooden gilded sunburst in the old Pantlind lobby—a transplant from Venice, Italy, where it hung in the palace of a wealthy merchant for 150 years. “After all the times I’ve been through here,” said Aubil, “I still think my favorite thing is walking into the Pantlind lobby. I look at this place and think, you know, they don’t make hotels like this anymore. This is a gem, and the history is something we need to preserve.” But above all else, the hotel is more than a historical site. It’s a modern hotel in West Michigan, a blending of old and new with the contemporary 29-story glass tower along the Grand River, and a very simple mission statement that drives the employees here: “To be the most admired hotel company by delivering quality experiences for our guests and employees.”
67 PANTLIND LOBBY
WE WORK HERE. WE PLAY HERE. WE ARE HERE. Serving clients since 1941, Smith Haughey Rice & Roegge is a Michigan-based, full-service law firm serving both businesses and individuals. With offices in Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, Muskegon and Traverse City, it’s our focus and mission to operate from the heart of each location’s city to better serve our clients and the community in which we reside.
616-774-8000 Ann Arbor
JUNE 2-7 MAY 13 APRIL 17
2014 -2015 SEASON SEPTEMBER - OCTOBER 30 5
-18 JANUARY 13
NOVEMBER 28 -30
Discover your inner elf.
WHEN YOU BUY A 3-SHOW PACKAGE.
The Broadway Mus
FOR MORE INFORMATION,
BroadwayGrandRapids.com • 616-235-6285
IT’S ALL ABOUT THE
WIN! GREAT FOOD + GREAT BEER Watch the game on 55 different HD flat screens, shoot pool, play shuffleboard, cozy up next to our fire in the lounge area… Whatever the plan, it’s GAME ON at PEPPiNO’s peppinospizza.com
West MichiGan's PReMieRe PizzeRia & sPoRts GRille 130 IONIA AVE SW, GRAND RAPIDS MI, 49503
Voted Grand rapids Best pizza (Grand Rapids Magazine)
Juice. It’s in our DNA. Who knew West Michigan was home to the 4th largest bottled juice company in the US? For 30 years Old Orchard has been quietly growing by producing high quality juices from right here in Michigan’s beautiful fruit belt. From delicious 100% fruit juice blends to healthy, low sugar options, we couldn’t have done it without you. Thanks, West Michigan, for being the best part of what we’re made of. 100% Juice. Juice Blends. Reduced Sugar Juice Cocktails. Info@oldorchard.com | www.oldorchard.com | 616-887-1745 70
ONE OF A KIND year round patio & live music 77 Grandville Ave. SW, Grand Rapids, MI 49503
10% OFF WITH HOTEL KEY w w w . g r a n d w o o d s l o u n g e . c o m
10% Off With Hotel Key
CRAFT BEER, SMALL PLATES, AND PRIVATE DINING * No cher r y trees were har med in the making of this restaurant.
100 Ionia Ave SW, Grand Rapids, MI, TEL 616.456.7673 101 Washington Ave., Lansing, MI, TEL 517.374.5555
42.9612째 N, 85.6557째 W
SAVOR THE SEASON Apples
Photography by David Ellison
When you compare apples to apples, state by state, Michigan ranks third in the nation in overall apple production, and the bulk of those apples are grown in family-owned apple orchards, right here in West Michigan. So it’s no wonder so many of our local chefs pick apples (pun intended) to put into their favorite fall and winter recipes at their restaurants. Here’s how three of them take one of our local ingredients from tree to table.
Matt Green | Reserve Wine & Food Apple Cheddar Salad For one salad: 1 apple, Nyblad Orchards grows my favorite Mutsu variety 2 oz. Cheddar cheese, the older the better. Farm Country Cheese has a delicious 3-year-old Cheddar 1 oz. pickled red onions, you could substitute another homemade pickle that’s on the sweet side, pickled watermelon rind would be excellent 1 oz. watercress, mizuna, or arugula 1 oz. toasted walnuts 1 oz. walnut vinaigrette
Walnut vinaigrette (makes 1 cup): 3 tbsp. sherry vinegar 1 tbsp. minced shallot 1 sprig thyme, leaves only 1 oz. toasted walnuts ¼ cup olive oil 3 tbsp. walnut oil 1 tsp. honey 1 tsp. Dijon mustard pinch of salt, a few turns of the pepper mill
Reserve Wine & Food 201 Monroe Ave. NW A short walk north from your hotel.
Amore Trattoria Italiana 5080D Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park, MI A 10-minute drive north from your hotel.
Winchester 648 Wealthy St. SE A 7-minute drive southeast of your hotel.
Directions: Put everything for the dressing except the oil into a blender and purée. Slowly drizzle in the oils with the blender running. Slice the apple and crumble the cheese. Toss everything together.
Jenna Arcidiacono | Amore Trattoria Italiana Nostrana Pizza For the dough: 3½–4 cups of flour 1 tsp. of sugar 1 envelope of instant dry yeast 2 tsp. of kosher salt 1 ½ cups of 110 degree water 2 tbsp. of olive oil + 2 tsp.
For the pizza: 2 cups of shredded Fontina cheese 1 package of Brie cheese 1 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano grated 1 Michigan Fuji apple S & S Farm’s lamb bacon (cooked and crumbled) 1 bag of Mud Lake Farm’s arugula
Directions: Combine the flour, sugar, yeast and salt in a bowl. Add water and 2 tbsp. of oil to mixture and mix until dough forms. Grease a large bowl with 2 tsp. of olive oil and place the dough into the bowl. Let the dough rise for an hour. Divide the dough into 2 balls and let it rise for another 10 minutes. Roll the dough out on a cookie sheet. Top the dough with the three-cheese blend. Slice the Fuji apple thinly and layer around the pizza. Add the lamb bacon and cook at 450 degrees for 10–12 minutes until browned to your liking. Take the pizza out and top it with the arugula. Enjoy!
Ryan Martin | Winchester 12 Granny Smith apples, cored and diced, ½ inch in size 1 white onion, diced ¼ cup apple cider vinegar 3 tbsp. sugar ¼ cup white wine
Directions: In a medium-sized saucepan, sweat onions over medium heat in a couple of tbsp. of oil until translucent. Add the rest of the ingredients. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until you reach a chunky applesauce-like consistency. Serve as an accompaniment to cheese and charcuterie, or with pork. 73
served all our steaks are
tender, juicy and
Grand Rapids | 616.776.6426 | Inside the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel | ruthschris.com 74
Chef ’s Classic Salad FEATURING
Herbette Dressing For this recipe and more, visit thehotelkitchen.com.
Great meals start with g r e at i n g r e d i e n t s . The flavors of fine dining and garden bounty—in your kitchen, year-round. Take some home with you today! The Hotel Kitchen products are available for purchase at the Plaza Essentials Gift Shop at the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, the JW Marketplace at the JW Marriott, and the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott’s Market.
The hoTel kiTchen
GUIDE TO HOTEL DINING guide to hotel dining
Whether youâ€™re looking for a snack on-thego, a happy-hour hot spot, or a fine dinner created from fresh, local ingredients, our selection of restaurants and bars delivers. (In fact, you might start wishing there were more than three meals in each day.)
CYGNUS 27 Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Enjoy the skyline as you dine atop the Glass Tower in Cygnus 27. Indulge on a variety of globally influenced dishes at this AAA Four-Diamond restaurant for an epic casual dining experience. Casual attire, no jacket required. Private dining also available. 616.774.2000 x6525 cygnus27.com facebook.com/cygnus27
SIX.ONE.SIX Located in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids Those looking for highly inspired cuisine in a stylish, cosmopolitan setting, look no further than six.one.six. With its unique combination of globally influenced tastes to regional favorites fashioned from local produce, six.one.six offers a feast for the senses without even having to leave the area code. Free validated parking is available. 616.242.1500 ilove616.com facebook.com/ilove616
FA L L & WI N T ER 2 014â€“2 015
SAVO R: A GUIDE TO HOT EL D IN IN G
RUTH’S CHRIS STEAK HOUSE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel At Ruth’s Chris Grand Rapids we’re picky about our steaks. That’s why we serve only the ﬁnest USDA Prime beef available. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, choose from our Chef’s Seasonal Specials, fresh seafood selections, classic sides, and homemade desserts. Casual attire. Private dining also available. 616.776.6426 ruthschris.com facebook.com/RuthsChrisGrandRapids
GP SPORTS Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Three large screens, 30+ HD flat screens, pool tables, video games, outdoor patio seating, pizzas, signature burgers, and more. The best place to unwind, enjoy a casual meal, and catch all the sports action! 616.774.2000 x6528 amwaygrand.com facebook.com/GPsports
THE BISTRO Located in the Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Eat. Drink. Connect. Serving American food, bistro style, whether it’s grab-and-go for someone on-the-run or guests dining in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The Bistro offers fresh seasonal options that are satisfying favorites. The Bistro serves Starbucks beverages and has a fullservice bar, known as the S-Bar. 616.776.3400 ourcourtyardgr.com
LUMBER BARON BAR Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel Settle into the warmth and charm of this historic bar—complete with fireplace, leather club chairs, and a large selection of premium drinks and appetizers. The Lumber Baron is a grand choice for the beginning or the conclusion of a night on the town. 616.774.2000 x6522 amwaygrand.com
GARDEN COURT LOUNGE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel The Garden Court Lounge is an excellent choice for a quick drink with friends, or when you simply desire a few moments relaxing with a fine glass of wine. The Garden Court Lounge offers a fine array of beer, wine, cocktails, and liqueurs. 616.774.2000 x6524 amwaygrand.com
MIXOLOGY Located in the JW Marriott Grand Rapids Casual, upscale service and atmosphere invite guests to enjoy the comfort of the solarium and the views. This type of service allows guests to complete business tasks while still enjoying the accessibility to great food and libations. 616.242.1448 ilove616.com/mixology.htm
STARBUCKS® COFFEE Located in the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel, JW Marriott Grand Rapids, and Downtown Courtyard by Marriott Stop in to Starbucks for a morning or afternoon treat. It is the perfect place to enjoy a large selection of your favorite made-toorder specialty coffee drinks, teas, pastries, and much more. 616.774.2000 x6565 amwaygrand.com 616.242.1500 ilovethejw.com 616.242.6000 ourcourtyardgr.com
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Family Law Practice
Experience, efficiency & confidentiality We value the opportunity to work with you on sensitive family matters. Contact us at 616.831.1700 or firstname.lastname@example.org. www.millerjohnson.com
Pictured left to right: Jack Keiser, Mike Quinn, Connie Thacker, Joe Doele, Melissa Neckers and Julie Sullivan
We believe in people, and We exist to help them realize their
AmwAy is A fAmily-owned compAny thAt, for more thAn 50 yeArs, hAs held firm to the belief thAt we exist to help people reAlize their potentiAl. We empower more than 3 million people, in more than 100 countries and territories, to control their own Amway business and achieve success as they define it. We offer a proven direct-selling business model that was pioneered and perfected by Amway. This business model is fueled by differentiated brands and products that are industry-leading in their respective categories of Health, Beauty, and Home. Amway is committed to building the strongest business and personal relationships in our community and around the world. Many of our employees are also community leaders and volunteers providing assistance and support for several West Michigan organizations, including Junior Achievement, Boys and Girls Club, and Kidsâ€™ Food Basket. We are proud to have enabled millions of people around the world to live better lives by helping them realize their potential.
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Jonathan Borofsky. Male/Female, 2001. Photo by William J. Hebert.
AlwAys GrowinG. AlwAys beAutiful. AlwAys new. Experience masterpieces of art and nature that will delight your senses at America’s premier horticultural display gardens and sculpture park.
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Your personal financial goals deserve a personal approach Putting the needs of clients first is the approach I believe in. I’ll work with you to find the right financial solutions to help you plan for your unique goals. And together, we’ll track your progress over time, adjusting your plan along the way to help get you where you want to go. Lisa Cargill, ChFC®, CLU®, CRPC®, CDFA® Financial Advisor Franchise Owner 480 Ada Dr. SE Ada, MI 49301-9105 616.682.5103 email@example.com ameripriseadvisors.com/lisa.m.cargill Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA and SIPC. © 2013 Ameriprise Financial, Inc. All rights reserved.
Jay Leno 2014
Brian Regan 2013 Jim Gaffigan 2014
Whoopi Goldberg 2012 Joel McHale 2013
Amy Schumer 2012 Kevin Hart 2011
Gabriel Iglesias 2011
CELEBRATING LAUGHTER FOR THE HEALTH OF IT!
MARCH 5 – 15, 2015 10 days of free and ticketed events including stand-up, improv, film, authors, community showcases, and a variety of seriously funny stuff!
laughfestgr.org All proceeds benefit the free cancer, grief, and emotional health support programs offered through Gilda’s Club Grand Rapids
EVENTS local happenings
We might be a small city, but thereâ€™s never a shortage of big things to do here. From art, theater, and live music, to sporting events and productions kids will love, our region offers a full range of tantalizing options.
Art and Exhibitions
OPERA GRAND RAPIDS PRESENTS CARMEN
REAL PIRATES: THE UNTOLD STORY OF THE WHYDAH FROM SLAVE SHIP TO PIRATE SHIP
October 31–November 1, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall Bizet’s tale of a gypsy cigarette maker will be back for the first time in seven years! Carmen is a love triangle turned into tragedy, and among the world’s most frequently performed operas throughout the world. For more information, call 616.451.2741 or visit operagr.org
Opening October 18, 2014 Grand Rapids Public Museum Whydah is a pirate ship that sank off the coast of Cape Cod nearly 300 years ago, and carried advanced weaponry and treasure chests filled with coins from all over the world—along with the clothing and everyday items of real pirates. These painstakingly recovered artifacts and more will be included in the exhibit. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit grmuseum.org
ONCE November 4–9, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall Featuring an impressive ensemble of actors/musicians who play their own instruments onstage, ONCE tells the enchanting tale of a Dublin street musician who’s about to give up on his dream when a beautiful young woman takes a sudden interest in his haunting love songs. For more information, call 616.742.6500 or visit devosperformancehall.com
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: EMERGING SCULPTORS October 13, 2014–January 4, 2015 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Working closely with the recommendations of many of the established artists in Meijer Gardens’ permanent collection, the talents of a promising new generation of sculptors have been chosen to form this unique group exhibition. For more information, call 888.957.1580 or visit meijergardens.org
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN November 14–16, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall Witness the award-winning, big-screen performances of Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds, dancing and singing along with a downpour of magnificent songs—Make ‘Em Laugh, Fit as a Fiddle, You Were Meant for Me, and more. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
JESSICA JOY LONDON: A STATE OF WONDER October 23, 2014–January 2, 2015 Grand Rapids Art Museum Yspilanti artist Jessica Joy London imagines that if it rained color, the landscape would look like her paintings. She has exhibited internationally at venues like the Art Complex Center of Tokyo, the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center and the Kennedy Center’s Hall of States. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit artmuseumgr.org
MARKS OF GENIUS: 100 EXTRAORDINARY DRAWINGS FROM THE MINNEAPOLIS INSTITUTE OF ARTS October 26, 2014–January 18, 2015 Grand Rapids Art Museum Marks of Genius features 100 outstanding drawings, watercolors and pastels spanning more than 500 years— many of them rarely exhibited—from both European and American artists. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit artmuseumgr.org
LOOKING FORWARD: THE ARTWORK OF KIRK NEWMAN November 7, 2014–February 8, 2015 UICA This exhibit provides a fresh look at the prolific career of Kirk Newman, creator of the Kirk Newman School at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. The timeless qualities and diverse techniques in Newman’s work show his delightful and thoughtful examination of the modern world. For more information, call 616.454.7000 or visit www.uica.org
BUYING FRIENDS: THE KORTMAN COLLECTION November 15, 2014–February 15, 2015 UICA Rife with coyness and wry sensibility, Buying Friends will be the first presentation of the contemporary art collection of Ryan Kortman, and will include over 80 works by 36 artists. For more information, call 616.454.7000 or visit uica.org
Theater and Performing Arts
MARY POPPINS THROUGH THE EYES OF WEIDENAAR January 17–July 5, 2015 Grand Rapids Public Museum Commemorating the works of local artist and internationally renowned print maker Reynold Weidenaar, this exhibit features his prints, plates, tools, and personal effects— focusing specifically on how Weidenaar incorporated local scenes, humor and satire, and his worldview into his art. For more information, call 616.456.3911 or visit grmuseum.org
SPLENDORS OF SHIGA: TREASURES FROM JAPAN January 30–August 16, 2015 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park More than 60 Japanese historical objects from the 17th century to the present will be displayed, with the four seasons represented. For more information, call 888.957.1580 or visit meijergardens.org
November 14–December 14, 2014 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Supercalifragilistic fun with the world’s most famous nanny! The beloved Mary Poppins and Banks family stories come to life in this timeless favorite. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit grct.org
ELF THE MUSICAL November 28–30, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall ELF is the hilarious tale of Buddy, a young orphan child who mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported back to the North Pole. Unaware that he is actually human, Buddy’s enormous size causes him to face the truth. Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father, his true identity, and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas. For more information, call 616.235.6285 or visit broadwaygrandrapids.com
THE NUTCRACKER BUTTERFLIES ARE BLOOMING March 1–April 30, 2015 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park The largest temporary tropical butterfly exhibition in the nation takes place each year in the Tropical Conservatory at Meijer Gardens. For more information, call 888.957.1580 or visit meijergardens.org
December 12–14 and 19–21, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall The Grand Rapids Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker will feature the creative vision of Chris Van Allsburg—the renowned author of The Polar Express, Jumanji, and other classics—and Eugene Lee—a former Saturday Night Live set designer who has won Tony Awards for his designs on such productions as Sweeney Todd and Wicked. For more information, call 616.454.4771 or visit grballet.com
Emerging Sculptors exhibit at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Photo courtesy of the artist, Katrin Albrecht to p
ELF The Musical Photo courtesy of Joan Marcus
January 16–February 1, 2015 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Snowed in and stranded house guests become suspects as Detective Sergeant Trotter investigates a series of murders. The longest running show in history, it is no mystery why this is a theater classic! For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit grct.org
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Concerts SWAN LAKE February 6–8 and 13–15, 2015 Peter Martin Wege Theatre Swan Lake, the timeless story of tragic love and deception, is one of the most enduring, moving, and admired classical ballets of all time, with Tchaikovsky’s magical score and the illustrious Black Swan pas de deux. For more information, call 616.454.4771 or visit grballet.com
SOUTH PACIFIC February 27–March 22, 2015 Grand Rapids Civic Theatre Set in World War II, an unconventional love story that deals with issues of racial prejudices, war, and love; told in a way that only Rodgers and Hammerstein could do. Show stopping songs that will have you humming along. For more information, call 616.222.6650 or visit grct.org
MOVEMEDIA Program I: March 13–15, 2015 Program II: April 16–17, 2015 Peter Martin Wege Theatre Featuring all new local and internationally recognized choreographers, MOVEMEDIA is the Grand Rapids Ballet’s contemporary dance series that presents works merging the visual elements of sets, props, costumes, and lighting, framed by technology and digital media to enhance the body in space. For more information, call 616.454.4771 or visit grballet.com
THE BEN FOLDS ORCHESTRAL EXPERIENCE WITH THE GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY
MIGHTY WURLITZER ORGAN CONCERT THE BLACK PIRATE
October 18, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall A modern day piano man, Ben Folds is known for his witty lyrics, infectious alt-pop melodies and charming storytelling. This creative showman joins your Grand Rapids Symphony to perform his newly written piano concerto as well as fan favorites. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
November 14 and 15, 2014 Grand Rapids Public Museum Organist Scott Smith will play music from The Black Pirate—a silent film from 1926 starring Douglas Fairbanks and Billie Dove. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit grmuseum.org
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY PRESENTS COPLAND AND BRAHMS October 24–25, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall Guest Conductor Kynan Johns leads this program featuring Avery Fisher Prize winner David Shifrin and our own Suzanna Bratton, principal clarinet. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
STRAIGHT NO CHASER “HAPPY HOUR TOUR 2014” November 2, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall Straight No Chaser is the real deal, the captivating sound of unadulterated human voices coming together to make extraordinary music that is moving people in a fundamental sense … and with a sense of humor. For more information, call 616.742.6500 or visit devosperformancehall.com
CHER October 20, 2014 Van Andel Arena The one and only Cher will bring her “D2K Tour” with special guests Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo to Van Andel Arena, following her record breaking “The Never Can Say Goodbye Tour.” For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit ticketmaster.com
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY PRESENTS LOVE AND LIFE November 21 and 22, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall The Grand Rapids Symphony and its chorus will play another Grand Rapids premiere—an oratorio exploring a dialogue about love from different perspectives. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA THE CHRISTMAS ATTIC December 7, 2014 Van Andel Arena Trans-Siberian Orchestra will be performing its rock opera, The Christmas Attic, live for the first time ever on their winter 2014 tour! This album features one of the band’s most popular songs—“Christmas Canon.” For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit ticketmaster.com
GAITHER CHRISTMAS HOMECOMING December 13, 2014 Van Andel Arena Multi-Grammy Award winning recording artist Bill Gaither will present an exciting celebration filled with the very best in Christian music, including the Gaither’s own multi-award winning group, The Gaither Vocal Band, and a roster of talented friends, including The Martins and Mark Lowry. For more information, call 1.800.745.3000 or visit ticketmaster.com
FIFTH THIRD CIRQUE DE NOEL December 16–18, 2014 DeVos Performance Hall Be thrilled by the stunning displays of Cirque artistry, choreographed to classical and seasonal favorites. This hit holiday production is the ultimate multisensory experience, featuring the awe-inspiring feats of aerialists, jugglers, contortionists, and acrobats. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
MIGHTY WURLITZER HOLIDAY ORGAN CONCERT December 19 and 20, 2014 Grand Rapids Public Museum Organist Jelani Eddington’s performance will feature holiday classics and favorites. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit grmuseum.org
Cultural and Community Events GERMAN UNITY DAY
NIGHT AT YOUR MUSEUM
October 8, 2014 Grand Rapids Public Museum Celebrate German Unity Day, the country’s public holiday to celebrate its reunification in 1990, with a reception hosted by Frederick W. Hoffman, Honorary German Consul-Detroit. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit grmuseum.org
December 27, 2014 Grand Rapids Public Museum Become part of the unfolding drama as characters from museum exhibits come to life! Experience an interactive evening of character experiences, entertainment, food, and fun. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit grmuseum.org
INTERNATIONAL WINE, BEER AND FOOD FESTIVAL November 20–22, 2014 DeVos Place A celebration of culinary crafts! The largest wine and beer tasting event in the Midwest comes together in Grand Rapids, measured by 1,200+ wines and 200+ beers, plus ciders and spirits. Now in its 7th year, this festival caters to the connoisseur or the novice. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit ticketmaster.com
FASHION AND TEA February 14 and March 21, 2015 Grand Rapids Public Museum Step back in time with a tour of the streets of old Grand Rapids, followed by a reception of tea and sweets while viewing authentic fashion from the Civil War Era to the early 20th century. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit grmuseum.org
CHRISTMAS AND HOLIDAY TRADITIONS AROUND THE WORLD November 25, 2014–January 4, 2015 Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Excitement surrounds the season as the annual Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World show brings the glow of 300,000 lights, strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, and more than 40 international trees and displays. For more information, call 888.957.1580 or visit meijergardens.org
Fifth Third Cirque De Noel Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Symphony to p
Swan Lake Photo courtesy of Grand Rapids Ballet b ot tom l e f t
Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Photo courtesy of Dean Van Dis bottom right
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY PRESENTS HOUGH PLAYS DVORÁK January 9 and 10, 2015 DeVos Performance Hall The symphony welcomes back Stephen Hough, one of the world’s great pianists, who will perform on this program led by rising star Joshua Weilerstein, one of the most sought after young conductors in the world. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY PRESENTS INSPIRED BY WAGNER January 30 and 31, 2015 DeVos Performance Hall The classical works of Wagner have a profound musical influence today. “He changed everything harmonically with ‘Tristan,’ and theatrically, philosophically, and psychologically with ‘The Ring,’” says Music Director David Lockington. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
GRAND RAPIDS SYMPHONY PRESENTS NEW WORLD SYMPHONY February 20 and 21, 2015 DeVos Performance Hall Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint performs Bernstein’s Serenade in this program led by Marcelo Lehninger. Following his Carnegie Hall debut, Lehninger was praised by The New York Times for his “impressive technique, musical insight, and youthful energy.” For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
MIGHTY WURLITZER CONCERT HERMAN PLAYS HERMAN March 5, 2015 Grand Rapids Public Museum Organist Mike Herman will perform songs by composer Jerry Herman as a tribute to his legacy. For more information, call 616.456.3977 or visit grmuseum.org
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LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD
January 16–18, 2015 Van Andel Arena The Van Andel Arena floor will be covered in 170 truck loads of soil, giving way to a sculpted, man-made dirt battleground featuring air-inducing jumps and logic-defying obstacles. With one of the most talented fields of riders to ever line up at the starting gate, the competition is slated to be fiercer than ever. For more information, call 800.745.3000 or visit ticketmaster.com
January 31, 2015 Sunshine Community Church The timeless tale of a spunky young girl and a crafty wolf whose plans are foiled by a modern day twist. Featuring the Grand Rapids Symphony and dancers of the Grand Rapids Ballet. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY CROSS COUNTRY, VOLLEYBALL, SWIMMING, AND BASKETBALL The Grand Valley State University athletic program has earned the NACDA Directors’ Cup for being the best NCAA Division II athletic program in the nation eight of the past 10 years. Grand Valley’s varsity athletic teams have won 14 national championships in seven sports. For more information, call 616.331.3200 or visit gvsulakers.com
GRAND RAPIDS GRIFFINS HOCKEY GAMES October 2014–April 2015 Van Andel Arena Watch the city’s own professional hockey team take on American Hockey League teams from around the country on various Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday evenings throughout the season. For more information, call 616.774.4585 or visit griffinshockey.com
GRAND RAPIDS DRIVE BASKETBALL GAMES November 2014–April 2015 DeltaPlex Arena The official NBA Development League affiliate of the Detroit Pistons—the Grand Rapids Drive—plays against other D-league teams from across the country. For more information, call 616.328.7092 or visit nba.com/dleague/grandrapids
DISNEY ON ICE: PASSPORT TO ADVENTURE February 26–March 1, 2015 Van Andel Arena Embark on the ultimate sightseeing vacation with all your favorite Disney characters like Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, and Daisy on a journey to the magical worlds of Disney’s The Lion King, The Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and Lilo & Stitch. For more information, call 800.745.3000 or visit ticketmaster.com
GREEN EGGS AND HAM March 14, 2015 Sunshine Community Church Celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday like a zizzer-zazzer-zuzz! The Grand Rapids Symphony presents the classic story of Green Eggs and Ham in the style of a fun children’s operetta. For more information, call 616.454.9451 or visit grsymphony.org
GRAM STUDIO: DROP-IN FAMILY SATURDAYS Every Saturday Grand Rapids Art Museum Drop in the Grand Rapids Art Museum’s Education Center on Louis Street anytime between 1:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. for family activities. Children and their adult chaperones are welcome to join the fun and participate in exciting art exploration activities in the Education Studio. For more information, call 616.831.1000 or visit artmuseumgr.org
Christmas and Holiday Traditions Around the World at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park Photo courtesy of Dean Van Dis a b ov e
Grand Valley State University Basketball Grand Rapids Griffins Hockey Games Photo courtesy of Mark Newman/Grand Rapids Griffins b e low l e f t
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