My daughter and I had quite the adventure yesterday. We began with my post from yesterday and spent a nice part of the morning on the lakeshore.
On the way home we decided it would be a great day for a hike, so we stopped at Aman Park in Allendale. We hadn’t been there in quite a while, but we have fond memories of this place from visits in the past. I had forgotten about the amazing amount of trillium that bloom in the park every spring. I was so thankful I had my camera with me, and was able to capture some of the beauty of this time of the year in Michigan. There were many photographers out yesterday, and we even crossed paths with a painter. It really felt like a magical place to be.
I stopped to see the river today with my daughter. We’ve broken a record for rainfall in April, and the water level is causing quite a few problems in the Greater Grand Rapids area. Since I’ve dedicated so much of my time recording places in this city, I had to make a trip downtown today to see the rising waters for myself. As you can see, it was just clearing under the blue bridge as of about 12:30 today. Water levels are not expected to crest until Sunday/Monday.
*As of noon on Sunday, the bridge where I took this photo has been closed until further notice as a precaution.
I had the pleasure of visiting Chicago for a long weekend recently for our spring break getaway. We stayed in the south loop, which gave me the opportunity to walk by Columbia College and take some photos. You may recognize the logo above the college’s as the logo of Brunswick’s. They are one of the many companies that called this building home until Columbia College bought it in the mid ’80s.
The Kendall Building is a place I walk by at least 10 times a week. It is large and hauntingly elegant. When I was 14, my parents would drop me off at Kendall College of Art and Design where I was enrolled in their weekend photography program. This is the building that caught my attention every time we passed it. Back at that time, downtown Grand Rapids was in bad shape. The majority of the buildings down here looked like this. I always thought about how cool it would be to live there, and how much history must be stored in there just waiting to be unearthed. It was announced a few weeks ago that this building is being renovated into lofts. This is one of the last buildings in this area to undergo this type of modernization. Because this place has had my attention for over 20 years, I thought it would be cool to document its transformation. Throughout the Spring and Summer, I’ll post an occasional photo to show the progress. Here is photo number 1, which was taken today.
February in Michigan can be brutal. We are usually knee deep in snow (as we are now) and the sight of sunshine is scarce. Today we decided to make a family trip to get some some fresh, chilled air and to visit the Grand Rapids Art Museum. It actually was sunny today, and it felt great to break up the routine.
For those who don’t know, I work full-time doing design work for a cool, locally owned company here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was for that reason that I was excited to see that the current exhibit at GRAM is Graphic Design – Now in Production with an accompanying exhibit Stephen Frykholm: Herman Miller Picnic Posters. My husband worked for Herman Miller in the Graphic Printing Arts Department from 1986-1992 as the Senior Graphic Typographer. He has stories about his experiences working with Frykholm, so this was a pretty cool exhibit for him to attend as well. Our daughter tagged along, and I’m pretty sure she was just thrilled to be out of the house after a week-long illness.
I recommend the current exhibit at the GRAM. I believe that the Frykholm exhibit absolutely outshines the Graphic Design exhibit though. The graphic design exhibit was informative, but not particularly inspiring. Frykholm used this 20 year long poster project as an outlet for his creativity. I particularly enjoyed looking at the posters chronologically to see how they built upon each other to create a whole body of work.
Sundays at the GRAM are great. If you arrive right when they open at noon, you pretty much have the place to yourself. There is also a live concert series that runs every Sunday from 2-3p.m. The best kept secret is that if you are an early bird as we were, you can listen to the musicians warm up and practice as if it is your own personal performance. It is a cool thing to experience is such a great space.
This family had a great afternoon out enjoying one of the many things our fair city has to offer.
I recently met up with some good friends for dinner on Wealthy Street (Grand Rapids, MI). I lived at the corner of Wealthy and College about 12 years ago. Back then it was still a fairly gritty part of town. I have many stories about my experiences there, and none of them are bad. Even back then this area had a real charm to it. The homes are gorgeous. The famous Meyer May house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright was just around the corner. The street is mostly still brick. I often thought about what this area was like back in the time of horse and carriage. That apartment still is at the top of my list of favorite homes I have had.
When I was leaving this neighborhood I could see the glimmer of renewal taking place. The liquor store a couple of blocks east has just been replaced by the Wealthy Street Bakery. Today this area is filled with locally owned eateries, shops and coffee houses. My favorite apartment is now a luxury condo.
I was early meeting my friends so I took a minute to shoot a couple of photos:
I’m excited to be doing my first ever art sale this coming weekend. I stopped by the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts this evening to find my booth assignment.
I found this pic today from a visit to Chicago back in August. We happened upon a neighborhood festival in Rogers Park. It was such a fun evening. I took this photo of the kids cheering on the dancing kitten puppet show.
This puppet show is actually a booth attached to a bike. To better see what I’m talking about, visit http://www.puppetbike.com.