Fulton Street Farmers' Market
1147 E. Fulton St. Grand Rapids
Open Tues., Wed., Fri.,
Sat., 8 a.m.–3 p.m.
beginning Saturday, May 4
Although the Fulton Street Farmers Market experienced unforeseen problems during renovations, the final phase of construction will be complete by the May 4 opening day.
Contamination in the soil caused delays and made it necessary to extend the campaign for capital before moving ahead. The entire project cost more than $3 million from start to finish.
"Thanks to many generous funders and to several new donors, we completed the campaign in November 2012 and were able to re-start construction in January," said Christine Helms-Maletic, project development manager.
Since renovations started, the farmers market installed a new underground storm water management systemand built a shed with overhead sheltering and lighting, in addition to new stalls with upgraded electrical and water access.
"We also rearranged the parking area to encourage smoother traffic flow, repaired the pavement, added new trees and landscaping, installed extra bike racks and created a new, enhanced bus stop," Helms-Maletic said.
This year, the market added a new manager's office and wheelchair accessible restrooms. But the biggest project is a year-round building which will house about eight vendors. The building's green roof is a work in progress.
With most of the renovations complete, Helms-Maletic said the response from both customers and venders has been hugely positive.
"Patrons appreciate the wider aisles and the ability to stay — mostly, depending on the wind — dry while they shop," she said. "Vendors are spending less time setting up and taking down tarps each day, and many have reported increased customer traffic, which benefits their business."
Parking has been a concern for some patrons, but urban areas provide limited opportunities for expansion. Changes to parking have helped,but Helms-Maletic encourages the use of alternative transportation.
Or customers could use theMarket'sWednesday hours between 4-7:30p.m.
"Many favorite vendors are still there, but the jostling crowds are not," Helms-Maleic said.
By Audrey Sochor
Food Stamps Make Farmers Markets More Accessible
About 1.8 million people in Michigan receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp program.Since 2007, farmers markets have been collaborating with SNAP, when the Michigan Food Policy Council and Michigan Farmers Market Association began increasing the number of markets capable of accepting electronic benefits like Bridge Cards. Since 2010, people with SNAP benefits can get twice as much local produce with the Double Up Food Bucks program. Customers use their bridge card at one of 40 participating markets (including the 100-Mile Market and Fulton Street, Holland and Muskegon farmers markets) and get an equal amount of tokens or electronic credit back to use on more Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. Over the next several years, the program will expand to include more of the nearly 80 farmers markets that accept Bridge Cards.
By Lauren Longo
This month is about all about pomp, and some circumstance, with a larger than life Renaissance experience, the posturing and preening of a mustache masquerade, the distant, Voyeuristic gazeinto a bygone America and the triumphant blast of color from soaring kites.
Great Lakes Kite Festival
The Intersection, Grand Rapids
May10, 6 p.m.
$10 advance, $12 day of show
sectionlive.com, (616) 451-8232
Riding the wave of hirsute glee, the first annual Mustache Masquerade is debuting at The Intersection's recently refabbed front room, now called The Stache. More than a night to strut your facial stuff, the event features mustache-themed games and the requisite competition, all to the backdrop of a variety of local bands. The be-whiskered masquerade is presented by the local non-profit, Making Smiles For Hope. "They seem like genuinely good people and wanted to do something a little different," said Scott Hammontree, general manager and talent buyer at The Intersection. The competition requests a $5 registration donation and all proceeds go towards cheering up children with life threatening illnesses.
Brown Bag Film: Edward Hopper
Muskegon Museum of Art
May 9, 12:15p.m.
muskegonartmuseum.org, (231) 720-2570
While he wasn't the one that famously rode a chopper across the country, the artist Edward Hopper created distinctly American works of art that are just as iconic as Ben Hopper's cinematic toking. Part of the Muskegon Museum of Arts' Brown Bag Film series, this documentary, narrated by the inimitable Steve Martin, explores the life and mystery of Edward Hooper and his renowned paintings. Always free, attendees are encouraged to bring a lunch and enjoy complimentary cookies and coffee at the afternoon viewing.
Mayfaire Renaissance Festival
May 18-19, 25-27
10 a.m- 6 p.m.
mayfaireren.com, (269) 382-6120
Renaissance festivals are more than a whimsical jaunt into the world of bygone days; they're a way of life. And on festival grounds, you can immerse yourself among knaves, jesters, boisterous broads and lithe pixies. Being cajoled into buying whole pickles by lewd men and gnawing on shanks of meat directly off the bone are par for the course. Personal role-play is part of the allure, along with live entertainment like performances by fire dancers and feats by aerialists. Not to mention real knights, in real armor battling for glory. Other notables like Knotty Bits Sideshow, a duo based out of Grand Rapids, are certain to bring a wow factor with stunts like glass walking and snake charming.Go for a day, or enjoy the whole weekend. Camping is available and the event is family friendly.
25th Annual Great Lakes Kite Festival
Grand Haven State Park Beach
May 17-19,event times at 10 and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.
mackite.com, (866) 428-2335
Flying isn't just for the birds and kites aren't just for kids. "The reason that people want to fly a kite is because everyone wants to fly," said Steve Negen, owner of MAC Kite and host of the annual Great Lakes Kite Festival. The festival, which is celebrating 25 years this month, began as a small competition and now features three days of colorful flight. Each day is filled with performances and demonstrations featuring curiosities likekite ballet, which is choreographed to music. "Visualize ice skaters in the sky," Negen said. Participate in manufacturer test fields, giving prototype kites a test fly. Shop at the world's largest kite store (MACkite) and simply gaze in awe at the aerial beasts the size of a school bus. "[For] the really big kites, what they do is anchor them with a stand...One year, one of the guys brought a giant spinning [kite] and we tied it to a pickup truck and it was pulling the pickup truck in the sand."
In April we celebrate transformation and revel in signposts of springtime. This month, find life in seemingly inert logs, watch molten glass become intricate baubles, discover power derived from the clever use of broaches and usher in warm weather with spicy food and a hearty dose of the blues.
Gourmet Mushroom Log Workshop
Blandford Nature Center, Grand Rapids
April 13, 1-3 p.m.
$30 members, $36 non-members
"It's better than bad, it's good!" ...The iconic cult favorites, "Ren and Stimpy"and "Twin Peaks,"taught us that logs are awesome. The knowledgeable folks over at Blandford Nature Center will teach you how to channel all the things a log does best into a gourmet mushroom-producing machine(and you were thinking divination device or child's plaything). Get hands-on and learn how to inoculate your very own log with fancy mushroom goodness so you can grow shitakes and other varieties in your backyard. Logs are provided and you may share your log with another mycology enthusiast or foodie friend. The workshop is open to adults and teens. Don't forget to RSVP.
Battle of the Glassblowers
West Michigan Glass Art Center, Kalamazoo
April 5, 5-10 p.m.
April 6, noon- 6 p.m.
wmglass.org, (269) 552-9802
Watch as balls of fire are harnessed and transformed into delicate tchotchkes and useful items at the seventh annual Battle of the Glassblowers, hosted by The West Michigan Glass Art Center. Each year,individuals and teams of glass blowers, all hailing from across Michigan, compete for glory, along with over $1,000 in cash and prizes. In the Hot Shop Battle Arena, on Friday, April 5, six teams sweat over hot flames to create the ultimate beverage set. On Saturday, April 6, individuals compete to see who can make the fastest goblet, the fanciest goblet and a people's choice mystery object.Over the course of both days, The Flame Shop Battle Arena will feature competitions to create the best bead, vessel, pendant and more. Attendance is free, can you take the heat?
Read My Pins: The Madeleine Albright Collection
Gerald R. Ford Museum, Grand Rapids
Through April 21
9 a.m.-5 p.m.
fordlibrarymuseum.gov, (616) 254-0400
Madeleine Albright was known to stick it to more than a few bigwigs in her day by wielding symbolic pins affixed to her lapel. "She would often wear pins to communicate a message...whether she was wanting to press negotiations with a world leader or convey a less serious message," said Don Holloway, curator of the Gerald R. Ford Museum, where more than 200 pins are on display from the former Secretary of State's private collection. "Beside each pin is its story, or it might be a group of pins representing a particular issue or attitude," Holloway said.Learn interwoven tales of American history and foreign policy through ordinary jewelry, worn by Albright with cunning and humor, and see politics in a different light.
Chilly Blues Festival
Snug Harbor, Downtown Grand Haven
harborrestaurants.com, (616) 842-6569
Summer begins early in Grand Haven whenwarm food and the cool sounds of the blues usher in sunshine and cookouts at the 21st annual Chilly Blues Festival. Enjoy a pub crawl and roam across town, sipping and gulping your favorite brews at Snug Harbor, Kirby Grill, Odd Side Ales, Theatre Bar, Rosebud and Dee-lite bar. Saturday, cheer on your favorite chef at the chili cook-off on the heated deckof Snug Harbor. And jam out all weekend to Larry McCray, the Steve Hilger Band, Big Daddy Fox, Chris Wiser and Vincent Hayes, along with other blues acts.
WANT list: new shoes, vintage style for the home and an optical boutique that loves my face.
Serendipity Hair Design presents the 3rd annual spring Hair and Fashion Runway Event. This New York-runway-style show is held April 19 at Thousand Oaks Golf Club and benefits The Multiple Sclerosis Program at the Saint Mary's Hauenstein Neuroscience Center. "We want to do something that our clients can enjoy. We can share a big night together and support a great cause close to our heart," said Event Director Alyssa Locke, who describes the event as "electric, epic and worthwhile." Expect a silent auction, giveaways, food and a cash bar, among apparel from LBD Exchange and Elizabeth Halsey Boutique. Clothing designs by Kirk Johnson of bVAINcouture II are custom made according to the theme of the show and the finale comes from Alyssa Locke with hand-sewn and refurbished avante garde creations. The bottom line is hair and makeup are extreme and if you're a die-hard fashion show groupie you've got one more for that list. More details are available at serendipityhairdesign.com.
Shoe girls are confidant girls, according to Gina VanGessel and Rosa Piccione. They are transforming Lia Rose in Grand Rapids into Head Over Heels, your new favorite shoe boutique. Seeing a need downtown, the women envision the shop to be a perfect match for the clothing at Gina's Boutique, so look for a variety of flats, heels, sandals and boots. From casual to dress, shoes are from small boutique lines, and the girls anticipate at least 50 different styles, along with jewelry, purses, hats and scarves (hey, one good accessory deserves another and another...). Full transformation is scheduled for the first week of April so stop in to see what all the fuss is about. As both women explain, shoes are like putting a bow on a package. It's the finishing touch.
Sight Optical Boutique in Grand Rapids wants to school you on selecting frames. Matching up the customer's face shape, skin tone and style preferences with the shop's large selection sounds like a tall order. "One of the things we most frequently hear from people walking in the door is that nothing looks good on them," said Owner Michael McConnell. "We have to laugh because once we walk them through the process, they are amazed at how much they are actually capable of wearing."
Try this on for size: Oval shapes have balanced proportions with the chin being slightly narrower than the forehead and high cheekbones. Jackpot! Most frame shapes work but consider square, rectangular and geometric shapes to add angles to your soft curves. Heart shapes feature a broad forehead and wide cheekbones narrowing into a small chin. Bottom-heavy frames work well adding width to the lower face. Round faces—where the length and width are in similar proportions (with full cheeks and few angles)—can benefit from geometric frames to sharpen facial features, or try rectangular and horizontal styles to make the face appear longer, thinner. Square faces that are angular with a strong jaw line, broad forehead and square chin look best when paired with oval and round shapes.
Then, there's skin tone. If you're fair, stay away from bright colors that might draw attention to skin paleness and seek out neutral hues. Medium skin can experiment with rich, bold colors such as purple, blue, green and red. Darker shades should stick with lighter tone frames that stand out from the face.
"While there are always exceptions to every rule, and rules sometimes overlap, some basics do apply when selecting the right pair of glasses," McConnell said. With expertise like that, you can slip on styles with confidence. Cat-eye frames anyone?