Thursday, 30 April 2020 12:49

What Did I Miss?

Written by  Revue Staff & Readers
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Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park. Photo courtesy of Dean VanDis

By the time you’re reading this, Michigan may or may not be open for business.

At the moment, we’re all sitting here missing our favorite places to be. While the recent sunny days are nice, it’s hard to bask at home when you’d rather be out at a ball game, or on the beach, or walking on a busy trail. 

So here at Revue, we’re taking this time to reflect, yearn and plan our next move once this is all over. We asked writers, staff, and readers to tell us what local attractions they miss and can’t wait to get back to! Like the rest of West Michigan, we can’t wait to support our favorite museums, gardens, theaters and more.

I’m looking forward to playing golf, softball season, being at a Whitecaps game and for in IMAX in June at Celebration Cinema.

I’m super excited for Studio Park to reopen! Haven’t gotten a chance to see a movie there yet and there are supposed to be some good ones coming out this summer!

As a journalist, I frequently find that words fail to capture the feelings that can only be fully expressed through art. So, in a pandemic, where the news of the day unfolds more rapidly than any of us can find the words to keep up, I miss the tranquility and interconnectivity of an event like Art Hop in Kalamazoo. The event went virtual last month, encouraging local artists to still share their work together via Facebook, but those intangible, in-person moments felt lost. A blending of all the things we here at Revue champion in every way, Art Hop’s combination of creativity, community, and commerce has the strength to pull us all through this crisis together and share what we’ve all experienced in new, indescribable ways once we reach the other side. I, for one, can’t wait for its return.

Tony-Award winning playwright Terrence McNally, who recently died at 81 of complications of COVID-19, described the theater as a holy place. Not a church, but a place we go to learn about ourselves. I’m grieving the temporary loss of that holy, communal space, and I most look forward to hearing pointe shoes hit the stage floor of the Peter Martin Wege Theater; to seeing how Mason Street Warehouse will translate the fabulous Kinky Boots to their space; to feeling the synchronized heartbeat that happens among the audience of a big summer musical at The Barn, followed by an intimate cabaret show in their Rehearsal Shed; and to once again lose myself, with others, in the magic of a gorgeously produced show at Farmers Alley Theatre and The New Vic Theatre.

Boulder Ridge Wild Animal Park! It’s a wonderful place to spend a few hours enjoying the outdoors, riding through the paddocks, petting and feeding the young animals, giggling at the goats, marveling over the giraffes ... It’s a Rite of Spring/Summer! Also, THE BALLET. Grand Rapids Ballet had to suspend the rest of its season. I look forward to seeing my favorite dancers back on their toes and getting lost in their artistry. 

I can’t wait to get back out on the golf course. Any course will do.

I hope to be able to play volleyball at The Score this summer. Also, I have a gift card for the Fowling Warehouse that I can’t wait to use.

I’m so looking forward to gathering with my fellow humans (and maybe some goats — hello, petting zoo!) in Rosa Parks Circle and Calder Plaza for local ethnic festivals. The pandemic has shown that we have a great capacity to be kind and to look out for our friends and neighbors, but it has also stoked fear and uncertainty. Events, like the Grand Rapids Asian-Pacific Festival and others, are an opportunity to come together and share our commonality with food, music, art, and traditions.

I can’t wait for a Saugatuck day when it warms up: Oval Beach, ice cream, exploring the shops, drinks and fish tacos at Phil’s Bar & Grille.

Casa La Parrot. After weeks in our COVID-imposed cages, we must relearn freedom from the birds. At Casa La Parrot, a Parakeet could be your teacher. I want to hear a Macaw squawk of its memories soaring above the canopies and the beasts and bugs below. And I want to feed the little birdies kibbles. I want to visit Grand Rapids’ iconic casa and meet feathered friends like Veto “The Naked Nugget” and Sven “The One-Winged Wonder.”

I can’t wait to be at Fifth Third Ballpark watching the Whitecaps play while eating a super unhealthy ballpark hot dog and ice-cold draft beer.

I can’t wait to take my kids to their first Whitecaps baseball game, going to the beach, farmers markets and any place with happy, healthy crowds of people! We can’t wait to use our season passes to Lewis Adventure Farm & Zoo in New Era. It’s my kids favorite place to visit, feed and see exotic animals, and play in the corn barn.

I’m anxiously awaiting the reopening of Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park and, in particular, its Japanese Garden: a jewel surrounded by jewels. Walking it, even when accompanied by bonkers children (mine are 4 and 7), is to step outside of present concerns. Some things are eternal, it seems to tell us, or tell me, anyway. I’m grateful for it.

I don’t even know where to begin! The first place would have to be the KDL Library. Going to the library once a week is something I look forward to, and their event series, especially their beer-focused events, are always interesting and fun! I’m also very excited to visit the Fowling Warehouse once again. Since the warehouse is so close to Serendipity Media’s office, I certainly am excited to get a mystery beer from their vending machine and laugh at how bad my friends are at fowling once again. Finally, I can’t wait to go to The Intersection again! I was able to attend one of their last shows and miss gathering with my friends while listening to some great bands.

I can’t wait to get back to seeing live theater, especially at Circle Theatre. Though they’ve had to move the first three main stage shows of the season to 2021, there’s still going to be an amazing season and Summer Concert Series shows to enjoy.

I’m so looking forward to stepping back into the historic Wealthy Theatre on Tuesday nights for Meanwhile Movies. Nothing is as comforting as seeing the regulars, watching a beloved classic film and being cradled by wafts of buttery delicious popcorn. Yeah, watching Netflix at home with a drink in your hand is fine, but there’s something special about doing it in one of Grand Rapids’ oldest (and best) theaters. Plus, regardless of what you tell your friends, you can’t re-create movie popcorn at home.

Before the lockdown, frequent concertgoers complained about long four-band bills. Now we’re begging for them. With treasures like The Pyramid Scheme, Park Theatre, The Intersection and more, I can’t wait to pack back into West Michigan’s best live music venues with my favorite artists. And heck, since we’re actually showing up for the first band now, why not open doors even earlier? We could sure use the extra company.

Somewhat ironically, after being trapped in my own home for weeks on end, I’d love to get locked in an escape room for 60 minutes. I miss the challenge of pushing my mind to solve a dozen interconnected little puzzles, working with my friends under the pressure of time. And besides, there’s a catharsis in escape — something none of us are able to do right now. When this is all over, lock me up, hide the key and give me a couple of clues.

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