Monday, 30 March 2015 20:17

What’s Your Vice? Locals dish what they dig most

Written by  Kyle Austin
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Even Mayor George Heartwell has a vice Even Mayor George Heartwell has a vice Adam Bird

Everyone has habits they can’t resist. It’s what Devo sang about in its classic 1978 tune, “Uncontrollable Urge.” So Revue decided to explore the innocent, yet beguiling vices of a few of West Michigan’s movers and shakers.

From reeling in that cherished trout and swigging hard liquor to thrift-store hopping and perusing upmarket cheese selections, Revue got a multifarious batch of responses on what these locals do to let loose.


George K. Heartwell, Grand Rapids Mayor

Sometimes you just have to blow off steam. Mayor George K. Heartwell prefers to discreetly tiptoe out the door in the wee hours for some private time. Ever hear James Carr’s classic cheatin’ R&B ballad “Dark End of the Street”? It’s kinda like that. “I often sneak out of my house while it is still dark and my sleeping wife doesn’t suspect I’m gone,” Heartwell said. “I have a rendezvous planned with my secret love.  When I arrive at the dark and private place, I assemble my fly rod and delicately drop a #16 Hendrickson just above my beloved… trout.”


rosalynn-blissRosalynn Bliss, Grand Rapids City Commissioner

While she’s gearing up for Grand Rapids’ upcoming mayoral race, you won’t hear “Eye of the Tiger” or “We are the Champions” blasting from Rosalynn Bliss’ earbuds. It’s local folk-rockers The Muteflutes’ song “How You Gonna Keep ‘Em,” off of the band’s “Ballad of the Rebel Grape” disc. “I seek this song out as a reminder each individual can find truth on their own and they need opportunities, collectively, to make positive change,” she said. “I think my iPhone and Siri have memorized my voice saying ‘play ‘How You Gonna Keep ‘Em’’ more than any other command.”


chris-sainChris Sain Jr., Co-founder, Grand C.I.T.Y. Sports

Chris Sain Jr. is an author and inspirational speaker who motivates others to stay on track. But when his treasured Twinkies were pulled off shelves in 2012, he almost went off the rails himself. “As a self-proclaimed Twinkie Lover, this was one of the worst days of my life. But then July 2013 rolls around and suddenly, out of nowhere, Twinkies made the sweetest comeback in the history of ever,” he said. When they were back in stores, Sain was ready. “I was first in line to buy as many boxes as I could,” he said. “Later that month, on my 30th birthday, I had a ‘Dirty-Thirty Twinkie Party.’”


tami-vandenbergTami VandenBerg

Co-owner, Meanwhile Bar and The Pyramid Scheme

Some of Tami’s vices aren’t too startling, given her profession. “My key vices include food and booze. Mawby’s Brut, Patron, Traverse City Whiskey, there’s so much deliciousness,” she said. “As for food, its blue-cheese fritters from SanChez, vegetable pate from Chez Olga and Risotto Fritters from Amore Trattoria.” But then there are the guilty pleasures: “I’ve been known to binge-watch ‘Law & Order SVU,’” she added, “super embarrassing.”


molly-bouwsma-schultzMolly Bouwsma Schultz, Lead singer, Vox Vidorra

Not all rock stars live on the edge like Keith Richards in his heyday. Emerging indie-soul vocalist Molly Bouwsma Schultz of Vox Vidorra has a different form of addiction: searching for dusty, but stylish, relics that work on and off the stage. “I love to look for funky affordable dresses, scarves and jewelry,” she said. “Old vinyl records, furniture, art and things for other people are always on my thrifting radar, too. Growing up, my mom and I did that together often and I learned the value of reusing something and finding that stylish diamond in the rough.”


luis-avilaLuis E. Avila, Attorney, Varnum LLP

As a lawyer who focuses on labor, employment and immigration issues, Luis E. Avila works to protect the rights of others. So, when he wants to indulge, his amorous instinct is to spoil his wife by sparing no expense. “My vice? Frequenting local restaurants and bars with my wife,” he said. “I’m looking at you Reserve and Aperitivo at the Downtown Market. They not only feature quality cheese and charcuterie options, but also an extensive wine and scotch selection.” Can’t say we’d overrule that. 


jeff-blashillJeff Blashill, Head Coach, Grand Rapids Griffins

When he’s not busy keeping the Griffins one of the best teams in the American Hockey League and grooming future Detroit Red Wings, Coach Blashill is a regular husband and a father. But after the kids go to bed, a little me-time is in order. “I love to sit down and enjoy a little Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Cookie ice cream and a Founders All Day IPA,” he said. “Mostly, I choose moderation, but every once in a while I’ll indulge.” 


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