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“Civil War” exhibit at Grand Rapids Public Museum


MadCap Coffee HANGING OUT IN…


DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS


The “Hanging Out In” column has promoted the best things to do in Grand Rapids for 175 years. First printed on old flour sacks by the Grand River Times, the column has documented noteworthy happenings in town. From the first indoor toilet, which cost three cents to use, to the first kielbasa roast in Polishtown to the eradication of malaria party, this column has helped to bring us together. My previous colleagues, all now dead from consumption and cirrhosis of the liver, wrote about beautiful department stores like Herpolsheimer’s and then their shuttering decades later. It has been my humble honor to write this column since it was published in the Herald and document the city’s revitalization from the ashes of delusional urban renewal and benign neglect. Good luck exploring downtown Grand Rapids. She is the love of my life. And I am her spirit.


18 | REVUEWM.COM | SEPTEMBER 2011 T


HE JDEK AT THE JW MARRIOTT GRAND RAPIDS (235 Louis St. NW) is a haven from downtown’s hustle and bustle. George Aquino, the hotel’s general man-


ager, dug out the rickety patio and put in the spacious new deck overlooking the Grand River. A half-dozen sky-blue cabanas ensure a fantastic time no matter the weather. You can reserve a cabana if you plan to spend at least $500. You can reach that tab by exploring the JDek’s lounge menu. Get the Seared Ahi Tuna Salad and a Cone of Truffle Fries along with a Jdub Cocktail, a deli- cate tincture of Stoli Strasberi, Chambord, Grand Marnier and cranberry juice, and do some people watching.


According to legend, President Lincoln ex- claimed, “Thank God for Michigan!” when told that the First Michigan Volunteers an- swered his call for troops at the start of the Civil War. The exhibition tells personal stories from the home front to the battlefield and showcases the museum’s vast collection of Civil War artifacts. Visitors will be able to try on uniforms and a field pack; get a whiff of the battlefield; grab drumsticks and tap along to unique marching cadences; and explore the era’s sometimes-frightening facial hair.


by Steven Geoffrey de Polo


stevendepolo@revuewm.com


The JDek offers the best vantage to enjoy ARTPRIZE from Sept. 21-Oct. 9. You will be able to see the artwork displayed in the Grand River and on the Blue Bridge. Go and explore the two-week art festival, which includes 1,582 “artists” who are showing their work in 164 “venues” throughout downtown. Some stand next to their artistic “excretions,” begging for votes too close to your face. Make sure you vote for photographer Jon Clay’s (#46911) HDR panoramic photo of Rosa Parks Circle.


Look across the river and you will see the GRAND RAPIDS PUBLIC MUSEUM (272 Pearl St. NW). Celebrate the Civil War’s Sesquicentennial by attending THANK GOD FOR MICHIGAN! Stories from the Civil War, on display through May 2012.


OPEN CONCEPT GALLERY (50 Louis St. NW) brings SOHO downtown. Located in a former penthouse Masonic Lodge chapel, the gallery features the most in- fluential contemporary artists from Europe and Asia. Open


Concept is currently working with Swiss art- ist Ugo Rondinone to bring his monumental neon work “Big Mind Sky” to the gallery. Affixed to the side of the building, the rainbow-themed artwork will break through the cynicism of the art world to encourage people to open their minds and look at the big picture.


The new UICA (2 W. Fulton) will be the gateway to downtown. Founded in 1977, the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art con- tinues to be Michigan’s largest contemporary art center. From 8,500 square feet of gallery spaces to the state-of-the-art film theatre to the beautiful youth and ceramic studios, the new UICA is like no other arts center in Michigan. The four-story Vertical Project Space will showcase monumental hanging


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