Rochester Artist Pays Tribute to Fallen Soldier with ArtPrize entry

2014 ArtPrize entry by Larry Binkowski - photo by Michael Dwyer

Artist Larry Binkowski Larry graduated from Rochester High School in 1970 and attended Oakland Community College in Auburn Hills. He took art classes with long-time instructor, Ray Katz. However, for the most part, Larry is a self-taught sculptor, now living in Auburn Hills. Figurative and portrait sculpting in the public, as well as the private sector, is where Binkowski’s career began. That moved into working on product prototypes for a large toy company, then miniature figures for … [Read more...]

Hostelling for the Not-So-Young, Part Two

Go to Dinner with People you Meet while Traveling - photo by Michael Dwyer

Hostelling for the Not-So-Young, Part Two Read Hostelling for the Not-So-Young, Part One First How to Book a Hostel  Hostels come in all shapes and sizes, new and old, here and there. I like to use “HI” hostels. Hostelling International hostels are affiliates of a worldwide organization in 90 countries featuring over 4,000 hostels. You’ll need to buy a membership card ($28.00 annually) before you travel. However, there are many non-affiliated hostels around the world that work … [Read more...]

Hostelling for the Not-So-Young

Visitors check-in at the Hostel in The Loop Area of Chicago - photo by Michael Dwyer

Maybe your friend is in Australia right now? Perhaps your daughter is backpacking Europe this summer before she starts college? Or, maybe your parents are driving the western states coastline? Chances are, hostels may be one their accommodation choices and it doesn't matter what their age is ... Hostelling for the Not-So-Young (part one) Running around the world with a backpack, jumping on trains and buses, and sleeping in hostels may seem like an adventure for college students on … [Read more...]

Thoroughbred Racing Returns to Hazel Park

Thoroughbred Horses Now Racing at Hazel Park Raceway

Thoroughbreds Return to Hazel Park Live Thoroughbred racing returns to Hazel Park Raceway after being absent for 30 years. “Once the site where many of the nation’s top horses and horsemen competed, plans are to restore the excitement and grandeur of Thoroughbred racing as in years past,” stated the welcome page of the opening weekend program at Hazel Park Raceway. The Michigan Gaming Control Board granted a five-year contract to Hazel Park Raceway to run Thoroughbreds in the summer. … [Read more...]

Nature Worth the Trip

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When asked why they love it here, Michiganders invariably praise the state's natural beauty. Heck, nature is why we head Up North. It's why folks from other states vacation on the Mitten. Natural beauty, however, is not always where you expect to find it. More than just serving as a backdrop to other activities—four-wheeling, paddling, hiking, etc.—there are natural areas in the state that are fascinating destinations in their own right. They feature rare flora and fauna, interesting … [Read more...]

Go to Muskegon for the Views, Stay for the Food

The Lake House, next door to the Shoreline Inn, is perfect for dinner - Photo by Michael Dwyer

Across the State to Muskegon Muskegon, Michigan is a weekend destination; one or two nights will rejuvenate a family or a couple looking for a nice, close to home, drive-to weekend getaway. “Whatever the season, you feel the lake effect the moment you arrive in Muskegon County. It’s in the way the sun shimmers on the water, the snow falls gently on an upturned palm, and that impossibly happy look on your children’s faces. It’s the feeling you get in Muskegon County,” states the … [Read more...]

Frank Lloyd Wright and His Little Gem

Laurent House at dusk - Photo by Nels Akerlund

My Little Gem Frank Lloyd Wright signed the contract in July of 1949 to build his only structure designed for a person with a disability. Completed three years later, Kenneth and Phyllis Laurent moved into the single-story, Rockford home, decades before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 was on the books. Kenneth, paralyzed from the waist down, and his wife Phyllis, reached out to Wright after his tour of duty in the U.S. Navy put him in a wheelchair for life. “To give you an … [Read more...]

Paddle to the Symphony July 12

Enjoying the tunes of the Michigan Philharmonic at the annual Paddle to the Symphony event in Milford - photo by Michael Dwyer

Paddle to the Symphony A long-standing event that has been going on so long, no one seems to remember the first year it began. The Michigan Council of Hostelling International started the fundraiser 20 (or so) years ago when the Detroit Symphony Orchestra performed free summer concerts. For the last several years, the Michigan Philharmonic provides the tunes. This year’s event is on Saturday, July 12, and features music from the Beatles. Attendees paddle across Kent Lake at Kensington … [Read more...]

Celebrate the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby Museum offers visitors a chance to be in the center of Derby Day Action with their 360-degree theater - photo by Michael Dwyer

Story and Photos by Michael Dwyer Kentucky Derby 140 The 140th running of the Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, May 3, in Louisville, KY at Churchill Downs. “The Greatest Two Minutes in Sports” has turned the world’s attention to Kentucky since 1875. Thousands of three-year-old horses are in contention in January, but only 20 may enter the starting gates on the first Saturday in May. There are several ways to celebrate the Derby. As over 16 million people did in 2013, you can … [Read more...]

Spring Apple Cider at Yates

Yates Cider Mill - photo by Michael Dwyer

Landmark Cider Mill Opens on Tax Day The late start to spring, a dusting of snow, and cleaning up the yard might remind you of last November – so you had better go to the cider mill too. Yates Cider Mill opened Tuesday for a spring pressing. Occasionally, Michigan apple growers have a surplus of apples in cold storage that allow cider mills to offer a pressing this time of year. Yates did this a couple of years ago. At first, the mill was planning on two weekends back in 2012, but the word … [Read more...]