Press Release – Be A Tourist In Your Own Town

22 05 2009

As two people who were new to Lansing last year, the “Be A Tourist In Your Own Town” event was a great way to explore our new home.  We only got to maybe twenty of the stops, but we hit the big ones including the Potter Park Zoo, RE Olds Museum, Impressions 5, and a few of the other museums.  This year, we’ll hit the zoo again, but we also plan on finding some of the other things and skip a few of the bigger stops.  Either way, it’s an event that we’ve been looking forward to and plan on getting our passports next for weekend. 

From a Greater Lansing Convention and Visitor’s Bureau press release….

Discover A World of Possibilities In Your Own Backyard During
Be A Tourist In Your Own Town On Saturday, May 30th

LANSING, Mich. – What would you say if someone asked, “What is there to do in Greater Lansing?” If you had to think about it, get ready to discover (or rediscover) your own backyard during the 15th Annual Be A Tourist In Your Own Town celebration. The Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau will host the event on Saturday, May 30th from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

While a dollar sure doesn’t buy much these days, it’s STILL enough to purchase a Greater Lansing passport, allowing event participants to visit more than 60 local partnering establishments. Old favorites include: Impression 5 Science Center, Potter Park Zoo and the Michigan Historical Museum. Be sure to visit one of the many new stops including, FRAG Center, MSU’s Breslin Center, WKAR Studios and taste the new “Capital City Sundae” ice cream flavor at the MSU Dairy Store. Some attractions will offer a discount on services through June with the passport.

“The tourism industry is a key component of the Greater Lansing economy,” said Tracy Padot, Vice President, Marketing Communications. “Based on a study conducted by Michigan State University, more than 5 million out-of-town guests visit Greater Lansing each year, generating $431 million in direct spending and supporting 7,500 jobs in the tourism sector. We want residents to not only enjoy the leisure options Lansing offers, but also recognize the importance of creating a hospitable environment for our guests by serving as community ambassadors.”

Here’s how the event works:
1. Participants need to purchase a $1 passport from the Celebration Cinema or Meridian Mall customer service desks, the AAA Michigan–Grand River Avenue location, Impression 5 Science Center, Lansing Art Gallery, CATA C.T.C or the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau in Old Town. Passports will also be available on May 30th at information stations throughout the city.

3.Throughout the month of June, “tourists” can have their passport stamped at participating attractions, and once they receive 10 stamps, they are eligible to enter a prize drawing. Participants that get 15 or more stamps, are entered in for the grand prize – a night in a suite at Oldsmobile park and 10 tickets.

2.Passport holders can park at the Breslin Student Events Center on the campus of MSU, in Old Town, at the Lansing Community College parking ramp on N. Grand Avenue or at the lot adjacent to the Michigan Historical Museum and hop aboard one of four CATA Be A Tourist public bus routes. Round trip fares are only 50 cents per person.





Press Release – Melting Moments Celebrates 25 Years

22 05 2009

From a press release….

Melting Moments Celebrates a “Quarter Century of Good Taste” 

Mark Geovjian, creator and proprietor of Melting Moments finds it hard to believe that it has been 25 years since he served his first homemade ice cream in Downtown East Lansing. “Amazing how time really does fly,” he remarked.

The 25 year milestone presents an opportunity for reflection. “We’ve always remained true to our steadfast commitment to quality. We have continually searched out the finest of ingredients for our ice creams. We still make everything by hand, as we did with the very first tub in 1984,” said Geovjian. “We are proud to be a part of the East Lansing Community, supporting a variety of causes including our own ‘Melting Moments Giving Fund’ with the Capital Area Regional Foundation and the ‘Melting Moments Children’s Fund’ at the Haven House. It’s also surprising to calculate over those 25 years how many students we’ve employed who have used this job to work their way through college. It has to be well over a thousand kids.”

The recently renovated retail store is still downtown in the original location at 313 E. Grand River Ave. In 2007 they moved the kitchen production facilities and offices to a building in Lansing where all of their tasty concoctions are created and produced. The addition of handmade Italian Gelato offers the area’s only large variety of the European treat.

When asked about new directions for the next 25 years, the discussion leads to the many “Ice Cream on the Move” events in which the company is involved, including the upcoming E. Lansing Arts Festival, Folk Festival, Jazz and Blues Festivals and a variety of Air Shows. They are also expanding their involvement in a vast number of off-site events with their fully outfitted ice cream concession trailer and fleet of ice cream carts.

Most importantly, the 25th anniversary marks a time for Melting Moments to show appreciation to all of their loyal customers. “We actually have children of folks that grew up eating cookie sandwiches at MSU events coming into our store,” said Geovjian.

Mark would like to invite the entire community to the “Quarter Century of Good Taste” celebration at Patriarch Park June 7th from 3-6pm. There will be fun and games for the whole family but most importantly free ice cream for all!

 

“Life is good…there’s ice cream.”





Blimpie Subs & Salads – S. Pennsylvania

22 05 2009
  • 6030 S. Pennsylvania Avenue #11
  • Lansing, MI 48911
  • (517) 393-5477
  • Website
  • Menu
Blimpie Subs & Salads on South Pennsylvania in Lansing.

Blimpie Subs & Salads on South Pennsylvania in Lansing.

We had to kick off our Memorial Day weekend with a few errands before J went to work.  Everything we needed to do, we could do on the south side of town, so there was no need to go out to Delta Township.  The thing with staying close to home is that we are running out of new places to eat lunch.  There are definitely a few places that we have been making repeat visits to, but tyring something new is always more fun. 

One of the places we haven’t tried is Blimpie in the strip mall at the corner of Pennsylvania and Miller.  In fact, neither one of us had ever eaten at a Blimpie.  J didn’t even realize it was there and she goes by it everyday on her way to work.  I see the signs near the road for $5 12 inch subs and I’ve seen some pretty good specials at other stores.  J said she just wanted a sandwich anyway, so we went to check out a new place.

Blimpie is set up like most sub sandwich shops.  They have an assembly line counter with three ladies who made different parts of your sandwich.  The first lady cuts the meat.  She has a deli slicer in front of her and they cut the meat to order.  The next lady puts the toppings on.  There’s not as many options as some of their competitors, but they still have the most popular items.  The third lady took care of drinks and the cash register. Read the rest of this entry »





Biggby Coffee – Frandor

22 05 2009
  • 1429 W. Saginaw St. #100
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 324-7007
  • Website
  • Menu
Biggby Coffee in East Lansing near the Frandor Shopping Center.

Biggby Coffee in East Lansing near the Frandor Shopping Center.

After my last trip to Starbucks, I’m sure you all know how I feel about the place.  If you missed that review, I’m not a fan.  I don’t like coffee anyway, so my opinion on the subject doesn’t really matter.  J’s not the kind of person that can’t function without coffee, but she does enjoy the occasional after meal mocha.  Since we ate dinner at Lou & Harry’s Grill & Bakery and there was a Biggby around the corner, she wanted to stop and get a drink.

You all know the Beaner’s/Biggby story better than I do, so I won’t even get into it.  There are several East Lansing locations.  This location is right on the Lansing/East Lansing line in a strip mall between Saginaw and Grand River. The Biggby faces Saginaw Street, but it’s accessible from both roads.

The store isn’t huge, but it is typical of the franchise.  The thing I absolutely love about Biggby is how they adapt to their surroundings.  They don’t tear buildings down and put up the same pretentious building on every street corner.  I like that they use the available space and, in some cases, blend right into the fabric of the community.  This store is in a strip mall, so it’s not anything super unique, but it’s still a Biggby.  Read the rest of this entry »





Smoking Ban Moves Out of Committee

20 05 2009

Well, it’s a start, but it’s set up the same as last year and they couldn’t come to an agreement then….

A House committee approved today a ban on smoking in all bars, restaurants and all other workplaces – except for Detroit’s casinos and smoke shops statewide – reigniting a debate that has smoldered for years.

[snip]

House Speaker Andy Dillon, D-Redford Township said he had spoken with Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop, R-Rochester, and said, “I would bet it gets done this year.”

However, Dillon said he supports a smoking ban exemption for the gambling floors of casinos only, but not the restaurants or anywhere else in the facility. Bishop said his Republican caucus supports a total ban with no exemptions.

No exemptions.  How sad is it they want to exempt casino floors that are covered with old guys in oxygen masks?  Why should casinos get exemptions but not bars and restaurants near those casinos?  Detroit’s competition is Windsor…and Windsor is smoke free.  They know that people would cross the border to gamble if the two are actually on an even playing field…hell, I’m going to Windsor this weekend…but it has more to do with smoke free than anything.





Lou & Harry’s Grill & Bakery

19 05 2009
  • 1429 W. Saginaw Street #150
  • East Lansing, MI 48823
  • (517) 351-1066
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Lou & Harrys Grill & Bakery near Frandor

Lou & Harry's Grill & Bakery near Frandor

Another one of those days were I was up long before I wanted to be.  I had to work downtown again fairly early.  As I was wrapping things up, I got a text from J.  She was at a jewelry store in Frandor getting her ring re-sized (I was off by half a size).  Since she had some time to kill, she asked if I wanted to meet her for lunch.  I was just going to grab something on Washington Square, but meeting J sounded like a better idea.

When I got to Frandor, she was waiting for me and suggested Panera.  I like Panera, but there’s still places I want to try in the area.  Instead, we headed out of the shopping center a little way to a little strip mall just on the other side of the East Lansing city limits.

Lou & Harry’s Grill has three locations in the area.  Two are in East Lansing and the third is Okemos.  The store we hit up for lunch was the Saginaw Street store.  The roads in this area are really messed up and if you’re not paying attention, it’s hard to get around.  Coming out of Frandor, we had to take a left on to Coolridge Road to get into the parking lot. 

Lou & Harry’s is part of a little strip mall.  One end is anchored by Lou & Harry’s.  The other by a Biggby.  The Lou & Harry’s faces the Saginaw Street Grand River Avenue side on the building.  You walk through a small outdoor patio to get inside.  It was a pretty nice day and there were several people taking advantage of that.  Read the rest of this entry »





Press Release – Dow Gardens Festival of the Senses

19 05 2009

From a Dow Gardens press release….

Dow Gardens Festival of the Senses
Friday, May 29
7:30-10:30 p.m.

– Michigan wine and beer tasting under the stars
– Hors d’ oeuvres from the H Hotel
– Music and artistic entertainment of Empty Canvas
– Copper sculptures of Jim Ardis
– The beauty of Dow Gardens
– Fourteen Michigan wineries and five Michigan breweries will feature their products for sampling with orders for purchase being taken by Eastman Party Store.

The wineries include: Black Star Farms, L. Mawby Vineyards and Shady Lane Cellars of Suttons Bay, Brys Estate and Peninsula Cellars of Traverse City, St. Julian Wine Co. and Warner Vineyard of Paw Paw, Burgdorf’s Winery of Haslett, Lone Oak Vineyard of Grass Lake, Pentamere Winery of Tecumseh, Rose Valley Winery of Rose City, Tabor Hill Winery of Buchanan, Sandhill Crane Vineyards of Jackson and BK Nektar Meadery of Ferndale.

The Breweries are: Arcadia Brewery of Battle Creek, Atwater Brewing Co. of Detroit, Mt. Pleasant Brewing Co., New Holland Brewery of Holland and Tri-City Brewing of Bay City.

Empty Canvas will perform: As patrons taste the beer and wine, they will be treated to the talents of Scott and Mike McMath as they perform music and Mike produces a painting of Dow Gardens. This is truly a unique performance and the painting will be auctioned off at the end of the evening, with the successful bidder choosing the charity to whom the proceeds will be donated.

In addition copper sculptures which will be on display in the Gardens throughout the summer will make their debut at this event. The sculptures include arches, banner poles, a maypole and other creative garden art by Jim Ardis .

Tickets for the multi-faceted Festival of the Senses are $25.00 in advance and $30.00 at the door.

Advanced tickets are available at Dow Gardens, 1809 Eastman Ave, Eastman Party Store and through www.dowgardens.org.





Press Release – Festival of The Sun 10th Anniversary

19 05 2009

From an Old Town Commercial Association press release…..

OLD TOWN FESTIVAL CELEBRATES TEN YEAR ANNIVERSARY­­­­­­­­­­­
The Festival of the Sun celebrates ten years in Old Town

OLD TOWN, LANSING, Mich.. – As the days grow longer and the weather warms, the count down to the Festival of the Moon and Sun is getting shorter! Celebrating a decade of fun, these festivals welcome the summer solstice in a unique and exciting way.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Old Town Commercial Association (OTCA) Festival of the Sun. For the past decade, Festival of the Sun and, more recently Festival of the Moon, has brought together friends, families, and neighbors from all over Michigan to the heart of Old Town. Celebrating the beginning of the summer season, revelers take part in Mid-Michigan’s premier wine, beer, and food sampling event and enjoy live music throughout the weekend.

“Old Town and the Festival of the Sun have both grown tremendously over the past ten years. A couple years ago the OTCA launched the Festival of the Moon and just last year, the Festival of the Sun expanded – almost doubling in size – to accommodate the large crowds. It’s so exciting to see these festivals continue to grow, attracting more people to Old Town and raising money to continue the revitalization efforts,” said past Festival Director Shannon Rolley.

Festival of the Moon will be held on Friday, June 26th from 6-11 p.m. This year’s festival continues the tradition of offering Bell’s Beer on tap and will include music by Thriving Ivory, Suburban Euphoria, and Alco. Attendees will receive a keep sake beer tumbler to use while sipping on select Bell’s Beers.

Festival of the Sun will be held on Saturday, June 27th from 2-10 p.m. Vistitors will be able to taste wine and food from all over Michigan and dance the day away to music provided by Ritmo, The Dewaynes, The Lash, and Hot Club of Lansing on the main stage or relax with a drink by the acoustic stage with music by The Pantones, Nervous but Excited, and Daughters of New Grass. Tickets include a complimentary “throw back” wine glass with designs from the past ten years.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit www.festivalofthesun.com or www.festivalofthemoon.com or stop by the OTCA office on Turner St. and Grand River.





Bethany’s Place Family Diner

17 05 2009
  • 2221 University Park Drive
  • Okemos, MI 48864
  • (517) 349-9570
  • Website
  • Menu
Bethanys Place Family Diner on University Park Drive in Okemos.

Bethany's Place Family Diner on University Park Drive in Okemos.

A few weeks ago, I noticed a billboard on South Cedar near K-Mart for a restaurant I had never heard of.  There was a web address on the billboard, so I came home and typed it into my browser.  Nothing came up that day, but a few days later, I found out the Okemos Big Boy went out of business and a family diner opened up.

Since we don’t usually get up for breakfast, I put it on my mental list of places to stop for lunch after a trip to Meridian Mall.  Things changed when I got an unexpected 9:00 AM wake up call.  Since we were both up, J offered to treat me to breakfast.  We had noticed that some people had found my blog looking for information on the place and checking it out would be a good idea.

Like I already mentioned, Bethany’s Place has taken over the old Big Boy building just off the Interstate on University Park Drive.  Last summer, J and I ate at the Big Boy and it was the first Big Boy experience for both of us.  We were pretty underwhelmed.  The business acted like they didn’t want to be in business.  There was no signage and it was hard to find.  Bethany’s Place already took the first step towards a successful business.  They added signs and started advertising.  It’s always amazed me when people open restaurants, don’t advertise at all, then can’t understand why they went out of business because no one knew they were there or what kind of food they served. 

Not much has changed from this restaurant’s Big Boy days.  There are still some signs on the walls and the layout, furniture, and decor are all leftovers.  When we got there, we stopped at the sign that told us to wait to be seated.  A frantic hostess came over and said it would be a couple minutes.  They were short handed and behind.  We considered leaving at that point because there is no way the meal could have went smoothly, but J noticed a sign for a $7.99 breakfast buffet.  We chose to stay and get the buffet so we could set the pace of our meal. Read the rest of this entry »





Subway – Cedar & Jolly

15 05 2009
  • 5025 S. Cedar St #2
  • Lansing, MI 48910
  • (517) 393-7370
  • Website
  • Menu
The Subway at Cedar & Jolly in Lansing.

The Subway at Cedar & Jolly in Lansing.

OK, so when you think “celebratory lunch,” Subway isn’t the first thing you think of, but we just didn’t have time to go out for something fancy.  We were both starving and J still had to get ready for work, so I suggested Subway.  Jokingly, I said we should go to the store at Cedar & Jolly.  I had never been there, but J went a few weeks ago and came back with a doozy of a story about the layout of the building.  Normally, we’d just go to the Subway in Holt, but J said I needed to see this store to understand what she was talking about. 

The Subway at Jolly & Cedar looks like most other Subway’s from outside.  It’s situated in a small strip mall near the busy intersection.  Heck, even when you first walk in, it looks like any other Subway.  There are a few tables, but, for the most part, it’s a carry-out business.  The counter is the back right side of the space.  There was only one other person in front of us when we got there just before one o’clock. 

J eats at Subway quite often when I’m working, so she knew what she wanted right away.  I usually get the same everytime as well, so there was no waiting on us when it came our turn to order.

J got a footlong veggie on whole wheat.  When her sandwich was finished, it had pepper jack, lettuce, cucumbers, banana peppers, green peppers, and Chipotle Southwest mayo.  She tried the Chipotle mayo last time she was at a Subway and really liked it.  Read the rest of this entry »