F2

F2?  Whats that?  Is it like Mach 5?  or G6?  No, silly!  It stands for First Fridays.  And that was what just happened in Adrian.  Well, everywhere, honestly, its not like no one else experienced a first Friday or anything, but let me explain.  Adrian, Michigan is where I just moved from.  Its a fair sized city in a rural county in southeastern Michigan.  Close to Ohio, but close to Ann Arbor, as well.  It has had its struggles through out the years, especially with the downtrodden economy and being in a rural area, especially so.  However, First Fridays is a way to illuminate the downtown Adrian merchants, area artists, local cuisine and an all out way to celebrate.  I am sure you have heard of it.  Detroit Institute of Art does them, Toledo Museum of Art does it, I mean why not a community?

In order to make this happen, you need a few key ingredients; planners and doers.  And we have them!  As I said before I moved away from Adrian about 7 months ago, but i am still the active President of the Lenawee Council for Visual Arts.  Also known as the person who know s a lot of artists.  So I helped out, in my own small way to get this thing going.  I was not able to be there for the whole night as the distance made it hard to get there early, but I got to experience a lot of the goodness happening.  Not too long ago I blogged about the Pewabic Pottery Empty Bowls event.  Well on this night, there was an Empty Cups event in one of the businesses, Classic Cabinets.  It was my first time in the showroom and I was really impressed.  I apologize in advance for my photos-I used my droid and I used a fun app called Retro camera.  Not the best of photos, but here is a peek at the Empty Cups.

And since we are on the subject of Empty Cups, I discovered a new microbrewery in Adrian!  This is totally new, the city has never had anything like this and it tastes good!  Its headed up by Mr Cotton, his wife and a couple of cronies.  I believe Mr Cotton’s first name is Jake (?)  and our servers name was Keith.  How do I remember his name so well?  because they served up free samples!  If you join their Founders Club, they will even create a beer just for you!  Crazy right?  And there was a gentleman serving up free samples of a delicious spanish wine.   You can see why I was not able to hit every spot in town, right?

Mr Cotton on the left and Keith in the middle!

Their logo and a description of one of their beers, the Blue Cactus Agave, my favorite!

And the wine.  Now that I think about it, maybe our servers name was not Keith…..If you did not make it to the first F2, there is another one coming for April, this one a bit more kid friendly and family oriented.  The planning is happening right now and I hope you decide to give it a try!

Hard Rock Bill

Post Pewabic Pottery event we ventured to grab a little bit more to eat in downtown Detroit, a small bowl of soup was not going to take the kids very far.  We had decided to head to the original LAfayette Coney Island, but got side tracked when we saw the Hard Rock Cafe.  I had not even realized there was one in Detroit.

The Hard Rock Cafe is located in the CompuWare building, right in the very center of town between Woodward and Farmer.  The atrium in the CompuWare building is exceptionally nice.

So we had lunch at the Hard Rock.  I cannot say that the food was bad, it was fine.  The space itself is pretty small compared to other Hard Rock’s that I have been to.  But it is Detroit and I think the size is appropriate for the current economic climate.  They had the usual displays of guitars, records, clothing and other paraphernalia.  Many of which we had to explain to the older kids who they were!  The service was great.  But the cost was way too high.  We spent $100, including tip, for food I could get cheaper elsewhere.  In comparison, I had a pulled pork sandwich with fries and it was $11.95.  Close to where I currently live is the Woodshop Union, 2011 Restaurant of the year.  I had their pulled pork samwich with onion rings for $8.95 and was sure that I had died and gone to heaven.    I am sure that the Hard Rock caters to the business crowd, for the most part, but I will most likely avoid going there for monetary reasons.

Rowen’s look says it all.

We decided to slip out the back entrance of the CompuWare building. Do you remember last post, when I told you about Pewabics wall tiles?  Well, here they are!  Not my favorite display, but I can at least show you an example.

I also took a couple of photos of the buildings that surrounded us.  Truly quite amazing!

Happy Leap Day!

Empty Bowls, Detroit, 2012

Saturday took us on an adventure to Detroit with the whole family.  I had read about Pewabic Pottery hosting an “Empty Bowl’s”  event for Gleaner Food Bank. (http://www.gcfb.org)  I am a sucker for art and fundraising, so I convinced everyone we had to go!  If you are unfamiliar with Pewabic Pottery, it is one of the oldest existing working ceramic houses in Detroit- see here:

The pottery is well known internationally and is another one of Detroit’s secrets.  It is located at East Jefferson and Cadillac, right across from Waterworks Park.  There was quite a line up and we had to have a special number and wait to be called in order to select our special bowls.  So we waited in the showroom.  Here is a sample of some of the items they have available for purchase.

 

The variety is endless, from decorative to functional.  The handcrafted tiles used for walls and fireplaces are beautiful, but it was too crowded to get decent photos in that room.

 

Once our number was called, we ventured upstairs to see what was left.  The bowls up for grabs were in 4 different categories, $20, $15, $10 and $5.  The bowls created by local kids were the $5 and area artists had the higher price tags.  Even though we arrived fairly early, only $5 bowls were left, but I thought they had greater value than those made by the artists.  There is something pure and simple and un-tainted about children’s art.  Its just honest.

This became the bowl I selected.

 

In the upstairs of Pewabic they have gallery space and in one of the galleries they had some quirky pieces that I thought were just sweet.

So, we head back downstairs for our soup.  You see they fed you afterwards!  Soup, 5 varieties, were there to feed you!  Many volunteers from all over the area gave of their time and their talents in order to bring food to those who could not get it themselves.  That stuff is humbling.

 

Black Bean and Pasta Aioli.

There was no seating, as to get people moving along, there were so many.  We found a little nook in a corner amongst the multitudes of buckets of glazes, which proved photogenic on its own.

 

And from the inside looking out.

A home for crafty birds?

I recognize that the meaning may have been lost on the younger children, but it wasn’t lost on me.  I know its really a pacifistic participatory level, but it was participatory.  And if this is one step for myself and my children in becoming purposeful and compassionate then it is just that, one more step.