Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Rust Belt’s not just a political force — it’s a destination" from the Washington Post

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Rust Belt’s not just a political force — it’s a destination" from the Washington Post

Note: A backhanded compliment-based article, it does serve as a reminder how important sites like GLCT are to educating the nation and world about how wonderful the Great Lakes and Upper South region is and how much there is to see.

By Beth J. Harpaz Here’s why tourists should take the Rust Belt as seriously as politicians: Because the food, art and sightseeing in “flyover country” is well worth your precious vacation days — not to mention cheaper than in trendier destinations.

In the last two years, I’ve visited Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Wisconsin, sampling art museums, historic sites, architecture, hipster neighborhoods, ethnic culture and great food. I was mostly in big cities but I was also able to enjoy botanical gardens, hiking and biking trails along with spectacular Great Lakes waterfronts.

I live in Brooklyn, New York, but I can honestly say that neighborhoods like Fountain Square in Indianapolis and Midtown in Detroit give my home turf a run for the hipsters’ money. Not to mention that the farm-to-table cuisine at a restaurant like Braise in Milwaukee is much better than what often passes for locally sourced meals in Manhattan — and at half the price.

And it’s not just me who thinks this part of the country deserves to be high on travel go-to lists. Indianapolis and Cincinnati turned up on Travel + Leisure’s list of best destinations for 2017. Cincinnati also turned up on Thrillist’s where to go next year list, along with Columbus, Ohio. Even international visitors have discovered some of the region’s attractions: The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee draws visitors from around the world, as do the Motown Museum in Detroit and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

Continued on website.

Link:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/rust-belts-not-just-a-political-force--its-a-destination/2016/12/20/df2eb7a4-c6b9-11e6-acda-59924caa2450_story.html?utm_term=.02c587554805

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Jackson museums try to lure tourists behind bars" from the Detroit News

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Jackson museums try to lure tourists behind bars" from the Detroit News

Jackson —This prison town never liked being called a prison town.

But, in the last few years, it stopped hiding its vast connections with correctional facilities. Former prisons have even become draws for a budding tourism industry.

Still, the relationship remains complicated. Take the Cell Block 7 Museum, which is a museum in, of all places, a prison — the former State Prison of Southern Michigan.

Judy Krasnow, who overcame local resistance in starting a prison tourism business, had taken tour groups to Cell Block 7 before it was turned into a museum in 2014. The state Department of Corrections, which owns Cell Block 7, declined to renew its contract with her.

What’s more: The DOC had done so at the behest of the Jackson County Chamber of Commerce and Experience Jackson tourism bureau, agencies that Krasnow said are supposed to work for local companies like hers.

She said she had built up a successful business only to have it whisked away. Her tours plummeted. She eventually reached a financial deal with the Ella Sharp Museum, which runs the prison museum for the MDOC, that allowed Krasnow to resume offering tours and keep some of the profits. 

Krasnow’s company, Historic Prison Tours, is slowly rebuilding. But, two years later, the issue still rankles.

“The museum wouldn’t exist if not for me,” she said. “It was a nasty, nasty horrible moment in my life.”

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2016/12/25/jackson-michigan-prison-tourism/95842744/

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Pistons’ return lauded as a slam dunk for downtown" from Detroit News

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Pistons’ return lauded as a slam dunk for downtown" from Detroit News

The multi-layered deal unveiled Tuesday to move the Pistons back to Detroit combines millions in public and private investment to add even more punch to downtown’s thriving sports and entertainment scene.

Starting next season, the Pistons’ home court will be in the city after 39 years of playing in the suburbs, part of a deal the owners estimate could have a $596 million economic impact in southeast Michigan. The deal includes a request for up to $34.5 million in taxpayer-backed bonds to pay for arena upgrades.

The Pistons will play in Little Caesars Arena, the still-under-construction multimillion-dollar venue that also will be the home ice of the Detroit Red Wings. In 2018, the Pistons will move its corporate offices to the city and build a separate “community center/practice facility” that could cost another $32 million to $55 million at a yet-to-be-announced location; the Pistons would back the bonds on that expenditure.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2016/11/22/pistons-move-detroit/94282486/

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "St. Louis County wants out of partnership with Museum of Transportation" from St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "St. Louis County wants out of partnership with Museum of Transportation" from St. Louis Post-Dispatch 

"CLAYTON • The Museum of Transportation, a pre-eminent national depository of vintage locomotives and rolling rail stock, is poised to return to private hands after 37 years as part of the St. Louis County Parks system.

Pending approval by the St. Louis County Council, control of the Kirkwood transit collection could revert to its governing body, the Transport Museum Association, by the first of the year.

“The fact the museum will remain open as it is today will be a win for the county, a win for users of the transportation museum and it will return the property to the people who conceptually put this in operation in the first place,” said County Parks Director Gary Bess.

Republican Councilwoman Colleen Wasinger announced Tuesday that the council would hold a public hearing before placing the matter on the agenda for a final vote.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/st-louis-county-wants-out-of-partnership-with-museum-of/article_3ea5ae10-a14c-513f-a840-a5d4ff5caa7a.html

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Tasty Tosa: Milwaukee suburb stocked with worthy European cuisine" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Tasty Tosa: Milwaukee suburb stocked with worthy European cuisine" from the Chicago Tribune

Milwaukee has no shortage of great places to eat. The same can be said of its lesser-known western suburb of Wauwatosa, where you can find tasty German, Benelux, Italian and French fare at a quartet of restaurants less than a block from one another.

You'll have time to linger over your pasta, plate of macarons or pot of steamed mussels if you're headed to Miller Park or the famed Milwaukee County Zoo: Both are less than 10 minutes from your table. Downtown Sudsville and its Milwaukee Art Museum — currently hosting a new German cinema exhibit — are a mere 8 miles away from the heart of "Tosa," as it's called.

Downtown Tosa is about a century removed from strip malls and food courts. This area, known as the Village, began in the mid-1800s, when westbound roads and rails from Milwaukee had to cross the narrow Menomonee River valley. Wauwatosa flourished as a well-heeled residential community, and it remains an affluent suburb.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-where-to-eat-in-wauwatosa-milwaukee-travel-1106-20161020-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Signs of the Ice Age in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Signs of the Ice Age in Wisconsin's Kettle Moraine" from the Chicago Tribune

The directions I found online for following the Kettle Moraine Scenic Drive in eastern Wisconsin seemed daunting. Go south two-tenths of a mile, then north 1.7 miles, then east 1.3 miles — on and on, with dozens of turns, for 115 miles. Adding to my trip-planning anxiety were road names like County ZZ and parenthetical instructions like "Past Old Plank Road Trail."

How would I figure this out while driving around a place I'd never been? I not only can't read maps, I can't even follow verbal instructions from my GPS without getting lost. I called the Kettle Moraine State Forest headquarters and asked, "Isn't there an app for this route?"

"Just stop at every intersection to look for the signs," a ranger told me. "You'll be fine."

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-signs-of-the-ice-age-in-wisconsin-s-kettle-moraine-20161019-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Quirky places to stay, from treehouses to caves" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Quirky places to stay, from treehouses to caves" from the Chicago Tribune

Note: See the Wildlife Prairie Park section toward the end of the article.

When family and friends in Portland, Ore., found out where we were staying during a recent visit, they just had to come and take a look.

It's not as if we had splurged on the presidential suite at the city's best hotel. In fact, our accommodations were no bigger than a typical bedroom in your average American home.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/sc-odd-places-to-stay-hotels-travel-1101-20161019-story.html