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

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "How to eat your way around St. Louis" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "How to eat your way around St. Louis" from the Chicago Tribune

Some cities reveal their charm effortlessly. Walk out of a hotel room in London or New York, and you can easily stroll into a compelling neighborhood, its curated boutiques and trendy cafes smacking of local verve.

Other cities are less self-evident. They make you work for it. If you favor a bit of a challenge — say, discovering a metropolis by way of foodie scavenger hunt — then a few days in St. Louis are in order.

You'll need a car (St. Louis is not a pedestrian city, and public transportation is spotty), a game plan and an appetite in order to hopscotch your way through town. The sleuthing process just adds to the fun of unearthing the city's famed high/low foodstuffs.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-where-to-eat-st-louis-travel-1030-20161014-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Upgrade a campus visit to Ann Arbor, Madison with Graduate Hotels" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Upgrade a campus visit to Ann Arbor, Madison with Graduate Hotels" from the Chicago Tribune

'Who's got it better than us?!" yells one football-loving reveler.

"Nobody!" chants the University of Michigan crowd marching to The Big House, the largest sports stadium in the country.

These days, Michigan fans have plenty to cheer about. Former Chicago Bears quarterback Jim Harbaugh, a football star from his University of Michigan days, is enjoying much success in his second year as Wolverines head coach. He's so beloved by Michigan fans, many are calling Ann Arbor "Ann Arbaugh."

Football season is an exciting time to visit college towns, which have a charm all their own. They now have their own hotel brand too.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-graduate-hotels-college-travel-1030-20161013-story.html

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "A tale of two ballparks: Wrigley vs. Progressive" from Crain's

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "A tale of two ballparks: Wrigley vs. Progressive" from Crain's

Chicago and Cleveland. Two Great Lakes cities. It's been 60-plus years since the Indians won a World Series; it's been 108 years since the Cubs did it. Neither team's current ballpark existed when they last raised the world championship pennant, yet both venues have provided a template for the most recent generation of ballparks. Here are some things you may not know about our own Wrigley Field and Cleveland's Progressive Field, where the World Series opens tonight.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20161025/NEWS07/161029924/a-tale-of-two-ballparks-wrigley-vs-progressive

Friday, October 21, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Southwest Michigan is for lovers—of wine and craft beer" from Crain's

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Southwest Michigan is for lovers—of wine and craft beer" from Crain's

Southwest Michigan, the area 90 minutes from Chicago long associated with summer getaways and vacation homes, has become a great daytrip or weekend destination for tasting wine, beer and spirits. 

In the past few years, a handful of establishments have opened or expanded their offerings in small towns or the countryside. Others have stepped up their game; even more will open this year or in early 2017. If you're thinking about a weekend drinking tour, here are places to consider, most within 20 minutes or 15 miles of each other. Plot your own trip, or sign up for a tour and leave the driving and planning to someone else. Two possibilities: Grape & Grain Tours or Fruitful Vine's Wine-O-Wagon.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20161020/ISSUE03/161019789/southwest-michigan-is-exploding-with-new-wineries-and-breweries#utm_medium=email&utm_source=ccb-morning10&utm_campaign=ccb-morning10-20161021

Monday, October 17, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Motown Museum to undergo $50M expansion" from Curbed

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Motown Museum to undergo $50M expansion" from Curbed

A visit to the Motown Museum now means walking through two houses on West Grand Boulevard where Berry Gordy and Motown recorded hit after hit after hit. Standing in the small studio where those hits were recorded, it's hard not to get chills. Now, the museum has announced it intends on becoming even more of a tourist destination with a $50 million expansion.

This is great news for the surrounding neighborhood. The Motown Museum is located on West Grand Boulevard, down the street from the Fisher Building and the Henry Ford Hospital. With these new renderings, it looks like Hitsville USA will be hard to miss in the near future.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://detroit.curbed.com/2016/10/17/13305214/motown-museum-expansion

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "New van Gogh exhibit in Cincinnati" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "New van Gogh exhibit in Cincinnati" from the Chicago Tribune

The Cincinnati Art Museum is hosting an exclusive exhibit revolving around Vincent van Gogh's woodland landscapes.

"Van Gogh: Into the Undergrowth" brings together, for the first time, a collection of nine paintings by the Dutch artist and several additional relevant pieces by his contemporaries, like Claude Monet and Paul Gauguin. Twenty of the works are on loan from collections around the world, including the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

 Running from Oct. 15 to Jan. 8, 2017, the exhibit is said to trace the evolution of van Gogh's odes to nature during a time of increasing industrialization and urbanization.

A key piece, van Gogh's "Undergrowth With Two Figures," has belonged to the museum since 1967.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/sc-van-gogh-cincinnati-art-museum-travel-1004-20160928-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Chippewa Falls pours on the charm" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Chippewa Falls pours on the charm" from the Chicago Tribune 

This county seat just beyond the fringes of Eau Claire may have discovered the elixir to attract new tourists and millennial-friendly businesses.

It's the water residents have been drinking for centuries.

The downtown is knee-deep in a $10 million redo of its Chippewa River frontage, which includes a 10-acre park connected to an existing bike-path network. The ambitious project is already seeing results. The main drag has sprouted shops and cafes. A new downtown hotel — the first since 1919, and a rarity among downtowns in the Northwoods — opened in late September.

Chippewa Falls may be best known as the home of Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing, the regional powerhouse now owned by mega-brewer SABMiller. The 1867 brewery on Duncan Creek is still in operation, and Leinenkugel descendants are still in charge. The welcome center and brewery tours attract more than 100,000 suds lovers a year.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-chippewa-falls-wisconsin-travel-1016-20160928-story.html

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "In Richmond, Ill., younger crowd brings new businesses, new life to small town" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "In Richmond, Ill., younger crowd brings new businesses, new life to small town" from the Chicago Tribune

Antique stores. Lots of them. That's what I remember about this McHenry County town tucked below the Wisconsin border.

When I was a kid growing up in suburban Chicago, my family spent many a summer weekend up north, near Lake Geneva, Wis. My sister, brother and I knew we were almost there when our station wagon would come to a crawl in traffic on U.S. Route 12, running right through the heart of Richmond.

The station wagon is long gone. I'm grown up and live in the city. But I continue to make that trip up north, routinely passing through this place with a population just shy of 1,900.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-rebirth-of-richmond-illinois-travel-1009-20160927-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Making the rounds in Muhammad Ali's hometown" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Making the rounds in Muhammad Ali's hometown" from the Chicago Tribune

Above the bar at Jack Fry's, a favorite Louisville dining destination on busy Bardstown Road, the walls are adorned with pictures of racehorses and people who know racehorses but are known mainly here.

In a corner are photos of The Greatest.

Most everyone in the city and in the world beyond Bardstown Road knows the man in those photos. Louisville is inviting everyone to get to know him a little better.

Muhammad Ali died June 3. He was 74. He was brought back to Louisville, where he was born in 1942 as Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., to honor him and cheer him one more time, and here he'll stay. 

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/sc-muhammad-ali-sights-louisville-travel-1004-20160921-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "How Chicago became world premiere capital" from Crain's

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "How Chicago became world premiere capital" from Crain's

Never mind the coasts: When it comes to new works, playwrights are flocking here.

Between now and Christmas, Chicago will host more than 30 world premiere plays. From major multimillion-dollar powerhouses to the postage-stamp off-off-off-Loop stages, the city is basically one big theatrical petri dish.

This year is an especially robust one, but every year hundreds of artists take to Chicago's stages in hopes of launching the next “Spamalot” or “August: Osage County.” The million-dollar question: What makes Chicago a magnet for unknown plays? The short answer is that money goes further here, audiences are more welcoming, critics are less powerful and the talent bench is deep.

Among the larger launches this season was Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer's gritty “Man in the Ring,” which closes Oct. 16 at Court Theatre. Cristofer, who won a 1977 Pulitzer for his drama “The Shadow Box” and has a starring role on the Emmy-winning “Mr. Robot,” could have taken “Man in the Ring” anywhere. So why did the New York-based playwright bring the explosive drama about dementia and boxing to Chicago?

“New plays are very difficult to do in New York,” Cristofer says. “Chicago is less risk-averse. The audiences are adventurous. The talent pool seems vast. In New York, everybody—even the not-for-profits—has to produce shows that make money. When money is always forefront, there's not a lot of room for risk or real experimentation.”

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagobusiness.com/article/20161013/ISSUE03/161019923/how-chicago-became-world-premiere-capital#utm_medium=email&utm_source=ccb-weeklyalert&utm_campaign=ccb-weeklyalert-20161015

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Discovering the joys of Kentucky bourbon on a father-son road trip" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Discovering the joys of Kentucky bourbon on a father-son road trip" from the Chicago Tribune

Bourbon is big. My son Ben, an active connoisseur, has been preaching nonstop from the bourbon pulpit (the nearest bar stool), as the popularity of Chicago whiskey bars skyrockets.

I've always been more of a scotch guy, myself. And, as a native of Milwaukee, beer runs through my veins. But Ben makes a strong case for bourbon whiskey. So, with a long history of father-son road trips under our belts — from Gettysburg to the Apostle Islands — we decided to investigate.

Armed with our respective picks for the soundtrack — Ben's Built to Spill and Ugly Casanova versus my Johnny Cash and Neil Young — we headed out of Chicago, south to the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-kentucky-bourbon-trail-road-trip-travel-0925-20160908-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "ArtPrize turns Grand Rapids into giant gallery" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "ArtPrize turns Grand Rapids into giant gallery" from the Chicago Tribune

Perched on a ladder, Andee Rudloff slathered green paint on a brick wall of The Cottage Bar.

More open cans of paint and brushes waited at the base of the unfinished mural, a Keith Haring-like melange of images representing Michigan's second-largest city.

"Anybody can stop by and paint with me," said the Kentucky-based artist, who turned to social media to generate ideas for the piece. "I love the community aspect of coming together for art and inspiration."

That's the gist of ArtPrize, an ambitious, grass-roots public art event that will transform 3 square miles of downtown Grand Rapids into a giant gallery Sept. 21 to Oct. 9.

Now in its eighth year, ArtPrize features 1,453 paintings, photography, sculptures, multimedia works and other creations showcased at 170 disparate venues, from the police station and churches to breweries, museums and bridges spanning the Grand River. Artists from around the world compete for a hefty purse of $500,000 in prize money. Winners are selected both by panels of contemporary art experts and — here's the fun part — by regular Joes, voting with their smartphones or online. 

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-art-prize-grand-rapids-travel-0925-20160912-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Purple reign: A Prince tribute tour in Minneapolis" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Purple reign: A Prince tribute tour in Minneapolis" from the Chicago Tribune

Long before he died April 21, the musician Prince taught his fans to live.

"If (the) elevator tries to bring you down," he sang in 1984's "Purple Rain" release, "go crazy."

And so it continues in Prince's hometown of Minneapolis, where his own personal elevator may have crashed with a fatal drug overdose at age 57, but his fans are still going crazy in memorial.

Since then, a new tourism trail has organically sprung up, a path to Prince-related sites — from music clubs to murals — beaten by fans who have come from near and far to pay their respects. That route will only lengthen, starting Oct. 6, when his suburban home and studio, Paisley Park (www.officialpaisleypark.com), will open for daily tours, just before the first official public tribute concert Oct. 13. 

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/sc-prince-sights-minneapolis-travel-0927-20160916-story.html

Monday, September 19, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Underground adventures await in Midwest caves" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Underground adventures await in Midwest caves" from the Chicago Tribune

You're forgiven if you've never heard of Squire Boone. Daniel Boone's kid brother, Squire was overshadowed by his legendary sibling's courageous expeditions into uncharted territory, despite the fact that the two often traveled together.

"Daniel was the lucky one. He had people write down all his exploits," said Claudia Yundt, the director of southern Indiana's Squire Boone Caverns. About 30 miles west of Louisville, Ky., the cave may be the only place where Squire, not Daniel, is the one who is revered.

The Boones stumbled across the cave in 1790 during a westward exploration.

"They were following the creek that runs beside the caverns when they discovered the spring that comes from our cave," Yundt noted.

The cave still delights visitors with its streams and waterfalls. Each day, more than a million gallons of water flow through the caverns.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-midwest-caves-travel-1002-20160919-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Beliefs aside, Noah's Ark in Kentucky is something to see" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Beliefs aside, Noah's Ark in Kentucky is something to see" from the Chicago Tribune

I'd been on Noah's Ark all of 20 minutes when the question that hung over every step was finally put to me: "Do you believe?"

It came from a man with a thin beard named Travis, who wore a Captain America T-shirt and had an excitable look in his eye. He was touring the new, five-story Ark Encounter with his wife and daughters after driving three hours from central Indiana.

We stood on the ark's second floor, in front of a display about the Garden of Eden, and Travis had just explained to one of his girls that some people believe the fabled garden still exists somewhere on the planet. Maybe it's in the Bermuda Triangle, he said. Or near the Euphrates River. Otherwise, it might be suspended somewhere between heaven and Earth.

Continued on website.

 Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-noahs-ark-encounter-kentucky-travel-0913-20160902-story.html

Friday, September 16, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "It's a go: Streetcar finally opens" from Cincinnati.com

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "It's a go: Streetcar finally opens" from Cincinnati.com 

Finally.

Cincinnati's long-awaited streetcar opened its doors to the public at noon on Friday, and began running along the 3.6-mile loop through Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. It was the first time in 65 years Cincinnati had an operating streetcar.

It was a festive atmosphere in Washington Park as 1,000 people gathered for the opening day ceremony, even before the speakers hit the stage after 10 a.m. A rainy day, initially, yielded to overcast skies and later sunshine by the late morning.

With a backdrop of Music Hall and streetcar vehicles, 14 politicians, administrators and streetcar champions told attendees how the streetcar's opening was a remarkable moment in Cincinnati's history.

Former Mayor Mark Mallory and other champions of the streetcar – officially known as the Cincinnati Bell Connector – touted it as a "transformational" project that has overcome multiple political and funding hurdles over the past decade.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/politics/2016/09/09/updates-streetcar-opening-day/90116412/

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "How Milwaukee Shook Off the Rust" from Politico

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "How Milwaukee Shook Off the Rust" from Politico

The drive into Milwaukee once offered a sweeping vista of the American industrial apocalypse. 

Abandoned factories and decaying smokestacks cast shadows over rusting rail yards, weed-choked lots, heaps of junked automobiles and small mountains of sand, coal and salt. The odor from the slaughterhouses, a massive coal-fired power plant and, especially, a yeast factory wafted up to the traffic, while waste from a century and a half of tanning leather, pouring steel and butchering beasts seeped into the river below. Once the beating heart of this great industrial city, the Menomonee River Valley had become, in the words of a mid-1980s Milwaukee Journal reporter, “an ugly, rust-colored lesion on the city’s midsection.”

Fast-forward two decades and Wisconsin’s most visible eyesore is barely recognizable. Down in the valley floor—four miles long and a half-mile wide—cyclists spin down the Hank Aaron State Trail, while elementary school classes watch great blue herons pick their way through the marshes. Salmon and steelhead trout run up the river in fall and spring respectively. Kids play on soccer fields, while adults play games of chance in the Potawatomi tribe’s $450 million casino, its 21-story tall glass and steel hotel tower looking down on rebuilt streets, viaducts and landscaping and the $75 million Harley-Davidson Museum, now one of the city’s biggest tourist attractions.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/08/milwaukee-what-works-industrial-clean-up-214174

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Indianapolis hosts Vonnegut festivals, premiere of his opera" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Indianapolis hosts Vonnegut festivals, premiere of his opera" from the Chicago Tribune

Two festivals and the world premiere of an opera that Kurt Vonnegut finished shortly before his death will celebrate the writer's legacy this fall in his hometown, Indianapolis.

"Happy Birthday, Wanda June," based on Vonnegut's play by the same name, will be performed for the first time Sept. 16-18. The opera will be staged right after the Vonnegut's World festival, Sept. 7-14.

The Kurt Vonnegut Museum and Library will host events Sept. 26-30 coinciding with the American Library Association's Banned Books Week. Vonnegut's novel "Slaughterhouse-Five" was banned by some schools and communities for its anti-war, anti-establishment themes.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-indianapolis-vonnegut-opera-20160811-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Scenery inspires local artists in Saugatuck, the 'Art Coast of Michigan'" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Scenery inspires local artists in Saugatuck, the 'Art Coast of Michigan'" from the Chicago Tribune

Give an old log to Marcia Perry, and she will create a work of art.

"I'm a sculptor who brings trees back to life," explained Perry, one of many artists who live in or near Saugatuck on Michigan's west coast, a nearly three-hour drive from Chicago.

Our family has made myriad visits over the years to this quaint resort village. We come for the beach, the boating, the unique shops and restaurants. But this time, I wanted to explore what makes this area "The Art Coast of Michigan," where some 35 art galleries inhabit this small town and neighboring Douglas.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-saugatuck-art-galleries-travel-0828-20160812-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Popular Mississippi River cruises offer fresh view of American history" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Popular Mississippi River cruises offer fresh view of American history" from the Chicago Tribune

When it comes to river cruises, most Americans look to Europe for storybook waterways like the Danube, Rhine and Seine. Lots of rivers, lots of ships, lots of itineraries.

But the Mississippi River, right here at home, is getting a fresh look from travelers who want to experience a cruise without having to fly to another continent.

When I cruised on the 436-passenger paddle-wheeler American Queen in July, I had tamped down my expectations. How, after all, could St. Louis compare to Paris? How would rows of high corn and lush green tobacco fields measure up to terraced vineyards that produce some of the world's finest wines? Seriously, grits or gougeres?

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/sc-mississippi-river-cruise-travel-0823-20160815-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Lost cities #8: mystery of Cahokia – why did North America's largest city vanish?" from The Guardian

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Lost cities #8: mystery of Cahokia – why did North America's largest city vanish?" from The Guardian

In its prime, about four centuries before Columbus stumbled on to the western hemisphere, Cahokia was a prosperous pre-American city with a population similar to London’s.

Located in southern Illinois, eight miles from present-day St Louis, it was probably the largest North American city north of Mexico at that time. It had been built by the Mississippians, a group of Native Americans who occupied much of the present-day south-eastern United States, from the Mississippi river to the shores of the Atlantic.

Continued on website.

Link:
https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/aug/17/lost-cities-8-mystery-ahokia-illinois-mississippians-native-americans-vanish

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "3 Midwest state parks make for colorful autumn escape" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "3 Midwest state parks make for colorful autumn escape" from the Chicago Tribune

Summer's heat soon will switch to crisp autumn days, when Midwest leaf-peepers go on alert, watching for the first change to fall colors. Why not witness the unfolding display in the region's state parks where tax dollars support the visitor's experience?

Three fine parks come to mind, each with unusual features tucked among the trees. You might happen upon a lighthouse, a pioneer village or a golf course. Take in a play from a professional theater troupe, learn some Indian lore or hop on a trolley for a tour. One park has a memorial to an astronaut, complete with a space capsule.

 Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/ct-fall-colors-midwest-state-parks-travel-0821-20160805-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Lighthouses shine in new Apostle Islands exhibit" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Lighthouses shine in new Apostle Islands exhibit" from the Chicago Tribune

Aug. 25 marks the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, with a slew of centennial celebrations taking place at Yosemite, the Grand Canyon and other blue-chip properties in the park service's portfolio.

But lesser-known historic sites and monuments maintained by the park service are sharing in the birthday bash. At northern Wisconsin's Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, the centennial is a chance to showcase the area's nine lighthouses — the most within a single National Park Service jurisdiction. Aug. 25 is when a new exhibit about the lighthouses will be rolled out in the recently restored Michigan Island Lighthouse.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/midwest/ct-michigan-island-lighthouse-apostle-travel-0814-20160803-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Cleveland, a city on the rebound" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Cleveland, a city on the rebound" from the Chicago Tribune

Here's what Cleveland residents want you to know:

"Enough with the jokes! The Mistake on the Lake is so 1900s. This is LeBron's town now. And the Cuyahoga River hasn't caught fire since 1969. Give it a rest!"

With the eyes of the world on what promises to be a boisterous Republican National Convention July 18-21, Cleveland is dusting off its good suit and rolling out the welcome mat.

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/midwest/ct-cleveland-ohio-rnc-travel-0710-20160627-story.html

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Seeds of Change bear fruit in Fort Wayne, IN" from the Chicago Tribune

Great Lakes and Upper South in the News: "Seeds of Change bear fruit in Fort Wayne, IN" from the Chicago Tribune

"No, that's not a typographical error. This will not be a story about Fort Lauderdale or Fort McHenry. And after reading this, there's almost no chance you'll be booking a weeklong vacation here, unless you're a genealogist, and probably not even then.

But still ...

Fort Wayne, Indiana's second-largest city at about 250,000, might be the Midwest's best-kept secret — and there's at least one reason."

Continued on website.

Link:
http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/travel/midwest/ct-fort-wayne-indiana-tincaps-travel-0731-20160718-story.html