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/