This weekend I accompanied my wife Natalie to the Midwest Archives Conference (MAC) in Grand Rapids, MI. Despite having a close friend graduate from the Kendall College of Art and Design and often visiting nearby Kalamazoo, I’ve never spent more than a few hours in “The Furniture City.”
We stayed in the historic Pantlind wing of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel. I felt a bit like Royal Tenenbaum, working out of our hotel room in my slippers while Natalie attended various lectures and workshops.
Left: Any excuse to break out our trusty Barbour umbrella. Right: A view from the Grand River Promenade skyway.
While many of the MAC topics were too industry-specific for me to feel like I was missing out, I wish I had sat in on the discussion of the New York Public Library’s Stereogranimator, an online tool that allows users to create animated GIFs and 3D Anaglyphs out of the library’s collection of over 40,000 stereographs, like those seen below.
After hours, we had the opportunity to explore a bit of the city. We hit the taproom at Founders Brewing Company and enjoyed a great meal at nearby Reserve. We were impressed to find that Reserve actually employs a “forager” to search out ingredients for their recipes, like the wild ginger used in their apple pie. And by forage, they don’t mean head to the local farmer’s market—this person literally walks into the woods and walks out with various edible botanicals.
We ended the weekend with a trip west to Holland, MI, where we made a stop at another microbrewery. But we weren’t at New Holland Brewing Co. for their beer, rather to pick up a bottle of their Knickerbocker gin on the recommendation of one of Natalie’s colleagues. From there it was off to spend an evening at our family’s lake house, because no trip to the west side of the state is complete without seeing some water.
Left: Public kinetic sculpture in Holland, MI. Right: A view of Reynolds Lake.