NCCA-Artsplace Photography Competition Award Winners
The award winners of the 2017 NCCA-Artsplace Statewide Photography Competition were announced on Saturday, April 29 at the exhibit reception. Photographers and their families and community members waited in anticipation as the first, second, third place winners were announced, as well as the two honorable mention winners.
The competition is an annual event that exhibits and acknowledges some of the finest photographers in the state of Michigan. The exhibit and awards this year were selected by...
By Alexis Mercer
Because this is my first book review for Near North Now, I’ll start with a little background.
I love to read.
My major in college was English for Secondary Education. And with that came a whole lot of reading a wide variety of literature. Some of which I loved. Some of which I despised.
And I’ve always read for pleasure.
There is nothing quite like being transported into a story that is so unlike your own life and yet being able to feel the characters and feel alive in the scene.
Having children meant a long pause in my ability to read books in a ravenous fashion. Though I did get to rediscover my love for children’s literature and all the magic that comes in those pages.
But this last year I joined a book club.
Yup, a book club. It’s small. Only five of us. And I’d like to think this isn’t your mom’s book club. We are a tight group and usually talk more about social issues than books.
Just this act of joining the book club, however, has led to my reading for pleasure increasing to a level I don’t remember ever attaining.
And I love it. I’ll often read two or three novels in addition to the monthly suggestion from my friends.
Hence the title I am reviewing today. The book for May is in the mail (Amazon Prime couldn’t come through for me on this one...weird, I know.) so I picked up a book that has been on my bedside table for a few months.
The Runaway Wife by Elizabeth Birkelund.
I got a few strange looks from my husband as I buried myself in the book so If you’re going to read this title and you’re married, be sure to let your spouse know that it is not a self-help book.
It’s fiction. A wonderful, enchanting, enthralling piece of fiction I finished in two days despite having a job, three kids, a husband, a dog, and eating three square meals a day.
It was just that good.
My second warning before you read the book is to prepare yourself for the wanderlust that will follow.
The main character, John Olsen, was recently fired from his job in New York in the world of finance. So he and his friend, Ambrose, from Paris, set out on what is supposed to be a short adventure in the Swiss Alps.
On their first night at a lodge in the mountains, they meet three sisters who are searching for their mother, who has disappeared somewhere in the mountain range.
What follows is a tale of Olsen setting off on his own to find Calliope Castellane, the mother of the women he met that first night, in a search that soon finds him well over his head.
Birkelund weaves a beautiful tale of finding oneself in an unfamiliar setting, far from comfort.
Thanks to the imagery of the words on the pages I found myself longing to hike.
I craved the solidarity and fresh reality of nature, far from the hustle and bustle of daily routine.
So once you’ve prepared yourself mentally for the wanderlust that you’ll inevitably experience?
Pick up this novel and enjoy the magic of the story.
MJ Meets: Runway On The Rapids
By Mollie Jo Swendrowski
Last Friday the Runway on the Rapids event took place at the J.W. Marriott in downtown Grand Rapids. I was lucky enough to be asked to attend and write a piece on it. However, before I get to that I have a story about fate and how everything happens for a reason.
But then Friday came along and I absolutely did not want to go. I worked all day, I was tired, I did not want to dress up, and certainly did not want to drive to Grand Rapids.
Of course I did all of this anyways. I left work (still tired) and got dressed (begrudgingly). I was supposed to take my mom’s car so I wouldn’t have to use my own gas (thanks Mom!) but was in a rush to leave and forgot and hopped into my trusty blue Saturn Ion that I lovingly refer to as Dory.
Now, Dory is not a young lass, but she still has lots of life left. But as is the case when anything gets older...
The Suggestion Box-Weekend Stuff To Do
By N3 Entertainment Squad
Admittedly there arrives the occasional weekend when not a lot seems to be going on in our parts. Oh, there might be a bit of music here and there and a couple of fundraisers or celebrations among various groups, however things can sometimes get a little quiet particularly in the early months of the year folks have perhaps pulled in a little.
We at N3 World Headquarters and Seawall Fish Depository are more than aware of how things begin to get a bit busier this time of year. It is after all the last weekend of April giving way to those promised May flowers and inching us closer to the magic of summertime in the Mitten.
This weekend brings days filled with activities throughout...
Twin Mandolin Slingers perform at the Dogwood Center on May 13
Award-winning duo Brian Oberlin and Evan J. Marshall, the “Twin Mandolin Slingers,” will perform at the Dogwood Center on Saturday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m. in the Black Box.
Mandolinists Marshall and Oberlin have been playing concerts together since 2012. Both being a rare breed of solo mandolin performers, each musician plays his own short set and then they team up at the end playing spellbinding arrangements for two mandolins including The William Tell Overture, Sabre Dance, Mantello e Cilindro, and many American folk songs. The duo released...
Review: Fremont High School Presents “Grease”
By Mike Gesler
Photos by Mike Gesler
In high schools across the county, the rites of spring include spring sports, the SAT test, proms, and the end of the school year and commencement exercises.
But to budding thespians, spring means one thing; a chance to showcase their talents in the time honored tradition of the high school musical. This spring, Fremont High School under the direction of Shayn Doran is taking the audience back to the 1950s and the days of greasers and hot rod car clubs, poodle skirts and sock hops in their production of Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey’s musical “Grease.”
I was honored to get a sneak peak of this wonderful production before it opened. From the very start, I knew I was in for a treat. “Grease” tells the tale of a group of senior students from Rydell High School. At the heart of the story is...
Home & Garden Show Images
The River Country Chamber’s Annual Home & Garden Show last Saturday brought the community out in droves to take part in the workshops, check out the products and services available in our area, and gather some ideas for home improvement.
The Suggestion Box
By N3 Entertainment Squad
Ok folks, there are two great events Friday night but our hunch at N3 World Headquarters (now located somewhere on the road back from Mississippi) is that they are diverse enough to perhaps not be in conflict with each other.
The Dogwood Center is the site of the 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour beginning at 7pm. If you like fly fishing, know someone who likes fly fishing, think you might like fly fishing or just enjoy really incredible films showing...
Megan Again: Dead Skunks, Sunshine and Daffodils
By Megan Wirts
I have a love/hate relationship with spring.
I love it because it isn’t winter and I hate it because it isn’t summer. It’s not terrible, in fact it’s quite delightful most of the time, it’s just not my favorite. There are things about this time of year that make me feel as happy as a toddler does when they find a piece of candy in a plastic egg on Easter Sunday, but there are also parts of it that make me want to shut my blinds and hide out for another two months.
A friend of mine described spring as, “waking up” and my response...
Runway On The Rapids To Benefit MS Program
By Mollie Jo Swendrowski
“High fashion” are not generally words associated with West Michigan.
Not that we aren’t stylish people, however it’s safe to say that most people would connect high fashion with places like New York City and Paris.
Every spring for the past five years there has been a high fashion show that takes place in Grand Rapids to benefit a wonderful cause: the Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Program at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences.
The event started when current patient and former hairdresser in the MS program at Mercy Health, Kim VanOeffelen, wanted to...
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