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The fact that mustachioed Jack from Jack's Wholesale Windows is now dressed like a cowboy in his Halloween ads didn't help you decide?

On TV? Mine is still unplugged.

In a similar vein, last week I was headed home from the A/P volunteer stint, and talked with a couple from Jenison who had come DT to check things out.

They do not get the paper.

They don't listen to the radio.

They don't watch TV news (DVD movies only).

She takes an evening art class DT and her instructor happened to mention ArtPrize.

In a stroke of genius, they had brought bikes, so I sent them to some of the outdoor after-hours installations.

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I believe it's one of the largest butterfly blooms in the country. The Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha opened a butterfly exhibit in one of their zoo renovations 3 or 4 years ago, but it's only 1/3 to 1/2

The Wealthy Market has started to carry a selection of groceries.

Free spring bulbs, you pick up A local wholesale grower gets rid of unsold product (think Easter and Mother's Day) by transporting the pots to a nearby compost-pile-to-be. One of my neighbors pas

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Grand Rapids is changing from "Crane City" to "Park City" with a lot of development winding down and parks being built and renovated. We have Millennium Park, Crescent Park and the new Cherry Street "Pocket Park" getting a lot of attention. :)

Took more photos of Crescent Park yesterday.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/johne777

~John

There's also a nice "Landscape Garden Feature" in the new Bazzani Eastown development.

3939700786_022b6706e4_o.jpg

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Why has no one been able to replicate Panera Bread in GR on a local scale? Maybe Marie Catrib's? Panera's all over are ALWAYS busy, always.

They've talked about it. I don't know how serious they were, though. They've also talked about some other ideas for expanding the business. I'm not sure how far I want to go into why I think they haven't--it's been pretty long since I had a front-row seat, and I have a certain, um, viewpoint that may color things, so I'm not sure it'd be fair for me to speculate beyond a guess.

My guess is, though: just a lack of financing (this is a recession, after all) and more importantly a lack of time to coordinate and set things up, considering them always needing to have their eyes on the ball at the one restaurant they do have.

:scared:

Edited by nurfle!
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They've talked about it. I don't know how serious they were, though. They've also talked about some other ideas for expanding the business. I'm not sure how far I want to go into why I think they haven't--it's been pretty long since I had a front-row seat, and I have a certain, um, viewpoint that may color things, so I'm not sure it'd be fair for me to speculate beyond a guess.

My guess is, though: just a lack of financing (this is a recession, after all) and more importantly a lack of time to coordinate and set things up, considering them always needing to have their eyes on the ball at the one restaurant they do have.

:scared:

No problem. I was just throwing their name out there because they always seem to be busy when they are open, even during non-traditional "meal hours." Panera's success probably has more to do with the exact right mix of atmosphere, menu items, and picking just the right street corners (demographics). And they appeal to families (especially women), business people/meetings, and even people using them as a coffee shop/wi-fi hangout.

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As far as soup/sandwich combo type thing, I always think of Cherry Deli as my "local and better Panera". They kinda have two places now (although I haven't been 4th Street). Not quite the same atmosphere as Panera, though but cool in it's own way. I always thought a local Panera type place is needed on the ground floor of the new "Spout/Windquest/DeVos" building they're renovating. Seems like a perfect place for something like that.

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No problem. I was just throwing their name out there because they always seem to be busy when they are open, even during non-traditional "meal hours." Panera's success probably has more to do with the exact right mix of atmosphere, menu items, and picking just the right street corners (demographics). And they appeal to families (especially women), business people/meetings, and even people using them as a coffee shop/wi-fi hangout.

Plus being a nationally recognized brand doesn't hurt. What brought this up? Have you noticed good local bakery chains in other cities?

Edited by RegalTDP
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Plus being a nationally recognized brand doesn't hurt. What brought this up? Have you noticed local bakery chains in other cities?

I think that Panera can attribute a good amount of success to having been the good kind of choosy with their franchisees. Trigo must have a mad good management team, from what I've gathered.

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[rant]

House numbers can be an attractive and stylish design element. They can be added to historic properties without a permit. Best to attach to the wall near the front door, or another location where they would be illuminated by a porch light.

A moment's reflection will make clear why it's important to ID your assigned street address, whether it's a pizza delivery or an ambulance, for your home or a neighbor's.

[/rant]

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I did pizza delivery ONCE. The woman did not have clear numbers on her home and threw a fit when I drove past it. (None of the immediate neighbours had numbers either, and she was at the end of a cul-de-sac with the street name continuing just beyond.)

Numbers are GOOD. Especially when near a mailbox or some sort.

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I did pizza delivery ONCE. The woman did not have clear numbers on her home and threw a fit when I drove past it. (None of the immediate neighbours had numbers either, and she was at the end of a cul-de-sac with the street name continuing just beyond.)

Numbers are GOOD. Especially when near a mailbox or some sort.

Sometimes they've fallen for the design goof of a script number.

Thirty-thousand and one instead of 30001

Edited by Veloise
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Saw this hilarious 'news' story and figured you folks would enjoy...

http://www.thenewstribune.com/topstories/story/1006570.html?story_link=email_msg

Christmas Day Q & A: Santa considering relocation

Merry Christmas: North Pole official takes time to discuss rumors

Sunny Torvaldson, age 212, is executive director of the North Pole Economic and Community Development Office. Since taking the job in 1872, Torvaldson has weathered many a storm, including the blizzard of 1950, which delayed Santa’s departure by three hours.

In her years of community development, Torvaldson has recruited several small businesses to the Pole and was instrumental in the placement of a Starbucks inside the workshop.

The most pressing and immediate issue facing Torvaldson and the citizens of the North Pole, according to press reports, is Santa’s pending decision to possibly relocate his headquarters.

The News Tribune met with Torvaldson earlier this week at her office on Candy Cane Lane.

So Santa is contemplating moving his operation out of the North Pole?

Yes, that’s what we have heard. He has not responded directly to our inquiries, but we have heard that he is concerned about competing for and recruiting talent. He has also complained about the lack of parking around the workshop.

What is the development office doing to ensure the workshop stays here?

We’re speaking with some local banks and our legislators to build a $23.8 billion incentive package. We’ll build a new workshop where the reindeer stables are now, and we’re prepared to offer a 300-year lease.

Have you received any response?

We are confident that our offer will outshine anything Santa might be hearing from Iceland. Granted, that’s a more cosmopolitan locale, what with its swanky ice hotels and parties with Bjork, but please, be real. All their offer really comes down to is nothing more than a bucket of peppermint sticks and a discount on hay for the reindeer.

One of Santa’s concerns is room to expand the workshop. Are you working on anything that might help?

One of our local investors, Erivan Haub, has hired designers to develop some land he owns over by the unmarried-elf dormitory. It would either be a new workshop altogether or an adjunct to what we have now. There are several possibilities.

If Santa does leave, what kind of contingencies do you have in place for the survival of the North Pole as a viable economic center?

I don’t want to consider that, but if it happened it could be a real opportunity to recruit some new businesses. We have already received several inquiries that I am not at liberty to discuss.

What kind of businesses? Can you offer any detail?

Let’s just say we could be the call-center capital of the Northern Hemisphere. In fact, some gnomes have already opened customer-service centers for Expedia, Hewlett-Packard and Fruitcake Emporium.

Looking ahead, how do you see the recession playing out at the North Pole.

First, let me assure all of the children of the world that Santa will be making his rounds as usual on Christmas Eve. There is nothing to worry about.

Still, there have been layoffs and some of the elves have volunteered for furloughs. Unemployment is hovering at 0.2 percent, an all-time high, and I’ve heard that the managers at the workshop have lowered the heat a few degrees to save money.

How has global warming affected your plans for the future?

We had a seat at the conference in Copenhagen earlier this month. We were one of the first to sign the Kyoto Accords. There’s no question that we want to keep the ice cap, but worst case – we form a port district and build a container facility.

Back to the proposed move. I’m wondering if...

Actually, I don’t mean to correct you, but there is no real proposal that the workshop will be moved. As far as I know, it’s only a rumor.

Fine. Back to the rumor. Doesn’t it seem a bit odd to you that such a firmly grounded institution would consider leaving the North Pole?

I’m glad you asked. Santa’s workshop has been headquartered at the Pole for as long as anybody here can remember, and some of the older elves have very long memories. But ever since Hickory Farms made an offer to buy the workshop in 2003, there has been talk. Santa decided than that he didn’t want to become a subsidiary of a cheese factory. I do believe much of his decision, whatever it is, will be based on his respect for tradition and his desire to honor the beliefs of good little girls and boys across the globe.

Still, I recognize that we live in a changing world. The NPECDO stands ready to assist in any way.

All the workshop discussion aside, what else is your office working on?

There’s the sleigh museum – they were supposed to break ground 84 years ago but construction has been delayed. Mrs. Claus is leading the fight to attract a grocery store in the urban core, and all the elves are hoping for a Trader Joe’s. There’s word that McMenamins is interested in developing one of Santa’s old igloos into a resort-hotel. I’m optimistic, whatever the future might actually bring.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with us.

Glad to do it, and by the way, Merry Christmas to all.

Edited by jbr12
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Love this article about Pedestrianism in the Sacramento Bee:

In 1951, Ray Bradbury published a short story, "The Pedestrian," set in a totalitarian world circa 2050, in which no one walks the streets for pleasure or purpose.No one except the story's titular hero, Mr. Leonard Mead. He strolls the sidewalks in early evening, looking into windows with only "the faintest glimmers of firefly light" – the flicker of prime-time television. To be ambulatory in such a milieu draws suspicion and, eventually, the police.

"What are you out doing?" the police ask Mead.

"Walking."

"Walking where? For what?"

"Walking for air. Walking to see."

The man ends up in the "Psychiatric Center for Research on Regressive Tendencies."

This is the stuff of fanciful fiction, Bradbury's dystopian musings. It could never really happen, right?

And yet …

In July, Long Branch, N.J., police answered a call about a suspicious-looking person walking in a suburban neighborhood in a light rain. The man had stopped on the sidewalk to look at a house for sale.

The officer, Kristie Buble, asked the aging pedestrian, his curly salt-and-pepper hair partly covered by a hood, his purpose in the neighborhood.

"Walking," the man said.

She asked his name.

"Bob Dylan."

She asked for identification. He had none. The officer put Dylan, 68, in the back of the squad car and took him back to a nearby hotel parking lot, where the legendary musician's tour buses were parked, so he could present valid ID.

Once Dylan's character was vouched for, police Sgt. Michael Ahart asked him what in the world he was doing roaming city streets hours before his scheduled concert in a nearby town.

"I just felt like going for a walk," Dylan said.

http://www.sacbee.co...ers-on-the.html

Really kind of sums up my love of riding my bicycle around Grand Rapids and one of the reasons I started PedalGR.

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Not sure how many of you view Flickr photos on Flickriver. I really enjoy scrolling through photos tagged grandrapids. A little while back the operator of the site added the feature to see the photo large but when scrolling they went back to normal medium size. He upgraded the site to allow keyboard scrolling in large and fit to screen. He also added Flickr groups along with other features. You can see his post on the new features here:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/flickriver/discuss/72157623934342736/

You can view the grandrapids tagged river of photos here:

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/tags/grandrapids/

The UrbanPlanet.org group is here:

http://www.flickriver.com/groups/urbanplanet/pool/interesting/

or

http://www.flickriver.com/groups/urbanplanet/pool/ for the recent photos

My recent photos are here:

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/johne777/

Choose one of my sets here:

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/johne777/sets/

~John

Working to Restore Our American Republic - ROAR

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Not sure how many of you view Flickr photos...

My recent photos are here:

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/johne777/

Choose one of my sets here:

http://www.flickriver.com/photos/johne777/sets/...

Speaking of which...today at the affordable housing confab, I was discussing UP with an exhibitor, a major construction company based here in town. They asked how they would go about getting permission to use posted photos, and I suggested asking the forumer who did the posting.

So, John, perhaps you will soon get more accolades, etc. for some of yours.

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I think this is worthy of a comment here at the watering hole. PBS now has all their video content with full episodes of every show available on their website. link PBS has absolutely amazing content. AAA Quality. I'm giddy with excitement. Maybe that was an overstatement, but I think i have found my new favorite website. Frontline and Nova are 2 of my favorite shows.

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