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Posts Tagged ‘Detroit’

September 8, 2014

Detroit Institute of Arts Museum

Hello, hello! I hope your Monday and week is going well so far.

This weekend passed at the regular warp speed most of them do, and somehow we went from full blown hot summer days to cool fall feeling nights. I swear, Michigan will make up it’s mind one of these days.

Actually, I don’t. After living here for just shy of two years, I have learned that the weather here is c-razy and disappointingly unpredictable. Always expect the unexpected.

Anyways, today I am delighted to share a fun and cultured outing Scott and I embarked on with some friends last Friday.

Detroit Institute of Arts Museum

Any Michigan local is familiar with the term DIA. The Detroit Institute of Arts Museum is located in Midtown, Detroit and has “one of the largest, most significant art collections in the United States,” according to Wikipedia.

Since I had no idea just how impressive this museum was, I’ll continue… “In 2003, the DIA ranked as the second largest municipally owned museum in the United States, with an art collection valued at more than one billion dollars” with over one hundred galleries.

The architecture is notable, but sadly, I was unable to capture a picture of the outside since it was dark and raining heavily when we walked in. I’ll also spare you the pictures of me looking like a wet cat.

As Oakland County residents, we were granted free admission and headed straight to the cafe. With the same friends (Alex and Alex), I visited the same cafe (Kresage Court) we stopped by on my birthday weekend.

DIA cafe kresage court

The ambiance at night turns into more of a social hour and we would have loved to have grabbed a hot beverage and relaxed for a bit after dodging the rain outside. But, with our late arrival of 8:30 p.m., we only had an hour and a half to explore the art.

After a quick lap to show Scott a neat place to return, we headed over to the main hall. I noticed the detail on the ceilings right away.

DIA ceilings detroit

The rest of the hall was lined with medieval knight armour displays, which was quite interesting to study. Right around the corner, we saw a group hurrying over to the concert hall. You can hear live music played throughout the museum every Friday night!

DIA concert hall

You also might notice the famous mural on the walls. This area of the museum is called Rivera Court, after the artist Diego Rivera who completed the twenty-seven panels of work in just eleven months!

The most famous piece covers both the North and South walls and is labeled “The Factory” after the manufacturing process of the automobile industry. With the home of Ford so close, it is a very well known and respected piece throughout the country!

With limited time, we weren’t able to explore the entire museum but tried to hit most of the highlights. My favorite part was seeing the originals of famous paintings casually pop up in the galleries.

famous art at the DIA picasso, van gogh

(The works of Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, and Pablo Picasso.)

No big deal.

And hey, check out the self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh himself! Since it was our first visit into the art of the DIA, Scott and I kept gawking over being able to see the art we grew up learning about in our school books right here in front of us.

Vincent Van Gogh self portrait DIA

Most (if not all) of the originals are lined with a non-reflective layer of glass that was almost impossible to spot. Over and over, I leaned in as close as possible to try and spot it, and always got a little excited when I found one. That had to mean the painting was extra valuable, right?

looking at art at the DIA

Both Alexs’ served as our museum tour guides, since they both grew up near the area making frequent visits. We checked out early American artifacts and remakes of colonial housing.

DIA home exhibit

I couldn’t get over seeing pieces from Paul Revere’s silver inventory. As in the famous “Midnight Ride” Paul Revere.

paul revere silversmith DIA

Seeing pieces stamped with “Revere” took me right back to visiting his house in Boston last year. So cool!

Slowly, we made our way through most of the wings and ended our time in the Modern room. Staying true to most modern art (in my opinion), some pieces blew my mind with creativity and some I just didn’t get.

DIA modern exhibit

I have a feeling this was Scott’s favorite part of the museum with all of the bright colors and abstract art.

DIA modern art

Before we got into the next room, we came face-to-face with Andy Warhol!

andy warhol self portrait DIA

That was really neat to see.

As we heard the museum would be closing on the overhead speakers, we hurried through a couple more rooms and plan to revisit again soon.

DIA stained glass

DIA mural ceiling

DIA glass art

DIA interesting art

Weekend by weekend, I joke that our friends are on a mission to show us around the “good” of Detroit and help make us feel more at home. We have yet to be disappointed by anywhere they take us!


The rest of the weekend involved the regular routine of cleaning, studying and running. I start my half-marathon training today and feel great after my pre-training timed 10K distance on Saturday.

10K pace pretraining

Scott and I made a return to the box office that night and saw If I Stay.

If I Stay movie

It was a great movie (actually better than I expected it to be!), but if you see it make sure to bring plenty of tissues. I was balling like a baby.

After church yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon with my main man. Roadie has been extra needy and clingy lately, so I took him for a long three mile walk followed by some play and toy time.

Roadie and I on our walk

I think he can sense that the cooler weather is approaching and that our time on the trails won’t last forever.

For now, we have been enjoying them as much as possible!

trail walk

Alex is coming over later today to work on something I’m excited to share more about next weekend, but first we all plan to knock out Day One of training.  I will be sure to check in at the end of the week to let you know how it’s going.

Happy Monday, hope it’s marvelous!

September 2, 2014

Arts, Beats, and Eats 2014

Hi friends! After a long and busy four-day weekend followed by a night and morning of cleaning and gearing up for the week, I am here to share our whereabouts and highlights of it all.

Spending eighty percent of our time in Downtown Royal Oak, I am slowly getting back into the groove of a normal day of working at home again. Kind of. (Are any of you struggling at work today?)

But enough about that. Here’s what went down over the weekend!

Arts, Beats, and Eats 2014

Arts Beats and Eats is considered to be Oakland County’s favorite summer festival celebrating art, music, cuisine, and humanity. It’s certainly ours!

Arts Beats and Eats Labor Day 2014

Falling on Labor Day weekend this year, the four-day festival featured hundreds of local artists and shows, ten music stages with over two hundred live performances, and specialty areas like the deaf arts festival, carnival, and kids zone.

Deaf Arts Festival Arts Beats Eats

Arts Beats and Eats carnival and music stage

Correctly labeled, this festival is one of the biggest I have been to and features the best in the area when it comes to seeing, hearing, and tasting what is great in the Metro Detroit area.

Located in the heart of Royal Oak, I always enjoy walking the surrounding streets to find new places to check out and bookmark for later. On our breaks from working our corner in NBA Nation, we admired the arts.

Arts Beats and Eats Art

Stayed after hours for the beats of popular bands.

Arts Beats and Eats Michigan Lottery Stage

And consumed our fair share of eats!

Bozii at arts eats and beats

Bozii chipotle chicken at arts eats and beats

arts beats and eats food loaded corn on the cobb

(That loaded corn on the cobb WILL be re-created at home!)

Baja Smoothies at arts beats and eats

We spent the majority of our time, however, on the courts with NBA Nation.

NBA Nation Arts Beats and Eats 2014

NBA Nation Detroit Pistons entertainment teams

Last year, the Detroit Pistons had a booth and area for entertainment, but this year surged with activities and exhibits specifically centered around teams and players from all over the NBA.

I tested my high jump (nothing impressive), compared my shoe size to the giants in the league, and measured my wingspan!

NBA Nation wingspan test

NBA player shoe size exhibit

Feeling extra short, we went to the back and tried our best to shoot the 18 and 25 foot baskets. Scott made his in and I gave my best attempt with the granny shot style.

NBA Nation hoops at Arts Beats and Eats

Throughout the weekend, almost all of our entertainment teams made an appearance. I specifically helped out with the Flight Crew dunk shows and our crazy horse of a mascot, HOOPER.

HOOPER with detroit sports 105.1 knockouts

He can’t always be trusted to stay in line, ya know.HOOPER on the basketball backboard NBA Nation

Between the events, I got to hang with a few familiar faces I miss seeing on an every day basis.

arts beats and eats NBA Nation Nichole

(Oh hey, Nichole!)

Scott kept busy at the booth and helped out wherever he could. The two of us left the festival completely wiped each day… except for Saturday.

friends in royal oak

We caught a second wind and joined some friends for late night beats and eats of our own, then went back to the festival to catch the tail end of Third Eye Blind!

Third Eye Blind concert Arts Beats and Eats Detroit

They started an hour later than planned, played a lot of current music not a lot of people recognized, but it still proved to be a blast.

I would be lying if I said I wasn’t obnoxiously jamming out to How’s It Gonna Be on their double encore. But really, that was to be expected.

Yesterday was our shortest day on the courts, so Scott and I took the rest of our late afternoon to walk the festival. We saw art we would love to buy for our imaginary foyer in our one-day dream house, treats like homemade fudge, and almost anything you can imagine fried on a stick.

Detroit Lions Drumline Arts Beats and Eats

Taking a break from the crowds, we ran out of tickets and had our last meal of the weekend at a local restaurant while listening to the beats of the Detroit Lions drumline followed by a nearby local artist on stage. We were pooped, so it was a great way to enjoy the experience while taking a couple of minutes out of it.

ferris wheel arts beats and eats

Another year of AB&E is in the books and it was fun to be a part of it over the past two of them. We had our admissions covered, but for those of you who are near the area and are interested in attending next year it’s definitely worth the $5 entry fee.

Arts Beats and Eats Royal Oak 2014

You then, of course, have to factor in parking, and ticket purchases to use on food and such, but overall the experience is well worth the investment. Hope to see you there next year!

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