Is Fall Color Tourism Recession-Proof?

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
-Robert Frost, 1923

Brilliant hues of green turning to gold are already in evidence among the trees that line Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive.

Just across the lake, in Michigan, early October means the waterfront is quiet. About 200 steps from the lake, along a tree-lined, sandy path, you’ll find yourself at The Inn at Union Pier.

Mid-week is quiet inside the inn, but owner Bill Jann is busy answering phones with people wanting to book rooms for the coming weekends.

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Chevy Cruze: Loaded With Expectations

By now, you’ve probably heard of the Chevrolet Volt. That plug-in hybrid has been promoted for years as a sign that General Motors can still innovate, despite going through bankruptcy.  But as much as that car is trying to change GM’s image, there’s another car entering showrooms right now that could prove much more important for the company and our region. Dan Bobkoff of our Changing Gears team takes a look at the importance of the Chevy Cruze and whether it stands a chance.

2011 Chevrolet Cruze RS
Photo: GM

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ArtPrize Decorates the Grand Rapids Economy

UPDATE: The ArtPrize winners were announced, and the winner is Chris LaPorte for his pencil on paper work entitled “Cavalry, American Officers, 1921”.  He wrote of the work:

Art Prize 2010 winner
“Many marks make up the drawing. Many men make up the regiment. Many lines make up the face…. This drawing is both a representation of the people, their legacy and the countless organization of pencil marks that make up a composition. It is about the process of drawing, and also a portrait of these men who must have survived horrific events to preserve what we experience today.”

You can check out all the winners here.

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It’s Here! The Changing Gears Podcast

You’ve heard Changing Gears on our partners WBEZ, Michigan Radio and ideastream. Now, here’s the Changing Gears podcast. 0001NQ

In our inaugural episode, Changing Gears senior editor Micki Maynard talks with Chicago reporter Niala Boodhoo about the team’s opening story, The Film Factory. It looks at the competition between Chicago, Michigan and Cleveland to attract movie crews — and the pitfalls this might present. Then, Maynard talks to Ann Arbor reporter Kate Davidson about her story called Reversal of Fortune, which sparked a lively debate among Changing Gears listeners.

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Another thriller on the way for Chicago?

First we had Shia, now we can look forward to Matt, Kate, Gwen and more…

Our first Changing Gears story was about the “Film Factory” – a look at what states put in – and what economic gains come from – Hollywood movies like Transformers 3, which was shot over the summer in Chicago.

The Chicago Tribune is reporting today that location scouts for another aspiring blockbuster – the action-thriller “Contagion” – have filed permits to film at least parts of the movie in Wilmette. According to the story, the permit is looking at three locations in the North Shore suburb: Central School, 910 Central Ave.; a home in the 600 block of Greenleaf Avenue; and the Wm. H. Scott Funeral Home, 1100 Greenleaf Ave.

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Reinvention Recipes: Manhattans, Two Ways

At Changing Gears, we want our Great Lakes region to be known as much for its food as the South, the New England States or the Pacific Northwest. To make that happen, we’ve asked chefs and food purveyors from across the region to give us their Reinvention Recipes — fresh twists on previous classics. This week, it’s Zingerman’s Roadhouse of Ann Arbor, Mich. Continue reading “Reinvention Recipes: Manhattans, Two Ways”

This Week From Changing Gears: Cars, Color and Cocktails

The 2011 model year is underway. So is fall. And it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere.

This week, Changing Gears’ Cleveland reporter Dan Bobkoff gets behind the wheel of the new Chevrolet Cruze. It’s more than just a car: it may be a lifeline for General Motors, Michigan, and Ohio. It also faces some stiff competition from another company whose manufacturing operations are based in our region: Honda.

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