On Saturday, I went to visit a friend who lives in Grand Rapids, MI, which is about two hours north of where I live. He told me to bring something nice to wear, which I did, and was surprised by tickets to see the Grand Rapids Symphony! The theme of the concert was “Scottish Visions” and featured a wonderful guest performer – Evelyn Glennie. Ms. Glennie is an amazing performer and percussionist and what makes it so incredible to watch is that she suffered a profound loss of hearing at the age of 12. If you click on the “Scottish Visions” link you can listen to her talk about how music can be perceived with much more of your body than just your ears. It was interesting to watch that in many ways, she was indirectly leading the musicians by providing cues to the director, who was in turn leading the symphony and it all fit together just right. There’s a short sound clip of the performance that you can listen to, and if you go to her web page link, there is much more to hear and learn about her. There are also some links on You Tube. She is an amazing musician and performer and the experience was something that I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
My friend suggested that we go get a drink and talk after we left the show and he took me to a bar called the Kopper Top. This was a cozy little spot to sit and talk. The place was totally decked out for Valentines Day with fun paper hearts and all shades of pink and red covering the walls.. Strings of red lights everywhere. I am told that they do this for every holiday and that its always over the top. We only ordered drinks, but the service was good. We stayed there and talked until they kicked us out. 🙂
The following morning we went out to breakfast, then my friend took me to the Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park. The grounds host a permanent sculpture collection. We walked around in the snow and saw some pretty interesting things before the cold and the wind forced us back indoors:
I wish I could credit the artists for these pieces….
There was much more to see, but for me, it’ll have to be on a nice spring or summer day where you can take your time and not worry about slipping on the snow and ice or wonder when your fingers might actually be warm enough again to work properly. 🙂
The main building on the grounds has a nice cafe and lots of interior artwork that was fun to look at. I was particularly interested in the floor of the building which is a work of art in itself. The floor has bronze inlays everywhere with plant and leaf themes and is named Beneath the Leafy Crown by Michele Oka Doner. I took lots of pictures of the floor, but due to odd lighting and the inadequecies of the camera on my phone, this was the only shot that turned out well enough to post:
There were interior tropical gardens that were lush and green (and warm!) that we looked at too. I really liked the plants in this picture, and the train tracks shown were very extensive and as we walked along we would find the train tracks going over our heads.
I really enjoyed the time spent at this place and hope to go back again when the gardens outside are flourishing. The park also features what looks would be a nice childrens play area and an outdoor band shell.
(Note to self: Start carrying a real camera with you so that you can get better shots when you unexpectedly end up at a really neat spot.)
All in all a wonderful weekend with a wonderful new friend.