PPNA Happenings

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Archive for the ‘Local Shopping’ Category

What is That? Gallery of Fine Art is offering Classes

Posted by ppna on February 11, 2009

The super fine folks at the What is That? Gallery are going to be offering quite a few classes and other programs starting soon. Below you will find a list of the class offerings and the flyer talking about other programs including Girl Scout Badge Classes, Creative Birthday Parties, and Paint your own Ceramics.

As Always Support Local Businesses Anyway you can — even if it is just letting others know.


what is that flyer

Studio Classes

What is That Gallery 734-485-0113, whatisthatllc@att.net

Spring Session, 6 weeks

March 2-April 16

No classes April 6-11 for Spring Break

Youth Classes

Clay for Home School Students (6-12 years)

Mondays 10:30-11:45 am, Cost $102/session; Lab fee $15

This exciting course is designed for homeschooled children. Students will enjoy

learning new skills, and discovering techniques to hand build clay projects. Through

pinch pot and coil forms, as well as slab construction, children will be challenged and

delighted while using their creativity. All work will be created in the studio with

underglazes applied by the student. Lab fee covers all materials and firing.

Clay after School

Mondays (9-12 yrs) 4:30-5:45 pm, Cost $102/session; Lab fee $15

Thursdays (6-8 yrs) 4:30-5:45 pm, Cost $102/session; Lab fee $15

Students will work with their hands and imaginations to discover the magical

qualities of clay. They will explore texture, build skills, and bring home wonderful

creations. Pinch, coil, slab, applique and carving demonstrations will be followed

by studio time to create with all the techniques. This class focuses on hand building

& does not include work on the wheel. Students will discover unending possibilities

of creating with hand built clay. Lab fee covers all materials and firing

Youth Theatre Design (9-12 years)

Tuesdays 4:30-5:30 pm, Cost $102/session

This class will focus on the creative, visual arts of theatre. When people think of

theatre, so often they think of the spotlight and the actors. But behind the scenes are

strong creative forces and opportunities. We’ll explore the art of costume, scenic,

prop and makeup design (this does not include sewing). Students will also learn

fundamentals of drawing (persective, shading, composition) which is the foundation

for theatre and all other visual arts.

Creative Experiences for the Young (6-8 years)

Wednesdays 4:30-5:30 pm, Cost $102/session

This class is a high energy art class, designed to bring together many types of art.

The students are challenged and excited to experience creativity through books,

movement, pattern, group work and individual expression. Students will build a

deeper understanding of art and a greater appreciation of the creative self.

Together, we’ll produce works, confidence and fun!

Homeschool art (6-12 years)

Fridays 1030-11:30 am, Cost $102/session

Learn the fundamentals of drawing and painting in a fun, supportive class. This class

is a great way for homeschooling students to experience creativity and art history,

from a professional teaching artist. Students will also find social interaction as a

positive, creative thing. We will work on learning technique basics, study and be

inspired by art styles of the past and also focus on independently inspired projects.

Adventures in Color (6-8 years)

Saturdays 4:30-5:30 pm, Cost $102/session

Students will have fun experimenting with the spectrum of colors. They will create

their own paints and utilize ready made paints. The students with produce their

own works of art with the textures and colors they’ve discovered.

Smock and/or old clothes recommended.

Comic Art (9-12, Teen)

Fridays 4:15-545 pm, Cost $117/session

This class explores the creation, techniques, and subject matter to creating comics and

sequential art. The class includes discussion, in class critiques, studio time, and lessons

aimed at helping beginner students learn the basics of comics as well as add onto any

previous knowledge they may have concerning the medium. Graphic novels, Manga,

and the “comic book” will be covered through some history of comics. A list of

supplies will be available upon registration.

Teen/Adult Classes

Beginning Sewing (Teens/Adults)

Mondays 6:15-7:45 pm, Cost $117/session; Lab fee $15

Students will learn the basics of sewing while making creative projects. This

class will be fun and give the student valuable knowledge that can be used

throughout life. A list of supplies will be available upon registration.

Sewing machine required

Portfolio (Teens/Adults)

Tuesdays 6-8 pm, Cost $156/session

Students will be led through all the fundamentals they need for presenting

professional art work. We will work on printed images of works with appropriate

descritipions, DVD, Jpegs, proper matting and framing for shows, artist statements,

resume, and much more. A list of supplies will be available upon registration.

Watercolor (Adults)

Wednesdays 6-8 pm, Cost $156/session

Students will learn fundamentals of watercoloring painting. All experience levels

are welcome. Learn the basic concepts of value, color mixing, composition and

special tricks and qualities associated with this luminous medium.

A list of supplies will be available upon registration.

Acrylic Painting (Adult)

Thursdays 12-2 pm, Cost $156/session

Thursdays 6-8 pm, Cost $156/session

Students will develop their painting skills and increase their

knowledge and understanding of art. We will focus on finding your

own voice in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere. Learn color mixing, characteristics

of acrylic paint, care of brushes, and much more. Abstract, representational,

imaginative, figurative and still life will be presented.

A list of supplies will be available upon registration.

Ceramics (Teens/Adults)

Saturdays 3-5 pm, Cost $156/session, Lab fee: $30

Come explore the techniques of slab, coil, pinch, and wheel working. From

beginners to advanced, try your hand at everything from creating works of

art to surface design. Students have the oppurtunity to explore, and work will

be at an individual pace. Lab fee covers supplies, firing, and the opportunity to s

chedule 1 extra studio use. Details to be worked out with the instructor.


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A Big Boost for RealKidz in Depot Town

Posted by ppna on June 21, 2008

There has been some good press about RealKidz and now the plus sized clothing line for children has gotten national press. BusinessWeek (at least the online edition) has done an article on the store and the concept. Find the BusinessWeek article here

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Real Kidz — The Full Story

Posted by ppna on May 19, 2008

I’ve had people ask me about the store in Depot Town called Real Kidz. In short, it is a business set up to design and market clothing to plus sized kids. Thankfully, The Detroit Free Press published an article on Real Kidz, which is a very in depth article and should answer a lot of questions.

What I gathered from the article is that they now have clothes to sell but the plan is to sell them through independent sales reps. It didn’t sound like there were any plans to actually set up a store front in Depot Town. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to me for someone to rent in Depot Town but not sell in Depot Town but its their choice.

The Owner, first-time entrepreneur Merrill Guerra, is trying to find capital and sales reps to grow the company. I suggest you read the Free Press article if you are interested. The selection of items can be found at the website  RealKidzClothing.com.

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Parish House Inn recognized as a great place to stay.

Posted by ppna on March 25, 2008

TransworldNews.Com has an article titled “Candlelight & Whirlpools Offered by Best Budget-Friendly Bed & Breakfasts in Michigan” I’m happy to report that our own Parish House Inn made the list of seven. The excerpt below is the type of press we need here in Ypsilanti.

Best of Breakfast Cookbook Chef Found in Ypsilanti
Next door to Ann Arbor’s University of Michigan is the charming community of Ypsilanti where your wallet and your appetite will both be satisfied at the Parish House Inn. All 8 rooms, each with a private bathroom, are decorated with period antiques as well as comfortable beds with handmade quilts. And you will be treated to a bountiful breakfast prepared by Owner/Innkeeper/Chef Chris, who has published the “Best of Breakfast Cookbook”.

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Another Ypsilanti Business Success

Posted by ppna on March 25, 2008

I’m not a golfer so I don’t visit ‘Miles of Golf’ on Washtenaw but I have read enough about them to know that they are recognized as one of the best Golf shops in the county. To add to this notoriety one of their instructors Paul Haase was selected the 2008 Michigan Instructor of the Year. Congrats Paul and thanks to Miles of Golf for being an outstanding business.


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Lunch in Ypsilanti #2 — Klucks

Posted by ppna on March 25, 2008


For the first time in my life I visited Klucks Drive-Inn in Ypsilanti.  I’m not a fan of Drive-Inns and was happy to see they have a self-serve area for people like me.  The menu includes pretty typical Drive-Inn fair, Coney’s, Hamburgers, Wing Dings, Shakes, Floats, and various fried items.   Today I chose a Cheeseburger and a Coney.

The Coney was $1.35 and was pretty small but in the case of Klucks this worked to it’s advantage.   The bun was able to hold both the dog and the sauce which made it convenient  to eat in the car.   I thought the Coney Sauce was really good.  The Coney seemed to have more relish than onions but neither was overwhelming, it was a good balanced coney dog.   According to my tastes I would rate Klucks the number one coney in the city.  There are extreme differences in the tastes between a Klucks Coney and a coney from Bill’s Hotdog Stand so opinions will vary widely.  I have found both Klucks and Bill’s to be very distinct from the regular Coney Island taste found at Abes and even the Chick-Inn so if you like Coney Dogs visit them both and decide for yourself.

My Cheeseburger was also distinctive well almost distinctive.  I say almost because the cheeseburger tasted very similar to a Roy’s Big Squeeze.  In both burgers there is a strong black pepper taste topped with your usual toppings and Thousand Island dressing.  I grew up on Roy’s burgers and was surprised to find a similar taste.

I enjoyed my meal from Klucks and was very happy that they have a taste all their own.  Take my advice and pass up the McDonald’s and the Burger King and go to Klucks.  The service was fast and friendly and I plan on trying some of their other menu items in the future.

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Lunch in Ypsilanti #1 — Haabs

Posted by ppna on March 25, 2008

I’ve been making it a point as of late to shop Ypsilanti businesses and these include the local restaurants and eateries. I tried going to the Wolverine the other day but was disappointed to find out they close early (hopefully the new blueprint will convince them to stay open long hours). I remember going there as a kid and getting Ice-cream sundaes after visiting the downtown bakery and meat market but I don’t have a current update on the Wolverine but here are my thoughts on the other local Ypsilanti eateries.

I invite you to comment with reviews of menu items or other restaurants to visit.

Haab’s –– I never visited Haab’s as a child, it always seemed to be an ‘old person’ place but I’ve started visiting a bit lately (and it still seems like an ‘old person’ place). It is a comfortable family dining room like atmosphere where everyone is very friendly and the food is good. I’ve never had their steak but they claim notoriety for being a premier steakhouse.  I did see some steaks prepared in their open cook area I can tell you the cuts do look excellent. The hamburger I had was a bit overcooked (You just can’t get rare anymore) but it was a classic hamburger with an onion slice equal in size and weight, it seemed, to the meat.

Haab’s has another thing going for it and that is their happy hour which they spread into two hours each day Monday through Friday 5-7pm. The Haab’s happy hour is titled “Almost 2 Good 2 Be $2” and it is true for 2 hours almost everything is 2 dollars.  Please note you must be in the bar area to take advantage of the Happy Hour specials.

Draft Beer — Last time I was in they had switched to all Arbor Brewing Company Beers which disappointed me. I’m very happy Matt and Renee are getting their beers out there but they seemed to have taken over the town which is limiting my drinking varieties. Haab’s also has a fake Guiness Draft which involves a can of beer poured into a glass and then put on a machine to create a head so it looks like draft.  Don’t fall for this evil ‘draft’ trick but getting a can of Guiness for 2 bucks isn’t all that bad.

Bottled Beer, Mixed Drinks, Martinis and Manhattans are also two bucks. I’m a fan of Manhattans and the Haabs happy hour Manhattan is amazing. I think the normal procedure is 2 shots of Jim Beam with some Vermouth although last time I was in they used a well whiskey. Warning these Manhattans and I suppose any other $2.00 mixed drink aren’t for the faint of heart they are strong.

The two dollar food items are great too they include;

  •  A basket of onion rings — I haven’t had
  • A basket of Fried Mushrooms — Now these are different than what you are thinking.  At Haabs the basket includes 4 jumbo mushrooms that are deep fried with a very fluffy breading.  Eating this basket by yourself is a very large accomplishment
  • Basket of Cajun Fries — I haven’t had
  • BBQ Meatballs — This includes a plate of small meatballs in BBQ sauce which are really good by themselves but since it is Haabs you can also ask for a small loaf of bread and make your $2.00 meatballs into an excellent dinner.
  • Shrimp Cocktail Combo — It’s only 4 shrimp 2-fried 2-regular but they are large and excellent
  • Deep-Fried pickle spears — I haven’t had these at Haabs yet (Sidetrack has good fried pickles) but deep-fried pickles are really good.

Don’t forget Haab’s also has the roll back pricing day in October to celebrate their anniversary this year they will be celebrating their 74th.  I’ve never attended this event because their prices are so reasonable anyway that waiting in line for an hour or more isn’t worth it me for the $10 bucks I might save and I think the crowd might spoil the relaxed eating experience that makes Haab’s what it is.

I will also suggest that you give them your email address to receive monthly notifications about specials and things happening at Haab’s.

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Posted by ppna on December 18, 2007

If you haven’t seen the ‘Buy Local Ypsilanti’ brochures around make sure you check them out. I know at least some of our neighbors have signed the ‘Buy Local’ pledge. As for me, I bought my Father a Stollen at the Food Coop. The rest of my Christmas Shopping is going to take place at the Salvation Army. My family has agreed to a $20.00 spending limit at the Salvation Army with another $80.00 going to charity.

Make sue you check out the Buy Local Ypsilanti web page for details on how you can support the local economy. In these rough economic times we can’t afford to let our money leave the community.

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Buy Locally and Create Jobs

Posted by ppna on December 17, 2007

Here is an op-ed piece posted in the Ann Arbor News written by Amanda Maria Edmonds and Richard Murphy, two of Ypsilanti’s finest.

Buy locally and create jobs
Sunday, November 25, 2007

In the midst of worsening economic conditions in our region, we have an opportunity to make lemonade out of lemons. More appropriately, maybe, we have the chance to press apple cider out of apple seconds bought at our local farmers’ market.

While the second analogy doesn’t flow as well as the one we are used to, it represents a shift in thinking that would bring quantifiable economic benefits to our communities. In Ypsilanti, particularly hard hit by municipal budget cuts and taxation challenges, supporting and recruiting locally owned businesses can have a multifold impact on our economic viability.

Recently, the “Buy Local” and “Eat Local” trends have been receiving a lot of attention – the word “locavore” was just declared Oxford’s 2007 Word of the Year. Often, attention is focused on the emotional and social benefits of buying and eating local: knowing the people you’re buying from, feeling good about supporting local farmers and businesses, getting good customer service and supporting minority and women-owned businesses.

The impacts are real and help strengthen the social fabric of a community. The benefits, however, of buying locally have economic impacts beyond the immediate business owner. Studies from around the country show that buying from local, independent retailers creates up to twice as many jobs, recirculates three times as many dollars in the local economy, and results in twice as much local charitable giving than buying from large chain or Internet retailers does.

Locally owned businesses direct all of their wages to people in the community, support other businesses – from graphic designers to accountants – more likely to be from the area. For every dollar spent at a local business, the studies have found, 20 to 40 cents more stays in the local economy when compared to a chain store. That equals significant economic impact.

Holiday spending is a great opportunity to begin the shift. A Maritz Poll shows that American households will spend an average of $637 on holiday gifts this year – at this rate, Washtenaw County will do $89 million in holiday shopping. By moving some of the spending that we would do at chain retailers to local retailers, we can capture some of the benefits locally. If Washtenaw holiday shoppers shifted only 10 percent of their holiday spending to local businesses in Ypsilanti, we could keep between $1.5 million and $2.6 million more in our economy. No small change.

To be clear, we are not promoting more consumption – just shifting 10 percent of what you already spend to local retailers with those dollars. Dec. 1-8 is Buy Local Week. Visit http://ypsi.buylocalmichigan.com/ and pledge to spend your holiday dollars locally. You’ll find a community-built directory of local businesses and creative ideas for local gifts. Visit the 4th Shadow Art Fair (www.shadowartfair.com/) on Dec. 1 to buy art, music, clothing and crafts directly from 50 local artists.

Policymakers and business groups can support this idea at a broader scale. While biomedical and “knowledge industry” tech startups are high-profile, capturing dollars from everyday purchases such as groceries or clothing is also economic development.

Using the most recent income and spending data from the state of Michigan and Bureau of Labor Statistics, residents of the city of Ypsilanti spend an estimated $10.3 million on clothing and footwear annually, and $7.9 million on housewares, furniture and appliances. Depot Town and downtown Ypsilanti have several independent retailers in those categories, but our guess is that they aren’t capturing nearly $18 million in annual revenue from city residents.

Another often-missed market opportunity is in the supply chain for local businesses. What manufacturing or service or supply needs can be met locally? Agriculture is Michigan’s second largest industry by dollar value. Michigan is a national leader in specialty produce, and consumer demand for local food is skyrocketing.

City of Ypsilanti residents spend an estimated $4 million on fruits and vegetables annually, an average of $453 per household. In 2007, the downtown Farmers Market saw $28,000 in sales. If we could move beyond our growing farmers markets and supply our local restaurants with fruits, vegetables, herbs and breads produced or processed in our community, the economic impact multiplier only increases – consider the additional jobs and shortening of the supply chain, not to mention reduced transportation expenses and carbon footprints.

We surprised ourselves when we calculated those figures. Amid all of the bad news about the local and state economies, we were very happy to discover how easy it would be to create local jobs and capture dollars within the local economy just by shifting a small portion of the spending that we’ll already do.

About the writers: Amanda Maria Edmonds and Richard Murphy are Ypsilanti residents. Edmonds is executive director of Growing Hope, an Ypsilanti-based nonprofit. Murphy is an urban planner. To contribute essays to Other Voices, contact Mary Morgan, opinion editor, at 734-994-6605 or mmorgan@annarbornews.com.

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Local Food

Posted by ppna on December 17, 2007

Ypsilanti Food Co-op
Food System Economic Partnership
Growing Hope

The other day I happened into the Ypsilanti Food Co-op for the first time in a quite a few months and it reminded me what a great resource it is as an alternative source for some common food items. They have a great selection of bulk food items including granolas (of course), Coffee, and even tea. They have a bakery on site and sell fresh bread, pies, and other wonderful goods as well.

Going into the coop reminded me of a clip I took out of the Ann Arbor news some time ago about the Food System Economic Partnership which has as it’s goal to bring local consumers together with local farmers. This being said I really couldn’t figure out what they do. I think the site is more geared to getting restaurants and retailers to buy locally but it would be nice if we could work as a neighborhood and bring in locally grown food for our families. Check out the link and let me know what you come up with.

Last but not least we have Growing Hope which is a non-profit group looking to help the community by teaching local gardening techniques while providing food to local families. They have just closed on a property on Michigan Avenue which will be the new Growing Hope Center. Check out their site and do what you can to support them like buying a Growing Hope calendar at the Ypsilanti Food Coop.

Leave a comment if you know of any other local food sources and shop our community as much as you can.

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