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Saturday, July 30, 2011

This Was Friday in Northport

What do you do when you get to the farm market before most of the vendors have even set up? I can only tell you what I did—bought an almond croissant and took it back to the car to “share” (teeny bites) with Sarah before taking her for a little walk through the marina park until at last I could purchase my fresh vegetables and flowers.

The flowers were for the talented Elizabeth Buzzelli, Friday afternoon’s guest author at Dog Ears Books. Elizabeth brought her latest pet crow mascot and charmed her visitors, as always. The visitors, however, did not want their pictures taken. “Oh, my hair’s a mess!” “I’m all sweaty from riding my bike!” Excuses, excuses. Okay, we have two pictures of Elizabeth instead. And the crow--do note the crow!

The day did not end at 6:30 but continued in the marina park, where Dog Ears was the evening’s co-sponsor for the Steve Sandler Quintet. You want to arrive early for Music in the Park, because picnic tables go fast. Some people come every week and bring their own tables and tablecloths as well as elaborate picnic dinner. It's a multigenerational event, with attendees from tiny babies to our oldest citizens. Children climb up and perch on the big branches of the old willow trees, catching the breeze.

There are dogs, too, and yes, Sarah was there, but she was, I'm embarrassed to say, a little too interested in the pizza the people behind us had brought for their dinner. She needs more lessons in picnic manners.

Musicians, you were wonderful! Steve was joined by Bill and Laurie Sears and two other musicians whose names I didn't jot down. (Sorry! You were great, too!) One bookstore customer and grateful music-lover said to me on Saturday morning, "That group could play here every week, as far as I'm concerned!" But next week will be Chico Luna and the Other Band, and their different sound is great, too. Wear your Western shirts and be ready to dance.

Cool jazz for a warm night. Has Dog Ears ever done anything that brought in more vocal appreciation? “Thank you for sponsoring the group," we heard over and over. Glad to do it, Northport! It was the perfect close to a summer day Up North. For a look at my Saturday morning, see my photo blog today. For a look at the beautiful onions I got at the morning market, see below. Are they jewels, or what? I didn't plant any root vegetables in my garden this year so am dependent on the market for onions, beets, carrots, etc.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Summer Beat Goes On

That's the Northport Sailing School. I don't have anything to say about it today but liked the image, which is pure summer.

Here's more of what I see every day in summer: the inside of my bookstore! And that's fine, because things are always happening there, too. For instance, Elizabeth Buzzelli will be here today! The perennially popular creator of the Emily Kincaid murder mystery series will be at Dog Ears at 4 p.m., with her latest book, Dead Dogs and Englishmen, the fourth she has introduced to an appreciative Northport readership, which will make today's event a meeting of the Northport Buzzelli Fan Club.

Tonight is also Music in the Park, with Dog Ears Books co-sponsoring the Steve Sandner Quintet (jazz).

The Woolsey Airport Fly-in and the Northport Promise garage sale are tomorrow, both being held earlier than usual this year in hopes of better weather than they had in August 2010. Get there for pancake breakfast and watch the planes come in. Later in the day, from 5 to 9 p.m., when you’re all worn out from hours in sun and waves, there will be an opening of small works by eightl artists at the Wright Gallery on Mill Street, as Northport navigates easily between plain old fun and high culture.

But so much has already gone by, too, that I haven’t reported on. One evening there was an opening at Edie Joppich’s Bay Street Gallery, featuring new work by Edie and photographs by Sharon Kalchik, both on barn themes. Live music and soft evening sunshine led to the delightful ambience of Edie’s gallery and gardens.

And of course the most recent author to appear at Dog Ears Books was Loreen Niewenhuis, with A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach. Loreen is great! She is personable and relaxed, putting at ease everyone she meets in the first minute of their meeting. David took Sarah home early, so when the customers cleared out of the bookstore I was able to close and get a bite next door at the Garage Bar & Grill with Loreen, her mother, and president of the Leelanau Township Friends of the Library Suzanne Landes before we all adjourned from the table and reassembled at the library, where Loreen’s slide show presentation and talk were well attended and well received.

Even with my still images, you can see how animated this author is in person. Wish you all could have been there!

Or, wish you all could be here, for all our local events. This is summer in Leelanau, and it flies by like a dream.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Garden Break

Needless to say, the garden itself is not taking a break but working day and night. The bookseller sleeps at night, even when the farmer is working through the dark to harvest his crop right outside the window, but other than that I'm not taking a break, either. It's the blog that wanted to take the day off from books and from Northport to show you how our home garden is doing, both the crops in the bales and those on the ground. The camera had to peek under the leaves to see the baby cucumbers, burgeoning squash and bouquets of ripening bush beans. I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking today. Oh, but if you haven't checked out the current issue of Edible Grande Traverse, don't miss my review of Gene Logsdon's The Contrary Farmer. Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow? Mine grows like wildfire!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Woody's Settling Inn, the old "Hotel Liquor," Fall Down, Go Boom

I knew you'd all want to see this and couldn't help opening with a teaser photo. More below tell the story.

A lot of people are using the phrase "the end of an era." I keep thinking that the era ended a while back when Woody's closed and never re-opened the following spring. Who can tell me the year of that last season?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coming and Going, Summer Races On

From all the banners on the corner fence by Northport School, you can get the beginning of an idea how much is going on in town this summer. I’ll be covering some of the upcoming events in future posts but want to remind everyone today that Tuesday from 4-5 p.m. Loreen Niewenhuis is coming to Dog Ears Books with her real-life adventure book, A 1000-Mile Walk on the Beach. If that one-hour window doesn’t fit your schedule, Loreen will give a slide presentation at the Leelanau Township Library at 7:30 p.m. (not 7 p.m. as I mistakenly told some people). Come to think of it, join us for both events! I’ll have books available for purchase both places, and Loreen will be happy to sign them and add personal inscriptions as desired.

Much is coming, but some things are going, and one historic building that started going down in the rain on Sunday, continuing on Monday, to continue on Tuesday, was/is Woody’s Settling Inn on Waukazoo Street. The old “Hotel Liquor,” as many liked to call it, after the old sign that advertised both rooms and drink. It’s the end of an era, but the time had come. That patch of weeds in the lower right-hand corner of the second image below? Site of the very first Dog Ears Books, back in 1993!