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Arts & Culture

Arts and culture

Now that winter is feeling a little more, well, wintry, it’s a good time to hunker down inside with a book. If you’re looking for something new to read, the Library of Michigan has a few suggestions. Its 2020 Michigan Notable Books list was announced on Sunday. 

This week, That's What They Say is taking some inspiration from the Simpsons. Specifically, we were amused by a clip in which Mr. Burns tells Smithers how much he's enjoying "so-called iced cream."

Unless you're the same age as Springfield's oldest resident, you're probably more likely to enjoy "ice cream" over "iced cream."

Frankly, we're happy to eat it no matter what you call it. Especially if it's mint chocolate chip.


Jeff Daniels sits in the Stateside studio with April Baer
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Jeff Daniels’ new play Roadsigns follows a young poet on a journey to find himself and his encounters with society's outcasts. The main character is based on Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, and Daniels' longtime friend, the late Lanford Wilson.

a sunrise looking out over lake superior framed by trees
Bugsy Sailor

For many of us, it is more pleasurable to look at pictures of beautiful sunrises than to get up and actually see beautiful sunrises.

We'd like to address some concerns regarding the word "gambit." However, to do that, we're going to have to address the word "gamut" too.

That's because many of us have a tendency to say "run the gambit," when what we mean is "run the gamut."

Since these are both relatively rare words, it's not surprising that we sometimes get them confused. Learning their origin should help you keep them straight.


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Tammy Coxen with Tammy’s Tastings and I visited the Grand Rapids distillers at Eastern Kille Distillery. If that name is not familiar to you, you might know it by its old name: Gray Skies.

Brandon Voorhees greeted us in the tasting room which has been described as “industrial chic.” We asked about the name change.

cover of Leah Vernon's memoir
Carol Chu / Courtesy of Beacon Press

As a young, black Muslim woman growing up in Detroit, model and style blogger Leah Vernon rarely saw her own experiences reflected in media. But several years ago, she set out to change that as she built a career as an Instagram influencer and model.

This week, English Professor Anne Curzan joined us from New Orleans, where members of the American Dialect Society gathered to make their annual "Word of the Year" selection.

This year was special. That's because not only did the ADS choose a word to represent the past year, members also chose a word to represent the past decade.


Unsplash

During her more than seven years on Stateside, Cynthia Canty has interviewed thousands of guests. In her last week as host, she wanted to bring back some of the most interesting guests—the ones she says she’d invite to her dream dinner party. Two of those interesting guests are writers Keith Taylor and Desiree Cooper.

Breaking up is hard to do.

That's according to Neil Sedaka's signature song anyway. Maybe that's why we didn't start doing it until the 20th century.

Actually, that's not quite true. We've been breaking things up for centuries. It's the idea of breaking up a relationship that's fairly new.


Host Cynthia Canty with Rochelle Riley and Mara MacDonald.
Courtesy of Cynthia Canty

It’s Cynthia Canty’s final week on Stateside before she retires after a 40-year-long career in radio and television. Before that happens, she lined up some conversations with the people she would invite to her “dream dinner party.” Two of those guests are well-known by newspaper readers and TV viewers in Southeast Michigan. They also happen to be Cynthia's dear friends.

A listener named Scott Overton recently wrote to us about a question he came up with while working on an old house.

"[I'm] listening to your podcast as I try to keep all my fingers on," he says. "What came first, the coping saw or 'I'll cope with it?'"

Scott, thanks for listening and for sending us a great question. Also, please don't sacrifice any limbs on our behalf!


The outside of the Crowley's department store in a black and white photo
Courtesy of Michael Hauser

Today on Stateside, a new investigative report revealed that top exectutives at a firm contracted by the city of Flint knew there was a problem with lead contamination in the water system, but never alerted the public. Plus, a look at the golden era of downtown department stores in Detroit, and what their eventual demise tells us about how the retail landscape has changed. 

If you're head over heels about someone, it's clear that you've stumbled into a metaphorical somersault of love.

Wouldn't "heels over head" make more sense though?

Generally speaking, our heads are over our heels most of the time, even when we're not in a state of unconstrained infatuation.


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There is so much to catch your eye: Tiki statues, tiki mugs, tiki décor of every description, and more than a dash of 1960s living room kitsch. Max’s South Seas Hideaway is the newest tiki bar in Grand Rapids and the epitome of a “tiki palace” in Michigan.

Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings sat down with co-owner Mark Sellers in a cozy little corner filled with tiki art and mid-century suburban furniture to talk to him about the two-story tiki bar and restaurant.

We can talk about sending emails back and forth. But why does it sound odd to talk about sending them forth and back?

It may not sound right, but some would argue that "forth and back" makes more sense. So why is the order flipped?

A Thanksgiving dessert tradition, three different ways

Nov 25, 2019
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

When you think about Thanksgiving, what’s the first food that comes to mind? Turkey? Mashed potatoes? Pie?

Janice Leach— owner, operator, and baker, of Why Not Pie, tells us that “Thanksgiving is the pie holiday.” 

Why Not Pie came to fruition about 10 years ago — when Leach began baking and selling pies out of her home under the Cottage Food Law. Just a few years later, Why Not Pie expanded and Leach now operates under a commercial license.

Based on the evidence, the phrase "based on" is getting challenged by the phrase "based off."

This is an issue English Professor Anne Curzan has been hearing about from her colleagues. They say  "based on" is correct, but their students tend to use "based off" or "based off of."

Curzan says this is a losing battle.


Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Thanksgiving is less than a week away. Yikes!

So what do you offer your guests to drink?

“You'll see a lot of guides of what wine to pair with Thanksgiving dinner. And there's no right answer, right? Because the Thanksgiving table is so diverse, there's so many different food items on it, you're never going to have a perfect pairing. So cocktails can be a different way to go,” Tammy Coxen of Tammy’s Tastings said.

For the first time in 16 years, the Detroit Symphony Orchestra will embark on an international tour. This will mark the first time that the DSO will perform in China.
Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra is hoping to give an instrument to every single Detroit student who wants to play one. In addition, it wants to provide access to music education for these kids and create jobs for Detroiters.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The woman was using her muddler like a weapon, smashing something to bits in her tin mixing cup.

“I had some frustrations to work out, Lester,” said Tammy Coxen with Tammy's Tastings.

It turns out she was pounding diced up beet pieces, making mush of them.

“How do you feel about beets,” she asked me.

She already knew the answer. I despise the taste of beets.

The word "fraught," when used alone, is fraught with questions. At least, for some speakers of English.

A couple of listeners have written to us recently, wanting to know if "fraught" can stand on its own. For example, "The situation is now fraught."

Both listeners were under the impression that the word "fraught" should be used with "with," as in, "I was fraught with emotion."


Detroit Institute of Arts
Maia C/Flickr

The Detroit Institute of Arts is asking officials in Macomb, Oakland, and Wayne County to put a renewal of the museum’s millage on the March 2020 ballot. This request comes earlier than expected: the millage was first passed in 2012, and it was not set to lapse until 2022.


 

 

clock
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

"Spring forward. Fall back." That's how we do daylight saving time. Having run around last weekend turning all the house and car clocks back one hour, we got to wondering: How'd we ever wind up with this thing called “daylight saving time” in the first place?

A record on a turntable.
Unsplash

Local Spins editor and publisher John Sinkevics joined Stateside to share some of the most exciting new music coming out of West Michigan this month. What unites his artist picks this time around, Sinkevics said, are the “compelling stories” they each bring to their music. 

illustration of kids smiling
Rachelle Baker for Michigan Radio

Do you remember how you saw the world when you were a kid, before the outside world told you what to think? Before you learned how to categorize other people, and how other people categorize you?

What if we could all see the world through a child’s eyes?

"In the meantime" is a good phrase to use when you're talking about the time between two events. But can you leave out "in the" and just say "meantime?"

A listener named Keisha Nelson tells us that that recently, she's both read and heard "meantime" used on its own.

Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Though it’s still *technically* still fall until December 21, our fall bracket has come to close. There are many things that feel so quintessentially autumn, so we asked our listeners to vote on their favorite fall essentials. And boy did you guys answer. 

person holding a box bursting with flowers in front of their head
Arnold Hong for Michigan Radio

I·den·ti·ty /ˌīˈden(t)ədē/

Noun: The fact of being who or what a person or thing is.

What shapes your identity? Your upbringing and experiences? The things you’ve learned about yourself and the world around you? The stuff people tell you about yourself?

Author photo and photo of a white farm house
Courtesy of Mission Point Press

After working as a correspondent for Time magazine in Europe and South America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Charles Eisendrath came to Ann Arbor.

For 30 years, he directed the University of Michigan's Knight-Wallace Fellowships, a program for journalists. 

But his love of Michigan began further north.

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