Last Friday, we headed over to the Grand Traverse Commons (one of my favorite places in TC because of its beautiful history, natural areas, and unique, thriving culture) for the first Friday of April. Like, really, that's what they call it: First Fridays.
The Village at the Commons celebrates the first Friday of every month by filling its halls with live music around every corner, wine tastings, crafts and demos, food and drink specials, and discounts at most of the shops. I'm lucky enough to live right around the corner from the Commons, so we walked down to check it out.
Down in the hallways, there is always a glow and comfort that I find positively heartwarming. Being in the old asylum buildings--refinished and renovated to keep their original character but breathe new life into the space--is always an exciting experience. On First Friday, there were people of all types enjoying the best of what this area has to offer.
We wandered over to Left Foot Charley, a winery that makes some of the best hard cider. We helped ourselves to a glass and took in the sight of families and friends enjoying the evening, the taste of crisp, delicious cider, and the sounds of E Minor, who did a great job. I'm still working on exploring the local music scene fully, but E Minor definitely encouraged me to expand my horizon and go to more music events in the area.
My favorite thing about Left Foot Charley, aside from the cider, is how creatively they renovated one of the old Commons industrial structures into an architectural gem. The natural lighting--and repurposed doors for the bar--gives the whole building a welcoming aura. It's just got a fun vibe, and the patio out front is perfect for a hot summer day.
As it turns out, what I expected was what we got...only it was so much more enjoyable than I was anticipating! The Northern Starlets showed a little skin, but they also put on a fun show with lots of laughs and good audience participation. The host, Felix, had everyone laughing (or at least chuckling) at his good and not-so-good-but-still-somehow-funny jokes, and the girls did a great job of keeping it "classy" so that everyone was comfortable but also interested.
All in all, it wasn't a side of TC that I'd never seen before, but it all goes to show that there's a place and niche for all kinds of people up here. I love seeing people who are passionate about whatever they do, and First Friday showed me that there are plenty of people in this area who have unique talents--and there are plenty of people who support them, because where there are passionate people there are supportive people. This especially holds true in TC, but I love being reminded of it. I can't wait until the first Friday in May!