We're stopping back to Michigan this week with Photographer/Musician/Art Director/All Around Nice Guy Michael Newsted @michaelnewsted. And we're lucky to have him because this guy is on the move quite a bit. "My books, plants, records & things are based in Grand Rapids. And, I am doing my best these days to settle down and join them from time to time. Most of my waking life, tho, I'm out and about with my bandmates/housemates in 'the Soil & the Sun' @thesoilthesun, touring around in an old boy scout bus, seemingly appearing like what could be the modern day Partridge Family."
Diversely and fiercely talented @michaelnewsted didn't grow up in the GR (tip, that's what the local's call home), he came for college and wound up sticking around. So here is the thing, not all locals are born and raised in their cities. Sometimes it happens later and it just catches. As far as what makes a local a Local, it has a lot to do with their appreciation for a city. No place is perfect, we wouldn't dream of saying that - but for us it's about looking at the positive and having a good experience. "The best thing about Grand Rapids is the community of people here. It makes it very hard to leave." Cheers!
MICHAEL NEWSTED @michaelnewsted
Hi there! Happy sunny Monday from midwest Michigan! My name is @michaelnewsted and I'm really excited to give you all a glimpse into- what I've called "my hometown" for the past decade- the lovely Grand Rapids.
There are so many incredible restaurants, shops, places & parks that boast this small'ish big city. I'm gonna do my best throughout this week to show you as much as I possibly can!
Since the sun has been out all day today, the clock flipped ahead, it's over 40 degrees, & spring is just around the corner, I thought it appropriate to have my first post be about @lovesicecreamgr. What is easily my favorite ice cream shop in town, Love's is consistently changing up their flavors, as well as making creative collaborations with other local businesses (@madcapcoffee & @fieldandfire, which, I'll talk more about soon). Besides their amazing dairy ice creams, they also have some of the best vegan gelatos & sorbets I've ever tried. And, I'm gonna fail here for a moment... So bear with me... But... without trying to sound too snooty... Being primarily Vegan, in tandem with traveling the country most of the year, I get the privilege of trying out a decent handful of some sweet little spots. And, unbiased, Love's still takes the cake. Or cream, I guess. 🍦 Flavors from top to bottom: Cherry Berry Sorbet, Cherry Amaretto, Blueberry Lavender (All Vegan)
(at Love’s Ice Cream)
Good afternoon, from @rowstercoffee. Rowster is a crucial spot for an afternoon pick-me-up, or middle of the day out-of-home workspace. The warm natural light is amazing, and the shop has a refreshing and calm atmosphere, perfect for a good read or chat with a friend. If you make it over, I highly recommend you try their pourover.
(at Rowster Coffee)
Welcome to Marie Catrib's @mariecatribs, a true fixture of Grand Rapids that I would never turn my nose up at. In retrospect, it might have been more fitting to share this staple restaurant as my first post, since it's the first place I really came to love after moving here for college.
Besides their restaurant for dining in, they also have an incredible deli, which is always stocked with a giant spread of tasteful to-go options. They cater, too. And it's not just their food that is lovely, kind and well intentioned... Their servers and staff are all amazing people, and always a friend to anyone who stops in.
Oh, it's also worth mentioning that all of these treats are both gluten free and vegan!
I'm especially excited to share tonight's post as it features two amazing friends of mine, Jeff Kraus & Kelley Howley.
Kelley is a sensational interiors enthusiast & shopkeeper of @huntandgathergr and @jeff.kraus is a wildly talented drummer & painter who is quickly emerging in the art scene, both locally and nationally. They have recently come together to create a collaborative space that highlights and showcases each of their stunning works- A gallery for Jeff's paintings & a modern-vintage showroom/retail spot for the on point curations at Hunt & Gather.
Now go. Check it out for yourself! Because this picture doesn't even scratch the surface of all that exists in their new space!
(at Hunt & Gather)
@michaelnewsted here again, gathering in all the GR goodness. This is lunch at @bartertowndiner. Just do it. The only thing that has a chance at topping lunch at Bartertown is weekend brunch at Bartertown. It's the best! If you get to try it, I suggest the Oatcakes or Biscuits & Gravy.
Almost all of their food is sourced from local farms, which, in play with their seasonally appropriate menus, makes for fresh and delightful flavors across the board. Also, if you're looking for a choice drink, I encourage you to try either their smoothie of the day or a bottle of Kombucha, made here in GR by @bloomferments.
(at Bartertown Diner)
It was hard choosing which picture to post for this modern taqueria named @donkeytaqueria because their chairs, stools, walls, food, drinks, and bar are all so sharp & simple. They menu is succinct and hosts many mex classics, while still doing it right with adding in their own unique and contemporary approach.
Their cocktails are bright and fresh. Their guacamole game is strong. Their homemade coconut ice cream is spot on. Their tacos are made right and tight. And, the kicker is they have cans of Hamm's for just a buck. All of that, plus in the summer time, when all this pictured snow is melted, a dining patio owns this corner block and creates a really nice place to end a night out.
(at Donkey - Taqueria)
TGIF from Terra GR, located in East Town- a cozy and creative and vibrant part of Grand Rapids. If you're looking for an inspiring dinner spot, @terragrrestaurant should definitely be on your radar.
Their menu is distinctive, inventive, and seasonally focused, meaning all of their ingredients are sourced fresh from local and regional farms. My favorite items are their wood fired pizzas, like this one here. Aside from food, their cocktails are always handcrafted and on point. Always worth it. And if you happen to stumble in on a weekend, make sure you don't miss their brunch.
(at Terra GR Restaurant)
Located in Heartside district, downtown GR, @havecompany is one of the newest shops on lively Division Avenue. Run and dreamed up by one of the most fiercely creative, passionate and loving people I know- Marlee Grace- Have Company has and always will be so much more than a mere retail space.
Aside from carrying many truly awesome handmade goods such as prints, tinctures, fibre arts, magazines, soaps, ceramics, etc., Have Company also (and to some more primarily) serves as a welcoming habitat for various types of makers and creators to come be an artist in residence. Each artist hosts a workshop for an evening, tailored to their craft, open for anyone to take part in- always an intimate and seriously inspiring event.
(at Have Company)
When you're in Grand Rapids on a sunny afternoon such as today, there's really no question about where you should be going- do yourself a favor & live life right at Taqueria San Jose.
From cactus tacos to quesadillas, sopas to carnitas burritos, homemade salsas to homemade horchata, this family-owned taqueria totally takes the prize for most authentic and best tasting Mexican food in GR. Snarf.
(at Taqueria San Jose)
@michaelnewsted here with one final Grand Rapids post featuring @madcapcoffee - the café and roaster that is nearest and dearest, and serving the best espresso in town. Situated right in the heart of downtown GR, Madcap Coffee has become a centerpiece for those that live and work and frequent the Monroe Center area.
There are so many characteristics about Madcap that make it an incredible company, but here are the few that really standout: 1. Their attentive and well-trained baristas and roasters; 2. Their intentionality and involvement with the origins of their beans and the sincere community that is constantly being built with the farmers; & 3. They carry an intense passion for detail in everything they do, from their minimalist aesthetic and design to their seasonal drink menus that they craft every few months.
If and when you make a trip to GR, do yourself a favor and be sure you make a visit into the @madcapcoffee café. My personal favorite is the Café Miel, non-dairy, which is made with their fresh daily nut milk. Tho, a straight espresso is always choice, too!
Again, thanks for letting me share a few of my favorite spots in my hometown. And if you need any other recommendations or suggestions, feel free to send me @michaelnewsted a message anytime. ✌️
(at Madcap Coffee)