Saturday, January 2, 2010

Happy New Year from Detroit!!

So what did you do for the for the first day of 2010? Mine wasn't very exciting since I was recovering from the NY eve festivities. :)

Every New Year's Eve I volunteer for the Belle Isle New Year's Eve run. It's a great event that many families like to attend and what better way to end the year than with a 4 mile run/walk and 1 mile kid's run. This was the 40th year for this event and is generously sponsored by Fifth Third Bank. I blew up helium balloons and decorated the Casino on Belle Isle for a good 2 hours, had a little lunch provided for the volunteers, took down the names of the top 10 girls in the 1 mile, then headed inside to pour beer. Yes, there is beer for the adults after the race. There were about 1400 participants this year and it seemed that the 4 kegs of golden nectar we had was just perfect for serving up a glass to all those that wanted a cup (over 21 only of course!) Then we ate again. Yes, the volunteers were well fed!

After the early day events I headed over to Katie's by Comerica Park and with Lance joining us we walked to the Hard Rock CafĂ© by Campus Martius Park (random link) where we would meet up with a few more friends. The Hard Rock had a $10 cover which provided a constant stream of bands, a midnight champaign toast, and late night pizza. They had a pretty good crowd and the Sam Adams Winter Ale was quite tasty on draft. They had 2 impressive ice luge structures too for those that really wanted to celebrate. The bands quit at 1AM and the plan was to go to the Park Bar  (Pictured above) but only Katie and I wound up going inside. We ordered up two beers and two chicken schwarmas from the Bucharest Grill as New Year's Day was getting well on it's way. We ate and talked for a while before deciding it was time to make the walk back to her place. It was very cold and even though Katie's leopard print stilettos with a buckle were adorable, they weren't exactly made for walking long distances. Much to our delight a stretch limo pulled up just as we exited and offered us a $5 fare to our destination. Without delay we scurried inside and within minutes we were back to Katie's.

I woke up at 8AM, drove home and climbed into my own bed. The rest of the first day of 2010 was not exciting, but I did make a little headway on my boob scarf design which I hope to perfect soon and list on my Etsy site. I have to figure out the cost/time factor to make them before listing. I'm going to donate $5 of the sale of each sold to the Karmanos Cancer Institute for breast cancer research.

Here's an extra tidbit about the Belle Isle Casino -

When Belle Isle was developed into one of the nation's most attractive urban parks, a Queen Anne-style casino building was erected in 1887. This appealing, gabled wood structure was designed by John Donaldson and Henry Meier. The Belle Isle Casino was once said to be the finest casino in the United States. Similar to quite a few of the city's nineteenth century buildings, it was razed by fire.

This is a current picture of the 1907 Albert Kahn design that replaced the previous Casino. He designed it to provide views of the Detroit River and Canada, and to be an eating-place where patrons would be cooled by breezes in the era long before air conditioning. The style likely reflects architectural ideas flowing from Kahn's trip to Italy since it is a Renaissance Revival Building constructed from brick with a terra cotta roof. Note the two-story arcaded veranda with its graceful and soothing arches. And then there are the two impressive and high decorated square towers that Kahn designed for the Detroit side of this Casino.

The Casino is no longer a gambling establishment but a key meeting point for individuals and groups on the island. It is located near the entrance of the island just east of the Scott Fountain. The Casino provides space for meetings and various special events. Contact Belle Isle Special Events at 313-852-4075 to schedule your event at this facility.

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