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Thursday, April 21, 2016

Back to Suttons Bay

My housemate took me out for a drive. I am not supposed to do a lot of that until I know how my meds will affect me. So she drove. We went downtown for a few quick stops. And then we went out to Suttons Bay. I haven't been there since breaking up with the BF and it was time. Mostly we just walked around. But I did find two places that I wouldn't mind making return visits to.

This is the Bayside Gallery. One of the tourism guides featured the stained glass yard ornaments on it's cover which inspired the trip out there. This time they were open as we went midday so we got to see everything.

A gently babbling brook runs the length of the property along the side street, featuring koi and a host of edging stones. It is quite beautiful and relaxing as well. The entire selection of goods is an eye-popping feast of colors and textures. Czech gazing balls, Chihuly styled spun glass, metal sculptures and resin cast figures abound. The staff was quite nice if somewhat frazzled in the gear up toward the Fudgie Season. All in all I would love to go back.

Actually, I would love to have the money to plant a garden of glass flowers in some part of the yard. Talk about low maintenance! They are gorgeous. While some of my herbs are coming back. None of my flowers are. I think I have proven that this is the only way for me to get gorgeous blooms.

Tucked into the back end of a piece of property that forms a bit of a courtyard, Case and Daniels is a nice little shop for sculpture, jewelery and woolen goods. The man behind the counter is the man responsible for the large mobile in the atrium of the Traverse City Public Library.

Suttons Bay, and this courtyard in particular, illustrates what I like best about small town living and small town atmosphere. Character. Character is a subjective quality that differs between individuals but which general shares the common trait of being unexpected. In Traverse City there is coming a kind of uniformity that makes the Victorian Era character of the original downtown homogenus. In the name of streamlining and progress, eliminating visual clutter and being able to fit more business into the limited spaces, Traverse City is starting to lose the kind of charming character that Suttons Bay and its sister city in Antrim county, Elk Rapids, retain. And that is the ability to tuck unexpected treats into corners. Elk Rapids planted small gardens in unusual spots where nothing else could be done. Suttons Bay has rainwater run of gardens. Both villages have tiny places like this left to surprise and delight. Of course the smaller size and the smaller crowds make it ideal for leisurely shopping. But they also allow you to take your time and savor the experiences.

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