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Letters 07-25-2016

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Tourist tips for Madonna

Robert Downes - June 9th, 2008
Dear Madonna,
Thanks for coming to Northern Michigan for the film festival this summer. Everyone in these parts is wondering if we‘ll have many visitors, what with the price of gas and all. But now that you‘re taking a break from your tour to premiere your film, I Am Because We Are, maybe more people will make the trip.
Many of your fans were lined up outside the State Theatre two days before the tickets went on sale, camping out on the sidewalk in the rain in order to see you present the film on August 2.
So the good news is that your film about the east African country of Malawi is sure to be a box office smash up this way. But you may want to wear some sunglasses and a disguise to keep from being overwhelmed. There‘s already some guy walking around town in a Madonna outfit, giving people whiplash from turning around to see if it‘s really you.
Anyway, if you‘re looking for things to do while you visit, I can suggest the following:
• Bike the Leelanau Trail. Being a fitness fan, you‘re sure to love this beautiful trail from Suttons Bay to TC. It‘s a great way to relax on a mountain bike. And you should have it all to yourself because everyone will be in town looking for you.
• If you‘re interested in carbo-loading for the ride, I‘d recommend the waffles at the 45th Parallel Cafè in Suttons Bay -- they‘re loaded with vanilla, blueberries and whipped cream. And my pal Kevin Pryor can rent you a bike just down the street at his Body Balance gym. What the heck, Kevin will probably lend you one for free.
• If you‘re looking for a good bottle of wine after your ride, I‘d recommend a vintage from Ciccone Vineyard and Winery on the Leelanau Peninsula. Owners Silvio and Joan couldn‘t be nicer, and might even let you pour some “tastes“ for customers at their wine counter.
• Be sure to have some of the region‘s famous cherry pie while you‘re here -- the pies at The Cherry Hut in Benzonia, the Grand Traverse Pie Co. in TC, or Libby‘s in Cheboygan are well worth the trip.
• There are some great parties at the film festival, but one of the best last year was an unofficial bash at the InsideOut Gallery, the cool concert & film venue in TC‘s warehouse district. Who knows? Maybe owners Mike and Kim Curths will show Truth or Dare, one of your best. I‘m hoping the film fest will show Desperately Seeking Susan on the big screen by the bay.
• If you‘re lonesome for your home in England, I‘d recommend the new Serenity Tea Bar and Cafè, right across from the State Theatre. Pop in for a spot of tea, just like the Brits do in Notting Hill, don‘t you know.
• Another good hideout: the Northern Express offices here at prestigious Building 50. We‘re buying copies of your new CD, Hard Candy, to get up to speed and lunch is on us if you choose to stop by.
Well gee, I can think of 1,000 other fun things to do in Northern Michigan when you‘re up this way. Like, if you‘re up for a kayaking trip, we can arrange one in a pinch on the glorious Crystal River out in Glen Arbor... But most likely, you‘ll be getting far more advice than you need.
So, don‘t forget to pack your swimsuit and a toothbrush -- that‘s all anyone needs to have a good time here in the summer. Northern Michigan loves you, Madonna -- see you soon.

-- Bob
 
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