September 23, 2023

Ross Boissoneau | Author

Events Around the North

June 27, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic forestalls festivals and large-scale gatherings, traditional Independence Day festivities have been largely abandoned across the country. Even the famous Boston Pops Fireworks Festival in Boston has been canceled — though it’s being replaced by A Bosto... Read More >>

Mackinac Island, After the Shutdown

June 27, 2020

Mackinac Island — the four-square-mile spot Condé Nast readers named one of the best islands in the U.S. and that Trip Advisor ranked the No. 1 summer destination in America (both in 2018) — officially re-opened to visitors June 19.

The grand re-op...

Required July 4 Reading: “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom”

June 27, 2020

Pulitzer Prize-winner David W. Blight will be the featured guest at the National Writers Series’ online event 7pm July 5, where he will discuss his book “Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom” with guest host Rochelle Riley.

Blight is Sterling Professor of Histo...

Big Boom Time for Home Fireworks

June 27, 2020

With social distancing sidelining most of the region’s large fireworks shows, many enthusiasts are turning to their local stores to light up the night. We asked some of them to give us insight into what’s new, what are the biggest (sellers) and brightest (best in show), and if... Read More >>

Meet the Unconventional, Unapologetically Inclusive Jeremy Wicks

June 20, 2020

When he was growing up, Jeremy Wicks didn’t want to be a baseball player. Or a doctor. Or an astronaut.

Nope, he had three career vocations in mind: police officer, teacher, pastor. Now the 41-year-old has done all three, though he’s not done yet. 

Wicks i...


June 13, 2020

You don’t have to have a boat to enjoy Northern Michigan’s bounty of freshwater lakes. But it sure does make a day on the water a lot more fun.

We called boat dealers across the region to find out what’s available right now — among the highest of high-end a... Read More >>

Where to Get Your Art Fix Now

June 6, 2020

The shuttering of Michigan’s economy had perhaps its greatest impact on our restaurants, retail, and — that equally necessary but often forgotten backbone of the North — the arts. Many of the former were able to provide takeout or delivery, but music, dance, and the visu... Read More >>

The Indomitable Joe Maddy

May 30, 2020

Interlochen Center for the Arts has survived everything thrown at it: Near-financial ruin, the Great Depression, the Great Recession, even World War II. Now it’s up against an opponent no one saw coming: the novel coronavirus. And while the Interlochen Arts Festival concerts have be... Read More >>

Waterfront Real Estate Steals

May 16, 2020

Michigan’s Upper Peninsula offers plenty of wide-open spaces. And for those longing to cast a line or drift on an inner tube, the waterfront options are often more affordable than down below the bridge. Best of all, you could own your own cabin or cottage and be on the water by summ... Read More >>

The Empire Village Inn

May 9, 2020

The Empire Village Inn has been a fixture in the tiny tourist village on Lake Michigan for 60 years. Over that time, the VI, as it’s known around town, has transitioned from a bar to a restaurant/tavern to — a grocery store?
That’s right. While still kno...

Up North Real Estate After the Lockdown

May 2, 2020

At the beginning of the year, the real estate industry looked poised for a very good, potentially great year. Interest rates were low, the economy was strong, there was interest in buying and selling — the only cloud on the horizon was the low inventory of homes for sale. Even the c... Read More >>

The North’s Original Workforce Housing

May 2, 2020

Swanky hotels and modest motels dotting our downtowns and shores have long been the norm of the North, beckoning tourists to unwind for a weekend or even a season, since the mid-19th century.

But between the tourists and the townies are another lot — those folks who came her... Read More >>

Bespoke Boats

April 25, 2020

Phil Croff loved fly fishing. As a youth, he first was introduced to it by tying flies. Then at about nine, he began hanging out with a cousin a few years older who fished. A lot, according to Croff. “I learned from him, and my uncle, too,” Croff said.
Then th...

GET OUT: Awesome Outdoor Alternatives for (Extended) Spring Break

March 21, 2020

While we’re facing a situation that’s unprecedented and unanticipated, there are many things we can do to mitigate it. Maybe it’s as uncomplicated as this: Keep calm and start walking.
Sound simplistic? With vacations canceled, gatherings frowned upon (i... Read More >>

Do You … Shinrin-Yoku?

March 21, 2020

Sure, hiking trails is great. But get this: You don’t have to work up a sweat, or even stick to the trails, to gain natural benefits. Simply relaxing in a quiet, restful walk in the woods is beneficial.
Sure, that sounds like a good idea, but it’s more than th... Read More >>


March 21, 2020

With new measures coming daily to prevent the spread of COVID-19, it’s hardly business as usual across the nation or in Michigan. But many Up North innovators are using the obstacles as a catalyst to get creative.
Grow Benzie is one. As a food and farming outreach c... Read More >>

One Tough Grandpa

March 21, 2020

Tom Renkes likes a challenge. He also likes to mark milestones in his life. So like any other 60-year-old grandfather, he decided to kayak partway around Lake Superior by himself.
That may sound a bit out there, but Renkes was prepared. After all, he had a GPS, a smartpho... Read More >>

Chakra Tea Sampler

March 14, 2020

Angela Macke, owner of the biodynamic tea farm Light of Day west of Traverse City, created this collection of seven different teas and tisanes, one for each of the seven chakras (energy centers) of the body. It includes Red Raspberry Green, Happy Spleen Green, Lemony Ginger Sunshine, All ... Read More >>

The Power Lunch

March 14, 2020

Feed your power with The Power Lunch at Petoskey’s Grain Train Market Cafe. An enticing mix of flavorful vegetables, this $10.99 dish starts with cauliflower, the superstar cruciferous vegetable. Inflammation-fighting flavor comes courtesy of curry, which complements the roasted swe... Read More >>

Time for Some Zen

March 14, 2020

It’s a hurry-up, super-stressful world out there. Pick your poison: politics, coronavirus, the opioid epidemic. Rapidly shifting technology, a sputtering economy, security, pollution, even the sorry state of Michigan’s professional sports teams. What to do? 

Re...