Downtown Traverse City

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

After a run of 11 years at the State Theatre in Traverse City, broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera performances will no longer be streamed live at the theatre.


TCL&P approves fiber-optic internet plan

Jun 12, 2019
Creative Commons

On Tuesday, the Traverse City Light and Power board voted to finance a new fiber-optic internet plan. 

One of the concept paintings submitted by Colorado-based artist Bobby Lopez. He was selected by the Traverse City Arts Commission to honor Anishinabek culture in the Clinch Park tunnel mural.
Bobby Lopez

There used to be Anishinabek art in the Clinch Park Tunnel in downtown Traverse City. But in 2013, the tunnel was remodeled and the art was painted over. Now, the Traverse City Arts Commission is returning native American art to the tunnel. 

 


Governor Gretchen Whitmer visits Traverse City
Taylor Wizner

Governor Gretchen Whitmer met with employees, local business leaders and community members at TentCraft shipping facility in Traverse City on Monday.

Max Johnston

Homeless shelters and nonprofits are getting headcounts of the homeless across the country this month. The data goes to the federal government for homelessness prevention. But this year's count in northern Michigan happened to fall on one of the coldest nights of the year.

Dave Mertz reaches for a spoonful of chili during The Downtown Chili Cook-Off at the Park Place Hotel.
Dan Wanschura

Last Saturday, nearly 1,600 hungry people stopped by the Park Place Hotel in Traverse City. It was the 28th annual Downtown Chili Cook-Off and this year visitors tasted 20 different varieties from local restaurants. 

Max Johnston

Incumbent Republican Jack Bergman and Democrat Matt Morgan debated local and national issues, including the Line 5 pipeline under the straits of Mackinac.

 

 

Bergman said he supports building a tunnel in the straits. That plan is also supported by Governor Snyder.

 

Morgan says Line 5 should be decommissioned, and instead he wants more natural gas in the Upper Peninsula.

 

Tech incubator opens in downtown TC

Jul 25, 2018
20 Fathoms

A new tech incubator opens its doors in downtown Traverse City this week. 20 Fathoms will provide workspace and business coaching for eight small tech companies in fields like satellite communications and cryptocurrency mining.

Executive Director Andy Cole says local investors are eager to help new businesses get off the ground.

"Traverse City's a really small town, but it is incredibly dense with entrepreneurial and technology talent,” says Cole. “And then also has a really untapped, but important investment community."

Spencer McQueen paints in his studio in downtown Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Spencer McQueen says looking at his art isn’t enough. He wants you to feel his paintings.

“It’s just this little extra ability that you can give someone to connect with you and the things that you created,” he says.

Artist Diane Hawkey created "Peaceable Kingdom: A Global History of Man" for Michigan Artists Gallery in Traverse City. The piece is based off Edward Hick's paintings and is displayed at Michigan Artists Gallery.
Dan Wanschura

In the early 1800’s, American painter Edward Hicks began painting “Peaceable Kingdom," a series of 62 paintings inspired by a verse in the book of Isaiah.

The verse says, “The wolf shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the young goat, and the calf and the lion and the fattened calf together; and a little child shall lead them.” 

In Traverse City, two different art galleries are bringing that concept to the art world.

 

Chris Andrews walked across the country pushing this cart in an effort to spark face to face conversations.
Chris Andrews

A couple years ago, Chris Andrews, a senior at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, realized he was addicted to his smartphone.

“It was something I was using as a crutch,” he explains. “Something that I was using in moments of boredom, moments of anxiety, or a moment of silence in a group of friends – we’d all reach for our phones.”


Matt Shepler prepares to blend some Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate in his kitchen in Traverse City.
Dan Wanschura

Ambrosia Sipping Chocolate is a brand new, gourmet hot chocolate that’s made in Traverse City. It hits the market on April 15th.

“It’s literally like you’re drinking chocolate bars because that’s exactly what it is,” says co-owner Matt Shepler.


TC partners with LGBT group to plant 'wishing tree'

Apr 3, 2018
Nobuhiro Suhara

Traverse City officials are teaming up with an LGBT organization to build a piece of public art downtown.

The city Arts Commission plans to erect a “wishing tree” in the Warehouse District during the annual Up North Pride week in June. The tree is meant to hold handwritten wishes tied to its branches.

The City Commission approved the project Monday night and approved spending up to $2,000 on the tree.

Traverse City resident Rick Buckhalter opposed the project. He said the Arts Commission is overstepping its bounds.

Google Maps

Traverse City will not write Proposal 3 into its zoning laws. Prop 3 was passed by voters in 2016; it forces a public vote on any building over 60 feet tall. The law became part of the city charter but not part of its zoning code.

Mayor Jim Carruthers said at a meeting last Monday night that writing the law into both places would clear up confusion. But most city commissioners – including Richard Lewis – disagreed.

A new sculpture titled "Enspire" will be unveiled in Traverse City's Lay Park, Tuesday afternoon. The piece of art memorializes Bryan Crough, who was a longtime executive director of the Traverse City DDA.
Dan Wanschura

A new piece of public art will be unveiled in Traverse City Tuesday afternoon. The metal sculpture is over 14 feet high and is located in Lay Park.

Artist DeWitt Godfrey designed the sculpture. He says he hopes it’ll be a place of contemplation.


Brauker gets year in prison for homeless assault

Mar 1, 2017
Aaron Selbig

A judge sentenced a Traverse City man to one year in prison for assaulting a homeless man last July.

For the first time since his arrest, 19-year-old Maayingan Brauker admitted to the crime at his sentencing hearing in 86th District Court Tuesday. 

Jury finds Brauker guilty in homeless assault

Jan 30, 2017
Aaron Selbig

A Traverse City man was convicted Monday of assaulting a homeless man.

After a day-long trial, jurors found 19-year-old Maayingan Brauker guilty of assaulting David Whitney, who was kicked and punched last July while sleeping near Central United Methodist Church.

A visitor stops to examine Rafael Hayashi's work featured during the opening recpetion of Project omni's second art exhibition. The paintings were removed from the exhibition after the opening reception.
Allen Kent Photography

Chris Sims doesn’t think that the Traverse City art scene is bad, it’s just that it can get a bit insulated.

“When you stick to just local only, you start to just sort of pull from each other,” he says. “That just sort of leads to the same outcome creatively.”

Chris is the founder of Prjct omni, an art project that features contemporary art from all around the world. Last Friday, Prjct omni’s second exhibit opened in the Warehouse MRKT in Traverse City. And while most of the response was very positive, some of the paintings got a few folks a little riled up. But Chris says even a negative reaction with art is better than no reaction at all.


Prop 3 passes in Traverse City

Nov 9, 2016

Voters in Traverse City have passed Proposal 3, which will require a public vote for any building over 60 feet in the city.

Prop 3 passed with 53 percent of the vote. It will amend Traverse City’s charter, taking away the city commission’s ability to approve a building taller than 60 feet without a vote of the people.

The debate over Prop Three has been contentious. Both sides have said the proposal is likely to be decided in a courtroom.

Pros, cons of Prop 3 debated at Opera House

Oct 27, 2016
Sam Corden

Members of the two groups on either side of the Proposition 3 issue in Traverse City gathered at the City Opera House Wednesday night for a debate. Prop 3 would send any plans for a building over 60 feet tall to a citywide vote.

Former city commissioner Jeanine Easterday and restaurateur Paul Danielson represented Stand Up TC, a group opposed to Prop 3. Attorney Grant Parsons and law professor Brenda Quick represented the Save Our Downtown campaign committee, a group that supports Prop 3.

IPR News Director Pater Payette and reporter Aaron Selbig moderated the debate.

Aaron Selbig

Traverse City has called in an expert to help with its growth and development issues. The city hired consultant Joe Minicozzi to take a look at the economic impact of land parcels throughout Grand Traverse County.

Minicozzi says Traverse City is on the right track to growth and development.

“Traverse City is really cool,” says Minicozzi. “I think you’re doing a lot of things in your downtown right. You’re growing and harvesting more wealth in an area where you already have an infrastructure investment.”

Community members gather to hear free music from the new street piano in Traverse City.
Cheyenne Herron

A brightly colored piano was unveiled in Traverse City on Thursday evening. 

It sits in the middle of a new gathering space near the intersection of Front and Park Streets downtown. About 50 people of all ages stopped by to enjoy the warm evening and some free music.  

Jennifer Blakeslee and Eric Patterson are sharing their knowledge with younger chefs in Traverse City.
Tracy Grant (KarunaPhoto)

Eric Patterson wakes up around 7 a.m. He pulls his hair back into a bun, puts on a beige suit and heads out the door. He is the owner of Cooks’ House in Traverse City, a well-known farm-to-table restaurant. 

Previously, he worked as a chef at three Michelin-starred restaurants. He was head chef at Andre’s, a famous restaurant in Las Vegas, where he relished the thrill of finding the ingredients, preparing dishes and working for hours behind the stove. The stress of the job kept him going for years.  


New York City Dept. of Transportation

Outdoor cafes in Traverse City could be moving from the sidewalk to the street.

The Downtown Development Authority is debating a plan to allow “platform” cafes, which would take up two parking spots outside a restaurant.

The Downtown Development Authority will discuss the concept Friday morning.

DDA Executive Director Rob Bacigalupi says he wants to loosen rules on sidewalk cafes that were passed two years ago.

80s nostalgia is strong in new TC arcade

Jun 1, 2016
Aaron Selbig

It’s been 35 years since the heyday of video game arcades. By the late 1980s, most arcades had died, but over the last few years, the classic games started making a comeback, popping up in hip neighborhoods in major cities.

A Traverse City couple saw the trend and decided they wanted in on the action. Last week, they opened their new arcade, the Coin Slot, in the warehouse district.

It’s the first time I’ve been in a real arcade in I don’t know how long.

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