Grand Rapids, the West Coast of Michigan

(The photo to the left is not from Grand Rapids.)

I am in Grand Rapids, home of the Gerald Ford airport, which doesn't bother me half as much as the George H. W. Bush airport in Houston. I came by car with my student A, who is an alum of Grand Valley State University, and will be reading along with me there Tuesday night. If you are ever in Grand Rapids, you must go to downtown because there are lovely, pleasing brick 19th- and 20th-century buildings. That is, you must go downtown if you like old buildings. There are a number of "ghosts," those faint vestiges of painted advertisements on old buildings.

We went to dinner at San Chez Bistro and Cafe, a tapas restaurant (which brought tapas to Western Michigan) that has tall indoor columns covered with mosaics. They were done by Jose Narezo, a local artist who exhibited internationally. He died in December.


His paintings are all around the restaurant too.

But it is the mosaics, or *are* the mosaics that I wanted to stay and stay and look at. We went to Chartres some years ago and the cathedral was nice and everything, and the famous British guy gave the tour, and the stained glass was impressive, though I wished I'd had binoculars, and L was enchanted, but then we took a city bus to Maison Picassiette, and that thrilled me utterly. I remember the whoosh of happiness I felt just being there.

The man covered every surface of his house and property with pieces of tile and glass:

If I'd found good pictures of Narezo's columns, I would have posted them here.

If I'd found good pictures of downtown historic buildings in GR, I would have posted them here.

At GVSU, students are protesting police brutality after a sheriff's deputy shot a GVSU student in the chest while they were about to execute a search warrant. The student is hospitalized.