Jim Koski's 107 Reasons
12/02/2014 09:27:28 AM
THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT MARQUETTE COUNTY
here we go--the THIRD edition of ď107 Things To Love About
But a word or two before we begin. As with every edition of
this list, every item on here is SUBJECTIVE. It speaks to
who I am, what I do, and where I go. Most of the items on
the list are from Marquette; thatís only because that where
I spend most of MY time. There are going to be many things
left off that YOU would put on a list like this, and some
things that will just make you shake your head and go ďhuh?Ē
when you read them. Thatís fine; it is, after all, a list of
107 things that I love about living here. Your list should
In fact, Iím counting on your list being different. Thatís
why, when itís all done, I wanna hear from YOU about any
item, person, or thing that shouldíve been on the list that
I, for whatever reason, left off. I have a feeling that
youíll contribute more than enough to populate an entire
Things are listed here not in order, but by category. This
is not intended to be a countdown leading up to the ďbestĒ
thing about the Marquette area; after all, is there really a
BEST upon which we can all agree? And the items on the list
wonít be numbered. Instead, theyíll be capitalized. Thatís
how youíll know what they are.
Like I said before, comments are more than welcomed.
Actually, theyíre required, because itís always YOU guys who
got me off of my aforementioned duff and made me write this
107 THINGS TO LOVE ABOUT MARQUETTE COUNTY. Letís start with
natural & community wonders.
I mean, do you know just how lucky we are to have what we
have, and right outside our back door? Itís what draws
people here to visit in the first place, and itís what draws
many of us whoíve left Marquette to come back, even if it
DOES lead to some wind chill-induced cool spring days!
LOWER HARBOR PARK--Whenever I tell someone who doesnít know
what used to sit on that land before it became one of the
crown jewels of the Marquette park system, theyíre amazed by
the transformation. Besides, can you imagine life without
all the activities that go on there, everything from food
fests to Frisbee playing? Neither can I.
The other crown jewel in Marquetteís park system. I donít
even know where to begin talking about the park itself, so
just let me say thisóof all the things we need to thank
Peter White for doing over 100 years ago, this may be the
PARK CEMETERYóOf course, this may give Presque Isle a run
for its money in the ďthing we need to thank Peter White
forĒ sweepstakes. Now, I may be a bit prejudiced in this
matter, seeing as how much time I spend in the cemetery, but
how can you honestly NOT think that this may be one of the
most beautiful (and peaceful) places youíll ever come
SUGARLOAF MOUNTAINóThink about it. When you have company
come and visit you, company whoís never before been to
Marquette, whereís the one place you take them AFTER taking
them to Presque Isle? Yup...you climb Sugarloaf, donít you?
MOUNT MARQUETTEóYet while the view from Sugarloaf is amazing
in its view of nature, I personally donít think ANY local
mountaintop view can beat THISó
Although it looks pretty impressive from Mount Marquette,
itís not until you walk up and down Front Street that the
history of Marquette hits you. Iíll get into a few more
specifics as this list wears on, but if thereís indeed an
epicenter to the entire U.P., this may be it.
THE (OLD) COAST GUARD STATIONóIíve written blogs about this
before, and Iíll put forward the thought again. Can you
think of ANYTHING in the U.P. that is painted, photographed,
sketched, drawn, and doodled about more than this?
THE BIKE PATH SYSTEMóYeah, I know Marquetteís one of the top
5 places in the country to go mountain biking, but what if
you just wanna go for a ride in the fresh air, gazing at
some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet? Thatís
what these 12+ miles of paved trails are for! In fact, the
stretch between downtown & McClellan, the one that comes out
near McDonalds, may be one of my favorite places to bike or
walk on a warm summer day!
MCCARTYíS COVEóSure, itís one of those places I visit when I
play hooky on those aforementioned warm, summer days. But I
do so for a reason...Iíve often thought that the stretch of
beach between McCartyís Cove and Shiras Park may be one of
the finest stretches of cold water beaches ANYWHERE. Can you
imagine how packed it would be if it were in Florida?
Next, we move on to one of my FAVORITE local subjects--
One of the things that we are so fortunate to have in this
area is a sense of history; a sense of why we became the
area we eventually became. We have people and groups
dedicated to preserving this story and, because of that, we
live among marvels like the following--
How many of you know that this rock, now a nesting place for
seagulls, was an important piece of land for the first
non-native settlers of the area? Ships used to anchor to the
rock, throw supplies (and livestock) overboard, and then
bring them to shore. Before ore docks, there was Ripleyís
Then after Ripleyís Rock, there were indeed ore docks. In
fact, at one time, over a dozen of them graced both
Marquette harbors. And while only one of them is still
functional, they serve as a vital reminder of the areaís
past. After all, Marquette came into existence because iron
miners needed a place from which to ship their ore. Without
ore docks, there never wouldíve been a Marquette.
THE MARQUETTE COUNTY COURTHOUSE--
Where else might you find a 107-year old building thatís
still used for its original purpose (a courthouse and county
offices), but has also doubled as a movie set, an
architectural temple, and as a place where some of us get
married? Not many places.
PETER WHITE PUBLIC LIBRARY--
Yesterday, we talked about a couple of the civic projects
behind which the spirit of Mr. White lurks. Hereís another;
like the Courthouse, itís 107 years old, and like the
Courthouse, itís still used for its original purpose. The
two year-long renovation of a decade ago was certainly worth
it, as well.
FIRST NATIONAL BANK--
Okay, itís now known as Wells Fargo, but for a lot of us, it
will also be the First National Bank building. When Louis
Kaufman built it in 1927, it was, per square foot, the most
expensive construction project in the country. If youíve
never been inside it, do yourself a favor, walk in the
lobby, and just stare at the ceiling. Youíll be amazed.
Right before he built the First National Bank building,
Louis Kaufman threw his muscle behind construction of a new
high school, named after his motherís family. Over the
years, itís been a high school, a middle school, an
intermediate school, and now an alternate school, but after
85 years, itís still going strong. Letís hope it continues
for another 85!
Where did people like Peter White and Louis Kaufman live? In
Marquetteís historic East Side, where a stroll up & down the
streets reveal some of the most amazing houses built in the
last 130 years.
THE OLD ORPHANAGE--
This may be the one historic building thatís not yet been
returned to its former glory. Itís been tied up in legal
proceedings for as long as I can remember, but plans are now
afoot to renovate it and turn it into a performing arts
school. Letís hope it works out!
FATHER MARQUETTE STATUE--
When this was erected in the late 1800s, it was actually
down by the Maritime Museum; now sitting in Lakeside Park,
it allows the cityís namesake to overlook his domain.
The next picture actually takes care of two items at once.
First, THE LANDMARK INN--Over the last couple of decades,
many of Marquette historic buildings were falling into
disrepair. Fortunately, most of them have been restored to
their former glory; in the case of the Landmark, Christine
Pesola went waaaaaaay past what the old Northland Hotel once
was, turning it into an amazing place to stay, eat, and
Helping preserve all this history, not just in Marquette but
around the county, are many local groups, including the
MARQUETTE REGIONAL HISTORY CENTER (the dome of which is in
the picture above), NEGAUNEE HISTORICAL SOCIETY, and the
REPUBLIC HISTORICAL SOCIETY. I mention these three because,
in order, Iím a board member, theyíve been helpful in
providing all kinds of information, and theyíre some of the
nicest (and most dedicated) people Iíve met. If youíve not
visited any of their museums, do so, and see for yourself!
We now move on to nature, and what it brings us!
Now, if you know me at all, you know Iím not the
stereotypical Yooper. I donít like to camp, I donít hunt,
and, if truth be told, Iím more comfortable around concrete
than I am wild animals. But that still doesnít mean that I
donít appreciate what we have around here; in fact, I Ďm
willing to forego concrete just to have the chance to enjoy
these wonders of our environment.
JULY AND AUGUST--Whenever someone asks me why I want to stay
in Marquette, living through endless months of snow and
cold, I always reply with those two words. During July and
August (well, most Julys and Augusts) I canít think of a
more pleasant, enjoyable, and beautiful place on the face of
the Earth. It makes living through the snow and the cold
BIG BAY AND THE DRIVE THERE--Depending upon which season you
drive there, you get awesome views of green, or of white, or
of red, or, if itís spring, dirt. But itís always an awesome
view heading up there, and once youíre in Big Bay, itís a
fun little place to explore (like, in fact, a lot of SMALL
TOWNS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTY).
COUNTY ROAD 492--Two things about the back road between
Marquette and Negaunee have always appealed to me--the fact
that itís a FUN bike ride, and the fact that, during the
fall, itís one of the best places in the area to see amazing
fall colors. (The highway center line was also invented by
K.I. Sawyer for this road; thatís just a bonus, I guess).
Okay, Iíve mentioned FALL COLORS twice so far, so Iím
guessing they better make this list, too!
FOG--As far as I can tell, there are very few drawbacks
about living next to Lake Superior. One of those is that the
lake can keep us quite cool during the spring and summer.
But an offshoot of that, when warm ground air meets cool
lake air, allows us to see things like this--
THE FIT STRIP--Ever since I moved back to Marquette over 20
years ago, Iíve used this one-mile trail for everything from
running to skiing. The fact that it sits right smack-dab in
the middle of the city is amazing; the fact that itís also
home to everything from raccoon to deer is even more
BLUEBERRY RIDGE--When Iím looking for a longer ski than a
few laps around the Fit Strip, this is where I go. Thereís
just something about these trails that always puts me in a
great mood. For others, though, the NOQUEMANON TRAIL NETWORK
does the same. You canít go wrong with either!
HILLS--When I first put this list together back in 2000, I
left these off the list, and boy, did I hear about it! Until
youíve lived somewhere flat, you really donít appreciate
having a little variety in your terrain. You really donít!
DUCKS--Iím not talking about the geese that seem to pop up
everywhere, leaving their calling cards wherever they go.
Iím talking about these cute little things
that make their home at places like Park Cemetery or on Lake
Superior. Just seeing a mom duck and her brood waddling
around is enough to melt even the hardest of non-nature
Trust me on that one!
Next, one of those very subjective parts of the
MY FAMILY--Iím incredibly lucky, in that I get to live in
the same area as my mom & dad, Melanie and Marc, Courtney,
Mallory and Sydney, (a.k.a. my sister and brother, and my
nieces and nephews), as well as any other people who share a
snippet of DNA. How many of us can say that?
MY FRIENDS--Iím incredibly lucky again, because Marquette
Countyís also home to people like Roxanne & Tom, and Justine
& Scott, and Chris, and Luanne & Kevin, and Joe & Karen, and
a whole slew of others. But I do hafta single two of them
out. . .
DEANNA--Many of you know of her from her days at TV-6, but
trust me...thatís nothing. Every day, thereís something new
with her, and every day, I look forward to hearing what it
DENNIS--I met Dennis two days (and two jobs) after I moved
back up here over 20 years ago, and while we no longer see
each other every day, the last 20+ years just would not have
been the same. Besides, with Dennis you get to see things
CO-WORKERS--Speaking of co-workers, over the past 22+ years
itís gotten quite huge. And while I donít even probably
remember all of them, they certainly have made Marquette
County a special place for me, at least.
KARL--I know Iím constantly on his case when itís not 80
degrees outside, which means Iím almost constantly on his
case, but the U.P. is really fortunate to have someone of
his forecasting talent (and interest in the area and its
history) among us!
The gang at MORRISONíS DRUG STORE in Ishpeming. For 14
years, I worked a floor above them, and for 14 years, they
kept me supplied with chocolate. You can NOT underestimate
the power that they held.
The TSA AGENTS AT SAWYER INTERNATIONAL. You know, Iím
guessing that theirs is a mostly thankless job, but every
time I fly somewhere, they always ask where Iím going, in a
fun manner and like theyíre genuinely curious. And whatís
more amazing is that they often remember where I flew the
previous time, and ask how THAT trip went.
Everyone who works at THE U.P. REGIONAL BLOOD CENTER
deserves to be on here, too. I know I may be a bit biased
(because, as you know, I do a lot of work with them) but
theyíre very good at whatís a very hard job--trying to
convince people to get stuck by a needle and give up some of
their body fluids. I know I wouldnít be that successful at
PHIL NEIMISTO--Anyone whoís walked through downtown
Marquette knows about Phil & his Pocket Pock flowers, and
his incredible window washing skills. Heís just one of those
people who make Marquette Marquette, you know?
CAROL PAPALEO--One of my favorite local artists, if only
because thatís what she is--an artist who paints local
scenes (her downtown sandstone series being one of my
favorite). There arenít a lot of artists from whom I buy
originals...sheís definitely one of them!
JACK DEO--Iíve often joked that Jackís my ďdealerĒ, because
Iím addicted to the enormity of his collection of historic
photographs of Marquette. Not only that, heís a fun guy to
talk to, as well. Throw in all he does for the Marquette
arts community, and you see why heís on the list!
DON CURTO--Donís a Marquette original...thatís for sure. I
think Iíve referred to him before as one of my favorite
local raconteurs, which fits him perfectly.
THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH MARQUETTE. Even though my dad was born
there, I never spent much time in that particular part of
the city. But since Iíve started giving tours of it, Iíve
discovered an amazing fact--in an entire city of incredibly
friendly people, the residents of south Marquette may be the
friendliest. I donít think Iíve ever gone for a walk around
Division or Jackson or Blemhuber and not been stopped by
people wanting to chat (or to just say ďhiĒ). You canít beat
NMU STUDENTS--After all, without NMU students, we wouldnít
get to see things like this!
I may joke about NMU students and their fondness for
parties, but they are for the most part a great group of
people, especially for those who are a part of THE NMU
VOLUNTEER CENTER. They devote an extraordinary amount of
time into making Marquette a great place to live, and really
donít get a lot of credit for it. Hereís my way of
correcting that injustice!
Speaking of which, ANYONE who volunteers for any service
project or non-profit agency deserves to be on this list, as
well. And you know what? Now you are!
Among people Iíve saved the best for last--LORAINE.
Sure, she wasnít born here, but with the way sheís woven
herself into things around here, youíd never know! I canít
imagine what my life wouldíve been without her, and I can
only imagine what kind of adventures weíll get into together
in the future! Besides, sheís managed not to throttle me
even once in all the years weíve been together, and thatís
gotta count for SOMETHING, right?
Hungry now? Weíre at that part of the list!
THE PORTSIDE has become, I believe, my favorite post-smoking
ban Marquette restaurant. The food is great, the people are
great, and the pictures on the wall are great. What more
could you ask from a restaurant?
Right down the street from the Portside, BABYCAKES has the
perfect thing for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Itís
their sour-cream chocolate chip muffin, and while Iím sure
it causes you to add two pounds and shoot your cholesterol
level up 20 points just by looking at it, itís thatís good.
If you havenít tried it, try it!
Speaking of something you really have to try, Negauneeís
MIDTOWN BAKERY makes these chocolate-oatmeal cookies with
just a hint of orange flavor to them. When weíre exploring
parts of the West End, Loraine and I always stop there for
lunch, and get a bunch of the cookies to go with us. After
all, you never know when youíll need a quick fix, right?
CALíS PARTY STORE--Speaking of cookies, the ones they sell
at Calís are not only yummy, but theyíre also the size of a
Frisbee (and no, Iím not kidding!) Ever since Iíve
discovered those cookies, Iíve developed a new favorite
summer pastime--buying one of them, and then burning off the
calories while walking around Marquette. Sure, I may have to
spend several hours walking around Marquette to burn off
said calories, but whatís wrong with that?
And speaking of chocolate, the MARQUETTE BAKING COMPANY
gives you a little taste of France without spending 9 hours
cramped in a plane. Just one bite of their pain au chocolat
(or, in English, chocolate croissants) is enough to send you
Now, lest you get the idea that all I eat is cookies (and
muffins, and chocolate), rest assured thatís not true. Why,
aside from getting great ice cream and, uhm, chocolate, you
can also enjoy real food at places like DONCKERS. In fact, I
think the best macaroni and cheese on the planet is
available there. If you havenít tried it yet, you really owe
it to yourself to do so. After all, when was the last time
you had mac & cheese with several different kinds of
cheeses, including gouda?
If youíre ever in the mood for something REALLY different,
stop by THE RUBIYAT, and try one of their specials for that
particular month. I think the best thing Iíve eaten anywhere
this year was one of their February specials, a curried red
quinoa cake. Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but trust me--it
I think my favorite breakfast in Marquette may be the
SWEETWATER CAF…ís French toast. I get it made with whole
wheat bread, and when you combine it with U.P.-produced
maple syrup, the whole thing just kinda transports your
mouth to a tasty heaven.
Finally, I donít go to JEAN KAYíS for the reason you think.
I know the rest of you go there for pasties (and they are
good), but Jean Kayís is another one of those places I like
to visit on those summer walks. They have these really
simple chocolate-covered rice krispie bars that, for some
reason, just seem to hit the spot when youíre out in the
A few businesses are up next, the first of them being
ANDRIACCHIíS. I donít know if youíve ever been to this
fascinating Ishpeming institution, but you HAVE to go there,
if for no other reason than to browse an incredible
selection of foods from Europe. Itís just a cool place.
I go to THE MARQUETTE FOOD CO-OP quite a bit because I only
work a few blocks from it, but you know what? Iíd go there
even if I worked miles away. The selectionís great, the
people are even greater, and youíre constantly amazed by
what you can find there.
The same goes for the really fresh produce at FARMER QíS.
And now that theyíre open year-round, itís even better!
I think that we as an area are incredibly lucky to have a
place like JILBERT DAIRY here. I mean, they deserve a place
on this list for no other reason than their Amaretto-Cherry
Mackinaw Island Fudge ice cream, doncha think?
GETZíS is a throwback (in the best possible way) to
department stores of old, when friendly people sold stuff
they actually knew about. Itís my one-stop shop for Leviís,
if nothing else!
Believe it or not, Iíve never actually purchased anything at
THILLíS FISHHOUSE, but hereís why it makes the list--every
time my in-laws visit from downstate, the last place they
visit in Marquette is Thillís, where my father-in-law stocks
a cooler full of Lake Superior whitefish. That, I believe,
says it all.
SNOWBOUND BOOKS is a place where you can find yourself lost
for hours just browsing every little thing on the shelves.
Donít believe me? Try going in there without a watch or
without looking at a clock. Youíll see Iím right.
Every neighborhood in Marquette has its own little party
store. In my neighborhood, itís THE SPOT. Need something on
the spur of the moment? Itís there; in fact, Iím amazed that
they can stock so many different things into a place thatís
so small. Every time I go in I look for the mirrors and the
hidden rooms. Havenít found Ďem yet, though.
If you ever find yourself lacking a unique gift for someone
who already has everything, just go to A TOUCH OF FINLAND,
and youíll find what youíre looking for. I canít tell you
the number of times that storeís saved my behind in that
I really DO need to include the fine people at IRON BAY
COMPUTER & DESIGN. After all, without them, you wouldnít be
Next, things that are uniquely ďMarquetteĒ.
There are very few places in the country where you can find
sandstone architecture still standing. The fact that we have
so many of these buildings still around (and in use) is
ARTSY PEOPLE--This may be one of those things you donít even
think of, but itís true. I think Marquette may have more
artists, musicians, writers, and ďinterestingĒ individuals
per capita than any other community of its size. Probably
why, among the many honors the cityís received over the last
decade, itís been named as one of the ďTop 100 Art Cities In
The U.S.Ē. And Iím not just talking about ďprofessionalĒ
artists; I think almost everyone here has that vibe to them
in one way or another. How else could you explain this?
Yup, you got it right. Itís a flower bed.
See what I mean?
And as a very important subset of the above category, letís
add MUSICAL PEOPLE to this list. When you think of the
amazing amount of musical talent we have around
here--everyone from Adam Whittington to Matt Sia, it just
makes your just drop. It really does.
NEW YEARíS EVE BALL DROP--
Iíll often refer to it as a big party with me and a few
thousand of my closest drunk friends, but it is a
destination every December 31st. And thankfully, every year
when it seems like it may be discontinued, someone steps up
to help out. Hereís to hoping weíll keep seeing the ball
drop for years to come!
THE NOQUEMANON--In the last 13 years, this has become one of
the pre-eminent cross country ski races in the country, and
for good reason. Over 1,000 people take part every year over
one of the most beautiful courses is the U.S. Oh, and they
get to hear one darn fine finish line announcer, too.
SUPERIOR BIKE FEST--In the past 6 or 7 years, this has
become one of the premiere bike race weekends in the
country, and, like the Noque, for good reason. Whether you
like racing through a city, around the countryside, or down
hills, youíll find what you like here. Plus, riders in the
Twilight Criterium also get to hear one darn fine finish
line announcer, too!
(and thanks to sports photographer extraordinaire Daryl
Jarvinen for that picture!)
THE U.P. 200--What the Noque is for cross country skiing and
the Superior Bike Fest is for biking, the U.P. 200 is for
sled dog racing. If youíve never stood on Washington Street
in Marquette at least once as the dogs take off, I donít
know that you can consider yourself a true Yooper!
GLACIER GLIDE--Every year, this is one of the many events
that takes place during the U.P. 200 weekend, and itís
probably the most unique. Art is spread out around Presque
Isle, and you get to walk, snowshoe, or ski around the
Island to look at it. Okay, you can stop laughing now. Itís
actually a blast, and thatís coming from someone who, as you
may recall, really doesnít like winter!!
ART ON THE ROCKS--However, if you wanna see art outdoors in
slightly more temperate conditions, THIS is the art show for
you. And since they moved the show to another of the 107
Things to Love About Marquette County, Lower Harbor Park,
you can just walk to the show!
CARL PELLONPAA and FINLAND CALLING--Nowhere else in the
country can you find someone like Carl and a TV show like
this. If you havenít watched it recently, Tivo or tape part
of one, and check it out. I have a feeling that weíll never
see another one like it again.
FOOD FESTS--It could be the INTERNATIONAL FOOD FEST or the
SEAFOOD FEST in Marquette, or the ITALIAN FEST in Ishpeming,
but these are weekends that draw thousands of people and
raise thousands of dollars for charity. You canít go wrong
with those, can you?
PETUNIA PANDEMONEUM--Every May, hundreds of volunteers
gather in Marquette, and line the US-41 corridor into the
city with thousands of blooming flowers, which then greet
visitors throughout the summer. You know how they say first
impressions are the ones that count? Those flowers make a
heck of a first impression!
THE USOEC--We have one of four Olympic Training Centers in
the U.S. here. If THAT doesnít make Marquette unique, I
donít know what does!
THE SUPERIOR DOME--
Speaking of the USOEC (or, at least, where it sits) we also
have the worldís largest wooden domed stadium in our
backyard. I donít know about you, but Iím having trouble
believing itís been over 20 years since construction started
on it. Weíve been using the Dome for over 20 years now!!
Here are a few non-physical items to add to the ďUniquely
MarquetteĒ portion of the list. The first? The fact that
PEOPLE START WEARING SHORTS WHEN THE TEMPERATURE FINALLY
GETS ABOVE FREEZING. People never believe me when I tell Ďem
itís true, but you know it is. After a long & cold winter,
when do you start seeing people wear shorts? The first day
it gets above freezing. Some people, in fact, donít stop
wearing them until it hits freezing again in September or
October. How many other communities are as hardy as that?
Finally, thereís one more thing to add to this part of the
list, and, I hafta admit, thereís a bit of personal
preference here. I hafta add the VIEW YOU GET FROM M-28 as
youíre driving into Marquette. Thereís that moment, right as
you clear the trees and get to the two beach turn-offs, when
you actually see the entire city of Marquette before you.
When I lived downstate and was driving back, that was always
the moment I knew I was HOME, especially at night, when you
could see the entire city lit up in the distance.
If that view ever fails to move something in my heart, I
plan on checking my pulse...stat!!
The Ishpeming and Marquette FOURTH OF JULY PARADES. Iíve
done these for oh, I dunno, almost 20 years now, and I hafta
admit that itís one of my favorite days of the year. Thereís
no rush quite the like one you get when you walk down a
streets and see hundreds of people holding up signs with
your name on them. Itís really amazing!
FALL FEST, NMUís annual way of welcoming students back to
Marquette for the start of the school year. Like parades on
the 4th, Iíve been doing Fall Fest forever, and if for some
reason I donít get to (Iíve only missed one since the early
90s) my entire September just doesnít feel right.
BIG SHAG LAKE--when I was a kid, I spent big chunks of my
summers there, at my grandparentsí camp. And while I havenít
been out there for a while now, that lake will always hold a
very special place in my heart.
URBAN RENEWAL--When I redid this list the first time a
couple of years ago, I asked blog readers if there was
anything I should stick in it. Well, one of the responses I
received was from someone who left Marquette for a home
elsewhere in the U.P., and wrote that he missed the constant
sense of change and ďgrowthĒ in Marquette. Where he lives,
things just get shuttered up or torn down when they close.
In Marquette, buildings and ideas get reused, and what
emerges is usually stronger than it was before. As he put
it, thereís ďstill a sense of hope in MarquetteĒ. And weíre
fortunate that there is.
And in that same vein, I also have to include the fact that
recently Marquette County has seemed to have adopted a
slogan along the lines of ďWE DO BIG THINGSĒ. Think of
it--in the past year, weíve had everything from dozens of
civic awards to John Stamos, and from President Obama to
Not many communities our size can make that claim!
The I-ECONOMY PARKING DECK--Because I work right across the
street from it, and because I sometimes use downtown
Marquette as my own personal jungle gym, I often find myself
standing on the top of the deck, either cooling down after a
workout or finding myself in a very zen-like state of calm,
thanks to the view you get from there. You know...views like
The LILACS AT LAKESIDE PARK--you know how much I like
lilacs, right? Well, I think the best concentration of them
is in this small park, right next to the Lake Superior
Community Partnership offices. Just walk over there in late
May or early June, standing the middle of all the bushes,
and inhale deeply. If thatís not heaven on Earth, I donít
know what is!
WILLIAMS PARK--Speaking of Marquette parks, I like this one
because, for over a decade now, itís been my ďneighborhoodĒ
park. Yet so few people know about, despite the fact it has
tennis and basketball courts, a playground, and a terraced
stone garden dating back to the Depression. If youíve never
been there, go, and just take a look. You can thank me
The 400 BLOCK OF HIGH STREET in Marquette. For seven years
of that decade-plus I just mentioned, this was where I
lived, and I hafta admit I still miss it a little. The
people who lived around us were some of the friendliest Iíve
ever met, people with whom we still keep in touch. Everyone
deserves to have neighbors like that!
LITTLE, SEEMINGLY HIDDEN STREETS IN MARQUETTE like Mather,
or Chamberlain, or Fitch, or Blemhuber, streets you can
explore at your leisure with a little stroll, streets that
have their own histories and their own interesting stories
Heck, I also need to add the fact that you can WALK AROUND
MARQUETTE whenever and wherever you want, see so many
things, do so many activities, and meet so many friendly
people. There arenít a lot of places where you can do that;
weíre very lucky in that regard.
Speaking of FRIENDLY, GREAT PEOPLE, thatís another thing we
have in abundance in Marquette County. Youíll always hear
visitors to the area say ďeveryoneís so friendly up hereĒ,
and itís true. And itís not just visitors who feel like
that; in the last few years, I canít count the number of
people Loraine and I have met, people whoíve shared their
stories and their recollections and their time with us.
Without people that like, she wouldnít know what she does
about World War II, and I wouldnít know all those
interesting little historic facts about the area that I keep
sprouting off. So we can both attest to what visitors to the
area already know--you guys rock!
Finally, speaking of you guys, I wrap up the list of ď107
Things To Love About Marquette CountyĒ with this item--
YOU. After all, without the thousands of listeners and blog
readers who show up every day, my life would be a whole lot
different than it is now. So thanks for everything!
Think thereís something I left off, or something youíd like
to know more about? Let me know!
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