The Longest Inflatable Waterslide in the World

Rob Bliss is amazing. Bliss, who is a college student at Grand Rapids Community College, has brought remarkable events to Grand Rapids, including the Zombie Walk, the Chalk Flood, and the paper airplane (actually 100,000 paper airplanes) launch. Now he has raised money to build the longest inflatable waterslide in the world. And this weekend, Grand Rapids tried it out.

Set up on the Lyon Street hill, which runs through the campus of Grand Rapids Community College, the waterslide attracted over ten thousandriders who, in some cases, waited for over 2 hours to ride the slide. These pictures were taken around 8:30 a.m. on a Sunday morning, and the line already stretched a long way.

A Fall Afternoon at the Apple Orchard

Robinette’s Orchard, northeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan, is a magnet for families every fall weekend. It used to be a regular event for us to visit the orchard when our children were young. I thought I would stop by today. As usual, the line for the fresh baked donuts, cookies and pies snaked out the door. I resisted the aroma and bypassed the line, buying apples and cider instead. Then I walked around the property to take in a taste of fall.

You can view larger images by clicking here.

ArtPrize 2009: “salt & earth (2009)” by Young Kim

ArtPrize 2009 moves to phase two of the voting today. This afternoon they will announce the top 10 vote getters. From now to the end of the competition, the voting will be between those 10. (All 10 receive a cash award.) Over 32,000 people have registered to vote, casting over 320,000 votes in the first round.

One of the entries in the top 25 is salt & earth (2009), by Young Kim of Greensboro, North Carolina. Kim projects random pictures of people taken on the streets of Grand Rapids onto small piles of sand and clay. The result is incredible.

“Plaza Promenade” at ArtPrize 2009



John Merigian, an artist from Superior Township, Michigan, has entered Plaza Promenade in ArtPrize 2009.  Seven thirteen-foot-tall steel figures make their way through the plaza at Fifth Third Center.  Merigian has collected photos (including several of mine) in a Flickr gallery in which he describes the figures.  You can see the gallery at:

Plaza Promenade is co-sponsored by Fifth Third Bank and Warner Norcross & Judd LLP.