Dmitri Matheny Group JAZZ NOIR Michigan Tour Diary — Day 2 April 11 Traverse City, MI
After a four-hour flight to Detroit and a four-hour drive north through mist and fog, dodging deer along the way, we've arrived in Traverse City.
TC is a small town (only 15,000 residents) but is the largest city in Northern Michigan, and something of a tourist destination. Situated on Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse is the self-proclaimed Cherry Capital of the US, and also produces wine grapes. Vacationing midwesterners come here for the freshwater beaches, vineyards, hiking and skiing.
Surprisingly, they're here now. Our hotel is full up with families, which seems odd, because it's so cold outside, with ice and snow piled up along the roadside. Why vacation now? Is it spring break? So many kids.
I hope a few of the older folks come to hear us tonight. It's always a white knuckle ride, arriving in a new place, wondering if anyone knows or cares that you're in town. You send announcements to traditional and social media, maybe do a couple of radio interviews, then it's out of your hands, entirely up to the Fates.
This morning at breakfast I perused the local paper, searching vainly for a photo listing or any mention at all. Nope! No arts coverage. Just sports, real estate, gossip and TV listings.
Will they come?
Hope so! Regardless, I'm looking forward to the experience.
Traverse City holds much nostalgia for me.
30 years ago, when I was a teenager at Interlochen, we would come here on semi-chaperoned weekend bus trips to stroll around the shops, go to the movies and hang out away from campus.
I held hands with my high school crush here.
I also played my first ever paid gig in this town, a private party at the Maritime Hall.
Our little jazz quintet only knew six tunes from memory.
When in Japan, the Frugal Flugel recommends 100 YEN SHOPS, where packaged meals and snacks, groceries, water, toiletries, household items and more are available for about a buck. In addition to familiar picnic items like sandwiches, dried fruits and nuts, 100 Yen Shops offer a chance to sample such Japanese treats as sembei (rice crackers), iwashi (sardines) and ika (dried squid).
The Frugal Flugel recommends Zipcar! Zipcars can be found in cities across the USA and are a great option when you need a car for only a few hours. There is a $25 one-time application fee to join and an annual fee of $50, but then you get dirt-cheap hourly rates. In Chicago a Zipcar is $9 per hour; the same car in New York City is only $10 per hour.