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Thursday, July 07, 2016
Great Place for Receptions and Special Events in Appleton: The Franklin Street Inn
I understand it may be on the market, if you are looking for a high-quality home with classic charm. It's the kind of place that I think I'd enjoy living in.
Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Chinese Dignitaries Attending International Event To Be Welcomed At GingeRootz Asian Grille
The final choice, aided by input from a key figure in the Valley's Chinese community, was GingeRootz Asian Grille. On my page of dining recommendations for Appleton and the Fox Valley, I have awarded it with "Webmaster's Choice: Best Asian" (a tie).
GingeRootz is a classy place with outstanding Asian food. Its menu has influences from China, Thailand, Korea and Japan. Brilliant flavors, excellent service, pleasant setting. Among Asian restaurants in our region of Wisconsin, GingeRootz has a great reputation and really great food. A favorite among many people I know. They also have one of the nicest and most useful websites I've seen for a restaurant.
They are open daily from 11:00 AM to 9:30 (10:00 on Fridays and Saturdays). 2920 N Ballard Road, Appleton, WI 54911. Phone. 920-738-9688. Email. info at gingerootz.com. Tell them Jeff sent you!
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Appleton's Paper Industry International Hall of Fame to Recognize China's Answer to Gutenberg, Wang Zhen
Wang Zhen was a Chinese official who recognized that vast amounts of agricultural technology scattered across China needed to be preserved to help all of China reduce famine and be more productive. He took a Chinese invention, movable type, and improved upon it to make a practical way to print an entire book. He used carved wooden blocks for each character, and developed a sophisticated way of arranging them on two rotating tables to allow typesetters to quickly find needed characters to place them in his press. The Nong Shu was printed and preserved many notable inventions in China, including an early form of a blast furnace driven with a reciprocating piston attached to water works, something long that to be a later European invention.
Recognizing Wang Zhen for his important role in the advance of printing is a fitting step for the Hall of Fame, and I look forward to many more Asian inventors, scientists, and business leaders being recognized in the Hall of Fame in future years. The historical contributions of China in numerous fields have received far too little attention, and I'm delighted to see folks in Appleton taking the lead in rectifying this problem. Kudos to the Paper Industry International Hall of Fame!
Wednesday, September 09, 2015
The Fox Valley: A Favorable Place for Home Schooling
Home schooling can leave some important areas uncovered if you do it all by yourself in a cave. Fortunately, by cooperating with other families and organizations, you can provide many of the activities and social experiences that can supplement the academics your providing.
I spoke with one Appleton mother recently who is doing home schooling with her children and obtaining amazing academic results. I was surprised to learn how many activities their kids have with other families and organizations. A variety of local institutions treat home schoolers with respect and give them the same kind of discounts that other students get, adding to the fun and success that many serious home schooling parents are experiencing.
Yes, of course, Appleton has outstanding school with a lot of great opportunities. For those who care about academic success--often one of the concerns that leads some parents to prefer home schooling--there are places like the Classical School with a focus on academic excellence. But sometimes the available resources are inadequate, overloaded, or not what a family is looking for. Sometimes the social aspects of a school include bullying or exposure to other negative influences that lead some parents to favor home schooling. Whatever the reason, it's important to know that there are many serious and successful home-schooling families in the Fox Valley and a couple of different groups to choose from if you want to band with others for support. In fact, you can even put your home-schooled kids in a band in the Fox Valley. I'll provide some details in a future report.
Monday, June 01, 2015
Wild Adriatic Reminds Us of What a Great Community Appleton Is
Friday, February 20, 2015
Penzeys Spices: One of My Favorite Shops in Appleton
I recommend both their straight spices and their mixes, such as Arizona Spice and Maharajah Curry (the king of curries, but fairly expensive). If you didn't know that there are distinct differences in varieties of cinnamon, be sure to compare Ceylon Cinnamon with Vietnamese and other cinnamons. I also especially like their garlic and their basil. I usually buy in the bulk plastic bags instead of the small glass bottles because you get a much better deal that way.
Today I dropped in to Penzeys to get some essential spices. Always a pleasant experience. And a great place for gifts for other foodies.
Major Chinese Culture Event in the Fox Valley: Shen Yun at the PAC, March 4-5, 2015
Monday, December 29, 2014
Jillian Rae Performs Dec. 31 at The Source Public House in Menasha
The Source Public House is at 890 Lake Park Road, Menasha, not far from Lake Winnebago. Phone: 920-830-2050. Jillian Rae will be performing with Dead Horses. The performance is free, but they are accepting donations to show your appreciation.
Jillian Rae is a multi-talented violinist, lead vocalist, and songwriter who adds a fun dose of creative violin to her music. Her music is positive, upbeat, and catchy, even when dealing with the disappointments and frustrations of life.
Jillian Rae grew up in Minnesota's Iron Range, said to be an environment as open to country, folk (and yes, polka) as it is to pop, rock and blues. Growing up in a music-loving household, Jillian started with the violin as a young child and has been developing her talents and music ever since. Hope you'll be there Wednesday night at The Source Public House in Menasha.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
Summer in Appleton--Wishful Thinking as the Polar Vortex Nears
First up is Appleton's downtown summer concerts and other public events. Lots of free entertainment comes to the streets and parks of Appleton in the warmer parts of the year. Here are two photos from a summer concert at Houdini Square.
Summer also makes me think of the Fox River, known especially for its ability to flow in the summer, while its icy winter form is a lot more sluggish. In the summer, you can still go out on the river, but it's best to be in a boat.
Summer memories often focus on the Fox Valley's beautiful parks like Appleton's Telulah Park shown here or Plaman Park, both of which offer Frisbee golf, a popular activity in the Valley.
Among Appleton's parks, City Park with it's beautiful Ring Dance sculpture and fountain offers some of my favorite summer memories. Here is a view during an Art in the Park event.
What are your favorite summer memories in the Fox Valley? Care to share a photo or two?
Saturday, August 02, 2014
Aug. 15 Book Signing Party for Lee Mothes of Kaukauna, One of Wisconsin's Leading Artists
I'm happy to report that at Appleton's Art in the Park 2014, Lee Mothes was the winner of one of the top 3 prizes, the Best 2D Work for his paintings. You can read the news and see a photo of the happy winners at the Trout Art Museum page on the competitions at Art in the Park 2014. Kudos!
There's even more good news for Lee Mothes. His beautiful new book has just been printed and he's celebrating with a book signing party in Appleton. Here are the details I've received from Lee:
"An Artist's Journey to Nevermore" has arrived from the printer, and the book looks great! I'll be shipping them out in the next few days, and also hosting a book signing party -- see below!
200 copies ready to sign and number!
BOOK SIGNING PARTY: Friday evening, August 15th, 6-9 pm, at Coventry Glassworks & Gallery, in Appleton, Wisconsin. Enjoy lots of art, food, comraderie and Linda's wonderful punch, and claim your pre-ordered or Kickstarter-reward copy of An Artist's Journey to Nevermore. You may also purchase a copy at the gallery. (There should be at least 50 copies left for sale at the time of the party.
This event is during Appleton's Art on the Town Night in August.
Here is how I'll do this:
1. I will hold all WISCONSIN book recipients' copies and then hand them out at the party, signing each one over to its owner.
2. I'll work from my list, and whoever does NOT show up that evening, I'll ship your signed copy(s) on Monday the 18th.
3. If you will NOT be coming to the party, e-mail back to me and I will ship your items to you in the next few days. If you think you'll come and then don't make it, I'll still ship your book(s) to you on the 18th.
4. All other states and countries: I'll ship your books, maps and packets in the next few days.
Also, if you have NOT pre-ordered a copy and you want one now, please send a check, made out to Lee Mothes, for $55. for the book and shipping. If you live in Wisconsin, please add $2.50 sales tax. Don't forget your shipping address! Mail your check to:
425 Dixon Street
Kaukauna, WI 54130
******************Sounds great. Congratulations, Lee! Wish I could be there, but I'm back in Shanghai for a while. On the day of Lee's book party, I'm scheduled to attend a game of the Shanghai Sharks, the Chinese professional basketball team owned by Yao Ming, as they play the US all-stars from the college PAC-12 division. Should be fun, though maybe not as interesting as what Lee paints.
ARTSTREET ART FAIR: See my newest original art at Artstreet in Green Bay, aI on Friday Evening, Saturday and Sunday August 22-24. I'll be in booth no. 135, with my most recent drawings and surf paintings on display.
ARTPRIZE: I've been accepted to show my new surf drawings at Artprize in Grand Rapids, MI from Sept. 24 to October 12. The whole city becomes an art show! I'll be at the Cathedral Square venue, attending the show with my work. I hope you can make it, and if you like my entry there, vote no. 56639 on your phone!
Saturday, July 26, 2014
Recent Suggestions for Eating Out
I'm also impressed with the healthy and flavorful men at the new SAP restaurant, just a few yards away from Carmella's. It also has a fun outdoor section for casual dining. Lots of great local ingredients and healthy items there. Fun place.
My biggest recent surprise was a place I had studiously avoided: Golden Corral. Now that it has been remodeled and greatly upgraded, it's a surprising wow in terms of great buffets. For $12 a person, I'm actually rather shocked at how much good food is available there. My grandkids absolutely love it, and I can see why. The thick, juicy steak I had there was perhaps the most surprising item. Wow, I've had much worse for much, much more. Actually rather tasty and more tender than I expected. Nicely. cooked. But on the other hand, it's been a while since I've had steak so I may have forgotten how good it can be. But give Golden Corral a try.
Dynamic Insights Comes to the Newly Remodeled Equtiable Reserve Association Building
The developer of the building has a bold vision for preserving and enhancing downtown Neenah. It was a pleasure to meet him and learn of his passion for Neenah and his vision for the future. Congratulations to him and to Dynamic Insights.
Here are some photos from my visit:
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Crime Down in Appleton--And It Was Already Pretty Safe
Wednesday, February 05, 2014
Winter in Appleton
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
The Great Grill & Sushi Buffet: Now Even More Sushi in Appleton!
Monday, January 13, 2014
Island Sushi in Appleton (Replacing Jet Sushi)
Island Sushi is on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Islandsushibuffet. Keep those sushi boats sailing!
Sunday, January 05, 2014
Glass Nickel Pizza Still a Winner
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Osaka Japanese Grill
Saturday, November 30, 2013
Good News: One of Appleton's Most Unsavory Businesses To Close
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Josh Damigo Headlines in Appleton, Sept. 13, 2013
Tuesday, August 06, 2013
Wisconsin State Fair, Milwaukee, 2013: A Few Photos
Monday, August 05, 2013
Bella Vita: One of the Valley's Best Restaurants
We started with appetizers, bruschetta and fried olives with dipping sauces. The bruschetta was genuinely the best I have tasted. Perfectly toasted bread with a thick, hearty topping with roasted cherry tomatoes, cheese, and other ingredients that made it much heartier and more interesting than the typical bruschetta of Italian restaurants. The olives were a surprise--large green olives lightly breaded and fried without being too oily, and served with a plate of several different dipping sauces. Delicious. Also the standard bread, oil, and balsamic vinegar was memorable, with a pleasantly aged, fruity vinegar and warm, fresh bread.
The entrees impressed as well. For me, the Mediterranean pasta dish with shrimp, artichoke hearts, feta cheese, cherry tomatoes and other ingredients in a tart, savory sauce was one of the best pasta dishes I can remember. My wife's lobster ravioli was also surprisingly good, with a bercy sauce that left us puzzled as to how it could be so delicious and yet so light.
We also sampled some desserts and again found outstanding quality and creativity. My frozen custard with strawberries was delicious, and the chocolate mousse shared by the other couple with us was rich and nearly perfect.
Given the classy setting and high-end quality of the food, one would expect this place to be rather pricey, but it was surprisingly inexpensive. With appetizers and desserts, the four of us had a bill of $111 plus tax and tip. Not bad! This is now one of my favorite restaurants in town. Delicious. The service was also excellent.