Since 1928, the Flint Institute of the Arts (FIA) has chronicled the cultural history of the city and today continues to influence its rebirth. In that time, the museum has been designated as a National Treasure by the President's Committee on the Arts in 2002 and received the Governor's Award for Arts and Cultural Organization in 2007. As a world-class cultural institution, the FIA draws over 120,000 visitors a year to an array of exhibitions, film screening, lectures, educational outreach programs, and family events that enlighten art lovers and celebrate Flint's diversity. Within the FIA's 150,000 square feet of space, stunning gallleries of over 8,000 objects, including sculptures, paintings, and artifacts, tell the story of Flint's past and future. Its libraries and art school prepare the next generation of artists. The FIA also features a video gallery, a cafe and gift shop, a great hall for large events, and a theater for films and lectures.
In 1985, friends and business partners David Byl and David Broadworth decided to capitalize on Michigan's rabid in-state college rivalry with a store that catered to both Michigan and Michigan State fans. When visitors enter The Great Divide, they find a college apparel store split down the middle, with Spartans memorabilia on one side and Wolverines memorabilia on the other. The ever-changing lineup of jerseys, flags, hats, and knickknacks has earned the shop a loyal following from both schools, with floods of customers coming in for the annual Michigan-MSU football game.
Slumber expert Roger Wardell staffs each of his Sleep Doctor Mattress Stores with knowledgeable employees who help to match shoppers with surfaces that complement their dozing styles. A full-size basic firm mattress by American Pedic ($219) supports stomach sleepers with memory foam, and Serta's twin-size Dura Pillowsoft ($499) cuddles tired muscles with inner springs and a 6-foot spoon.
Long-time Suddenly Slender clients and product proponents, Nurturing U Spa owners Carol and Marla now share these torso-tautening mineral-body-wrap methods with the Flint area. The SlenderTone wrap claims to harness the electrical fields of vitamins, minerals, herbs, and enzymes to tighten, tone, and reshape the body into a visibly slimmer figure without dieting or laborious exercise (a $90 value). A Nurturing U Spa aesthetician envelops the body in a non-dehydrating cocoon, then encourages patients to engage in mild physical activity or strenuous word-search puzzle to promote circulation while the treatment takes effect. After about an hour, once-curvy caterpillars emerge as smoother, more slender butterflies.
Underneath a canopy of natural greenery sits The Weed Lady's rustic gift shop and greenhouse. A stone foundation forms the roots for the charming, cottage-like gift shop, which is filled with a plethora of home-decor items, including glassware, garden ornaments, and candles. Behind the gift shop, an onsite greenhouse nurtures verdant plantsincluding unusual perennials, such as lady's mantle and Dark Dancer white cloverthat bloom under natural light spilling in through pellucid windows. The nursery's potted succulents and hard-to-find herbs extend their leafy limbs toward visitors looking to add a touch of greenery to their desks, windowsills, and drab bomb shelters.
The product of more than 30 years of science, Widdershins carries an extensive line of essential oils, lotions, and soaps, including 400 essential and aromatherapy oils, such as honeydew melon, vanilla musk, myrrh, and lotus, among many others. Customers can purchase a single dram ($7), two drams ($12), or a half ounce ($20) of any oil. Signature blends are integrated into lotions ($8 for 4 oz., $14 for 8 oz., $22 for 16 oz.) to create scents such as a vitamin-fortified cactus-blossom-and-coco-coriander blend or a pomegranate-based bouquet. Bath salts are also available in sampler ($3), medium ($5), and large ($7) packages.