South Oakland Shelter partners with more than 60 area religious institutions to provide housing opportunities for displaced people. Its guests receive a place to sleep at the partner congregation, warm meals, and opportunities to plan housing situations with case managers. The shelter also organizes targeted homelessness-prevention efforts including direct financial assistance, career-development and financial-literacy workshops, and support groups. Because of its work with more than 8,000 volunteers annually—who interact with guests and arrange sleeping spaces—SOS was named Outstanding Volunteer Program by the Michigan Governor’s Service Awards in 2009.
The talented dancers of the Michigan Classic Ballet Company bring The Nutcracker to life for the 22nd year with their elegant, well-trained limbs and precise artistry. Leaping through expressive choreography, the company transforms Tchaikovsky’s famous score into an enchanting escape into the Land of Snow, the Kingdom of Sweets, and the Municipality of Dentistry. The performers’ finesse and grace captivate eyes, while the sugar-powdered plotline piques imaginations young and old. Four special guest artists from the Grand Rapids Ballet lend their acumen to the classic Christmas tale. Quartets can seek refreshments, exchanging their tickets for coffee, pretzels, cookies, and other snacks that don't require the assistance of the ballet's titular appliance.
A small family-run European circus, a Dutch unicycling school, various roofs—these are just a few of the places where Cirque Amongus' staff of performers has been known to hang out. Through hands-on programs, teachers enrich students' sense of teamwork, motor skills, and self-esteem by teaching them circus-arts fundamentals, which they'll use to dazzle friends and families in performances. Voted one of the top places to host a child's birthday party in Michigan by eHow, Cirque Amongus lets kids sample acrobatics at birthday parties, perfect juggling routines at afterschool sessions, and run the mile in clown shoes during school visits. Children can also practice unicycling at drop-in workshops, or test out new magic tricks at open-stage nights.
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7 Bar & Grill might be so named for good luck, or for the number of 60-inch flat-screen televisions on the walls, but either way it sounds like some place you want to be. As the TVs broadcast sports games and other programs, visitors tip back 16-ounce drafts. On the surface, the place seems nothing more than a congenial spot to cheer on your favorite team, and perhaps indulge in a cocktail. The menu, however, reveals its devotion not just to traditional pub snacks, but also to restaurant-style meals.
The signature burger here isn't a simple lettuce-tomato-onion affair—it's built instead with provolone cheese, red pepper relish, and portobello mushrooms. If you crave a challenge, you might opt for the Big Boss, which puts two quarter-pound Angus patties on a three-layered bun. Other pub staples include cheese fries and chicken wings. The menu then steers into hearty territory with full dinners of lamb chops or rib eye steak. Though fish 'n' chips is indeed available, you can go a tad fancier by ordering a plate of seared Scottish salmon, or by eating the shrimp scampi out of a top hat. A list of nine specialty pizzas even features a shrimp pizza, dappled with red peppers, red onions, and herbs.
Staffed by a team of trained massage therapists who have experience working with Olympic athletes and the Detroit Lions, SowGood Pamper Lounge performs over ten different types of massage. During signature warm Swedish treatments, bodies are draped in chamomile-infused hot towels that help loosen muscles and melt away the ice that forms around the hearts of those working in customer support. Deep-tissue, sports, and hot- or cold-stone treatments can help relieve back pain or chronic aches. In addition to standard massage treatments, the staff also specializes in lypossage, a noninvasive alternative to liposuction, and offers personal training.