War almost was not the name slapped across gold records such as The World is a Ghetto and Why Can’t We Be Friends? When the name was first suggested, as founding member Lonnie Jordan recalls, the band thought it might sound too radical. But then they reconsidered, Jordan says, and decided to “wage war with melody, rhythm, and harmony as our weapons and the songs as our ammunition. We spoke out against racism, hunger, gangs, and crime and fused rock, jazz, Latin, and R&B.”
Joe V’s Sports Bar builds a menu of pub fare and Chicago-style pizzas on a foundation of homemade dough, sauce, and Italian cheeses. Pizzas are constructed with the clean lines of minimalist cheese ($9.29 for 12”) or the ornately decorated Super Deluxe pizza ($16.79 for 12”), which brings along its entourage of pepperoni, sausage, ham, mushrooms, onions, olives, and green peppers to shower it in flavor and compliments. Homemade potato chips ($2.99) crisp just quietly enough to avoid interrupting the sounds waves of live music or karaoke as they dance through the air. An olive-swiss burger ($7.99) is made from a half pound of Black Angus beef and paired with fries. Strewn liberally with televisions, Joe V’s lives up to its title of sports bar by displaying games and spontaneously producing basketballs every evening.
Under the guidance of cofounders and brothers Mikhail and Arkadiy Sarkisov, the skilled coaches at Grand Rapids Fencing Academy enlighten budding swordsmiths on the essential techniques of modern fencing. During informative classes for all experience levels, students learn the foot moves, blade work, and confetti-cutting skills of èpèe-, foil-, and saber-style fencing. Each session is designed to improve mind-body coordination and flexibility while providing aerobic exercise. A wall of full-length mirrors allows pupils to view and modify their techniques inside the sprawling hardwood studio.
Mikhail and Arkadiy Sarkisov sharpened their fencing skills on the former Soviet Union's national fencing team before earning medals in their home country's national championship. In 2004, the United States Olympic Committee named Mikhail the Developmental Coach of the Year in fencing. Both brothers hold master's degrees in fencing and have placed highly in numerous tournaments across multiple globes.
Although officially founded in 1930, the Grand Rapids Symphony's history stretches back to 1917 when an enterprising group of local musicians began practicing together and holding regular concerts. In the years since, the ensemble has retained this self-starter mentality while growing into one of the nation's preeminent regional orchestras. Always asserting its idiosyncratic individuality, the organization earned a 2007 Grammy nomination for its collaboration with flamboyant electric harpist Deborah Henson-Conant and the ire of conductors for its rule that all batons should be able to shoot sparks.
Grand Rapids Adventure Boot Camp runs intensive fitness classes taught by skilled personal trainers. Each session lasts 45 minutes, and with five sessions each week, fledgling fitness seekers will be well on their way to sprouting six-pack wings from their trapezius muscles. Each session involves intense circuit-style workouts, as well as light running, weight training, obstacle courses, core training, and jumping rope. All of Grand Rapids Adventure Boot Camp's outdoor locations have cover in case of rain, but in cases of extremely inclement weather (typhoons, scratch-inducing dog and cat downpours, plague frogs, etc.), the instructor will arrange make-up classes.