Old Town Deck Ends Free Parking

August 23, 2010

Parkers in the new Old Town Parking Deck will have to pay to use that facility beginning Wednesday, August 25, 2010.  The City of Traverse City, who owns the parking structure, and the Traverse City DDA, the operator, were pleased to open the parking deck early in time for the Traverse City Film Festival.  The parking deck was opened prior to installation and activation of all of the pay and parking control systems. Parkers visiting Downtown Traverse City have had the opportunity to use the deck at no charge up to this point.

The 522-space parking structure includes 97 metered spaces on the ground level where parkers prepay at one of two meter pay stations.  The rate is $0.60 per hour for up to four hours.  Both hourly and permit parkers can use the other three levels.  Hourly parkers pull a ticket upon entering and can pay when leaving using either a credit card or cash.  A $0.50 hourly rate applies on the upper levels.  Just like with the on-street meters, hourly rates are in effect from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.  There is no charge for use at other times.

Open 24 hours, the first level is accessible from the alley that runs between Lake Street and East Eighth Street behind the AT&T store and Brady’s Bar.  The upper levels are accessible off of East Eighth Street. 

The parking structure includes eighteen state of the art car-charging stations for smart cars and bike parking in the form of bike lockers and covered bike racks on the first floor.  Bike lockers may be rented on an hourly or extended period of time through the Auto Parking Services office, located in the Hardy Parking Deck.

Bryan Crough, Executive Director of the DDA, said; “We were pleased to open the parking deck early to help accommodate Traverse City Film Festival patrons.  We will have staff at the Old Town Deck on the 25th and 26th to help parkers get used to the two different pay systems.”  The pay stations on the first level are the first in Traverse City and allow for more efficient management and enforcement.
 

About the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority

The Traverse City Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is a public agency responsible for economic development in Downtown Traverse City.  The DDA runs the City of Traverse City’s parking system, including the Old Town Deck.

www.downtowntc.com

 

Favorite Summer Recipes

August 3, 2010

Fresh from the Farmer’s Market recipes

I love simple summertime meals and sides that can be made quickly from fresh ingredients you can find at local farm markets and roadside stands. Here are a couple of my summertime favorites. Whether you’re looking for a quick and easy lunch or a super sidedish to take to the next family BBQ these are fantastic.

You’ll notice that some of the recipes have been enhanced by Fustini’s olive oils and balsamic vinegars. I’ve become a loyal fan of their products ever since they opened a store in downtown Traverse City. Now I’m hooked. I’m including these recipes by request from family and friends, so I’d be remiss if I didn’t include the resources for some of the secret ingredients. I hope you try them and enjoy!

 

corn and blueberry salsaCorn & Blueberry Salad

This recipe comes from Better Homes & Gardens. I’ve made it several times this summer with rave reviews. Serve it as a side salad or with a bowl of tortilla chips for quick dipping. Either way it’s a new family favorite.

Ingredients

  • 6  ears  fresh sweet corn, husked
  • 1  cup  fresh blueberries
  • 1  small  cucumber, sliced
  • 1/4  cup  finely chopped red onion
  • 1/4  cup  chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1    jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped*
  • 2  Tbsp.  lime juice
  • 2  Tbsp.  olive oil (I like Fustini’s Persian Lime oil)
  • 1  Tbsp.  honey
  • 1/2  tsp.  ground cumin 

Directions

1. In Dutch oven bring salted water to boiling. Add corn. Cook, covered, 5 minutes, or until tender. When cool enough to handle, cut corn from cobs.

2. In a serving bowl combine corn, blueberries, cucumber, red onion, cilantro, and jalapeño. For dressing, in screw-top jar combine lime juice, oil, honey, cumin, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cover; shake well to combine. Add to salad; toss. Cover and refrigerate overnight (up to 24 hours). Makes 6 to 8 servings.

3. *Hot peppers, such as jalepeños, contain oils that can burn skin and eyes. Wear plastic gloves when working with them. If using bare hands wash well with soap and water.

* My notes: I like to serve this as a salsa, so I dice the cucumbers and separate the corn to make it bit sized. Then I serve it with tortilla chips.

 

lunch pizzaTortilla Pizzas

These simple pizzas are one of my own creation. They make the best lunch. You could also prep a bunch with different ingredients and serve them as appetizers. They’re healthy, quick and a great way to clear out the fridge. I often change the toppings based on what I have leftover.

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium tortilla or sandwich wrap
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh washed baby spinach
  • 1 tsp. olive oil (I like Fustini’s Meyer Lemon olive oil)
  • 1 roma tomato, sliced, or 3-4 cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh torn basil
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • optional ingredients: thin sliced ham or turkey, or fresh cooked corn cut from the cob

Directions

1. In a small bowl toss the spinach with the olive oil to coat. You may want to brush the edges of the tortilla with oil to help prevent burning as well.

2. Evenly spread the spinach leaves on the tortilla. Top with sliced tomatoes, and any optional ingredients, followed by mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle with fresh basil, salt & pepper.

3. Cook on an oven-proof sheet under the broiler for 5 minutes on High, or until cheese begins to bubble and brown. Remove from oven, cool and slice in quarters to serve.

 

crystal margarita imageCrystal Margaritas

While I am a loyal Michigan wine fan, I have to admit we love to make frozen margaritas for summer parties. After experimenting with similar recipes we created a custom blend for our favorite spot in the summer: Crystal Lake. Sip carefully…brain freeze is not fun, but these margaritas are. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup tequila blanco
  • 1 cup fresh squeezed lime juice (typically 4-5 limes)
  • 1 cup triple sec
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup Rose’s blue raspberry cocktail mix
  • ice

Directions

1. Add liquid ingredients to the blender. Fill with ice. Pulse on high until desired consistency. Pour into pitcher. Consistency varies; add more ice to mixture and blend again if necessary.

2. Serve with salted rim or crystal blue sugar

 

tequila sangria imageTequila Sangria

For a twist on sangria, a summertime favorite, try this high-octane punch. But beware, the fruit soaks up much of the spirit so consume with caution. It packs a tasty punch. Adjust the time the fruit soaks to control the strength of the drink versus the fruit.

This recipe comes from Viva Margarita, by W. Park Kerr.

Ingredients:

  • 2 green apples, cored, cut into wedges and thinly sliced
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges and sliced
  • 1 orange, cut into wedges and sliced
  • 15 whole cloves
  • 1 1/2 cups Tequila
  • 1/2 cup Brandy
  • 2 oz. triple sec
  • 2 oz. lemon juice
  • 2 oz. lime juice
  • 1 bottle St. Julian sparkling apple cider
  • 1 bottle St. Julian sparkling cranberry cider
  • 6 cups ice
  • handful of raspberries

 Directions:

1. Place sliced fruit in a large bowl or pitcher. Add cloves, tequila, brandy, triple sec, lemon juice and lime juice. Stir and chill up to 12 hours. Stir every few hours

2. When ready to serve add sparking ciders and ice. Serve in large tumbler glasses with ice. Be sure each glass includes some of the fruit. Garnish with fresh raspberries before serving.

* My notes: I use 2 bottles of Michigan sparking cider by St. Julian winery, instead of 2 bottles of apple-cranberry cider. I told you, I like my Michigan wines!