What Would Ernest Do?



I’m sitting at The City Park Grill, an 1879 tavern in Petoskey, Michigan. I’m at a fine Brunswick bar with a handsome back bar as well, having a pint of Short’s Brewery’s Hangin’ Frank Pal Ale (another great Michigan beer), and contemplating Ernest Hemingway. His family owned a summer home nearby and he spent some summers and other times around here. The bar owner tells me the chair I am sitting in, second from the left end of the bar, was where he sat. I admire the pressed-tin ceiling, the whirling fans, the local chatter, and I wonder about Hemingway. What should I feel sitting here in his spot? Should I be inspired? Creative? Literary? Misogynistic? Well, I’m drunk, so I guess that’s about right.

Northern Michigan has been a surprise for me. I didn’t imagine it would have been dull or ugly or anything like that, but I am completely impressed by a number of things. Amazing wine around the Traverse City area, particularly the Old Mission Peninsula. The massive perched dunes of Sleeping Bear Dune National Lakeshore. The Caribbean turquoise of Lake Michigan. Some truly phenomenal gourmet restaurants with absurdly reasonable prices, and a menu packed with wonderful blends of local foods. And of course some excellent beer.

I’m no Nick Adams, but this place is a traveler’s gem; natural beauty, quality foods and everyman prices. More to come…

One thought on “What Would Ernest Do?

  • September 12, 2008 at 9:25 am
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    I hope to hell you made it to Walloon Lake on a sunny day.

    Reply

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