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Shopping : West Michigan In The News

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Artists' street market transforms South Division into Avenue for the Arts

A monthly artists street market has ramped up the transformation of the seedy side of Grand Rapids' South Division into a desirable marketplace for the arts. Sales fund student enrichment programs, support local artists and help the growing and lively market thrive.

According to excerpts from the story:

When was the last time you were on South Division Avenue? Sorry, driving with your doors locked and windows rolled up doesn't count. Suburbanites often miss out on the rich art culture Grand Rapids has to offer because we're a bit leery about what might happen if we get out of our cars on South Division. I grew up in suburban Detroit, so I understand the fear factor that sometimes keeps many suburban dwellers away from urban art culture. Thankfully, I outgrew it once I hit college. Now I'm trying to pass on the appreciation: For me, my first lesson was an impromptu visit to Heartside Gallery and Studio, 48 S. Division Ave.  My daughters, 5 and 3, colored with markers while I sat across a paint-splattered table and chatted with the gallery art coordinator, Sarah Scott, about Saturday's Avenue for the Arts street market that will flood the sidewalks of Division Avenue south of Fulton Street with art and music.

Read the complete story here.


Grand Rapids parking meters among first in nation to take credit cards

Downtown motorists in Grand Rapids can now conveniently use their credit cards to feed parking meters by authorizing the payment through their cell phones.  The program that started this week is used in many European cities but Grand Rapids is among the first of several cities in the United States to launch the payment plan.

According to excerpts from the story:

Grand Rapids motorists may now use their cell phones and credit cards instead of their pocket change to feed downtown parking meters. The program that started Monday is aimed at making it more convenient to pay for metered parking in Michigan’s second-largest city.

Parkmobile North America spokesman Laurens Eckelboom says the company's high-tech parking program is used in more than 100 European cities. Grand Rapids is the first of several U.S. cities where it will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

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