See & Be Seen is now Explore Flint & Genesee

Thank you for visiting See & Be Seen!  In an effort to provide more positive news, views, and coverage of upcoming events about Flint & Genesee we have moved the blog to our newly redesigned website.  Check us out at FlintandGenesee.org under the Newsroom is the new Explore Flint & Genesee!

3 Downtown Flint Events Celebrating Small Business Saturday

img_1879Tomorrow marks the seventh annual Small Business Saturday – a day dedicated to supporting small businesses across the country. To celebrate, why not visit some of your favorite local businesses tomorrow and get some holiday shopping done while you’re at it?

A handful of local businesses and organizations will be hosting special shopping events that bring together multiple vendors. They include:

  • Flint Farmers’ Market, 300 E 1st St. – vendors, including Wildtree and Emily’s Boutique and Resale, will be offering Small Business Saturday deals from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • The Local Grocer, 601 M L King Ave. – will have a diverse array of vendors and a coffee cupping/tasting demo from #FlintCoffeeCompany from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • Flint Masonic Temple, 755 S. Saginaw St. – 10th Annual Holiday Craft Market, featuring over 40 local crafters and artisans. The first 25 shoppers of the day will receive free goodie bags. The market will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where will you be shopping tomorrow? Let us know in the comments below!

Good Beans: Coffee Shop by Day, Restaurant by Night

good-beansEstablished in 2000, The Good Beans Cafe features an old-school bar stocked with teas, flavored syrups and key ingredients for your favorite coffee drinks. Like most coffee shops, its patrons gather together for caffeinated beverages, conversation and the occasional live music performance. But unlike most cafés – about once or twice a month – the Flint-based business extends its hours, becoming a temporary eatery for the evening.

“Pop-up restaurants are very popular in cities like Detroit,” says café owner Ken Van Wagoner. “We’re excited to bring the concept to Genesee County. It allows us to showcase some of our local culinary talent.”

The Good Beans Café – which has a limited kitchen setup – normally offers a light menu of bagels, muffins and other pastries. But on pop-up days, the café goes all out, with past menus centered around everything from naan pizzas to smoked chicken pozole.  Guest chefs have included Tony Vu of MaMan, Joe Boike of BOKA and North Pond, and Christian Gilbert of Flint City Hard Cider Co., to name a few.

“One of the fun things about partnering with a chef is they have their own following, so they bring new customers to our business,” Van Wagoner says. “So these events turn new people on to us, while also introducing our regulars to these area chefs and restaurants.”

These pop-ups are part of a collaboration between Good Beans and the University Avenue Corridor Coalition, which is in the midst of a three-year Lighter Quicker Cheaper grant made possible by the East Central Association of Realtors and Michigan Realtors. The grant supports quick and inexpensive placemaking opportunities along the avenue.

According to Tom WyattProject Manager for Renew the Avenue, the coalition liked the idea of offering local businesses and entrepreneurs the chance to test out market feasibility via different pop-up opportunities. They’ve done pop-up food trucks, a water park, and – most recently – the temporary restaurants at Good Beans.

“It’s a great way to see what’s viable and where there’s interest,” Wyatt says. “We’re all about creating more active spaces. Criminals are more prone to target areas where there are fewer eyes on the street.

“The more activity there is, the safer the space will be.”

According to Wyatt, the pop-up restaurants have attracted anywhere from 30 to 50 patrons – all during a time when the café would normally be closed.

Van Wagoner says he’s been very pleased with the outcome of the partnership and notes his appreciation for the resources that have been made available to his business.

“Kettering (part of the University Avenue Corridor Coalition) has removed its one-time, very insulated campus boundaries and truly embraced its surroundings,” he says. “As part of that geography, we remain proud to partner with the students, staff and faculty, continuing 16-plus years of pushing our agenda and credo of ‘constantly supporting community and culture, and the arts…’”

The Good Beans Café will host its next pop-up restaurant Monday, Nov. 28 from 5-8 p.m. The chef and menu will be posted closer to the date of the event on Facebook. To keep informed about future pop-ups, and other University Avenue Corridor events, click here and select subscribe.

The café, located at 328 N. Grand Traverse St., is open Mondays through Thursdays from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Holiday Roundup: 9 Festive Events in Flint & Genesee

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With Thanksgiving just around the corner, the holiday season will soon be be upon us. Here are a few opportunities to get into a festive spirit both this month and next.

  1. Count down the seconds leading up to the lighting of downtown Flint’s Christmas tree. The “Tree-mendous Evening” starts at 5 p.m. on Nov. 17, and will include hot chocolate, roasted chestnuts, yard games and a visit from Santa himself.
  2. Shop local during one of several upcoming holiday events, including Ladies Night at the Yellow Dog (Nov. 18), Flint Handmade Holiday Craft Fair (Nov. 26) and Tis the Season at Chrysa Studio (Dec. 15).
  3. Get dirty at The Mounds, an off-road vehicle park in Mt. Morris. A longstanding Thanksgiving Day tradition, hundreds of people will bring their ORVs to the 300-acre property on Nov. 24.
  4. Celebrate the holidays 19th-century-style during Christmas at Crossroads Holiday Magic. Festivities in the historical village will run Nov. 25-27, Dec. 2-4, 9-11, 16-18, 20-23 & 27-30.
  5. Learn about the star of Bethlehem during Longway Planetarium’s First Friday: Star of Wonder lecture on Dec. 2.
  6. On Dec. 3, grab your sneakers for the YMCA Santa Run. Included in the registration fee is a five-piece Santa Suit that participants are asked to wear on the day of the event.
  7. Catch a free showing of Home Alone (Dec 2-4), The Grinch (Dec. 9-11) and the Polar Express (Dec. 16-24) at NCG’s Grand Blanc and Burton theaters. All shows will start at 9:30 a.m.
  8. Enjoy the sounds of the season at the Flint Farmers’ Market, where more than 60 tuba players will perform carols on Dec. 10.
  9. Check out the lineup at The Whiting, which includes the Hip Hop Nutcracker (Dec. 10) and The Holiday Pops (Dec. 17-18), to name a few.

We know this list just scratches the surface of area holiday events. What are we missing? Let us know in the comments below!

On the Big Screen: November at the Flint Institute of Arts

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As part of the 2016-17 season, the Flint Institute of Arts is screening a variety of independent, international and classic films within the comforts of its 330-seat theater.

Here’s the lineup for November:

Purple Rain (Nov. 3, 5-6)
The late, great Prince stars in this edgy musical drama about a young musician whose star begins to rise amid personal and professional conflict in his life. Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 4 p.m. Admission: $2

Captain Fantastic (Nov.4-6)
A father who has raised his six children in an environment of self-reliance and withdrawal from the outside world is forced to re-enter the society he despises, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.

Resurrecting Black Wall Street: The Blueprint (Nov. 10)
This inspirational documentary explores how the residents of a neighborhood in Tulsa, Oklahoma, overcame tragedy in the early 20th century to create one of the most prosperous African American communities in history. 7 p.m.

Our Little Sister (Nov. 11-13)
In a life-affirming comedy-drama, three siblings who live in their late grandmother’s house after the departure of their parents are unexpectedly united with their 13-year-old half-sister.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople (Nov. 18-20)
Sam Neill stars in an adventure comedy-drama about a rebellious kid and his foster uncle, who prompt a national manhunt when they go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

Weiner-Dog (Nov. 25-27)
In a quirky comedy, a dachshund passes from oddball owner to oddball owner and impacts all of their radically dysfunctional lives. The well-populated human cast includes Ellen Burstyn, Kieran Culkin, Julie Delpy, Danny DeVito, and Greta Gerwig.

Unless otherwise noted, general admission is $6 and show times are Thursday at 7 p.m., Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

For more info, visit https://seeandbseen.org/2015/07/07/firestix-girls-softball-tournament-swings-into-flint-genesee/.

4 Places to Get Artsy in Flint & Genesee

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Creating art is a known stress reliever. Studies show it can encourage creative thinking, improve attention and boost self-esteem. And – of course – there’s the added benefit of it being a fun thing to do. That said, why not try some of the following arts and crafts opportunities in Genesee County?

  • Create your own custom work of art at Painting with a Twist in Fenton. Local artists provide participants with step-by-step instructions on how to create a given painting, which changes based on the class. Students are welcome to bring along a bottle of wine or other non-alcoholic beverage. Classes range from $35 to $45 and include all painting supplies. Select family friendly classes are offered for $25.
  • Check out the Craft Academy, which is hosted every first and third Wednesday of the month at the Local Grocer in downtown Flint. Recent classes have included block printing, homemade laundry soap and more. All supplies and instructions provided Classes range from $5 to $20. For details, check out Flint Handmade’s Facebook page.
  • Learn from the best at the Flint Institute of Arts, which hosts a number of one-day workshops open to the public. Examples include Calligraphy for Special Occasions (Nov. 4) and Japanese Stab Binding (Nov. 19). Classes vary in price. To read the Fall 2016 catalog and registration form, click here.
  • Embrace your inner gardener at Wojo’s Garden Splendors in Davison, which offers several make-and-take workshops. For example, visitors can learn how to create a unique holiday porch pot on Nov. 10 and a beautiful one-of-a-kind wreath on Nov. 26. Both workshops are $30.

10 Ways to Get into the Halloween Spirit in Flint & Genesee

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All Hallows’ Eve is just a few weeks away. Why not make the most of the spooky season with some of these fun activities?

  1. Learn to Thriller at the Southern Lakes Park & Recreation Dance Studio in Fenton. On Oct. 14, children ages 7 and up will learn the famous dance before transforming themselves with zombie-esque makeup.
  2. Enjoy a silent film showing of Phantom of the Opera. The event, which kicks off at 7 p.m. Oct. 14, will feature live organ music at the Flint Institute of Music. Tickets are $15 at the door.
  3. Make googly eye ghosts using Tootsie Pops during the Flint Handmade Halloween Market on Oct. 22.
  4. Survive the Flushing Trail of Terror on Oct. 22. The event is $10 per person and is strongly recommended for adults. Proceeds go towards the maintenance and expansion of Flushing trail and park systems.
  5. Brave a haunted house or two. Clio Manor, Exit 13 in Mt. Morris, and Saint Lucifer’s ScreamPark and The Crypt in Flint are open on select dates through Oct. 31.
  6. Find your way through the Spooky Trails haunted cornfield: the Undead Field of Fear in Swartz Creek. Recommended for ages 6 and up.
  7. Sing along to classics like “The Monster Mash” during Longway Planetarium’s The Ooky Spooky Light Show.
  8. Take a ghost tour at Stockton Center at Spring Grove Museum, which was built in 1872. Tours are available on Fridays through October. To reserve a spot, call Jacquie at (810) 250-1145.
  9. Travel back in time at Crossroads Village. During Halloween Ghosts & Goodiesheld Oct. 14-16, 21-23, and 28-31, visitors can go trick-or-treating, watch a magic show and more.
  10. Find the antidote for a zombie outbreak during the “Escape the Zombie challenge at Playland Park in Flint.