Monday, September 04, 2006

Beach Bears in Michigan

St. Joseph, MI, July 18-22, 2006

Last year My Wife and I experienced something that seems to have been very popular in Europe: The Cow Parade. Last year we suddenly met some creative cows in the streets of Bratislava (Slovakia). Each cow differently decorated and painted by local artists. This year Oslo had a Cow Parade as well.

So, what could be more natural than finding Bears in Michigan? Artisticly decorated. And of no danger, of course. These Beach Bears, 33 in all, are in fact located in the centre of the small city of St. Joseph in South-West Michigan. USA.

We stumbled into the first Bear, near a parking area. And at first hand, we thought it was put there by a shop to have attention from people walking in the City. Then we discovered paths on the sidewalk and another Bear and another. All in different shapes and colors representing individual expressions. Then we realized: Here they have the Bear Parade instead of a Cow Parade.

You can go to the Home Page and read more about the Beach Bears. This outdoor art gallery lasts until October 22 this year.

St Joseph is not the worlds bully, so why are we here? First explanation: A Son and his wife living and working in the Area. Secondly: Beatiful Beaches and surroundings. And the Light House. The River. Good outdoor concerts down by the riverside. Beautiful houses and Gardens.

How to be a pedestrian in Berrien County and other parts of the USA.

We were warned by our Son: Don’t walk. Don’t cross the Streets. They are not used to Pedestrians. People walking are considered suspicious. You can do jogging, if dressed for it.

Well as European, we are used to walk. We do not drive for a 10-20 minutes walk. Old habit don’t easely go away. So, we walked to the Marked and crossed the Street. It was nearly our last roadcrossing. It looked like the drivers did not realize it was people in the Pedestrian Crossing. Scary.
It looks like you are safest as pedestrian in the Large Cities.

Luckely, in St Joe (thats what the locals call the city) center, Pedestrians have priority.

South Haven, MI.

The Beaches, shopping and Cufflinks

The Beaches are situated down the Bluff. White Sandy Beaches stretches from St. Joseph river mouth and southwards. We did go swimming in Lake Michigan – 20-21C (70F) which is our lower limit to find it agreable to swim. Unfortunable, the weather our last two days in the area was windy with rainshowers, thus we went shopping in St Joe and in South Haven some 30 minutes (by car!) to the North. South Haven is also a nice little city by the Michigan shores. Quite Busy in the Pedestrian area with it’s countless Gift and Art Shops. We also gott he impression the citizens of South Haven have a special focus on pets and pets treatment.

South Haven, MI

I focused on finding a shirt with holes for cufflinks. But in vain. In every shop they said: No one have asked for that in years. Remember this, if you plan to use cufflinks. Bring the shirt from home. I did not, so my cufflinks was brought back home unused.

Do you know of other places but Bratislava, Oslo and St. Joseph with Cow or Bear Parades? (Vancouver B.C. has Bears).

St. Joseph, MI

Photos by Anna (Canon ixus V) and TorAA (Canon PowerShot A620)


Blogger RennyBA said...

Thanks for sharing your exciting trip! But Tor: I tried to fight the myth about bears in the streets of Oslo:

September 07, 2006 3:33 pm  
Blogger TorAa said...

Rennyba, I too have to convince people there are no Polar Bears in the streets of Oslo. It seems people are more likely to think we have Polar Bears than I have grapes in my garden. But anyway, Polar Bears are more exotic than grapes, so we might import some from Svalbard. I guess that will be quite an attraction if they walked free around in our streets.

September 11, 2006 1:21 pm  

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