Meet Lyndsay Israel, Feature Writer

Meet Lyndsay Israel, Feature Writer
Lyndsay Israel - The Awesome Mitten

Meet Lyndsay Israel, feature writer here at The Awesome Mitten.

1.) Where have you lived in the Mitten? Where’s your favorite? Why?
I was born on the southeast side of Detroit in the city of River Rouge.  My dad was the chief of police there until we did a complete 180 and relocated to the rural gem of Williamsburg: the idyllic no-man’s land between Traverse City, Kalkaska and Elk Rapids, my school district.  After an amazing childhood and adolescence there, I moved to Grand Rapids to attend Grand Valley State U and haven’t been able to leave since.  I’m hooked.  There’s admittedly nothing like northern Michigan and while I can’t wait to raise my eventual kids there, GR has to be my favorite place to live so far.  It’s the perfect blend of gritty city and close-knit community.
2.) Favorite Michigan beer/wine:

While I am a self-proclaimed whiskey girl, my favorite Michigan beer has to be Founder’s Red’s Rye.  I’ve also been known to sip on a glass of Chateau Grand Traverse Late Harvest Riesling and, seasonally, Leelanau Cellar’s Witch’s Brew.

Lyndsay Israel - The Awesome Mitten3.) Favorite place to eat in each city you’ve lived?

Hmmmm…I do love MI eating.  I’ll narrow it down to three places so that all of our meals get covered.  For breakfast, I’m rather fond of the small mom and pop Trout Town of Kalkaska.  For lunch, I enjoy the Traverse City Mediterranean delight, Opa!  And for dinner, I’m pretty much obsessed with The Twisted Rooster and it’s smaller sister pub, the Crooked Goose, of GR and Standale, respectively.

4.) Favorite place to drink in each city you’re lived?

It’s possible that I love MI drinking even more than MI eating.  For high school reunions, nowhere is better than the Town Club in Elk Rapids.  They always have good beer on tap and the drinks are silly cheap.  But since most of my legal age living has been done in GR, some of my favorites include Farah’s on Michigan Ave., O’Toole’s on Bridge St.(try the steak quesadilla), and Mojo’s on Monroe Center.  *I do not mean to discriminate against all my other favorites but this article does not need to be ridiculously lengthy.  Plus, it makes me seem like I have a drinking problem.*

5.) Why have you stayed in Michigan?

I have stayed in MI because when the fresh water runs out, I’m determined to outlive the less awesome states.  I’m just joking.  But for real?  We’ve got it all: the seasons, landscapes, activities, community, pride.  I love traveling…but there’s no place like home.

Lyndsay Israel - The Awesome Mitten6.) What Michigan bands are you listening to these days/or what’s the last great Michigan band you saw live?

I most recently saw the Kari Lynch Band perform at Peppino’s during Rock the Rapids in GR- and she was awesome.  But as any self-respecting middle/high schooler from my generation would agree, it’s all about Slim Shady in MI.  Happy belated 40th, Marshall.

7.) What’s your favorite story you’ve written for the Awesome Mitten (favorite place, event, whatever)

I haven’t been writing for the Awesome Mitten for a super long time but I must say that my favorite story was my first.  Conundrum Café in Elberta, MI.  My mom and I took a daytrip to Elberta Beach (which is stunning) and interviewed on the way home.  Michele Cannaert was hands down the nicest person ever; I was honored to feature her unique business that she founded with her husband- a bike/kayak/café/curio shop crossover.

Lyndsay Israel - The Awesome Mitten8.) Where is one place in Michigan that you’ve never been, but would like to go?

I camp a lot so I’ve seen some pretty remote and gorgeous spots in MI.  But I need to get to the thumb.  I feel like a cheater having never been.

9.) Advice to people who have recently moved to Michigan?

I live with two Arizonian transplants and my constant (perhaps nagging) advice is to do some interstate travel!  MI can’t be defined by one city, just like the USA can’t be defined by one state.

10.) Anything else?

Other Factoids:

I’m a good dancer, particularly of the Celtic variety

I love Harry Potter unconditionally

I attend Crossroads Bible Church

I’m a nanny and a bartender…cool mixture

Kids love me

I’m a voracious reader

I’m voting on Tuesday!  Are you?

Thanks for taking the time to get to know me, high five!

The Awesome Mitten was born when I moved back to Michigan from Nashville, TN in September 2010. Almost immediately, I became frustrated. I couldn’t figure out why there weren’t more Michigan residents singing our states praises! I was so irritated, I wrote a Letter to the Editor. Three weeks later, I had started a Facebook page, a Twitter account, and a landing page for the website, determined to do something to make Michigan residents aware of all the cool things going on in their own state. Email me: