“Pop Pop Americano”
Story Behind the Name
Some songs get stuck in your head… then there’s this little gem. If you know it, I’m sorry. If you don’t, please don’t go looking for it. It’ll never leave your cranium. When we were in Saugatuck we were trying to film an opening segment on water. There was a boat with a speaker system on board that The Who would find too loud. They kept blasting this song. The horror.
Every week thousands of people enjoy Detroit’s Eastern Market, one of the most authentic urban adventures in the entire United States. This six-block public market is alive with great places to eat, cool places to shop and more than 250 vendors and merchants processing, wholesaling and retailing food, glorious food. You’ll see people from all walks in search of fruits, vegetables, flowers, homemade jams, maple syrups, locally produced specialty food products and gourmet meats. It’s a fascinating conglomeration of character, characters and crates and crates of fresh edibles.
The Eastern Market has an urban authenticity unrivaled in North America that’s steeped in tradition and fascinating stories. Thanks to dedicated supporters like Robert Stanzler, Bob Heide, Dan Carmody and all of the great people we met down there, I’m pretty sure this great market will be around for generations to come.
Saugatuck and its neighbor Douglas are two towns that really function as one incredible place to experience Michigan. I wouldn’t really call them resort towns; they’re more like resort communities. When you’re there, you can really feel that it’s more than just a great place to play; it’s also a wonderful place to live and work. There’s something for everybody, and everybody loves it there.
Both these port communities are on Kalamazoo Lake. Saugatuck is to the north and Douglas is to the south, and they’re both just a stone’s throw away from Lake Michigan over some beautiful tree-covered dune hills. And if you’re into anything that floats, this place is heaven on earth. It really is a boater’s paradise!
Now, one of my favorite things about Saugatuck is the climb up Mount Baldhead (for obvious reasons) and the best way to get there is the Chain Ferry that runs from downtown, right across the channel to the trailhead. This is the only remaining chain-driven ferry in the entire U.S., and it’s been in use since 1838. The driver actually hand cranks the ferry across the channel to the other side, and that’s where you’ll find the stairway to baldness.
The climb up Mount Baldy is an invigorating 282 steps, so make sure you’re hydrated and in pretty good shape. Or just take your sweet time like I did. The view from the top of downtown Saugatuck is incredible, and there’s a dune climb on the other side that takes you all the way down to Oval Beach on Lake Michigan. Oval Beach is another Michigan gem that’s been rated among the twenty-five best shorelines in the world by Conde Nast’s Traveler, and if you spend a day there, you’ll know why. It’s beautiful.
The three things you need to keep in mind about Saugatuck and Douglas are: come hungry, stay for a while and leave happy. That’s what we did, and we had an awesome time.