Richard Armitage is coming to the Great Lakes region!
We’re told that shooting begins shortly in Detroit for Mr. Armitage’s next project. He may be there already!
That it will be photographed roughly in my part of the world, and that Mr. Armitage will thus come here, even though he will be hundreds of miles away, pleases me no end. (Not much film-making takes place in Wisconsin. I can remember two. And Detroit heavily subsidizes film production.)
I’ve lived in six distinct regions of the U.S. during my life, so I’d never dare to say that any of them was the “real” United States (my cranky, chronic California allergy notwithstanding). But the Great Lakes / Upper Midwest is the landscape that will always make me feel most at home, so when I think of introducing any visitor to the U.S., this is the part I want to show off. When I tell friends from elsewhere “what the U.S. is like,” this is the part I am thinking of.
We don’t have towering mountains or ancient redwoods or bleak deserts, it’s true, but our lakes are amazing. If you have a little time to learn, you can learn to read the progress of the glacier in the landscape, as we have many unique and striking rock formations. Every city in the Great Lakes Region is just a little different and has its own particular charm. And Great Lakes city-dwellers are hardly jaded urbanites — they know how to go out into the country and enjoy it because the countryside is minutes from the city and their friends and relatives live there. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been looking at them for a long time, but there’s a still simplicity in the rural landscape of corn and hay fields, in the red barns and silos and dairy herds, that makes a drive in the country a pure pleasure.
July is the month when all the local berries come into season in the Great Lakes region. Strawberries are mostly finished, but the farmers will have raspberries, blackberries, blueberries for sale, as well as some late cherries. Come pick your own! And in August, everything we’ve been waiting for will be ripe: melons and especially the sweet corn. Peppers and melons are predicted to be especially good this year because of the record temperatures. We have luscious dairy — and the cows are fresh all summer — and the fish from the fresh-water lakes has its own distinctive flavor.
Mr. Armitage, I hope you have at least a little time to enjoy Michigan. Midwesterners are traditionally friendly and down-to-earth folks who are rarely in a hurry and have little investment in image. Lots of people think we’re simple; and maybe we are. But we’re not boring! If a crew member invites you home to grill, say yes, and get a taste of our traditional summer cuisine, which is not light, but oh so tasty. Eat just a little too much when your host presses you to eat an extra slice of blackberry pie. Rent a car, drive around, and buy a little produce from a road-side stand. Wander through the woods. Check out Lake Erie and the dunes. And take a few days and drive up to the U.S.-Canada border and cross the locks into Sault St. Marie. Yes, you’d be living out a Servetus family vacation. But it will be cooler there. And the shores of Lake Superior and the lake itself are among the most beautiful things I’ve seen anywhere in the world.
Welcome to the Great Lakes, Mr. Armitage. I so hope you enjoy your stay!