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Feature Stories
An Icon Restored: A Night at the Hotel Blackhawk PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Devin Hansen   
Tuesday, 11 January 2011 14:34

I’d read the reviews of the restored Hotel Blackhawk – all the fawning and fanfare. So I wanted to see if the fuss was warranted or just a bunch of civic cheerleading. My 15th wedding anniversary seemed like the perfect excuse for a stay, along with the discounted $79 room rate for locals that ended the next day on December 30. I also have an empathetic respect for people that put their heart, mind, and money into restoring dilapidated buildings, as I had done once with an abandoned cinema. I believe Amrit and Amy Gill of Restoration St. Louis deserve a lot of credit for taking such a risk with the Blackhawk, especially after others had forsaken the downtown-Davenport landmark.

So I went to the Hotel Blackhawk about an hour before my wife was to arrive, enough time for a few drinks at the “belly-up” bar in the lounge. It was designed to encourage folks to stand rather than sit by removing the chairs on the side of the bar that opened up to the lobby and having sparse seating along the other three sides. And I have to admit: This magical feng shui worked. It was open and welcoming, and its proximity to the check-in allowed me to sip on a Templeton Rye while watching the line diminish.

I tried to get our room key before my wife showed up, so I could surprise her with a bottle of Brut and a dozen roses in the ice bucket, but I didn’t have the credit card that we used to reserve the room; it was in my wife’s purse. Half-joking, I asked woman behind the desk if they took cash. She ignored me. I don’t know if it was my lack of credit, the bag filled with wine bottles clinking at my side, or my insistence on getting a room with a hot tub at the discount rate, but she made me feel like some kid on prom night trying to scam a room. I will say she was the only one during our entire experience that raised my hackles. The rest of the crew was very cordial, even when the experience was occasionally below expectations.

 
Inspiring Action: Students and Colleagues Rise to the Aid of Injured Moline Teacher PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Tushar Rae   
Wednesday, 29 December 2010 10:27

Curtis Butterfield, Sarah Mason-Butterfield, and their daughter Clara. Photo courtesy Sarah Mason-Butterfield.He was a frightening figure when I first met him, with tattoos of verses in Arabic and lines from literature on his arms, a shaved head, a ragged beard, and the combination of a stern voice and piercing gaze.

As an Indian who is often mistaken for someone from the Middle East, I had received plenty of negative attention from people who looked like him. But I could not avoid him.

It was 2002, and Curtis Butterfield was my freshman biology teacher and my coach for the junior-varsity academic team at Moline High School.

Early in the school year, Butterfield gave me a confrontation, but not the one I had been dreading.

“You know this is not your best work,” he said, with the voice and glare used to full effect, “and if you think you’re staying in my class, you need to start doing better work.”

Butterfield “doesn’t invite people to come in and learn; he demands that students learn,” said Nicholas Pitz, a Moline High German teacher and varsity academic-team coach. “Learning is not an option.”

 
Thank You for Participating in Our Dining Survey! PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Sunday, 17 October 2010 12:26

Thank you for participating in the dining survey for the Quad Cities' Dining Guide, published by the River Cities' Reader. Look for the results in the fall/winter 2013 edition in October, and at RCReader.com.

Results of our previous survey (conducted October through February) can be found here.

Information from our Dining Guide can always be found at QuadCitiesDiningGuide.com.

 
Best of the Quad Cities Fall 2010 Winners PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Administrator   
Wednesday, 13 October 2010 09:04

Here are the winners in our fall 2010 Best of the Quad Cities balloting, covering four categories: Arts, Culture, and Entertainment; Night Life; Shopping and Services; and People. 

(For the winners of our spring competition – covering Food and Dining; Civics and Government; Media; and Recreation – click here. Our Best of the Quad Cities archive – with 10 years of winners – is here.)

In this round of voting, we had 581 valid ballots, and we required participants to provide reasonable answers in at least 20 of the 63 categories. In all, 17,829 votes were cast on valid ballots.

Arts, Culture, and Entertainment

Local Band
1) Dani Lynn Howe Band
2) Funktastic 5
3) Wicked Liz & the Bellyswirls

Local Cover Band
1) Dani Lynn Howe Band
2) Funktastic 5
3) The King’s Kiss

Venue for Live Music
1) Redstone Room
2) RIBCO
3) i wireless Center

 
Sean O’Harrow’s Exit Interview: Figge Executive Director Accepts University of Iowa Museum Position PDF Print E-mail
News/Features - Feature Stories
Written by Jeff Ignatius   
Wednesday, 18 August 2010 05:02

Sean O'Harrow in 2008In Sean O'Harrow's telling, the Figge Art Museum is gaining an ally as much as it's losing an executive director.

It was announced last week that O'Harrow has accepted the directorship of the University of Iowa Museum of Art (UIMA), at which he'll start on November 15. A national search for O'Harrow's replacement is expected to take at least four months.

"It is my faith in this region that is keeping me here," O'Harrow said in an interview Friday. "I think there's a lot that eastern Iowa can achieve. There are a lot of great museums and great cultural offerings which I think need to be better promoted, to a certain extent organized, maybe coordinated."

And he said that after three years as executive director, he's leaving the Figge in good shape. "It's a very stable institution right now, and it's offering some very high-quality programs," O'Harrow said. "And if I can help the UIMA, I think that would be a very powerful pairing ... . It was important for me to offer my services."

 
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