Saturday, October 15, 2011

Penny Black - New Restaurant in Rochester, MI

Saturday, October 15, 2011

This past summer, my husband and I went to Penny Black, a new Rochester, Michigan, restaurant for the first time. Back then, the food was mediocre, at best. We were completely unimpressed and had no plans of returning. But as of October 10, it’s new all over again, with new ownership and management. And you just have to check it out!

The restaurant happens to be in Rochester’s original post office building, on the corner of Walnut and W. 4th Street in downtown. Thus the name, “Penny Black,” also the name of the world’s first adhesive postage stamp, issued by the U.K. in 1840. (I love historical tidbits.)

Anyway, a friend found out the restaurant was under new management, so I agreed to try it again. And I was pleasantly surprised. The menu of reasonably-priced lunches and dinners is appealing. I was tempted by the Shrimp Quesadilla with white bean dip and a cilantro oil drizzle and the Grilled Vegetable Entrée Salad. I settled for the Grilled Vegetable Salad and loved it. Next time I’m there for lunch, I’ll try the Shrimp Quesadilla.

This evening, when my husband and I were at Penny Black for dinner, I had the Atlantic Salmon, seared in an apple cider reduction, with sautéed herb potatoes and French green beans. The salmon was perfect, the green beans were nice and crisp and the potatoes were sautéed with diced red bell peppers – delish!

My husband had the Chicken Fajitas, which included the best Spanish rice I’ve ever had. It was moist and delicious, not the dry stuff that usually comes with fajitas. We also tried a side of Mac and Cheese, since it’s our granddaughter’s favorite dish. And I can honestly say it’s the best mac and cheese I’ve had anywhere in the Rochester area.

So if you ate at Penny Black before October 10, you simply must go again! It’s a whole new restaurant, and it’s well worth the trip. Oh, and they have live entertainment Thursday through Saturday nights. Penny Black is located at:

124 W. Fourth Street
Rochester, Mi 48307

The phone number is 248-841-1522. And they’re open from 11:00 AM ‘til 2:00 AM Monday through Saturday and from 11:00 AM ‘til midnight on Sunday. Here’s the website, where you’ll find the menus:


Photo by: Sandy Laurence©
Title: Penny Black



Sunday, October 9, 2011

Photographed My First Wedding

Sunday, October 9, 2011

About a month ago, I photographed my first wedding. No, I’m not a professional wedding photographer - far from it. I volunteered to do my niece’s wedding, because she and her fiancé wanted to keep the wedding small and simple and decided not to hire a photographer. And since I’ve taken pictures at family gatherings for as long as I can remember, I said I’d be happy to do so at her wedding.

I can’t begin to tell you how nervous I was. In preparation, I read “Wedding Photography - A Guide to Posing” by David Pearce, a fantastic book, and took some classes to better understand my complicated camera. And off I went to the wedding chapel.

The ceremony took place outdoors, in bright sunlight that was broken up by wood slats that formed a latticework ceiling of sorts over the seating area. It was a challenge avoiding the dark shadows cast on faces by those slats. Additionally, the guests’ chairs were set up on gravel, which crunched every time I moved around to get a particular shot. No matter how hard I tried to move during pauses in whatever was being said up front, I couldn’t avoid crunching the gravel.

After the ceremony, we had very little time for photos, because the reception dinner was to be at Vinology in Ann Arbor. And because U of M was playing Notre Dame that night, parking would be practically nonexistent. Incidentally, the food and service at Vinology was fantastic. But if you’re having an event there, don’t do it on a U of M game day – the cost of the dinner was doubled because of the game.

The reception photos proved to be easier than those taken of the ceremony. And when I reviewed the prints on my computer that night, I was pleased to find that they were better than I’d expected. But I have a lot of adjustments to make in Photoshop. Fortunately, I’m enrolled in a class at a local college to learn more about the software. But, for the time being, at least, I’m going to leave wedding photography to the pros.

Photo by: Sandy Laurence©
Title: Wedding