Three’s Company – Raven Style ;)

Kitschy commercial to introduce Boston Coolers & Root Beer Floats at the Raven Café in Port Huron, Michigan. Enjoy!

New Art Celebrates Breastfeeding Mothers and Challenges False Idols

nature2While at first you might assume that this piece is religious in nature, it is not. This piece has to do with nature and science. The figures featured are the Madonna and Child because Mary is the most famous mother in all of recorded history. I chose her as my subject because in the time that she lived (and up until about 100 years ago), breastfeeding was natural and normal; it was a given.

The idea of decency, morality or the sexual nature people associate with breasts today did not exist in the same context back then. Breasts were for giving your child nutrition. As the most sacred of all mothers, Christians should feel comforted by the fact that Mary did breastfeed, as it is natural act shared between a mother and child.

Although I do not subscribe to any organized religion, I have a healthy curiosity about each of them. Religion is obviously a powerful motivator for people, as all the wars over it throughout history can attest to.

For me, breastfeeding my son was the closest thing I ever had to a religious experience. The primal connection that I felt while nurturing and comforting him was beautiful and amazing. So I hope that this piece in its own way helps to normalize breastfeeding and allows our breastfeeding patrons know that they are in a safe place where it is welcome.

Additionally, this piece speaks to the worship of false idols. For all of the 35 years I been on this planet I have only seen Jesus depicted as tall, white man. According to modern forensic and archaeological techniques, Jesus most likely appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent, and was shorter and darker in appearance. Various religious people have argued with me that I am missing the point: It is not his appearance but his life and teachings that are most important. If that is the case then why paint him as a Caucasian (or African American, or Spanish depending on where the church is located)? Maybe there would be less racism if humans could be inspired by someone who looked different than them.

Painting & Artist Statement by Jody Parmann, Co-Owner Raven Café
Edited by Bonnie Sue Kalmar, Editor Extraordinaire

Reply by Bob Lotz, Raven patron and member of a local Episcopal church:
“I loved your article, and your depiction of Mary and Jesus — and your discussion of where so many Christians get it wrong. Of course Christians too often act like the all-white anti-sex league. Yes, let’s depict Mary, and Jesus, and the whole lot of them, as Jews from Palestine, people of color, descendants of the Hebrew slaves for whom Moses demanded, “Let my people go!” Let us see what this does to the theology in most of our white Christian churches. As for the notion that the point of Jesus is not his appearance … well, your interlocutors should remember that there is a context for everything, and in the context of the Roman Empire, Jesus came as a marginalized outsider, wrong color, wrong class, wrong nationality. If that doesn’t have to do with his teachings, what does?” 


Book Feature

bookfeatureStarting with this newsletter, I’ll featuring a new book or series recently added to the library.

The inaugural edition features Josh Linkner’s 3 books. Linkner is a Detroit native, entrepreneur and recent speaker at a SONs event held at Port Huron High School. I was in attendance, and was impressed with his talk, especially as it applied to the hundreds of students sitting behind me. I’m excited to read his books, and I hope you will enjoy them too!



nevermorebooksaleThe long awaited for Raven BOOK SALE!

This weekend between our sidewalk café seating areas you’ll find two tables heavy with books for sale. We’ve been going through our collection pulling out books that we have multiple copies of and some antique books that are in rough shape. The damaged books, while all are not necessarily readable, make for great craft fodder. Check out all the ways you can recycle old books into new fabulous art:

Library Creatures

Finnigan O'Malley & Oona Lovecraft

Finnegan O’Malley & Oona Lovecraft

In last week’s e-newsletter I shared my desire for the creatures roaming the Raven Library. Inspired by one of my son’s toys I procured some mechanical fish for the Raven. I asked readers to help me out with a name in exchange for a sandwich or entree salad and non-alcoholic beverage. I’d like to say thank you for all the ideas!

The winner is (drumroll, please…) Kristin Hanson!

Basket of Blessings


Just because I am a macabre individual (like Poe) doesn’t mean I’m not a firm believer in good vibes and positive energy, so here’s a chance for patrons to share some.

Like the sign says: READ, WRITE, SHARE…

They are located on the bookshelf by the western bank of couches.

Genre Labels


New to the library is genre signage to help patrons find the perfect book to go along with their tasty beverage and/or meal. Enjoy!

For Your Photoshopping Pleasure #ravenwingburn


#ravenwingburn by Jody Parmann of Raven Café. Click image to enlarge.


Since Supernatural TV star Misha Collins’ retweet of the Times Herald story of the fundraising collaboration between the Deidre Murch and the Raven, folks from around the world have been contacting Deidre asking for photo of the wings empty so they can photoshop themselves in. Here they are! Because Deidre has now secured a spot on the trip, she is asking that donations instead be made to her friend Taylor, who is still working on her fundraising campaign. The money goes to the same place either way, so why not help get another worthy girl to Nicaragua? This is Taylor’s donation page: Thank you very much & enjoy!

What’s good here?

staffServers often get asked, “What’s good here?” So, in honor of National Wait Staff Day, we polled our wonderful staff regarding what they enjoy at the Raven. Here are their responses:

Ian: “Loss of Breath” Grilled Cheese Deluxe & Peanut Butter Banana Yerba Mate Chiller
Todd: “Mother’s Sinful” Sicilian Hoagie, Mushroom Brie Soup & Stewart’s Root Beer
Carol: “Loss of Breath” Grilled Cheese Deluxe & Caramel Hazelnut Latté
Alyssa: “Mother’s Sinful” Sicilian & Espresso
Katie: “Valentine” Vegetarian Sandwich & Caramel Hazelnut Iced Coffee
Brittiany: Grilled Peanut Butter & Jelly, Mushroom Brie Soup & any Flavored Latté Over Ice
Mike: “House of Usher” Turkey Sandwich & Blake’s Flannel Mouth Hard Cider
Jeanette: Hummus Pita Pizza & Chai Chiller
Storm: “Bon Bon” Olive Feta Melt, Mushroom Brie Soup & Vanilla Hazelnut Yerba Mate Chiller
Erin: “Oval Portrait” Spinach Salad & Super Green Fruit Smoothie
Eric: “Landor’s Cottage” Salad & Atwater Vanilla Java Porter
Kristen: “El Dorado” Mesquite Chicken Salad & Raven’s Brew Wicked Wolf Coffee

In conclusion, I’m pretty sure our Mushroom Brie Soup and Caramel Hazelnut-flavored anything is off the hook! Come visit your favorite server and give them a BIG FAT TIP in honor of the day.

Let’s Sit Outside

It’s finally starting to warm up in our fair city…well, most days any way.

What’s better than hanging out at the Raven, consuming delicious food and libations? Doing it outside, of course!

Both of our patios are officially open for your dining pleasure! Our upstairs outdoor seating area overlooks the Black River & Desmond Marine, and is located on our second-floor balcony. We also have our Sidewalk Cafe erected for the warm season, located in front of the building on Military Street. And, while we are a seat-yourself establishment, please check in with the bartender inside to be seated in the Sidewalk Cafe.

patiosThe Sidewalk Cafe is particularly prime real estate while enjoying a latté or cocktail and partaking in the following upcoming Downtown Port Huron events:

Run With The Sturgeon 5K Race & Festival
May 30, 2015, 9 a.m.
Great Lakes Martime Center

Vantage Point Flower Market
Every Tuesday & Saturday
Vantage Point

Be A Tourist in Your Own Town
June 6, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Downtown Port Huron

International Day Parade
July 15, 2015, 6 p.m.
Main Street Port Huron


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