5 Favorite Things to Savor in September

1. History – Marylake Carmelite Monastery

Out Arch Street Pike near the small town of East End sits Marylake Monastery, the home and place of worship of a handful of brothers of the Discalced Carmelite order. It’s a stunningly beautiful and peaceful place, and we quickly became intrigued by its history.

Turns out, it was built by the Shriners as a country club in 1926. Being 15 miles south of Little Rock, it never really caught on with the country club set. Dr. John R. Brinkley, a quack who made a name for himself experimenting with odd treatments for male impotence (we’d rather spare you the details!), purchased the property in the mid-1930s but sold it when he filed bankruptcy in the early 1940s.

In 1952, the Carmelite Friars purchased Marylake and began using it as a monastery where men wishing to become members could undergo a year of intense prayer and training. Today, there are only four monks living there. They spend their days in prayer and perform mission work at Catholic churches in the area on the weekends. The building, grounds and lake are also used for workshops, conferences, and the occasional fashion shoot.

2. See – “Multiplicity” and “50 for Arkansas” at the Arkansas Arts Center

“Multiplicity,” pulled from the Smithsonian American Art Museum’s permanent collection, demonstrates how today’s most celebrated print makers utilize the “multiple” nature of printmaking to create complex and innovative works.

“50 for Arkansas” features 50 pieces gifted from the extensive art collection of Dorothy and Herbert Vogel, prominent contemporary art collectors from New York. In 2008, the Vogels launched a nationwide gifts program titled, “The Dorothy and Herbert Vogel Collection: Fifty Works for Fifty States” with the help of the National Gallery of Art, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. The Vogels distributed 2,500 works from their collection throughout the nation, with 50 works going to a selected art institution in each of the 50 states. The Arkansas Arts Center was selected to receive the works for the state of Arkansas, which consists largely of works on paper.

Both exhibitions will be on display through January 2013. A member reception held on Thursday, Sept. 20, will celebrate the opening of both exhibits. For more information, contact the Arkansas Arts Center at 372-4000 or ArkArts.com.

3. Move – Two Bike Rides Benefit Local Organizations

The Bike MS: Rock’n Hot Ride is a two-day bike ride that will take place on Saturday, Sept. 8, and Sunday, Sept. 9. On Saturday, riders will depart from the Clinton Presidential Center in downtown Little Rock and ride to the Transportation Depot in Hot Springs, and on Sunday, riders will leave the Transportation Depot and head back to the Clinton Presidential Center. Presented by Sam’s Club, this 75-mile ride will give participants the chance to ride past some of Arkansas’ most beautiful scenery while supporting an important mission – helping find a cure for multiple sclerosis. Registration is $30 per rider, with team and “virtual” rider options available. Call 663-8104 or visit NationalMSSociety.org for more information.

The Big Dam Bridge 100 – a one-day bike ride over the Big Dam Bridge and around central Arkansas – will be held on Saturday, Sept. 29. The ride will feature course options for 15, 25, 50, 62 and 100 miles. Proceeds will benefit the Big Dam Bridge Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting the use, support and preservation of the Big Dam Bridge for the advancement of health and fitness and cultural and recreational activities in Arkansas. For more information, visit TheBigDamBridge100.com.

4. Relax – HydraFacial™ MD

Advanced Aesthetics is one of the first in the city to debut a new kind of facial. HydraFacial™ MD is a non-irritating, serum-based resurfacing system that uses a vacuum-based skin abrasion tip to remove dead skin cells and impurities while drenching the healthy underlying skin with deep cleansing, extracting, exfoliating and antioxidant serums. The system is clinically formulated to improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, congested pores, hyper-pigmentation and acne-prone skin. Treated skin is radiant, refined, moist and polished. Treatments begin at $150, and packages are available. Find out more about HydraFacial™ MD at HydraFacial.com or at ArkansasPlasticSurgery.com/Aesthetics.

5. Listen – Glen Campbell’s “Goodbye Tour” Stops in Little Rock

Arkansas native Glen Campbell will be performing at Robinson Center Music Hall on Thursday, Sept. 6, as part of his “Goodbye Tour.” The 75-year-old Campbell, who has won eight Grammy Awards and is famous for country music hits like, “Gentle on My Mind,” “By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” and the 1975 single of the year “Rhinestone Cowboy,” told fans in June of 2011 that he had been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and would be going on one final tour. Ticket prices for the concert begin at $50, and as of press day, were still available at www.Ticketmaster.com.

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