R.Stachulski-Week One-Block Map

Moore’s River Drive/West Mount Hope Ave Connection

For this assignment, I decided to revisit an area in West Lansing that I used to live in. The specific block/area that I chose was the connection point of Moore’s River Drive and West Mount Hope Avenue, off of Waverly road. I was pulled to this area due to not only having lived by this connection point and driving it for a year, but also due to the stark contradictions that I noticed in such a short stretch. The area (connection between the two roads), is probably no more than two miles, but strongly shows two “separate” communities that are only bound due to their location. I went to this area on Wednesday, July 6th, at around midday or 3pm.

Moore’s River Drive appears to be the wealthier of the two areas. This can be noted based on the buildings that occupy the area, the type of buildings that occupy the area, the condition of these buildings, etc. On the strip, there is a gated community complete with a guard shed at which you must scan in for access. This community is entirely fenced in, and consists of multiple story homes; all of the homes lining the gate have a raised patio/porch that extends from the second story of the home. All of the homes appears to have been recently built due to the lack of weathering and the overall architectural design/layout. There are also several homes that have more than one car parked in the driveway, and every car that I could see from the street were brands such as Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, and Lexus. The cars in the driveway at midday could suggest that residents in this community have jobs or partners that allow them to be home during the day. From what I could also tell, each of the houses, at least the houses at the front of the community, had well-kept/manicured lawns, which were green, even in the July heat. The street itself is also an indication of the area; the road is smooth and free of potholes. The paint lines are also vivid.

Next to the gated community, but still in the zone of Moore’s River Drive is an office building for a construction company. This building again matches the area as this building appears to have been built recently and is constructed in a modern architectural style; the exterior is complete with glass windows that encompass the entire front, steel surrounding these windows, and brown stone/brick sides.

Across the street from both of these features is the river itself. Along the river there are sidewalks with minimal cracks and holes and street lanterns that illuminate this path in the darkness of the night. Between the sidewalk and the river is a black metal fence that separates pedestrians from the water’s rocky edge and from the forage of the area. There is a man running/exercising along the sidewalk who is wearing a gray t-shirt, black running shorts, and white and black running shoes. This appears related to the hot, humid weather of the day, and also the rigorous activity that he is engaged in. Also on the sidewalk, but closer to the gate along the water’s edge, is a man who is fishing; he is wearing light khaki shorts, a blue Detroit Tigers baseball cap, and a blue and orange Detroit Tigers t-shirt. He is in white tennis shoes. He appears to be dressed based on the weather pattern as well.  From what I can see, he is reeling in a fish indicating a populous river. There is a Black Ford truck parked in the last parking space out of three when approaching the divider of Moore’s River and West Mount Hope.

The activity of Moore’s River Drive continues on the river itself; there is a row boat that has several women in it. The boat is dark green and has small white lettering on the side. Heading in the opposite direction on the river is a small motorized boat containing one man.

In contrast, as soon as one enters West Mount Hope, which is indicated by a V-shaped divide in the road, as well as a cement crosswalk, the overall condition of the area shifts. The streets are broken down and rugged as are the sidewalks. The paint lines on the road separating the two lanes are almost nonexistent in some patches. Chunks of sidewalks appear to be missing. Illuminating this strip of road is not the street lanterns like those on the Moore’s River stretch, but instead lampposts which are classic of a big city.

There is a mobile home community that is weathered and appears to have been in the area for a number of years, even possibly decades. Some of the homes are multiple shades of one color, have broken or sunken porches, and little if any grass in the front lawn; the grass that does exist is not green, but yellow. Unlike in the gated community, few cars can be spotted, which could suggest jobs that keep people away from their homes. At the front/entrance of the community, there is mailboxes for the residents, and a small group of five children playing. There are two girls and three boys in this group.

Across from the mobile home is a “border community”. This is apartments that border both Moore’s River Drive as well as West Mount Hope. The entrance to the apartments is on West Mount Hope, but some of the buildings face/overlook the river and Moore’s River Drive. These apartments appear to be newer than the mobile home community, but not as new as the gated community homes. There is a slight amount of paint coming of the shutters and front doors, but the driveway and buildings are not falling apart or broken. There is some grass and bushes along the lower level apartments, and there are several cars parked, mostly compact cars such as Toyota Camry, Prius, and a Ford Focus.

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