Block Map Old Town

I am sitting on a bench at the corner of Grand River and Turner in the heart of Old Town. It is a pretty warm day. There is a decent amount of hustle and bustle around me with shoppers perusing the shops across the streets and the people of Lansing going on walks and bike rides. Across the street from me is the metallic “Art District” sign attached to a city parking lot. There is a shop called Polka Dots next to another named Retail Therapy. Both seem to be somewhat kitschy boutiques with a variety of creative knick knacks. About 100 feet from me is a restaurant named Pablo’s Pandarosa which smells like fresh tortillas. Across the street from that is a tattoo parlor. The sign is a fish over a ladder; the name of the parlor is Fish Ladder Tattoos so the sign displays that name accurately. At the other park table is an old man who seems to just be talking a nap on a nice day outside. He is wearing an old hat that has sweat stains over it. The hat has lettering and a design to suggest it is decades old. He has a wrinkly beard and white hair that matches the beard in color. There are people taking dogs on walks and people eating popcorn as they walk out of the specialty popcorn store down the street. With all the trees around, at least half of the sidewalks have shade coverage, which is a good thing considering how many pasty-white people there are in tank-tops. Families biking by seem to be the biggest source of traffic with stressed parents helicoptering their young children from drifting into the car traffic that they are sharing the road with.  As with always in Lansing, there is noise of construction from down the street and cones marking where construction has just finished, where it is currently, and where it will be when they are done with their current project. I am in view of two free city parking lots and it is cool to see the city allow hundreds of people to peruse the cultural center of the city without having to worry about their vehicles. There seems to be a pretty good sense of community here with sponsored murals being painted and all the rooms above the shops being used as apartments for locals. Down the road is the beginning of the Lansing River Trail where I plan on walking to next to see the Fish Ladder. There seem to be a lot of people walking towards the River Trail today to enjoy the nice day. Today was the perfect day to sit outside and watch a peaceful street corner in my hometown.

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4 thoughts on “Block Map Old Town

  1. Hi Nickolas. This was a good description of the block. The street seems like a relaxing and enjoyable place to be if people can sleep, walk dogs, and ride bikes comfortably. There was, however, no mention of the day or time that you visited Grand River and Turner. The descriptions about the community sponsored murals was nice, and helped in concluding that it was a clean and easy going community. I think that the description of shoppers coming in and out would have been a nice addition, such as what kind of clothes or were they mostly families or something similar to that. I like that families biking and that you mentioned it being a big source of traffic aside from cars, but was lost at the helicoptering their young, as this is the first time I heard this term. There was a good amount of observation from the block, and it is certainly a peaceful street of everyday people. A good read and description.

  2. Hi,
    Thanks for sharing your post about Old Town, where is my favorite place here. Last summer, I went to a lot of events in Old Town and the “Art District” you described was full of artful elements. Your description was very interesting and it brought my memories from Old Town. Old Town was as part of Lansing and it is little far away from East Lansing. The street block was alway filled with diverse populations and during cultural festival, there are always lots of people. By the way, from the map, I think the river trail is along the bridge and on the other side of the city parking. But I the map, the river trail is behind the city parking, I’m not sure if we are talking about the same river trail. And there are more antique and other stores along the block, which you did not bring on the map, such as “meat” restaurant, antique stores and coffee shops where people visit a lot and they seem to be the most popular places in Old Town. They are located across the city parking and on two sides of the block. But still, thank you for bringing us into this special place.

  3. Hi Nickolas, I was very interested to read about the description of the block you chose in Old town. I have only been to Old town a couple of times, mostly going to visit the restaurant called Meat. But each time I visited there, it did seem like a nice calm and quiet town where it seems everyone gets along well with each other. I have yet to visit the Art District but from the description you given it seems like a nice block to check out. I even really like how you gave a description of the old man taking a nap on one of the benches. Although I have only been to Old town a couple of times, I did notice there were some places missing, such as a couple small shops and antique stores that are nearby in the area. Aside from that I really liked your description of the block you chose to discuss in Old town.

  4. Based off the title of your blog post, I knew I would enjoy reading it. Old Town holds a special place in my heart because I use to report there for one of my journalism classes. Mentioning the bench, the different shops, and the people around was great to picture in my head. I find that Old Town is one of those towns where there is an automatic sense of warmth and welcoming feature. From describing the weather, to the road details, it really matched up to your map nicely. One thing to mention would have been the other shops around. I think that would have added a more clear prediction of Old Town, for those who do not know or have seen the town. It also would have added more detail overall. However, adding the touch of individuals in town at certain places was nice to include. I hope to one day visit Old Town again and enjoy walking past the many shops they have to offer!

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