When it all Comes Together

cropped-newlogo22.jpgSometimes I am overwhelmed by the events that led me to where I am now. When I began City Saunter I had no idea that it would end with me having photos in a gallery and that I would also be managing that same art gallery in REO Town. As much as I have enjoyed keeping this blog for my journeys while walking all the streets, I am finding it hard to fit any of my new activities into this blog without changing the dynamics of the posts. Given that, I have created a new blog which is more inclusive of the many facets of my life right now. I would love to have all of you who have followed along on this journey join me on this new blog. It is called Niko’s Notions which is a name my friends and family have called me for years. I also have a photography based blog that is part of my photography website. Until I can get a “submit” button added please check back regularly.

Thank you all again for your support, love, friendship and involvement in this project. It really had made all the difference.

Sincerely,

Ariniko

Winter Walk

aaIMG_9959Lansing River Trail by Aurelius Rd. ©Ariniko Artistry 2014

I did something silly today. I weighed myself. It was such a foolish stunt to try so soon after Christmas and two weeks of being pretty much snowed/iced in. I guess the silver lining is it’s not as high as it usually is this time of year. I’m really thankful for those 200 miles of walking I did last September to finish my City Saunter project right about now! I have realized that since I completed my walking project I’ve really missed the walking I was doing. I’m not sure why I didn’t keep it up. Today’s weigh in plus a new lens waiting for me at the East Lansing post office was the perfect incentive for a nice winter walk. I decided to walk the Lansing River Trail starting at the trail head south of Kalamazoo St. It’s one of my favorite locations and not too far from my house.aaIMG_0023Snow covered Bridge on Lansing River Trail ©Ariniko Artistry 2014

I was very happy to find that the parking area was plowed and there were three other cars there. I am often amazed by Lansing’s exercising community. After dressing for the adventure, placing my lens in my pockets (I like winter because of the extra pockets!) and ducking into the strap of my camera, I pulled up my mapmyrun app on my phone (boy this is feeling a lot like a City Saunter) and started down the path.  Unfortunately the cleared path was short lived and soon I was trekking through a foot of snow. It must have been a Lansing Township lapse because the trail cleared off again and remained that way for the rest of my walk. Today was still quite chilly. The expected high is 17 but I think the wind chill is still pretty close to zero. I would have been just fine except I had forgotten to put on long john’s and I kept taking my gloves off to take photos. Even so, I was able to walk 3 miles in the woods on the river trail.aaIMG_9892 Frozen Branches on Red Cedar River  ©Ariniko Artistry 2014aaIMG_9906Frozen Branches on Red Cedar River ©Ariniko Artistry 2014

I have always loved the serenity of a winter walk. I love to cross country ski and would head out to Lake Lansing North and ski the trails. There are not nearly as many people out this time of year and many times you are the only one. On this walk I only past two others, both runners. For much of this walk I was alone. On the way back I actually became numb and the cold no longer bothered me. I found myself wading into the deeper snow for better photos and even stopping and listening to the sounds. Even though there weren’t any people out there I found quite a few animals out and about. At one point I was hearing this loud rustling sound and couldn’t figure it out. Finally I looked up and there were squirrels in the tree tops scurrying about.aaIMG_0002Squirrel in trees on Lansing River Trail by Aurelius Rd. ©Ariniko Artistry 2014

I also found woodpeckers and ducks.aaIMG_9978  Woodpecker in tree on Lansing River Trail by Aurelius Rd. ©Ariniko Artistry 2014aaIMG_9942Ducks in the Red Cedar off the Lansing River Trail by Aurelius Rd. ©Ariniko Artistry 2014aaIMG_9925Duck in the Red Cedar off the Lansing River Trail by Aurelius Rd. ©Ariniko Artistry 2014

A friend of mine who recently moved to Ludington posted on Facebook the quote: “No such thing as bad weather…. just bad gear.” I think I would have to agree with him. We live in a gorgeous land, where we have different environments all the time. I think it’s a shame not to enjoy them.aaIMG_9939Red Cedar off the Lansing River Trail by Aurelius Rd. ©Ariniko Artistry 2014

Year In Review

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So many things came to fruition this year. It seems like each month, as I looked back over my photographic diary, had something extraordinary happen. It all began in January…

bullet  January: It was during an uneventful night of television that the idea to have City Saunter photographs in a gallery sprung forth. My husband and I were watching a silly show called Whitney. The main character is a photographer and often feeling insecure (bingo), not worthy (hello?) and inadequate (nail on the head). In this episode she was lamenting her lack of paid jobs and was deciding to throw in the towel and just work at a gallery instead of doing the hard work of making her art. Her husband, in exasperating response, says; “your art should be hanging in a gallery!” She goes on to do the, “what, me?”, “who you kidding” that most artists put out there while all the time inside saying, “Hell yea!” Pat paused the show and turned to me and said, I want to record this and play it to you every day. The bug was placed. I honestly had never thought to put the photographs I’d captured throughout this project into hanging pieces of art. I had thought of a book but never a gallery exhibit. Well, I made some phone calls and was connected to Art Alley in REO Town. I would need to raise some money but was put on the October schedule to exhibit for that month! This gave me 6 months to finish up almost the entire south side of Lansing. No sweat! (yeah, right!)

bullet February: Of course, with six full months to finish, I was in no real hurry to walk. I did what I could, but since it was a very cold, icy winter I didn’t get nearly as many walks in as I would have liked.

bullet March: I DIDN’T EVEN WALK!! (I will sorely regret this in September!!!) Instead we decided to take a much needed vacation to Florida. My grandparents live there and we hadn’t been there in 6 years.csIMG_5016

bullet April: After returning from Florida I quickly returned to Lansing activities including The Lansing Marathon, photo (1)which I had landed myself on the planning committee just before leaving for Florida and the third Capital City Film Festival which I was the photographic coordinator for. IMG_6319It had finally warmed up outside and I took my longest walk to date. Maybe I was inspired by all the marathon talk!

bullet May: Still inspired by the marathon, I continued to walk closer to 6 miles each walk, than the 3 I normally do. I am getting pretty good at walking almost a 7 mile 2 hour course. In May I also had some great photographic opportunities. The first was the Sparrow Foundation’s yearly telethoncsIMG_9381_1 and the second was a private shoot with the new Lansing City Attorney, Janene McIntyre, whom I went to high school with.IMG_8128_2o

bullet June: Within the first week of June I realized I will now need to take my kids with me on my walks since school is out. This always slows me down. I am now really regretting not walking more when they were still in school! I was also asked to photograph the DirtyFeat Adventure Race for the second year.IMG_0494ap

bullet July: I was able to do some great walks that incorporated some great events going on in Lansing. The first was the Color Run; “The Happiest 5k on the Planet”aaIMG_1384and the Architect of Air which was a giant blow up building. aaIMG_1482Both inspired me to keep on keeping on!

bullet August: This year I had three huge activities that I was the lead coordinator of. The first was my high school’s (Lansing Eastern class of ’88, baby) 25th reunion. This was scheduled for August 11 and pretty much went off without a hitch. However, I spent an incredible amount of time and energy into making that a true statement. _MG_6344avI also volunteered my photographic abilities to two incredible events. The first was Lansing’s BlessFest aaimg_2572nand the second was New World Flood’s Backpack giveaway. csIMG_2477I am so fortunate to know some unbelievably generous people.

bullet September: Back in August I scheduled a walk with a person I had never met before but who was a fan of my blog. The roll was quickly reversed when Zig Olds invited me to join him and 10 others for a private tour of the state Capitol. This day will forever be one of my most favorite and treasured days of my life!aaimg_4864agaaimg_4926at Thank you again Zig for including me on this amazing adventure!

This month I also coordinated my 3rd Peace of Lansing event.aaIMG_5129aaIMG_5243 Despite the better weather, I had not put as much of my heart into it (I think I was really busy, haha) as I would have liked. I am really hoping to change that for 2014! My final activity was being invited to shoot at the MSU Marching Bands Concert for Kids. This was a private event held at Tim Staudt’s house and included band directors, coaches, Sparty and many other key MSU personnel. I felt very thankful to be included. aaimg_4044amFinally, this month alone I was able to walk over 200 miles for this project. I am still amazed that I was able to walk this many miles. I was walking about 4 hours a day, almost every day and averaging about 10 miles each day.

bullet October: My exhibit was scheduled for October 4. It was a Friday and my plan from day one (after getting the gallery invite) was to have all of my streets walked except Baker. On this day I planned to meet up with a very large and excited crowd, including the mayor, city council members, media groups, blog followers, family, and if I was lucky, a marching band (I think big) at the corner of Baker and Cedar St. Then together we would walk this last stretch in a fanfare of excitement to Washington Ave. and then walk the last block to my gallery opening event where I had set up light snacks, drinks and my giant map. Although; after walking 29 miles the day before to complete the entire south side, I had completed all the walking, and the Lansing City Pulse ran a gorgeous article about my ending of the three year project, the crowd never arrived.  I sat at the corner with one blog follower and my brother in-law and our 4 kids. And yet I was gloriously happy. csIMG_6602At 4:30 we began the last walk. We blew bubbles. We talked. We laughed. I pointed out the guy on a bike with a wagon full of hay bales. We got to the corner and turned onto Washington Ave. and kept walking. Pat drove up with another walker and she quickly fell into pace with us. She mentioned that I had finished at the corner. Oh yeah, I had. I HAD. We had. I did it. I walked the last street and didn’t even realize it! We all cheered and continued past the massive BWL building. There was no rush now and we let the kids play at the fountain. I could see Pat walking towards us from the gallery. No one else was there, just Pat. I found I didn’t care. I had Pat and my kids and family. My three year project had finished without a whole bunch of fanfare but I was super happy. I don’t know why there wasn’t more attention from the community. Maybe it was the timing? Maybe it was all schedule conflicts? Maybe not enough effort from me to let people know what I had planned? Really, I don’t know. I tried not to think about it, but instead think about what we had going on right there, with those that were there. We all entered the gallery. I announced that I needed to mark off my last street. We videotaped it. And it was good! We cheered, we ate and we talked. The photos were on the walls thanks to Pat and Laurel Winkel who came down that morning to help (she also bought a sign in book, flowers and bubbles). Everything was good! Then people started coming; lots of people. I’m glad they signed in because I really couldn’t recall much after that.csIMG_6625 I sold three photos that night and an additional 3 more after. For the next three weeks I worked out of the gallery space at 1133 South Washington Ave. and I loved it!!!csIMG_9145So much so, that…

bullet November: I was asked to continue on at 1133 South Washington Ave by the landlord. So here are a few details I skimmed over:

Back in September I was talking to a friend of mine whose business resides at 1133 South Washington. He calmly informed me that Art Alley (the group I was booked with for October for my exhibit) was at that moment packing up and moving out. Well, what the heck!! I had 24 hours of complete panic as I had spent most of my summer raising donations to pay for that exhibit space. This also is testament to the amazingness of Lansing and its people, because I had at least 5 people trying to locate new space for me within 5 minutes of learning that Art Alley had closed up shop. Amazing!! I also decided to talk directly to the landlord of the building to see if I could rent directly. Within a day I was given the go ahead by the landlord to rent the gallery space, formally known as “Art Alley”. I was back in business! For the three weeks I rented the gallery space I would come down, set up my computer, put out my open sign and sit there. I would talk to the other business owners, talk to people walking by, invite people in and talk about the project and mostly enjoy being in REO Town. Early on I had the idea that I could continue what Art Alley had done. I had a few meetings with people involved with Art Alley, got some pointers and finally decided to pitch it to the landlord. I also applied for a job in East Lansing. Sometimes I don’t know why I do the things I do. So for two weeks I sat in a panic not know what to do, which I wanted to do, how much I could do. And blah, blah, blah. In the short explanation, I didn’t get the job, the landlord thought my idea of a photography share + managing events + using the space for Ariniko Artistry + managing gallery exhibits was worth a try. So did I.csIMG_9076

bullet December: I spent most of November getting set up to market the gallery space. I decided that it needed a new name and settled on AA (Art Alley or Ariniko Artistry) Creative Corridor. aacreative_cooridorI call it double A Creative Corridor, or Creative Corridor, or AACC or just “the gallery”. I manage this space. I am doing it on a commission type basis. The space has housed salsa dancers, holiday parties, birthday parties, a baby shower and a handful of photographers having sessions with their clients. I still hope to bring in more photographers to join the share (“creative share”?) and join the membership. I would like to eventually have classes that help us with our art. Managing the events there has been interesting and I think I’m getting use to that part of it. There are things that still need to be worked out and created (like a website) but I think this has been an incredible journey. I know looking back to that first sauntering day that I set out with Ellie there would have been no way for me to predict where this yellow brick road would have ended, especially not managing a yellow bricked wall gallery space in the heart of REO Town.

May you all have an amazing New Year.

Sincerely,

Ariniko

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 3,800 times in 2013. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

City Sauntered Top Ten Unusual or Unexpected Finds (Part 1 of a 3 Part Series)

I believe in every interview I had while doing this project I was asked what was my most unusual or most unexpected find. Now that the project is complete I can actually put these lists together. This will be the first and I will have two other “top ten” later on. These are just randomly listed so there isn’t any meaning to the order.  

1. Theo Fulton Park:csIMG_3595 I remember when I did this walk and was about to give up on this neighborhood having anything really interesting. Then I found this park. Recently, I was having a conversation with Kathie Dunbar and she talked about this park and asked if I knew about it. She led off with the thinking that I didn’t know about it. But as she described it I knew exactly what she meant and was able to even show photos of my experience there.

Gorgeous stairs that lead right to the water’s edgecsIMG_3578To the westcsIMG_3567To the EastcsIMG_3564

2. People living under overpasses or in the woods:csIMG_2863In 1998 I worked for the Mid Michigan Red Cross as an after-hours worker. My duty was to place people who were homeless, just getting out of jail or visitors without an overnight stay in a shelter. If there wasn’t one available I was able to offer a hotel room. From what I remember there was a new law that made it illegal to sleep on the streets. I would have police officers drop homeless people off at the office because they wanted to offer these folks the chance to find a place to stay instead of jail. I have always known there were people who chose the streets over shelters. I had women with small children that refused to go to a shelter because of fear their child would be sexually assaulted, especially if that child was a boy. However, as I walked through the city it was still surprising to find mattresses, blankets and tents.csIMG_3821

3. The plethora of Urban Gardens on the Eastside of Lansing:csIMG_7331This was a pleasant surprise. I loved finding all the urban gardens throughout the city. Another area that really had some great gardens was Barnes St.csIMG_7313csIMG_7330csIMG_7292

4. A military presence on Logan (MLK), Grand River, Filley and Sheridan Rd. area.:

csIMG_0974I grew up in this area but I don’t ever recall so many military personnel in this location. It was a bit Close Encounters of the Third Kindish. I am also thinking it had something to do with Emergent being in this area. I could be wrong though. I didn’t ask a lot of questions.

5. How little access and usage there really is on the Grand & Red Cedar Rivers:

csIMG_0961This isn’t a new idea to use our rivers as an attraction. I am still uncertain why so many buildings have their backside facing the rivers, why we don’t have easier access points or that we no longer offer any boat rentals in the area. I remember Potter Park renting canoes. I also remember a River Festival that had a boat parade down the Grand River in downtown Lansing.csIMG_9120aaIMG_2048aaaIMG_2060f

6. How many “rural” areas there are within the city limits:

csIMG_0668In every direction of the city there was some sort of rural area. From corn fields, to wooded plots, to unpaved roads to vast open fields, Lansing has some really non urban spots. The north side would have very small, bungalow type houses sitting on an acre of property. There’s a strip of houses on the west side that have sprawling, riverfront property. It was also surprising how many farm houses were still present.

Church Hill Downs areacsIMG_3366

Jones Lake AreacsIMG_5827

Off Northrup on the south sidecsIMG_6584

7. The walkway from Judicial Building to the Capitol:

It stretches from Martin Luther King Blvd. to Capitol St. and is pedestrian only. aaimg_4918v

8. Scott Sunken Garden (and everything in this area)IMG_0205This hidden gem of an area still amazes me. If you figure out how to park at Cooley Garden you can check out the Sunken Garden, the Women’s Historical Society, and the R.E. Olds plaques. It’s worth the walk.csIMG_0175csIMG_0208csIMG_4650

9. How really difficult some places were to walk:IMG_7285csIMG_5107Aurelius Rd was one of the worse streets for walking. From the lack of sidewalks south of Mt. Hope to the I-96 over pass with knee-high ledges preventing a fall, I think this area truly needs some updating. I am so thankful that Mid-MEAC and AARP grouped up for the walkability audit. It’s really worth the effort with 17% of Lansing residents not owning a car.csIMG_7542
10. Village Summit: csIMG_3063 csIMG_3251The little micro community center set in the middle of a beleaguered neighborhood. I first found myself here with Lunch with a Purpose. We spent an hour cleaning and organizing games, toys, clothes and books; all donations to help those that needed them. This house, bought with retirement money from two local teachers who didn’t want to see the house fall into the wrong hands, became the epicenter of hope in this area off Washington and Barnes. They provide lunches for the kids during the summer. They offer computer access for parents searching for jobs. They built multiple urban gardens to help feed the neighbors. They built a community where there was truly a need for one. csIMG_7454

Still Telling My Story

csIMG_6544I like this. I really, really like this. I am sitting at 1133 South Washington Ave.; the newly energized AA Creative Corridor (that’s another blog), with my photographs from a three year journey on the walls. I have friends, family and even strangers that stop and read through each of my placards for the photos on display. I get feedback and questions. I have really great conversations with the people who pass through. What I really like is the relaxation of this new part. Before, when I talked about City Saunter the question always came up; “how much more do you have to walk?” This suspension of completion always irritated me. I know it makes perfect sense to ask, but I felt like because the project was unfinished it was dismissible. I would feel exhausted thinking about how much work I still had to do. Now that all the walking is complete, I get to analyze it. I get to theorize it. I get to share it. I really enjoy that part. I’ve found through this analysis part that there are many aspects to this project and it’s often hard to settle on just one as the most significant.

IMG_1541_1There’s the photography. I loved that I was able to use my journey to solidify my love of photography. I also love that it is through the photographs that I get to share Lansing. For the few moments you take to look at the photographs, you LIKE Lansing, you really like Lansing. It’s gorgeous and fun and exciting from the perspective of this exhibit. I enjoy bringing that to people.csIMG_5114Then there’s the process; the how I worked my way through all the streets of Lansing. I didn’t systematically walk the streets. I used events, and volunteering and familiarity to branch out across the city. This allowed me the chance to get into a lot of different aspects of the city as a venue. I remember a few years ago Lori Lanspeary the Leisure Marketing Manager for Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau invited me to Lugnut’s stadium for her birthday because “I was helping her do her job and she wanted to thank me”. I hadn’t even met her! It was these type of piggy backing that allowed me the greatest opportunity with this project; meeting amazing people that were also trying to make Lansing amazing. We all #lovelansing.IMG_9364_crop

aaIMG_4871gThen there was the actual walking part. A woman just came in today and after checking out the exhibit looked at me and said, “You look amazing.  I mean you did all that walking”. She then took me to the photo that LSJ took of me in February 2011. My face is much rounder in that photo than what it is today. I think she was a bit embarrassed but I understood what she meant. I was walking a lot; 535 miles to be exact! From September 4 to October 4 I walked 197 miles. On October 3rd alone I walked 29 miles and biked about 5 more. It was 10 hours of exercising! There is no way I could have ever done that before. Twenty Nine Miles!! I have it colored in orange on the map at the gallery; I’ll show it to you!IMG_9104I’m sure there are other aspects to this project that I haven’t even gotten yet. There has definitely been this “opening of doors” effect that still astounds me, especially as I sit here in gorgeous REO Town, in an historic building, diligently working on the next aspect of this journey.gallery_novCome down to 1133 Washington Ave this week to catch an encore presentation of the City Saunter Exhibit. I’ll be here from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. every day this week. There’s no need to knock, the doors will surely be open!

City Saunter Gallery

I realized I might not have officially put this out there. I have been sitting at 1133 South Washington Ave since finishing my final walk October 4. Each day I get my kids ready for school and onto the bus then I get ready and drive into Lansing to watch over my exhibit. It has really been a lot of fun! This space also houses Good Fruit Video, UnoDeuce Multimedia, I’m A Beer Hound and Soulful Earth Herbals. Each time I come into “work” I enjoy this group more and more. They are all entrepreneurs, putting their heart and soul into their work. These businesses are the perfect examples I sought out on my walks and here I am amongst them.  If this ends up being my final days here I want to express how much I’ve enjoyed it! If something else grows from this experience I will truly feel I have been blessed. Again, I would like to thank all the people and businesses that offered sponsorship to get me here! I hope you’ve had time to stop by and see what your donation created. I will forever be thankful for this experience and I am still shocked when people thank me. It’s been a symbiotic relationship for sure!

Sincerely,

Arinikogallery_invite

Too Festive to Falter

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On a day like yesterday the sauntering must go on. It wasn’t out on city streets, however, this time we traveled by car to the lovely Fenner Nature Center. Yesterday was their annual Applebutter Festival. It runs today from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and with sunny weather with a high of 66 degrees I would think there is no better place to be.  With at least three separate places to park there is no need to stress. Some are a walk from the actual festivities but on a weekend like this it should be quite enjoyable. They’ve stretch the festivities out a bit by moving the applebutter cooking pot out “through the meadow” which is down one of the main trails.csIMG_7027If you attend the Maple Syrup Festival then it’s where the syrup is collected from the Sugar Maples. Back at the center you can enjoy apple tasting (my favorite thing to do. There’s an apple that tastes like a banana!). Please watch for the bees. If you don’t swat they won’t sting but with the apples all cut up right there I had bees flying into my face. There is live entertainment, Boy Scout troops sawing logs, facepainting and pumpkin carving areas. Inside is the typical Greater Lansing Potter’s Guild making pottery, natural products and lace weaving. They’ve moved the little store to the back area where they use to do demonstrations and have animal pelts. It’s a much more open area. Downstairs there are the normal food; popcorn, donuts, cider and ice-cream sandwiches. Bring bills not quarters. The little bake sale area was sorely missed.csIMG_7010 csIMG_7015My street sauntering might finally be over but with a place like Fenner and days like we’re having there is no reason to stop the fall trail sauntering.

A new 18 acre prairie area! csIMG_7043 csIMG_7046

In Summary

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I have been finding it very difficult to begin, let alone finish this blog post. How does one write a post that summarizes a three year project? It started out as a simple walking project. Somewhere along the journey it changed. I changed. It started as a show and tell; look at Old Town, now let me tell you about it. Here’s Hawk Island, let me tell you about it. Somehow, though, you let me get personal. You let me tell you about my deceased brother and our adventurous childhood in north Lansing. You let me express my heartache that comes with a grandmother aging out of her matriarchal position in a family.  You let me tell you about people I admired. You let me express great excitement with events and festivals. You put up with all the photos of my twins.

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You followed me as I traveled through your streets, around your neighborhoods, and into your businesses. When I began to get attention from media, or a photograph was purchased, or I was asked to join in on something great, you cheered me on. Then as I was coming to the end I needed support for my gallery, and you all came through on that too! I sit here in a gorgeous turn of the century space with 32 framed pieces of art on the walls, four of which have little sold signs under them. I have my LSJ article framed as well as the Capital Gains article written by my friend Suban. I also have a pile of The Lansing City Pulse sitting on a table with my photo on the cover.

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So let me tell you about Lansing. Lansing is my home. It’s filled with people I love, admire, trust, respect and believe in. It has mom & pop and farm to table. It has urban gardens and Land Bank restorations. It has local celebrities that aren’t afraid to wear a pair of red and white striped socks or don a suit to be auctioned off for charity. It has sports teams and races (dirty, marathon, or colorful). It has green enthusiasts (Sweaty Mouse, Mid-MEAC, Walk & Bike Lansing) and the Blues (Blues Fest, The Root Doctor). There is such an excitement for entertainment and fun that holidays are invented and created here; Plaidurday, Capital City Dragonboat Races, Vacant, Peace of Lansing. There’s an entrepreneurial spirit here that pairs up alongside the corporate world creating this wonderful ebb and flow.  It houses a captivating Capitol building that spurs conversation and debate. This is Lansing, Michigan sitting dead center in the palm of my right hand that I forever will clutch to my heart. Thank you Lansing!  #lovelansing

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My Walking Marathon

Post dated from October 3, 2013

csIMG_6584According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary one of the definitions of marathon is; “something (such as an event or activity) that lasts an extremely long time or that requires great effort”. I think this very much describes my City Saunter Project. For three years I’ve strategically made my way from Haslett to Lansing and walked on the public streets for a given amount of time. While walking I carried with me my full sized dslr Canon camera, extra lens, notebooks, sometimes water, and my phone (after November 2012). I carried all of these supplies in a messenger bag with Velcro closures. As I walked the motion rubbed my clothing to the level that most of my pants now have a frayed spot on the left thigh. I even bought a new shirt and the metal brackets on the bag wore a mark on this brand new shirt. I wore my way through 5 separate pair of shoes. I think in this last month alone I put 300 miles on my car driving to the south side of Lansing. There were the summer days when I left my kids sitting in front of the television and rushed off to get a few miles in. As I type this, my word counter has just surpassed 10,000 words. I rolled my camera 4 times with probably a quarter to a third of those photos being City Saunter photos. To complete this project by my gallery opening date I really started walking a lot more than normal.  My combined walking for this summer’s months is 200.9597 miles; all the months (years) up to that equal 333.7674. This project of walking every street in Lansing totaled 534.7271 miles walked. On October 3, 2013 I walked the most miles I had ever walked in my life. I did not train. I did not stretch. I really did nothing right yet by the grace of God was I able to walk from 8:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. with only a 20 minute break to buy a little food at Meijer. The total for this walk was 29.43 miles. I biked a small amount of this but also neglected to calculate biking from a finished spot back to my car or another walking location. I estimate I also biked another 3-4 miles on top of the walk. A marathon, I walked a marathon! I marked it on my map in orange instead of my typical hot pink highlighter. It’s quite impressive, if you don’t mind me saying. It’s even more impressive if you add in that the weekend before I was bedridden with a fever, sore throat and swollen glands. Yet it was done. Because of that extraordinary feat I was able to complete the project the next day just as I had planned (hoped). 

Some of my finds from this long walk:csIMG_6567 csIMG_6573 csIMG_6585 csIMG_6591

My walks

FirstSecond; Third; Fourth; Fifth; Sixth; Seventh; Eighth; Ninth