Tag Archives: East Lansing

Lansing United

Ariniko Artistry Lansing, Michigan Photographer

The full stands at East Lansing Soccer Complex

Sometimes in Lansing you come across something new and exciting without really knowing how you haven’t known about it before. Sometimes it’s a passing blip on your Facebook wall. Sometimes a friend in going and mentions it to you. Sometimes someone you know creates the entire branding for a new sports team and his son plays on their reserve team. Even this last part didn’t get me fully interested in this new team. It wasn’t until I was asked to write a “break out” piece for a local paper about Lansing United, that I finally took the time to really find out about this new sports team.

Ariniko Artistry Lansing, Michigan Photographer

Lansing United vs. Minnesota United Reserves

Lansing United is the newest members of the National Premier Soccer League. The NPSL is the fastest growing national soccer league in the United States. Lansing United is an expansion team in the Great Lakes Conference. Last week this team came in first place in the Great Lakes Conference and moved on to the playoffs. There were four teams that got to play in the Midwest Region Playoffs. The game I was asked to cover was Saturday’s semi final game. Lansing United played against the Minnesota United Reserves.


 

I really didn’t know what to expect when I got there but I thought I would wing it. I had looked up the address before leaving. The home games are all held at the East Lansing Soccer Complex. I didn’t even know this place existed.  I had a brief memory of this place from about 6 years ago as a dirt pile at the end of a new walking trail. It’s amazing how quickly things can grow in this area.

Walking up the walkway I already could feel the intense playfulness atmosphere. There were children running around passing a soccer ball between them. In fact almost every kid had a ball. There was a pizza truck parked to the side of the pavilion and stacks of pizzas were being carried into the pavilion. There were lots of people dressed in bright baby blue vests. These are the volunteers that answered questions, watched the gate and sold you tickets. It’s very professional looking.

Ariniko Artistry Lansing, Michigan Photographer

Dave Ellis, the media director said that without the support of so many, this would not have come together as well as it had. He wants to thank everyone for all their support.

Inside the gate the stands were full. I found out later from the media director that the stands were full for every game. Not only were the stands full but a good chunk of grass had folks sitting on it. I would say there were close to 1000 people watching this game.I quickly made my way to the very verbose cheering section. I had been told to get a photo of them by Camron Gnass whose creative studio, Traction created the branding for the team. The sea of blue was easy to spot as well as the constant singing, chanting and yelling that came from this section. And if that didn’t draw me down there the smoke canisters and flying flag would have.

Ariniko Artistry Lansing, Michigan Photographer

Sons of Ransom- The #1 Supporters of Lansing United. Their name comes from Ransom E. Olds.

I found a place nearby and watched as the game began. The last time I watched a soccer game was when my boys were on a team. It’s been a long time. I have never watched adults play soccer. I was instantly amazed by the stamina, agility and speed of these players. The maneuvering of the ball with their feet reminded me of ballet, until they pulled that leg back and gave that ball a full on kick. There is a fascinating balance between the precise positioning of the ball with the feet and then the aggressive full on assault to get that ball into the goal. It really is amazing to watch.aa-EOS 70D_0046AA-EOS 70D_0074 AA-EOS 70D_0087After getting some really great shots I left. I found out through social media they had won the semi final game and that meant they would play Sunday as well in the finals.AA-EOS 70D_0094I brought my family back for that one and we watched this inaugural Lansing team play at an East Lansing sports field and win the Midwest Region Championship.

I am so glad Lansing has another win.

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The Eastern Edge

                

I was ready to proclaim domination over the east side of Lansing. I was rechecking my map to guarantee I had in fact walked most of the eastern side of Lansing when I saw it. I checked again. I pulled out another map. It was on there too. I opened Google Maps. It must be true now. There was a section on the eastern side of 127, my ultimate eastern edge boundary guide line, that was in, without a doubt, part of Lansing. It was positioned east of 127, north of Grand River and west of Coolidge. I don’t know how I skipped over it! On my way into town for Lunch with a Purpose I stopped at the old Holiday Lanes bowling alley (it’s being renovated) on Grand River and headed to this almost East Lansing section.

Once within the residential part of this neighborhood, it was obvious that this neighborhood was at one point in time the conjoined twin sister of Groesbeck. The homes are very similar in style with large colonials with pillars or the typical split level built over a two car garage. As with the Groesbeck area, a section of this neighborhood also pays for the state’s advancement by having a 70 mph highway in its backyard. This side didn’t get the 12 foot grey colored walls like the other side of 127. It’s a quaint little neighborhood, yet quiet it’s not. This surgical separation that allowed US 127 to run through the middle of a decent neighborhood abscised this east side as the smaller, less protected, more isolated section . For some the isolation from most of the city creates an almost retreat feeling. Yards grow right up to the road as there are no sidewalks in this section. However, very few cars passed me while I walked in the road. The lack of sidewalk wasn’t really a concern until I walked out onto the very busy Coolidge Rd; the Lansing side had no sidewalks. Just across the street, on the East Lansing side, a utility worker spent the entire time I walked cleaning and edging the sidewalk. There was a worn patch in the grass where I walked that showed evidence that I wasn’t the only walker on this path. It might have been those trying to get to the bus stop just north of Grand River.

Slipping back onto the inner neighborhood streets I again noticed how undisturbed this area looked. In this section the trees were gloriously over grown and provided a wonderful canopy, unlike many city street trees that have been ruined by recent road and sewer repairs deeper in the heart of Lansing.

So this is the eastern edge of Lansing and I walked it, finally! Now that I have sought out this section I have almost walked all the east section bordering the eastern edge to Clemens and south to 496. There is one little section south of Kalamazoo and north of 496 I haven’t completed yet, but I read a great article about the Land Bank offering parcels of land in this area for Urban Gardens. I think I’ll check that out soon!