Tag Archives: REO Town

Floating on Air

2-15-2012 2-54-09 PM

Our City Saunter interview April 13, 2011.

On a cool Mid-Michigan morning in early April 2011, I met my second news anchor in person. I had contacted Evan Pinsonnault of WLNS Channel 6 news when he put out a request for cool things happening in Lansing for his Tell Me Something Good Segment. He quickly responded to the email I sent and within the week he was joining me for one of my Saunters. He brought a camera man and they put together this lovely video. It was one of the greatest days of my walking adventure and I wrote this blog about it. After that moment I’ve had a handful of run ins with Evan; Common Ground Film Festival, Blues Festival, The Red Nose Rukus party and Ye Old Christmas. It seemed we attended quite a few of the same events and every time he saw me there, he walked straight to me, hugged me, said he was glad to see me and took time to ask how I was doing. Every time. To this day it amazes me. I’ve had folks from the Lansing community that I have photographed and been introduced to over 20 times who still have no idea who I am.

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Evan judges Ye Old Christmas gingerbread house competition. I was the photographer for this event.

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Evan on the WLNS float during Silverbells

When my City Saunter project came to a completion Evan tried desperately to get me on his broadcast again. Unfortunately it didn’t work out.

Then came the news that he was moving to California. I wasn’t surprised. He had mentioned to me before that he had hopes to move to a new location. Although I feel he will be greatly missed in Lansing, I am very excited for him.

Through communication on Facebook he suggested I come onto his Feel Good February segment to do a re-cap of the City Saunter Project, how I completed it and what I’m up to now. I, of course, said YES!

This morning I woke up bright and early, 4:45 a.m., to arrive at the station by 5:45 a.m. I’ve been to a few news stations to be interviewed for this project before but am always intrigued with the functionality of each. I was ushered to the “green room” which was really the computer offices of all the staff. One wall held at least 6 televisions all broadcasting different stations and news updates as well as the live broadcast. It was quite fascinating. I entered just as the clip showing me came on. There is something a bit surreal when you walk into a news station and you are on the news. One of the employees says, “Hey that’s you.”

I was offered a cup of coffee and told Evan would be in soon. The other anchor, Chivon, came in and we talked for a few minutes.

When the live broadcast switched to local commercials I knew Evan would be in soon. When he did come in,  just like always he came straight to me, arms spread for his perfected hug, warmly saying, “Hello my dear!”

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I gave Evan this photo to remind him of Lansing while he continues his journey. I hope he will always remember his time here fondly.

I sort of don’t remember the interview. I know we talked about City Saunter. I know we plugged AA Creative Corridor. I know we plugged my Ariniko Artistry photography, I know I was so nervous and didn’t know where to look. Luckily Evan asked all the right questions and prodded me along when I need it.

It’s a bit sad thinking that these meet ups won’t happen again. Maybe I’ll write a City Saunter book and have him arrange a book signing in California!

A girl can dream, right?

xxoo

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Driving Forward in REO Town

REO Town PubThursday night while attending a REO Town Association meeting, as we went over the yearly schedule for 2015, the new businesses coming to our little section of town and the recognition as a Michigan Main Street, it really sunk in. REO Town business owners, residents and those that support this area are really kicking butt! When I first started City Saunter in late 2010 REO Town wasn’t much on the map.Train Station on Washington Ave.

Construction beginning There were hints of movement within its chrysalis; Gillespie Group was interested in starting a crowd sourced restaurant and there were rumors that BWL was planning to build a new state of the art facility. One came to fruition, and the other not so much. However it provided the groundwork for the very successful Good Truckin’ Diner to move in last year.REO Town Plant

aa_Blog_Depot 3 Skip ahead five years later and The BWL Cogeneration Plant has been operating for almost two years now, Washington Ave had a complete make-over, there’s multiple places to dine with new ones on the horizon, and the Washington Ave. section has at least five new businesses that were not there five years ago, myself included.

The new signView of Washington Ave from an upper building roof topNot only are there businesses that are flourishing in this location there’s also a consistent set of festivals that have been taking place down there for multiple years now.

ARTS & CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL

Arts & Craft Beer Fest 2014At the end of January REO Town’s festival season officially begins with I’m a Beer Hound’s ambitious Arts and Craft Beer Festival. For this year’s activities there will be three venues, including the gallery space I manage (AA Creative Corridor), an outdoor area behind REO Town Pub and also inside the Cadillac Room which is now ran by Riverview Church, who moved in last year. All three venues will have music and arts as well as Right Brain Brewery beer.

REO TOWN THRIFT STORE GALA

March 21, 2015 the REO Town association will host its second REO Town Thrift Store Gala. Last year there was a combination of retro foods, products and pin-ups. It was exciting and the perfect event to get to know the REO Town folks that are working hard day in and out to make REO Town a thriving entertainment area.

REO TOWN BEER FESTREO Town Beer Fest 2014

REO Town Beer Fest 2014 after the stormJune 27 I’m A Beer Hound will be hosting its third REO Town Beer Fest out on Washington Ave. Last year, even with threat of rain, a large crowd gathered on Washington Ave. to experience craft beers of over thirty breweries, music and community.

THE DOG OLYMPICS

aa_blog_DPP_0017There isn’t a greater event than one that is create by a child for a cause that is dear to his hearts. Last year for the second time Isaac Torok hosted his good-natured, for a cause, Dog Olympics. This year it will be held July 25 and will again benefit the American Cancer Society Bark for Life. Last year they raised $1400.

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ART ATTACKView of Art Attack from the roof tops

Art Attack ArtIn September Art Attack will once again take center stage. This hands-on arts event brings together craft vendors, performers and artists. Last year the artists used their incredible talents to create trashy works of arts.  By that, I mean contestants used their extensive creativity to design unique trash receptacles that were placed in various locations around town. The year before the elaborately, much photographed, graffiti wall was created. I would imagine this year’s event will continue in this vein.

Art Attack 2014

PEACE OF LANSING

Only a couple of weeks after Art Attack I host Peace of Lansing. This year will be the second time this single day of global peace has been in REO Town. This is the 5th year of Peace of Lansing and will fall on a Monday. This event is used to pass out free books, collect school supplies for Lansing School District Schools and provide a stress free time to reconnect with the community.Peace of Lansing 2014

Peace of Lansing 2014

OTHER ACTIVITIES IN REO TOWN

As great as it is to have these continued festivals it should also be pointed out that quite a few other activities are frequently happening in downtown REO Town. Every Friday AA Creative Corridor hosts dancing. The second and fourth Fridays have Salsa Capital dancing and first and third Fridays have Sugar House Blues Dancing.Sugar House Blues Dancing

Ixion Theatre EnsembleThe theater group Ixion Theatre Ensemble also performs multiple times a year in this location with the play Shipwrecked opening February 14.

The opening debut of The Robin Theater at 1105 S. Washington Ave. sometime later this year will provide the area with a fresh and exciting performance venue. Quite a few familiar faces are coordinating efforts to create this space, including members of the Lansing Unionized Vaudeville Spectacle, who have already performed in the space.

LUVS performing at TEDxLansing

Last summer Co:Space opened its doors as a new collaborative workspace for state workers, traveling business people and IT Professionals that might need a location to work that fits their specific needs. The brain child of Scott McLean, Vice President of Operations at New Horizon and Ryan Kinkaid of Kinkaid Henry Building Company, this facility provides the perfect centralized location for professionals to create and connect.

REO Town Bike RackAs REO Town continues to drive forward and with staple businesses like LEAP, St. Vincent De Paul Thrift Store, Michigan Women’s Historical Center & Hall of Fame, Leroy’s Classic Bar & GrillSoulful Earth Herbals, REO Town Pub, REACH Art Studio, Cuttin’ Up Barbershop, Just B Yoga, Good Fruit Video, Uno Deuce Multimedia, Studio Intrigue Architects and Foliage Design Systems (the short list) firmly in place, you may want to put on the brakes and visit one of Lansing’s actively artistic areas.Cooley Gardens Scott's Sunken Garden

Skyline in REO Town

Rivers EdgeREO TOWN signMoores River Park

All images © Ariniko Artistry, who has a studio in REO Town.

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,

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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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Ten Day Countdown

csIMG_5252I have just over a week to complete this project, prepare for a gallery exhibit and also continue all my regular work. I took on a photography project and am shooting the “It’s a Breast Thing” on October 1. The day after my gallery opening I also am leading the Scott Kelby Worldwide Walk in REO Town. Last weekend I hosted Peace of Lansing and thought, once that’s done I really can concentrate on City Saunter. Sometimes I laugh at my schedule. I keep thinking, when that’s over I will have so much free time I won’t know what to do with myself. Yet after each event/shoot/project something else gets added to the calendar. I like it that way.csIMG_5264Yesterday I went for a 6 mile walk with a Lansing City Pulse writer. She has been covering my project for about two weeks now, including a sit down interview and our walking interview yesterday. I love hearing people’s excitement and maybe awe when they become familiar with this city journey. It invigorates my excitement for it as well. Look for the article in next week’s publication.csIMG_5261Off to walk now. I really love walking in these cooler, fall days!