It has been more than awhile since my last post, but I am pleased to say that I have not had time to write because I have been so busy enjoying all that Lansing has to offer now that the nice weather has arrived! I would like to meet the person who says there is nothing to do in Lansing… just this weekend alone brought “Be a tourist in your own town”, a chili cookoff, Meridian Township and Old Town Farmer’s Markets, art exhibit openings, Lansing Lugnuts, the Hawk Island Triathalon and more to our great city! While I was out of town for part of the weekend, I decided to take Sunday to explore the capitol city on two wheels. I want to share what a spring weekend in Lansing looks like with you all!
To start off, I want to note that after many months of pondering the idea of a new bicycle, followed by a few weeks of intense research on the kind of bike I wanted, and a visit to almost every bike shop in the Greater Lansing area for test rides, I decided to purchase a new ride! I did this so that I can commute around town in a more eco-friendly way, while taking in my surroundings at a slower pace and enjoying the amazing weather. I settled on a 2011 Specialized Crossroads Sport Low Entry, which I purchased from Denny’s Central Park Bicycles in Okemos and I could not be happier with my decision! Denny’s Central Park Bicycles has a huge selection of every type of bike imaginable, and a large staff of friendly individuals that are willing to go above and beyond to help you out! This weekend brought the first of many explorations of the city on two wheels, and like Khalid has mentioned in an earlier post, it is really a one of a kind experience!
I headed out early Sunday morning and started the day with a leisurely ride around downtown Lansing and all of the lovely neighborhoods. When I commute by car I go from point A to point B, not necessarily taking in my surroundings, but when I was on bike, I rode through streets I have never been down and took the time to discover new routes and areas- it was a lovely start to my day.
Next up was a ride to the Absolute Gallery in Old Town to check out the opening of a new art exhibit, Fleshtones. Fleshtones is an absolutely amazing display of portraits, and accompanying stories, taken by Suellen Hozman, which explores the concept of flesh. According to the description of the project:
“We all have flesh, we all have our own flesh color, and we all have flesh decorations including that horrible pimple I had in the middle of my forehead on prom night. But I’m not a pimple, I’m Suellen first. Let’s celebrate people first. When I was a child, I picked out the Crayola crayon labeled “flesh” and held it next to my flesh. It didn’t match my flesh. Stereotypes tend to exclude individuality. Flesh comes in infinite colors and decorations. All are individually beautiful.”
I walked into a packed exhibit, just a tad past noon, and while I expected a wonderful display, I was still taken aback by the beauty I was surrounded by. Each portrait was beautiful, and I was especially moved by the brave stories that accompanied each one. The exhibit really makes the viewer question their pre-conceived notions about flesh and how they treat others based on those notions. This exhibit was moving, thought-provoking and left me with renewed sense of pride in my own flesh. I encourage you all to visit it, the exhibit runs through June 30th at Absolute Gallery located at 307 E. Grand River, Regular gallery hours are 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. (To read more about this exhibit, check out this great City Pulse piece!)
After an hour at the exhibit, checking out the art and mingling with friends, I walked across Turner st. with my bike securely locked up on a parking meter, to grab a bite to eat from Lansing’s own Purple Carrot Truck! This food truck stands as “Lansing’s first farm to table food truck”, according to their facebook page, and offers a changing menu of local, farm fresh food on a daily basis throughout the city. The location of the food truck changes, so it is wise to follow them on facebook or twitter (@eatpurplecarrot) for their daily location and menu. This was my first experience with the food truck and I was greeted by a very friendly woman who helped to whip up a Michigan Beet Salad, at a reasonable price ($6), which I enjoyed at a picnic table across the street. While they were out of the carrot cake pops, which were highly recommended to me, I would say that I was beyond impressed with my lunch and plan to visit them again in Old Town this upcoming Wednesday (and try my much anticipated cake pop!)
After my lunch, I walked back over to the Old Town Farmer’s Market, located at the corner of Turner and Grand River, where I browsed the stands and picked up some cage-free, farm fresh eggs and dino kale! While there seemed to be less variety at this farmer’s market than
the Allen Street Farmer’s Market on Wednesdays, there were still some great products and many smiling faces!
After my lunch and a bit of shopping at the market, I walked on over to Craving’s Popcorn, where I picked up a tall bag of signature and white cheddar popcorn mix. I figured it would be a great treat for later in the afternoon on a break from riding along the River Trail! At that point I spent the next hour or so just biking along the trail, taking in the scenery of the beatiful day in Lansing and greeting many of my fellow River Trail bikers along the way.
As the afternoon wound down, I took a detour to visit my friends’ beautiful new home on the west side of the city before heading back home.
I will say that the city is completely renewed upon Springtime- there are people everywhere and events every weekend. Even though I took off on my bike solo, I ran into so many friends out and about in the city (shout out to Suban, Julie, Kyle, John, Kate and Stef!), it is hard not to be overwhelmed by the simple joy of running into people everywhere you go while living in a small city!
And while I am sad that I missed some of Saturday’s great Lansing events, I would love to hear all about them in the comments! Do any of you have #lovelansing weekend or biking stories!?