We’ve all had that moment. You know what we’re talking about…that moment where you suddenly come to the realization that Lansing is your “home sweet home.” We here at the Lansing Collective want to know what makes our capitol city your “home sweet home” and when you realized it- so we are embarking upon a series where Lansingites share their aha moment with us! Submit your stories to HomeSweetHome@lansingcollective.com and we may just publish it on the blog! Read on to learn about this week’s featured story.
For those of you that do not know, my sister moved to Chicago this summer. She gave in to the alluring lights and sounds of the big city and left mid-Michigan to start her life in a bustling and hip neighborhood of Chi-town. (Along with countless other friends, there was a mass exodus from Lansing to Chicago, I swear…)
Naturally, I have ventured into the city on a few occasions this summer to spend long weekends with my sis and her roommate (who just so happens to be one of my best friends) and fell for the appeal of the hipster parts of the cute little neighborhoods- the vegan bakeries, bike friendly streets, locally owned pubs, boutiques and restaurants lining every street, the fashion of the passersby as I dove into my pitcher of brunch margaritas- needless to say I felt I knew exactly why so many of my friends and acquaintances have left the small streets of Lansing to start fresh in a bigger Midwest town. That is until I hit the road to reluctantly return to my home in Lansing. That’s when it happened.
As I got into about hour two of my three and a half hour trip, my heart began to flutter. I started to think about the amazing community of people we have here in Lansing. I thought about the fact that while we are lacking in veg friendly restaurants and bakeries, could use some work making our city more bike friendly, and the city is a bit lacking in terms of crowds on the streets (unless it is around noon Monday through Friday or a Thursday evening near Tavern on the Square or Wild Beaver Saloon…and I won’t even get into my beef with that Saloon…), I realized that what is most wonderful about our city is that we get to be the catalyst in remedying the aforementioned issues. We see what we want to change to make our city even better and we get to be an active participant in making that change happen, whether it be by supporting fresh faces in the race for city council candidates (and get to actually meet and/or hang out with them to boot!), attending city council meetings to advocate for better bike lanes/racks, joining organizations like the Mid Michigan Environmental Action Council, patronizing locally owned and delicious establishments such as Decker’s, Soup Spoon Cafe, Sawyer’s, Golden Harvest, etc., shopping at the MSU farmstand, Allen Community Farmer’s Market, City Market, or grabbing a quick bite from one of our amazing food trucks around the city. Obviously there are no shortage of ways to become involved in making our city the best it can be!
It was approximately when I took the exit to 496 Downtown Lansing that it hit me. My heart is here in Lansing. And while I cannot say that I will never move to a neighborhood in Chicago, or anywhere else for that matter, I can say that Lansing is my home sweet home. I love the people here. I love the sense of community here. And I love that I can get to where I want, whether by foot, bike or car, without fighting crazy traffic and anxiety inducing crowds.
For the time being my heart will reside in Lansing and whether I stay or go, a piece of it will forever live on here.