Come Meet The Great American Fierce Beard Organization

Many of the men of the Lansing Collective have beards. Khalid has a beard. I have a beard. And oh boy does Buckler have a beard.

John Buckler is one of the founders of an organization based here in Lansing called The Great American Fierce Beard Organization, or GAFBO. As people who know me and how much I love my beard may guess at this point, I am a proud GAFBO Member.

What is GAFBO? Well, we’re a beard club, but as John puts it:

[GAFBO] isn’t just for beards, but for lovers of facial hair. When I write for GAFBO, I generally use the terms facial hair and beard interchangeably. I have a beard, GAFBO has the word beard in it, but we aren’t just for beards. Which reminds me, we need to get some moustaches in our group. But not hipsters with ironic mustaches. Mustaches, yes. Hipsters, yes. Irony, yes. But hipsters with ironic mustaches…no.

But what does GAFBO do? Obviously it is having beards that ties us all together. Even simply loving facial hair is enough – just ask one of our female members. That said we try to have GAFBO be something more than just an excuse for us to celebrate our facial hair.
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Concrete in the Cherry Hill neighborhood from 1925So, one of my weird obsessions is checking the dates stamped into sidewalk concrete as I walk past it. In some places in town, it’s all pretty new. But in the Cherry Hill District, where Khalid and I live, there is a great mixture of new and old. The oldest I’ve found in our neighborhood (and almost anywhere) has been this 1925 near Khalid’s house.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen any great old pieces of city pavement.


I love bread at the Lansing City Market

Neva from Aggie Mae's BakeryEveryone at Lansing Collective absolutely loves the Lansing City Market. For a while this summer Khalid and I were down there at least once a week. We still try to get down there regularly, but haven’t been so good about it recently.

The great thing about the City Market is not just the goods. Okay, the foods are good, and local. You can’t complain about that. But the people really make the experience for me.

For almost everyone I know, one of the major favorites at City Market is Hills Homecured Cheese. If you love cheese like I do, you can’t go wrong, but hands-down my favorite vendor there is Neva Austin, of Aggie Mae’s Bakery. (Check out the photo of Neva on their website – I took that one too!)

It’s really nice to walk in to pick up bread, and have her remember your name, and have a conversation with her about the shop, the Market, and everything going on in your lives.

Highlights include the seeded sourdough, the baguette, the whole wheat, the focaccia… basically having bread from Neva, and cheese from Hills, are worth the trip to the Market in and of themselves.

You can become a fan of Aggie Mae’s on Facebook, or follow Aggie Mae’s on Twitter.

Hills Homecured Cheese is on Facebook too, so make sure you friend them as well


Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee

Lately my favorite place to take the laptop and get some work done is Great Lakes Chocolate and Coffee. Heck, I go through their drive-through and get a cup when I don’t have time to make my own in the morning.

Its a nice relaxing place, usually busy, but not so much that you can’t get a seat, and their wireless internet is nice and quick (a HUGE deal for me).

Now, while they’re not strictly a Lansing company, they are a Michigan company, and there’s a lot to like about them.
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Schwartz’s Deli

When I’m at work, I tend to be driving around a lot, hopping from client to client, and office to office. So when I eat out for lunch, I usually want something pretty quick. Often times, due to time and location, that means chain restaurants. I try to avoid too much fast food, and usually go for sandwiches, something like Quizno’s or Jimmy John’s.

Those places are okay, but as aways, I like to eat at local places. Schwartz’s Deli is one of my favorites when I’m in the Frandor area.

Before Schwartz’s, there was another deli there, called Amici’s. It was pretty darn good as well, but when Mike Schwartz bought the place, a few things changed.
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