A secret book store in Lansing

by Eat Pomegranate Photography

by Eat Pomegranate Photography

A few years ago we faced store closing signs in the windows of many of our favorite book stores. I was really sad to see the East Lansing Barnes and Noble close it’s doors. As a student I used to spend a lot of time there. Walking down those aisles was one of my favorite ways of discovering new books.

I had given up on those book discovery experiences until last week; me and two of my closest friends went thrift shopping at World Mission on South Cedar. We were perusing antique furniture as I wandered into the store’s book section. It was hard to believe I was in a Lansing thrift store; nearly 25% of the building was dedicated to perfectly organizes shelves of books. These weren’t all tween fiction or romance novels either. There were incredibly diverse sections ranging from WWII history to architecture and photography books. There was a big children’s book section and great harder to find fiction books. I was impressed at the quality of these books and it was hard to believe these were all donations.

Cynthia, the manager at World Mission was hired in two years ago and her dedication to the book section is obvious. As we start to loose out on the book-store experience in Lansing, and as many of us declare our love for e-readers, I am humbled to see that Cynthia has kept this book section alive. When Cynthia was hired in, she inherited 20 gaylord boxes (yes, a new word for me too) of donated books. Most of the shelving units where already there but the books were in total disarray.  With the help of a dedicated staff (Joe, Rick, and Anna) and hundreds of hours of work, she has created this mini book haven right here in Lansing. Cynthia points out that  Joe, Rick, and Anna “have been the backbone of our bookstore” and without their dedication the store wouldn’t be where it is.

It is obvious how much heart has been put into organizing these books. If you have kids (or if you are a kid at heart), I urge you to check out the  children’s section. If you are a history buff, I guarantee, you will spend several hours in the history section. If you like fiction, it is very likely that your fill find your favorite titles for a fraction of the cost. Cynthia and her team have also set up really cool end of isle book displays with interesting books they find. I urge you to get lost in these isles. I am probably starting to sound like a late night infomercial, but I can’t express in words how nice this mini book store is. Check it out.

by Eat Pomegranate Photography

by Eat Pomegranate Photography

Cynthia wanted me to add that the World Mission always welcomes book donations and they always need new shelves in their book department. They also have a truck and are able to pick up books. Additionally, there are donation bins around the community for clothing and books.


Help Portrait Lansing 2012

Help PortraitCntrl – C

Cntrl – V

Those two keystroke combinations have made photographer ever more possessive about how their images are shared online. Plagiarism and theft of intellectual property is not news but this digital realm has made it much more prevalent. This obsession with copyright has created a new culture of gaudy watermarks and has kept photographers from sharing their images online.

In light of the prevalence intelectual property theft, it is rare to you see photographers giving their work away. Then again, we live in Lansing and there is such a great collection of kind hearts in this city. For the third year in a row, Lansing was host to an incredible event. Lansing photographers and numerous hard working volunteers got together once again for Help Portrait. If you didn’t hear about Help Portrait last year, it is a worldwide event where photographers and volunteers get together to take portraits of people, edit those picture, print them, and give them away for free.

Here is a break down of the numbers from this year:

  • 68 family groups and individuals registered
  • 246 individuals photographed
  • 3 Printers
  • 8 Editors
  • 8 Photographers
  • 49 volunteers
  • 350 cups of popcorn
  • 100s of snacks and cookies
  • 100s of photo frames

Help Portrait

Help Portrait


Alternative Transportation in Asia

From a recent study abroad trip to Asia, I would like to give my take on their transportation and how it compares to our beloved city of Lansing. I focused most of my attention on bikability, walkability, public transportation, and a few other modes I didn’t expect to be options! We traveled to 3 countries, including Seoul (the capital of South Korea), Malaysia and Singapore.


25 million people live in the city and surrounding area, and 10 million within the city limits. This as you can imagine creates incredible challenges when it comes to pedestrian and bicycle accommodations. Combining all users of their roadway and creating ‘complete streets’ (a concept that is catching on in the States) is a work in progress.

A small fact which helps explain and inform their built environment would be the country’s geography. Not to bash the enormous beauty found in the country side, but it sucks for building houses or livability! The mountains are bedrock, and a plethora of tree covered  rolling hills make it extremely difficult to build roads, deliver material and even farm. Any flat area of land in these mountains is covered with rice fields or growing  vegetables/fruit. Hence the city of Seoul (the largest and possibly only flat area in all of Korea) is almost 2 times as dense as New York City.

Continue reading


Hey, Lansing! Come ride a bike with me!

As most of you dear readers probably know, a few of us bloggers at Lansing Collective absolutely love riding our bicycles and taking alternative means of transportation around the city. Those who don’t know this? Just take a look here, here, or here!

Anyways, I have been trying to get together with my wonderful friend Neal to take a bike ride through our eastside neighborhood when it hit me: why not get a group of Lansingites together and take a group ride! Thus, the idea was born and Neal and I decided to plan an Eastside Group Ride this weekend and tag it “bike for beer!”, since one of our favorite local cafes has received their long awaited liquor license and now serves beer! Continue reading


Get Your Feet Dirty

I must admit, 4:30 in the morning is not a good time for me. Even approaching the longest day of the year, it’s still dark outside. You don’t even have the chance to get properly hungry for breakfast. Even most of nature has the good sense to be quiet and resting.

So it came as a great surprise that when my alarm went off at that ungodly hour last Saturday, I welcomed the sound. I was even excited to get out of bed.

Racers take to the water as they head for five check points on Lake Lansing.

It was time for Dirty Feat.

Dirty Feat is Lansing’s one-and-only adventure race, for the third year running. Teams of two are given a map with check points marked, a corresponding list of clues, and a time limit to reach them all on bicycle, foot and even canoe. Last year’s race was spoiled by an untimely accident resulting in driving my partner to Lansing Urgent Care. This year would be different. Continue reading