The city of Lansing is best known for being the capital of Michigan, and just a stone’s throw away from Michigan State’s campus. If you live in the area, then you know many of the people that work downtown typically leave the city once work gets out. “A lot of times I think the Greater Lansing area has a hard time making sure that Michigan is a great place to live,” said Bill Kimble, president of C2AE architecture and engineering company in downtown Lansing. “A lot of us have families here, but sometimes that’s not enough.”
Locals like William Davis believe that bringing in more young people will rejuvenate the city helping it bloom into something great. “It’s so quiet during the winter, there’s times where I want to scream because it’s so quiet!” Davis went on to question how Lansing’s ability to maintain relevancy.
Many aspiring music artists are finding more and more places to go to perform their music. We are now in a world where people are using the art of music to get their feelings out about the things they are feeling. Even though writing is one way to escape the world, people are feeling that they can connect more with music. “Every time I perform, I feel connected to the audience. I have had someone come up to me after a show, in tears, telling me how great my performance was and how it impacted them,” said local rap artist Wavie P., whose whose real name is Ricky Pannell Jr.
Rap music is one of the most popular genres of music according to a poll taken by Time Magazine in 2015 during the Grammy nomination season.
Boris Hsieh said he looks forward to the downtown Lansing holiday decorations every year outside of his family’s restaurant, AnQi Sushi Express. However, this year the spirit seems to be in short supply. “I always notice what is different about the Halloween and Christmas decorations each year,” said Hsieh. “But the past year’s decorations seem to have been much more vibrant and it seems like there were more of them in past years.”
According to Hsieh there are a lot less decorations downtown this year, including this year’s Christmas tree in front of the Capitol. “This year’s downtown Christmas tree is a whole lot smaller and less pretty compared to the past years,” Hsieh said.
Cheryl Maloney and her family love watching the Silver Bells in the City parade every year downtown Lansing and according to Maloney, she and her three girls anxiously await the fireworks to go off behind the Capitol building. “The fireworks are a good addition to all of the festivities,” Maloney said. “My family always loves going to watch.” According to Brian Jackson, chief deputy city clerk at the Lansing City Clerk Office, it takes a lot to get approval of this display. The event coordinators need forms, proof of funds and approval from the fire marshal and state police department.
By Isaac Constans
Listen Up, Lansing Staff Reporter
It is apparent when meandering through downtown that the urban landscape is dominated by government buildings and churches. And while one makes clear sense in the state’s capitol, the other needs some explication. Churches in Lansing have always been magnets for socialization and meeting places for residents. And despite the falling numbers of churchgoers, the grandiose edifices of worship continue to impact the community. “This is 75,000 square ft.
By Isaac Constans
Listen Up, Lansing staff reporter
At 5 p.m. on an early October Saturday, Don Angelo and his family of four had just taken a nice dip in the Grand River. Unintentionally, of course, as one of their canoes slowly rotated clockwise into murky submersion, but a refreshing swim nonetheless. Although their experience was cold, muddy, and wet, the Angelos had an enjoyable weekend tour of their city, an aquatic safari through the heart of Lansing’s urban jungle. “We did it this spring, we did it this fall. It was a good time, man, real good time,” Angelo, a life-long Lansing resident, said about canoeing through Lansing.
The Greater Lansing area is home to many great things; the monumental Capitol building, a Big Ten university, and Potter Park Zoo, among other attractions. But it also has the title for one of the poorest populations among Midwestern state capitols. Lansing has one of the highest unemployment rates and poverty rates of the Midwestern capitals, according to the 2012 census. The Census found Greater Lansing had the highest rates of unemployment (around 10 percent) and poverty (in excess of 15 percent) when compared to the capitols of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. In addition to having such a high level of poverty, the area is known by locals for being rather unwelcoming.
After nearly 20 years of being closed to the public for tours on Saturdays, Lansing’s 136-year-old Capitol building will be opening its doors this month for residents and tourists alike to tour the state’s Capitol. The Michigan State Capitol Commission, formed in 2014 to oversee the Capitol, decided last Tuesday to hire another tour guide, allowing the Capitol to provide more hours for touring, chairman of the commission and clerk of the state House Gary Randall said. The new tour guide will cost about $33,000 a year, according to Randall. Randall said any additional costs would be small by comparison to the return on investment that the commission hopes will be created by the new Saturday tours. “I think this is going to engage the public and be a great service for citizens in the area and in Michigan,” Randall said.
For a few years now, as Martha Mello has walked down East Michigan Avenue five days a week to and from work, she hasn’t helped but notice the large steam volcano, as the Lansing Board of Water and Light calls it, coming out of the ground on the south side of the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol, just past Troppo, a local restaurant. “I see it every day, so you kind of get accustomed to it,” said Mello, “but I certainly think we could do a better job with it.”
With its stacked rusty reddish-orange barrels surrounded by a small set of thin bars and a “Caution Hot” sign, it’s no wonder that both employees and visitors of Downtown can’t miss the towering steam volcano, not to mention the copious amounts of steam it releases. According to Stephen Serkaian, executive director of public affairs for the Lansing Board of Water and Light, the steam emerges from the volcano from a cogeneration plant in Reo Town, meaning it produces both steam energy and electricity. The steam goes through almost 10 miles of underground piping, serving around 185 businesses and a handful of residents in and around the Downtown area. Some of the businesses include General Motors and state office buildings.
As Michigan State University junior Emily Malachowski pulls in and out of parking lots and garages in Downtown Lansing searching for a cheap spot, she can’t help but think to herself how much easier it would have been to just stay home that day. Downtown Lansing is not only home to the Michigan State Capitol, but also many shops, restaurants, and attractions that keep visitors returning to the city. Although this is so, one very prominent problem is how expensive parking is in the area. It’s no secret that Downtown has scarce free parking and some pretty outrageous parking prices that are not only hurting Lansing residents, but also Lansing businesses and tourism sites, according to some Lansing business owners. Cher Kiesel, owner of the Spotted Dog Cafe located on South Washington Square, is in agreement that it’s difficult to park and make deliveries around the streets of Lansing.