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Archive for August 31st, 2004

Slowing Down?

Tuesday, August 31st, 2004

I’m trying to slow down a little this week. It worked at least for one day… on Monday afternoon, my dear friend Tony came over for tea. We drank way too much tea, ate way too many brownies, and knitted a fair amount. My stole for Heritage Spinning is nearly done, thank goodness. I just have to do about another inch or two.

I’m so glad Tony kept me sitting down and knitting for those several hours. It really helped me focus on the stole which is far overdue… plus we had a great time, talking about things that maybe don’t matter in the large scheme of things, but it was pleasant anyway. He was knitting a strap in Peace Fleece yarn, something simple to knit while we talked. I hated to see him go.

Tuesday night (August 31) is the 5th Tuesday in the month. That means that the folks who normally meet at Borders Arborland in Ann Arbor on 1st and 3rd Tuesdays, meet instead at Eastern Accents on 4th Street downtown, just east of Main and North of the big parking ramp. It’s next to a Mexican restaurant, too. I tried to find something on this business online and came up short, but it’s not terribly hard to find.

Eastern Accent is a Japanese (? asian, anyway) place, sort of a coffeehouse but with a lot of teas. They have asian pastries as well, which I’m told are delicious. It’s a nice cozy space for the smaller group that assembles on 5th Tuesdays.

I love this knitting group. I guess I just look for any excuse to be in Ann Arbor, if the truth be known. I guess I am an Ann Arborite wanna-be, yet I just can’t stomach the housing prices there enough to actually consider a move.

I go to Ann Arbor as often as I can justify it. It’s a real city, it acts like a much larger city, like Chicago (actually, it reminds me a lot of Cambridge, Massachusetts which is right near Boston)… people actually walk around on the sidewalks at night, people go into the city when weather is good for entertainment, there are all sorts of cafes with tables and it seems they are all full, even on a Tuesday. The streets of Ann Arbor do not roll up at 5pm, the way they do in Lansing for some reason. And Ann Arbor has a bit of a skyline as well. Now if it only would have a subway!!! I’ve used their public transit before, but they just have ordinary buses.

This is not to say that I don’t love my Lansing knitting friends. You know I do, you can see me choose to spend my time with them by just reading this weblog. And clearly I choose to live in Lansing, a city that always welcomes its arms to artful people, even when they are newcomers.

I have walked in, unknown, to auditions for Riverwalk Theater, and got in the show. They didn’t need to stick with an in-group. I have been welcomed into art groups, poetry and music circles. I’ve had places to display my artwork, to read my poetry, to sing my music, to do theater after 16 years off stage, to learn dance (adult ballet, jazz, modern, and mideastern) and perform dance. Lansing is a very open-arms community when it comes to the arts, and I love that. And now that we have some really good ethnic restaurants, I really am liking my city better all the time.

Yet my creative circle of friends is large. I have two guilds/groups in Ann Arbor (Borders‘ Common Threads group at Arborland and Ann Arbor Fiberarts Guild), one in Chelsea (Spinners Flock) and two in Lansing (Mid-Michigan Knitting Guild and Working Women Artists). I can’t go to all of them all of the time, although I do everything I can to not miss the 3rd Tuesday Mid-Michigan Knitting Guild meetings during the school year. That is my home base.

I have a lot of errands to run on Tuesday. I must finish them all before I can let myself go to Ann Arbor. You can be sure I’m pushing like crazy to get all that done. I can just taste the Sencha tea now…

(Photo today is a detail of the garden at Mich House Co-Op in Ann Arbor, a place where my brother lived in the late 1970s. The house is on North State Street (not too far from Kerrytown, a lovely historical area), right next door to the purple house called Minnie’s Co-Op. This garden is between two sidewalks, a porch and a driveway, but is full of wild-looking flowers that are very happy and healthy. I actually took the photo in July 2003.)