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Archive for May 21st, 2008

The View Across the Street

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

I love the East Side of Lansing. I bought a 1920’s two-bedroom bungalow there in 1992 if I have my dates right, and sold that house around 1999.

Brian and I got married a few years before I sold that house. I moved to his place, but that is how hard it was for me to let go of “my hood.” I used the house as a studio and dance space for a few years. That neighborhood still is home to my heart, though I now live 3 miles south, a handful of neighborhoods away.

paintermichiganave.jpgFor those who read here often, the Foster Community Center (where I teach kids to knit) is on the East Side. In fact, my house was merely one block from the center and I used to walk to work there.

It is only about 5 blocks to the Frandor Shopping Center from Foster Center. I used to work at the JoAnn Fabrics superstore there, and enjoyed it thoroughly (though it was very hard on my body, it was good for my psyche).

For several years, Rae’s Yarn Boutique was in an outlying building managed by the Frandor Shopping Center people. Her shop was 4 blocks east of Foster Center. Now she moved basically five blocks west, instead.

The block where Rae’s is located now, is my favorite block in Lansing. Yes, I like Old Town… but the East Side is home. And the 2000 block of East Michigan Avenue has Rae’s, Magdalena’s Teahouse, Emil’s Italian Restaurant, City Pulse alternative free newspaper, Gone Wired Cybercafe, Lamai Thai Kitchen, Everybody Reads Bookstore, a bead shop, a halal international market, a karate school/dojo (several friends go there) and more. The best.

So last week Rae went to South Carolina to see her Mom for Mother’s Day. Although I’m not an employee, I teach there and am good at computers. I have learned to work the cash register so that Rae can take her dogs for a walk on Thursdays, the day she’s open late (and I’m there anyway).

She’s also a good friend. So when she went on vacation (nice photos here), I took a few short shifts to help cover all the hours the store is usually open, in addition to Sharon and Rachel who actually work regular shifts as employees.

At some point during the week where I was at Rae’s a lot, I looked out the window and saw this. A guy was in front of City Pulse, with an easel. At first I wondered if it was Julie’s husband, Eric (also known as Little Blue Hippo), who is known for his paintings of Lansing landmarks. It was not.

I caught him just before he left his post, so I did not get to ask him his name. But this was the view from the front door of Rae’s shop last week. It just makes me smile. Good old East Side.