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Archive for December 27th, 2009

Christmas Day Walk: One Block, Much Color

Sunday, December 27th, 2009

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Our neighborhood has quite a variety of homes and styles. There are sections of 1920s bungalows, 1940s Cape Cod homes, an out-of-place but cool 60’s split level, and a bunch of 1900-1910 homes with front porches (some called four-squares). There are even a couple of houses that were once farm houses, before the other homes were built.

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It seems that each block has its own personality. I joke that we live on the “Dandelion Side of the Street.” Just across our side yard, and behind us, the chemical spray fertilizer companies do a grand business. The yards are green and well-tended.

Our yard blooms, but grows without a lot of guidance. I love plants which “bloom where they are planted” without much help.

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Well, back behind us and nearer a busier street, is one single block which has been very into decorating for Christmas, since I’ve lived here. Each year is different, as people come and go. But all the photos here, save for the last, came from that one block of Roberts Street.

If you live in Lansing, it is  just south of Mt. Hope Avenue, between Pennsylvania and Cedar. If you have a child who likes lights, this may be a good spot to check.

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Of course, it looks different after dark, but our walk was in the afternoon. I think my camera does better in this light, anyway.

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We always go for a walk on holidays. This block is usually the highlight of the walk.

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For the record, all of the photos above this sentence, are from one household. To be fair, they do have a double lot. But wow, they are VERY into this decorating thing! The rest of these photos belong to one lot each, on that same block.

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Guitar Man

And last, but not least… The Guitar Man. He plays guitar on street corners in Lansing, no matter what the weather. He’s got an orange bucket on that street corner, and I mean, corners where there is an abandoned gas station (thus nobody to tell him to move on).

Lansing is not much of a walking town, and he is stationed where few walk… where vehicle traffic is high. He works often, I see him a lot, and there are several corners he frequents.

This Christmas afternoon, we put a buck in his bucket but he was quite busy chatting with the guy in this pickup truck. He’d been playing when we’d rounded the block but found a buddy for a while, I guess. I got this photo from across the street, at the almost-empty huuuge Walter French Middle School. An amazing building, early 1900s red brick with limestone accents.

But the story of the school must wait for another day. Meanwhile, check out one of Lansing’s fixtures, the Guitar Man (see guitar on his back) chatting with Pickup Truck Guy.

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By the way… while waiting at the corner by Guitar Man, for the light to change… a guy in a fancy SUV was playing some jazz pretty loud, and I could hear it. So I danced my way down the sidewalk, in time to his music.

When the light changed, he honked at me on his way by, and gave me a peace sign. Sweet.