Author Topic: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?  (Read 6060 times)

mikedom

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East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« on: May 29, 2015, 06:35:24 AM »
My wife and I are probably moving to East Lansing at the end of the summer. Does anyone live there or has anyone lived there?

I've started poking around on padmapper and the Lansing subreddit for recommendations on places to live. The Strava heat map makes it appear that there is a lot of biking and some good trails through town, but I would also like some first hand accounts.

Thanks!

codemonkey

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: May 29, 2015, 10:32:53 AM »
I live just west of the city limits of Lansing.  Born and raised in the area.  I went to MSU for two years, so I'm somewhat familiar with the actual East Lansing area.

I bike to work at least once a week, which is a 16 mile ride through downtown Lansing and out into the farm country just south of Okemos. There's been momentum the last two years to build more paths and the River Trail was just recently extended south by quite a bit.  http://lansingrivertrail.org/

We have a great LBS in the Old Town area of Lansing: https://www.facebook.com/pages/SPIN-Bicycle-Shop/183145768378425

Sorry for the long link, but here's a rough estimate of my commute.
https://www.google.com/maps/dir/Jackson+National+Life+Insurance,+Lansing,+MI/Sharp+Park,+Lansing,+MI+48917/@42.7093746,-84.6658296,11z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m14!4m13!1m5!1m1!1s0x8822c3b8933cf5e5:0x7376878245138d94!2m2!1d-84.43772!2d42.675447!1m5!1m1!1s0x88229542ebe2a6ab:0x20a4347ba52fbd13!2m2!1d-84.62502!2d42.749484!3e1

I'll try to come back to see if you have any further questions.

DocSteve

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 01:11:53 PM »
My wife and I live in East Lansing. She's been here for 20 years, we've been living here together for 13. We're about a half-mile from the MSU campus but in a very quiet residential area (Wardcliff School area)... so we are less than a mile from downtown E.L., about half a mile to a great bicycle shop, the East Lansing Food Coop, a health food store called Foods For Living, and less than that to the new Whole Foods store, which should open late this summer. We're within biking distance of everything -a great public library system, great restaurants, the MSU campus, great trails. Very bike friendly town. We are both retired now, doing just fine with a car we use about once a week for our bigger shopping runs, and two bikes. As jonsauce mentioned, the River Trail has been expanded and it's a gorgeous ride -you can hope on at the MSU campus, take it to downtown Lansing to Old Town or follow the river trails down to the zoo, some great parks. If you have questions, I'll try to answer them...

Doc

mikedom

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2015, 09:33:45 AM »
Thanks for the replies. Good to hear about the bike-ability of the city and some of the local food places (we loved our food co-op when we lived in Ann Arbor).

As our move gets closer, I'll definitely reach out with more specific questions. But at this point, the responses were great enough to keep pushing through the offer process. Thanks!

mikedom

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2015, 02:16:14 PM »
So it's now official, we're moving to Lansing. My new job is at Hagadorn and Mt. Hope street. It looks like that is close to the food co-op. So a few more questions:

Bicycle directions on google maps lists no elevation: is that correct?

How do drivers treat bikes on the roads? Do most bicycles stick to the sidewalks?

We'd really like to be able to walk to most things, and I've been scoping out apartments just outside Old Town. Are there any good grocery stores on that side of town?

Thanks for the help! I'd love to grab a drink with anyone who's willing when we move in (we won't know anyone...).

kendallf

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2015, 04:03:20 PM »
I have a daughter who's a student at MSU, and I've brought a bike to school when visiting her and ridden around East Lansing and surrounding towns.  Drivers were generally decent in my experience.  Very few roads outside town have shoulders and the roads are generally in fairly rough condition. 

Riding through the winter in Lansing would be a challenge; I think you'd basically have to have a studded tire MTB or perhaps a fat bike.  I talked to one guy at a bike shop in downtown Lansing who rides a fat bike along the frozen river to work in winter!

Exhale

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2015, 09:34:21 PM »
Not bike related, but you might enjoy The Feast Nearby by Robin Mather - a memoir by a Michigan native and local food person.

Robin Mather is a Michigan native and third-generation journalist. She lives in a 650-square-foot cottage on a small lake in southwest Michigan, where she is eight miles from the nearest street light. Visit her online at thefeastnearby.com.

aneel

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: June 20, 2015, 07:05:14 PM »
My aunt bikes everywhere in okemos. I get the feeling it's very safe

Quince

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: June 20, 2015, 09:26:45 PM »
No elevation is correct. Really flat.

We moved away from East Lansing last year. I miss the housing costs and low population density fiercely. I do not miss the winters.


DocSteve

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2015, 08:02:37 AM »
I agree with kendallf on the biking conditions. Lots of bike lanes and trails. Streets are crappy (as are most of Michigan's streets these days) but sidewalks abound. ;-)

BTW, we are long-time East Lansing Food Co-Op members -my wife was one of the founding members -and they are now jacking their member fee from $60 to $240. And not honoring the old deal with members; if we want to remain members (eligible for some specials, etc.) we have to ante in $180. We looked at it and decided to let our membership lapse; we can always shop there as non-members and frankly, having Foods For Living and the upcoming Whole Foods within a couple blocks obviates the need for a membership. In addition, a Meijer supermarket is about a mile up the road and they have a really good selection of organic foods at very reasonable prices.

Commuting from Old Town to your job via bike is a stretch but do-able -in good weather, at least. The Riverwalk runs directly from Old Town through downtown and then connects with the MSU campus bike path system (excellent). However, the Riverwalk occasionally floods out in the wet season, and it would be a stretch in the winter. If you followed the road system, you're going through a stretch of heavy traffic around where highways intersect (US-127, M-69 business, etc.)

There is one general type food store in Old Town, but it's more upscale than utilitarian. Lots of art galleries, a few specialty restaurants, a great greasy spoon, a couple of dive bars -fun to visit but I personally wouldn't want to live there. The action is more towards the college area.

mikedom

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015, 11:44:27 AM »
Crappy streets are much better than crapper drivers!

I'll keep your comments about Old Town in mind.

That's too bad to hear about the food co-op. We loved being members of the Ann Arbor co-op while we were there.

You say the action is closer towards campus. Is it mainly apartment buildings over there?

jfer_rose

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2015, 11:57:40 AM »
I applied for a job based in Lansing yesterday and while I have no idea whether I'll get the job I am following this thread in case I end up considering a move there.

If you bike, you may be interested in Lansing Bike Party. They organize social bike rides around Lansing (on Facebook I believe). Seems like it might be a good way to get to know the area.

mikedom

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2015, 01:44:03 PM »
The LBP looks very active! I just joined their group and looking forward to riding with them.

Good luck with the job search. Are you an engineer?

a plan comes together

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2015, 03:56:34 PM »
My recommendation would be to look for a house in East Lansing. There is nothing but apartments right near your place of work. Check out Neighborhoods by Shaw Park and White Memorial Park. Make sure the street you are on is long-term residents versus student rentals. You can then bike across campus to get to work, and it's a beautiful campus, with lots of nice bike trails and streets.

Lots of good restaurants, fun atmosphere (probably the best collegiate athletic programs in the country at this moment - fball + bball combined), and a beautiful campus. Good place to live.

Oh, and Old Town, while trendy, would be an awful commute in my opinion.
« Last Edit: June 27, 2015, 03:58:46 PM by a plan comes together »

DocSteve

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2015, 07:19:49 PM »
I  concur with "A plan" -some gorgeous areas in East Lansing, better than Old Town. Holla when you get here -first round is on me. ;-)

Doc

mikedom

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2015, 12:49:33 PM »
We're getting excited. Our last days at our jobs in Rhode Island is Thursday, then three weeks of hiking on the Long Trail, then moving out to Michigan.

a plan: I won't take the bait on your 'best collegiate athletic program' comment (as a Michigan grad). But I will check out those neighborhoods.

Aki

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2015, 08:34:31 PM »
Didn't know there are mustachians in this area...maybe we can all meet up sometime down the road?  EL is a great place to live!  DH and I have lived here for almost 20 years.

mikedom

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2015, 06:56:32 AM »
We're here! Currently living in a hotel, but we just signed a lease for a place pretty close to the zoo (off of Pennsylvania).

We've done two rides with the Lansing Bike Party, they're a fun group and the rides have been great so far. It's good to be back in flat, open Michigan.

I'd love to grab a beer and/or have a picnic in a park somewhere. We're looking for friends!

codemonkey

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2015, 07:02:19 AM »
Congratulations on surviving our wettest day in August yesterday, and welcome to town!

We just had baby #4, so I'm pretty locked at home right now taking care of the family.  One of these days, I'm going to get out to the LBP and hopefully we'll have a chance to meat!

jfer_rose

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Re: East Lansing, MI....thoughts?
« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2015, 03:27:12 PM »
I just got a nibble this afternoon in reference to the job I applied for in Lansing. Following even more closely now...