It's always a challenge adjusting to a new city, and I'm an expert on the subject: My family moved from city to city fairly frequently when I was a child, and in the last year alone I had four different addresses. After living in Kalamazoo for a full 14 years (in the same apartment, no less), I moved to Martha's Vineyard in June, then to Chicago in October and to Northville in November.
And now — Lansing, the city my senior class visited for our Senior Class Trip. Other classes went to Barcelona or Paris or Toronto. We went to Lansing. And I went to high school in Grand Rapids, so jet lag certainly wasn't a problem. I also toured Michigan State University when I was college/university shopping, but I wound up going to Western Michigan University instead (at the age of 17, I found MSU a bit overwhelming; I didn't realize at the time that just about any college or university — no matter what its size — is overwhelming once you get there!).
In the years since, I've visited Lansing numerous times: for shows at the Wharton Center, for screenings at Celebration!Lansing and NCG Eastwood, for family picnics at some of the city parks, etc. Now I'm getting a chance to experience day-to-day life in Lansing. Late last month, I signed on as the new arts /culture/entertainment editor at City Pulse. Previously, I had been an arts reporter/film critic/section coordinator for The Kalamazoo Gazette for 11 years. Before that, I spent a decade managing movie theaters and doing film publicity. And I was a late-night radio DJ, come to think of it.
I also managed a video store, a job that will soon rank alongside "town lamplighter" and "icebox deliveryman" in the Hall of Obsolete Careers.
I'm still in the process of moving my belongings to my new home, so I can't say I've had much of a chance to see a lot of Lansing so far. I stayed a couple of nights at the Wild Goose Inn, which was absolutely one of the most beautiful, comfortable places I've ever checked into. I have eaten lunch at some of the restaurants near the City Pulse office (and I'm already a big fan of the sandwiches, soups and green teas at Gone Wired Cafe) and I've shopped at Meijer. That's about it. Once I get settled in — which I'm hoping will happen before the Summer Solstice — I'm looking forward to finding out more about the eateries and entertainment venues around here. There's definitely no shortage of options.
I'll be updating my blog as often as possible, and you can also follow me on Twitter (@jamessanford).