This article originally appeared on the blog Panethos and was reprinted with permission of the author, Rick Brown.
Recently, I became aware of one woman’s inspiring effort that is underway here in Greater Lansing. Ariniko O’Meara plans to walk (saunter) every single street in the City of Lansing and relay her thoughts and impressions about them across the net on her City Saunter blog, Facebook page, and on Twitter. There is also an interview on YouTube about her project.
While I had heard some previous references to this ongoing project, I never fully realized the scope and scale of it until the past week or two. There are over 600 miles of streets in Lansing, so her saunter will be continuing over an extended period of time. Instead of me trying to express the spirit of her grand crusade, here’s the summary Ariniko provided on her terrific blog found on wordpress.com.
“This blog will be one of 3 places that I collect, deliver and communicate information collected while traveling all the streets of Lansing, MI. My goals are to walk every street in the city of Lansing, MI. I also hope to patronize as many local businesses as I possibly can. By doing this I can also offer media attention, publicity, and support to Lansing small businesses. I also hope to draw attention to the Lansing area. My desire is to use this adventure to bring to light all the hidden gems of Lansing. As a photographer I am also interested in finding great places to use as background for photo shoots. I hope to really capture the many intricacies of Lansing. Finally I will assist in the sidewalks alert project for Walk and Bike Lansing group.”
Also, here is the list of Ariniko’s goals for her City Saunter project:
- “Walk every street in Lansing, MI
- Patronize Lansing Businesses; especially smaller businesses
- Promote the city of Lansing, MI
- Assist in sidewalk alerts for Walk & Bike Lansing
- Advertise with apparel from Sponsors
- Use walking for possible fundraisers
- Scope out photographic gems
- Promote Ariniko Artistry
- Create photo/video journal of walks”
I cannot think of a better (or more fascinating) way to reveal the very heart and soul of a city than to wander, saunter, walk, stroll, or bike it completely at ground level. I especially like the patronizing of small businesses along the way.
Maps, aerial photographs, post cards, books, and passing through in a motor vehicle cannot reveal the diverse myriad of sights, sounds, aromas, views, vistas, and visual splendors of a place like taking it in on a personal level and at a human scale. For one to fully understand the unique complexities and characteristics of a certain place, the city must be experienced and absorbed, not just sampled. Here’s a weblink to photos some of her favorite sights she a come across thus far on her journeys in Lansing.
Congratulations and kudos to Ariniko for publishing a superb blog and for following her dreams to a create personal project that reflects the distinctive charms and hidden gems of Lansing to all. It is amazing how a place can grow on you over time, and Greater Lansing certainly does that. I only wish I had thought of the idea of such a creative and informative method for expressing it to others.