The Mona Lisa wouldn't qualify — too smiley. But you might. Michigan State University's Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum, set to open Nov. 10, is pre-infiltrating the city again, this time with a project that's part Andy Warhol and part P.T. Barnum.
Inside every Lansing bicyclist's helmet-covered skull is an invisible map full of hate pins. Here's where a van made a right turn into my left leg (Kalamazoo and South Cedar). That's where a frat boy threw a Slurpee from a car and hit my girlfriend (Grand River Avenue and Harrison Road). Here's where an irate man yelled "Get off the road," jumped out of his car and ran after me. (Michigan and Clemens avenues). Where is the love?
The anesthetic was plummy with a finish of unconsciousness, the surgeon made the incision with brio, the nurse slipped in the IV with a poignant air, the next day's salmon en croute was surprisingly tasty and I'm not dead. Bravo.
Orchestras love to tie neat little titles around subscription concerts, like "The Power and the Passion" or "From Russia, with Love." They're usually cheesy and easy to ignore, except when they're not there. The Lansing Symphony’s second MasterWorks concert of the season, on Oct. 6, is baldly billed as "Shostakovich Symphony No. 10." The subtext: You can’t put a bowtie on this bear.
Last week, a lady in an ankle cast stopped me at the grocery store. "Why don’t you write more about the good things people are doing?" Journalists are often asked this question. Sorry I stepped on your wrist, lady. I was having a bad day. Here's my real answer.
There is no elevator to the top of Ralph Votapek. You have to take the stairs to get to the summit. But once you get there, the view is panoramic, the air is clean, and you feel like you're on top of the world. Friday night, the Lansing Symphony teamed up with MSU's piano monument and artist-in-residence for 36 years to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Votapek's win in the first Van Cliburn competition in 1962.
On July 30, 1973, labor leader César Chávez visited Lansing as part of a four-day swing through Michigan to gather support for a grape and lettuce boycott. In a speech at Cristo Rey Community Center on the north side of town, he broke the crowd up with a story about an elderly woman he met in Flint.
In 1962, 23-year-old Ralph Votapek won the first Van Cliburn piano competition, serving a double dip knuckle crunch in a waffle cone: Beethoven's magisterial Fourth Piano Concerto and Prokofiev's volcanic Third. That same year, John Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth.
For decades, Lansing blithely bulldozed its historic buildings and neighborhoods to make room for freeways, urban renewal projects and bland architectural junk. The city is still behind the curve compared to other places — even East Lansing — that cherish historic urban fabric. This year, a new preservation group has found concrete (and brick and wood) evidence that the city is catching up slightly.