Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Redford Rambles Intro





Since I’m going to be spending a lot of time in Redford around the holidays, I thought I’d do a series called REDFORD RAMBLES. My mother has this dream that someday I’ll buy one of the (extremely cheap) houses on their block and we’ll live harmoniously a few yards away from each other. Now, that would be cool, but it begs the question: what could compel me to live in Redford again?

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ann Arbor to Redford - CARLESS

video



Everyone knows that I'm a transit nut, and you might know that I started getting into transit issues when I realized that I couldn't easily get from my home in Ann Arbor to my parents' home in Redford (28 miles away) without using a car. This has led to countless instances of my parents driving down M-14 to pick me up, something that's annoying for them and not conducive to me feeling independent.

(Note: the 2 1/2 hour bike ride isn't bad in the summer, but I'm not messing around with that in below freezing temps.)

For a long time I've wanted to do the trip on our incredibly inconvenient, expensive, and roundabout public transit routes, just to see what would happen. A video I needed to complete for a grad school application gave me the push to really do it.

It was an epic journey of 4 1/2 hours door to door, including significant waiting time (we hung around 50 minutes at the State Fairground Transit Center waiting on the 8 Mile bus). It cost $14.25 one way and covered around 60 miles. There are a few other combinations of public transit we could have used, and some might have been slightly shorter, but you get the point.

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I can't thank Dan Cox enough for accompanying me, despite his academic business. He is a top-notch friend.

My dad, Paul Lusch, let me use his awesome song, appropriately entitled "Driven," and I'm very thankful for that! He and my ever-supportive mom, Ann Lusch, drove us back to Ann Arbor - because nine hours of commuting is a little much for one day.

My home skillet Alex Janke helped me navigate the bewildering functions of Windows Movie Maker, even when it tore him away from all those infectious diseases he studies.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Churches, Public Space, and Demographic Change


Here's my idea. Nobody better steal this, 'cause I'm doing it as soon as I've got IRB approval and GIS at my fingertips (read: once I get into grad school, hopefully next fall).

My colleague recently showed me the website of a church in Livonia, MI, that makes explicit reference to reclaiming public space. This caught my attention pretty quick. How many pastors are urban planners--and particularly in Livonia?

How do they go about this reclamation process? So far, they've got a labyrinth outside that I assume is completely public, and a coffee shop that is probably public to the extent that you pay for a drink (though I could be wrong).


an early example of making good use of public space


This got me thinking about other examples of public space in religious institutions.