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Old 09-10-2011, 07:06 PM
 
26 posts, read 21,973 times
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Default Kalamazoo area or Haslett/E.Lansing?

Hi everyone,

Well I am getting a short of list of cities that I like in Michigan, and I am down to Haslett (which I really liked) and the Kalamazoo area (which I'll be going to in November). I have heard a lot of good thins about Gull lake, and I like the fact that I would be closer to family in Chicago. I also like that there is a center for integrative medicine and a homestead village type co-op there.

Anyone have any input on either area and likes and dislikes?

Thanks for your time!
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Old 09-11-2011, 08:44 AM
 
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In my opinion the Lansing area and the Kalamazoo area are very similar in many ways: blue collar, industrial/manufacturing background, college towns that have a lot to offer. I have first hand experience with Kalamazoo so I can tell you this:
Yes it is a nicer trip to Chicago and taking the train is a great option. Kalamazoo has lots of options for restaurants and night life (considering its size). K College and WMU offer cultural life with art exhibits and live theater to name a few. All these things are found in the Lansing area as well but I prefer Kzoo. Easier access to the lakeshore, Chicago and the access to "upnorth" are more appealing for me. Spend some time in both areas and see what one has the best vibe for you. Good luck!
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Old 09-12-2011, 04:47 AM
 
Location: Lansing Metro
2,686 posts, read 2,754,694 times
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I live in the Lansing area and work in East Lansing, so I'm pretty familiar with the area.

Basically... I like Kalamazoo better. KZoo has a much better downtown than Lansing, with lots of great restaurants and bars and some interesting architecture. So if you like to "go downtown" on the weekends to go out to eat or whatever, I have enjoyed my time in Kalamazoo more than anything in Lansing. Also, the geography of Kalamazoo is more interesting and scenic, IMO. The surrounding area is more hilly and forested than Lansing, and also has more lakes (including Gull Lake). Downtown KZoo is in the Kalamazoo River valley, which makes for kind of a neat setting too (Downtown Lansing has the Grand River, but for whatever reason it is a flat and uninteresting piece of land).

Another benefit to Kalamazoo: Access to the Lake Michigan shore and surrounding area. It's an hour from the beach towns of South Haven and St. Joseph, along with all of the orchards and wineries that are in that area. Lake Michigan is basically the best natural feature that lower MI has to offer, so it's a big deal to be closer to it. Also, Lansing does not have anything like the Gull Lake area that is near Kalamazoo. Gull Lake is one of the most beautiful inland lakes in the state. Lake Lansing is OK, but it's not Gull Lake by any stretch.

Finally, the backbone of Kalamazoo is successful private companies like Stryker and Pfizer, while Lansing's economy is based on the state government, MSU, and blue collar GM. This results in two very different vibes, in my opinion. It's hard to describe, but it makes Kalamazoo feel a little more up-and-coming and alive to me. A lot of private money has been re-invested in downtown Kzoo, and it shows. The activity in KZoo is sort of a smaller version of the revival that is happening in downtown Grand Rapids. While downtown Lansing is slowly getting better, it is quite a ways behind.

To be fair, there are some things that you can get in East Lansing/Haslett that you can't get in Kalamazoo. MSU and all of the events that come with it are one thing. If you like big time college sports, East Lansing is the place for that. MSU also brings in cultural events, concerts, etc that you won't see in Kalamazoo. Also, if you are between the ages of 18-22, East Lansing is the place to be! Kalamazoo doesn't compare at all if you are looking for the college town/party atmosphere. But for young adults and older, I would go with Kalamazoo.
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Old 09-17-2011, 09:20 PM
 
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Thanks for the input! Any suburbs of Kzoo that have a Haslett-type feel? ...Something that is small town, but still has a lot of ammenities?
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Old 09-18-2011, 09:19 PM
 
Location: Somewhere extremely awesome
1,581 posts, read 892,348 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
Finally, the backbone of Kalamazoo is successful private companies like Stryker and Pfizer, while Lansing's economy is based on the state government, MSU, and blue collar GM. This results in two very different vibes, in my opinion. It's hard to describe, but it makes Kalamazoo feel a little more up-and-coming and alive to me. A lot of private money has been re-invested in downtown Kzoo, and it shows. The activity in KZoo is sort of a smaller version of the revival that is happening in downtown Grand Rapids. While downtown Lansing is slowly getting better, it is quite a ways behind.
This was once true - it's not really true anymore though, at least in terms of GM. The media, and a lot of area residents, however, seem to think it's still that way though. There are a lot of other businesses (insurance, smaller tech companies) in the Lansing area as well. A lot of the blue-collar mentality seems to be gone. My guess is that Kalamazoo wasn't as (or at least thought of that way by its residents) blue collar to begin with as Lansing was (or was perceived to be.)

Anyway - I'd say that Haslett is a typical small town suburb with a lake. My guess is you could find something similar in the Kalamazoo area that you'd like as well.
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Old 09-19-2011, 04:59 AM
 
Location: Lansing Metro
2,686 posts, read 2,754,694 times
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Quote:
Thanks for the input! Any suburbs of Kzoo that have a Haslett-type feel? ...Something that is small town, but still has a lot of ammenities?
My favorite suburb of Kalamazoo is Richland. It is a very small town, but has a lot of restaurants, etc that are 5-10 minutes away on Gull Rd. Just to the northeast of Richland is Gull Lake, which is a beautiful area, also very expensive. Many of the homes directly on the lake sell for $1 million-plus. But those rich folks are also probably the reason that Richland is such a nice little town.

Portage is somewhat similar to Haslett, including having lakes, but it is quite a bit larger than Haslett. Paw Paw is another one.
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Old 09-19-2011, 06:10 PM
 
26 posts, read 21,973 times
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Thanks for the input! What I likes most about Haslett was the Lake Lansing area. I absolutely loved the park and all the year round things they offered such as cross country skiing, concerts in the park, etc. I also liked that there weren't a ton of chains around there--there is a mom and pop ice cream place and a restaurant by the park. I also really liked the fun, young vibe that a University always brings, and all the restaurants and shops by the University. I will check out Portage and Paw Paw for sure--as I want to be by a larger city but not in one. Any additional input is welcome! Oh, and I will be graduating with my RN degree before I move, so ideally a place near a hospital--and I heard that Bronson is rated one of the top 20 places in the US to work.
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