Unpainted figurines and pottery pieces stand in single-file lines on the pine shelves of Haze Ceramics and More, patiently waiting for guests to brandish paint-dipped brushes and embellish their blank surfaces with artistry. The studio's instructors lead classes and special events throughout the week, demonstrating techniques for mixing colors and achieving a variety of smooth or grainy textures. Aside from giving children and adults the chance to select a ceramic coffee mug, coin tray, or spiked mace from the studio’s expansive collection, classes include all glazes, paints, and firing fees. Special events, such as ladies' night, fuel outbursts of creativity with wine and snacks, and private parties clear out the room so that birthday boys and girls can gleefully bash away at terra-cotta piñatas.
Since 1825, the Old Town area has seen both prosperous times and, for the second half of the 20th century, stretches of destitution. Within the last 30 years, dedicated locals have started turning Old Town back around, dropping its building vacancy rates from 90% to less than 10% and establishing a slew of festivals, art venues, and boutiques. The Old Town Commercial Association plays its role in this cultural and economic renaissance by holding the annual Old Town's Taste & Tour to raise funds for community revitalization projects.
More than 300 people attended the event in 2011, sampling bites of cuisine dished out by local restaurants. Owners of local lofts give participants a rare opportunity to tour their unique living spaces and the rooftop cannons that launch them to work each morning.
To craft Sir Pizza’s trademark borderless pizzas, dough-disguising chefs pile savory meats, cheeses, and veggies toppings atop toasty crusts from edge to edge. Gourmet favorites ($8.10 for small) include a genre-crossing taco pizza, as well as the royal feast, which invites patrons to crown their tongues or tablemate's head with a treasure trove of pepperoni, sausage, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, and a blend of two cheeses. Appease single-flavor cravings with a one-item pan pizza ($8.99 for a large) or a 10-piece order of jumbo Sir Schwings ($8) spun in hot or mild sauce. Even baked spuds ($5.65) don stately duds at Sir Pizza, with cloaks ranging from the classic bacon and cheddar combination to the extraordinarily elegant mix of mushrooms and brown gravy.
The colors black and maroon frame Bella Rio Salon?s prominent storefront windows, which reveal aestheticians and stylists scurrying to and fro inside the Old Town establishment. Dangling from a high-vaulted ceiling, contemporary lighting fixtures illuminate the historical building?s exposed-brick walls, sleek haircutting stations, and a jumble of Bumble and bumble and Pureology haircare products perched on glass shelves. Before starting a new chapter of styling at Bella Rio Salon, colorist and stylist, Jillian worked as a colorist at Douglas J Salon in East Lansing for six years. In addition to doing updos, she also primps faces for the spotlight with facial waxing services. Owner Faith Waugh is a Douglas J Aveda Institute graduate, as are several of the other beauticians all of whom excel at endowing patrons with lustrous hair, glimmering eyes, and cheeks rosier than the Queen of Hearts' roses.
Nestled in Lansing's Old Town shopping district, Matthew Ryan Salon welcomes visitors in for a relaxing day at the spa with luxurious hair and bodywork treatments. Massage therapist Chelsea treats feet to soothing reflexology treatments, which can help to not only ease tension, but correct bodily imbalances. Soothing scalp and hand massages help clients relax while heated neck wraps provide comfort by easing aches and reminding clients that their heads are still attached.
Fitness pages on Facebook are normally the source of inspirational memes, but for fitness enthusiasts Paul and Jennifer, one particular page was the source of inspiration for starting The Institution. After meeting, sharing workouts, and building a following?all online?the duo decided to take the next step and open a fitness studio. Today, they and their team of instructors teach trendy classes such as BodyPump by Les Mills, Insanity, TRX suspension training, and Zumba, which is an upbeat dance-fitness session that's equivalent to doing 100 waltzes.