Downtown living offers new experiences, culture


downtownliving

Kyle Kenny sits on a stool in his downtown apartment with his neighbor, Emma Kidder. Kenny painted and decorated his apartment with his own paintings. Zack Wittman/Staff Photographer

Living in downtown Mount Pleasant is as close as some students get to the big town feel they crave in this small town environment.

West Bloomfield senior Daniel Peterman said he took the move from crazy to quaint in November 2011 when he moved into his house downtown on Main Street.

After starting off his freshman year in one of the 22 on-campus residence halls living in close quarters with three other roommates, Peterman needed more space.  He lived in the Village of Bluegrass, 4300 Collegiate Way, for a year before making the move downtown.

“It’s the quieter side of Main,” he said.  “It isn’t as crazy as living in Deerfield or Bluegrass.”

Peterman said living downtown gives him a newfound sense of independence that doesn’t exist in the dorms or apartments.

“It’s one of the places that have reasonable rent without a roommate,” he said.

The only complaint, Peterman said, is that he is without air conditioning, a garbage disposal or a washer and dryer.

“Besides that, I love it,” he said.

Flint junior Kyle Kenny said he found his downtown bungalow above Art Reach, 111 E. Broadway St., on Craigslist.

Kenny said he is hooked on the downtown atmosphere that allows him to walk to bars, restaurants and stores.  He hasn’t taken a cab in years.

“Location is everything,” he said.  “It’s nice being able to walk to parks.”

Kenny said he wakes up and it’s a new breath of fresh air every day.

“There’s always something going on,” he said.  “It’s fun to look out the window and see people walk by.”

Kenny said his vintage-style apartment is like “Sex in the City, Mount Pleasant style.”

“It’s an entirely different world downtown,” he said.

His walls are painted orange and blue with an old, rustic feel and his ceilings are 20-feet tall.

Although he pays about $600 a month for his rent, not including utilities, he said the price is worth it.

Wherever Kenny ends up in the future, he wants to be absorbed in the culture and variety downtown living offers.

Flat Rock senior Keith Guyot said living above the Basketree, 112 E. Broadway St., is a new side of Mount Pleasant that many people don’t hear about.

“There are so many things I wouldn’t be exposed to if it wasn’t right on my front porch,” he said.

Overlooking Broadway, Guyot said the view is the best he can get for $350 a month.

Living downtown is a better representation of the entire community, he said.  Although there are mostly students living around him above the various businesses, he has interacted with the community as a whole.

Guyot said walking downstairs to get Jimmy John’s is a huge temptation he has to overcome.

“I’ve started cooking more,” he said.  “The urge is there, but you can’t (order out) for the sake of money.”


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