Things new to me…

10 June, 2011 § 6 Comments

Since moving to Mountain View, California from East Lansing, Michigan, I’ve noticed some things that are different from back home.

  1. At night, there is a large amount of snails that walk across the sidewalk near my apartment. I stepped on one during my first night here, and I felt really bad for the poor guy. Back in East Lansing, I watched out for toads. Here I’ll watch out for snails. I just wish snails moved faster.
  2. East Lansing has a pretty restrictive permit for ice cream trucks, so they are pretty rare. Where I’m living in Mountain View, I happen to see someone pushing an ice cream cart just about every day. The cart has a little bell on it that dings as the person walks behind it.
  3. East Lansing and Lansing are working hard to make their communities more friendly to non-motorized transportation. After a week of living here, I can see that the Lansing area has a lot more work to do (but is on the right track).
    • There are bike lanes on almost every street, and some streets are considered “bike boulevards”.
    • The CalTrain (which is a commuter-oriented train) has two cars on each train that are considered “bike cars”. A bike car has stalls inside for holding bikes while the patrons ride the train. There are also other options like the city and community bus, BART, and VTA light rail.
    • Every establishment that I’ve been to here has ample bike parking located outside. It seems that in East Lansing the city has to fight developers to include bike racks.
  4. The sales tax here is 9.25%, compared to 6.00% in Michigan. There are also other fees related to buying LCD screens, etc. It doesn’t seem like 3.25% would be that noticeable, but it changes the way you think about the dollar menu :P
  5. There is a park near me that features outdoor exercise equipment. It has a chest press, leg press, pull up bars, stationary bicycle, and more. It would be nice to see these included in parks in Michigan.
  6. By law, gas stations in California are required to offer free air and water to patrons who purchase fuel. It would be nice to see a similar law in Michigan, as improperly inflated tires are a major cause of auto accidents.

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