I've only been in Michigan, and Kalamazoo for about 9 months now, so my "pregnancy" stage of moving to a new place is pretty well over, and now I've "birthed" a pretty good understanding, and relationship with Kalamazoo and southwest Michigan. (I'm sorry for that awful analogy. As I'm writing this, I'm running on six cups of coffee, and about three hours of sleep, so bear with me...)

But, ultimately, I'm still learning, and Kalamazoo is an ever-changing city, with lots of growth and adjustment being added by the day. So to help me better understand my new home, I've made a list of New Year Resolutions for me, and maybe others in the city, to work on in 2023.

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1. Learn to use the New Bike Lanes

Photo: Bobby Guy
Photo: Bobby Guy
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At this point, the bike lanes are in, and aren't going anywhere. We all have our opinions on them, and laugh at people who have trouble navigating them, but we're stuck with them. So, in 2023, I want to figure out exactly how to traverse them in traffic.

Likewise, I'd also ask the people who drive around them (Myself included) to try and understand the rules of the road when driving around bike lanes. If the bicyclists have to learn how to use the lanes, us drivers need to know how to share the road properly with them.

2. Where is the best parking for Waldo Stadium, or Lawson Ice Arena?

Western Michigan University's Waldo Stadium (Google Street View)
Western Michigan University's Waldo Stadium (Google Street View)
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I didn't make it to a game this year for Western Michigan Football, but I still have a chance to make a few Hockey games, which I'm told is an absolute "MUST" when living here. Problem is, I'm all about convenience, and don't like having to jump through hoops to accomplish certain things. Parking for games at either venue - Waldo and Lawson - is tough, and far away. So in 2023, I vow to find the perfect parking spot, and fan experience for Western Athletic events.

Guess that means I need to pick up some Western merch, too... lemme just put that on the list...

3. Try Every Beer in Kalamazoo

Burgeoning Craft Beer Industry Creates Niche Market For Limited Release Beers
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Specifically, this applies to the breweries, and beers either brewed here, or across southwest Michigan that are served here in Kalamazoo.

I got a taste of some of the breweries in 2022, mostly Bell's, One-Well, and initially Saugatuck... which is re-opening in its new location soon.

But this year, I want to hit ALL of the breweries in town, and try ALL the beer. I wasn't joking when I told my family I plan to drink a LOT more beer this year... and somehow stay healthy... which leads me to my NEXT Kalamazoo Resolution...

4. Where is my Gym?

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Seriously, I got a gym membership when I moved here, got the card and everything... completely forgot where the place is. (That's been MONTHS ago!) This should be a pretty easy resolution, I just needed to put it in writing so I would force myself to get to the gym more this year.

And finally, my final Kalamazoo Resolution in 2023...

5. Time the Lights in Downtown JUST right

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Unsplash
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This might become difficult if the City follows through with it's unnecessary plan to turn downtown into two-way roads, but for now, I want to be able to make it through downtown without hitting a single red light.

There is a pattern, I've noticed, and I've timed out some of the lights. So far, I think I'm really close to nailing all the greens on Michigan Ave. headed east. But it's west Kalamazoo Ave. I'm still trying to figure out.

I know, it seems silly, but in the winter, when the roads are snow-packed during a storm, or it's especially cold and the roads freeze a bit, if you can figure out a way to not stop, AND not run a red light, it's preferable.

I'm sure your New Year Resolutions aren't as strange and specific as mine, but maybe they'll inspire you to come up with a few of your own in 2023.

Happy New Year!

The 5 Worst Roads To Drive On In Kalamazoo

To be fair, the city can't necessarily be blamed for what happens with the wear and tear of our streets. After all, The city of Kalamazoo maintains and operates 83 miles of major streets, 166 miles of local streets, 20 bridges, over 15,517 signs, 80 traffic signals, and 4 flashing beacons at intersections, so there's a lot they have to cover.

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