A Night Ride In Old Town Lafayette
Updated: Oct 30, 2018
I woke from a short nap in the back yard on the old folding lawn chair this weekend to find my boys building a bike. Unfortunately for my wife we have many unfinished projects (yard art) in the yard but after this weekend I have two less. We put together two bikes and they are now functioning and in the rotation. On top of that we put a few things on "Facebook marketplace" which sold. So overall we've made a difference in de-cluttering the yard and helping the environment by allowing other people to pick up things we no longer needed.
So last night i decided I needed a solo bike trip without the kids so I could go as fast as I wanted. Grabbing my $10 Sister Carmen recycled bike with a new tube and grips from Jax, chain derailer from Foxtrot and a bell from my neighbor I head out for a ride in the dark through Old Town Lafayette.
Ah Old Town Lafayette and all that it has to offer... Starting off from home in near East Simpson Street I head to the Old Down Town area on East Simpson finding vibrant life all around. Vibrant life I noticed last night: A class is being held at at the Corner of Simpson and Michigan, the laundry mat on Simpson st is hopping with people washing their clothes, and Odd 13 is busy with guests enjoying their local brew. But here is the beauty I also saw last night which comes from an old history of loving Lafayette residents. Many buildings still have their historic look inside and out and you can almost hear the footsteps of some of Lafayette's pioneers walking these historic streets. I love the false front commercial architecture some of the buildings have, the original tin ceilings, lovely exterior lightening and more. Heck there are nails in the light poles that once held notices that are probably older then some of us. Can you hear it? That's the sound of downtown that "once was" making a big comeback.
This week I talked to a local resident named Frank and he's lived here for over 40 years. He and I look up Simpson street and he starts to talk about how Old Town was falling apart not so long ago. He remembers when there were small kids and families all around when he first moved in then over the years it changed and started to fall apart. Buildings crumbling, homes with delayed maintenance and then he explained it started to revitalize recently. Life in Old Town Lafayette is coming full circle and the people that live here are all about the love for their community. People fixing up the historic homes, managing lush gardens, taking neighborhood walks & bike rides, kids playing, fruit trees are being picked, and supporting local businesses.
I know in my back patio concrete there are 5 little sets of hand prints from past residents that also loved it here once. I bet if they came back to Old Town they'd be happy to see how everything is being polished up and loved they way they once did. My last mentioned in this blog about old to new is about my bike bell; my neighbor recently gave me her deceased husband's bike to ride. On his bike was a nice little purple bell with some dirt and grime on it from being outside. Well Darryl I cleaned up your bell and put it on my cruiser bike so now a little piece of you goes on rides with me in your old stomping grounds. Yes Old Town Lafayette has so much to offer and even more if you just look a little harder, or look at night.