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Yawn...Grand is nice. But it is NOT better than Detroit. It isn't even in the same ballpark.
Those are the same cities I was thinking of.
Every time I go to GR I think its fun to drink and sometimes see a pretty good show at the Van Andel. But during the day its all business, no shopping or anything.
Sure its clean and safe and there's lots of bars, but its not a place I'd go back to a lot. If I was from some other part of the country applying for jobs I wouldn't say "Oh lets check Grand Rapids!"
Hmm I live in GR... I quite like the size of the city and location. Didn't care for living in Chicago while I was there. I have thought about moving and might if offered the right opportunity in the right location.
I don't quite understand the yelling coming from all sides in this argument. I can find equally shitty things for every city in America. If you are always chasing 'bigger and better', (that cities too big, that cities too small, they don't have this, they have too much that, traffic sucks) then you'll never be happy. Damn people... Can't we all just... Shut the fuck up because your city eats ass and so does mine. Blah. Blah. Blah.
There's a toilet in the kitchen!
It's still boring. I can think of 100 Michigan towns and cities that are more exciting. Well maybe at least 25.
This. I don't understand the comparison. Its the smallest city on the list. Detroit is roughly 3x the size of GR.
"ugh, I can't even get $400 sushi at 3am. this place is worthless" - rcmb
Calmer than you are
Do name plz
Does anyone say "let's check out Detroit!"....?
"If you're worried about Wolverine fans, just move to Pasadena. You'll never have to deal with 'em."
GR has a fair amount of good restaurants, brings in plenty of good shows at the Van Andel, DeVos Hall, etc., is within 40 minutes of great beaches, doesn't have shitty traffic, and the buildings downtown actually get used.
Maybe not as flashy as some prefer but that is no one ever tried to compare it to New York or LA.
Anyone who is interested in working in the auto industry has to at least consider it.
Whoa whoa whoa. This isn't Chicago. There IS late night food. Jeez this thread is getting out of hand.
The strangest thing to me about this thread is that people have different opinions.
Welcome to message boards.
I don't get all the GR hate that has sprung up.
GR is what it is, a thriving medium sized city.
Descent arts, culture, music, food, craft bars, minor league sports,
an improving downtown, lots of winter and summer outdoor activities and more.
We are a 3 hour drive to Chicago, 2.5 to Detroit, 50 minutes to MSU.
We have rush moments, not rush hours.
No one is claiming we are a major city, so what's all the hubbub?
My seats at SS. My driveway in winter.
Because don't you know - if you don't stack up to Chicago or New York you live in a pit.
I moved back to GR (grew up there before going to MSU) from D.C. and Grand Rapids, for it's size, is a great city. It will never be able to go toe to toe with Chicago or NYC (or even for that matter Detroit), but when you compare it to cities near it in population (Huntsville, Grand Prairie, Mobile, Little Rock, Tallahassee, Knoxville) it blows away the competition.
The sports scene is what it is, minor league, but you're a 3 hour drive from 9 pro sports teams, 7 D1 teams (including MSU, scUM, and ND), and a bunch of college hockey. You're located within an easy drive of one of the best cities in the world (Chicago), and a city that has a lot to offer (Detroit). You have a casino within a 30 minute drive from downtown, and at least 3 more within 90 minutes. Finally ArtPrize brings art from across the country and countless tourists and interesting opportunities to view art.
You have myriad opportunities for golfing, bike riding, beaches, or other outdoors-y activities. The downtown is small enough that it's walkable everywhere while still have plenty to do, but you can still easily and cheaply have a car. Finally, one of the biggest plusses is the cheapness of groceries. I've lived on both coasts, and due to lack of farms and natural terrain, it's much more expensive to live. Not only is GR cheap to go out to, groceries are 10-15% cheaper than the coasts.
The city is actually much more diverse than one would think. With the medical complexes opening up, there is an influx of well educated immigrants (mostly south asian and east asian). Though the population isn't seen downtown, it's increasing the diversity in the well-off suburban schools (Forest Hills and EGR mostly). There is a huge population of mexicans (mostly transplanted migrants or cheap manual labor), and there is a shockingly large population of first generation Eastern Europeans (mostly to the south). The East Kentwood school district is one of the most diverse in the state and region. Finally, the City of Grand Rapids votes democratic in most elections (fairly liberal mayor in Heartwell and recently voting to decriminalize marijuana possession).
Finally, the bar scene downtown is probably unparalleled for a city it's size (especially odd given the conservative region). Founder's is one of the best breweries in the country, Hopcat is an amazing beer bar, GRBC is kicking ass, Stella's has a wonderful whiskey selection (all three have great food); and the BoB is great. You even have other gems like Ritz Koney, the Woods, or Bar Divani. The food in downtown (basically Grandville to the West, Michigan to the North, Division to the East, and Wealthy to the South) GR is by no means limited to fast food (and the number of chains located in that area is basically limited to BW3); and the bars, for the most part, offer an interesting selection of food beyond typical bar food. What's more, besides the Sellers' bars and Founder's downtown, you're a 45 minute drive to Bell's, New Holland, or VanderMill, and under 20 minutes to Perrin, Schmoz, or Mitten BrewCo. Lansing Brewco and EL-Hopcat will be 60 minutes away, and there are rumors of New Holland opening a brew pub downtown.
I think the next step for GR is 3 fold.
(1). GVSU should move up to Division 1. I realize this is troublesome because there are few Division 1 schools nearby that GVSU could compete with athletically, but a move up would result in increased visibility and applications (which leads to better and more diverse students), as well as a legitimate sports team (sorry minor league fans, but no one loses sleep when the Griffins lose).
(2). Build out. The 'fun' downtown area to the south very clearly stops at about Wealthy and to west at about Grandville. Though blocks are being reclaimed slowly, the downtown area could use more space, not just for bars and restaurants, but interesting shopping, galleries, and living space.
(3). Build up: One of the great things about GR is that downtown is incredibly walkable, and that needs to be preserved (GR will never be big enough to have public transit worth mentioning). Even though I said above build out, it needs to be done within reason, while utilizing air space above us in an aesthetically pleasing way while conserving the environment. Not to mention a proper skyline is ALWAYS a boost to the city.
Now, all of this needs a major caveat; this is predicated upon living downtown, or close to it. If I were a 20-something living in Grandville or Saranac or Hudsonville, it would be a major difference. While GR doesn't hold a candle to Chicago or NYC, it definetly holds it's own against cities it's own size, and is superior to many cities 2X it's size (Wichita, Tulsa, Omaha, Colorado Springs, and Sacramento).
tl;dr GR is great for it's size and needs to embrace that.
Edit: Lived in GR, EL, D.C., Portland; spent extensive time in Chicago, NYC, Bay Area, Miami, and Orlando
This post was edited by RBW Spartan 13 months ago
The LINK may reference Detroit, but the THREAD does not.
"Want to move back to and raise a family" and there is nothing wrong with that. Like other cities making improvements, GR has wealthy patrons like the DeVos, VanAndels, Secchias who have turned around the death spiral starting with the Amway Grand purchase way back.
GR has no major league sports, no D1 university, a sorry mass transit system and an airport that isn't a hub. It's a nice predictable place with more than its share of chain eateries that's cleaned up well and could have been a pit if the folks mentioned hadn't stepped in to promote upgrading the convention area, build a nice sports/concert venue and worked like hell to develop the "Medical Mile".
I don't get all of the references to "chain eateries". Looking at the downtown area, name the chains?
The only ones that I can think of are recently opened BW3s and Ruth's Chris.
I'll bite, who gives a fuck about pro sports, I have followed and will always follow Detroit pro teams. D1 university? Who cares?! Again, MSU is just down the road. Mass transit? Who cares?! I NEVER utilized it in bigger cities and wouldn't now. (Yea yea yea wasteful bla bla bla). Pro sports isn't GR's area. Chain restaurants? Are you high?
Oh well. I had more to say but I think you're just trolling.
Because there literally aren't any others in downtown proper. Next closest would be the Burger King and Big Boy on Pearl on the west side of 131, or the McDonald's at the top of Michigan. There are some Starbucks / fast casual restaurants in Spectrum, but certainly no one goes to Spectrum's Starbucks on their lunch hour.
Did I miss something in the article that said, "Grand Rapids is the greatest city in the world. How do you like them Apples NYC, Chicago and LA!"
What's wrong with them saying that GR is up and coming and doing what it can to better itself as a city?
This post was edited by Charlie Kelly 13 months ago
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