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Rizzo

Outside looking at Grand Rapids

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Great article Rizzo! I have felt that way about GR, and Ann Arbor, for a long time.

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Very interesting story. My opinion of Grand Rapids, based mostly on numerous other peoples opinions here in Lansing, is that Grand Rapids is ultra-conservative, over religious, and somewhat racist. I know little of GR from personal experience, this site has helped to soften my critisism of GR a little. I also don't know much about Ann Arbor, but when I went there a little less than a year ago, I realized I can't stand that place. It is not a wannabe New York, that stereotype of people in NYC all being smug and stuck-up is largly unfounded. People in Ann Arbor, in general, really do seem to fit the NYC stereotype, smug and stuck-up. But at least GR is moving in the right direction, while Ann Arbor seems to be getting more intolerable. I like Lansing, people may not say "hi" to strangers as they pass on the street, but people, in general, are not snobs.

Also, to the GR people, is this story fair? Does it accuratly describe GR?

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^yes, but his "ultra-conservative" look on GR is a paint brush to the city itself, the idea of us being very conservative is unfounded. In fact GR is progressive, it's the suburbs that are neo/ultra-conservative...

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Wow, the original writer gets A2 right.

I am sick of people complaining about GR as over conserative. Yes, some of the burbs are (as is the case in most cities) but the city and inner region are very well balanced. I know people of all walks of life, and in the inner ring, everyone seems to be welcome. Yes, there are still some older hold outs but the GR of my youth is different than the GR of today, and it has only been a few decades. The city is changing, hopefully it is changing for the better.

I think that the article proves that as the city grows we have grown to also respect others. Yes, Grand Rapids is a nice place to be because the people here actually do care. It is a unique location where neighbors - even those that are different - still look out for eachother. If there is something wrong with this I would really like to know...

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Thanks for providing the wealth of links, Dadof3.

One day all the righteous old farts will croak, and we'll have the place to ourselves.

Let the liquor flow freely!

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Thanks for providing the wealth of links, Dadof3.

One day all the righteous old farts will croak, and we'll have the place to ourselves.

Let the liquor flow freely!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Thank God you're in charge of nothing. ;-)

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Thank God you're in charge of nothing.  ;-)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, I think that everything should be taken in moderation: liquor, conservatism, liberalism, ..... I certainly wouldn't want to be another Las Vegas, or New York, for that matter. If I wanted to live in places like those, I'd move tomorrow ;)

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I think it was Oscar Wilde who said:

"Everything in moderation; including moderation."

I like that quote so much, I use it as my sig on another board!

I was listening to WYCE this morning, and it made me want to make this short list:

THE BEST THINGS ABOUT GRAND RAPIDS

1. Our all-volunteer community radio station, WYCE.

2. Urban Institute for Contemporary Art.

3. The Community Media Center (we miss you, Dirk Koning!)

4. The movies shown at Weathy Street Theatre.

5. The abundance of theatre talent here, both onstage and back-stage.

6. The Nokomis Foundation; The Frey Foundation.

7. Grand Rapids Opportunites for Women (GROW) -- they're tremendous!

8. Fountain Street Church (if you must)

9. Heritage Hill; its survival and triumph over the pavers

10. Proximity to Lake Michigan

That's enough boosterism for one day. I'm wiped out!

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Im proud of the fact that people I know who are from outside Michigan say that we have one of the most vibrant downtowns they have been too, thats enough for me to be happy.

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Frankly, I just don't see the conservative side of GR like others are talking about. I grew up here and could not get away fast enough. After 20 some years away, I have come back and found GR to be very welcoming (gay male, here) and quite diverse. In town neighborhoods of GR rejected Proposal 2 last fall. Good restaurants, nice shopping and very friendly people have made this a great move. I do not miss the 1.5-2 hr commute, instead I drive 10 minutes. The house I have here, I could never afford in most other US cities. The proximity to Lake Michigan and a few hours to Chicago for a big city weekend (always glad to be home) are the best. My suggestion is to relook at GR with fresh eyes and see it for what it has become, not what it was.

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I say it's better to exceed people's expectations than disappoint people.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Soo true... I think if we "shock and awe" them then we'll have less of a hard time convincing them to remember us when they have time for another vacation.

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Frankly, I just don't see the conservative side of GR like others are talking about. I grew up here and could not get away fast enough. After 20 some years away, I have come back and found GR to be very welcoming (gay male, here) and quite diverse. In town neighborhoods of GR rejected Proposal 2 last fall. Good restaurants, nice shopping and very friendly people have made this a great move. I do not miss the 1.5-2 hr commute, instead I drive 10 minutes. The house I have here, I could never afford in most other US cities. The proximity to Lake Michigan and a few hours to Chicago for a big city weekend (always glad to be home) are the best. My suggestion is to relook at GR with fresh eyes and see it for what it has become, not what it was.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

It's finally nice to see that a gay man is willing to admit GR has come a long way from what it was. I knew a few gays and lesbians in high school that couldnt wait to get out of GR... kind of makes me sad. Oh on another note, my aunt who is a lesbian left GR for a more opened place, Ludington, Mich.?!?!

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I agree GRGuy,

While I do get annoyed at some of the conservative ways of our commissioners, I do not find myself stifled by the city. I think anyone who jumps to conclusions about our city probably hasn't met the people who live here. You can easily find the ultra conservative and ultra liberal in any city. San Francisco, Las Vegas or Miami we are not, but I would also punch someone who compared us to Salt Lake City. ;)

Joe

Frankly, I just don't see the conservative side of GR like others are talking about. I grew up here and could not get away fast enough. After 20 some years away, I have come back and found GR to be very welcoming (gay male, here) and quite diverse. In town neighborhoods of GR rejected Proposal 2 last fall. Good restaurants, nice shopping and very friendly people have made this a great move. I do not miss the 1.5-2 hr commute, instead I drive 10 minutes. The house I have here, I could never afford in most other US cities. The proximity to Lake Michigan and a few hours to Chicago for a big city weekend (always glad to be home) are the best. My suggestion is to relook at GR with fresh eyes and see it for what it has become, not what it was.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

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I think it was Oscar Wilde who said:

"Everything in moderation; including moderation."

I like that quote so much, I use it as my sig on another board!

I was listening to WYCE this morning, and it made me want to make this short list:

THE BEST THINGS ABOUT GRAND RAPIDS

1. Our all-volunteer community radio station, WYCE.

2. Urban Institute for Contemporary Art.

3. The Community Media Center (we miss you, Dirk Koning!)

4. The movies shown at Weathy Street Theatre.

5. The abundance of theatre talent here, both onstage and back-stage.

6. The Nokomis Foundation; The Frey Foundation.

7. Grand Rapids Opportunites for Women (GROW) -- they're tremendous!

8. Fountain Street Church (if you must)

9. Heritage Hill; its survival and triumph over the pavers

10. Proximity to Lake Michigan

That's enough boosterism for one day. I'm wiped out!

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I guess this is what is meant by diversity. I cherish only a few of the items on this list, but I'm glad they're there for people like Zen who enjoy them. The last time I went into the UICA there was a huge (no pun intended) exhibit of penis art in the vault. This was ten years ago when they were in the old bank building, downtown. I haven't been back since. Am I too conservative? Maybe.

Then again, I'm sure Zen probably wouldn't enjoy some of my top choices either. ;)

This is probably the true strength of Grand Rapids. We all fit it. We all find something (many things) to like. I really think we're becoming a smaller version of Chicago's downtown area. There truly is something for everyone. While you eat tofu in Easttown, I'll sip a Guinness in a dark pub, downtown.

I, for example, would be a conservative fish-out-of-water in Ann Arbor. Grand Rapids tends to embrace all kinds of people. Each of us has his or her biases and prejudices but, on the whole, I believe we tend to tolerate and even celebrate each other. The outside world will slowly discover this -- much as GRguy did.

Maybe that's why people-watching is such a popular sport in downtown GR!

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