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GRGridGirl

The Grand Rapids Experience

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Okay, so we all love to talk about what's going on in GR. I want to know what is your favorite thing/event/place/building/experience in Grand Rapids.

If you can't think of anything, then what is your least favorite?

Let's hear it, the best of the best or the worst of the worst for you:

Grid Girl forever

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OK, I'll go first. I have had many great experiences at the Van Andel Arena:

- We got to see the very first Grand Rapids Griffin's game in 1994, from my wife's employer's company seats at center ice about 8 rows up. Very exciting!

- I think zenstyle mentioned the opera Aida, which we also saw at the arena. Awesome production with a gigantic stage complete with pyramids, camels, elephants, etc!

- We have seen BNL three times there, and a variety of other concerts

We also went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls at the Museum, and saw the Perugino exhibit at the Art Museum when it came, both were fascinating. All of this is pretty commercial, so it's probably pretty boring.

I can't remember any bad experiences anywhere, other than maybe bad service at a restaurant or two :whistling:

Edit: sorry GRGuy, I guess I'm second ^_^

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According to the Book of Zenstyle:

The best thing:

The fact that GR is getting hipper every day. I'm no longer embarrassed to say I live here!

The worst thing, in a nutshell:

The "Easter Island stare" when you speak or ask about anything incomprehensible to the natives.

"Where can I find a towing/wrecking service that's woman-owned?" The response....a blank look and slightly agape mouth. No brain function Flatline.

"Where can I find a woman electrician, or a union-print shop?" Same response.

"Why do you drive to work, when you live so close to your workplace?" Same response.

"Yes, my husband and I have different last names. Why do you ask?" Same response.

And so it goes. But I have high hopes that the flatliners will Darwinize themselves out of existence.

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Love to hear about your experiences. When it comes down to it, sometimes our experiences become the tipping point to what makes us stay or what makes us go. Together as a group we have the opportunity to "drive" others to Grand Rapids.

Keep up the good work, push past no, and never stop asking why.

Grid Girl

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According to the Book of Zenstyle:

The best thing:

The fact that GR is getting hipper every day. I'm no longer embarrassed to say I live here!

The worst thing, in a nutshell:

The "Easter Island stare" when you speak or ask about anything incomprehensible to the natives.

"Where can I find a towing/wrecking service that's woman-owned?" The response....a blank look and slightly agape mouth. No brain function Flatline.

"Where can I find a woman electrician, or a union-print shop?" Same response.

"Why do you drive to work, when you live so close to your workplace?" Same response.

"Yes, my husband and I have different last names. Why do you ask?" Same response.

And so it goes. But I have high hopes that the flatliners will Darwinize themselves out of existence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Where can I find a development company that is owned by a woman in Grand Rapids?

How many woman owned building companies are in Grand Rapids?

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And so it goes. But I have high hopes that the flatliners will Darwinize themselves out of existence.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Ha, its the flatliners who have five-six kids at a time :P

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Saturday mornings are my favorite. I have my coffee and the City is an open book for me to explore.

Of course I always go to the Farmer's Market first. There is something about fresh flowers, produce, and the people that you meet at the Farmer's Market. It is a great third place.

There is so much happening in our city, yet there is much more that is needed to be done.

Power to the pedestrian!

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When it comes down to it, sometimes our experiences become the tipping point to what makes us stay or what makes us go.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Have you been reading Gladwell? :)

Where can I find a development company that is owned by a woman in Grand Rapids?

How many woman owned building companies are in Grand Rapids?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Is that a rhetorical (quiz bowl) question? :) I think GROW is a good resource, isn't it?

http://www.growbusiness.org/greenpages.php

I would like to hear more bad experiences. I think that is a better indicator of where work needs to be done ;)

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Have you been reading Gladwell?  :)

Is that a rhetorical (quiz bowl) question? :)  I think GROW is a good resource, isn't it?

http://www.growbusiness.org/greenpages.php

I would like to hear more bad experiences.  I think that is a better indicator of where work needs to be done  ;)

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

GRDad: Developers are not always builders.

Love data collection? Check out the Brookings Institituion Research Topic page. Soo much information.

Another great data site is Urban Land Insitute's (ULI) website. They also have great books, articles, and the Urban Land magazine. ULI.

For a Michigan view, I head to the Michigan Land Use Leadership Insitute (MLUI,) a great source of information.

After reading the Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kuntsler, my eyes opened. This is a must read! VisitKuntsler's website.

Then read Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age by Michael H. Shuman and The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell and wow, you become a new person.

One of my favorite sources of online info is treehugger. With the large range of topics and stories, you could read for hours.

A great mag to check out Metropolis.

Organizations I visit online are the Social Venture Network and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

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GRDad:  Developers are not always builders. 

Love data collection?  Check out the Brookings Institituion Research Topic page.  Soo much information. 

Another great data site is Urban Land Insitute's (ULI) website.  They also have great books, articles, and the Urban Land magazine.  ULI. 

For a Michigan view, I head to the Michigan Land Use Leadership Insitute (MLUI,) a great source of information. 

After reading the Geography of Nowhere by James Howard Kuntsler, my eyes opened.  This is a must read!  VisitKuntsler's website.

Then read Going Local: Creating Self-Reliant Communities in a Global Age by Michael H. Shuman and The Tipping Point by Malcom Gladwell and wow, you become a new person. 

One of my favorite sources of online info is treehugger.  With the large range of topics and stories, you could read for hours. 

A great mag to check out Metropolis. 

Organizations I visit online are the Social Venture Network and the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I know, I work for a builder & developer. Some real estate agents do developing as well.

That's a boat-load of links. Have you also read Blink by Malcolm Gladwell (his follow-up to Tipping Point)? He also has Ideavirus, which I haven't read yet.

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My wife and I are having quite a culture shock dealing with the folks here (since we're both such North eastern types). But I'ts nice to know that there are some COOL people on this forum. People always expect that we have (or will soon have) kids even though we're married - Makes my wife go crazy when she gets that around here.

But, here's a questions I have: I keep seeing some great pictures that GRDad posts. THese seem like such cool downtown places.

Can you guys give us a list of places we should check out downtown? Restaurants, coffee shops etc. We don't seem to know where to find these places downtown.

Thanks

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Bostonian - Start on Monroe Center. They have 4 coffee shops I believe. Lots of restaurants in that area as well. Try Leo's its a fish place on the corner of Louis and Ottawa under in a parking garage less than a block from the corner of Monroe Center and Ottawa. The burgers at Flanagan

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My wife and I are having quite a culture shock dealing with the folks here (since we're both such North eastern types).

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Bostonian - Start on Monroe Center.  They have 4 coffee shops I believe.  Lots of restaurants in that area as well.  Try Leo's its a fish place on the corner of Louis and Ottawa under in a parking garage less than a block from the corner of Monroe Center and Ottawa.  The burgers at Flanagan

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For something to do, try walking along Canal Park in the Monroe North district. It is along the Grand River, just north of the historic Sixth Street Bridge. They have a couple of kiosks with billboards that explain the history of the area and how Grand Rapids grew around the furniture industry that sprouted up in that area. Lots of cool historic pics too. And for lunch you can head across the street to either the Waterworks Pub or Riverfront Cafe.

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One of my least favorite places is the traffic pork-chop on Fuller and Lake Drive. It is ugly and useless. Redesigning that intersection would be a great idea, as it is a gateway into the Uptown area.

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One of my favorite days in GR was when my friend and I put our kayaks in at Riverside Park and rowed down to 6th Street Park above the Fish Ladder. We pulled the boats onto shore, and had a beer at Founders. A little bit of nature and little bit of civilization.

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"Anyway, I could see a real potential for some kind of service that provides walking tours to newcomers, which would incorporate history of the area, different neighborhood centers, different organizations to get involved in, great places to visit, etc.. With the number of out-of-state transfers I run into in my work, there has got to be a market for that."

^Its great that you mention that because right now im trying to apply for grants so that i can start a Grand Rapids Architectural organization that would provide history tours through downtown and surrounding districts...

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"Anyway, I could see a real potential for some kind of service that provides walking tours to newcomers, which would incorporate history of the area, different neighborhood centers, different organizations to get involved in, great places to visit, etc.. With the number of out-of-state transfers I run into in my work, there has got to be a market for that."

^Its great that you mention that because right now im trying to apply for grants so that i can start a Grand Rapids Architectural organization that would provide history tours through downtown and surrounding districts...

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Rizzo, Weren't you the person a couple of years ago that volunteered to the city commission to run a information kiosk on Monroe Center? With the kind of foot traffic that is currently happening down there, it would be great to have something like that down there.

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I got it Rizzo! Rizzo's Historical Rides B)

u_pop_pd_c_ima_001.jpg

I do see a lot of people downtown now looking around like they are lost, or staring at the new maps downtown.

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I got it Rizzo!  Rizzo's Historical Rides  B)

u_pop_pd_c_ima_001.jpg

I do see a lot of people downtown now looking around like they are lost, or staring at the new maps downtown.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

To add on to the above comment, my family and I have just returned from a visit to downtown tonight, and I couldn't believe how many people were out on the streets and sidewalks. It seemed like all demographics were represented, from the homeless to the young barhoppers to the couples with children running around.

I thought I would share this with the board, because it is proof of what a strong downtown is developing right before us. If we can attract that kind of diverse crowd, any business contemplating moving downtown would be foolish not to jump on the bandwagon.

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On of my favorite things is to bike the lenght of Lake Drive during peak fall colors. You have beautiful homes, Three great business districts, and you can end at either Heritage Hill or Reeds lake.

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I got it Rizzo!  Rizzo's Historical Rides  B)

u_pop_pd_c_ima_001.jpg

I do see a lot of people downtown now looking around like they are lost, or staring at the new maps downtown.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Speaking of the maps, have seen them on various strategic selective sign posts dowtown, and like the way they have termed and grouped the various downtown regions.

Anyone aware of any published or on-line versions yet? I would love to study them in a little more detail so I can guide myself and others a little better. I'm a bit of a map freak and collect walking maps, guide maps, bike routes, nature trails, etc. continually anyway...

Printed or online version available yet?

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