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GRDadof3

"Un-Cool" to like Grand Rapids?

Uncool to like/be proud of Grand Rapids?  

106 members have voted

  1. 1. Was it ever dorky to say you liked Grand Rapids?

    • Yes, it was uncool, and it still is today
      8
    • Yes, it was uncool, but the tide is shifting and Grand Rapids is becoming "cool"
      62
    • No, it was never uncool to say you liked Grand Rapids
      31
    • Grand Rapids WAS cool, now it's not
      1
    • Other
      4


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It's not a phantom bump. Whenever someone votes in the poll, it bumps to the top, regardless if they post a message in the poll or not.

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I grew up up north and the mentality was always that it was just as cool to graduate high school and college and get the job in Grand Rapids as it was Detroit, if not moreso.

I'm from the northeast corner of the state, so there was no Grand Rapids influence up there. Being aware GR was roughly the same size as Flint, I always thought well, every other city in Michigan was allowed to go to crap, so GR must be somewhat like Flint, only with obvious job opportunities.

It wasn't until high school that I first even drove through Grand Rapids. Seeing that it was much more than Flint, it left a good impression on me before I knew anything about it. As I learned more, I thought it was a cool city, but kind of just sat outside of the influence of the rest of Michigan's "downstate" city network.

More recently, however I take more pride in Grand Rapids representing my state as such a progressive, outgoing, and appropriately-minded community. It treats itself like a respectable city which, in my mind upholds standards. There are many assets there and the people know both what they can attain in terms of growth, but they also realize their limitations. This honesty makes for a systematic, optimistic growth strategy that will only benefit the city and region as it claims its role in up and coming American cities.

Grand Rapids is cool and is only going to get cooler! :)

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From someone who bragged about GR backwards and forwards while living in Chicago, I can attest that my passion for GR was never really understood by people I worked with, but at least they weren't demeaning like people from Detroit, who called W.Mich worse than Wisconsin.

Honestly, how can we have a real perception change if out-of-state residents think more favorably of this area than East-side Michiganders? We should probably just skip over Metro Detroit and sell our message to the people that really matter.

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I've been in SE Michigan for only 3 years now, but I have never heard that tone. In fact, I've only heard the opposite. Just like people brag that their airport is Flint Bishop and wouldn't be caught dead at the dump called Metro, I've also heard people brag about the day they can leave SE Michigan for Grand Rapids.

This makes me concerned for that day because these obviously aren't the kinds of attitudes you want plaguing your city. Maybe it would be best to market outside of Michigan or to continue to attract people from other parts of Michigan. The cultural attitude in SE Michigan is what sustains the negativity. Even though these same people like GR now, what makes you think they won't do the same when they live there?

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The old stereotypes and images of the city stick with it even though they have been rapidly changing since the late 80s or so. There was a time that I sure most people from outside of the area thought it was "uncool" today its a different story and people are plesently surprised, but of course there are still always going to be many people who have a bad impression or can't shake the stereotype, its easy to see in other net fourms many of those people seem to be from here and had a bad experience while they were here and are now in a much larger city or from a larger city outside of the midwest or from parts of metro Detroit, which has a much different feel to it. There are also some people that give GR a bad rap either by ignorance or just plain "look what we can do, our city is better thans yours" type thing that causes a negative image of the people

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Images live and die within Generations. The generation currently running this country, were growing up when Detroit died, they were there during the 67 12th st. Riots, and the collapse and political suicide that followed. That generation will take that image of Detroit to their graves. No matter what the city does, or actually how much better it is, it will be perpetuated like that in the media, until a new generation comes along and views it in a different way. The same is true of Grand Rapids, most people who have never been, or haven't been in a good couple of decades. Have this image of a decaying core city, with uber religious suburbanites. But the east/west divide in Michigan. Is really the same for every state in the country. There is always animousity from the second city to the first, and always a bumpkin image from the first city to the second. I give you, Philly, and Pittsburgh, Phoenix and Tucson, Nashville and Memphis, and a whole slew of other combinations.

Jeff, I'll tell you that the negativity from Metro Detroiters, moving to Metro GR dries up, as soon as they get to know the area. I've known far to many people who've moved to the area, and fallen in love. One positive note, is that in general people who move here from the Tri-cities or Flint, look at west Michigan like a utopia. There will always exist in some form the sarcastic rhetoric that spews forth from certain east siders about GR. But we would be disengenuous to say that or own residents ( urban planeteers do not count ) Don't have a misconstrued concept of the east side, and spew the same kind of negativity. They are getting fewer and farther between, but I very distinctly know a certain kind of West Michigan resident ( I am friends with them) That have all kinds of hateful things to say about Detroit, and they've never even been there!!!! They are generally the people who have roots in the Kent-Ottawa area dating back generations. They never leave the county they were born in, save to hop on a flight to Orlando and back, and tend to have the worldly knowlege of a handiwipe. They scoff at things they don't know while they sit at home on sunday not mowing their lawns. Ignorance, especially that of a geographic orientation, exists everywhere.

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It's not a phantom bump. Whenever someone votes in the poll, it bumps to the top, regardless if they post a message in the poll or not.

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I can't remember what my opinion was before I moved here. I doubt having a real opinion about it other than it being a real urban city. Growing up in Midland (Tri-Cities/Mid-Michigan) where our population has hovered around 45K for years a real metro area was quite a treat. I moved here in the summer of 2001. The day I moved here the front page of the press featured the sting on Division's hookers - lol. My mom was not pleased. tongue.gif The first time I drove into town from SB 131 I remember seeing the towers and getting a huge smile on my face. The tallest building in Midland is either the courthouse/jail or the parking ramp downtown, either way only 4-5 stories. My brother and my friends from Midland love having me here because they have an excuse to come to the "big city" for the weekend. I'm very happy being a part of a growing urban environment and don't plan to leave.

I remember kids at Kendall used to say it sucked living in such a conservative city - there was a bar and a church on every corner. I would tell them that in Midland there's just the church on every corner. Midland is highly conservative and I don't find the city of GR conservative at all. I believe in fact that the city skews very democratic and the county's conservative vote comes from the outlying communities like East GR, Kentwood, Jenison, Rockford, Walker, etc.

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I hated GR when I first moved here in 2000. I was a metro Detroit native and lived in Louisville, KY for a few years. I found it was difficult to meet people and the city lacked in diversity.

I have a different opinion now. I love this town, it just took a while to adjust.

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Back when I was a kid, my family and I lived in Chicago, which is about as Major as a Major City can get. So when I found out my dad got a job transfer to Grand Rapids, MI, a city I never even heard of, I thought we were going to be moving to a hick town in the middle of nowhere. Grand Rapids has been proving that notion wrong for over 20 years. As far as I'm concerned I love living here. GR has all the amenities that can be had in a big city but without the the big city hustle, congestion and intimidation. Its neither too big or too small. GR is Just Right.

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This city at one point seemed uncool but is slowly sheding that image. My brother moved out of Grand Rapids, or Bland Crapids as he called it, after high school and has yet to return. I agree it is a different city than it was 10 years ago. My friends from GVSU who were from the Detroit area LOVE it here, especially downtown. I also agree that Grand Rapids will only shed its conservative image through the new generations.

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When I was growing up in the Flint area, I had never even heard of Grand Rapids (and I was always a huge geography dork) and then I was moved up north to Traverse City at 14. At the time TC was little more than a hole in the earth to me with nothing to do and nowhere to go. Kids hung out at the Meijer because there was no mall yet. When I asked some of my newly found friends where they went to buy clothes, they said the best place to go was GR. I was not impressed and continued to drive to the Flint area to do any major shopping.

Today I know better, and have even learned that malls all carry the same crappy clothes stores and the crap I was buying in Flint I could get in Grand Rapids and save an hour and a half of drive time. Now I actually like to go to GR for a nice little weekend getaway and even have a few friends who have moved to the area (Flint area friends that is) and I think that the city is only getting better.

BTW, I know better to shop in malls for clothes now also.

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As any teenager would tell you, it is totally uncool to like Grand Rapids, because it is totally uncool to like anything. "Everything sucks, man...." :P

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