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Old 07-18-2017, 08:18 AM
 
909 posts, read 1,841,880 times
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Thanks for any info on Grosse Pointe. Is it a good place to raise a family? The schools seem decent, any insider info on the schools? Anyone have pics of Grosse Pointe?

I'm looking for any opinions on living in the area, and any points of interest that should be checked out.

Thanks
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:36 PM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,761 posts, read 65,577,769 times
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Originally Posted by famlife View Post
Thanks for any info on Grosse Pointe. Is it a good place to raise a family? The schools seem decent, any insider info on the schools? Anyone have pics of Grosse Pointe?

I'm looking for any opinions on living in the area, and any points of interest that should be checked out.

Thanks
Yes it is a nice place to raise a family. One of the better places actually. The schools are certainly decent. Grosse Pointe South is much better than decent. Even GP North is above average and certainly good enough to produce competent qualified college students or trades persons.

Search the Michigan discussion threads for Pointe, you will find a ton of information and lengthy dicussions of all of the five Grosse Pointe Cities. (Searching for Grosse, will also pull up Grosse Ile which is an entirely different community and location).

Each of the Grosse Pointe Cities have an exclusive community facility, park, marina, etc) just for the people of that city. They are very nice. The Pointes used to be the blue blood (old money - big big money) hometown of choice back in the 1930s and 1940s even up through the 50s and 60s. They are still upper middle class for the most part, but much more down to earth than when they were choice suburbs for the exclusively wealthy. They remain very very nice, but are no longer generally snobby (although you can find some snobby if you look for it - pretty much anywhere.

Grosse Pointe City is the oldest and in my opinion the nicest of the cities and the only one we examine closely as a possible place to live. The other points have a descending range of niceness. I cannot remember which falls where without looking a a map. Someone will tell you their options probably.

The biggest attraction other than the individual park, awesome homes and great sense of community, is the proximity to Downtown and mid town Detroit. GPs are by far the nicest closest suburb of Detroit. There are other nice suburbs but none of them are anywhere near as close to downtown as Grosse Point City.

Being close to downtown put you in easy range of Eastern Market, hundreds of bars/clubs taverns and restaurants, sporting events, a huge theater district, a world class (and really awesome art museum (awesome even if you are not that into art or museums, this place is unique), Wayne State University, Detroit Medical Center, concerts, conventions and festivals galore. It is a great location.

Oh and also on the water, but the waterfront homes are quite pricey and huge.
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Old 07-18-2017, 11:25 PM
 
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That all sounds amazing... And I love the water. But does anyone know why the cancer rates in the Detroit area are so high? It's a bit concerning.
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Old 07-19-2017, 07:20 AM
 
Location: Ann Arbor MI
2,103 posts, read 1,348,306 times
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My wife grew up in the Pointes, she lived in 4 of the 5. She has a bunch of family living there including a daughter and sister in the Farms, a brother in the Park and a sister in the Woods. I would agree with most of Coldjensen's post. Nothin I might disagree with is worth noting, just minutiae.

One thing that has changed a bit in the 13 years I have known my wife is that some elementary schools and a middle school are not what they used to be and as Coldjensen noted South high school has separated itself form North in recent years.
Some long time Grosse Pointers might suggest this is because parts of the district flow in to Harper Woods and St. Clair Shores where rents are sometimes cheaper. This allows people who want to flee to a better district to find their way to Grosse Pointe schools but their kids may not be as academically prepared.
NOTE: I am not espousing the above theory just passing it on as I "rub elbows" with Grosse Pointer's regularly.
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Old 07-20-2017, 06:42 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,761 posts, read 65,577,769 times
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Originally Posted by famlife View Post
That all sounds amazing... And I love the water. But does anyone know why the cancer rates in the Detroit area are so high? It's a bit concerning.

Lots ot reasons:

Smoking.
Why Cancer is More Common in Detroit – Detroit Stats

Repression/prejudice//culture/genetics (African Americans are more likely to get cancer and the population of Detroit City is primarily African American). My guess is part of this is because in the 1940s - 1970s, if there was a particularly nasty, unhealthy job to be done, the managers gave the job to the African American employees.
https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/c...-2016-2018.pdf

Cancer rates are falling. Part of that may be due to improvements in medical technology, part of it may be due to better workplace safety in working with carcinogens than we had 30 - 60 years ago.
Michigan Cancer Rates |


Probably a combination of factors. Keep in mind the Detroiter who are now in their 80s and 90s were the factory workers of the 1940s-1970s. when they were just beginning to understand the long term impact of working in what we now know to be toxic conditions. In other words, when the current Detroiters were young, they worked unprotected, painting, sanding, making steel, burning coal, working with asbestos, ect. These types of carcinogens are long term killers. Those were the boom years when Detroit was the powerhouse of the United States and the world. Nearly everyone worked in a factory environment. IN the 1970s factories were everywhere and there was little environmental regulation on them. The air pollution rivaled New York and LA at times. It got cleaner and cleaner starting in the 1970s. The exodus of manufacturing to China and Mexico also cleaned things up a bit. The EPA cleaned things up, modern awareness of the harms of pollution cleaned things up. Zebra mussels cleaned the water in the Detroit River and lake Erie both of which were once so toxic you could not swim and dared not eat the fish (fine now within reason). Now the Detroit Metro is comparatively clean. In 1960s and 1970s it was awful pollution wise. Even today, I do not think I would want to live in or near Zug island or the Marathon refinery. Otherwise however, there is not enough pollution to notice.

Even much of the educated population worked in factory environment. My Dad was an engine. He worked in a testing lab where they had diesel engines running inside 24/7, chemicals all over the place etc. Sometimes he worked in the factories, sometimes in the field (go figure out what is up with those train engines in Alabama), but generally in conditions we would not accept today. He does not have lung cancer, but he has plenty of breathing problems (COPD).

Frankly, it has nothing to do with what is happening today, but what was happening 60 years ago. So if ou want to worry about cancer rates, today rates are not really relevant to you it is the cancer rates in 30 years you need to be concerned about. Unless you are already older, then there is nothing you can do by worrying about it, you were either already exposed to a lifetime of carcinogens, or your weren't. There is nothing magical about being in the Detroit Metro that causes cancer and nothing magical about any other place the prevents it. Yes there is some residual pollution here and occasional smog, but compared to many other places, it is minimal.

Suggestions, rather than searching endlessly for statistics that make you worry about the place, why not look up favorable statistics. Or just talk to people. For example compared to Southern California where we lived for 18 years, health care here is hugely better quality. Air quality is better, water quality is better (water exists here), traffic is far far less, crowding is far less, big gangs are pretty much not involved in Michigan, at least by comparison we have no gangs I know of with 10,000 or 50,000 members, natural resources are far greater. . . . etc. look up some of those statistics instead and be happy. Also suggest you focus on meaningful statistics that are worth considering. Stats like cancer rates, or the percentage of people who have own the lottery, or the number of people hit by lightening, really have no impact on you. You can not going to come here and get cancer because you came here. Most carcinogens cause cancer from years of exposure. Unless you are very young, if you are going to get cancer from environmental causes, you already have it and just do not know it.

Unless you are trying to find reasons not to move here. If so, just ask. There are lots of people who will gleefully help you with that.

Last edited by Coldjensens; 07-20-2017 at 07:12 AM..
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Old 07-20-2017, 12:21 PM
 
7,310 posts, read 9,760,933 times
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Originally Posted by famlife View Post
That all sounds amazing... And I love the water. But does anyone know why the cancer rates in the Detroit area are so high? It's a bit concerning.
The Pointes are built on top of a leaky pipe that is supposed to route the hideously-polluted Milk River away from the townspeople. But as I say, it leaks like a bastidge.
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:51 AM
 
Location: Grosse Ile Michigan
27,761 posts, read 65,577,769 times
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Originally Posted by Cliffie View Post
The Pointes are built on top of a leaky pipe that is supposed to route the hideously-polluted Milk River away from the townspeople. But as I say, it leaks like a bastidge.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffie View Post
The Pointes are built on top of a leaky pipe that is supposed to route the hideously-polluted Milk River away from the townspeople. But as I say, it leaks like a bastidge.
Where is that? What is it polluted with? I have heard about them washing partially treated sewage into the milk river drain during storms, but not that it is generally polluted. Also I thought it only ran through/under St. Clair Shores and part of GP Shores only. However it is part of a large storm drain system for the entire area.

I found thishttp://www.atdetroit.net/forum/messages/89914/90917.html?1205043699 but I did not take the time to read it. Not enough interest.

It probably leaks, most of our storm drain and even combined or sanitary serer systems leak. Contamination is not a significant concern from this, but sinkholes are. Our sewer and storm drain system is in terrible shape (most of the country is the same way). Since people cannot see it, they do not worry about it but they should be somewhat concerned. As these systems leak, stuff leaks in more than out. Over time, the leakage erodes away all the earth around one side of the pipe and the pipe collapses. When a sewer line collapses it is usually gradual and in the past the people are always out of their homes before the sinkhole starts swallowing houses, but still if a sewer swallows your home, it is a bit distressing. Again, this is about as likely to happen to you are you are to wake up in the morning an discover you are president of the United States. I think there have been three sinkholes in the past 20-30 years that took out houses. The Counties and DWSD are aware of the problem and working to fix things, but they do not have enough money. Luckily, they do not have to pass new taxes to get the money, just raise water rates. However they can only do that so much before people pitch a fit. I do not know how our water rates compare to other municipalities but it seems pretty high for a place with too much water. OTOH we have the cleanest tap water of any municipality, or at least we did as of a few years ago.
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Old 07-26-2017, 03:56 PM
 
134 posts, read 118,080 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by famlife View Post
Thanks for any info on Grosse Pointe. Is it a good place to raise a family? The schools seem decent, any insider info on the schools? Anyone have pics of Grosse Pointe?

I'm looking for any opinions on living in the area, and any points of interest that should be checked out.

Thanks
Grosse Pointe was and still is Metropolitan Detroit's "old money" suburb. While many perceive GP as being less exclusive and affluent than it used to be, such perception is more a product of other suburban areas rising in affluence rather than a decline of Grosse Pointe. For example, when my mother's family moved there in 1955, there really weren't many affluent suburban residential communities in Metropolitan Detroit. Suburbs like Novi, Rochester Hills and Troy did not exist. Bloomfield and Birmingham existed, but they were newer and far less established than Grosse Pointe. Brand new construction was unheard of in the farm country of Oakland and Commerce Townships; Northville and Plymouth were small towns in the sticks. GP was THE suburb in the 1950s and exclusively WASP; no diversity. This was also a time when the city of Detroit was overwhelmingly the center for jobs, retail, and entertainment, so Grosse Pointe was close to the action. Northland Mall had just opened and the GM Tech Center in Warren was under construction. Metro Detroit was on the precipice of great suburban expansion and white flight from the city but those dynamics were in nascent stages. Grosse Pointe had many fabulous, expansive estates with large numbers of staff and famous residents, along with a suite of exclusive and private clubs; these characteristics fueled outsider perceptions but the reality is that more than half the homes in Grosse Pointe were tidy, well-built residences you could find in a number of places, including Beverly Hills, Pleasant Ridge, Huntington Woods, East English Village, Birmingham, Sherwood Forest or the University District.

Fast forward to 2017. Grosse Pointe, like many older suburbs, has declined significantly in population due to a sizeable drop in household size (1955 was near the height of the Baby Boom, where 3-4 kids per household was the norm). The large estates have been demolished, subdivided and rebuilt with high-end tract housing. Nobody keeps large numbers of staff anymore. The population has some diversity, but lack of affordable housing options in GP has really prevented true diversification. Grosse Pointers have watched Detroit's degradation with dismay and quietly vowed such disinvestment will never unravel their community; they have taken a stand. As a result, the city of Detroit has largely eroded around the community of Grosse Pointe, which creates a stark contrast of beautifully maintained executive homes on tree-lined streets separated from blocks peppered with vacant lots, dilapidated housing and pocked shells of former retail blocks by a single road.

While Detroit has declined, GP residents and leaders have invested strongly in homes, parks, business districts, schools and public safety to maintain their desirability. There was no riot in GP in 1967; one phone call from the Ford household to President Johnson ensured tanks rolled down Jefferson Avenue to stand guard at the border. GP leaders have also made some strategic decisions that limit access to non-residents, which effectively exclude many of lower socio-economic status: clubs are private and parks and schools are resident-only. Grosse Pointe education foundations, community foundations and housing foundations have all channeled the generous financial support of local families above and beyond property taxes and state subsidies to lift the community above others to improve aspects of the Grosse Pointe lifestyle. Such practices keep affluent families in and, in many cases, less affluent families out.

Some examples: (1) Parks - the parks are the most beautiful municipal recreation facilities you will ever see, but you'll only see them if you present a valid Park Pass and you'll only obtain a valid Park Pass if you can properly verify your residency status in the community. Enforcement is strict; a staffed gatehouse guards the entrance to each community's lakefront park. (2) Schools - strict residency requirements also apply to the Grosse Pointe Public Schools and private investigators still comb the rolls and visit properties to ferret out any students whose guardians do not demonstrate legitimate residency. Grosse Pointe remains closed to Schools of Choice, so you must live in the Grosse Pointe District to attend its schools. (3) Housing - many of the rental properties in Grosse Pointe Park were incorporated into the Grosse Pointe Housing Foundation program when they began to deteriorate and experience increased vacancy. Generous support from a few prominent families, particularly the Cotton Family (Meridian Health) supported rehabilitation and subsidized rents to reinvigorate those properties, but those rental subsidies were only awarded to certain individuals in various advanced stages of professional education who met strict academic requirements. The Cotton Family also purchased and demolished or re-purposed a number of businesses in the commercial district along Kercheval Avenue. Demand for housing in Grosse Pointe Park simultaneously rebounded with the resurgence of downtown Detroit. The result is a much more vibrant community with much-improved housing and retail, but far fewer lower income and racially diverse households. As a result, black student enrollment has experienced a marked decline at schools that serve Grosse Pointe Park (e.g. Defer, Trombly, Maire, Pierce, South) in the past few years.

In summary, Grosse Pointe is old school and they like it that way; this is the bastion of preppydom. Families, schools, church, kids, dogs and boats dominate the culture. Education and tradition are extremely important; change not so much. How long your family has lived there is more important than your bank account (which is not a polite topic of conversation, by the way). GP fancies itself Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket. The community treasures its history, its architecture and its prominence along the waterfront. There are no malls here, but several quaint shopping districts primarily along Mack and Kercheval Avenues. It is understated, low-key and timeless.

If all of this sounds like a dream come true, by all means move there; no other place like it in Michigan. However, if not, there are plenty of other upscale, newer suburbs in a crescent that largely extends northeast from Plymouth to Shelby.

Good luck!
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Old 07-30-2017, 08:58 AM
 
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Very nice cities; the only knock against them IMO is there is no proper downtown area. The plus, of course, is closer proximity to Midtown/downtown than any other affluent suburb.
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:31 AM
 
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Per my post, the "downtowns" for Grosse Pointe consist of walkable commercial districts in various portions of GP. Mack Avenue is the primary commercial strip for the Woods and the Shores. The "Hill" consists of a portion of Kercheval Avenue and Fisher Avenue in the Farms. The "Village" consists of a portion of Kercheval Avenue in the City. "West Park" or "Kercheval-in-the-Park" consists of a portion of Kercheval in the Park. These districts include restaurants, bars, grocery stores, drugstores, financial service offices and banks, clothing stores, salons, bakeries, pet supply stores, etc. These are meant to be local service districts to serve everyday needs, not destination shopping and entertainment centers. For those needs, GP residents used to visit downtown Detroit, later regional shopping malls and suburban entertainment centers. Now some of those needs are again met in downtown Detroit.
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