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Old 01-17-2012, 06:48 AM
 
Location: USA
118 posts, read 251,606 times
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Grand Rapids does have dangerous neighborhoods. It's not Detroit, but there are parts of the city you should avoid on foot or late at night. South Division being a major epicenter of crime day & night. From about Wealthy St. South towards 28th st isn't the best area... Up towards plainfield there are some rougher parts of town.

The thing about grand rapids is this: If it looks like a crappy neighborhood, it is. It's very easy to spot.

Poverty, and joblessness is rampant in Michigan and as such many of it's cities suffer from the crime and violence associated with those issues. No city is immune, and crime and violence is on the rise in Grand Rapids and other West Michigan cities. Give it 10-20 years and it may very well be just as bad as Detroit if things don't turn around.

 
Old 01-17-2012, 08:00 AM
 
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Another thing that I remember about Grand Rapids is that there used to be a lot of house fires. There were many blocks with lots of missing houses on the SE side. We had about 6 houses missing off our block. However, now there are homes in many of those empty lots. In most cases, when a home burns down and is removed in Detroit, its not replaced with a new home.
 
Old 01-20-2012, 08:32 PM
 
204 posts, read 300,233 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by louis31 View Post
yea, see i was born there in the 80's thru 98' so i know it was crazy then.
I'm sorry u guys went thru that I lived in gr at the same time in the 80's lived on baxter and went to hillcrest also. I didn't experience none of this nor any of my family members. I stayed away from all that street stuff even though I knew it was around.
 
Old 01-21-2012, 09:05 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gunrule View Post
I'm sorry u guys went thru that I lived in gr at the same time in the 80's lived on baxter and went to hillcrest also. I didn't experience none of this nor any of my family members. I stayed away from all that street stuff even though I knew it was around.
Thats the story of nearly every hood in the country. Everyone does not have the same experience. You can avoid most trouble by simply avoiding certain behaviors and hanging out at certain places. A person can live in the same household and experience different things. I can remember telling my siblings about things that happened when they were away from the house and sometimes they would tell me about things that happened when I was gone.

I have an uncle in Chicago who thinks Grand Rapids is rough. Why? It just so happened that every time they visited something happened in our neighborhood. It was not as if these things were that frequent, but they just happened when they came to visit.

This is what I tell people about Detroit. Detroit is a big city and although you hear about a lot of crime, everyone in Detroit are not experiencing the same things. Just like in Grand Rapids, you can avoid much of the chaos in Detroit by your behavior and where you choose to go and how you choose to carry yourself.

Its one of my pet peeves when people say that they would not live a city because of crime, as if every square mile of the city is full of crime. That is what I hear a lot of people say about Detroit.
 
Old 01-21-2012, 10:00 AM
 
60,581 posts, read 85,710,425 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
Thats the story of nearly every hood in the country. Everyone does not have the same experience. You can avoid most trouble by simply avoiding certain behaviors and hanging out at certain places. A person can live in the same household and experience different things. I can remember telling my siblings about things that happened when they were away from the house and sometimes they would tell me about things that happened when I was gone.

I have an uncle in Chicago who thinks Grand Rapids is rough. Why? It just so happened that every time they visited something happened in our neighborhood. It was not as if these things were that frequent, but they just happened when they came to visit.

This is what I tell people about Detroit. Detroit is a big city and although you hear about a lot of crime, everyone in Detroit are not experiencing the same things. Just like in Grand Rapids, you can avoid much of the chaos in Detroit by your behavior and where you choose to go and how you choose to carry yourself.

Its one of my pet peeves when people say that they would not live a city because of crime, as if every square mile of the city is full of crime. That is what I hear a lot of people say about Detroit.
Same here and I hear this about my area and other cities in my state. It's not like you cross some invisible line and all of a sudden you are subjected to crime. Behavior/lifestyle has a lot to do with crime.
 
Old 01-23-2012, 11:59 AM
 
484 posts, read 1,107,130 times
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Default Born and raised here

I grew up in GR through the 80s and 90s, attended GR public schools, etc. I grew up in East Hills before it was the "center of the universe", back when the Wealthy Street Boys ran the streets; I've never been victimized, pressured to join a gang, or anything like that.

It's the same as every other place, to include Detroit: don't start nothing, there won't be nothing. If you're looking for trouble, you can find it it GR just as quickly as you can in Detroit or Chicago. To be sure, we have dudes (and dudettes) that won't hesitate to check you. But,there is very little truly random crime. Stay out of drug houses and you probably won't be victimized by a drug dealer; stay out of gang business and you probably won't get shot by a banger. Simple really.

I've never lived in Detroit but I will say that in GR, if you're not involved in foolishness, you can live safely in any neighborhood. I know hippy white college kids living on some of the supposedly worst streets in GR who've never had a problem. Personally, I'm not afraid of any neighborhood in GR and I've never had a reason to be.
 
Old 01-23-2012, 01:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigmaingr View Post
I grew up in GR through the 80s and 90s, attended GR public schools, etc. I grew up in East Hills before it was the "center of the universe", back when the Wealthy Street Boys ran the streets; I've never been victimized, pressured to join a gang, or anything like that.

It's the same as every other place, to include Detroit: don't start nothing, there won't be nothing. If you're looking for trouble, you can find it it GR just as quickly as you can in Detroit or Chicago. To be sure, we have dudes (and dudettes) that won't hesitate to check you. But,there is very little truly random crime. Stay out of drug houses and you probably won't be victimized by a drug dealer; stay out of gang business and you probably won't get shot by a banger. Simple really.

I've never lived in Detroit but I will say that in GR, if you're not involved in foolishness, you can live safely in any neighborhood. I know hippy white college kids living on some of the supposedly worst streets in GR who've never had a problem. Personally, I'm not afraid of any neighborhood in GR and I've never had a reason to be.
I think this post is spot on. I am a little older than you guys as I grew up in GR during 70's and 80's , before moving to Detroit in the late 80's. I lived in the South Middle (currently the job corps I believe) Union High district. We looked at people who went to Iroquois and Ottawa Hills as middle class middle class black folks, where the nice houses and stuff were. We never considered the areas that you are mentioning as "rough"....but I guess times have changed.

Times have indeed changed. On my old street there are about 5 houses with white residents. I remember when I was growing up a white guy got off the bus and was walking down our street lost and my brother brought him to our house for his safety. There were a lot of racial tension back then as we knew not to go on the near NW side, in the Polish Ghetto, because some who had had been attacked. Now there are blacks living in near NW and whites living in near SE, which is healthy and means a lot of those racial tension have diminished.

I can remember once being on a school bus, no hyperbole, coming back to the SE side from being bused over to the west side for school. A car load of white kids was following the bus on the highway talking stuff and trying the throw things at the bus. They made the big mistake of following the bus off onto the Franklin Street exit from 131. As soon as we exited the freeway and stopped at the light they were right behind us and another car was right behind them. Our bus driver was ticked off, evidently, because he obliged the request of the goons in the back seat to unlock the rear emergency door. You can imagine what happened next. The car windows were broken out to extract the occupants and everyone aboard got a violent beat down....not your average beat down.....but an extremly violent beat down......including the one girl passenger who was in the car as well. I felt sorry for them but they brought it on themselves. Eveeryone scattered after that and walked the rest of the way home.

The one thing that stands out to me about GR, that looks like it has changed, is that it was one of the most racist places I have ever lived. I remember having a teacher tell us that he wished that they would send all the black people back to Africa. The amazing thing about that, that such remarks were so common that people did not even bother to report them, like they would today. In the restrooms in the West Side schools we got bussed to, the N word was all over the place and you could just look at people and tell they hated your guts.
 
Old 01-24-2012, 04:17 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,020,294 times
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One other comment I'd make: It's great that people grew up in GR of the 80s and 90s. I would however, caution anyone looking to move to GR that the GR of today is completely different than the GR of the 90s (or 80s).

For example, in the past 10 years the neighborhood surrounding Eastern and Diamond between Wealthy and Fulton has become quite "hot" for home buyers. So there's been a trend toward renovations, retail development on the main streets, and middle-class (or even upper-middle class) home buyers moving into the neighborhood. At the same time there's been a trend away from affordable housing for lower-income families. That's not saying one is better than the other, just to say anyone's opinion of living in that neighborhood based on the 1980s or 1990s is not going to be helpful to you in my opinion.
 
Old 01-24-2012, 07:21 AM
 
12,561 posts, read 7,621,430 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suydam View Post
One other comment I'd make: It's great that people grew up in GR of the 80s and 90s. I would however, caution anyone looking to move to GR that the GR of today is completely different than the GR of the 90s (or 80s).

For example, in the past 10 years the neighborhood surrounding Eastern and Diamond between Wealthy and Fulton has become quite "hot" for home buyers. So there's been a trend toward renovations, retail development on the main streets, and middle-class (or even upper-middle class) home buyers moving into the neighborhood. At the same time there's been a trend away from affordable housing for lower-income families. That's not saying one is better than the other, just to say anyone's opinion of living in that neighborhood based on the 1980s or 1990s is not going to be helpful to you in my opinion.
Although I understand your point, I do not think that it warrants embellishment via the inappropriate use of the adverb "Completely". Grand Rapids is not anywhere close to being “completely” different. Some former near SE side neighborhoods have experienced the return of the gentry, primarily areas north of Franklin and South of Fulton. That said, however, the city, overall, is more like it used to be than it is a complete change.

I think, projecting, that people were simply providing their experience and not basing it on here say or statistics. Their experience happens to come from the era that they experienced it. I think that it is implicit that no one has said that this is the way Grand Rapids is now, otherwise they would not have qualified their experience with a time frame in the past.

Last edited by Indentured Servant; 01-24-2012 at 08:00 AM..
 
Old 01-26-2012, 09:03 AM
 
Location: East Grand Rapids, MI
845 posts, read 3,020,294 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indentured Servant View Post
Although I understand your point, I do not think that it warrants embellishment via the inappropriate use of the adverb "Completely". Grand Rapids is not anywhere close to being “completely” different. Some former near SE side neighborhoods have experienced the return of the gentry, primarily areas north of Franklin and South of Fulton. That said, however, the city, overall, is more like it used to be than it is a complete change.

I think, projecting, that people were simply providing their experience and not basing it on here say or statistics. Their experience happens to come from the era that they experienced it. I think that it is implicit that no one has said that this is the way Grand Rapids is now, otherwise they would not have qualified their experience with a time frame in the past.
Fair enough. :-)
All good points.
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