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Old 01-18-2013, 06:45 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
31 posts, read 56,193 times
Reputation: 40

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Hello!

I am looking at a few jobs in Grand Rapids. I don't know much about the area, but from what I've been reading, it appears to be a rather diverse, cultured, medium sized city. I currently live in Chicago, and while I love the cultural advantages of the place, the size and the cost of living have become overwhelming, and I'm ready for a change of scenery.

I grew up in a conservative, religious small town in PA, that was completely void of creative or original thought - so I'm always attempting to avoid that type of place when I consider relocating. Here are some of the things I look for in cities:

Arts Scene: I am a photographer, so a solid arts scene is important. A good art scene also attracts a certain type of person, of which I tend to befriend.
Music Scene: I love going to shows, of all kinds.
Food: I like all kinds of ethnic foods, and access to good local coffee and beer and farmers markets.
Nature This is pretty self explanatory. Grand Rapids is in a beautiful place, so access to being outside will not be a problem! Within the city, are there lots of parks and trails, ect?
Diversity It appears from the demographics that GR is rather diverse.
Progressive thinking I am not one who will move to a place for the sole reason that it is known to be liberal, but I could never live in a predominately conservative community again. Been there, done that. I do understand from a friend who grew up in grand rapids that there is a strong conservative dutch population, but he said overall, it is becoming more open minded.

I'd love to hear thoughts on Grand Rapids and the above stated info I mentioned.

Thanks!
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Old 01-18-2013, 08:20 AM
 
56 posts, read 85,779 times
Reputation: 48
First, stay close to the center of town. You'll find downtown and uptown (which are the nieghborhoods east of downtown) have all the interesting nightlife, restaurants, art galleries, and live music venues. They're also the most progressive neighborhoods too.

While I think people tend to blow the "Dutch Conservative" influence out of proportion, it's still there, especially in the suburbs. I don't mean to generalize "the suburbs" as a single body, because they're each different, but it'd be better for you to see for yourself how they're different rather than try to explain it to you. You can be happy and progressive in GR, especially inside the city limits. There are plenty of progressive groups to get involved with. But a word of warning: having Justin Amash as your congressman will infuriate you, and it's very unlikely the district will be represented by a Democrat anytime soon.

There are some good parks and bike trails, most notably Millennium Park, which is difficult to reach on foot from downtown, but easy to bike or drive to.

If you know anyone in GR, I'd highly recommend coming for a visit and touring the area.
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Old 01-19-2013, 09:41 PM
 
Location: west mich
5,739 posts, read 6,049,105 times
Reputation: 2120
Lots to respond to but here's one item. Wednesdays, summertime, downtown, blues headliners, free.


Tommy Castro Blues on the Mall short for youtube (2).wmv - YouTube

There is an art scene. More later.

Millennium park has acres of bike trails.


Summer bike ride through Millenium Park - YouTube

Millennium Park TerraTrike Ride - YouTube

Some pdf trail maps.
accessKent | Kent County Millennium Park
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:44 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
31 posts, read 56,193 times
Reputation: 40
Looks like a cool festival! In the city, are apartments relatively affordable?
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Old 01-20-2013, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,757,790 times
Reputation: 3838
Quote:
Originally Posted by mporter1984 View Post
Looks like a cool festival! In the city, are apartments relatively affordable?

Compared to Chicago, definitely. Downtown prices are a little higher than comparative apartments in Eastown and Heritage Hill.
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Old 01-21-2013, 12:20 PM
 
1,210 posts, read 2,738,256 times
Reputation: 641
Quote:
Originally Posted by mporter1984 View Post
Hello!

I am looking at a few jobs in Grand Rapids. I don't know much about the area, but from what I've been reading, it appears to be a rather diverse, cultured, medium sized city. I currently live in Chicago, and while I love the cultural advantages of the place, the size and the cost of living have become overwhelming, and I'm ready for a change of scenery.

I grew up in a conservative, religious small town in PA, that was completely void of creative or original thought - so I'm always attempting to avoid that type of place when I consider relocating. Here are some of the things I look for in cities:

Arts Scene: I am a photographer, so a solid arts scene is important. A good art scene also attracts a certain type of person, of which I tend to befriend.
Music Scene: I love going to shows, of all kinds.
Food: I like all kinds of ethnic foods, and access to good local coffee and beer and farmers markets.
Nature This is pretty self explanatory. Grand Rapids is in a beautiful place, so access to being outside will not be a problem! Within the city, are there lots of parks and trails, ect?
Diversity It appears from the demographics that GR is rather diverse.
Progressive thinking I am not one who will move to a place for the sole reason that it is known to be liberal, but I could never live in a predominately conservative community again. Been there, done that. I do understand from a friend who grew up in grand rapids that there is a strong conservative dutch population, but he said overall, it is becoming more open minded.

I'd love to hear thoughts on Grand Rapids and the above stated info I mentioned.

Thanks!

As a Chicago native/current resident I think you'll like GR just fine. Good arts/music scene for a city of it's size. Some ethnic food choices (though don't get your hopes too high). Grand Rapids is most certainly still conservative in a lot of ways, but probably not as bad as you would think. It's a good balance.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:08 AM
 
1,648 posts, read 2,746,739 times
Reputation: 1438
You say you want tolerance and despise hate, but if someone doesn't agree with everything you say, you call it intolerance and hate and devoid of creative or original thought. Explain to me how that works again =)
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
31 posts, read 56,193 times
Reputation: 40
Belleislerunner - I think you may have posted on the wrong thread.

Cheers.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:25 AM
 
1,648 posts, read 2,746,739 times
Reputation: 1438
I was responding to this statement - "I grew up in a conservative, religious small town in PA, that was completely void of creative or original thought - so I'm always attempting to avoid that type of place when I consider relocating".

My point - was that comes across as very judgmental and narrow minded - not as if you're more enlightened than that.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:29 AM
 
Location: Chicago, IL
31 posts, read 56,193 times
Reputation: 40
Are you from Grand Rapids?
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