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Old 03-22-2009, 09:35 PM
 
Location: Huntington Woods, MI
1,742 posts, read 3,551,777 times
Reputation: 683

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My story goes i was born and raised in Detroit till my parents moved me in 1999 to go to high school in Roscommon. That was the most horrible thing they could've ever done to me. I just moved back to Harper Woods this past month temporarily. I'm looking to land a permanent management position in my company in Grand Rapids. I need to live in a big city. I cannot handle the small town. I'm 24 years old and single. I like the Detroit area, but it seems to have changed the past 10 years. The segregation is even worse than before. I'm looking for an area that offers a lot to do for a young single male. I visited Grand Rapids in 2007 with my cousins and went to the Gerald Ford Museum. I was somewhat impressed with the downtown. It seemed the complete opposite of Detroit. There actually seemed to be activity in the downtown. Even though Grand Rapids in population is much smaller than Detroit right now, i get the feel that it seems more like a big city than Detroit. Like people actually wanted to be downtown. Is this accurate? is there a lot to do in Grand Rapids? I understand in any larger city there will be crime. The crime data seems to indicate that Grand Rapids is nowhere near the level of Detroit or Flint, but still slightly elevated. My plans are to rent for awhile. I also enjoy driving so a lack of public transportation or long commutes is no issue. I also like the fact of being about halfway between Chicago and Detroit in case i need a big city fix. The one negative is had intentions of buying Tigers season tickets and like to attend Piston, Red Wings, Lions and Tigers games regularly.
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Old 03-23-2009, 08:23 AM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
8,264 posts, read 16,869,173 times
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It's not major city levels of entertainment and probably never will be, but there are a good number of things to do in GR. Van Andel Arena is a pretty regular stop on most concert tours of areans that seat 10-15K people, and also hosts the Griffins for AAA minor league hockey. (see the future stars of the Red Wings for a really cheap price) The West Michigan Whitecaps are only an A level team, but can satisfy the jones for pro baseball and a couple of beers.

The downtown area has seen many major development and redevelopment projects in recent years and there are another $700 million worth of downtown projects in the planning and construction process right now, even with the economy as it is.

Cost of living is pretty reasonable, and it's not too far from either Chicago or Detroit for the needs you can't meet locally. If you can come with firm job offer in hand, it's a fairly good place to live and in better shape than much of the Midwest right now. However for a 20something I'd stick with GR proper and the close in suburbs (Kentwood, East Grand Rapids, Wyoming, maybe Plainfield Township) since the surrounding areas can get a little too ethnically homogenous and bland for my taste.
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Old 03-23-2009, 01:31 PM
 
Location: Huntington Woods, MI
1,742 posts, read 3,551,777 times
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I may reserve a hotel near downtown for a weekend and tour the city. When my training is up, I'll have a choice of either Detroit, Grand Rapids, or Chicago. Each pays the same salary and I have all but ruled out Chicago. Cost of living seems too high and it's farther away from Detroit which I would plan to travel to often.
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:20 AM
 
484 posts, read 1,107,397 times
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Default Come to GR!

I think GR will meet your needs. GVSU, a university of about 15,000, helps keep the downtown area full of smart, attractive people your age. More and more tech-type jobs are moving into the area with the completion of the Medical Mile, which will probably mean a suitable supply of hip, upscale nightlife. Housing prices are much better than you will find in Detroit, and definitely Chicago. A study recently named the GR area the 5th most affordable area in the COUNTRY. That is, more people can actually afford the place they live on the salary they make (spending less than 31% of their income on housing expenses). You could easily buy a house in a decent neighborhood for much less than what you would pay rent on a Chicago apartment.

Someone else already mentioned the Griffins and seeing the future stars of the Red Wings. I'd thrown in that we also get treated to seeing many current stars as well. Players returning from injury or just need a few more practice slap shots regularly make an appearance here before heading back to Detroit. And when I say getting to see this kind of action for cheap, I mean $10 gets you a ticket in shouting range of players.

Do you like beer? Founders Brewery is located in downtown GR and has just been named the 7th best brewery in the nation. Hopcat, a relatively new trendy tap house, has been named the 3rd best beer bar in the nation. You can have a great night out on the town here for the price of what it would cost you to just get in the door of a club or two in Chicago. When in town for a weekend, just follow the groups of college folks heading to Ionia Avenue.

If you like the outdoors, we are 30 minutes from Lake Michigan. Grand Haven is a cool little town that has the type of beach scene found on either coast (guys parasailing, jetskiing, girls in bikinis rollerskating down the boardwalk). We can actually swim in the water on this side of the state.

Best of all, we have an Amtrak train that makes a daily trip to and from Chicago. For about $60, you can leave your house at 7AM and be in the Loop by 11AM Chicago time, and catch the return train later that night (~5:30pm Chicago time) or whenever.
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Old 03-27-2009, 05:35 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,633,576 times
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Quote:
the surrounding areas can get a little too ethnically homogenous and bland for my taste.
I hate superficial, elitist comments like these. No different than saying "I don't want to live in the inner city because there's black people there." Let's not dismiss geographic regions based upon something as superficial as skin color. Even if that skin color happens to be white.
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Old 03-27-2009, 08:40 AM
 
316 posts, read 1,082,243 times
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I'd try Chicago. Where have you looked in the city? There are 70 neighborhoods and not all of them are super expensive! My friends live in Bucktown and pay about 800 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment. In GR you might find it cheaper, but you can't compare to the opportunities and things to do of Chicago. You also will never see anyone worried about what religion you are, color you are, or anything of that nature. You might, but it is rare. In western Michigan, a conservative area, you have a better chance of that happening, even though it is smaller. Heck, just check out the helpfull comments so far and you can already see people having their mindset.
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Old 03-27-2009, 09:56 AM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,872 posts, read 17,766,422 times
Reputation: 3838
Quote:
Originally Posted by deslok View Post
I'd try Chicago. Where have you looked in the city? There are 70 neighborhoods and not all of them are super expensive! My friends live in Bucktown and pay about 800 a month for a 1 bedroom apartment. In GR you might find it cheaper, but you can't compare to the opportunities and things to do of Chicago. You also will never see anyone worried about what religion you are, color you are, or anything of that nature. You might, but it is rare. In western Michigan, a conservative area, you have a better chance of that happening, even though it is smaller. Heck, just check out the helpfull comments so far and you can already see people having their mindset.
Uhh, I think we know who has their mind made up on this forum.

The extreme views on both sides of this argument are getting a bit old.
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Old 03-28-2009, 02:53 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
8,264 posts, read 16,869,173 times
Reputation: 8987
Quote:
Originally Posted by michigan83 View Post
I hate superficial, elitist comments like these. No different than saying "I don't want to live in the inner city because there's black people there." Let's not dismiss geographic regions based upon something as superficial as skin color. Even if that skin color happens to be white.
I'm white, Catholic and my maiden name was decidedly Polish. If I'd stayed in the area, I definitely would have stayed out of the 'If you ain't Dutch (CRC), you ain't much' suburb areas like Hussonville, Zeeland, and Cutlerville because there are a lot of people who still buy into the old phrase.
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:52 AM
 
447 posts, read 1,123,660 times
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Based on your statement that the job pays the same in each of the three cities, your "real" income will be much larger in GR based on cost of living.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:03 PM
 
1 posts, read 2,980 times
Reputation: 10
Default Grand Rapids not for me.

Don't come to GR. There is nothing to do here.
I am a 33 years old.
I was born in NYC and then moved to GR when I was 4 years old. So, I have lived in GR practically all my life except for 4 years of college at EMU in Ypsi.
I wish I would have stayed on the East side of the state, but I missed my family too much and came back after graduation.
I enjoyed living in the Ann Arbor/Ypsi area and having the big city 30mins or so away.

Here's my Pros and Cons of GR in comparison to Detroit and surrounding suburbs:
(Please be advised this is based on my likes and dislikes)

Travel
Pro: In between Chicago and Detroit when you need to escape which will be frequently especially in the winter.
Con: Airfare is more expensive from GR. Flying out of DTW will save you money but you will have to drive 2hrs from GR to get there.

Restaurants
Pro: GR is up and coming but not quite there yet.
Con: Not enough diversity, options, or vegetarian places.

Shopping
Pro: It's ok.
Con: No Ikea, Great Lakes Crossing, Somerset, Whole Foods, Trader Joe, or Joe Randazzo's.

Music, Entertainment, and Radio Stations
Pro: Depending on what you like...not many options.
Con: Festivals are not like the ones on the east...much much smaller or don't exist. As far as radio stations there is no V98.7, 92.3, 97.9, 105.9 and definitely no Gospel station. Thank God for XM radio.

Weather
Pro: If you like snow come to GR.
Con: It snows more in GR then in Detroit.


Basically I feel that there is not much to do for single young adults in Grand Rapids. Most of the young people I know want to leave. The main reasons are to escape the winter, nothing to do and not much in dating options.

Hope this helps.
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