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Old 11-06-2009, 06:57 AM
 
47,531 posts, read 62,149,713 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by danielj72 View Post
Better stick to GR proper if your looking for any liberal progressive type atmosphere. ( and you will find only a little of it there) Small town Michigan is not very tolerant of liberalism. Just to give you a hint of what the local culture is like up here, many of the schools have the deer season opener off for the day. Everyone drives a chevy pickup and no one belongs to the sierra club. Dont let the election of 08 fool you, the only reason Michigan is considered blue is ONE very populated county (wayne) that votes nearly 100% socialist every election. Outside of that area very few areas of Michigan are progressive or liberal at all. Those who do vote dem only do it because they are union members, but NOT liberals. Much of the state is as redneck as any down south. If your liberalism is that important too you, maybe you should reconsider Ann Arbor.
Or Detroit. Why is it that liberals/socialists succeed in shaping some city to their ideals and then want out of it? It's so funny to see people leaving liberal regions and commenting about an area they're considering being too conservative -- but you don't see people leaving the more conservative areas trying to move into a more liberal/socialist one.
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Old 11-06-2009, 04:22 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
8,870 posts, read 17,739,660 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malamute View Post
Or Detroit. Why is it that liberals/socialists succeed in shaping some city to their ideals and then want out of it? It's so funny to see people leaving liberal regions and commenting about an area they're considering being too conservative -- but you don't see people leaving the more conservative areas trying to move into a more liberal/socialist one.

Uhhh, people are not flocking to areas that are definitively "liberal" or "conservative." Salt Lake City and Phoenix are rapidly growing (conservative), but so are Portland and Minneapolis (liberal). Some of the most sought after (expensive) real estate in the country is definitively liberal (Seattle, San Francisco, Greenwich Village, Boulder, etc.). Detroit is hardly liberal or progressive.

Here's a good question: why do ultra conservatives have this urge not to live near anyone else (way out in the exurbs in the middle of the woods)? Do they not like people, or vice versa? Get along better with squirrels and raccoons?
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Old 11-06-2009, 05:59 PM
 
Location: IN
21,316 posts, read 37,197,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magellan View Post
Uhhh, people are not flocking to areas that are definitively "liberal" or "conservative." Salt Lake City and Phoenix are rapidly growing (conservative), but so are Portland and Minneapolis (liberal). Some of the most sought after (expensive) real estate in the country is definitively liberal (Seattle, San Francisco, Greenwich Village, Boulder, etc.). Detroit is hardly liberal or progressive.

Here's a good question: why do ultra conservatives have this urge not to live near anyone else (way out in the exurbs in the middle of the woods)? Do they not like people, or vice versa? Get along better with squirrels and raccoons?
Well, generalizations don't always portray the reality. I lived in a larger metro area for most of my life and am quite content living in a rural area in the woods close to a medium sized town that has quite a few amenities. People who live in the woods of NH are of all political leanings based on my experience.
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Old 11-06-2009, 07:56 PM
 
Location: Grand Rapids Metro
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GraniteStater View Post
Well, generalizations don't always portray the reality. I lived in a larger metro area for most of my life and am quite content living in a rural area in the woods close to a medium sized town that has quite a few amenities. People who live in the woods of NH are of all political leanings based on my experience.
I was only returning one generalization with another.
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Old 11-06-2009, 08:58 PM
 
9 posts, read 19,966 times
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Question Comparison of Towns?

Thank all for the interesting locations. I've listed the towns that were mentioned below (with distances when I wasn't sure about that) and would be most grateful for your comparisons and suggestions.

Here is some more about us that may help:

Based on a lot of reading, much of it on these forums, we had assumed we would want to be near Ann Arbor and accessible to the Detroit area but also in reach of lakes and woods. We thought maybe Royal Oak would be it. But when we visited Royal Oak, although we enjoyed the ethnic restaurants, we felt ... constricted. The buildings seemed too close together and the thought of exploring all those connected towns somehow seemed tiring rather than exciting. We liked Ann Arbor but the realtor flatly told us we couldn't afford it. Also having been around big Universities I'm afraid that many of the people will be very dedicated to their important research and not necessarily into inviting the neighbors over for a barbeque.

We were surprized how much we liked Grand Rapids (never having read much about it in the "best cities" lists) and realized that within about an hour we could get to towns with universities and their cultural activities (Lansing and Kalamazoo -- too bad Ann Arbor isn't there too) and the Michigan beaches and parks and the resort towns all the way from South Haven through Saugatuck, Holland, Grand Haven and even up to the Muskegan area and Hoffmaster State Park. Exploring those seemed exciting and like a permanent vacation for our retirement. It seems more relaxing and more fun than contending with the Detroit area. We really enjoyed a stop in Saugatuck -- it didn't seem as tackily touristic as I feared.


We would love to wake up early and sit on our deck watching the view of the mists rising off the lake/pond/stream behind our house and enjoying the woods and the wildlife.


We would like to live in or on the outskirts of a smaller community where we could visit little shops and make friends with our neighbors (taking into account that I am white and my husband is black -- we don't necessarily need a black community, we don't have one now in the college town where we both teach -- but we certainly don't want to encounter the threat of active racism or passive exclusion).


We would like to be near a larger area where we could enjoy ethnic restaurants, theatre, dance, music, art galleries and interesting little shops, and yes we are (not very active) members of the Sierra Club and the Unitarian Church.


On the list below I have a feeling that Newaygo and Hastings and maybe Allegan may be getting a bit too remote. I had assumed that we couldn't afford the lake towns but am intrigued by the possiblility mentioned of Grand Haven and Spring Lake. I'm adding Rockford and Lake Doster. Certainly feel free to add others.


This is such a life-changing decision. Thank you so much for your help!!! Can anyone compare them or characterize them for us?


Rockford:


Lake Doster:


Grand Haven:


Spring Lake:


Holland:


Saugatuck/Douglas:


Lowell: (to Grand Rapids 28 mins; to Saugatuck 1 hour 2 mins)


Allegan: (to Grand Rapids 47 mins; to Saugatuck 42 mins; to Kalamazoo 34 mins)


Hastings: (to Grand Rapids 55 mins; toSaugatuck 1 hour 19 mins)


Newaygo: (to Grand Rapids 59 mins; toSaugatuck 1 hour 35 mins; to Grand Haven 1 hour 6 mins )
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Old 11-07-2009, 12:51 PM
 
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Check out the area between Saugatuck and South Haven. You probably want to be within about 10 miles of Lake Michigan. You would be near the Allegan Forest, the two best Lake Michigan beach towns, 1 hour from GR, and 2 hours from Chicago.
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Old 11-09-2009, 10:12 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
3,095 posts, read 5,623,135 times
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Quote:
Lake Doster:


If anyone else is confused by this (as I was), Lake Doster is between Plainwell and Richland, off of M-89. It's not actually a town.

I was surprised that the OP had somehow found a town in West Michigan that I'd never heard of!! Thankfully (for my pride's sake), it's more of an "area" than an actual village. Phew! I had to Google it, for crying out loud. Shameful.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:47 AM
 
484 posts, read 1,105,857 times
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I think you two would really like Grand Haven. You might also like Saugatuck...or Big Rapids?

Allow me to be a little blunt about race up here as a person of color: I personally wouldn't consider moving to some of the towns you listed. I've been to most of them and while you'll definitely find the people to be mostly friendly to you as visitors...I don't know if some of them would welcome you as neighbors. Some areas around here are not fond of differences in color, religion, or political persuasion. By all means though, I encourage you and your husband to travel and see these communities for yourselves.
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Old 11-12-2009, 10:58 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
12,371 posts, read 8,042,420 times
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I live near Rockford and I'm also very liberal. I love that town for it's beauty, friendly people and all their summer events and activities. It's also very close to Grand Rapids and it's not a bad drive to Lake Michigan. It's got great access to the biking trails.

We visit Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Saugatuck/Douglas, Hasting and Allegan often. They all have features that are great but I wouldn't call Hasting or Allegan a very good place for liberals to live. If you are the type to be put off by living with a high proportion of gays, you also won't like Saugatuck/Douglas. Grand Haven and Spring Lake are typical tourist towns...lot of summer activities, lots of people from all social economical level.
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Old 11-12-2009, 11:00 AM
 
484 posts, read 1,105,857 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluemoon128 View Post
Can anyone compare them or characterize them for us?


Rockford: Decent community. A fair number of well educated folks.


Lake Doster: Never heard of it


Grand Haven: Very nice. Go in the summer and you won't want to leave. You'll find a lot of people in your situation (retired but lively)


Spring Lake: Smaller...family version of Grand Haven.


Holland: It's interesting to see the changes in this community. Cool place. Hope College is there and while a Christian Reformed college, is not adverse to most new ideas.


Saugatuck/Douglas: Cool area. Very artsy. Pretty diverse.


Lowell: (to Grand Rapids 28 mins; to Saugatuck 1 hour 2 mins) - If you thought Kalamazoo was dead, this is what dead looks like with no college or large employer around.


Allegan: (to Grand Rapids 47 mins; to Saugatuck 42 mins; to Kalamazoo 34 mins) - No


Hastings: (to Grand Rapids 55 mins; toSaugatuck 1 hour 19 mins) - No


Newaygo: (to Grand Rapids 59 mins; toSaugatuck 1 hour 35 mins; to Grand Haven 1 hour 6 mins )
- No
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