Grand Rapids, Michigan Comments

"Mid-West Town"

Mid-West Town - 10/22/2008
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Unemployment is out of control in this state

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Grand Rapids, MI

i got to go!!!!!! - 2/19/2016

grand rapids is cool been here 35 yrs and looking to relocate and start over

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Muskegon, MI

Mostly good, BUT.... - 2/12/2015

Lived in Grand Rapids 6 years (moved here for school and stayed for the job I got after graduating). For the most part, GR is great - when I first moved here I was absolutely in love. It's generally a very friendly and down-to-earth city, with a fair amount of culture and local activities (and many free downtown activities!). ArtPrize brings thousands of people in; great farmer's markets; several really nice museums; Van Andel Arena hosts great shows and hockey games; Frederik Meijer Gardens; outdoor ice skating downtown in the winter; neat old houses; distinct neighborhoods that each have their own "feel" and activities. Beer drinking is big here. And coffee. You do have to make a bit of an effort to discover what's going on, because things can be spread out, but if you just subscribe to the local newspaper or follow a few groups on Facebook it's not hard. Stuff I don't like: It's an extremely Christian city. If you're a strong Christian, you'll love it here. If not, you'll never really feel you belong. It's inescapable. I used to work at a coffee shop and people were hosting Bible study and singing regularly. That kind of thing. There's not a large variety of people. Most everyone can be classified as conservative Christians or liberal Christians/hipsters. If you don't like snow, you'll hate the weather. Summers in west Michigan CAN be beautiful, but know that as the temperature rises, so also does the humidity. The best way to experience Grand Rapids / West Michigan is on the Lake Michigan beach in the summer, or in a local brewery in the winter.

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Columbus, OH

Once was enough... - 10/27/2014

If you've never been to Grand Rapids, I can't say I suggest taking the effort to visit there unless your required to do so. After 15 minutes of arriving on a business trip, I was counting the minutes to my departure. One central theme dominates this entire region: God. Now, I've had the opportunity to travel to many corners of the globe, and have friends from many countries. What we have in Grand Rapids is more akin to a isolated bible camp that is hostile towards outsiders. It dominated every portion of my trip, from the bar, to the mall, to the Sunday drive. I was choked in bible stores, mini bibles in the office, prayer hands at the hotel room, I could go on. This hostility towards anything not conservative is obviously hurting the city both economically and demographically. No right minded college graduate would dream of staying in this region. Once was enough, and yes I made it out alive.

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joey D
Grand Rapids, MI

grand rapids . What Fun! - 12/14/2013

Hello, I recently moved to Grand Rapids from Detroit to live with my girlfriend who needed the financial help at the time. Now, being an artist from Detroit and also once living in New York, London and Philadelphia, I was hopeful to find a small yet interesting art scene. Wrong, the city is very very slow, un-stimulating and closed minded. And, I'm not comparing G.R. to the big city's I've lived in (well, maybe unconsciously). Although, I was truly looking for a small and humble scene and was very open to the smallest treasures. ZILCH ! My (now wife) and I have decided to find a real city with like minded, educated, creative young professionals like us to share the place with. I did come in with all the best intensions and truly searched for an interesting bar or gallery or....yeeesh anything. So, if you are thinking of moving here and you love factory work, mega churches, no urban community participation, low residential education levels, and no original art or music then come on down. Did I mention the lake effect weather .. No? I think I've said enough. God bless. Joey Matrone

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Grand Rapids, MI

<3 - 8/5/2013

Love this town

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Grand Rapids, MI

heath care growth - 5/19/2013

Health care and health jobs are growing in this area with the expansion of "medical mile".

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Pittsburgh, PA

Clean, Beautiful, and Friendly - 4/8/2013

I have lived in Grand Rapids for four years. Grand Rapids is the most friendly, clean, and beautiful city I have ever lived (compared to Pittsburgh,PA and Nashville TN). Grand rapids is covered with beautiful art, from sculptures to paintings to live performances that occur constantly in the city center where a large outdoor open auditorium is located. There are hidden lakes and trails through out the city which is interesting because even if you live there for years you will continue to find new natural beauty at your doorstep. The air is clean and always either smells fresh and crisp or of food that is being prepared at any of the amazing restaurants and breweries located through out the city. The community has established several amazing farmers markets where the best quality local produce and meats can be purchased. While living there you get a sense that you are a part of the community and that everyone who lives there makes it a better place in their own way. Grands Rapids has a vast and effective recycling program! While living there I was able to recycle 2/3 of all my garbage at no extra cost or effort to myself; their recycling trucks arrive every other week to collect the contents of my city provided recycling dumpster. I recently moved to Pittsburgh, PA for work and currently live there (1year) and am very happy to say that I recently found a new much higher paying job as a medical technologist back in Grand Rapids and am heading back at the end of this month. If your looking for a healthy clean and beautiful place to live out your days then give the great city of grand rapids a shot, you will be very pleasantly surprised.

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Richland, MI

Beautiful natural areas/clean city/DELICIOUS BEER - 3/12/2013

Having not grown up in Grand Rapids, I knew very little about the area when I first moved there for college. I was blown away. May through October, Grand Rapids is wonderful. It is within a 45 minute drive to either of the beautiful beaches at Holland or Grand Haven. The Meijer Gardens are unparalleled in their scope of art or quality of greenspace in the state and arguably the midwest. Downtown is very clean and has a nice park with a bandshell in the heart of the city that offers great concerts in the summer and ice skating in the winter. a decent number of restaurants that offer outdoor seating and patio space. The new downtown urban market (opens this spring) will be a year round contribution to the city which will hopefully be similar to Pike Place Market in Seattle. Artprize in the fall is a brainchild of Grand Rapids and is one of a kind in scope and in the number of differing mediums of art. Quite the experienced! The city recently tied for the title of Beer City USA. It is well deserved. To a beer lover, there is no dispute that this area is a paradise and a mecca for amazing craft. Founders, Vivant, Hopcat, Perrin, The BOB, Grand Rapids Brewing Co, Harmony, and Hideout. Not to mention New Holland in Holland and two other micro breweries coming to Muskegon later this year. If you love good beer, you will be happy here. That being said, winter in the area is cold and very snowy with not much to do in terms of outdoor activities. Also, the job market is not the best which means I will probably have to move away after I graduate this August.

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Grand Rapids, MI

Great Place for families - 12/2/2012

Having lived and raised a family in Lansing, Mi and the Detroit area I was delighted to have the opportunity to move to the "West coast" of Michigan. After 14 years I can readily say that, for family life, the Grand Rapids area is undoubtedly the best place in Michigan and a contender for the best in the country. A blend of the best of both worlds, city and small town, Grand Rapids offers a friendliness that can be found in no other comparable city and availability of arts, sports and intellectual stimulation only expected in a cosmopolitan area. All this combines with an area where you can drive from downtown to countryside in 15 minutes or less or to the beaches of Lake Michigan in under an hour. Schools vary among districts but there is affordable housing in the best districts and good education to be found with committed teachers and staff in more affordable neighborhoods and suburbs. In addition to all this the excitement of Chicago is available for a day trip or weekend visit by a 3 hour drive or by train on Amtrack. The only negative, if you really dislike cold weather stay out of Michigan. But, if you enjoy cold weather events, there is no better place than Michigan to enjoy all four seasons and the changes from one to the next.

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Grand Rapids, MI

West Michigan - 3/6/2012

I love Grand Rapids, MI and West MI in general. It's beautiful, low crime (for the most part) and Grand Rapids has a lot of appeal due to cultural opportunities. However and unfortunately, the economy is not good! I feel that it is time for a move. If it weren't for the job situation, I wouldn't move because I do like it here.

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Ada, MI

Grand Rapids Area - 5/10/2011

Though you hear lots of negitive about Michigan in general, the Grand Rapids area though is an area of in my mind growth. I have never needed more than two copies of my resume to find a job in this town. Even my son who moved from Columbus (when the factory he worked at closed), found a job right away. Michael

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Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids (Too Conservative, Not Diverse Enough - 4/28/2011

Grand Rapids is a very strange, conservative, and slightly backwards city. Although the downtown is becoming a little more vibrant than its ever been, the area's quality of life is not all that great. The people here are friendly, but however a lot of them seem to be very close- minded. The city is fairly diverse, but its so segregated, and the metro area isn't exactly the most diverse place. Also if your minority, especially being a middle class African American like myself, there is not a whole lot of opportunities here. So if your cheap, extra conservative in politics, overly religious, or Dutch, then Grand Rapids is the city for you !!

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Ann Arbor, MI

Overrated Blue Collar Town - 3/4/2011

Grand Rapids owes its "resurgence" if you wish to term it that, to the Devos family who for the most part has provided the funds for making the city look halfway decent by erecting various buildings and funding improvements. Economically, the city is stagnant with shrinking population and a very narrow band of economic growth, particularly in health care. Demographically the city has a very low rate of educated residents for its size, also making it an undesirable place for larger firms and more educated residents. The feel of the city is very blue collar, as a large percentage of the population is employed in the service industry, or small parts manufacture for various industries. The city has taken blows recently with the closure of large manufacturing plants with GM and other companies. Grand Rapids is extremely conservative and the population is largely very religious, as mega churches are a common sight in the urban belt. Culturally, the area (even for the Midwest) is rather bland with only minimal options to choose from, including a few musical halls and botanical gardens. It is my experience that the residents are mostly singular and very closed minded, most believe that they are living in the best place on earth (and most have never stepped foot outside of Grand Rapids proper). Many people who live on the west side of Michigan have the delusional (another poster mentioned this) thinking that it is far better than another other location in Michigan. Although all one has to do is consult the latest date to find that west Michigan has historically always had the highest rate in Michigan. Having traveled extensively in the Midwest as well as the US, if your looking for a mid-sized city that offers a large array of cultural opportunities, educated residents and a good balance of life...i would stay clear of Grand Rapids. Ann Arbor, Madison, WI, Pittsburgh, or Minneapolis are far better options. Now, if you are an ultra conservative, or enjoy a gritty blue collar urban area, Grand Rapids will become more appealing.

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Grand Rapids, MI

tough economy - 7/1/2010

tough economy

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Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids - 6/18/2010

I have lived in most areas of this city. I have enjoyed most. Good,bad who knows, I'm blinded by time. I've been here off and on for most of 35 years.

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Grand Rapids, MI

A gem in a troubled state - 10/4/2009

The economic troubles of Michigan and, in particular Detroit, tend to overwhelm non-Michiganders. Yet the "west coast" is comparatively free from all the ills that stereotypically damage Michigan. Grand Rapids is the vibrant capital of west Michigan and its renown as "a great place to raise a family" is well-deserved. Now that may be damning it with faint praise to the younger single set. Yet the cost of living, the vibrant downtown, a diversified economy including a rapidly healthcare expansion, and the burgeoning arts community, not to mention the amount of private investment in the city from major corporations make this city a gem to explore.

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Grand Rapids, MI

Grand Rapids is an ever increasing cool place cult - 9/29/2009

I have lived in Grand Rapids for 11 years now. I always thought is was just an average city in an average state, until now. I have grown to love and appreciate and be very impressed by my city. We have an event going on for a couple of weeks which is the coolest thing I've ever seen, and I am not even that big of an art officianado. It's called ARTPRIZE ( and it is making our downtown area a thriving, bustling, exciting, fun atmosphere. It felt like we were in Manhattan but a little cleaner, safer, and a perfect temperature! (last time we were in New York we melted for days in 95 degree heat). Grand Rapids is only going to grow, improve, and attract more people. The outlook is very bright, as compared to Detroit especially. Grand Rapids doesn not depend nearly as much on the auto industry. The "Medical Mile" has been underconstruction and is close to being ready if not all ready up and running on a new Michigan State School of Human Medicine, and the VanAndel Medical research facility. Grand Rapids has the perfect blend of attracting new industry, great culture (museums, shows, thriving downtown, ARTPRIZE, etc), affordable housing, innovative schools, industrious and friendly people, and a perfect blend of all 4 seasons, except sometimes winter just seems a little long. But that makes us appreciate spring, summer and fall so much! And they are beautiful, green, and colorful! And we have no earthquakes, hurricanes, etc. The worst we have is an occasional blizzard which makes us shut everything down and cozy up to the fire at home. Bummer. Maybe I shouldn't be telling you these things, it's pretty much an unknown secret haven, maybe we don't want people coming here in droves. We like it just the way it is.

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Byron Center, MI

Grand Rapids is taking off - 7/13/2009

Grand Rapids is host to numerous locally owned restaurants and businesses starting. Despite Michigan's terrible economy, GR is a little bit of a bright spot. If you can survive the winters, you can make it here. Summer and fall are gorgeous with heaps of trails, biking, and art activities to keep you busy!

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Comstock Park, MI

Love my hometown, hate our economy - 6/26/2009

Here are some negatives and positives about Grand Rapids: Negatives: -Employment is hard to come by, the job market is flooded with qualified people that are willing to take any job to make money, so employers can be picky. -Grand Rapids Public Schools are in horrible shape. We have a high drop out rate, many teachers just do not care about the students, and honestly-- gangs, drugs, and violence are a real problem on top of the poor teaching. -The weather isn't that great. Winters are harsh. Wear a really good coat, and be prepared to drive in snowy, icy conditions a LOT... -Michigan roads are to potholes and Florida is to's where all the potholes across the US go to retire. Positives -Grand Rapids has a beautiful downtown. New Art Museum, and a great place for anything medical. We have medical mile right downtown, which is filled with hospitals and nursing schools. -We're close to Lake Michigan (about 45 min away). -Summers are nice. -Good churches.

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Grand Rapids, MI

Great place for the Arts! - 6/19/2009

Grand Rapids has traditionally fostered the arts, with a wonderful ballet company, symphony, opera company, and several theater and music options. Now we have the brand new Grand Rapids Art Museum, a gorgeous (and green) home for a great collection and a venue for many fantastic exhibits. We also have Frederick Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park, which truly has something for everybody, whether it's the children's garden, the indoor or outdoor gardens, the temporary art exhibits, or their ever-expanding outdoor sculpture collection. This attraction is definitely worth a full day's visit. The first full weekend in June is the Festival of the Arts, now simply called "Festival" by the locals, that showcases local performing and visual talent in free venues. The food is attraction enough, but there are many great kids' activities, too! Later in the summer is Celebration on the Grand, which is a music festival that culminates in a fireworks show above the Grand River. Coming soon is an international competition called Art Prize. The winner receives $250,000, so the competition will be fierce!

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States with the Best Air Quality

West Virginia
South Dakota
Rhode Island