has written 1 SperlingViews. Currently, Kevin is living in Ann Arbor, MI and has a little something to say:
|Life Stage:||Family with Children|
|Location:||Ann Arbor, MI|
|Occupation:||Education, Training, and Library|
|Email:||Contact Kevin via email|
Overrated Blue Collar Town Posted On: 3/4/2011 6:22:59 PM
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.