Grand Rapids; a good place to live?

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Since: Feb 10

Grand Rapids, MI

#1 Mar 28, 2012
There is a possibility that I may have the opportunity to move to the GR area. Is it a good place to live? Good schools and good family place? Or if you had the option would you get out if you could and never look back?

I realize that every place has it's good and bad points and that a lot of it has to do with what one makes of it, but beyond that some places are perfect for those who hate the city, or enjoy the theatre. So who really enjoys GR and who doesn't?
No way

Grand Rapids, MI

#2 Mar 28, 2012
Moved here about 4 years ago from Central California. Not a very nice town, I can understand why they coninually lose population. This town tries to come across as midsized and friendly but it is neither. Horrible public transportation and from what I've witnessed, unhappy people with bad attitudes, so very unlike the west coast. Weather is ridiculous, cold in the winter and humid and hot in the summer save for a few days in the spring and fall. This area is very conservative which you may or may not like but the consequences of this means there is not a very good atmosphere for younger people like me, again very unlike where I came from. The conservative attitude seems to drive away all the young people and keeps recent college grads from moving here, hence the diminishing population. If you do move here dont make the mistake I made and move to Kentwood, it's horrible and crime ridden. I had to pay to get out of my lease so I could move out of that stink hole. I moved downtown and thought it would be great but it's pretty quiet down here and the restaurants/night life is below average. I guess this place would be ok if you wanted to raise a family but my overall opinion is that it's boring and unfriendly.
Native of the area

Mount Pleasant, MI

#3 Mar 28, 2012
Have lived in the area my entire life, except for a stint in the service in the 60's. If you want a nite life or something other than a conservative lifestyle, you might consider another destination. Unless you are a DeVos, Meijer, or VanAndel, or can get close enough to kiss their @$$, no mater what, you and your opinion, will be dismissed. I struggle to make a living in my small business and refuse to deal with the tight bunned church ladies who walk by and smirk at items in my store, just because I don;t attend their services on Sunday. They are always welcome to come in and have a conversation, just look around, but chose to literally put their noses in the air and walk on. I guess I should restate my second sentence, "Don't move here, run to any other progressive destination".
The Stuff

Byron Center, MI

#4 Mar 28, 2012
Native of the area wrote:
Have lived in the area my entire life, except for a stint in the service in the 60's. If you want a nite life or something other than a conservative lifestyle, you might consider another destination. Unless you are a DeVos, Meijer, or VanAndel, or can get close enough to kiss their @$$, no mater what, you and your opinion, will be dismissed. I struggle to make a living in my small business and refuse to deal with the tight bunned church ladies who walk by and smirk at items in my store, just because I don;t attend their services on Sunday. They are always welcome to come in and have a conversation, just look around, but chose to literally put their noses in the air and walk on. I guess I should restate my second sentence, "Don't move here, run to any other progressive destination".
Hey buddy, don't let those "tight bunned" church ladies fool you. Those Christian Reformed girls are really nasty sexual deviants on the inside. I guarantee it. Some of them might act coy, even shrewd, but in the end they would love nothing more than a baseball bat rammed up their backdoor while being slapped in the face. It really gets them off.
Dominic

Caledonia, MI

#5 Mar 28, 2012
FLBeaver wrote:
There is a possibility that I may have the opportunity to move to the GR area. Is it a good place to live? Good schools and good family place? Or if you had the option would you get out if you could and never look back?
I realize that every place has it's good and bad points and that a lot of it has to do with what one makes of it, but beyond that some places are perfect for those who hate the city, or enjoy the theatre. So who really enjoys GR and who doesn't?
I like GR a lot overall. Sure, there are some negatives, but my experience living here has been overwhelmingly positive.

Pros
- great weather in the spring, summer, and early fall
- close to Lake Michigan, lots of inland lakes, and rivers
- traffic is largely not a problem
- very philanthropic and charitable community
- best economic and business climate in the entire state of Michigan
- relatively low crime, with the exception of inner city Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and a few other pockets, such as York Creek Apartments
- good private and charter schools
- faith-oriented community without being over the top
- only 2.5 hours from Chicago and about the same distance to Traverse City
- very efficient airport with nonstop flights to about 20 destinations and easy connections to many more
- revived downtown with lots of great events, restaurants, concerts, hotels, convention center, arena, etc.
- far enough away from the blight of Detroit, and culturally separated from Detroit, which is a very good thing
- stable, family-oriented community
- strong colleges and universities in the region
- very little public corruption, it's just not tolerated here like it is in Detroit (where it's not just tolerated, it's expected and even encouraged)

Cons
- bitter posters like the ones above, most of whom are leftists who don't like the fact that Obama is wildly unpopular here and that these leftists are a very small minority in this region
- winters are long, cold and dark with not much to do unless you ski
- leftists are constantly trying to raise our taxes to pay for a public transportation system that almost no one uses (the auto industry is a huge deal in Michigan, so most people own cars and aren't interested in riding buses with a bunch of criminals and potheads)

The bottom line is that I love living here and would stay here forever
GR Joke

United States

#6 Mar 29, 2012
No way wrote:
Moved here about 4 years ago from Central California. Not a very nice town, I can understand why they coninually lose population. This town tries to come across as midsized and friendly but it is neither. Horrible public transportation and from what I've witnessed, unhappy people with bad attitudes, so very unlike the west coast. Weather is ridiculous, cold in the winter and humid and hot in the summer save for a few days in the spring and fall. This area is very conservative which you may or may not like but the consequences of this means there is not a very good atmosphere for younger people like me, again very unlike where I came from. The conservative attitude seems to drive away all the young people and keeps recent college grads from moving here, hence the diminishing population. If you do move here dont make the mistake I made and move to Kentwood, it's horrible and crime ridden. I had to pay to get out of my lease so I could move out of that stink hole. I moved downtown and thought it would be great but it's pretty quiet down here and the restaurants/night life is below average. I guess this place would be ok if you wanted to raise a family but my overall opinion is that it's boring and unfriendly.
You just defined the whole midwest. You know they don't call it "flyover" country for nothing.
GR Joke

United States

#7 Mar 29, 2012
Dominic wrote:
<quoted text>
I like GR a lot overall. Sure, there are some negatives, but my experience living here has been overwhelmingly positive.
Pros
- great weather in the spring, summer, and early fall
- close to Lake Michigan, lots of inland lakes, and rivers
- traffic is largely not a problem
- very philanthropic and charitable community
- best economic and business climate in the entire state of Michigan
- relatively low crime, with the exception of inner city Grand Rapids, Kentwood, and a few other pockets, such as York Creek Apartments
- good private and charter schools
- faith-oriented community without being over the top
- only 2.5 hours from Chicago and about the same distance to Traverse City
- very efficient airport with nonstop flights to about 20 destinations and easy connections to many more
- revived downtown with lots of great events, restaurants, concerts, hotels, convention center, arena, etc.
- far enough away from the blight of Detroit, and culturally separated from Detroit, which is a very good thing
- stable, family-oriented community
- strong colleges and universities in the region
- very little public corruption, it's just not tolerated here like it is in Detroit (where it's not just tolerated, it's expected and even encouraged)
Cons
- bitter posters like the ones above, most of whom are leftists who don't like the fact that Obama is wildly unpopular here and that these leftists are a very small minority in this region
- winters are long, cold and dark with not much to do unless you ski
- leftists are constantly trying to raise our taxes to pay for a public transportation system that almost no one uses (the auto industry is a huge deal in Michigan, so most people own cars and aren't interested in riding buses with a bunch of criminals and potheads)
The bottom line is that I love living here and would stay here forever
You belong in Grand Rapids, you certainly have the mind set. Enjoy your plummeting home values and freefalling population! Those of us who live in real cities and states will be laughing hard at you!
St Stephen

Milwaukee, WI

#8 Mar 29, 2012
Dominic wrote:
<quoted text>
Cons
- bitter posters like the ones above, most of whom are leftists who don't like the fact that Obama is wildly unpopular here and that these leftists are a very small minority in this region
Very small minority? Maybe you are thinking of Holland or Hudsonville. Obama won Kent county in 2008 you tool.
Dominic wrote:
<quoted text>
- leftists are constantly trying to raise our taxes to pay for a public transportation system that almost no one uses (the auto industry is a huge deal in Michigan, so most people own cars and aren't interested in riding buses with a bunch of criminals and potheads)
First off the leftists aren't trying to raise you taxes...they DID.

http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index....

Secondly, can you more thoroughly your statement "almost no one uses"?

http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/grand_ra...
Old Rocker

Hudsonville, MI

#9 Mar 29, 2012
FLBeaver

If you are serious about moving here, do not live in the Grand Rapids city limits or send your kids to GR schools. Live in one of the surrounding suburbs. Grandville, Jenison, Hudsonville, Forest Hills and Rockford are nice and have good school systems. The latter two are a little pricey. I would avoid Kentwood, Wyoming and parts of Walker.

There are lots of activities. Minor league baseball, minor league hockey, and many concerts and other events at various venues around town.

Winters can be long, cold and grey. If you are not used to cold and snowy weather you will have quite an adjustment. Driving can be an adventure. Summertime is great. Beaches are a half hour away and there are lots of inland lakes with public boat launches and beaches nearby. Lots of golf courses as well, but the season only lasts about 5 or 6 months.
Heraldo

Holland, MI

#10 Mar 29, 2012
GR Joke wrote:
<quoted text>
You belong in Grand Rapids, you certainly have the mind set. Enjoy your plummeting home values and freefalling population! Those of us who live in real cities and states will be laughing hard at you!
And your home values in California, Las Vegas, Florida to mention a few??????????

Since: Feb 10

Grand Rapids, MI

#11 Mar 29, 2012
Native of the area wrote:
Have lived in the area my entire life, except for a stint in the service in the 60's. If you want a nite life or something other than a conservative lifestyle, you might consider another destination. Unless you are a DeVos, Meijer, or VanAndel, or can get close enough to kiss their @$$, no mater what, you and your opinion, will be dismissed. I struggle to make a living in my small business and refuse to deal with the tight bunned church ladies who walk by and smirk at items in my store, just because I don;t attend their services on Sunday. They are always welcome to come in and have a conversation, just look around, but chose to literally put their noses in the air and walk on. I guess I should restate my second sentence, "Don't move here, run to any other progressive destination".
So why did you come back and why stay? I've lived in a bunch of places and a couple times left places I really liked. I would never stay more than two or three years in a place that I really disliked. Certainly since you came back from the service in the 60's you could have left. So why didn't you?
Ginger

Niles, MI

#13 Mar 29, 2012
Whiny little crybabies wouldn't be happy no matter where they lived.
They'll always find something to cry about.
Ale

Holland, MI

#14 Mar 29, 2012
Ginger wrote:
Whiny little crybabies wouldn't be happy no matter where they lived.
They'll always find something to cry about.
Ginger - for the first time I actually agree with you. You go girl!
Ginger

Niles, MI

#15 Mar 29, 2012
Ale wrote:
<quoted text>
Ginger - for the first time I actually agree with you. You go girl!
Ginger and Ale can go pretty good together sometimes.
Whiskey

Hudsonville, MI

#16 Mar 29, 2012
Ginger wrote:
<quoted text>
Ginger and Ale can go pretty good together sometimes.
Even better If I join.
Ginger

Niles, MI

#17 Mar 30, 2012
Whiskey wrote:
<quoted text>
Even better If I join.
Ginger + Ale + Whiskey.

I am getting quite turned on gentlemen.
C300what the f

Jenison, MI

#18 Mar 30, 2012
St Stephen wrote:
<quoted text>
Very small minority? Maybe you are thinking of Holland or Hudsonville. Obama won Kent county in 2008 you tool.
<quoted text>
First off the leftists aren't trying to raise you taxes...they DID.
http://www.mlive.com/news/grand-rapids/index....
Secondly, can you more thoroughly your statement "almost no one uses"?
http://www.woodtv.com/dpp/news/local/grand_ra...
wow!
and you brag about paying $750 a month for a C300?
Holy shit!
west sider

Grand Rapids, MI

#19 Mar 30, 2012
No!
bobolinq

Belmont, MI

#20 Apr 4, 2012
compared to the moon, i'd say exceptional!
Heraldo

Holland, MI

#21 Apr 6, 2012
Grand Rapids was just named number one area in the country to raise a family by Forbes.
Now if you aren't into families and prefer the sleaze of the big city - you're just a two and half hour drive from Detroit or Chicago.

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