01 June 2011

What Up Grand Rapids?

by Matt Netzel
In January, MainStreet.com named Grand Rapids, Michigan, 10th on its list of America's "dying cities." It's possible nobody would have ever learned about this dubious distinction, but Newsweek picked up the story on its website, giving folks living in the Midwestern city -- and nearby Detroit and Flint -- something to be bummed about in addition to massive unemployment and home foreclosures.

First off, how are Griffin and P-Beads not in this video? They ARE Grand Rapids. Getting to my point, I love it when people say "Oh, this is in Michigan. It must be shitty, poor, and 'dying'." They make this assumption without leaving their little glass house to get any insight about the area whatsoever. The west side of the state has some of the most old money in the country. It's no Connecticut or South Carolina, but the West coast of Michigan is a destination that no one gives nearly enough credit. From the white sand beaches of Torch Lake all the way down to the debaucherous spring break atmosphere on the shores of Grand Haven and South Haven, the west side is on FIRE in the summer. Slam pieces everywhere. Multi-million dollar properties being treated like the Penthouse Suite at the Drake. Who gives a shit? The "help" is gonna clean that shit up Monday morning anyway. Week in and week out, just insane.

The winter is a slightly different story. Everyone in the snowy states hibernates all winter, but not as much in Grand Rapids. Ya things slow down, but thats no excuse to not have a wild weekend in mid January. Friday night Grand Rapids Griffins' home games are $1 beers $1 dogs. A FUCKING DOLLAR! Do you hear me? Every Friday is like 10 cent beer night went wrong back in Cleveland in '74. I know a certain member of the coalition who has seized the day and ended up peeing in a trash can on the concourse. It's just par for the course. After the game straight to HopCat brewery which has about 100 beers on tap including Grand Rapids famous Founders Brewery beers. Had some beers from Cali and Detroit Beer Co. and came to on the top floor club at the BOB doing Rumple minze shots with 10 Asian cougars.

Now tell me those are characteristics of a "dying city" in America and I'll show you someone throwing up at 7:30pm in Van Andel Arena on a Friday night. Sheer entertainment and enjoyment for all. Makes me feel alive at least.

My point being is this: arguments can be made about Flint dying (because it is), and Detroit dying (have you ever been to the Eastside? Dead. Downtown, alive. East side, dead. I see their point here.), but not Grand Rapids. You think this uber douche from Newsweek has been to Grand Rapids? Prolly Google researching "cities in Michigan/Ohio/California/(insert state with weak economy here). Sweat list, bro. Keep up the stellar journalistic investigation.


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