1. Showing Where You Live On Your Hand Will Make Sense To No One
And it doesn’t even work because nowhere else is shaped like a mitten.
2. And Everyone Will Just Think You’re Pointing To Detroit Anyway
Detroit gets all the attention. You’ll even run into people who have never even heard of Grand Rapids, which makes you question a lot about the public school system you just moved into.
3. Prepare For Everyone To Ask You Where The Rapids Are
And the look on their face when you tell them there are none. In fact, prepare for a lot of questions.
4. Yesterdogs Are So Yesterday
While everyone in Michigan is flocking to Grand Rapids to get their hands on a Yesterdog, you’re leaving. What’s wrong with this picture?
5. Snow Doesn’t Fall As Grand
Depending on how you feel about winter, this can be a good thing or a bad thing. But when you move away from West Michigan, you leave behind the phenomenon of Lake Effect Snow, responsible for making Grand Rapids one of the top ten snowiest cities in the country. Only a handful of other places actually experience it, which means less shoveling but also less snowboarding and snowmen.
6. Everyone Will Think You’re A Beer Snob
And, let’s face it, you are.
7. But Say Goodbye To All The Beer You Love
What happens when you leave Beer City USA? Imagine a world with no more Dirty Bastards, Nitros, or All-Day IPAs. Say goodbye to Founders and au revoir to flights at Perrin Brewing Company. It’s all very sad.
8. And There’s No Drinking In Church
As if it’s not bad enough that you’re leaving behind all those incredible beers and breweries, but now you can’t even drink in church? Brewery Vivant it ruined you.
9. Starving Artists In Other Cities Just Starve
Sorry to break it to you, but there’s no $200,000 jackpot for ArtPrize outside of Grand Rapids. Most other cities don’t take careers in art as seriously as Grand Rapids does. Looks like you’ll have to trade in the art smock for a desk job.
10. Gerald Ford Gets No Love
Gerald Ford gets no love anywhere outside of Grand Rapids. You can plead his case all you want, but it never changes. Which brings into question that whole public school issue again.
11. But There Are Ways To Score Some Street Cred
If you’re looking for the quickest way to make outsiders understand how cool Grand Rapids is, Gerald Ford might not work but Taylor Lautner, Gillian Anderson, Andy Richter, and Anthony Kiedis just might do the trick.
12. You’ll Miss Having Holland In Your Back Yard
The wooden clogs, the authentic windmills, and all those beautiful Dutch colors… You think this kind of awesomeness exists everywhere? Well, outside of the real Holland, of course.
13. Tulips Will Make You Homesick
Year after year with the Tulip Time Festival will leave you getting nostalgic for home every time you see one. Don’t worry, though, you can tell everyone it’s just your allergies acting up.
14. So Will The Polar Express
Every Christmas, you’ll feel the need to remind anyone within earshot that Chris Van Allsburg, author of the Polar Express and Jumanji, is a Grand Rapids native.
15. Hope You Didn’t Care About Ice Fishing
…Or winning the Championship. There aren’t many other places to go where it’s as big as it is in Grand Rapids.
16. Gardens Won’t Impress You
No matter how intricate or beautiful they are, no garden will ever live up to Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, mixing sculptures and horticulture together to create an unmatchable wonderland.
17. You’ll Be Devastated By Shopping At Ikea
You’re not in Furniture City anymore and it starts to show. Not that there’s anything wrong with Ikea, of course, but it’s nothing remotely close to the West Michigan furniture stores you know and love.
18. You’ll Have A Hard Time Convincing Everyone How Great The Music Scene Is
Considering most people know very little about Grand Rapids, it’s a tough sell. But with concerts at The Gardens, the awesome Grand Rapids Symphony and Picnic Pops, Jazz festivals and Jazz At The Zoo… There’s no getting around the fact that the next place you go to has a lot to live up to.
19. You’ll Never Find A Slice Of Pie You Like
All those fresh apples, blueberries, strawberries, and peaches you’ve been so accustomed to having on hand, thanks to all the local farms around the city? Gone. And you can’t swing by Sandy Bottom Berries to pick your own, either. So, just face it. Produce and pies now suck.
20. Prepare For Everywhere Else You Go Feeling Like Woodstock
Grand Rapids has become slightly less conservative in recent years. And by slightly less conservative I mean that three people voted for Obama. Okay, I’m kidding. It was at least seven. But despite the increasing liberal population, Grand Rapids is notoriously so conservative, most other cities will feel like you just were transported back to Woodstock.
21. The Only Whitecaps In Your Life Will Be On Your Head
You’ll still be able to find baseball, obviously, but no more lounging out on the lawn to catch your beloved Whitecaps. And you’ll quickly discover just how overrated –and overcrowded- major league teams are.
22. And The Only Fish Viewing You’ll Be Doing Is At An Aquarium
They just don’t make fish ladders like they used to. Or, at all, actually. Just another awesome little quirk unique to Grand Rapids.
23. A Burger From Anywhere But Stella’s Is Just Meh
And after being crowned as the Best Burger in America in 2012, how could you even expect to find something better?
24. You Can’t Find That Quaint Small Town Feel Just Anywhere
Many places try but most will just come up short, especially if you’ve lived in Grand Rapids all your life.
25. Other Cities Don’t Care About Your Happiness
At least, not the way that Grand Rapids does. Try finding something like LaughFest anywhere else where you can catch a headlining comedian and also try to break the world record for loudest group laugh.
26. Fall Just Isn’t As Much Fun
And it’s definitely not as beautiful. Even though Halloween will be undoubtedly warmer, be prepared for your new city to turn into quite the pumpkin at the stroke of midnight.
27. You’re Going To Miss Out On Cool Stuff You Don’t Even Know About
With its innovation, awesome beer, growing foodie scene, new things to do around every corner, and so many people moving in, it seems like Grand Rapids just keeps getting grander every year. And you’re going to miss all the fun.
28. Why Does Everyone Seem So Old?
When you leave Grand Rapids, you might start to notice that everyone suddenly seems a lot older. That’s because it’s probably true. The average age in the Rapids is 30 years old, making it a hotspot for young, eager workers invested in their futures.
29. Don’t Get Sick
You’re used to having such an impressive collection of world-renowned medical facilities and services around every corner in Grand Rapids. The medical communities in other places just aren’t created equal. So, hold your breath and don’t touch anything and you should be okay.
30. There Really Is No Place Like Home
That’s especially true when home is Grand Rapids. You’ve probably heard it your whole life, of course, so it’s not exactly something no one has ever told you. But you just don’t realize how true it is until you’re hundreds of miles away and just want to come home.
What do you miss about Grand Rapids? Tell us in the comments below!