Dare I say, we've gotten cool? Oh wait, no, the moment we say it, we'll no longer be cool. Besides, I'm not sure "cool" is the right word anymore—hip? innovative? liberal??
No, my conservative little friends, I wouldn't go that far, but Grand Rapids is certainly heading in a direction I want to go. You've probably heard me say it before, but, "If Grand Rapids was the way it was 10 years ago, I couldn't live here."
Take tonight for example—it was the annual Art.Downtown. event, where over 200 artists filled the streets + 25 venues to promote discussions around art. The highpoint this year—SiTE:LAB at the old Junior Achievement building. Installations and performance artists took over the 25,000-square-foot abandoned building. It seemed like creativity was contagious and and the crowd was happy to catch it.
This is not the Grand Rapids I remember.
I'm by no means saying that we're perfect or 'done'. Continuing efforts need to be made (Starting with litter patrol and public transportation!) But I applaud Grand Rapids every day for promoting conversation, crawling forward and proving we are not a dying city, but rather a thriving one.
So, hurry—SiTE:LAB closes in 40 minutes!