Grand Rapids, Have We Met?

After driving into Michigan on Tuesday, I look at the city I visited in March. I got to say this is a different city than I remember.

Last time I experienced Grand Rapids wasn’t much to look at, but she had art, breweries, and coffee shops. I also remember gray streets with piles of charcoal snow turned over at the curbs. Slate looking buildings with drab windows. A rusty and soot colored industrial skyline. But…

Now, though snow fell here last weekend, the city looks green and vibrant. The sky is blue with a marching band of cumulus clouds. Downtown buildings look shiny and sparkling. On the interstate, cars even seem to be driven more happily. Everyone is friendlier and smiling. People are out walking their dogs. A salt-and-pepper-haired father and his five-year-old in rubber boots, push wheelbarrows around a corner. A dark-haired young woman smiles beside her car as she and her partner visit neighbors. A silver-haired woman in a Gibson Girl blouse digs in the freshly turned dirt of a community garden. Everywhere, students and adults, hipsters and hippies sit on porches, kibitzing, drinking to spring. 

It all goes to show, first impressions aren’t everything. And judgment on the cloudiest of days is no indication of how things appear in sunlight.

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