Grand Rapids: Not Dead Yet…

Originally published in the Grand Rapids Press, January 29, 2011

So Newsweek magazine came out with a list of “dying” cities, based on census data from 2000 to 2009. It ranked the city of Grand Rapids at #10. No reporter came to visit GR; nobody researched additional information about actually living in GR; and there was no consideration for the metropoltian area as a whole. Flint and Detroit were¬†slightly higher up on the list. (And there is nothing that riles a West Michigander more than being put on a list with Flint and Detroit.)¬†

Like most of these listy sort of things, it was a snapshot of highly selected data and sold with hyperbole (Dying! For God’s sake! They are DYING! Oh the humanity!!!!). It is really not to be taken seriously. (Likely list for next issue: American cities with the best cupcakes!)

The irony here is that I’m a subscriber to Newsweek. (I like it. It’s a perfect read during work-day lunches.) But it is very clear it is going downhill quickly. It was spun off from the Washington Post last year, lost its editor and several key writers, is hemmorhaging advertisers, and (worst) has redesigned to print only one editorial cartoon per issue (used to be three). Dying, indeed.

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