Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I Love Grand Forks

Quick...name one reason why you love Grand Forks. That shouldn't be very hard to do, in my opinion. Grand Forks may not be perfect, but I think even the most indifferent resident could come up with a list of things they love about this city.

I have a long list of reasons why I love living in this city, but now I want to hear why you love living here. So, I'm starting another new type of thread titled "I Love Grand Forks". Take a moment and name a few of the things about Grand Forks that you think make it lovable, livable, and maybe even unique.

These reasons can be as big as something along the lines of "the people" or as small as something like a favorite menu item at a local restaurant or a friendly cashier at a local store. Share as many reasons why you love Grand Forks as you care to. Rest assured that this will be a recurring type of thread so you don't have to share every reason just now.

We have a bit of an inferiority complex in this part of the country in general and in Grand Forks in particular. I think something like this will be a good way to point out the multitude of reasons why Grand Forks really is a pretty great place to live after all.

83 comments:

Mike said...

I love L&M Meats... I think I have said this before....

Charlie said...

When I think of Grand Forks, I think of George Widman. Seriously; the man, not just the business. He joins others---two who have often been mentioned in this blog, Sam Silverman and Hugo Magnusson...add Diddy Quesnell to the list...fellows of "the greatest generation," although there are many others who make Grand Forks a most special place. Legions of people, from the girls at The Big Sioux who seem to remember you from the start, quite similar to the boss on down at M and H, who do more than take your money, rather make one feel welcome. I love that working-class neighborhood that frequents the store, one of many unique neighborhoods in the city. (It's a great place to get the "feel" of GFKS, making it easy to get into a casual conversation with blue collar workers all the way to the top city official as one fills his vehicle!) The warmth of its people can be sampled in small independents like The Book Nook or the big box businesses like Target, Menard's...virtually all about town. It's not limited to adults, either; not a day goes by without one of the kids opening a door or engaging in a friendly greeting.
Which makes one think of UND and all the wonderful things that continue to happen there as they continue to grow. How lucky we are to have a beautiful, progressive campus in our midst.
The talent and intellect offered by students and profs at UND is complimented by that of those at the air force base which has enriched our life all these years, attracting quality people who also learn that Grand Forks offers enough so that they choose to retire here.
The diversity of people bring many opportunities to experience cultural things, experience music and arts one would expect to only find in such abundance in much larger cities.
Athletic prowess and tradition? Definitely.
I love the old buildings, commercial and private...love what many have done to rebuild from '97 (which reminds one again of the people, of their spirit); love the progress that is so obvious, using the development of UND property for example. I love the parks, the new greenway...love how people take care of their property.

Amazing, isn't it? All that is here, right under our noses...it's a great place to live, these grand cities (and I'll not apologize for borrowing the term)...

I love Grand Forks; thanks, Grand Forks Guy, for giving me the opportunity to 'count my blessings,' one more time.

Anonymous said...

It's a safe place to raise my children.

Elucidarian said...

It's where friends and family call home.

Elucidarian said...

Oh, and the punkish yet well-intentioned youth that seem to flourish and renew their population every few years, mostly downtown. They're cool.

Anonymous said...

The "Everything Grinder" from Red Pepper and Cassie Walder.

dale said...

I love it because it's home.

(Lame, I know, but I just spent about a week away, and I truly appreciate the small town [relatively] experience far more when I'm in a bigger place.)

Katie said...

I love that it's large enough to do what I want and keep me entertained, yet it's small enough to know your neighbors.

I also love the optimism here, in spite of how it may appear in this blog! Just look at the progress since 1997!

I'm lovin' it said...

I love downtown; its beautiful old buildings, quaint shops, homestyle restaurants and coffee houses.

My favorite old building downtown is the Telephone Building. Second favorite is the one housing the Urban Stampede.

Grand Forks is also bike friendly. Our scenic bike paths wind all over town and connect to our sister city East Grand Forks. You can shop on two wheels if need be.

Anonymous said...

Excellent public schools.

I heart Grand Forks!

Anonymous said...

I love Urban Stampede.

I used to work there and loved that the customers varied from the homeless to nearby lawyers. I love the diverse atmosphere & it was never a boring day with all the different people you could get to know. Oh, and of course the coffee. ;)

Glass Half Full said...

I love the fact that Grand Forks is just a big small town... Having moved a lot as a child I appreciate putting roots down in a place where people smile and say hello and know your regular order at Starbucks.

Anonymous said...

Three words.........Fighting Sioux Hockey.

Anonymous said...

The bike paths, and the old neighborhoods.

Anonymous said...

I love the way residents are so welcoming to those from out of town. I especially love the attitude of residents that has lead to the terrific recovoery and growth following the flood.

ben said...

I love the over-inflated rent prices, and the lack of a "Chipotle" mexican restaurant...

/sarcasm

Anonymous said...

The wonderful and abundant parks -- it shows how much the community values our children.

Anonymous said...

Enjoy the best bike path around. Remember Roy's Cafe in EGF like the US in GF lawyers and homeless drinking coffee.

Liz said...

I've never seen more beautiful sunsets. Also, when you drive on the interstate in GF and right outside of GF, it's almost like you're flying, because you see more sky than you do land sometimes. That's awesome.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this is off the topic, but has anyone heard anymore about the movie theater is EGF? The marquee is lit up and says opening soon with 12 theaters and stadium seating! That is AWESOME. Last theater I was in Fargo and Winnipeg had stadium seating and it kicks but. This is very good.

dale said...

What I can't figure out is how they're going to fit 12 theatres in a space which is looks to be smaller than the Columbia 4 Theatre, and "stadium seating" in a building that looks to have about 12 foot ceilings. The only thing I could figure was big tvs, rather than movie screens, though that makes zero sense.

Guess we'll find out soon enough, though.

Anonymous said...

Good:

Sports teams - not just the Sioux, but the local H.S. teams are very good in many sports. It's good to have someone to root for and share a sense of local pride with.

Bike paths/parks - Grand Forks does a very good job of utilizing the English Coulee as a way of green space within the city. It's something that I haven't seen much of anywhere else, and something to be proud of.

Local restaurants - it's weird, living in much larger cities with way more dining options, but still wishing and wanting a grinder from the Red Pepper. Plus, many of the local restaurants that are Mom&Pop type places just have it all over stuff you see in other cities. Something to be proud of.

Overall friendliness/safety - this might not be apparent to those of you who live in GF, or have lived there forever. It's something I realized coming into town one day to help a friend move - it sturck me as strange the number of children playing in yards and in streets. Riding bike, screwing around; being kids. It's something you might take for granted, but it's also something that you just don't see in larger cities. Maybe it's a lifestyle (fast paced lifestyle) thing...idk.

Anonymous said...

greenglass4

/sarcasm

local boy said...

Sioux sports!

Friendly people (relatively speaking)

Lack of a long commute to work.

Anonymous said...

Aww Shucks - someone already mentioned the tiny commutes to get anywhere in this time.

So my second reason....the seasons and of course most of the people.

Anonymous said...

I love the Parrot's Cay and lavosh and the delicious "Cay Sauce" that goes on top! And the fact that they always know my preferred beverage when I walk in the door.

Anonymous said...

Gee-you guys have me feeling so good after reading all your comments. I too love the area. The comeback of the downtown areas when some of us thought they were lost forever. Whiteys. The bikepaths and beautiful greenways. The riverbanks were never a place to go when I grew up and now we have embraced them. Strangers stopping to help with a flat. Having your purse returned intact-anonymously. How we take care of our aging parents and grandparents. Excellent medical care and schools. And yes, the sunsets are spectacular.

Szymanski's Designated Driver said...

Oh come on, kids don't play outside in big cities? That's getting a little carried away.

As for things I love, I would have said the Shangri-la 6 months ago.

Lynsey said...

Downtown Grand Forks
L'Bistro's Decadent Chicken Pizza
the fact that you can get anywhere in 10 minutes
Porpoura
the gorgeous autumn leaves

GrandForksGuy said...

This is great! I'm feeling all warm and cozy inside...

Imagine said...

SPA

Anonymous said...

- the greenway

- fry feed

- farmers market

- sioux hockey

- ice rinks in the parks

- all the businesses that give student discounts

- having everything i need/want within 5 miles of my home

Anonymous said...

I loved Grand Forks more back in the 80's....remember Topper's, Target in Columbia Mall, the old Menards, LaBelle's + Best, Magic 96, Albertson's... I could go on and on. Life was much simpler then.

river man said...

I moved here more than three years ago from Montana. Why would anyone move away from Montana? I'll save that for some other discussion. A friend in Thief River Falls persuaded me to move here. So I moved here with the hopes of finishing up my college education. I didn't do so well with my year at UND. I'll probably return to college (maybe even back to UND) to get my degree, but that goal is for another day. So, since then I have joined the throng of working people in Grand Forks trying to make a living and pursuing the American Dream. I've had my up and downs in my time living here, but Grand Forks is a unique place to live. Which city this size offers miles of bike paths along the river, virtually uninterrupted by vehicle traffic. The jobs are plentiful, either low paying service jobs, manufacturing jobs, university jobs and high paying jobs. Most people are friendly. Even the long winters can be enjoyable, you just have to be creative. My ship will arrive one of these days.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE GRAND FORKS....

Fighting Sioux Hockey & Football
Tailgating
The Potato Bowl Parade
First Night
Farmers Market
Urban Stampede
The Bronze Boot
Odins
Widmans Candy...mmmmmm chippers :>)
Wine Tasting @ Happy Harrys
I could go on & on & on & on....

Thank you for a positive post!!!

Anonymous said...

Del's in the Grand Cities Mall! I love the waitresses & the food equally!

bethski said...

I love the fact we are such social people in this town. Most cases you can find any ho-hum on the street and strike up a 20 minute conversation, only to end it with never fully knowing their name but their life story!

And GOD FORBID if the kegs ever close. I so wish they were open during the winter :o(

Anonymous said...

i love the binge drinking!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Recently visited Grand Forks during the Potato Bowl week (been gone for 25 years) and thought the whole city had turned into a jewel. A free french fry feed where everyone was so civil, engaging, friendly, yet still be practically on a college campus seemed to be out of the '50's!

The Greenway was fascinating - every turn of the River seemed to bring a new adventure, both in nature and understanding how GF had been transformed. The rapids / pedestrian bridge at Riverside Park was almost stunning to the senses: the sound of the rapids, the elegant curves of the bridge, the mix of city and nature. Move that scene to almost any other city, and people would flock there as a solitude respite for the senses.

The Potato Bowl parade was fascinating and endearing: the crowd was as much of a part of the parade as the participants. No one seemed left out. With the farmers market and the coffee shops and the eclectic shops and new downtown architecture, it was sort of a heavenly morning of civic interaction that's impossible most places due to their size (either too large or too small). The most vulnerable citizens in GF (mentally challenged) moved about without fear and they in turn bring joy with their smiles. That is truly a civic freedom rarely found nowadays.

The Potato Bowl football game was awesome: how many cities have such a facility like the Alerus, with a hotel like the Canad and waterpark. Transportation in and out was such a breeze. And the Sioux won!

Walking the UND campus, the changes are overwhelming. No more dirt paths through the grass; the landscaping is garden-like. It was striking how upscale so many of UND's buildings appear now: both the refurbished ones and the new buildings. The whole campus seems to radiate self-confidence and orderliness. Grand Forks also seems to have taken on an aura of self-confidence, yet still maintaining a form of humility: an improved humility, no longer rooted so firmly in insecurity.

Anonymous said...

Reading Chuck Haga's writing in the Herald - he can touch both mind and heart without compromising either.

GrandForksGuy said...

I was just bragging about Haga's writing in Open Thread #45. This guy is a fabulous writer...we're lucky to have him back in GF.

river man said...

Oh, one other thing cool thing to love about the Grand Cities, this cool blog. Sure, other towns might have similar bloggers and blogs, but this blog is interesting and lively. I like that anyone can post their comments on a blog entry or subject. This blog has helped me become more interested in the goings on in Grand Forks. Consequently, I now read the Herald more, too. The only downside to this blog and the computer in general, I probably spend too much time reading this blog, news and other interesting things on the net. Also some posts border on irrespectful and immature, but those are very few and they, too, add to the liveliness of this blog. But I find the great majority of posts interesting and informing to read. I then can post my 2 cents worth. Thanks for this awesome blog and one more reason to love Grand Forks, GrandForksGuy.

GrandForksGuy said...

Thanks for that, river man. I'm extremely happy that this blog has found a place in the community and that it is encouraging some (like you) to become more engaged and informed. I don't think I could ask for a better outcome for this blog than for it to encourage involvement and discussion within the community.

GrandForksGuy said...

BTW, I think this type of thread is now my favorite. The response already has been incredible...so many reasons to love our little city! You'll be seeing more of "I Love Grand Forks" in the future.

akm said...

I love Amazing Grains! It's a jewel you can hardly find anywhere else. Big cities have the chain natural food stores (Whole Foods) and smaller cities--good luck. It does such a great job in supporting local growers and it invests in the community. Grand Forks must continue to support this rare and valuable kind of deli/market.

I also echo the comments about the greenways. And I love that there are so many people interested in keeping the downtown--and the spirit of the community--alive, even under the threat of chain avenue (aka 32nd avenue) to make it Anytown, USA.

I love the fact that Grand Forks is so middle class. As the wage gap grows, it becomes increasingly unique to find a community that is still largely middle class. It's great because it seems that support for community programs comes from many people, instead of a few wealthy people.

I love my neighborhood in EGF, from which I can easily walk to a hardware store, grocery store or downtown.

Finally, I love that there is so much to do here. There are few weekends that there isn't something to do here, and that's probably only because I don't know about it. I applaud all the people who devote so much time to making events happen.

Anonymous said...

Ditto te comment on Del's. LOVE the chicken dumpling soup.

Anonymous said...

Mexican Village is one of my favorite things in Grand Forks, yum!

Anonymous said...

Grand Forks would be even better if CANADIANS stayed out of it, my findings is 99% of them are rude and stupid.

Anonymous said...

I guess we all knew some blowhard would drop in to spoil the niceness of this thread. I like Canadians by the way. You are welcome here anytime and you will find most of us are nice people.

ec99 said...

I too like Canadians, and have a number of Canadian friends. I understand, though, that waiters and waitresses would not be as positive, based on complaints I've heard of their tipping habits.

Anonymous said...

Grand Cities Arts Fest. I wish it wasn't just only one weekend a year.

Anonymous said...

I like the blissfully ignorant locals and inability to change.

Anonymous said...

I love the lack of pretentious trend folowers, who disdain, rather than treasure, any goodness from the past.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone realize that the mom and pop's of this town are slowly going out of buisness for the big box stores? What's to love about that? People who want to start their own business in this town are crap out of luck.....the only survivors that I can think of will be Widmans, The Pepper, Big Sioux and some of the Bars. Maybe Al's if he gets the word out, and Rydells if the kids don't kill the business. Only the ones who have a nitch market and something unique to offer........sad.

Anonymous said...

I love the tailgating where pretty much everyone knows everyone and everyone is drunk at 10 in the morning. No other town can say that. Grand Forks is probably one of the most natioanlly recognized towns of 50,000 people between the hockey team, teh flood and aerospace program. I love it that are cops are really leniant and have let me off of 5 minors for being cooperative. I love that I can drive snowmobile in town and no one really cares and peopel i dont even no offer to give me rides home and still let me drink in htere cars. God i love this town. Other then how corrupt it is with money but i guess moeny talks. ANd who can forget the big franchises called lithia!!! yeh rite...biggest joke i have ever seen is that franchise.

Nick said...

" Only the ones who have a nitch market and something unique to offer........sad."


Excuse me? Isn't that what it's all about? If you have the aforementioned and aren't afraid of getting your butt to work, you can also be another Red Pepper, Big Sioux, Widman's.

None of those individuals got where they are by whining, believe it.

Anonymous said...

"So, I'm starting another new type of thread entitled 'I Love Grand Forks'."

Entitled should be titled ... just an FYI.

Anonymous said...

"AN" FYI?!

*L*

Anonymous said...

Oops. "A" FYI. :)

Anonymous said...

Actually, AN is correct because the choice of article is based on the phonetic sound. Fs, like Hs, don't have a hard phonetic sound, so the choice of article defaults to the second letter. The Y has a vowel sound (long i), so the article should be AN.

Anonymous said...

It's the people [certainly not the scenery or the weather]. I was here during the winter of '96-'97 and the flood and also watched a relative deal with the aftermath of Katrina in New Orleans. Grand Forks [ND in general, I would guess] ranks very high in places I would like to be if I have to deal with a disaster.

Stadter Center Gun Show said...

wow grammar nazis..... who cares?

Anonymous said...

If you read FYI as 'for your information', then a would be correct. If you read FYI, as 'eff-wy-I', then it should be an. [As in I made an 'F' in grammar.]

Anonymous said...

"stadter center gun show". Ha Ha.

river man said...

"I love the tailgating where pretty much everyone knows everyone and everyone is drunk at 10 in the morning."

As a concernced resident, I hope you guys aren't driving home intoxicated after football games. Please use your head and don't act stupidly like drinking and driving.

Anonymous said...

Riverman

You would be really shocked if u new about all the durnken driving. Ill admit it, ive done it and i no about 100 other poepel have done it and some do it every weekend. I think they should have a lot more check points and should move them around cuz ive heard peopel have little networks that epopel report where they are at so they can taake back roads and avoid the check points. How else do u think thoswe popel get home when they are tailgating wiht a girl in the back of there truck?

river man said...

Well, choose a sober designated driver to drive you and your group home, drink one tallneck or can of beer and call it quits, take a shuttle bus to the game, or choose somee other way to get to and from the game without drinking and driving. Drinking and driving in my book is really stupid and its against the law. Be responsible. To those drunk drivers, please drive responsibly, if you had too many too drink, and your mental functions are slowed by drinking, give the keys to your sober friend or call a friend. To you sober friends, if you notice a friend has drank too much and attempts to drive drunk, talk him/her out of driving and convince your friend to let you drive him/her home. Do something and act to prevent your friend from doing something as stupid as drinking and driving. As a last resort take his/her keys away or let the air out of his tires.

Anonymous said...

Looks like there's a lot of drunk posting going on. Spell check, it's your best friend. Someone like the 9:47PM poster shouldn't be allowed near a keyboard if they can't write clearer than that. There's three different spellings of 'people' in two sentences and none of them are right!

MattFacingSouth said...

Late to the party, but I love Grand Forks because there are plenty of people that are appreciative of music.

I also like the fact that I don't have to worry much about my family's safety. 'Cept, of course, when ppl drive drunk becuz, u know, they like teh alcohol.

Anonymous said...

YEh but if i have one, ill have 13.

river man said...

"Someone like the 9:47PM poster shouldn't be allowed near a keyboard if they can't write clearer than that."

Lol, I don't really care how bad someones grammar and spelling is, although, I do my best to keep to correct English. But I'm not perfect. I don't care if people drink or get drunk, that's there decision. But it becomes the publics, other drivers, and the cops conern if you hit the roads while tipsy or drunk. Again, drinking and driving is stupid. Hell, if you need a sober driver in your party, call me, I'll be glad to drive you and your guests home. But if I'm drinking with you guys, I'm getting a designated driver myself or a taxi. I won't ride with a drunk driver either.

I don't drink much, and if I'm driving home, my limit is one or two tallnecks, but then that might be too much. If that's too much, someone please correct me. I want to stay well below the legal blood alcohol content limit if I'm driving for my safety, others saftey, and to keep my driving priviledges. I'm not stupid to drink and drive over the limit. I love the freedom to drive and driving itself, that's why I don't drink much because I want to be be in full control of my car. Driving drunk is one sure way to have your freedom to drive taken away for a few years. And it's just plain stupid to drive drunk. So please, don't drink and drive, be a good neighbor and citizen.

Anonymous said...

It is safe.

Anonymous said...

On the topic of drunk driving.

I recently moved downtown above a well known bar. I have discovered it is very entertaining and sad to watch people pile into cars while the driver is obviously too drunk to stand and screaming something like "you don't have to stand to drive."

I can honestly say that the midwest is notorious for this dogma. And there are many socio- economic factors to it. None the less it is never right to endanger someone else. If you want to be an ass, get that drunk and jump of the bridge GO FOR IT! But the moment you intentional place your desire to get home over mine and many others well being than you my friend are arrogant, selfish and obviously has a collective IQ of your 20 digits.

There are not many things I will I get up on my high horse for but this is a major one. Why? BECAUSE it is SOOOOO EASY not to do.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

**applause** I don't think I could have said it better.

Scott said...

The people. My family and I have lived here for about 3 years now, and I would definitely have to say the people.

I'm in the Air Force, my father was in the Coast Guard, and I've live in maybe 20 towns/communities that I can think of? And I like it here a lot. Grand Forks is a special place.

Charlie said...

Scott...

Your comment regarding Grand Forks---AND your service to our country---are much appreciated.

Thank you!

---Charlie

Matthew said...

I like the people like river man and anon-over-the-bar because they are trying to get people to not drive drunk.

I like mattfacingsouth because he brings teh music and teh funny.

Anonymous said...

I love Grand Forks because my children have had many opportunities to be involved in recreational activities through the Grand Forks Park District. They have been involved in park board activities over the past ten years. The coaches that have made baseball so fun for my kids are truly great people and we are lucky to have gotten to know them.

We are involved in Just for Fun and Tennis lessons. There are more great people who coach and teach and play with kids.

There is a great association for baseball players through the Cal Ripkin League. With the guidance of good people like Tom Montgomery, there is now a seperate division for 9 and 10 year olds. This program would not be possible without parent volunteers. We are fortunate to have good neighbors who take the time to coach kids and be involved in the community.

Our city is very fortunate to have the programs available for adults, too! The bike paths are a great asset to Grand Forks.

Thank you to the people who make this community a healthy and safe place to live.

Anonymous said...

I miss Grand Forks! Been gone almost 10 yrs. I miss everything! The comments about the 80s made me want to cry. I miss gf in the 80s! I miss pre-flood Whitey' and Bonzers the most! Scooners YEAH! I love visiting! and grinders with colby cheese!

Anonymous said...

As I'm reading down the list, I came across the one IDIOT that said Canadians should stay away for the city. Just to let you know buddy that if it weren't for our friends up North, we wouldn't have this wonderful city. All I have to say is "Welcome Canadians" you guys rock....Eh!!! LOL!!!

tb said...

I loved living in GF in the 80s!!! Mr. Spud, the Antique, walking across the train bridge over the river then stopping by the downtown Dairy Queen.
Shakeys Pizza on the south end, playing pool at the Union or Frenchy's, short stacks at the Village Inn north, skateboarding around campus and along the coulee at night.

GF Resident said...

Although Grand Forks might be lacking a little for family attractions, I will admit that it is a wonderful place to live.

I love the fact that there are NO treacherous HILLS to attempt driving up or down in the middle of winter such as North and South Hills in Minot. And, there are routes to take that prevent the need to go over any bridges, overpasses, etc.

THE SCHOOL SYSTEM. Of course, anywhere you go in North Dakota you'll find a great education system and educational opportunities.

THE PEOPLE. Very friendly, helpful, kind-hearted, etc. Again, this goes right along with the warm welcome that North Dakota has to offer newcomers and visitors.

Since the flood there seems to be this BOND IN THE COMMUNITY that you won't find in a typical city that has not been through such turmoil. Everyone pulled together to save the city and no one was selfish enough to think of only their property. There was a city-wide attempt to save EVERYONE's home in Grand Forks (and other communities along the Red River).

RELAXED LIFESTYLE. This isn't to say that we are behind the times, we just aren't in such a hurry to get from here to there and we actually have time to stop and chat. It's wonderful to see people sitting on front patios and porchs chatting with one another. Gives me this warm and fuzzy feeling like with the Cleavers. LOL

SAFETY. For the most part our community is a safe place to raise a family. The nice thing is that even though major crime is few and far between here, our citizens are not naive enough to think that we are immune from such tragedy and we still stay on our toes where safety goes.

GOOD MEDICAL CARE. We have had only one doctor since we started a family 12 years ago. He is the greatest. He treats our children as if they are his own and talks WITH them rather than TO or OVER them.

TREES THAT ARCH OVER STREETS. These are absolutely beautiful and remind one of driving down a street in small town Rhode Island or somewhere like that.

There are so many more things that I love about Grand Forks, but those are the ones that came to mind first.

Anonymous said...

Great points all GF resident