Thursday, April 10, 2008

I Love Grand Forks #3

"I Love Grand Forks" is making a comeback. Now is the time for you to share a few more of the reason that make life in Grand Forks good. Why do you love Grand Forks?

Here's just one thing about Grand Forks that I love: our bike paths. Grand Forks has a larger system of bike paths than just about any other city in the region and it only grows larger with each passing year. The addition of the miles and miles of paths in the Greenway has made the system of trails nothing short of incredible. I don't actually ride a bike on the paths...I'm a walker. I love this time of year because I know that very soon I will set out on long excursions in the evenings. I love the many different paths in this city...from the Greenway paths, to the paths along the English Coulee, to the paths that cut through many of the residential neighborhoods in town. I feel lucky to live in a city that has put such an emphasis on a good system of paths and trails.

135 comments:

Anonymous said...

I love being first...and the month of July here.

Anonymous said...

I love Magoo's Tattoo Parlor.

Amanda said...

I love how all of the neighborhoods decorate for Christmas. I also love how strangers will start up a conversation with you if you are standing in line.

Anonymous said...

Riverside Park Pool!

Anonymous said...

Gilly's keeps out the riff-raff!

Dion.Robert Photography said...

I agree. It's awesome how I can bike from my place downtown all the way to the mall without having to take very many roads in the process. I've also noticed that it's also often quicker to bike to UND from almost any place in town than it is to drive and try and find parking...

Anonymous said...

Where are all of these bike paths? New resident of Grand Forks here....

Anonymous said...

I'm a real believer in a community that creates rewarding, fun and exciting summer activities for its younger residents - things to keep them from getting bored and into trouble. As a relatively new member of this community, I think the Summer Performing Arts (SPA) program is a terrific example of such a program and I think Grand Forks should be proud of how SPA has grown and developed over the years. I know a lot of kids who have greatly benefited from it.

Anonymous said...

I'm a real believer in a community that creates rewarding, fun and exciting summer activities for its younger residents - things to keep them from getting bored and into trouble. As a relatively new member of this community, I think the Summer Performing Arts (SPA) program is a terrific example of such a program and I think Grand Forks should be proud of how SPA has grown and developed over the years. I know a lot of kids who have greatly benefited from it.

Anonymous said...

Darden Restaurants, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the ownership and operation of casual dining restaurants in the United States and Canada. The company operates restaurants under the names Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Bahama Breeze, Smokey Bones, and Seasons 52.

LAST $34.48 +1.16

Tu-Uyen said...

New resident: Try this site for bike trail maps.

http://www.visitgrandforks.com/main.php/fitnesstrailgreenway

There's also a trail that runs through town but it sometimes runs in the streets. I'd stick to the Greenway along the river.

For extra fun, try riding on the shoulders of U.S. Highway 2 or U.S. Highway 81 (Washington Street) when it's really windy. Just like pedalling up hill all day!

Megan said...

Anon 12:29 I agree!! I also love ArtWise that is put on every year at the Alerus!! It helps foster a love for art in both the kids and adults. Some of the demistrating artists really have amazing things to show. Grand Forks shows it's love for arts in the most creative ways!! There is also the Art and Wine Walk every summer which is a favorite of mine. I am always looking around to see the new things local artists have put up down town in many of the shops all year round. GF really knows how to get the community together to show it's appreciation for the arts. The Grand Forks Community Theatre Org. along with Fire Hall Theatre shows new plays all the time, and we never miss a chance to get involved in the children's theatre. This year was a blast with School House Rock Jr.! I am so happy I live in a town large enough to have a play my child can be in that is not put on by some troup traveling through town, and yet small enough where everyone who auditioned got a part this year!! That's 50+ kids!! God Bless Mary Thompson and everyone else who was involved!! I wish more people would be just as enthusiastic and appreciate what a great city/town/community/place this is to live. Maybe more people should just appreciate what they have compared to what others have to live through. (just click on my name and find out lol) I love GF!!!

Anonymous said...

Interesting site..... it's 100.0% more expensive to live in Napa, California than GF and it's 0.0% cheaper to live in Frankfort, Kentucky than GF and it's 202.5% more expensive to live in Jackson, Wyoming than GF!! Of course if you want to live in Tyler, Texas it's 3.7% cheaper!! Although Tyler Texas has 7-6 more crimes for every 1 that GF has... interesting....Ok, I should get back to work now

Kelly Clow said...

What in the HELL is going on in Denver right now?! 4-0 Boston College in the 1st?! Geez.

Anonymous said...

No, you need to go back to California if thats where you are truely from. We don't need your west coast attitude, stupid politics, and snobby behavoir here in the midwest.

Anonymous said...

Who are you talking to?

Kelly Clow said...

6-0?! GAWDDAMMIT!!!!

Anonymous said...

Turn it off Kelly. I did. I can't stand it. Boston is on fire.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

No, you need to go back to California if thats where you are truely from. We don't need your west coast attitude, stupid politics, and snobby behavoir here in the midwest.
6:33 PM, April 10, 2008

Boy there are some serious assholes on this blog.

Anonymous said...

I actually agree with that anon 6:33, californians have actually destroyed the way of life of many western states. From extremly high property prices to the stupid rules such as, no wind chimes after 6 pm.

MattFacingSouth said...

Yeah, Californians suck!

Anonymous said...

Keep the Riverside Pool ! Use the bike path to check it out. greenglass4

Anonymous said...

greenglass4: I did just that the other day. Call me underwhelmed. Wouldn't a swimming pool you could use year round be better suited? Wait... we can do this at a variety of locations already? Hmph.

Anonymous said...

Darden Restaurants, Inc., (NYSE: DRI) headquartered in Orlando, Fla., is the world's largest full-service restaurant company with almost $6.7 billion in annual sales and approximately 170,000 employees. The Company owns and operates nearly 1,700 restaurants including Red Lobster, Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, The Capital Grille, Bahama Breeze and Seasons 52.

Today 34.36 down 0.02

Anonymous said...

I read the whole thing and I still don't know who said they were from California? Who cares? What is this blog about anyway!! Love the greenway!!

my name is earl said...

No wind chimes after 6 pm is the best things I've heard in a long time. I'm all for it.

Anonymous said...

Bike Paths, Greenway, SPA, are things my family enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Fighting Sioux perenially in the Frozen Four.... oops! Maybe not.

Anonymous said...

I love the fact that it snows in April.......

Anonymous said...

i love all the beer cans and boxes on the side of our streets. I was at curling and some guy from norway i think was tellin me he couldnt beleive all the stuff on the side. drinking and driving at its best

Anonymous said...

i wish the city or someone would clean up that lot by culvers with all the trash in it. it really looks trashy and on a main road.

Anonymous said...

I love the lack of smog!

Anonymous said...

I love California!

Anonymous said...

I hate Los Angeles!

Anonymous said...

I love that our scenery-removal project was so successful.

Anonymous said...

I love people who want debris cleaned up before it has quit snowing.

Really, I do love Grand Forks.

Anonymous said...

I love Mack ! Vote for Mack the next Mayor of GF or the Host of HOt Talk in Fargo. Which one will he choose ? Can't do both ! greenglass4.

Anonymous said...

I like Grand Forks because there is zero traffic, barely any crime, no illegal immigrant problems, extremely affordable and cheap to live here, and much more! The only thing that sucks is the weather, but Im from California so all you haters now have another reason to hate Californians.

If Grand Forks could be transplanted to the Southern California, right by the beach, I would live here for the rest of my life, and not move after school. However, I think alot of what makes GF cool is that its in the middle of nowhere.

Anonymous said...

It's fairly expensive to most of us who live here, its only cheap for you because in california they pay you way too much and you move to cheaper places taking advantage of people. That's how come prices rise.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 9:41;

Actually, if you have basic math skills you would know that while generally people in California have higher incomes than people in the Mid-West, those higher incomes are offset by the extremely high cost of living. So in reality the the apparent difference in incomes is not as large as the actual disparity. In addition, this is true on both the east coast, west coast, southern coast or anywhere else that people see as desirable places to live.

So your statement "its only cheap for you because in california they pay you way too much and you move to cheaper places taking advantage of people" does not make any sense!

First of all, since you "live here" you are surely aware that Grand Forks is a transient community. A large part of the population are college students who leave during the summers and on breaks, and therefore permanently leave after they graduate. When most people complain about costs being high, they are complaining about housing costs. Well, you dont need a degree in Real Estate to know that the sole cause of increased housing prices in a "college town" is because its, well....A COLLEGE TOWN!!

As a result, your statement saying people move here from California because it is cheap and to take advantage is ignorant and uneducated. People move to Grand Forks to go to school, therefore the housing costs are going to be more expensive. Its not because people want to "take advantage" of anything or anyone.

In any event, you do have to realize that living anywhere in North Dakota is cheap! I dont care where you are from, being able to rent a NICE 1 bedroom apartment for $500 is ridiculous! You wont find those prices anywhere but the midwest!

Anonymous said...

Dear California Student,
I appreciate that you see many good things about GF and agree with your analysis of the real estate market forces in a college town. You're right, it's not as if West and East Coast students are trying to exploit the locals. I also think you also need to be sensitive to the economic struggles of people working two or three jobs here just to have a standard of living that seems to Midwesterners to be the norm on both coasts.

dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I love the Christmas decorations on South Washington

Anonymous said...

I love the Christmas decorations on South Washington

Anonymous said...

I love small town living where we cling to our religion and guns...

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:09:
I guess that I am just not aware of what the economic struggles are here in Grand Forks, so please forgive me if Im a little ignorant on the subject. I am of course open to an explanation.

However, from my perspective there seems to be plenty of opportunities for employment in Grand Forks. There are new businesses being opening up all the time, and there seems to be lots of economic development. So were exactly are the struggles?

There doesnt seem to be the obvious and severe socio-economic distinction in Grand Forks that you see in California. For example, in CA you can drive through a town that has 10 million dollar houses right down the street from a government subsidized apartment complex. In CA you can pull up to a stop light in your $100K Mercedes and be right next to a carload of illegal immigrants driving a 1985 Toyota pickup. You really dont see that in Grand Forks, there doesnt seem to be a bright line distinction between middle class, and upper middle class here. In Grand Forks, some of the nicest homes Ive seen only sell for a mere $300K, whereas in CA, if you pay $300K for a home, you are living in a dump, in a bad area!

Now to get to my point, people struggle just as hard in California to make a living. However, while someone in Grand Forks can buy the nicest house in town for a few hundred grand, your living in a condo for that price in CA. The major difference between the Mid-West and CA or the east coast is that there is a higher concentration of people who make high salaries. Those people are the ones that create the severe economic gap between someone making an average income and those who do not. In addition, you have to realize that the west and east coast both have sever immigration problems. You have communities where the homes are in the $300K-$500K range that are made up of entirely poor residents living in the worst part of town, with lots of crime. What this creates are communities where the normal avergage Joe making $40K a year, has to live in the worst area of town, in a crappy house. Now take that same average Joe and put him in Grand Forks. Even making say, $10K less than that he would be able to have a comfortable lifestyle in a safe community. So it would tend to make sense that the economic hardships would be even between here and California, only that someone with those same economic hardships would live a much more confortable life in Grand Forks.

Anonymous said...

Dale;
I my reasons for leaving after graduation are that I dont have any family here, and I really love the coast, and I could never make the kind of money here that I could on the east or west coast.

You are totally right though, if Grand Forks was transplanted to the coast it would quickly turn to crap! Thats one of the reasons its so nice, because its isolated from the rest of the world and the weather keeps the riff raff out!

Anonymous said...

North Dakota does have a natural feature to it that does keep out certain people.....COLD WEATHER.

BTW I saw someone from California driving, and they weren't a student for sure, guess what happend, the A** fliped me off. They have no respect.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like everyone is confusing all of California for Los Angeles.

Los Angeles is a breed of its own man. I love it and will move there, but damn, not all of California is like that.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:27;
What are you talking about? You ever actually been to Cali? So-Cal (Orange, San Diego, etc) is super expensive and has MAJOR immigration problems. Nor-Cal (San Fran, Monteray, etc) is also super expensive and also has MAJOR immigration problems. Have you ever heard the term "Sanctuary Cities"?

You are right though, LA is a breed all its own. The gang, smog, and traffic problems are what truly set it apart. However, places like Riverside are now taking the crown for traffic and crime etc.

I lived in Cali 25 years.

Anonymous said...

Please explain "riff raff." Who exactly are you referring to?

Anonymous said...

Dale,

I wonder if people who moved away and now have families and would like to move back to GF find it hard for lack of professional jobs?

dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dale said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Dale:
you are right about the traffic in CA. After I graduated college I worked in the city which was only 35 miles away from my house. However, it took me and hour and a half each way to commute. Thats 3 hours a day, 15 hours a week, 60 hours a month etc., that I spent in traffic! Not to mention the miles I put on my new car!

Another thing that your right about is living in an area but not really being able to enjoy it. For example, I rarely went to the beach or the harbor or enjoyed any of the things that CA has to offer. This was of course due to working 50 hours a week and spending so much time in traffic.

However, it may have also been because I grew up in CA, living there for 20 something years, and didnt really notice I was missing out since its what I was used to.

Now that Im in GF, pursuing another degree I realize how much I love Cali, so whenever I go home on break I make sure I do alot more.

However: I really love Grand Forks, it is such a beautiful town with great people! It is truly a privilege to live here and I am so glad that I choose to return to school here. I hope that the people of Grand Forks realize what an awesome town this is! Its so clean, quiet, beautiful, and inviting. I know that I will be coming back to visit every few years after I graduate. Im excited to see how the town will grow!

Anonymous said...

anon @ 3:26pm

I'm talking about the "Everyone from California is an asshole!" attitude that most of the posts are talking about, when the impression I'm really getting is they're talking about people from LA.

And yes, I've been to California (northern and Southern) and I know about the cost of living, etc.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to break it to you, but people in California generally are not as nice as those in the mid-west, and thats a fact!

Everytime I go home it takes me a couple of days to adjust to it. I definitely notice a difference in how Im treated when I go into a store, restaurant, etc.

I remember when I first moved here it was kind of weird for me, because I could not tell if people were really just being nice, or if they were being sarcastic. I couldnt believe that the mid-west stereotype of "being super nice" was actually so well earned.

The bottom line is, people from CA are generally ruder, less patient, more inconsiderate, and less willing to help you out. I admit I am probably guilty of being this way too, but Grand Forks has mellowed me out!

Anonymous said...

One thing for sure is I would gladly help someone out here in the midwest if they needed it. But if I go to california and someone needs help, even if their life depended on it, I would not help out because californian's mostly are lawsuit happy if something doesnt go right. Others are the same way, im not just saying californians.

Anonymous said...

There are mean people in the midwest (reading through the comments above shows that) and there are nice people in California.

I would never judge someone by the state they reside in. The state I'm more interested in is their state of MIND.

Anonymous said...

Editing myself: I mean that there are both mean and nice people in both states.

Thought I'd better clarify that.

Anonymous said...

I love how the Harald only allows positive, pro-Riverside pool comments on the pool story online. There's a whole other side to the story here. That thing is a waste of time and money, and it's working as a way for North End residents to vent frustration over the city's natural shift away from their property. I don't want higher taxes so their kids can go swimming for 3 months out of the year. There's plenty of other options for them that already exist without extra money having to be spent.

Anonymous said...

If Riverside is reopened, the pool will be used by families all over the city. It's a nicer park, pool,and setting than Elks. Families can also bike to the pool via the Greenway trails. If they open a concession stand, just the bike traffic from the Greenway will help offset the subsidity required to operate the pool.

Anonymous said...

Who needs a pool, thats what the river is for!

Anonymous said...

I ain't goin'n in that river! Yuk!

Anonymous said...

"If Riverside is reopened, the pool will be used by families all over the city. It's a nicer park, pool,and setting than Elks. Families can also bike to the pool via the Greenway trails. If they open a concession stand, just the bike traffic from the Greenway will help offset the subsidity required to operate the pool."

Please...tell me you're not actually serious when you say this.

Families from all over the city will use this pool?!

They sure didn't before it closed. I know my family and all my neighbor's families didn't. And if you think a concession stand will offset the subsidy, you need your head examined.

I'm glad it's going to a citywide vote, now we can put this thing to bed for good.

Anonymous said...

anyone here from California?

Anonymous said...

Did you ever stop to think that the only ones who have commented are pro Riverside Pool people? I have seen a number of people who are against the pool comment on there so I don't know what your talking about. Your point is pointless.

The "Harold" (learn to spell while your at it) doesn't screen for one side of the debate or the other... it only screens for profanity, libel and other personal attacks.

The college kids that run the online forums and the Herald Web site on the weekend, believe me, don't have a dog in the fight and they could care less whose side prevails.

I also would imangine the newspaper's management has better things to do than to instruct their employees to champion one cause over another...they're more concerned with saving a newspaper from going under or going the way of the dinosaurs. And the quickest way to make a newspaper extinct is to interfere with legitimate comments on a public forum. They're smarter than that.

Besides, journalists are of a unique ilk. Unlike other occupations, where employees typically toe the line and do whatever the boss says, reporters tend to rebel against any one from "management" telling them how they should think.

If you've ever been in a newsroom, you would know it's an envrionment rife with debate, cynisim and skeptism toward everything, especially the "suits" and the bean counters upstairs.

Now before you go off and say that the newspaper has no problem telling others how they should think. That is only true for the opinion page, and besides, that is their job. Just like any citizen in this county, opinion writers have the right to advocate for anything they want. The only difference is that a newspaper is more widely disseminated than one man's or one woman's opinion.

The newsside of a newspaper and the opinion side are deliberately separated, just like the advertising department is deliberately separated from the news department.

I think this construct is lost on many casual readers, who tend to lump everyone at a newspaper together.

Reporters, especially at the local level, no matter what some pundits say, take great pride in not advocating for one side over another.They hate getting smoke blown up their rear ends by a Democratic politician as much as they do from the GOP.

So, short story long, the reporters and Web designers at the Herald are not in the pockets of pro Riversiders. The opinion writers might be, but as I have indicated, they are a whole other story.

These are just the thoughts and ramblings or a retired journalist watching from afar.

Next conspiracy theory, please.

Anonymous said...

I love the smell of the Simplot plant on a warm summer day.

Anonymous said...

I'm torn on the Riverside pool issue. On one hand, it seems to make no economic sense to rebuild a pool on the wet side of the dike. On the other, the North End really does need a recreational center it can be proud of. I agree with those who have pointed out that the amenities in GF are shifting toward the wealthier south end and, through Tu-Uyen's extensive blogging & reporting on the political races, see how few opportunities there are right now for the north side to have an equal say in its own future.

Two recent proposals deserve more attention. The first, issued by the Park District, was replacing Riverside pool with a state of the art playground. I know this doesn't take the place of a pool in terms of sentimental memories or the needs of teenagers, but it would still draw people to this scenic location and be a great use of a wet-side spot. Opportunities to build a new, centrally located pool should then be explored. The second proposal is one I saw on the Herald's "Talk" forum just today: since the pool issue is going to a city-wide vote, so should the new Wellness Center the Park Board has proposed for the very far south end. Having both votes on the ballot would draw more attention to the fact that the city is considering the permanent closure of a historic north side asset while looking to pump big dollars into a center that would be hard to access by its poorer residents in the north side and downtown. Surely GF can do better for its sprawling populace than further split the city along economic and geographical lines.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the dialog between the California student, who is highlighting the economic conditions out there, and the local opinions of Dale and others who have lived elsewhere and prefer their life here in GF. Thanks to the Cali perspective shared on this blog, we can have a better understanding of the consequences of the huge contrast between the haves & have nots. My fears about moving to one of the coasts on my "comfortable" GF salary have been reinforced, as the only places I could afford in a low-crime area would be studio apartments. I just couldn't downsize so much!

The same student showed an openness to learning more about the local economy, so I can point out a thing or two. The main problem with the current economic expansion in GF is that most of the new jobs pay less than $15/hour, with many jobs still less than $8/hr. At those wages, even here, it's tough to raise a family and, at the lower end of the scale, hard to afford a one-bedroom apt. that isn't in need of major improvements. That's why, compared to all other states, ND has the second-highest percentage of people working more than one job.

Last week I met someone starting to run for County Commissioner and she suggested that the new research center at UND (under construction near the Hilton Garden Inn) was a pork barrel project (not her exact words). I disagreed, pointing out that it would be bringing in needed higher wage jobs to our area. I didn't mention that those new positions would also draw more graduate students to UND because of the research opportunities in those high tech fields. The free market may be adequate to bring more low wage jobs to the area, but some form of already existing government program must be relied upon to start jobs that a one-income or 1.5-income (one parent working full-time, the other part-time) household could raise a family on.

Some people may object that more higher income jobs would be bad for working-class people here. I don't think so. Those jobs wouldn't be in the same category as the extreme wealth of parts of CA, FL, NY and other places. Instead, their very modest wealth would support our arts & entertainment communities and high end retail businesses (more disposable income), and perhaps bring some tax relief to the rest of the community, as their incomes would provide a higher percentage of our tax base (living in houses with higher property taxes and being in higher income tax brackets).

Here in GF we shouldn't be content with more chain retail outlets and chain restaurants that mostly provide decent spending money for our high school and transient college students. We need more professional and highly paid skilled labor jobs to really grow this community in a sustainable way.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate the dialog between the California student, who is highlighting the economic conditions out there, and the local opinions of Dale and others who have lived elsewhere and prefer their life here in GF. Thanks to the Cali perspective shared on this blog, we can have a better understanding of the consequences of the huge contrast between the haves & have nots. My fears about moving to one of the coasts on my "comfortable" GF salary have been reinforced, as the only places I could afford in a low-crime area would be studio apartments. I just couldn't downsize so much!

The same student showed an openness to learning more about the local economy, so I can point out a thing or two. The main problem with the current economic expansion in GF is that most of the new jobs pay less than $15/hour, with many jobs still less than $8/hr. At those wages, even here, it's tough to raise a family and, at the lower end of the scale, hard to afford a one-bedroom apt. that isn't in need of major improvements. That's why, compared to all other states, ND has the second-highest percentage of people working more than one job.

Last week I met someone starting to run for County Commissioner and she suggested that the new research center at UND (under construction near the Hilton Garden Inn) was a pork barrel project (not her exact words). I disagreed, pointing out that it would be bringing in needed higher wage jobs to our area. I didn't mention that those new positions would also draw more graduate students to UND because of the research opportunities in those high tech fields. The free market may be adequate to bring more low wage jobs to the area, but some form of already existing government program must be relied upon to start jobs that a one-income or 1.5-income (one parent working full-time, the other part-time) household could raise a family on.

Some people may object that more higher income jobs would be bad for working-class people here. I don't think so. Those jobs wouldn't be in the same category as the extreme wealth of parts of CA, FL, NY and other places. Instead, their very modest wealth would support our arts & entertainment communities and high end retail businesses (more disposable income), and perhaps bring some tax relief to the rest of the community, as their incomes would provide a higher percentage of our tax base (living in houses with higher property taxes and being in higher income tax brackets).

Here in GF we shouldn't be content with more chain retail outlets and chain restaurants that mostly provide decent spending money for our high school and transient college students. We need more professional and highly paid skilled labor jobs to really grow this community in a sustainable way.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for double-posting the long entry above. I swear I only hit the "publish" button once! Don't know how that happened.

Anonymous said...

Let's take that area and turn the Riverside dam into a whitewater kayak park like...
http://www.wausauwhitewater.org/Maps.htm
Or
http://www.cityofreno.com/Index.aspx?page=311

Bunches of whitewater kayakers in Manitoba and MN...

So I'm bias as a kayaker...

Anonymous said...

Great idea!

Anonymous said...

What's so wrong about the swimming in the red river?

Anonymous said...

Technically it's illegal to swim in the red river because it is a water source.

Anonymous said...

Hmm. Apparently there are a couple of very strong swimmers posting in this blog.

Check out the current, man...it's a no-brainer!

Anonymous said...

Silly me, who'd want to buy ice cream in a park on a hot summer day! The consultant the park district hired last year said half of the income of a new pool would come from concessions...

MattFacingSouth said...

Most of California's problems lie in the fact that there are too many people. I'm not talking illegal immigrants, I'm talking people who moved there from all over the country in the 70's and 80's and then multiplied.

Then you have the economic boom of the 90's and people started buying up real estate all over the state, which inflated the housing market for everybody. My mom's house: $125,000 when I left CA in 1999. Two years ago: $350,000 with no major improvements done.

And you can thank the a--hats from the Bay Area and LA for turning small-town-atmosphere Sacramento into another faceless stripmall with the obligatory cookie-cutter houses lined up in rows. My hometown lost its identity to the SUV-driving Bay Area transplants who upped the demand for Starbucks and Old Navy. Ditto for so many smaller burgs in the state.

Lame.

To clear up some common misconceptions about California, from my perspective:

Traffic - not that big of a deal. I actually dislike traffic in GF more than in CA. Out there, a 30-45 minute drive home ends up being the same amount of decompress time I need living here in GF. So instead of catching up using FARK and CNN on the computer here, I'd catch NPR or other talk radio on my commutes out there and be ready to rock when I got home. And it, of course, depends on where you live.

Crime - not that big of a deal, and also depends on where you live. Remember that media loves to hype that stuff as if it's South Africa or Honduras out there. It's not. And gangs mainly keep the violence among their kind.

I'm glad I'm here, though. A lot of things would have to happen for me to want to move back, and they're mainly in the population and economics arenas.

Lynsey said...

I may be taking a job in Minot this fall, and I nearly cried thinking about leaving this town. I hadn't realized until that moment how much I like living here, even if this city seems to have a large number of drivers who are either bad or have a skewed sense of right of way. Honestly, that's the worst thing about this town...and if that's all I've got to complain about, I'm doing pretty good.

Anonymous said...

Lynsey - are you sure you cried because you are leaving GF or because you might be moving to MINOT?!?!

Anonymous said...

One thing that is seriously deficient in this city's park system is canoe and kayak access. We have a huge river right out our front door, and no place to safely put a canoe in the water (or exit). I'd like to see that change.

Anonymous said...

There is a serious immigration problem in California aka Mexifornia. The illegals have committed a crime the minute they entered this country. There are also illegial aliens in Grand Forks and ND as well if you don't think so you live under a rock...

seriously, I don't see why anyone would cry if you moving from Grand Forks to Minot is probably a lot cheaper than this over priced dump that we call home.

The riverside pool should be shut down and imploded. That is all we need is more of our tax dollars going to a pool in a flood zone.

On the Jobs front Grand Forks had a chance to have the Marvins plant and dropped the ball, how would that look now?

Also when Amazon first came to grand forks they were going to pay $10.00-$13.00 starting pay but there were a few in town that said; "oh no you can't pay that kind of money."

Anonymous said...

Hey, cheer up. Minot has a great zoo. Roosevelt Park is very nice. The mall is a lot better than the one in Grand Forks but the restaurant scene is lacking. Minot has a lot of very nice neighborhoods and there are actually hills there!

Anonymous said...

I love:

•Red River HS Music and drama depts.
•SPA
•The Bel Canto Studio of Voice
•The Red Pepper
•the dog park!

Anonymous said...

Minot has a REAL Fair too

Anonymous said...

Minot is a nice city so don't bawl about leaving this crappy city behind.

GrandForksGuy said...

"Minot is a nice city so don't bawl about leaving this crappy city behind."

Calling one North Dakota city nice while calling another "crappy?" Talk about immature. Minot is a nice large town. At the same time, Grand Forks is also a very nice small city. Both are great places to live and both have different things going for them. Personally, I would simply much rather live in Grand Forks because I think the sum of all of its parts makes it the "nicest" city in the state.

GrandForksGuy said...

"I may be taking a job in Minot this fall, and I nearly cried thinking about leaving this town. I hadn't realized until that moment how much I like living here, even if this city seems to have a large number of drivers who are either bad or have a skewed sense of right of way. Honestly, that's the worst thing about this town...and if that's all I've got to complain about, I'm doing pretty good."

I like your attitude, Lynsey. If you do move, we'll miss you here in Grand Forks!

megan said...

Hey Lyndsey! I love Minot don't feel bad, it's beautiful up there. If someone would have even clicked on my name they would see the difference from GF to Minot cost of living...it's 4.9% cheaper!!

here...http://www.bestplaces.net/col/?salary=20000&city1=24220&city2=33500

I think that is was the person after me was talking about..and I also think someone A$$-YOU-MED they were from Cali when they were just talking about the cost of living. But I could be assuming as well.

Anonymous said...

I think Bismarck is the nicest big town/small city in the state, with Grand Forks 2n.

Anonymous said...

These midwestern towns are doing alright and you know why? Becuase mayors, city councils, and any leadership rule making job out there belongs to those who grew up out here. I bring this up because those same jobs in other western states, Oregon, Montana, Colorado, just to name a few have allowed the unwanting politics of someoene from California to join in. They try to impliment rules to make the new state they moved to like California. That's how they essentially ruined the state, its not all about money.

C.Y. said...

That's called "Californication of " (add name here).

Anonymous said...

Grand Forks is not a nice city, it is an over taxed, low wage dump. The city is run by about 5 families and what ever they want is what we get.

Anonymous said...

Five families run Grand Forks?

Name them.

Anonymous said...

Yes please!

Anonymous said...

Mattfacingsouth:

Your "perspective" is way off! What are you talking about???
Traffic is absolutely horrible all over California! In fact, traffic is one of the top problems California legislatures consistently have to deal with, by allocating funds to widen and improve highways to allow more vehicles, to construct more Toll Roads etc.

Crime is not bad? Are you kidding me? North Dakota averages 6 murders a year, and 50% of those are by domestic violence. Do a simepl Google search for CA crime statistics. And dont try and respond with some over-analytical skew of the population/demographic statistics trying to show that per capita ND crime rate is the same, or even close! You should know this, especially if you say the market value of you Mom's home is only $300,000, because that means she's living in a less desirable/poor area of town, which inevitably means more crime.

Also, the immigration problem is a HUGE contributing factor to the density and crime issues Californians are facing. Haven't you ever been to San Diego?

Anonymous said...

I love how a lot of local business owners act as if they are doing you a favor by accepting your business.

Anonymous said...

What do I love about GF? I love all of the neck tattoos I see on women around town. Yup, nothing says classy like a neck tattoo.

Anonymous said...

I love people who leave their inflatable Christmas decorations up into April. And people who leave old furniture out by the road for weeks, instead of putting it out just before cleanup week.

MattFacingSouth said...

Anon at 2:55 -

What I shared was my perspective, as opposed to factual data. It's funny how you can claim that my perspective is "off," though. Kudos to you for being so worldly.

Then you go and tell me to prove my perspective while putting a restriction on my analysis!? Only a simple person would want a simple answer, so I'll save myself the trouble of explaining it to you.

For everybody else: sure, the crime rate is higher, but it's really not that bad - it's never affected my daily life, nor that of anyone in my family or friends, save for the occassional car break-in (which, coincidentally, has happened here, too).

102 murders/year in a county of 1.2 million isn't that bad - it's just a matter of perspective, which anon didn't seem to grasp. It's not like LA, which a lot of people would tell you isn't so bad, either.

My Mom's house is not in a bad area, just a quiet suburb. It's fairly small, though.

And traffic is traffic. It's a problem some places, yes. Those places were places I tended to avoid during rush hour, so it never bothered me much. But 30 minutes isn't bad; it's bad compared to GF commute times, but it's far less frustrating than driving down 32nd street - in MY opinion.

Far be it for me to tell someone else their views are "way off" if I don't happen to agree with them. I've found that people like that tend to be assholes who only see the world in their black-and-white way, but I could be wrong - the onus isn't on me - I'm not hiding behind anonymity. I'll share my opinion, you can share yours, we'll agree to disagree.

MattFacingSouth said...

^^^ 32nd Ave. Dang.

Anonymous said...

wow, calling people Assholes is really appropriate on here

Anonymous said...

mattfacingsouth:
real mature buddy

Anonymous said...

Muslims face south in reverence of Mecca. Mattfacingsouth in reverence of Southern Kalifornia.

Anonymous said...

Should be face EAST in reverence of Mecca.

MattFacingSouth said...

Southern Cal - no way. NorCal here. And not in reverence, save for a few things I miss.

As for the asshole comment - it was a little harsh, but anonymous internet denizens telling me that an anecdotal OPINION of mine is "way off" is a little ridiculous. If I knew the person, even by a handle, I guarantee I wouldn't call them that. But since they're anonymously taking potshots, they're fair game, IMO.

Look, all I was doing was telling a little story of how I saw it out there as well as how I like it here better and a rounder had to come along and blow my story up - negating my opinion with their opinion and a few weird conditions for my rebuttal. I think the ad hominem I replied with was worded too harshly, but it was fairly on the mark.

Lots of Califoria bashing here - you make someone from there feel real unwelcome, and I've chosen to make this my home for the last 9 years and the indefinite future mainly because of people *not* like you.

Of course, if you revealed your identity, we'd probably have a laugh over a beer or whatever. Fat chance of that, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

Why are ppl that live in Cali moving here? i see allot of talk about tha cali ppl.

What other ppl from other states are moving here? and why? can't be the Job? or....could it?

family.....

where is everyone born? and been?

Kelly Clow said...

Mattfacingsouth,

Hey man, as somebody who has endured his fair share of sniper attacks on here, I just have to say not to let it get to you. It's not that important.

As for the California issue, I guess as someone who's never been there, I get most of my impressions about it from pop culture, which has never been too kind to the place. My girlfriend spent a part of her childhood there, and she speaks of it with total reverence.

I actually have two friends down here who were born and raised around Orlando and want nothing in the world more than to visit North Dakota. I have told them stories of watching the Northern Lights and being able to look up and see the stars in the biggest sky in America, and they are totally hooked on the idea of going up there this fall while I do Rocky Horror to see the trees change.

It's all about point of view.

I could have said, "Forget it, it's too damn cold and there's nothing to do up there but drink until you happily forget where you are." -which is something I probably would have said if I still lived up there, but instead I looked at ND from a nostalgic point of view and described what I loved about the place to them. Now, not only do they want to visit, but they want to actually look the place over and possibly pull up stake and MOVE to ND!

Point of view is everything!

MattFacingSouth said...

"Point of view is everything!"

Thanks Kelly, that was my point.

I got defensive because people were attacking my home and felt the thread could use a little perspective. But in the end I violated rule #1 of internet foruming and posted in anger. For that I apologize.

Most NDers I know get defensive when people attack ND, and I, too know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of the same sentiments. The thing is - I didn't deserve it, and that's why I went off the handle. That and the whole anonymous sniping thing, which I'm, frankly, really tired of.

Anonymous said...

Mattfacingsouth:

Being able to voice your opinion without having to reveal your identity is one of the benefits or blogging, there is nothing wrong with posting anonymous.

In fact, since Grand Forks is such a small town, Im surprised that you would openly attack people and call them a--holes, while at the same time allowing your identity to be open for all to see, which can easily damage your reputation.

In fact doesnt it just make YOU look like the A-hole? That certainly cant be good for business!

Thats just my opinion on the matter, certainly not fact!

MattFacingSouth said...

I called ONE person that, a person who happened to call me out on my perspective, which was way out of line. Unfortunately I can't direct any sort of argument at a specific singular entity in this forum because there are so many anonymii around. Who knows - it could be the same person posting each post?

If you think that makes me an asshole, I can't help that. I certainly can't tell you you're off the mark for thinking that way. I admitted I was wrong for insinuating the person who attacked me was an asshole, but the point is I was wrong.

But what I will say is that if you're basing your judgment of me on that one specific incident, then it might say more about you than me - again, my opinion.

As for business, I'm not a coward - I don't think it will affect business, but if I've hurt a customer's feelings by what I've said, I'd hope they'd have the courage to say something to me in person. And I'll openly apologize. I think my relationship with my customers is good enough to warrant that - to not let an anonymous conversation ruin a good thing.

But "nothing wrong with anonymous posting" is a position I'll have major disagreement with, mainly because I'm arguing with the wind here. "Anonymous" means nothing to me on any personal level. For all you know, it could be me starting a fight with myself. It could be a troll, it could be a competitor trying to get me riled up, it could be anything. But one thing is for sure - it's cowardly. And further, the person who sniped me and led the first attack gets away scott-free because they're behind the mask. Nice.

I'm not saying we need to post our actual identities, but forums should all have a way to identify a person as an entity - so that their reputation follows them. I'm the only one taking heat here because I have the guts to do so. I can handle that.

Anonymous said...

Your one angry person!

Anonymous said...

mattfacingsouth:

You said "forums should all have a way to identify a person as an entity - so that their reputation follows them."

I totally agree with you! And now YOUR reputation will follow you!

Anonymous said...

mattfacingsouth et. al.:

Honestly... this seems really blown way out of proportion. He doesn't seem to be an "angry person" by any means, but this whole thread turned from one of loving Grand Forks into hating California. If I were from California, I'd get defensive too, especially if someone was telling me my perspective was "way off" - I didn't know that was possible. As for the asshole comment - which was unnecessary but seemed offhand in the first place - it is easier to say anything to someone who doesn't have a name or a face, isn't it? Isn't that the beauty of online blogging? I don't know. To me, it just always sucks when one person's getting attacked, especially if they've apologized.

Anonymous said...

From reading the posts above. It seems as though the "perspective way off" comment was made in terms of his perspective being way off from the factuality that California traffic is horrible, that there is crime, etc.

Basically, its like saying, your opinion is not supported by facts.

However, I dont want to get into a deep theological argument of opinions and how they operate.

In any event, there is no place for personal attacks and profanity on this blog so in the future lets keep it clean people (specifically, Mattfacingsouth) Calling someone on here an A..Hole is just immature!

However, I would like to say that I love Grand Forks! I like seeing all the beautiful parks and golf courses this time of year, when the snow is finally gone!

Anonymous said...

With all the usual pissy whining about grand forks around here, all it takes is a little chance to gang up on someone else to bring everyone to an agreement. I think it's funny. Matt facing southerly just got caught up in the middle.

Anonymous said...

hold up...

"Your one angry person!"

Should be...

You're one angry person!

There... the thread is all better now!

Anonymous said...

In any event, there is no place for personal attacks and profanity on this blog so in the future lets keep it clean people (specifically, Mattfacingsouth) Calling someone on here an A..Hole is just immature!

I don't know where you came from, but you obviously haven't been around here long. There are all kinds of threads like this lately. And who the hell are you to make it stop? Just shut up.

If GFG wants to do something about it, that's his prerogative, not yours, you tender-eared Puritan.

Way to go MattFacingSouth for calling 'em like you see 'em. These anonymous snipers are a**holes. Next time you feel like telling them, select anonymous first so you don't have to be a target for a bunch of righteous nonsense.

First one to write a post about how ironic this post is gets a dollar off a dozen sliders at White Castle and a satiny green ribbon.

Anonymous said...

It's me, it's me. I'm writing first about how non-Ironic that post is. I say, tell it how it is. A** hole is far from bad. lighten up.

Ok. i need that ribbion, an 1 dolla off, gas is kicken my a** ;=)

Coffee Guy said...

I just reread what MFS wrote, and didn't find it particularly harsh. No more harsh than some of the things that people have been writing on here. He was describing his interactions with a certain type of person, a close-minded, "my way of the highway" thinker.

Matt's a great guy, and extremely friendly. In fact, he's one of the most personable people I've met in Grand Forks, and he's not even a native. He's also one of the few people I personally know who is constantly doing something to improve GF, him by way of his music. It sounds to me like he has a pretty good frame of reference.

But what do I know. The daughter of the owner of Capone's called me a "d-bag" on a blog a year or so ago.

YMMV.

Anonymous said...

she said she meant to call you a "tea bag"

what's YMMV acronym for?

Matthew said...

"Your Mileage May Vary"

Anonymous said...

Coffee,

The d-bag flag was passed to The Grappler weeks ago.

Coffee Guy said...

Carry it well, my friend. It's been good to me. *sniff*

Speaking of Capone's, anybody know how well they are doing in McVille? I'll bet they are OK there. I just looked at the menu online, and it looks like they have some Italian food at reasonable prices. Why couldn't they do that here in GF?

Anonymous said...

Transferring data from uweb.und.nodak.edu...

Matthew said...

Transferring data from uweb.und.nodak.edu...

I removed my avatar, are you asshats happy now?

Anonymous said...

Transferring data from i64.photobucket.com...

Anonymous said...

I love the cultural diversity in Grand Forks. Its wonderful to see such a racially diverse community.

I also love all the that splendid smell that you can sometimes get a whiff of on a windy day that comes from Simplot.

I love how the DMV has separate offices for getting a license and vehicle registration, and how they dont take credit cards.

I love how the roads are so well taken care of and maintained.

I love Pontiac Grand Ams', the "Official Granf Forks Hot Rod"

I love it when people wear those SWEET snowmobile jackets around.

I love it even more when people wear those camoflouge hunting jackets around.

I love it when the cashier at Wal-Mart asks me if I want a "beg", wait does she mean "bag"?

Matthew said...

I love the word "asshat."

:-D

Anonymous said...

It's interesting how this thread evolved, but not surprising to me. In the 4+ years I've lived here, it has been a rare occasion when I did not get lambasted for expressing opinions contrary to the local closed-minded groupthink. I have been more or less told: "No one who grew up somewhere else can possibly have a better idea about anything than those of us who have been here all our lives. We know what's best for us." The key to that statement is "here all our lives." I never fail to be amazed at the number of local people I've met who have never ventured out of the Red River Valley past, say, Detroit Lakes, for WeFest.

So take heart those brave souls who dare to point out that quality of life in other places is better than it is here.

C.Y. said...

So if it is so great elsewhere, why even bother stopping in GF unless it's to tell us how much better it is somewhere else?

Anonymous said...

mattfacingsouth

I love how you keep me interested. I like you buddie!

summergirl said...

I love the rich fertile dirt here and how just about anything can grow but I really wish we could go outside and enjoy it...

Anonymous said...

Grand Forks...great? People here a downright nasty. I was flipped off by drivers 3 different times in the last week for doing little wrong on the road. I have encountered several people who admitted to being racist. And why do trains interrupt traffic every 30 minutes? Is it 1885 or something where trains are the main source of transportation?