The city of Grand Rapids - that got it's start as a fur trading post along the river in the 1830's - is still here, and the place the Beerhorst Family call home. We live in one of the older neighborhoods in the core of the original city. We can bike downtown in ten minutes or less. If you keep going another ten- fifteen minutes heading south west you come to the expansive open land of Millennium park, and can wander the trails all day. Ten minutes heading east from our house brings you to the picture perfect setting of East Grand Rapids and the wooded trails around Reeds Lake.
Our neighborhood is a walking neighborhood, with lots of nice restaurants, interesting shops, galleries and bakeries situated in clusters five minutes from our front door. When I come back from the Sparrows Coffee Shop or from Fulton Heights Grocery store Brenda usually will ask me who I ran into and there is usually always a short list of names of people we both know that I saw and spoke with.
I have been keeping my eye on the aftershocks of Hurricane Sandy along the East Cost, especially New Jersey and the New York City outer burroughs. There are a lot of people whose lives are completely uprooted by the aftermath of that storm and I feel for them. Knowing some of what these people have been going through makes me appreciate the warmth that comes up through the floor vents every time the furnace kicks on.
The places where we live are what we make of them. I want to live in Grand Rapids in a way that contributes something to the quality of life here over the long term. I love this place and long for it's continued unfolding towards a city that is truly walkable with plenty of nature woven in to round off its urban corners and soften it's edges.