Grand Rapids Gets Love From Pittsburgh!
The travel writer for the Pittsburgh Post Gazette paid our lovely city a visit recently. And he clearly loved what he saw.
Mike Kelly of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette was up north for a family gathering when he stumbled upon our fair city. He was so impressed, he penned a travel piece on us for his publication.
In it, he hits on many of the familiar things to love about GR, the beer, the ArtPrize and the Meijer Gardens, but he also ventured out and found some things normally not mentioned in such articles, like the Frank Lloyd Wright house in Heritage Hill and the Downtown Market.
And if i may, let me return the favor. My middle daughter, Gabrielle, attened the University of Pittsburgh and when she graduated in the spring of 2015, I told her I would miss my little trips to Pittsburgh, as the city had won me over with its hilly venues and its charm.
From the Oakland neighborhood, to Shady Side, it was a town full of quirky things to do and eat and drink (a lot to drink).
Among Kelly's observations on GR, he apparently was impressed by the B.O.B. to start:
Right across the street from our midtown hotel was a big old red brick building where we spent a fair amount of time. It’s called The B.O.B., a catchy name that’s simply an acronym for Big Old Building. The four-story place, built in 1903, houses four restaurants, a craft brewery — naturally — a live-music venue, a nightclub, and a comedy club.
But hey, lest you think there’s little to do in Grand Rapids besides sip craft beer and maybe try out a few locally built office chairs, think again.
One of the state’s top tourist attractions is the Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, which includes 158 acres of indoor and outdoor gardens. Its outdoor sculpture park features works from Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg and Dale Chihuly.
Inside, I was intrigued by the Carnivorous Plant House. The meat-eating plants there are never fed — they serve themselves from a never-ending buffet of flying and crawling insects that find their way into the place year-round.
Another hugely popular spot is the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, which just received a $13 million update and reopened last summer. Both President Ford and his wife, Betty, are buried on the grounds.
The city’s Downtown Market is open year-round, with dozens of stalls, a few restaurants, and even a teaching kitchen for would-be chefs. It’s also the first LEED-certified market in the country.
A few minutes walk from downtown is the Heritage Hill Historic District, where the homes —some of which date to the mid-1800s — reflect nearly every style of American architecture, from Greek Revival to Prairie. Among the latter is a restored Frank Lloyd Wright house filled with original furnishings.