The Other Side of the State

This past weekend I was at the annual Great Lakes History Conference representing Wayne State University Press. I was absolutely thrilled to discover the beautiful city of Grand Rapids and to find Grand Valley State University nestled amidst this gorgeous western Michigan backdrop. It was amazing to hear that many people from the west side of the state had never been to Detroit or that they even had no intention of visiting; of course, I felt silly never having known anything about Grand Rapids either. Those that had been to Detroit had wonderful things to say about the city, namely, praise of the Michigan Opera and the DIA. It was strange to feel animosity towards Detroit, not for rumors of exaggerated violence, but because people felt that Detroit has long eclipsed Michigan as a whole in terms of research conducted and attention garnered.

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