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The Concrete Jungle

A comparison of life in an east coast metropolis to Big Rapids

by Published: Oct 23, 2013

There isn’t much to com­pare when it comes to the Big Apple and Big Rapids.

As a cer­ti­fied future New Yorker, I’m here to tell you what a day in the life of a bor­ough hop­ping young adult is like in com­par­i­son to the slow-paced small city life.

It’s obvi­ously night and day, except in New York, there is no night. There’s just less nat­ural light and the honk­ing never stops.

People who have not expe­ri­enced New York often don’t real­ize the city is not all sky­scrap­ers and mas­sive parks. That’s merely Manhattan.

Most of the com­mon sights peo­ple want to see are in this bor­ough, or sec­tion of New York. The Empire State Building, Central Park, Strawberry Fields, the 9/11 Memorial and the Plaza Hotel are all within the bound­aries of Manhattan.

You can even reach Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty from Manhattan’s Battery Park.

It’s some­what over­whelm­ing to the aver­age Ferris stu­dent. Those of us who are used to a clas­sic burger from Schuberg’s or a Cranker’s brewed beer would feel lost. This small town feel is homey.

In that burger, you can feel the care that’s put into it. They cater to the taste of a small town stu­dent. However, in Manhattan, you can find hun­dreds of spots to snag a great burger, but it’s not the same. It’s not cooked for any one per­son; every burger is pre­pared the same.

Thankfully for New Yorkers there are more blue-collar spots for those of us who like the big city with a lit­tle smaller town per­son­al­ity — and it’s only a bridge away.

Brooklyn has become much safer than its rep­u­ta­tion would allude to. Brooklyn Heights has flour­ished over the years. The area directly at the end of the Brooklyn Bridge is now a des­ti­na­tion for young peo­ple look­ing for their start.

Brooklyn is as American as it gets. It’s the melt­ing pot we learned about when we were in grade school. It’s diverse and excit­ing and only a lit­tle con­fus­ing to navigate.

If you’ve ever had issues nav­i­gat­ing Big Rapids, New York prob­a­bly is not for you.

The busy lifestyle is per­fect for plenty of us. Eating lunch in Little Italy or strolling through Soho dur­ing their strange shop­ping hours can con­sume your week­ends. By con­trast, in Big Rapids, you’re either tub­ing dur­ing the sum­mer or hol­ing up in your room, brav­ing the bone– chill­ing winters.

Those win­ter nights that freeze your hair upon tak­ing two steps out­side are bit­ter until you look up.

What you won’t get in New York are stars. Big Rapids has that wide-open sky filled with illu­mi­na­tion on clear nights. Many peo­ple love that aspect of a lit­tle city in the mid­dle of Michigan’s frozen north.

This isn’t a cam­paign to get all of you to move out east because the lifestyle isn’t for every­one. It’s sim­ply a com­par­i­son of the two cities I know best and why I love them both.