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Reply #37: Welcome to Kalamazoo! [View All]

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Obamarama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-19-06 08:05 PM
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37. Welcome to Kalamazoo!
Edited on Tue Sep-19-06 08:06 PM by KzooDem
Welcome to our fair city, GOPBasher.

As others have mentioned, Kalamazoo is a pretty decent place to live if you have to live in a medium-sized, Midwestern college town. I wouldn't say Kalamazoo is very liberal as was mentioned above. That being said, I don't think it's very conservative, either. There are sizable camps of both conservative and liberal mindsets, which keeps things fairly balanced. Were it not for the local colleges (Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, plus Kalamazoo Community College) it might be a lot more conservative. There is a very strong streak of conservative, Christian politics in the area, but like I said, they are kept in check by the liberal camp.

I would say more than anything else, Kalamazoo has a thriving arts community. We have a pretty decent symphony, an art museum, a very VERY strongly supported civic theatre program, a few independent theatre troupes (Whole Art Theatre, Actors & Playwrights Initiative, and The New Vic).
One Friday a month there is an Art Hop where artists display their works in local venues and businesses in the downtown area.

I think the biggest plus Kalamazoo has going for it, however, is its downtown area. In an era where the downtown area of cities of similar size are dying, Kalamazoo's downtown has experienced a real renaissance in the the past 5 - 8 years. There have been several high-end loft condos built in older buildings downtown, the Radisson Hotel just underwent a major renovation, and they just built a brand-new 14 screen multiplex smack dab in the middle of downtown. That's virtually unheard of in medium sized cities.

There are lots of great places to eat and drink in Kalamazoo, too. Who needs the national chains? There are lots of independent spots to enjoy. Among my favorites:

The Corner Bar (corner of Vine & Mills) - An old bowling alley from the 1920s turned into a bar/restaurant. Decorated in vintage beer marketing memorabilia, it's somewhat of a dive with a pretty good beer selection and really, really good bar food. Their ribs are as good as any I have had in Kansas City.

Food Dance Cafe (Michigan Avenue & Portage, downtown)- Primarily a breakfast place, but also serving lunch & dinner. Ecclectic, sophisticated place that serves locally grown and produced food. Quality is what this place is known for. A little on the pricey side but very worth it.

Martini's (Westnedge Avenue at Village St.) Independent Italian place - everything is homemade. EVERYTHING. The best pizzas, calzones and antipasti salads this side of Rome. Their sandwiches are superb as well, especially their Cuban pork sandwich.

MacKenzies Bakery (Harrison Street at Ransom St.) and Sarkozy's Bakery (N. Burdick Street at Kalamazoo Ave.) - Who needs Panera with these places in town?? Sarkozy's has been around for eons and their breads are great. MacKenzies has been around for eons as a traditional bakery, but in the last 5 to 8 years has come into its own with its expertise now solidly entrenched in artisinal breads. Both places are superb and my partner and I frequent them both on a weekly basis.

Water Street Coffee Joint - Kalamazoo Avenue at Water Street - Move over Starbuck's. This independent coffee house puts Starbucks to shame with it's ecclectic coolness. Excellent coffees to choose from, not to mention out-of-this-world baked goods.

These are just a few of my favorite things about Kalamazoo. Feel free to PM me if you want any additional information. I can point you in the direction of reputable lawyers, realtors, mechanics, etc...

Once again, WELCOME!
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  -I'm moving to southwestern Michigan. Some questions. GOPBasher  Sep-01-06 02:39 PM   #0 
  - Well the South West part of the State is red  notadmblnd   Sep-01-06 02:47 PM   #1 
  - The Allegan area has some beautiful lakes and hills  1gobluedem   Sep-01-06 03:12 PM   #3 
  - Thank you for the info and link!  GOPBasher   Sep-01-06 07:19 PM   #6 
  - Thanks for the reply!  GOPBasher   Sep-01-06 07:18 PM   #5 
  - Welcome to Michigan, GOPBasher  SharonRB   Sep-01-06 02:51 PM   #2 
  - Thanks!  GOPBasher   Sep-01-06 07:19 PM   #7 
  - I work in the Kal. area. There are many things to do...  MichiganVote   Sep-01-06 03:59 PM   #4 
  - Thanks for the info!  GOPBasher   Sep-01-06 07:20 PM   #8 
  - Welcome to Michigan!  livvy   Sep-01-06 08:18 PM   #9 
  - Good to know!  GOPBasher   Sep-01-06 09:32 PM   #10 
  - Just remember to check your basement and garage for pods  TahitiNut   Sep-02-06 11:00 AM   #11 
  - Thanks for the welcome!  GOPBasher   Sep-02-06 07:38 PM   #13 
     - Rent this CLASSIC movie ...  TahitiNut   Sep-03-06 10:39 AM   #15 
  - welcome to Michigan!!  auntAgonist   Sep-02-06 04:35 PM   #12 
  - Thanks for the welcome!  GOPBasher   Sep-02-06 07:39 PM   #14 
  - Bell's Beer  meganmonkey   Sep-05-06 08:34 PM   #16 
  - Is that a local beer I should try? I've never heard of it. n/t  GOPBasher   Sep-07-06 09:39 AM   #20 
     - Yep - it is a great local brewery  meganmonkey   Sep-07-06 09:59 AM   #23 
        - Cool, I'll have to check it out. n/t  GOPBasher   Sep-08-06 12:35 AM   #27 
  - I went to WMU/grew up in Grand Rapids  noonwitch   Sep-06-06 09:13 AM   #17 
  - Thanks noonwitch!  GOPBasher   Sep-07-06 09:42 AM   #21 
  - I was at WMU from '83-'87  Susang   Sep-12-06 06:33 PM   #29 
  - Galley Subs!  jeanarrett   Sep-19-06 02:24 PM   #35 
  - i don't have anything useful to add to others' posts....  Scout   Sep-07-06 08:18 AM   #18 
  - I use the palm of my right hand.  TahitiNut   Sep-07-06 09:14 AM   #19 
  - I've seen oven mitts with Michigan maps, but no mittens.  Scout   Sep-07-06 09:14 PM   #25 
  - Thanks for the welcome!  GOPBasher   Sep-07-06 09:43 AM   #22 
  - Welcome to Michigan!  bif   Sep-07-06 10:45 AM   #24 
  - Thanks for the welcome!  GOPBasher   Sep-08-06 12:35 AM   #26 
  - Kalamazoo had a cool bar called Club Soda that  sonroadera   Sep-11-06 07:46 AM   #28 
  - I'll look for it. n/t  GOPBasher   Sep-18-06 10:31 AM   #34 
  - Club Soda just went out of business this month!  KzooDem   Sep-19-06 07:32 PM   #36 
  - I'm from Kalamazoo  mformichigan   Sep-16-06 03:49 PM   #30 
  - Thanks for all the info.  GOPBasher   Sep-18-06 10:30 AM   #32 
  - Active Democratic Party  douginmarshall   Sep-17-06 12:41 AM   #31 
  - Thanks for the info. n/t  GOPBasher   Sep-18-06 10:30 AM   #33 
  - Welcome to Kalamazoo!  KzooDem   Sep-19-06 08:05 PM   #37 
  - Ditto  mformichigan   Sep-25-06 12:57 PM   #38 
  - Come south young person!  erinlough   Sep-26-06 05:40 PM   #39 
  - Get ready to be asked numerous times what Church you attend.  sarcasmo   Sep-26-06 06:06 PM   #40 

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