To mark the end of 2016, Rapid Growth takes a look back at our most-read stories of the year.
As 2016 comes to an end, all of us at Rapid Growth hope our wonderful readers are enjoying a peaceful holiday season with your loved ones and have a wonderful time welcoming 2017!
To celebrate the holidays and prepare for covering the new year, we at Rapid Growth will be taking a break until Thursday, January 12. Before then, we wanted to take a look back at our city over the past year and the truly incredible things that have happened in our metropolis. Here are our top 20 most-read stories from 2016:
1. From New Holland Brewing to the redevelopment of the historic Rowe Hotel, these 10 developments are changing the face of Grand Rapids
2. Grand Rapids' watering holes are truly one of a kind
, with our city's historic bars boasting stories of hauntings, Al Capone, Ernest Hemingway, selling spirits on the sly during Prohibition — and a whole lot more.
3. These five chefs
are changing the way we eat in Grand Rapids.
4. Authentic Vietnamese cuisine, Dim Sum, a focus on local, new restaurants like The Sovengard and Iron, craft cocktails, and, of course, beer: This city has an incredible food and drink scene to explore
5. After significant changes in Grand Rapids' journalism landscape, including layoffs, how do we support a healthy and thriving media culture
in the city?
6. Once-abandoned gas stations throughout the city are getting their groove back
7. Grand Rapids Public Schools are tackling food security with school gardens
8. Reshaping gentrification
: How community engagement can make development more equitable.
9. You can call Grand Rapids Public Schools the comeback kids. After years of decline, the school system is on the up and up — this is why
10. Millennials get a bad rap, being called lazy, entitled and spoiled. But they're a tour de force
when it comes to Grand Rapids' economy.
11. ¿Habla Español? Language immersion programs are bringing the world to West Michigan
12. The Michigan bibliophile
: Authors from the Mitten State that every book lover needs to know.
13. From making the city a more affordable place to live to celebrating diversity and so much more, Grand Rapidians had many hopes for 2016
14. These West Michigan women
are kicking butt and taking names. As business owners and entrepreneurs in male-dominated fields, they're proving there's no glass ceiling that can't be shattered.
15. If we are to have a diverse and inclusive city we can all be proud of, we must understand how the Burton Street divide was created
, how we can dismantle it, and how we can prevent it from happening anywhere else in our city.
16. Current and former Grand Rapidians, from CEOs and entrepreneurs to musicians and retirees, weigh in on what our city does well to make people stay
— and what it could do better.
17. We are not a failing school
: Understanding standardized testing and the language divide at Burton.
18. Grand Rapids and Buffalo, New York in many ways seem like twins. So why is it that GR is doing so much better economically? It comes down to manufacturing
19. The search for affordable housing in Grand Rapids: How housing co-ops are making a difference
20. Making herstory: These women are changing the dynamics
of West Michigan politics.
From all of us at Rapid Growth, we wish you a very happy New Year — we can't wait to see what 2017 has in store for West Michigan!