Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Kelly's Book 4.13: Grand River and Joy

Dear Jenny,

My mother-in-law recommended this book a couple of years back. The only thing I really know about it is that it's set in Detroit -- Grand River and Joy are streets downtown. (You can see the intersection here on Google Maps, if you're interested.)

Random note about the street "Grand River." On the freeway, it's abbreviated "Gd River" and the GPS also says "Gd River." When we first moved here, I was using the GPS to navigate and I told Bill, "Get off at Grand (?) River. At least, I assume that's 'Grand' -- it's abbreviated as 'Gd' everywhere -- it's not God damned River, is it?" You never know -- Detroit can be pretty tough! Heh.

I'm also currently reading Detroit City is the Place to Be and Belle Isle to 8 Mile: An Insider's Guide to Detroit, which is an exhaustively comprehensive guide to the city. (Honestly, I have never read a more detailed city guide in my life.) So, you know... I'm gettin' all Detroit-y!



  1. I love it when street signs have abbreviations. I always loved it when they said "Phila" when I was in college. I mean, duh, of course Philadelphia is too long to fit on a sign. I'm not really seeing where GRAND is too long of a word, though!

    It's always so interesting to read a book kind of cold. That's one way to kick the expectation problem!

  2. Exactly! We're saving 3 letters here. But I guess it gets too long with "River Ave." added to it (In fact, I just counted: "Grand River Ave" is actually 3 characters longer than "Philadelphia," if you count the spaces... Huh. However, cutting off "delphia" is way more savings than just "ran".) Also... we just went to Detroit on Tuesday night and I saw a Gd River Ave sign and it was *plenty* wide to fit an extra "ran" in the middle.

    I just checked with my good buddy Google to find out if there was any info about this and... there is a little! First, this guy gives a cost justification for the shortening Grand (in that case, Grand Rapids) (but the very first commenter kind of blows it out of the water.)

    Re: Gd Rapids, this guy has a pretty funny post about that. Heh.

    More googling around reveals that this seems to be a specifically *Michigan* abbreviation (New York has apparently been know to use "Gr" which I think could be easily confused with "Great") (Not that I would immediately know that Gd = Grand, honestly...) *and* there are quite a few Michiganders who find it strange and irritating. Ha! Who knew?