11 Things People From Rochester Hills Know Too Well

11 Things People From Rochester Hills Know Too Well

Rochester Hills, Michigan, where we're "innovative by nature" in one of the best hometowns in the world.
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Rochester Hills is a town of 70,000 people. It's small and it's cozy; it's like any other town, yet it's special. There's so much to explore in this town, and there's so much beauty. You always see pictures of pretty city parks and interesting landscapes and hear stories of the eccentric, yet aesthetic local stores in hipster cities. But it's something else entirely to say you live in a city where all of this exists, especially when you wouldn't expect it. There are just some things that every person who grew up in your hometown always knows, like a little piece of ourselves that we get to share with only so many people. And if you've lived here for long enough, you'll know exactly what I mean no matter what I say about our town. So, without further ado,10 Things People From Rochester Hills Know Too Well:

1. Downtown Rochester's Christmas Lights

It's a beautiful moment driving down Main Street on a December night when the lights are up, with Christmas music blasting through your car and the heat turned up to the max. Just makes you crave a hot chocolate and your snuggliest snow boots because you know, you know, winter is on its way. *Cue Michigan's evil laugh*

2. The Trails

Of course, we can't wait for winter to be over, so we can hit the serene trails of Rochester Hills, like the Clinton River Trail that lets you walk right alongside our mighty river, and the Paint Creek Trail (that disappointingly doesn't actually have paint waiting for us at every bend). Whether it's biking or running or walking with your dogs, the trails are just perfect. The best part about them is that you'll never be bored. Hundreds of side paths through the brush take you to the most surprising and picture perfect spots on the river, but we know never to forget bug spray when we venture off the paved path.

3. The Borden Park 4th of July Fireworks

There is just something irresistible about the magic of fireworks, and even more so when we're celebrating America. It makes it worth it to brave the long wait in our cars, the long walk to the park, the insanely busy Festival (I mean come on, it's packed like sardines, and please don't sit in the walkways!), the bugs, the screaming (but absolutely adorable) little kids, the guilt of air and noise pollution, the endless snapchats on EVERYONE'S story...

4. Costco

We may not own our Costco in Rochester Hills, but you can be damn sure we have a membership to one, if not all three, in the area. Where else are we gonna get our lunch of free samples and berry smoothies?

5. Construction

The Oakland Press

Psh, who needs GPS when you learned how to drive in the construction-riddled streets of Rochester Hills? We are the masters of finding alternate routes, all thanks to the constant road closures of construction season. Oh, did I mention construction season lasts year-round and that it's a never-ending project? Seriously, between nearly all the roads being temporarily rerouted to only one-way traffic and the unpredictability of which roads are going to be closed next, you can forget about getting anywhere on time for the rest of the summer. Ahh, but we'll never be rid of our beloved potholes either way.

6. Shopping

A little slice of Europe in our own backyard. The Village is your ultimate high-end outdoor shopping spot. With it's fountains and beautiful store fronts, you feel like a super-classy shopper even if you'd rather be hitting up Coldstone across the street in your sweatpants. Even if shopping isn't your thing, The Village is a picture-perfect spot. We've all had our fair share of photo shoots with the statues of the bears; don't pretend otherwise.

7. Rochester Hills Public Library

RHPL

It didn't matter who you were as a kid; if you lived in Rochester Hills, you visited the library. The big stuffed animals in the kids section and the giant fish tank are unforgettable memories that every kid has of the library. Not to mention the ice cream socials. And of course, finally getting to walk up the stairs to the big kid's section, that was a rite of passage for us all. Once you'd get up there, though, you'd realize that it was just full of students studying at the tables and adults perusing actual books with titles too difficult to pronounce let alone understand, and then we couldn't wait to get back downstairs. Huh, that's still true.

8. The Municipal Park

The City of Rochester Hills

Follow the trail from the library and you'll end up in one of the most beautiful municipal parks in Michigan. The park has THREE play structures, each more fun than the last, a walking path that follows a beautiful river, and a pond complete with the cutest ducks. It must be an unwritten rule that all the schools in the area come to this pond for their prom pictures when the weather's nice. The ducks just love it.

9. Madonna

Madonna's Childhood Home in Rochester Hills

Yes, that's right, Rochester Hills was home to Madonna. Madonna came from these very roots, went to our own Adams High, and for this reason, we love her. She didn't mean it when she said she hated growing up here. Right, Madonna? Well, I guess you just have to get into the groove to appreciate this city. (Bad pun.)

10. Yates Cider Mill

We love our Cider Mill. And yes, it actually is water powered. Yates is the place to be in the fall, with delicious cider and donuts, a petting zoo, and the river walk. The line can be long, but it's so worth it. Especially when the weather is just right, just chilly enough to pull on jeans and a favorite sweatshirt, grab a jug of cider and walk down the river walk next to beautifully colored fall trees.

11. Deer and Bunnies Galore!

Last, but not least, we love our wild animal friends! Deer and bunnies are a natural sighting here, as are these deer crossing signs. We've all experienced the magic of seeing a majestic family of deer or an adorable bundle of bunnies in our backyards. It's not as bad as you would think, the little buggers are just too darn cute. Until you get on the road. We've been up close and personal with the "deer in headlights" saying. Just remember, don't veer for deer!

Cover Image Credit: Julianna Blankenship

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37 Things Growing Up in the South Taught You

Where the tea is sweet, but the people are sweeter.
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1. The art of small talking.
2. The importance of calling your momma.
3. The beauty of sweet tea.
4. How to use the term “ma'am” or “sir” (that is, use it as much as possible).
5. Real flowers are way better than fake flowers.
6. Sometimes you only have two seasons instead of four.
7. Fried chicken is the best kind of chicken.
8. When it comes to food, always go for seconds.
9. It is better to overdress for Church than underdress.
10. Word travels fast.
11. Lake days are better than beach days.
12. Handwritten letters never go out of style.
13. If a man doesn’t open the door for you on the first date, dump him.
14. If a man won’t meet your family after four dates, dump him.
15. If your family doesn’t like your boyfriend, dump him.
16. Your occupation doesn’t matter as long as you're happy.
17. But you should always make sure you can support your family.
18. Rocking chairs are by far the best kind of chairs.
19. Cracker Barrel is more than a restaurant, it's a lifestyle.
20. Just 'cause you are from Florida and it is in the south does not make you Southern.
21. High School football is a big deal.
22. If you have a hair dresser for more than three years, never change. Trust her and only her.
23. The kids in your Sunday school class in third grade are also in your graduating class.
24. Makeup doesn’t work in the summer.
25. Laying out is a hobby.
26. Moms get more into high school drama than high schoolers.
27. Sororities are a family affair.
28. You never know how many adults you know 'til its time to get recommendation letters for rush.
29. SEC is the best, no question.
30. You can't go wrong buying a girl Kendra Scotts.
31. People will refer to you by your last name.
32. Biscuits and gravy are bae.
33. Sadie Robertson is a role model.
34. If it is game day you should be dressed nice.
35. If you pass by a child's lemonade stand you better buy lemonade from her. You're supporting capitalism.
36. You are never too old to go home for just a weekend… or just a meal.
37. You can’t imagine living anywhere but the South.



































Cover Image Credit: Grace Valentine

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Louis Walsh Groping Mel B On Live TV Proves Rape Culture Is Alive and Well

Allowing perpetrators to get away with "minor" sexual harassment like this allows the Brock Turners of the world to get away with their crimes, too.

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Recently a clip from an Xtra Factor UK interview from 2014 has resurfaced on Twitter. The clip shows Louis Walsh groping Mel B's butt and, after being called out on it by her, laughing the whole situation off.

You can see his hand slowly travel downward, then tapping her bottom before finally squeezing it while laughing at a conversation going on. Mel B notices it and is visibly uncomfortable. She stops the interview and asks him why he's grabbing her butt, and while he excuses his behavior as "looking out for her" and Simon assures her she's "safe," she insists that it's inappropriate and scoots further away from him.

In turn, he and Simon laugh off the entire exchange, he scoots closer to her, and the interviewer, Sarah Jane Crawford, continues the interview. We never get to see how Mel B's female co-star, Cheryl Cole, reacts to the whole situation.

This exchange was cut from the final clip posted by the X Factor UK, but a Twitter user recorded the exchange, presumably from a recording of the live broadcast, and posted it. It has since divided Twitter users.

Some say Mel B was completely justified while others insist that because Louis Walsh is gay, he meant no harm by his fondling and Mel B calling him out only served to embarrass him.

Good. I hope so.

One Twitter user pointed out that his sexual orientation is irrelevant:

tweet

Nothing rings truer than "sexual assault isn't about sex, it's about asserting power and dominance." It doesn't matter if he didn't intend to derive any kind of pleasure from the encounter. What matters is that, in a sexual situation, Mel B was uncomfortable and it was Louis's fault.

People rushing to Louis's defense is symptomatic of a deeper problem in our culture. They're quick to disbelieve and blame the woman, the victim, instead of the perpetrator.

The eagerness to sweep the instance under the carpet allows perpetrators to feel more confident, knowing they won't be punished for their actions. When a man gets away with groping a woman on live TV, men and women in places of power everywhere will be emboldened to touch and speak to others however they please.

It may sound extreme at first, but this whole situation is rape culture.

These small allowances plant the seeds to turn a blind eye to bigger, more awful situations—until we're at the point where a man can rape an unconscious woman and only get three months of jail time because his bright and promising future shouldn't be marred by "20 minutes of action."

We can't allow instances like this. We have to come down hard on any and all forms of sexual harassment, with the punishment fitting the crime (PSA: sexual harassment is an actual crime, not "something that just happens").

Obviously, Louis Walsh shouldn't be treated like Brock Turner. But his actions should've been punished, probably more than just by simply calling him out on live TV, an exchange ultimately cut from the final posted clip anyway.

If Mel B had waited until they were no longer on live TV and his hand was no longer touching her, it would've been slightly out of place to bring it up. It's much like how when a child does something wrong or dangerous, you point it out right then; you don't wait. She could've still talked to him about it in private, but in addition to having called him out on it right when it was happening.

Not only was Mel B justified in calling out Louis Walsh, but any person in a similar situation is as well.

If you're ever in a situation that's even slightly sexual and you feel uncomfortable, say something. Don't let the other person get away with it. And if they're not ill-intentioned and truly didn't mean to make you uneasy, then they can learn from you voicing your discomfort.

It doesn't matter the situation or who's doing or saying something sexual that makes you feel uncomfortable. The voice of shame and self-blaming will find any way to justify their actions and keep you silent. Don't let it.

No matter how big or small the instance may seem to you, it's worth speaking up about.

Cover Image Credit:

The X Factor UK

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