Breeality Bites

From a Colorado native to a transplant: Your altitude problem is my attitude problem

I was complaining via that modern adult whiny message board known as Twitter recently that the only people who like John Denver are non-natives. I also blame those same anonymous people for Denver's traffic, gentrification, the popularity of days-long dubstep shows at Red Rocks (and the sickening popularity of any band qualified as "hippie shit" that books and sells out several dates in a row at that venue) and the influx of cruiser bike riders (which I should acknowledge we are both for and against here at Westword).

Maybe some people born in Colorado do like John Denver, but I'm sticking to my blanket statement that we really don't. I mean, he's not even from here (though neither is John Hickenlooper, and I love that guy), and people who aren't from here don't really know Denver -- as a city, anyway. They know it as a place that's "finally getting a Trader Joe's!", not the first city where Target opened stores outside of its Minneapolis headquarters in 1966.

See also: - Video: Sh*t people from Denver say - Historic Elitch Gardens Theatre: a peek inside the 121-year-old building - Slideshow: Casa Bonita: It's real and it's spectacular - Smoking at Paramount Cafe and 86'd from Coyote Ugly: Happy birthday, 16th Street Mall

I'm not sure why I feel like I have the authority to be snotty to someone because they may or may not have moved here from Texas/California/Vermont for incentives like beautiful weather and a reasonable housing market. But I find myself saying things like " I get angry when I see a gorgeous mid-century building turned into a Pilates studio or, God forbid, a dull but well-constructed box structure in Capitol Hill become another Boutique Apartments project. To me, there is no kitschy attraction to painting an apartment complex toilet-bowl blue and grafting a giant, novelty water spout to the side of it and calling it the "H2O." It looks like the design equivalent of an STD. But that's progress, I suppose.

It's not so much that I dislike people not from here -- obviously a large percentage of my friends, co-workers and even family weren't born in my fair-square state -- but sometimes, my pride just gets in the way. If someone blames the altitude for the reason they feel sick, I laugh at them. Altitude sickness isn't real -- those of us born and raised here know that.

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Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies

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